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Start a Blog
Hello there! If you’re reading this, you are here for one reason, and one reason only; to learn how to start a blog with possibly the intent to one day monetize it.
My goal through this tutorial is to simplify the process and answer as many questions as I can to help you get your blog going as quickly as possible.
Throughout this process, if you have questions, feel free to join my Facebook group, with other like minded individuals that have either created their successful blog or is going through the same process as you and may be able to provide some assistance along the way. This is also an easy way for me to answer any question you have. Simply click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DIYBlogging/
Keep in mind; this is a closed group. This means only members can see your posts.
Okay, let’s get started.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org
Setting up a blog is easy. By following this instruction, it will become even easier. Most blogs are set-up using a WordPress platform. WordPress.com is free to use and comes with a free domain, website templates and easy to configure options. WordPress.com also host their sites, so there is less management and administration for the blog owner. Unfortunately, if you wanted your personal website domain name, you won’t be able to get that using WordPress.com. See example below.
Notice the domain I selected includes a wordpress.com extension. For those looking for a more professional look, this may not be the recommended option.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted site. This means the blog owner is responsible for buying hosting and managing the administration of the blog. WordPress.org allows for more flexibility as it relates to what you can add to your site. For instance, if you ever want to add Google ads, affiliate links and plugins to help maximize your monetization, WordPress.org is the solution. Unfortunately, with WordPress.com, you are unable to have the same flexibility.
For this tutorial, I will use WordPress.org as our solution in this guide.
The first step is to determine your domain name.
Depending on your niche, you would want a name that resembles what you will be talking about on your site. This way you establish a clear brand identity. For instance, if you are a cake decorator, having a name like; www.niftyscarfs.com, just won’t do. You want your name to speak to your audience and be memorable.
Here are a few tips when deciding a domain name:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Having a long website name can be confusing for your audience.
- Misspellings could occur, and instead of people clicking on your site, they may go to someone else’s.
- Niftyscarfs.com is an excellent example – Niftyscarfsmadebystephanie.com although a good name may cause the blog owner more work in their marketing and branding strategy.
- Make it relevant to your site.
- You want your audience to know what your blog is about based on your name
- As I mentioned before, have a relevant name to go with your blog
- My blog name is DIYMogul.com, and I provide resources and tutorials on how I was able to succeed at doing something, just by doing it myself. I also share fun DIY projects.
- You want your audience to be able to find you in a Google search based on your name. SEO and keyword will help a lot with how you will rank in a Google search; however, your name will give searchers validity on your topics.
- Ensure people can pronounce it and spell it right.
- We all want to be creative and have a fun name for our blog, let’s just ensure our audience can say it correctly and spell it
- This can turn into a marketing nightmare for your blog if people are unable to find your blog because they couldn’t spell it right
- Don’t be too specific!
- You will want some room to grow into your brand, so make sure your name is flexible enough that you can grow in several areas.
- Great example: Relating to DIY names, I didn’t want to pick a name like DIYwoodcarver.com. This would be challenging for me to do other DIY projects on my site. I could do them, however, it would be confusing for my audience. Those who find me in a search may be startled to see me working on a DIY glass bottle lamp.
As I mentioned before, you want a fun and memorable name that people can remember for years to come. I suggest writing down a few options, sharing them with friends and family…or in our Facebook group, and see what sticks. I would recommend having at least 10 domain names to choose from. This way if a name isn’t available in the domain search, you can move to the next one.
The best part about this domain search is Bluehost’s quick responsive search bar that gives you instant results. The best place to start is using the domain checker provided by Bluehost.com and plugging in the domain name of your choice.
Here you will enter the domain name (s) you selected in the previous section. This step can be a little tedious because your first name choice may not be available. I’ve been there before. I wanted another name for my blog, but unfortunately, it was taken. I’m happy with DIYMogul.com, however, just know it wasn’t my first choice :). So, please don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and play around with some words to help you decide. The search tool will provide suggestions for your name that is available and may fit perfectly for what you are looking for.
Keep an open mind here. Also, it may be okay to consider a different extension. For instance, it’s more common for URL’s to end in .com or .net, there are other options available for the name you selected if the most common are not. To learn more about website extensions, here is a link to what each means. This way you can choose which one would be best for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Once you’ve managed to find a name for your blog, next is registration. You will need to enter all these details to register your domain and set-up your Bluehost account.
Here is a step by step tutorial to help you get registered.
After watching the tutorial above on how to register your hosting with Bluehost, you should be more confident with the process to move forward and set-up your account.
The Next tutorial will include WordPress Basics and which plugins are essential for your start-up blog/website. We will cover email and WordPress installation. This tutorial will also include an overview of functionality, of WordPress. To access this tutorial and many others in this series, sign up below.
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