For All You Newbie Bloggers, Follow My Lead On Where To Start!
Are you wondering how to start your own blog? Or, maybe you have questions about it? We’re pleased you have taken the first steps, as you are here! In this blog, we are going to show you how to create your own blog, with no technical experience needed.
We have a step by step guide on how to get your domain, web hosting, and WordPress site up and running so that you can start your blog.
We are also happy to answer any questions you may have along the way so don’t be shy. Here we have a little information about ourselves, and how and why we became bloggers.
Our New Life
We started blogging only a year ago now, with no experience at all! We have learned so much in such a short time, and still, today, we’re still learning. We love blogging, and we love travelling as a young family, Its the lifestyle we choose, and love. We enjoy sharing our adventures with as many of our readers as possible and giving them informative information on destinations and travel tips as we go.
We decided to blog one day whilst cooking dinner in our old kitchen when we used to live in the UK. We hit that point in life, where we decided we were no longer content with our lives. So, we made a change and started to look into blogging and travelling.
We started to think about our current jobs, and how we could change it. I trained as a Beautician for three years. The spas I worked in were top class with good pay. I then ran my own Beauty business for two years from home. But, you know when your missing something in life, I guess it just takes time to realise it.
My husband is a Graphic Designer, so really you could say we have a perfect package of skills and combined interests to work with, that’s why it works for us.
We see it as, what’s the point in being on this planet if you’re not going to see as much of it as possible. Although everybody’s situation is different, if you want something that bad though, you will go and get it, like us.
The amount of bloggers in the world today is staggering, to say the least. I have read over so many of them, from beginners to professional, each with a different technique on how to get set up in blogging and how to earn from it.
I guess that’s where it begins to get out of control in our minds. When you first start to blog you kind of think, ok, so now what? where do I go now? where or how do I get a domain name? or a web hosting package arranged, not to mention a WordPress environment. Some people don’t know and some do!
So, rest assured, your not alone and certainly not the only one to feel lost on where to start.
There are bloggers out there with so many followers and websites to die for, and constantly looking at theirs, isn’t going to make you feel any better, or achieve anything, apart from a dent in your confidence.
Why Start Blogging?
There are many reasons to consider starting a blog. Here are a few popular ones:
1, Enjoy the Home Life Whilst Making Money. We make a considerable amount from blogging. Many others do the same. Making money as a blogger is full of hard work, but it’s low risk, with low overheads and a low barrier to entry.
2, Monetize Your Blogs. It takes time, but once you have enough readers you will start making some small, yet passive income. All of your hard work will pay off, just keep at it.
3, Stay In Touch. Active people tend to have less time to sit on Twitter or any other social “chat-room”. Again, blogging can help you to keep in touch with your friends, colleagues and relatives. They can easily read everything about your activities, ideas and success through your blog. Be wise and use this as a communication tool.
4, Get More Exposure. A blog gives anyone, from individuals to large companies, the ability to reach a large number of people at very little cost.
5, Just Do What You Love, Write. If you want to write, then do it, share your story with everyone you can, encourage others and build a community together, a blog is a great place to connect.
Guest Blogging when you’re More Confident!
Guest blogging is an easy way to attract new visitors to check out your site, that’s awesome, right? others checking our sites out!
Working with a variety of guest bloggers will, in turn, secure new readers. The trick is for you to keep them coming back based on the quality of your content. So, keep them interested and always wanting more.
The main idea behind guest blogging is a win/win: you offer your platform to a guest blogger for them to share their opinions or expertise on a subject in return for access to your audience, sound good? By mixing the two crowds, you’re both hoping to attract fans from each community of followers, we love guest blogging, its a smart and easy way forward.
It’s All About the Niche Market!
Step 1: Decide What to Blog About
If you’re an individual, you have more flexibility when choosing a topic. Blogging is actually really really easy. The hardest part is setting it up.
- First things first. Blog about something you enjoy. If your not excited about your topic, writing about it will be miserable. Who wants that? Nobody, right!
- Blog about something with plenty of room for discussion. A blog requires a lot of content to get going and remain interesting and fresh, or it will be flat to you and the reader. Your blog is going to be around for a long time so make sure you have plenty to talk about.
- Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. You most definitely won’t be the first person to blog about the topic you choose. It’s almost guaranteed someone else has thought of it before you. Do not worry about this, come up with a unique angle.
Choose a Name For Your Blog
Think about yourself for a moment, what reflects your personality? what are your main interests? and more importantly, what area of blogging are you going to target?
Whether its Fashion, Food, Travel or Animals, you need to get it right and make it one to stick in peoples minds!
Once you know what you’re going to be called, you then need to see if that domain name is free. You will then need a web hosting package, where your website will be hosted for a minimum of 12 months.
This is where we can help you. We use Bluehost Internet services. They provide domains, web hosting, and an easy to set up website builder. This is great for people that are not really technically minded. keep reading, you will see below all on how to do this.
How Much Does a Blog Cost?
It all depends on what you want? is it just a hobby or do you want to make money from your blog? When starting out, you won’t be paying anything out apart from the domain and web hosting with Bluehost for as many years as you want to sign up for.
Eventually, you will start paying for more premium tools and services, but they are not required to start with. So, keep cool and start with the basics for now.
Travel Lobsters Disclosure
We partnered up with Bluehost when we first started out blogging. Now, were able to offer you the same big discounts we had when we first started out. If you make a purchase through this or any of the links on this blog post we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We have your best interest in mind and only promote things we use and love ourselves!
Step2: Choose a Blogging Platform
If you want to fly, you need a plane. If you want to blog, you need a blogging platform.
There are so many blogging platforms to chose from today its crazy. Here are just a few, WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace and Wix.
All of them, have there good and bad points, but, WordPress is well known and by far the most popular, and for good reason. It’s flexible, functional and has a large community of users who share tools and ideas.
So, let’s get cracking. It only takes around fifteen minutes of your time to get set up and on your way.
Step 3: Your Host
The picture below is what you will see when you click on the link to Bluehost
Once you see this page below, you can select one of the three packages available. All three come with an SSL certificate, this is something that Google requires websites to have, it also helps with your site ranking, (more on that lower down).
Select Your Package:
So, above is the three packages on offer. For complete newbies, ide recommend starting with the $3.95 per month package. The other two options are for more than one website and more email accounts. Maybe something to think about once you’re on your way and established.
Step 4: Domain Name
After you decide on which package, you will see the “Sign Up Now” below. Next, check the availability of your domain name in the new domain box. Enter your name and click check. It will then let you know if that name is already taken or not.
Pick A Domain Name
A domain is a web address. For example, craiganthony.com is a domain name.
If it is taken, you need to think of another name for your blog, or an abbreviation of it.
If you don’t already have ideas, use your name, or think of something short and catchy.
What If The Domain Name I Want Isn’t Available?
Step 5: Account Information
After you have completed the above, You will be taken to the account information and package information, where you will then submit your relevant information and payment details, once you know which package you want.
Make sure you use a working email address because this is where your login information will be sent. (Save all of these emails!)
Choose an account plan based on how far in advance you want to pay. Bluehost bill 1,2,3, or 5 years in advance. They don’t offer a monthly payment option, which is an inconvenience for some.
As you can see above, it works out to be a very reasonable monthly amount, you probably spend more on chocolate each week! So, it’s not bad for your own blog or website, right? It’s a great deal and a great start to your own blog.
We decided to skip the add-ons except for Domain Privacy Protection. The others can easily be added later if you decide you want them. (Domain privacy is only available for new domains. If you selected the Prime package, it’s free.)
This protection keeps your personal information private. The only time we would skip domain privacy is if you are using a business address and don’t mind if it’s visible to anyone who looks up your domain.
The total is the amount you’ll pay today. You won’t have to pay again for 12, 24, 36 or 60 months, depending on the account plan you chose. Get the plan that suits you best, remember that!
Then voila, no more paying out, its all done. Hit the green submit button and your away.
After you have followed all the steps above, you will be then asked for your passwords. Just click the “create your password button”, so you can enter your own unique password. The password will allow you to login and get started.
Once you have bought the package, you will then be sent an email with all relevant documentation to login to the hosting package with Bluehost.
6: Get Started With WordPress
You’re now able to start working right away on your new WordPress site. Click the blue login button in the “Congratulations!” window to get started with WordPress.
Bluehost gives you the option to pick a free theme right from the start. Unless you are familiar with one listed, we recommend you skip it by clicking “Skip this step” at the bottom of the screen. Why is this? Because many free themes are not kept updated.
Outdated themes leave holes hackers can exploit and are not worth the risk.
So, the theme that comes pre-installed will be just fine for now. You can switch to a different theme once you’re set up and more familiar with WordPress.
7: Time To Build Your WordPress Site
All sites are on a temporary domain when they are first set up. So, be cool and go with the flow.
Its common knowledge new domains take up to 2-24 hours to become fully registered. So, go and get your teeth into your site, start exploring. When the real domain is ready, Bluehost will switch it for you.
You have two options on this screen, the blue “Start Building” button and the link underneath to go to your Bluehost account:
It’s very unlikely at this stage the need to access your Bluehost account. so clicking the “Start Building” button will take you to your new WordPress site, see below:
The black column on the left indicates your WordPress dashboard. You will become well used to seeing it and in time be a pro, knowing where everything is its just, patience and learning.
8: Time To Design & Use Your Beloved Blog
Hooray, You’re now the proud owner of a self-hosted WordPress site. Before you run away jumping for joy, we advise on a few tincy wincy things to tweak.
1: Change Your Permalinks. Go to settings, click permalinks and select post name. Click save changes, and that’s it.
This stops the end of the website address ending in e.g. www.yourdomain.com/?p=123
This is not good for Google, by changing your permalinks to post name, your website address will look like www.yourdomain.com/pagename.
This is good for Google ranking, as Google can see what your blog page title is, this will help in search ranking when anyone searches for information that your blog name is relevant to.
2: We advise on changing your username to something more secure. The reason for this is hackers will immediately attack the admin login name.
3, Change your domain from HTTP to HTTPS. This is a more secure way to transmit information on your site. To do this make sure your SSL certificate is active on your domain inside your Bluehost account.
Once that is done, you need to go into your WordPress installation, click on settings, then general tab, and where it says, WordPress address (URL)” and Site Address (URL) change the http//yourdomainname.com to https://yourdomainname.com
This is only available to you when your domain registration is fully completed, and your temporary domain is gone for good!
You may also want to look into security for your WordPress environment, plus, automated back-ups. Then, hide your WordPress admin login page, as this defaults to WP-ADMIN.
Also, get a good 401 redirect plugin, you will need this if you ever rename or remove a blog post or page. Click here to get a 401 redirect plugin. You will need to install this by, going to the menu and plugins on WordPress, add new plugin, search for it, then click install and activate.
Now, its time to turn on your free SSL certificate. If you registered a new domain, turn on your free SSL certificate to put an extra layer of protection for your visitors.
Once logged in, click on “My Sites” in the left column. Then hover over the thumbnail image of your site. Click the “Manage Site” option that appears like so
So, on the next screen, select the “Security” tab at the top. Turn on the Free SSL Certificate by flicking the switch to “On”.
Shabang, that’s it! Give it a little bit of time to catch up. When anyone types there name into Chrome, they will see a secure icon. the padlock!
An insecure site will look like this, with an “i” with a circle around it, in Chrome.
If you have any questions at all regarding all of the above information, then feel free to drop us an email, we will answer all of your questions as much as possible, or if you like, give us the reins and we will set up the entire Web Hosting Package for you for just $25.
Were not just Travel lobsters, we also run a Design and Media Company called Leoni Design and Media. We can take care of whatever you require. we give hassle free quotes and are available 24/7 for friendly advice.
Our Media Business has been running now for five years. We run this business alongside Travel Lobsters. When we travel, we bring the two together, making our income from Graphic Design, Media Productions and Social Media Marketing, as well as blogging. If you like, feel free to check us out here www.leonidesignandmedia.com or check out our Facebook page at Facebook.com/leonidesignandmedia
There you can see what we do, and keep us in mind if ever you should need us 🙂
Your Set To Blog
With all of the above in place, looking good, and your feeling happy as Larry, your set to go!
Blog, blog and blog again, get your niche going, make people sit up and notice you and what your interests are, show them you have what it takes to become a blogger!
Good Luck From Us Travel Lobsters