Are you wondering how to start a blog? A number of people are able to make a nice income by simply blogging about their passions.
What’s keeping you from doing the same?
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.
Lettuce Discuss: How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online – No Coding Knowledge Required
So you want to learn how to start a blog? Starting a blog is a piece of cake.
Many people are able to start a blog and make money blogging about the topics and hobbies they enjoy. Some people have been extremely successful at this—making tens of thousands of dollars per month on their blogs.
If you’ve ever thought about blogging, now is the time to get started.
You can start a blog today by following these 6 easy steps:
(2) Choose a host.
(4) Pick a niche.
This post will teach you all about using these steps to quickly and easily creating a blog on your own and, specifically, how to start a blog using WordPress.
WordPress is the easiest way to get a blog up and running in no time, and you don’t need any coding knowledge!
If you already have an idea of where to start, click here to start creating your blog on WordPress, and then follow the steps below to add content to your site and go live.
***As a bonus, download the Start a Blog Checklist (no email sign up required) and follow the basic steps there***
Why Should I Start My Own Blog?
There are many good reasons to start a blog.
You can make money blogging while working from home. There are several examples of people who make a decent living by blogging. Some even make thousands of dollars per month.
You might also start blogging to gain exposure for your business. Blogging is a simple way to create content that can reach millions of potential customers, and at minimal cost to you.
Or, perhaps you just have something to say and you want to share it with the world. Right on.
If you find yourself fitting into any of those categories, “lettuce discuss” how to start a blog and make money.
Is Starting a Blog Expensive?
Starting a blog really isn’t expensive at all. I spend less than $4 per month on LettuceDiscuss, unless I’m purchasing premium items like plugins or different themes (and these premium items aren’t even required).
If you like to save money and you want to start a WordPress blog at minimal cost, then Bluehost might be the best option for your hosting needs, and you can get hosting for as little as $3.95 per month if you click on my special link. Bluehost has been around since 2003. It’s one of the leading web solutions providers. They offer hosting solutions for every budget, and they have dedicated WordPress experts to help you whenever you have questions.
You can create a money-making blog anywhere you want to be: whether you’re blogging for side-income after your primary job, taking care of children at home, or in-between jobs. Some bloggers work from home while others travel the world. Blogging allows you the flexibility to make money wherever you want to be. And it gives you the freedom to generate income on your own terms. Anyone who has something to say has the potential to make money with a blog. If you find that blogging is something you want to pursue for a side income, it’s possible to recoup the money you paid for hosting.
But Can’t I Start a Blog for Free in 2019?
You can start a blog for free, but it’s a good idea to purchase hosting rather than using a free service. Especially when you have the chance to advertise or otherwise monetize your site in a way that allows you to make your money back quickly.
Bluehost offers everything a blogger needs to get their website up and running. It’s really one of the greatest options to start a WordPress blog in 2019. They offer plans for just a few dollars per month.
So How Do I Start a Blog?
Choose and register your domain name.
A domain name is your web address. It helps people find you on the web, much like your home has a physical address that can appear on a map.
You can get your domain name and your hosting plan by clicking here. Then, come back to this page for the next steps.
Your first course of action will be to think about what you want to write about and choose a domain name. This can be one of the hardest and also one of the most important decisions you have to make when it comes to your blog.
You’ll want to give some serious thought to it and make it brandable.
Think about companies like Google for web searches or Amazon for online shopping. If Google were instead called “Search Engine Plus” or Amazon were “Big Online Ecommerce Site ,” they wouldn’t stand out from the hundreds of other search engines and ecommerce sites out there. You need a name that helps you stand out from the crowd.
I’ve thought about creating a blog that focuses on cryptocurrency news and ideas, so I wanted to come up with a name that represents both parts of my journey: learning about cryptocurrencies and discussing ideas surrounding the entire cryptocurrency landscape. I came across the name “bitnotion” as a way to combine my focus on data (bits) and ideas (notions).
You can purchase a domain directly from Bluehost and make the entire domain registration process easy. When you purchase a hosting plan through Bluehost, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy at least 12 months of Bluehost web hosting. You’ll save a lot of money when you sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as compared to paying monthly. Essentially, you get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, plus you get your domain for free, adding more bang to your buck. If you love to save money and you want an even better deal, you can get the absolute best value by purchasing a 36 month plan. This reduces your monthly rate the most.
If you want to get a free domain by purchasing an annual hosting plan, just keep on reading to the next step.
And if you aren’t quite ready to buy a hosting plan at this time, you can always just purchase your domain name by itself (you’ll want to get that good name before someone else does).
If you already have a domain name through another provider, like GoDaddy, you can easily connect that domain name to your Bluehost hosting account.
Find a host for your blog.
So how do you find a host? A host provides server space for your blog or website, much like a house or apartment provides a place for a family to live. If you want your blog to be online, you need someone to give you some server space.
GoDaddy and Bluehost are popular options for hosting. I’ve used both, and I really like Bluehost for hosting. Bluehost is very user friendly, making it a great choice for people who are just getting started.
And with Bluehost you can essentially get hosting for the price of two lattes at your favorite coffee shop. If you’re a coffee drinker like I am, then you know how that money adds up per month. Why not send some of it toward creating a blog that can help you earn more writing about something you love?
Signing up for a 12-month plan through Bluehost offers you the best bang for your buck. You’ll save a bunch by signing up for the 12-month plan, which is both convenient and affordable. If you want to save even more, you can go for a 36-month plan to pay the lowest monthly rates over that period of time.
If you really want to make money by blogging, or by starting an online shop through WooCommerce (also via WordPress), they you must have a reliable hosting provider. And that’s going to cost you a few dollars. That’s why I recommend Bluehost. When you buy a 12-month hosting package, they’ll give you a free domain that you can use to create your personal brand. When you buy your own hosting through Bluehost, you can also choose which advertising and affiliate programs you want to run. Bluehost also has people who know WordPress forward and backward who can help you if you were run into a snag (but as you’ll see below, WordPress is super intuitive and easy to use, even if you have no prior coding knowledge). Free sites won’t offer you these types of perks, and, quite frankly, many advertisers will shy away from blogs hosting on free sites because they simply don’t look very professional.
Bluehost is a fantastic choice for web hosting, and there are a number of reasons why:
- It’s intuitive and easy to use. You can create a WordPress blog even if you have absolutely no web design or coding knowledge whatsoever. Bluehost makes creating a WordPress blog easy as pie.
- Bluehost offers technical support with its web hosting plans.
- Bluehost is affordable and offers web hosting at a cheap rate. Remember how I mentioned you can get a plan that costs less per month than a couple of lattes? And sometimes they have specials that allow you to buy hosting for even less per month.
- You get a free blog domain when you buy a hosting plan. If you want your blog to stand out, you need a personal brand that people will remember (and will keep them coming back).
- As noted above, WordPress is a free content management system offered by Bluehost. Once you purchase your web hosting plan through Bluehost, you just have to follow the instructions below in order to launch your website.
- Bluehost offers a 30-day hosting money-back guarantee. So if you start your blog and you realize making money writing about what you love just isn’t for you, you can cancel within 30 days. But before you cancel, feel free to drop me a line and I will offer some encouragement!
- You’ll have a self-hosting blog, which allows you to choose your own advertisers and decide how you want to make money.
- Your blog will look professional. It took me less than an hour to get BitNotion up and running. Not bad, right?
So how do you get started?
First you need to veer on over to Bluehost to get yourself started. There are other options, but I think Bluehost is the best. And that’s why so many bloggers choose Bluehost. Some of my blogs are running on previously purchased hosting from other sites, and I plan to migrate them over to Bluehost as soon as those plans expire.
So if you’re ready to take the first step toward creating a money-making blog, keep on reading for instructions on how to quickly and easily start a WordPress blog. And don’t forget, if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line. Click here to go to Bluehost and start your own blog. This link will open a new webpage taking you to Bluehost, and you continue to follow the next few steps on my page.
How to Quickly and Easily Start a Profitable WordPress Blog hosted by Bluehost
Go to Bluehost and click on the green “get started now” button.
Select the hosting package you want.
If you are new to blogging and you want a hosting plan with the lowest cost, the “Basic Plan” will get you going. For those of you who are just getting started, the 12 month plan is a great price and very affordable for your first year of blogging. Plus, you’ll get the free domain name when you sign up for the 12-month plan (or greater), which saves you some dough. The very best value is in the 36-month plan, which reduces the monthly fee the most over the long term.
The Basic Plan will get you going, so you can move past the Plus and Prime plans, which cost more (but they also offer more features). If you find yourself in the awesome position of having a blog with booming stats, you can always change your plan later and just pay the difference. For now, there is no reason to sign up for extra web space or features you do not need.
If you have already purchased a domain name, enter it here. Or, sign up for a new domain name. And remember, you get a free domain name when you purchase a plan of at least 12 months.
If you don’t want to enter a domain name yet, you don’t have to. You can just click on “choose later” at the bottom of the screen (a popup offering the same option will appear if the screen is idle) and move to the next steps.
Enter your contact information and your payment information.
Choose a password that is both secure and one you can remember.
If you already have a domain name, now you can get started on your blog. If not, keep reading for tips on choosing one.
You will see an option to purchase Domain Privacy Protection as well, and you will want to purchase that. Domain Privacy Protection keeps your contact information private.
If you don’t have ideas for a domain name yet, no worries. You an always pick one later by clicking on “Choose Later!”
The overall value of purchasing a 36-month plan cannot be overstated, especially on a blog that is about making money. Saving money is a way to make money, too. When you sign up for a 36-month plan, you get a lower price per month, you get a free domain name, and you won’t have to spend extra time remembering to renew your plan every month. If you get really busy and forget to renew your monthly plan, your website could go down and you’ll lose valuable visitors and web traffic. Plus, it goes without saying that you will end up paying more overall per month if you are on a monthly plan. So a plan of at 36 months is the smart way to go. If you choose this term, you will save more money overall.
If you purchased your domain through Bluehost, your domain and your hosting are already connected. But if you purchased a domain elsewhere, you’ll need to connect that domain to your Bluehost hosting plan.
For example, if you already have a domain name through GoDaddy, then you will need to connect your GoDaddy domain to your Bluehost account. GoDaddy has a helpful support page for setting nameservers for your domain names. Here is a brief extract from GoDaddy’s website:
“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.
If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”
Here are the steps to modify your DNS nameservers from Go Daddy to Bluehost:
- First, go to GoDaddy.com and log into your Account Manager.
- Choose “Manage Domains” from the Domains drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
- Choose the domain name you want to modify by using the checkbox and then select Set Name Servers.
- Enter your new name server information in the text boxes under the Name Servers heading and click Save Changes. Your new name server entries should be: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.
After you complete these steps, you will need to add your existing domain (the one you purchased through GoDaddy) to your Bluehost web hosting plan. You can easily do this by clicking on “Domains” on the Bluehost menu (after logging into your Bluehost account) and then choosing “assign.” Easy as pie!
Choose an application for your blog (this post focuses on WordPress)
An application, also known as a content management system (CMS), is the platform you’ll use to get your blog on the web.
All applications have the ability to manage blogs, and they all include a templating system that allows you to control the appearance and style of your web pages. More advanced applications can include a nearly endless list of additional features, such as categories, commenting options, user logins controls, polls and statistics, file managers, FAQ managers, and so on.
There are several options available out there, but many require some coding knowledge.
WordPress does not require any coding knowledge whatsoever. That’s what makes it great and by far the most popular application for blogging.
You have two options for creating a WordPress blog: (a) You can create a WordPress blog that is hosted on WordPress.com, or (b) you can create a self-hosted blog using the WordPress application. The latter is the option you’ll want to choose, and here’s why.
In theory, you could start a blog through a site that offers free blog hosting, like Blogger or WordPress.com. So why wouldn’t you want to start a blog there for free? Well, first of all, you get what you pay for. And if you aren’t paying for anything, you can’t expect much to help you succeed.
WordPress.com offers very limited customization choices, it will cost you to upgrade your site in ways you could do for free if you’re self-hosted, and you won’t actually own the content you create there.
Who wants to give up that much control? A self-hosted blog gives you the creativity to craft your blog exactly how you want it. And you can retain control of the content you create.
Choose Your Niche
Before you start your blog, you need to know what you’re going to write about.
That is your niche—the specific topic or area that you want to be the focus of your blog.
If you’re a business, then your niche is already known. You’ll blog about issues that are relevant to your specific business.
If you’re starting the blog as an individual, your niche could be anything under the sun.
When choosing your niche, you should keep these things in mind:
- Choose to write about something you enjoy. Something you’re passion about. Something that you just can’t wait to share with others. If you’re blogging about something mundane that you don’t really care about, blogging probably won’t be an enjoyable experience for you. The more fun you can have with your blog, the more you will enjoy it, the more you will want to write, and the more content you’ll have available for your readers to read.
- Pick a niche that is robust. You need to have plenty of potential topics to share with your readers. For example, Lettuce Discuss is all about helping people discuss and share their passions with the world by blogging online. This may include (a) steps for how to start a blog, (b) examples of how to make money blogging, (c) tutorials on how to use WordPress, (4) technical issues like how to get a free SSL certificate, and so forth. A good blog contains plenty of interesting content that is relevant to the people who visit.
- Help people solve a problem. This might be the most important thing to keep in mind. A friend once told me that you have to figure out what “pain points” a person or business is experiencing. Then find a solution for those pain points. So, when writing about how to start a blog, my goal is to make it simple and concise, and to give you exactly the information you need to get your own blog rolling smoothly.
- Make yourself an authority in your niche. This is very important. You need to know what you’re talking about. Otherwise, why would people want to read your content? You can focus on a single point that you know very well. Are you great at cooking southern style food? What about helping people travel at a low cost? Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom with great tips on how to raise small children at home. Or perhaps you’re a busy careerperson who has handy tips on juggling home and family life. Whatever it is, focus on a specific topic that you know very well. It will help you stand out against other bloggers.
If you can’t decide on a niche yet or are dealing with a bit of writer’s block, just start writing anyway and see where it takes you.
Choose a Theme.
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. So how do you find the perfect one for you?
Your theme is the visual layout of your site. It’s what visitors will first see when the navigate to your blog, so it plays a very important role in how your site looks.
But that’s not all. Your theme also plays an extremely important role in how your site behaves, how it functions and performs, and how easily visitors can find the information they are looking for.
A good theme will not only make your blog look great. It will also help your blog load quickly and easily on both desktop and mobile devices.
WordPress is tremendously popular, so you can find WordPress themes for all sorts of different niches. For example, there are themes designed for traditional blogs, there are themes designed for photographers, there are themes designed for ecommerce stores, and there are even themes designed for viral news sites. There are also multipurpose themes that you can easily adapt to any type of niche.
Many themes come with both a free and a premium or pro version. This allows you to check out the look and feel of a theme, as well as its performance, and then decide whether you want to purchase a version with premium functionality.
How to Install a WordPress Theme
To easily install the theme you like, go to Appearance → Themes in your WordPress dashboard. Then, click Add New:
If your theme is listed at WordPress.org, you can type in the name of the theme to search for it. When you find it, click Install.
If you purchased a premium theme instead, then first simply click on the Upload button.
Then upload the zip file that you got with your purchase:
And there you go! It really couldn’t be any easier.
After you’ve installed your WordPress theme, you can easily update it by going to Appearance → Themes:
If you purchased a premium or pro theme, you might need to enter your license key before you can use this automatic update tool.
Another great thing about WordPress is if you do decide to change themes down the road, WordPress makes it really easy to do so.
Write content and add legal pages.
The next step for starting a blog is to write engaging content. If you’re having trouble deciding what to write, don’t despair. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do further research to gather more information, examples, and data points to back up your statements. Feel free to quote other sources, provided you give proper attribution to the original authors. We’ll delve more into reading tips in a separate post.
And there you have it! Enjoy, and have fun blogging!
There are some important legal tips and pages that all bloggers must follow to protect their brands and their businesses. Stay tuned for How to Start a Blog, Part 2: The Legal Pages You Need For Your Blog