Blogging has literally changed my life. It has allowed me to stay home with my daughter, make thousands from the comfort of my own home, and work according to my own schedule. There is truly nothing like it, especially when you consider how cheap it is to start a blog.
This is what I want to share with you today: how you can start a blog. I’ve given you exclusive pricing and discounts below, including pricing as low as $3.95/month and a FREE domain name. .
When I first started blogging, I went with a smaller, crazy inexpensive hosting company and I regretted it almost immediately. Terrible customer service, slow website speeds and more made me wish that I had used Bluehost when I started. Don’t make my mistake!
Start your blog with a reputable company like Bluehost that has a great reputation for helping blogger get up and running as easy as possible.
When I say that blogging has changed my life, I mean it: I now make about $4,000 a month from my blog as you can see from my blogging income reports, and blogging has allowed my family and I to pay off $24,000 of debt in 2015, allowed me to spend more time with my daughter, and has allowed us to purchase a camper, travel, and put more money away in savings than ever before!
In 2015, I made more than $33,000 from blogging, and I expect to double that in 2016.
Why Start A Blog?
Being able to work from home is such an amazing thing because I am able to travel whenever I want, choose how I spend my days, focus my energy where it seems right, now where a boss dictates my energy should be, and of course prioritize my family and my own mental health. For the first time in years, I truly love my life, and blogging has made it possible.
The amazing thing about blogging is that anyone can make money from a blog. It doesn’t matter whether you have zero experience with website or blogging or if you’re a technical savant, you can make back the small amount you’ll pay for hosting back in just a few months. From there, the sky is the limit! You can launch books, products, and other sources of income like paid social media promotion and even speaking engagements that stem from the work you’ve done on your blog.
You can start a blog for as little as $3.95 per month through Bluehost. This price is only available through my link, when you purchase a hosting package for at least 12 months, Bluehost will give you a FREE domain name – a $15 value! Plus, with Bluehost, you’ll never have to sign a contract.
You literally have nothing to lose.
What about WordPress or Blogger?
There are lots of ways to start free blogs on the internet through sites like WordPress.com, Blogger, Blogspot, Weebly, and many more. Start a free blog through WordPress.com, for example, puts a “.wordpress.com” at the end of your domain name. In addition to not being able to use plugins, place advertisements, and be as easily found on search engines, a site with “.wordpress.com” on the end looks much less professional.
One of the biggest draws to blogging is making money and changing your family’s life, which is why self-hosting with Bluehost is absolutely necessary. It is cheap, and like most things that you purchase, you get what you pay for. With your own self-hosted blog through Bluehost, you can maintain complete control over your own piece of the internet as well as how much income you make. When I first started my blog I was making nothing with it, but once I switched to self-hosted, I started making money and I now make about $4,000 a month!
To get started, you will need to head over the Bluehost. There are many blog hosting companies out there, but honestly Bluehost is one of the best. They take pride in making their hosting one of the best experiences out there, which is the reason so many bloggers choose Bluehost for their hosting needs.
Click here to get started.
Step 1: Decide On A Hosting Package
You may already know that your host provides the server space for all of the graphics, articles, and cool features of your blog, you know how important it is to make the right decision. You get what you pay for, and that is completely true with the hosting company for your blog.
Click here to go to Bluehost and start your blog. Going through my link will get you super low pricing from Bluehost, free WordPress, and even your FREE domain name. I’ve set it up so that this link will open in a new tab, so you can keep this page open to guide you through the process. Don’t worry, the whole thing only takes about 10 minutes because Bluehost makes it so easy.
From Bluehost’s front page, click the circled “get started now” button.
After you click the get started now button, you will be presented with several options: the Starter, Performance, and Business Pro. Don’t let the options intimidate you, all you’ll really need to start a blog is the Starter option.
Even the Starter package comes with a free domain, so when you are just starting out or if money is tight, there is no reason to choose a more expensive plan. If (when!) you blog starts receiving lots of traffic, you can always upgrade with the click of a button. Again, Bluehost prides themselves on making starting a blog easy and accessible.
Click the green “Select” button of the plan to you chose to continue starting your blog.
2. Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain is the “www.” address on the internet that people find you at. It’s like your street address, except it’s on the internet, rather than a physical street. Most commonly, your web address is also the name of your blog. My blog’s name is Retired by 40!, so my domain name is www.retiredby40blog.com.
If you’ve already decided on your domain name and purchased it, this would be the time to enter your existing domain name. You can enter the domain name you already own on the right side of the screen you see below. Bluehost will then walk you through the process of transferring or pointing your existing domain towards Bluehost’s servers.
Don’t let this scare you if you already own your domain, again, Bluehost makes this process very easy.
The box on the left is for if you have a specific domain name in mind but haven’t yet bought it, or you need to come up with your blog’s name from scratch.
If you have an idea for your blog name, or even if you don’t, you may find that the name is already taken, so if you need some inspiration, check out this cool pin, or this one. Some people even find it helpful to do a “brain dump” (there is got to be a better name for this) which is done by writing down everything you can think of that you want to blog about, including your name, family, location. Then, try combining those words into something catchy, simple, and fun.
Then, run those potential names through the left box during sign-up to see if those names are already taken. It is also usually a good idea to google those blog names to make sure no one is blogging under a similar name to yours.
Next, you will be directed to the account information page, where you will enter your name, address, phone number, and email address. Below that will be where you purchase your actual hosting. There are quite a few options, as you can see below, but I’ll walk you through which ones you need and which ones you don’t.
You already chose the Starter package, so that pricing is showing up. The first circle shows where you can choose 12, 24, or 36 months, and the more you buy, the more you save. I suggest signing up for at least 12 months so that you get your FREE domain name with the package.
Below that, there are lots of options, but the only one you really need is the Domain Privacy Protection, which protects your personal information when you register the domain as belonging to you. Just uncheck the other boxes so you don’t end up purchasing Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, or SiteLock Security. You don’t really need those extras.
Quick Note: The Domain Privacy Protection will only show up if you chose to register a new domain above. If you already own your domain and are transferring it, the Domain Privacy Protection will not show up
Finally, enter your billing information, check the box that says you read the fine print, and hit “Submit.”
Chances are, you’ll be asked about upgrades after you hit submit, but don’t feel pressured to buy them. Just hit skip to keep moving on the your blog’s new control panel.
Next, we’ll install WordPress, which will power your site.
3. Install WordPress
To get started with your blog, you will login to your cPanel (Control Panel) through Bluehost. From the main Bluehost webpage, choose the “Login” option from the top right hand corner. Or, if you’ve already received your welcome email from Bluehost, you can use the cPanel link they provided in that email.
Your welcome email will contain all of the information you need to login to your cPanel, like your username and password, which you can use to login. Once you’re in the cPanel, under Website Builders, you’ll see the option to Install WordPress
Click Install WordPress, and then “Install” again to install WordPress onto your domain name. You will be prompted to check your domain, which may take a couple of minutes. Then you’ll be given the option to install WordPress. Once the installation is complete, you will use WordPress to control the look and feel of your website, as well as use to to write articles. It is the software that will power your website, and it’s FREE.
After WordPress is installed, the fun begins! Bluehost will display the admin URL you will use to login to your blog, which is unique to you, so make sure to bookmark this address. Then you will be able to set the username and password that you will login to your blog with.
Security Tip: Stay away from “admin” as your username, since it would be easily guessed by hackers. Also make your password very secure, since hackers can (and will) try to infiltrate your site. Set up a secure blog now so you don’t have to worry about it later.
4. Jumpstart Success
Once you reach this point, you should pat yourself on the back, because you now own a corner of the internet. A place where you can be as creative, practical, or social as you like. Even better, you can start changing your family’s life by making money with your blog.
There are a few things you can do to get started:
- Install a few basic plugins: Plugins like Akismet, Yoast SEO, WP Super Cache, and more. Instructions for these can be found at my Jumpstart Success Page.
- Control How You Site Looks: Change the theme of your site by going to Appearance > Themes and searching for free WordPress themes that fit the design you have in mind for your blog. Or, if you prefer a paid theme, you can find my favorites on my Recommendations page.
- Finally, work on developing your writing style, color scheme, and other details that will make your blog yours.
For more practical tips to help you get started blogging and making money with your blog, head over to Your Blog or Your Life to get a free Mini Blogging course, learn WordPress basics, and more!
More Blogging Posts To Get You Started:
Blogging Tools + Resources (scroll down to this section)
13 Things I’ve Learned In 2 Years of Blogging
How To Get Started Freelance Writing For Blogs
16 Gmail Features To Help Your Work Efficiently
Why Every Blogger Needs Mailchimp (it’s free!)
5 Ways To Connect With Other Bloggers
The Smartest Way To Grow Your Blog With Pinterest
2 Years of Blogging Income Reports – read about my journey to making money blogging
Do you have a blog? Share any blogging mistakes you made that you want others to avoid!
P.S. Share this post with your friends to earn an entry into this month’s giveaways!
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for more information.
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