So you have heard that you can make money using a blog? In the next sections I will tell you how to create a blog with WordPress step by step. This is going to be a very top level overview of the process. Once you have your blog up and running there are a lot of other little steps you can take to make your blog more visually appealing. I will not delve too far into that topic in this post.
Self Hosted or Free Hosting, Pros and Cons
The first thing you will need to decide is whether you want to host your own site or let wordpress.com host it for you. You should know that the free hosting option for WordPress is on wordpress.com. If you want to have total control over your blog you will need to host it yourself and install the WordPress platform from wordpress.org.
I know this is confusing. If you go to wordpress.com you will be able to host your blog as a subdomain on their site. A subdomain is sort of an extension to a site. For example, WordPress.com is their site name but your blog could be added to their site as: MyBlog.wordpress.com.
Whereas if you were to purchase the domain name MyBlog.com and host it yourself then the address to your blog would be MyBlog.com. I hope you see the difference.
If you want total control over your blog the self hosting route is the way to go. When you use wordpress.com to host your blog they technically own your blog not you. Your blog is on their site. You will not be able to monetize your blog if you wanted to make money from it. Also wordpress.com could potentially shut down your blog at any time they wish.
Don’t freak out if you think that self hosting your blog is too hard and you don’t know what to do. Now days it is very simple to install a WordPress blog through a hosting company. I will talk about this in a little bit. Don’t worry it is easy to set up.
How to Choose a Name for Your Blog and Buy a Domain
So hopefully you have decided that self hosting your blog is the way to go. So now how do you get started? The first thing you need to do is choose a name for your blog and purchase it. This name is what is called a domain and this is going to be what people type in to visit your blog. The best domain name for your blog will be one that reflects what your blog is about. I am sure you have heard this before. If your blog is about blue dogs then bluedog.com would be a great domain name to purchase.
Once you choose a name for your blog you will have to see if it is available for you to buy it. There are several places to purchase domain names online 1and1.com and namecheap.com are a couple. Also a lot of hosting companies will also sell you a domain name.
How to Host Your WordPress Blog and Where
Once you have chosen and purchased your domain name you will have to decide where you would like to have it hosted. The domain is only the first piece of the puzzle. In order to create a live site using that domain you have to have a host like bluehost.com in which to install the wordpress platform so you can build your blog on.
Once you sign up with your host if you did not purchase name from your hosting company you will have to point the DNS servers to your hosting company’s servers. This is just basically telling one computer that you will be hosting your blog on another companies servers. There are usually tutorials on how this is done on your hosting company’s site. Or if you can do everything from one site like bluehost which can host your site, sell you a domain and set up your WordPress platform all in one place.
How to Install the WordPress Platform on Your Hosting Provider
Before you can start blogging you need to intall the WordPress platform using your hosting account. You can do this with literally a couple clicks. It may seem a bit more daunting that it really is. It really is extremely simple. Here are the directions that are given for setting it up on bluehost.com (this is an affiliate link and we may earn a very small amount of cash if you purchase any product through this link)
Choosing a WordPress Theme
Now we are getting closer to actually start blogging. Once your domain name is purchased, your hosting chosen, your WordPress platform installed and DNS servers updated (only if you didn’t purchase your domain name from your hosting company), you are ready to pick a theme for your blog.
A theme is like a “skin” for your blog. It will help determine the functions and overall look of your blog. WordPress.org has plenty of free themes to start with. There are also a lot of specialized themes that you can pay for.
To pick a theme you will need to log into the back end of your blog and navigate to the “Appearance” section on the left hand menu. Click on the word Appearance and the Theme page will open up where you will be able to search for themes. If you click on the “Add New” button you will be given different search options like, popular, latest, featured etc.
Well there you have it your very own blog installed and ready to go. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to tweak a blog once you get it live on the internet. There are plugins and widgets, autoresponders, contact forms, optin pages, different ways to monetize it and on and on.
A blog is just a place to start. You will have to decide what you want to do or accomplish with your efforts on your blog. Blogging is a definite time commitment.
Why not get paid for your efforts. I recommend learning from a site that teaches a long term sustainable method to earn from your blog. In fact you can learn, get your domain, set up your WordPress blog, and host your site with them all in one place. You can check it out at no cost FREE for as long as you like (but like most things there are advantages to a paid account). Do yourself a favor shorten your learning curve and at least look at it for free for as long as you want!