Starting a blog can seem like an overwhelming prospect but it is easier than you might think. Blogs are not only a great way to get free stuff, they are also a great way to make some extra income. In my case, this blog actually makes up the majority of my income.
One of the nice things about blogging is that it is an industry where self taught people can succeed with ease. There is no blogging 101 classes in college, and schooling and degrees aren’t required as you are your own boss. The income potential and possibilities with owning your own blog are truly limitless.
In addition to make money, you can also get tons of free stuff by owning a blog. Public Relation firms absolutely love bloggers getting the word out about their products. If you set up a review blog you can contact many companies and PR agencies and they will send over samples and often times full sized freebies in exchange for you posting a review on your site.
How to Start a Blog
1 – Set up a domain and hosting
This is the first, and arguably one of the most important steps of setting up a blog. There are free services out there like blogspot.com or wordpress.com but if you want to be taken seriously, you are going to need a domain and hosting. When thinking of a domain, try to think of something that communicates what you are wanting to do while keeping it short. Get creative with this one, it will need to be unique.
Once you have picked out a name for your blog, head over to Bluehost and click the GET STARTED button and search to see if your domain is available. I selected the basic package for my new blog (that is all you will need to get started).
For my test domain to show how easy it is, I picked JuliesReviews.com. With BlueHost, your domain is completely free which is a nice bonus to get started with.
Once you pick out the domain, you head over to pick out the plan you want. I picked the basic plan and opted 12 months at $5.95. They have pre-checked several items that they suggest you buy, but I unchecked them as I don’t think they are truly necessary.
2 – Set Up WordPress
Once you have acquired your new name (yay), you will now set up WordPress. Luckily BlueHost offers a very easy install of WordPress! Follow me step by step below to see how to install this (hint: its easy)
Follow the prompts to install (mostly its clicking install buttons), after a few minutes the top bar should complete and give you the option to VIEW CREDENTIALS. Save this information, you will need it to blog. The screen will look like this:
You can click on your URL that is listed above and see what your new website looks like! NEAT HUH? Thats your little home on the web!
Now click on the Admin URL of your credentials and log in. This is the back end of your website and this is where you will make all of your posts. Below you can find a screen shot of what your WordPress Admin looks like:
Play around with it a bit and get to learn it, don’t be scared of it and remember to use Google if you get stuck somewhere. Millions of website online are powered by WordPress (including Julie’s Freebies) and it is relatively easy to use.
One of the first things you might want to do is click where it says “Setting” on the left hand side and then click “General” Here you will be able to change the name of your blog. I just changed mine to Julie’s Reviews. The tagline is a line of text that is a very short overview of your site. I changed mine to Julie’s Reviews and More. Be sure and scroll down to the save button and then visit your sites homepage again so you can see the changes.
In the image above I have added red marks to show you the basics on creating your first post. Put a title, write the post and then you can click the Add Media button to add images to your post (it will give you options for editing the images and aligning them in that Add Media button). Once you make your first post and create a category for it, then click on PUBLISH. Once you click publish, then click View Post at the top look what you created! Your very first blog post!
Play around with your blog, including with the themes. There are a few different themes that come with wordpress, and you can always find new free ones to easily add to your wordpress installation and play around with.
Would you like more information on blogging? Let me know in the comments what you would like to see! I hope to make this a regular section of my blog!