If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve considered starting a blog.
Lots of people consider it, but few of them do it. They don’t know what step one is, and they probably assume the process is complicated, even insurmountable.
It’s easy. I can have you up and running in five minutes.
A blog can improve your writing, position you as an authority, help you let off steam, build an audience, earn affiliate commissions — you name it.
Where Do You Start?
The first thing you need is a name for your site – a domain name. Without a domain name, you’d have to tell people to visit you at something hideous like 123.456.789.123/happyearner. A domain name, on the other hand, can be recalled easily.
This can be tricky, since most of the names you might want, at least with a .com suffix, are likely to be taken already. You can certainly go the .net route, or adopt still other, less common suffixes, but don’t rule out .com too hastily. It’s possible to be creative with your site name and come up with a .com domain that hasn’t yet been taken.
In fact, a number of sites can help you brainstorm for an available .com domain that works for you. Free services like BustAName.com, LeanDomainSearch.com, and NameBoy.com, to mention just a few, will take one or more keywords you’d like in your domain name and will give you a lengthy list of available domain names, which you would probably not have thought of on your own, that incorporate the keyword(s) you specified.
You can buy your domain name through a company like GoDaddy, and in many cases you can get a domain name as a bonus when you sign up with your hosting company (see below).
Your Next Step: Choosing a Hosting Company
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you’ll need a hosting company. We might compare your domain name to your physical address – it’s where people can find you. And like your physical address in the real world, you can’t just occupy a location without paying. Your Internet address needs to be leased.
Your website is composed of a number of files. They need to reside on a computer somewhere so that other people – your site visitors – can see them. These computers are known as servers, and your hosting company owns them.
If you’re just getting started, you can get by just fine with companies like Bluehost. They have an excellent reputation, and my followers have had very good experiences with them.
Eventually, as your traffic figures grow larger, you may want to switch to the company we at HappyEarner.com use, which is WP Engine. They’re pricier than these other companies, but you get what you pay for, and as your visitor numbers climb, you’ll want the benefits of top-notch support, lightning-fast loading speeds – believe it or not, studies show that a difference of just seconds in loading time can mean huge visitor losses for you – and overall reliability. That’s why we use it here.
Either way, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org after you sign up either through our Bluehost link or our WP Engine link and we’ll send you 24 free video tutorials to get you from beginner to expert blogger!
From No Blog to Blog in Five Minutes
If I were to describe every little step involved in setting up your blog, I’d drive you crazy. It’s like tying your shoes: if I just show you how to do it, it’s much easier than if I try to describe it.
That’s why I made a special, step-by-step video walking you through how to go from having no blog to having a blog. You can have your blog and be posting your first post within – no joke – five minutes!
You’ll be using WordPress for your blog. It’s easy to use. In the video above, I show you how to write a post and publish it on your blog using WordPress. If you’re familiar with standard word processing software like Microsoft Word, you’ll find WordPress a breeze.