Starting your own blog has the potential to drastically change your life. I’m going to show you how to start a blog for as cheap and as easy as possible in this article. You’ll be up and running in about 15 minutes.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for HostGator, a hosting company that I recommend for new bloggers who are eager to get up and running with their blog.
Before we dive in though, I want to take a step back and talk about why starting your own blog is such a great idea.
No matter what topic you want to focus on, with the right strategies, your blog can:
connect you with millions of people…
get your ideas out into the world…
and make you more money than you could ever dream of making at your 9 to 5.
Think it can’t happen to you? Think again:
In just 4 years, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents went from $672/mo to making over $100,000/mo from her blog. Take a look:
Or there’s Melyssa, who made over $173,000 in September from her blog and online business:
It takes a lot of hard work (and maybe just a smidge of luck) to reach the elite ranks of Michelle and Melyssa, but that shouldn’t stop you from starting your own blog.
In fact, it’s 100% feasible to start making a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars per month within just a few months of launching your blog. We’ve done it with this website, and you can too. There are so many income streams you can build with your blog.
But before you start raking in cash from your blog, you first need to start your blog. And that can be a pretty intimidating hurdle for a lot of people, especially the non-tech peeps (like me). I’m going to walk you through, step-by-step, how to start a blog with HostGator.
Why HostGator? Well, in my experience, they are the best all around hosting company for new bloggers in terms of performance and cost. They’ve also got a great infrastructure to accommodate your blog as it grows, which is really important.
And with the 30% off coupon code for you in Step 6, HostGator’s the best bang for your buck, bar none.
(UPDATE: the coupon code is now for 42% off!)
So, are you ready to get started pursuing something awesome? Open another tab so you can follow along with me.
If you’re reading this on your cell phone, be sure to pin this article for later so you can follow along on your computer.
How to Start a Blog with HostGator in 9 Steps
Step 1: Choose Your Hosting Plan
Go to HostGator’s home page and select “Get Started Now”. This will bring you to a page that gives you 3 different packages. I recommend starting off with the Hatchling Plan:
If you are just starting out, the Hatchling Plan is all you need. First rule of business: don’t over complicate things and end up overspending!
Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name
Once you hit the Sign Up Now button, you’ll be directed to the order form. The first item on the list is the most important one: your domain name! This is the one and only name for your website, so give this some thought.
It can be tricky coming up with a name that isn’t already claimed.
Tips for Choosing Your Domain Name
- Stick to just .com endings. Don’t bother using .biz, .info, .org, or any other endings.
- Make your domain name simple and easy to remember.
- Leave out numbers and dashes and anything else other than letters.
Step 3: Enter Your Hosting Plan Information
This step just confirms what you chose in Step 1 (Hatchling Plan). If you want to change plans, though, you can do it here.
You’ll also set up your HostGator username, which is what you’ll use to access the back end of your site.
Step 4: Enter Your Billing Information
Another straightforward step. If you can’t figure this part out, maybe this whole online biz thing isn’t for you 😉
Step 5: Choose Add-ons That You Want
I recommend all of them, however, you can probably get away with adding them later. Eventually (hopefully in the not-too-distant future, assuming your blog grows) you’ll want all of these things.
If money’s tight, you can forego these things. If I had to choose just one add-on, I would choose the site backup option. Losing all your hard work is a buzz kill that I would not wish on even my worst enemy.
Step 6: Enter Your Coupon Code
We’ve got you covered: use the coupon code BTOP42 for 42% off your order. We’ve partnered up with them to give our readers this exclusive deal not offered on their regular site. All the more reason to get started right now!
Step 7: Review Order Details and Submit!
Once you’ve completed all the steps above, go through and make sure everything is the way you want it. I won’t include a screenshot since everyone’s checkout page will look slightly different based on their choices.
You’ll also notice that there are a few other free perks: 24/7/365 Phone, LiveChat, and Email Support AND a 45 Day Money Back Guarantee if you decide blogging isn’t for you. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
Once you’re all set, go ahead and hit Checkout and let’s get rolling!
Step 8: Install WordPress
Now it’s time to install WordPress on your site (don’t worry, it’s easy!).
Go to HostGator’s Billing Login page:
Use the email address you signed up with and the password included in your order confirmation email.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a bunch of tabs on the top. Click on the Hosting tab.
Once that loads up, you should see an option below under “Special Offers” that says Get Started with WordPress Today. Click it:
That will bring you to a “QuickInstall” page, shown below.
Make sure your domain name is chosen in the “Application URL” section. Be sure to leave the box after the slash blank.
Then, check the “Enable Auto Upgrades” box. Enter your “Admin Email”, your “Blog Title” can just be your domain name (with spaces), then enter whatever you want your admin username to be. Pro tip: Never make it “admin”! You WILL get hacked if that happens. Make your Admin User something unique. Lastly, fill in your first and last name, then click the “Install Now” button.
Step 9: Finish WordPress Install and Log into WordPress!
Once WordPress is finished installing, you’ll get a confirmation message giving you info for where to access your WordPress login, your username, and a randomly generated password to sign in. Your WordPress page can be found at http://yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin. Go to that URL and sign in.
And that’s it! You’re all set up and ready to go with your new domain.
Now…The Part About Making Money
I’ll be honest with you. It’s gonna take time.
And if you just got done with the steps above, you should probably focus on building up your blog’s content and growing your audience before you start thinking about money.
Here are a few parting thoughts I have on how to start a blog (successfully):
- Make sure you’re writing in a way that’s easy to read. What do I mean by that? Be conversational, use short paragraphs, and use short sentences. Oddly enough, this is way harder than it sounds, especially for new bloggers. The way you learned to write in high school and college is NOT the way you want to write for your blog. I can’t stress that enough!
- Your content needs to help people solve a problem. If it doesn’t do that, then it better entertain them. If you aren’t doing either of these things, you will probably fail.
- Use social media to promote your blog. I recommend starting with Pinterest. Check out my comprehensive Pinterest guide.
- Start learning about the different ways of monetizing your blog.
Any Questions on How to Start a Blog? Let Me Know in the Comments!
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