How to Start a Blog in 15 Minutes or Less
So, you have finally decided to start your blog? If you haven’t decided to start your blog, then I think you should do so because of the many advantages of starting your blog. It is much cheaper than you think, at least for a small website. You can always upgrade your hosting plan as your blog grows in size.
Now, the question is, how to start a blog?
In this guide, I will show you the step-by-step process of starting your blog in 15 minutes or less.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains one or more affiliate links, and I will get a commission if you sign up through them at no extra cost to you. I would have recommended Bluehost even if I wasn’t getting any commission. I am an affiliate of one other hosting service, but I recommend Bluehost because it is ideal for someone starting out.
Paid Blog vs Free Blog
There are certain advantages that are offered by paid blogs over free blogs. Following are some of the notable advantages of a paid blog.
- You have complete control on your paid blog. You can choose the theme, customize the look of your blog, choose the sections that you want to have, change colors, place a logo and do much more. On a free blog, you have limited control, and there are certain things that you cannot change at all.
- You can use any monetization method that you want to use on your paid blog. This is not the case with a free blog. Some free blogs don't allow affiliate links. Affiliate marketing is very profitable, so the money that you spend on a paid blog can allow you to earn thousands of dollars per month. I want to warn you that it is not going to be easy, but it is certainly possible if you are consistent.
- Paid blogs have a easier time ranking on the search engines.
- There is always a small risk of losing your free blog while nobody can touch your paid blog.
- Your domain name will have the name of the website that you are hosted on in case of a free blog. For example, www.xyz.blogger.com. While your domain name for your paid blog will simply include the name of your blog.
- A big advantage of a paid blog is the plugins that come with it when you are using WordPress. Plugins can allow you to do a lot of things like collect emails for free. There are paid plugins, but there are plenty of useful free plugins as well.
- Paid blogs are not free, but self-hosted paid blogs only cost a few dollars per month.
Choosing a Domain Name and Niche for Your Blog
A domain name is the address for your blog, which also acts as the name for your blog. You can name your blog something different from your domain name, but it would look wrong. So, how do you choose a domain name? Well, that depends on your niche.
A niche is the topic that your blog will revolve around. I recommend thinking about things that you are passionate about when deciding your niche if you are going to produce content on your own. The reason that you need to choose topics that you are passionate about is that blogging will become a burden if you write about uninteresting topics. If you are going to use freelance writers, then any profitable niche can work.
In theory, you can blog in any niche and make money, but in practice there are many factors that play a role. You need to think about the competition in a particular niche and determine how you are going to be better than the competition.
Look at the blogs of other people in your niche and decide how you are going to produce better content than them. At this stage, I want you to worry about only one thing and that is how you are going to produce better content. Promotion, SEO and other things will come later.
If you are confused, then it is always a good idea to pick something that you are passionate about as long as it is profitable. You can make money by using ads and other methods, but affiliate marketing is what I recommend.
How will you decide if it is profitable? Just look for products that you can promote later on in your niche and if these products have an affiliate program, then this niche is profitable. Obviously, the traffic will also play a role, but I will discuss that in some other article.
Following are the reasons that I recommend Bluehost.
- It is cheap, but the quality of their service is actually pretty good.
- They provide great support, and you can approach them for help at any time.
- You can get a free domain name that would have cost you $10 or more.
- You don't require any technical knowledge to get started.
- They offer the ability to get a refund within the first 30 days.
- Bluehost is one of the most reliable and well-known names in the industry.
Buying Hosting and Free Domain Name
Now that you have picked your niche and have an idea for a domain name, it is time to buy hosting and domain name to get started. Hosting refers to the service that will allow you to host your blog online. There are several hosting services, but I recommend Bluehost to beginners.
Domain name is the address of your blog. For example, xyz.com or xyz.net. It would be a good idea to choose a .com extension if possible. You can get a free domain name from Bluehost if you buy hosting from them.
For the purpose of this article, I will show you how to buy hosting and start your website with Bluehost. The blogging platform that I will use for the purpose of this tutorial is none other than WordPress.
You can begin the process of starting your WordPress blog through this Bluehost link. Just follow the steps below to setup your blog.
Step 1: Click on Get Started
Step 2: Choose Hosting Plan
I will not bore you will all the technical details, but you should go for the basic package if you want to host only one website, and this is what I recommend for beginners. If you want to host more than one website, then you can go for plus or prime package.
Plus package is for those who want to host more than one website, but do not want additional features like domain privacy, site backup etc. Prime package should be the choice of advanced bloggers who want to host many websites without facing speed issues. If you are a beginner just go for the basic package.
Step 3: Choose Domain Name
I have already explained how to choose your domain name above. Most of the time your preferred domain name might not be available, so you will need to choose a domain name from the suggestions. If you cannot decide, you can choose your free domain name later.
Step 4: Fill in Your Details
Step 5: Choose Your Account Plan
The price of the hosting service will increase after the expiry of the period for which you will buy hosting now, so I recommend buying hosting for 36 months. This way you will get hosting for 36 months for a heavy discount.
You can obviously buy hosting for 12 months, but you will have to pay much more money in the long run if you decide to continue hosting your blog on bluehost. Not only bluehost, but almost every other shared hosting service increases the prices after the expiry of the initial term for which you buy hosting.
Only buy ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ along with your hosting and uncheck everything else. I don’t want to bore you with the technical details again, but these things aren’t really necessary. Domain privacy protection is a must if you don’t want your personal information available to those who might want to use it for doing something bad.
Step 6: Enter Your Card Details
Step 7: Check and Submit
After clicking on submit you will have to choose your password on the next screen and after that you will be able to login to your Bluehost account.
Congratulations, now you are the proud owner of your blog and you can do whatever you want, but first you need to choose a blogging platform that you are going to use and install it on your blog.
Once you will login, you will find yourself in the cPanel and all you have to do is find the ‘Install WordPress’ icon and click on it. After that choose the domain you want to install WordPress on and click on submit. Bluehost will install WordPress on your domain automatically and after that you can choose the password and username that you will use to login to your WordPress website.
If you want to login to WordPress just enter ‘/login’ after your website URL and you will get to the login page. For example, xyz.com/login will take me to the login page of xyz.com.
There are many things that you can do with WordPress and now you can start exploring and customizing your blog through your dashboard. You will find the steps for customizing your blog on your dashboard after logging in and all you need to do is follow them. I hope this step-by-step guide helped you in starting your blog, and if you have any questions please let me know.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2019 Kshitiz Gaur