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In our opinion, WordPress.com is the only show in town. Sure, there are plenty of other services, like Google’s Blogger.com or Yahoo’s Tumblr. But they’re severely limited next to WordPress for a free blog service.
Awesome article! Greatly appreciate the wealth of knowledge I’ve found here on Blog Tyrant! I’ve been researching for a year now and am excited to move forward now using so much of the great instruction I’ve found here.
It’s taken me this long to reply…but I figure saying THANK YOU late is better than not saying it all. I’m going to look at parenting…though I am far from a perfect parent. (Self-improvement? That’s why I’m HERE.) Anyhow…thank you for the direction. (And I joined SBO. More than I bargained for that’s for sure!) Peace.
In short, a blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content, also known as blog posts. In popular culture we most often hear about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can start a successful blog on just about any topic imaginable.
In our opinion, there are three “must have” WordPress plugins that every blog should have. Go ahead and grab these for your blog right away. On the WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins”, then “Add New” and search for them by name.
Educational. How-to guides, interviews, tutorials, reviews, and demos. According to Google 91% of mobile phone users turn to their devices to figure out how to complete a task they are undertaking and more than 100 million hours of how-to videos have been watched in the USA in the first five month of 2015. Home improvements, cooking and beauty are some of the most popular topics.
The market is saturated with blogs, but it is also saturated with opportunity. Pick a niche, become an authority, and stand out from the crowd. If you aren’t sure about a travel blog name yet, it doesn’t matter. You can still start your blog today and come up with a name later on.
Thanks for the update, Jon. I’ve been blogging for over 11 years. In that time I’ve seen a LOT of changes. In fact, the number one change is change itself. What used to work (Google Adwords, keyword optimization) is actually a way to lose traffic now. I’ve seen eBooks come and go, as well as video marketing, podcasting, and social media marketing. The secret is they all work, for the right message, and the right person. The hard part is, to find the right message for your brand/personality takes a lot of hard work, a lot of experimentation, and months/years of time. Thanks for laying it on the line. Blogging can be a viable occupation, just don’t quit your day job until you’ve found what works for you.
If you already own a domain name and want to use it for your blog, type your existing domain in the right box and then click “next”. Only use the right box if you have previously paid to register a domain!
hey i actaully have 2 questions about starting a blog..1. is that if i just have a free blog on WordPress, and my blog is owned by them, will i still get money for it?? 2. i already made a free WordPress blog, but in case of any mind changes can i switch to a hosting company (iPage) while still keeping the page i have already made? or would i have to start all over again?
Thank you so much, Jamie, for this valuable information! My blog is currently in it’s infancy stage and with all the research I’ve done to date, your site has given me the most informative information to help me succeed. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise!
That’s why I’ve put this page together for you, to give beginners a fast, foolproof guide to starting a blog, without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials. In fact, over 9,500 people have already setup blogs using this guide!
Web hosting comes in a wide variety of options. You’ll run into shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. If you’re starting a blog for the first time, you don’t need to worry about the last two.
That said, don’t feel like every post needs to be an essay. Online readers generally scan content, so as long as you’re formatting your posts so they’re easy to read, write as much or as little as you like.
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS (content management system). It powers 27%+ of all websites online today, and an even larger percentage of blogs. (You’ll find more insane WordPress statistics over here).
A blog is not a blog without content so once you’ve set your blog up you need to focus your attention upon creating useful content. What you choose to create will depend a little on the topic that you choose to write about (on that note, most successful bloggers have some focus to their blogging whether that be a niche or a demographic that they write for).
I will quibble on one point though, your comment about BBT getting 13,000 subscribers before launching even though you “had nothing but a coming soon page and an invitation to join our email list.” As I recall, you also had a freakin’ awesome video on that page as well that just made people yearn to give you their email address, even without knowing a thing about BBT. So that didn’t hurt, either. ; )
Login to your Bluehost account by clicking on this link. Select the “hosting login” tab if it isn’t already. Use the login information you received via email immediately after signing up with Bluehost in Step 4 above.
Learn more about WordPress. Visit my Contents page for an organized list of tips, tools & tutorials. Check out the WordPress section in particular. If you work your way through this list of articles, you will have a good handle on the basics, from adjusting your settings to publishing your first post.
Remember, you can change your domain name if you really have to, but avoiding the extra cost, the trouble of moving your blog over to a new domain, and completely rebranding yourself is the better route.
Thank you for the post. It is very informative and exciting to gather more and more new ideas. Your screen shots are perfect tools to take over the business to a great extent. It is the way of easy understanding. I just followed the steps, and I successfully installed WordPress. And this shows your great analysis and effort.
A sponsored post is one way in which to make money from advertisers. With this type of arrangement you may be asked to publish a post that is provided by the advertiser or they may ask you to write a post that mentions them or their product – depending on your following you can expect to receive between $50 and $500 for a sponsored article.
Thank you for the tips. I started my blog in December and I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want a facebook page for it. I have a bad taste in my mouth from facebook because I had a personal page and I absolutely hated it. Also, I have twitter, instagram, pinterest, and google plus so I’m not sure how much more social media time I have to spend on yet another site.
Great content. Just what I have been looking for. I realized that I have been spending lots of hours creating content for my blog but doing nothing when it comes to outreaching and promiting my content.
Jon, this is a great article. Thank you. As usual, you are full of useful information. I am new to blogging (just launched in March) and I initially started with the small e-mail list from my business website, which does not have a blog. I started a completely new website after realizing I was on the wrong platform altogether to grow an audience. I learned this thanks to the information you and other professional bloggers provide. You recommend affiliate marketing to monetize a small new blog, which are my exact thoughts for my blog. Do you have an affiliate program? If so I would love to promote your info on my site. Thanks again!
Now I know a ton about them, and my blog’s doing pretty well – I receive more than 300,000 unique visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your own blog. I’m not some sort of Guru, but I certainly do know the basics.
Domain name – This will be your personal blog address where people find you over and over again. For example, Google’s Domain is www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behind YourNewBlog. The cost of a domain name is usually $10/year, but if you follow this guide all the way, I’ll show you how to get one for much cheaper.
It’s faster. Instead of investing months or even years creating a product, all you have to do is publish a link on your site. Assuming your audience is engaged, you could be earning commissions within hours or even minutes.
I recently hit my 5 year anniversary at my current job it got me thinking about what I actually want to be doing with my life. I’ve flirted with the idea of starting a blog for a few years, but it’s scary! You mentioned that not only is blogging a great way to communicate, it can also help you to become a better person and a better writer. I love a good opportunity to better myself, and I think I might have to give it a try!
Absolutely not. Yes, there are way more blogs online today than there were 5 years ago when we started, but there were also fewer people reading travel blogs and fewer companies willing to work with us.
Do you know if you can designate notification emails to go to another email address? I like to keep all my blogging related email in 1 place and I don’t want to clutter my personal email with fb notifications.
The best ranking sites are still the ones with back links. I was going to write “the BEST back links” but decided against it as there are a bunch of blogs in my niche that rank with a huge volume of crappy back links, which is sad.
Anybody who’s been online for a while has heard the term “VALUE” at least a million times. Yet, only a few of us know “WHAT” value IS. I’ve generated a substantial amount of subscribers over the years, but my relationship with them was lacking, because I didn’t fully grasp the concept of giving value.
I was wondering what your thoughts are on wordpress themes. I don’t want to get hung up on picking one, but I was wondering if you would recommend going with a free one or a premium one to start? And if you recommend a premium one, do you have a favorite site to get them from? I’ve read that free themes aren’t really a good way to go because you don’t get updates or support and they can contain malicious code, so I was just wondering what your experience is with themes. Thanks so much!
When I started my blog a little over a year ago, I didn’t really know that it was possible to earn any kind of dough from running a website. I’d heard of bloggers, of course, but they might as well have been mythical creatures of the new millennium. I didn’t know any steadfast bloggers, and certainly none that were making cash from their hobby. But as I began to dip my toes deep into Blogland, I realized that the possibilities were nearly limitless. With hard work and some research, I knew that blogging was a gateway and tool to reach many other things. One of those things simply being, income. Since I was absolutely clueless about all of this when I first started, I thought it might be helpful for you all if I shared some of the ways I’ve found for how to earn money as a blogger.
Heres my suggestion: Before you start a blog, make sure you have some ideas what to write about. If you dont have any think about your hobbies or things youre passionate about. This helped me to find my niche/topic for my blog.
Don’t demand perfection. Get over the idea that people need to be ‘camera perfect’. For most of us, being in front of a camera feels strange. While some people are fantastic storytellers, most folk need help to communicate what’s interesting about their topic. Prepare your questions well, to help bring the best out of your subjects. But remember, ums and ahs are perfectly okay – if anything, they make your content seem more authentic.
Another option for creating a paid membership site is to create private forums that users must pay to get access to. Forums are a great way for your audience to get one-on-one advice from you. Other members of the community can also interact and help each other out.
Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. You probably 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. Don’t fret about this, come up with a unique angle. Do you have a reasonable chance of making your blog better than others talking about the same thing?
For example, if you rely on Google AdWords from organic search traffic and your blog suddenly gets pinged in some update you might wind up with zero income for a while. The same goes with an affiliate product that you might be promoting with natural traffic vs paid traffic. That can dry up in an instant.
Hi, I’ve just started a dedicated blog for my main business site. I’ve used WordPress, and while setting it up, this guide was fair to help a lot. It’s a great reference for starting up, and taking things further 🙂
Think about it – what famous, successful blogger you know is using a free blogging website like “startbloggingonline.freeblogs.com” instead of their own domain name like “StartBloggingOnline.com”, for example?
When I was at Copyblogger, we ran a little experiment. Normally, we refused to sell any ads on the site, but just as a test, we decided to put three ad spots in the right sidebar. The site looked like this:
Is there a hosting service where you can actually pay BY THE MONTH? I get that you have a money back guarantee, but that’s still a lot of money for me to shell out for something that I’m just starting out. If you are looking to blog to hopefully help generate income, then it seems natural to me for a host to let someone start out slowly.