Starting a blog or building your own website either for selling your own products, services or build your own blog to write about a niche or an idea you are passionate about is the first step to building an online presence if you are going to make money online easily.
There are many different online business ideas that you can start to earn a living online and these have been detailed in a post I have written previously. Most of these online business ideas will require you to have your own website or blog which is an online presence where your customers will be able to meet you.
So what is a blog?
A blog is an informational website. Its where a writer or group of writers display information (usually helpful information) for others to read. The information is usually in blog posts like the one you are reading now.
What is a website?
You probably already know what a website is. It is a set of related web pages located under a single domain name. The information on a website is usually static, which is the major deiiference between a blog and a website. Blogs are reguularly updated while websites are static and don’t usually have much updates.
Today, starting a blog is a fairly easy process, even if you have limited technical skills. It can all be done in as little as 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your technical skills.
I have worked hard to make the guide easy to understand. It’s a long article, but it will take you step by step through the entire process, from having absolutely nothing to a fully functional website/ blog depending on how you would like to start your online business.
You also need to know that there are three main parts of a website for you to know:
- The Domain name – This is the URL or address web for example www.kingmighty.com. kingmighty.com is my domain name.
- Web Hosting – A web host is an organization that sells or leases memory space on its servers.
- The Website – A set of related web pages located under a single domain name.
Acquiring a domain name can be done with a web host of your choice. I recommend Bluehost because I have a personal experience with their unbeatable service, I have used Bluehost for years. One thing you will want to avoid when starting your online business is wasting time or taking too long to decide. I could go ahead and tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of using other hosting companies, all I will be doing is to give you a bunch of work to get confused about. To save you time, I will point you to Bluehost.
What you will get with bluehost.
- One click WordPress installation.
- Amazing customer service experience.
- If you sign up with Bluehost you will get it for only $3.95/ month. I would recommend you start with a 12month plan or longer so you have value for your money.
- You will be able to get 5 personalized professional email addresses.
- WordPress is FREELY installed.
- You will appear much more professional to readers and other companies looking for your service.
These are unbeatable benefits!
There are lots of other ways to get very cheap hosting or even absolutely free, but one thing I have come to learn is that cheap is expensive in the long run. You could start a blog using blogger which is free but if you think of this as business and not some other form of charity you are trying out, then you really want to go for better than that. I am not saying blogger is not good but it comes with a few issues with time; since you don’t own it, whatever Google decides to do to blogger is exactly what will happen to your blog. If they decide to sell blogger, I can only guess what will happen to your blog. To cut the long story short, I recommend getting a hosting company for yourself and build your own site.
Starting a blog or building your own website with bluehost.
To start us off, I will have to mention that please don’t get confused when I say start a blog and other times say start a website. The only difference will be what you will use your site for that will actually make it what it is. You can join our free email course for help on starting your blog.
1. Register your domain name at Bluehost
If you already have a domain name bought through another company, please skip these steps and go directly to step 3 so that you can now connect your domain name to bluehost hosting.
Firstly, you will want to start off by choosing the right hosting package for you. I suggest you go cheapest at the start to save you money. As a business grows, you will upgrade slowly. So choose the basic hosting package.
2. Think about your domain name.
In other words, what do you want your site to be called? This can be tough, and I would give some serious thought to this. Consider the fact that this could be a personal blog or business site that you are building. It was quite a difficult decision for me when I started www.kingmighty.com (‘kingmighty’ is my domain name.) as my personal brand.
The name of your blog is a brand and you should think about it properly. It’s what people will know you for, it’s what they are going to give in reference to your service. So its very important. You can check out this article from Amy Lynn Andrews on how to choose a domain name. However, at the start avoid spending too much time thinking about something. Think through it but take quick decisions.
You will have to choose your options here.
If you sign up with Bluehost you will be able to get a FREE domain for the first year when you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. This makes it well worth it to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as you will be saving a good amount of money this way. I don’t recommend choosing one month as it becomes expensive in the long run. You also get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, so the free domain just makes it even better. If you want an even better deal, the best value would be purchasing a 36-month plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run.
You will also have to consider the additional options carefully. Think about the fact you might need Domain Privacy – it basically hides your personal website information. If you think you don’t mind your information being visible to other people, then you can leave it out.
You can click on more information under each of these additional options to know what they mean.
My thoughts on this…
As a start up, i recommend that you untick all the options. While you are still trying to figure out things here and there, you will not need all these options especially in your first year. After that you will be better deciding if you need them.
3. Connect your domain and your hosting.
This step is not necessary if you have bought your domain through Bluehost, please skip it and go to the next step (step 4).
Simply Click on this link and then choose the package you want until you get to this page.
At this point, all you will do is to choose the option ‘i have a domain name’ since you already got yours through another company. After you have signed up with Bluehost and paid for your hosting, you will then receive an email with custom name servers in the form ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.
If you bought your domain through Go Daddy or another hosting company, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. To do this you will need to modify your DNS Nameservers by replacing them with those that have been given by bluehost. You can do that by following the steps below.
- Log into the GoDaddy.com (or whatever other service you used to buy the domain name) Account Manager.
- Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
- Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
- Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided. You will find this when you choose custom ‘name servers’ Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.
4. Install WordPress on Bluehost.
WordPress will most probably be installed automatically, which means that your website is now available for others to view. It will have a coming soon page for the mean time, until you remove it.
To start your blog or build your website with Bluehost and WordPress is very easy and straightforward if you follow through the steps well.
This Part of creating your website or blog is the easiest, don’t be intimidated by the look of things, best of all, WordPress is free!
Just log in to Bluehost, using your domain name and password. If you did not create a password, you will have an opportunity to create one or go to ‘forgot password’ and you will get an email link to reset it.
After you create your password, Bluehost guides you through exactly what you need to do in order to start a blog. First, Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. You can just pick a random one here or find one that you actually like. You can always change it later so it’s not a big deal or just scroll to the bottom and skip this step. Remember,there are so many free WordPress themes. Click on “Start Building” On the next screen, you can choose “Business” or “Personal” I recommend choosing business because this is business!
5. Log into your wordpress site.
The Bluehost part is done now and you’ll only rarely need to access your Bluehost account. Now….the next time you want to access your wordpress account, you will have to search www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin where your domain name is what you chose in step 2.
You will type www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin so many times in the coming years so it will most probably show as a suggestion in your search bar so you don’t have to always type the whole of it.
Now you’ll log in with the username and password for WordPress that you either set up when you installed WordPress, or if you didn’t pick one, then Bluehost will have emailed you both username and password.
6. What to do after installing wordpress.
You will need to do these 10 things immediately after installinng wordpress, they will make your life easier.
Set up Permalinks.
Every time you make a new webpage or write an article, WordPress will automatically create a URL (web address) for that page. The default URL will be very hard for you and others to remember. What you will need to do is to change it to something you can remember.
It’s easy to change. When you log on to the WordPress dashboard for your site at yoursite.com/wp-admin, go to the left side menu and hover your mouse over “Settings”. When the drop down menu appears for settings, click on “Permalinks.” I recommend you choose “post Name” as it will be easy for you to remeber your URL as it contains your post name at the end.
Back up Your Site.
You need to do this. Imagine spending days months or even a year writing blogs and putting your site together and then one day, it all crashes! You will cry if you can’t restore your site.
If you save a backup regularly, it won’t matter if something breaks or if your content gets deleted. You can quickly revert to a previous version of the site and you’re back up and running.
By the way…
If you use a good host, like Bluehost, your site will get backed up for you. If you have a problem, just call them and they’ll get your site back up and running in minutes.
However, you still need to have separate back up for your website
It’s important to take responsibilty for anything that happens. Yes i know Bluehost is amazing, but things could happen and on that one day, they don’t have a backup!!!… So its important you have a separate copy yourself. Good thing is, there are so many free plugins that can help you with backup. I personally use updraft plus/Backup/restore plugin.
Other important plugins you need to install.
WordPress comes with alist of plugins already installed, you don’t need them. You can delete them and install these.
On your WordPress dashboard, on the left side menu, go to “Plugins” and click on “Installed Plugins”. On this page, you can check the box next to each plugin and then, using the drop down that says “Bulk Actions”, select “Delete”. Confirm that this is indeed what you want to do.
Now, go to the top of the Plugins page and click “Add New”. The page to add plugins has a search box. Type each of these into the search box and install and activate the following plugins. Pay attention to the plugin author name.
- Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
- Shortlinks by Pretty Links – Best WordPress Link Tracking Plugin by Blair Williams (not the paid pro version, the free one)
- Spam Honeypot by Matthew Turland (Search “Matthew Turland” and you’ll find it)
- Yoast SEO by Team Yoast
- Yoast SEO : Search index purge by Team Yoast
- Amazon Affiliate Link Globalizer by Attila Gyoerkoes, Markus Goetz (Woboq)
- Elementor page builder by Elementor. This will help you with page design. The free version is already good enough. You can consider going for the pro version later if you need extra functionality.
Install a Good Theme.
A WordPress theme is basically the framework for making your site look awesome. The theme determines the layout, fonts, and functionalities.
At the start, i recommend you use afree theme. You can leter get a premium one. I personally use ASTRA. I have also used WP OCEAN – it’s amazing. I recommend these as others may not work with Elementor plugin and other selected plugins.
How to Monetize Your Website
Depending on the reason you created the website, chances are you will want to monetise it at some point. I have put down afew ways in which you will be able to monetise your website.
This is where you link to other people’s products and earn a commission when you sell. The easiest affiliate program to get started with is Amazon associates. There are thousands of other affiliate programs out there like Clickbank, Share-a-sale, maxbounty and so many others.
Without considerable traffic, it’s hard to earn much income from advertising. You will need alittle bit of patience to monetise a website in this way. You can use services like Google adsense once you have created a considerable number of blog posts. Atleast about 10-15 blog posts.
Selling physical Products.
You can also make or source a physical product to sell from your site. This makes your site even less passive and it’s not a good fit for most niche websites. However, it can be a good way to further monetize a niche website, especially if you want to make it your full-time job!
Selling your own information Products.
These are your own digital products that you sell on your site. They can be ebooks, videos, audio guides, really anything that you can think of that people can download.
I don’t recommend that you start making information products until you have a strong audience. And only sell them if you’re willing to make an ongoing commitment to your site. As soon as you start selling stuff on your site, it gets less passive. No matter what your product is, there will be some amount of customer support required.