The first time I heard about blogging was nearly 5 years ago, in an unfinished PDF titled, “How To Be A Professional Blogger.”
Back then, I was looking for something to do tech-wise, and blogging seemed as good a place as any to get started. I didn’t have any tech skills to speak of, I couldn’t program or code… Hell, I didn’t even check my email on a regular basis.
Still, something about being considered a ‘Professional Blogger’ picqued my interest enough to actually start following along.
In honor of that PDF (as it’s about useless now, technology has changed so much), I’m going to walk you through the process of starting your first blog step-by-step.
How To Create A Blog
This tutorial will show you how to create a blog of your own, that you can do anything you want with.
By the time you’re done with this tutorial, you will have a blog:
- On your own domain name (so get thinking!)
- Using your own web hosting
- With WordPress as the blog software
Once you get your blog set up, there are tons of things you can do with themes and plugins and making money online… But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Step 1 – Register A Domain Name
In order to have a blog, you need a domain name. Think of it as your ‘address’ on your web. Without getting terribly complicated, your domain name is what tells the Internet which web server your website is located on.
Your domain name (example: levelingupacademy.com) can be anything you like.
For you, it might be:
- Your first and last name (mine: http://jasondrohn.com)
- A particularly witty word (http://uncrate.com)
- An awesome phrase (http://thinktraffic.net)
If this is your very first site, we recommend getting your hosting and domain name in one fell swoop at HostGator. If this isn’t your first domain name, we register most of our domains at Godaddy. They’re cheap and reliable but they try to sell you everything under the kitchen sink (we don’t like that :0) ).
Step 2 – Get Good Web Hosting
Web hosting is vitally important. Imagine that your site is making a few hundred bucks a day… You log in to check your stats and then find out that the server is down! And it’s been down for 4 days… How much money did you just lose?
Exactly. That’s why we take web hosting seriously.
So, what is web hosting? Web hosting is the ‘server’ or computer that’s hooked up to the Internet. It’s whole job is to ‘serve’ up your website files to everyone who comes along asking for them.
So, when someone types in your domain name and your website comes up – they are being served off of a computer somewhere!
It sounds a whole lot more complicated than it really is. Just know that you need a domain name and you need web hosting.
Now, where to get it.
If you’re first getting started, HostGator is perfect for you. As we said earlier, if this is your first blog grab everything from Hostgator. Your domain name and your hosting.
You can host multiple websites on the same server too. If you start a new website, you don’t need new hosting.
You can host multiple websites on the same server, so no more paying multiple companies. They’re entry level package will do for Facebook Landing Pages.
Step 3 – Getting Set Up
The next step is getting your site set up! To do that, we’re going to use a piece of software called WordPress. Don’t worry, you don’t need to download anything though. We’re going to make this easy on you.
One of the big reasons I recommend the hosting companies above is because they AUTOMATE most of the process for getting WordPress installed. It’s not something you have to worry about at all!
After you purchase hosting with either HostGator, it’ll take a few minutes to get your login information. They’re dusting off your new web space and that takes a little bit of personal interaction…
When you get the email with your login information, go ahead and log in. It’s going to look like Greek for a minute, but don’t worry.
Hostgator WordPress Setup
HostGator Step 1: What you’re looking for is Hostgator is a little button that says ‘Fantastico.‘ Here’s an image:
HostGator Step 2: In the right sidebar, click on ‘WordPress.’
HostGator Step 3: Click on ‘New Installation.’
HostGator Step 4: Now, you’ve got to fill in the fields for your website. An explanation is below…
Install on domain: This is the domain that you want to install WordPress on. Find it in the dropdown menu.
Install in directory: In most cases, leave this blank. If you want to install it in a subdirectory, like http://domainname.com/blog/, add the subdirectory here (ie. /blog/).
Admin username: Your username for logging into the site
Admin password: Your password for logging into the site
Admin nickname: Your nickname for articles being published. For example, mine is usually ‘Jason.’
Admin email: Your email address
Site name: The name of your site (helps to be keyword loaded – for more information check out Money Site Secrets)
Site description: The description of your site (again, easier to rank when these are keywords – check out Money Site Secrets for more info)
Here’s an image of what you should be seeing:
HostGator Step 5: Review the details of your WordPress installation and click the finish installation button.
HostGator Step 6: Your blog is installed! If you read the text on that screen, you’ll see a link to your new blog, and the admin area! After you bookmark those, click the ‘Back To WordPress Overview’ button.
Now your blog is set up! Your new blog is ready to be shown off!
Step 4: Get Started
Blogging is about personal expression, and who am I to tell you how to do that?!
After WordPress is set up and you sign in, you’re ready to rock and roll. Here’s a quite video of some of the high points of WordPress… What you need to know. Where to look. How to customize it.
Here are some resources for awesome themes. Stuff we really like and use everyday:
- Pagelines – our new favorite theme, and what this site is built on.
- OptimizePress – our standby favorite for sales pages and lead collection pages – highly recommend for businesses.
- Thesis – the BEST overall theme in terms of search engine rankings, ease of use, and reliability. It’s also very fast in terms of page load time.
- WooThemes – these guys have a tremendous amount of REALLY good themes to choose from.
- Theme Forest – awesome site with themes you won’t find anywhere else…
- Elegant Themes – these were the first themes I started messing around with when I got started. They’re good and appeal to a certain ‘style’ of bloggers.
- App Themes – if you’re looking for a specialized theme, like a job site or something a little different, check this place out.
Here are some resources for plugins we use, that all accomplish different stuff. We’ll do our best to tell you what they do in the list :0)
- Code Canyon – Great site for specialized plugins that have great functionality. Also very well maintained.
- Scribe SEO Plugin – Awesome plugin that analyzes your content and tells you what Google wants to see for their search engines!
- OIO Publisher – This plugin lets you sell ad space on your blog quickly and easily. No sharing money with a middleman!
- Wishlist Member – Awesome plugin that lets you turn your site into a paid membership! Highly recommended!
- Popup Domination – Great plugin for collecting email addresses from your blog traffic, but intelligently displaying your email signup form!
- SEOpressor – This is a great little plugin that will help you optimize your posts for Google!
- Lead Rocket – Plugin that helps you make really great optin pages that convert well!
- Optin Skin – Brilliant little plugin that automatically adds a lot of advanced lead capture functionality to your site.
If you’d like some more information on how to create niche blogs that you can make some money on, make sure you sign up for this free Money Sites presentation!
FEEDBACK: Let’s do something fun though – leave your blog’s domain name below so we can all see what you’ve built! We like to see them!