Do you have a passion you want to share? A small business you want to get out to the world? or perhaps want to make an income while you travel the world?
Blogging could be your answer!
(Note: assume each link in each post on my site is affiliated, meaning I will make money in some way if you purchase products through my blog or recommendation. I am attempting to make a living through this blog by sharing the companies I believe in 100% …Wish me luck!)
Blogs are not just for the “professional writer” they are for the dreamers, travellers, mothers and business owners.. People with a passion to do more of what they love.
Back in 2014 I had quit my job as a Plumber to pursue a life of full-time travel while I made an income through my blog.
Unfortunately, while I do my best to inspire and encourage others to go out and pursue their dreams, many give up as the “setup process” seems too complex for them.
But its not. Below I have outlined an easy step-by-step guide to getting a domain, setting up hosting, and installing WordPress in 10 minutes or less.
There are many ways to set up a blog but you will have best control using a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is what most serious bloggers use, and what worldnate.com is built on.
NOTE: The first step for setting up a blog is buying a domain and setting up hosting. If you are not sure about the difference between hosted and self-hosted WordPress, I found this helpful infographic that explains it well. My verdict… stay away from WordPress.com. It’s limiting and does not allow your blog to scale well.
TO GET STARTED HERE ARE A FEW QUICK STEPS:
1. Getting A Paid Hosting Account (don’t worry this will be cheap)
2. Buying A Domain Name (Domain Name is what you call a web address i.e. worldnate.com or .net / .co / .info)
3. Setting Up Hosting
4. Installing WordPress
5. How To Install A Theme
STEP #1: BUYING A DOMAIN NAME
The domain name of my blog is worldnate.com. That’s where people find me on the web and is the HUB of my business. Choosing a good domain can be tough. Your domain can either be your name or a branded domain like mine. Luckily, the hosting company I will recommend in step #2 provides you with a free domain for a full year and will usually cost around $11.99 per year thereafter.
STEP #2 SETTING UP A HOSTING ACCOUNT.
This is where your blog will “live.” This is a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your blog. It’s far easier than it sounds… Stick with me. There are a hundreds of hosting services available. However, based on my experience and research, I recommend Bluehost. I believe it is the best option for most people for the following several reasons:
ACTION STEP: Click HERE to buy your domain and signup for hosting with Bluehost. I have provided a visual guide of the steps below.
– IMPORTANT UPDATE (August 2017) …If you don’t use the above link and just go through bluehost.com, the setup process will be much different. You will be up-sold on many different products such as e-commerce extensions after you register which are not necessary and it will not automatically install WordPress. I asked if they could make it different for my readers than they do for the general public to make it more simple and how I explain. They agreed.
When starting, use THIS LINK then follow the steps below.
BLUEHOST STEP #1
Visit This Link (the same as the one above) and Click “Get Started Now” button. You should see this…
BLUEHOST STEP #2 Choose your plan. If you can afford it, I would highly suggest going with the ‘Plus’ or ‘Prime’ plan as you get unlimited storage and domain privacy (helps a lot).
If your budget is tight (I’ve certainly been there) go ahead and choose the ‘basic’ plan. You can upgrade later if needed.
BLUEHOST STEP #3 Choose your free domain name or bring over your current domain. Both are very easy processes.
BLUEHOST STEP #4 Enter your personal details.
BLUEHOST STEP #5 Choose your plan and any extras which are optional but not necessary. With Bluehost, you don’t pay monthly; you pay yearly, calculated by a monthly rate.
If you chose the ‘Basic’ plan, I would highly suggest getting domain privacy.
BLUEHOST STEP #6 Enter billing information to complete the registration.
BLUEHOST STEP #7 Now it’s time to create a password. Click the blue button which says ‘create your password’.
Type in your desired password then click the box to agree to the terms of service. Then click ‘next’.
BLUEHOST STEP #8
Click the ‘Login’ button to login to your new Bluehost account.
BLUEHOST STEP #9 Bluehost has made it super easy to install WordPress and start a blog. Pick a theme! – How you want your blog to look. This can be modified later also.
BLUEHOST STEP #10 All done! You are now ready to see your WordPress dashboard and begin building your blog. Click “Start Building”
BLUEHOST STEP #11 You should now be in your WordPress dashboard! – Let’s activate your blog. Click “Bluehost” on the top left menu.
BLUEHOST STEP #12 Click “Launch” – Don’t stress, you will not have millions of people viewing your site.
BLUEHOST STEP #13 Give your blog a title and tagline.
All Done! You’re ready to roll. From here you can manage everything. Click “Login to WordPress” to start editing your site and making it look sexy
In terms of themes, WordPress does provide free themes. But if none of them tickle ya fancy, you can look at some paid premium themes instead. I recommend Themeforest.net – They have some awesome themes!
At ThemeForest, in the navigation go to “WordPress” in the upper left section of the page. Then choose your theme type and begin exploring thousands of themes. After purchasing your theme from Themeforest, you will return to your WordPress dashboard and click “Appearance” > Themes > Upload a New Theme. Here you will upload the .zip file of the theme your just purchased.
PLUGINS One of the first things I suggest to do is to install some essential plugins to help with certain aspects of running you site smoothly. Here are some of the ones I use:
Akismet: Protects your blog from spam. Trust me, you will need this!
Contact Form 7: So readers can easily contact you via your site – The form is connected to your email account.
Digg Digg: Floating social media buttons on the side of the page. It makes it easy for your readers to share and like your content on social media.
Dynamic Widgets: So you can choose which pages your widgets will appear.
Facebook All: Perfect if you have a Facebook fanpage. It shows your page as a widget and people can easily view and like your page and posts while still on your blog.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP: View your site analytics easily when in your dashboard. You can see the amount of visitors you have, where they come from, how long they stay etc.
Google XML Sitemaps: Helps search engines rank your blog better.
Image Banner Widget: Add banners and images to the sidebars of your site
Instagram Feed: To have your Instagram as a widget. Readers can see your Instagram photos and easily follow you without having to leave your website.
Related Posts by Zemanta: Helps with readers’ engagement by including various related posts and the end of a post.
WP Canvas- Widgets:More options for widgets including an ‘About Me’ section.
WPtouch Mobile Plugin: For a mobile friendly version of your site.
Congratulations! You have officially setup your blog. This is only the beginning of an exciting journey for you. If you have any questions or issues please leave a comment below. I try to check my comments daily.
Video Tutorial: If you would rather learn through video, I made this for you…