In this post I explain how to start a blog. If you use my link to sign up you will not only receive the lowest possible price on Bluehost hosting, but you will also receive a FREE domain name.
I regularly check with a contact from Bluehost to ensure this post always has the lowest possible price. Use this link to start a blog on WordPress and follow the tutorial below to get started.
Since starting YoungAdultMoney.com eight years ago I have consistently made more than $10,000 a year on my blog.
It’s been a perfect side hustle to diversify my 9-5 income, pay down debt, and invest in the stock market.
The extra money I’ve made has not only allowed my wife and I to offset our $1,000/month student loan payment, but also to save more, invest more, and travel. It’s also landed me a book deal with a publisher, a dream of mine that literally would not have been possible without a blog.
In short, blogging has had a huge impact on my finances and my life. I am not the only one with a story like this. There are many people who are consistently making thousands of dollars a month from their blogs. Some have even decided to make it their primary income, abandoning their full-time jobs to blog full-time.
The one thing all these successful bloggers have in common is this: they started a blog. Without taking this critical first step it’s impossible to make money blogging. It’s easy to think about “someday” starting a blog, but honestly the sooner you start one the better. By starting a blog today you are already far ahead of the millions of people who like the idea of blogging but have not taken the critical first step of starting a blog.
There are free blog options such as “Blogger,” and many people make the mistake of starting a blog on one of these free platforms. The problem with free hosting options is that advertisers do not like them. They like the self-hosted blogs and do not take the blogs on free hosting seriously.
I’ve seen many bloggers go through the headache of transitioning from a free hosting platform to a paid, self-hosted one like Bluehost and some have spent an entire weekend going through the process and working out bugs. Don’t make that mistake! The process can be so complicated that I completely abandoned one of my Blogger blogs instead of go through the headache of transitioning to Bluehost.
I have started a number of websites over the past 10+ years and helped many others get started. Since switching to Bluehost for web hosting I have always recommended them to people who are looking to start a blog. They are highly rated, offer affordable pricing, and make starting a WordPress blog extremely easy with their 1-click WordPress installation.
Bluehost offers a free domain name – and the best possible price – when you register through my link.
If you want to start a blog that makes money you are going to want to start one on Bluehost. Bluehost offers many advantages, including:
- Affordable – by using my link you get hosting for just $2.95 per month, which is less than $36 a year.
- Free Domain Name – you will get a free domain name when you sign up for hosting on Bluehost using my link
- Extremely Easy WordPress Installation – Bluehost has a “one-click” WordPress installation
- 24/7 Tech Support – Bluehost tech support is available 24/7 and has been outstanding every time I’ve used them
- Attractive to Advertisers – having a self-hosted blog is attractive to advertisers and will make it easier to make money blogging
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee – if you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund on your hosting service
- Extended Money Back Guarantee – if you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term
As you can see there are a ton of benefits of using BlueHost to start your blog. With their money-back guarantee there is very little risk of starting a blog through BlueHost, and so much potential for making money blogging.
1) Choose a Hosting Option
Once you have gone to BlueHost you will see the various hosting options. I highly recommend using the “Starter” package. Even though there are two higher-priced packages, there is nothing in the higher-priced packages that you need.
Keep in mind that this option is very affordable for self-hosting a website and comes with a money-back guarantee. If you decide within 30 days blogging isn’t for you, you can get your full payment refunded. Even at 10, 11, or however many months in, if you decide you don’t want Bluehost web hosting you will get refunded for any months you paid for but haven’t used yet.
You can also always upgrade to the other accounts if you reach any of the space limits from the basic account.
2) Choose a Free Domain Name
When you sign up for Bluehost using my link you get a free domain name. This is an ~$15 value if you had bought the domain name.
Once you click on the Starter package in the previous step you will be brought to a screen where you enter the domain name you want.
I will be the first to admit it’s not easy to choose a domain name. I got lucky by finding Young Adult Money, as many domains with “money” in it are already taken. But even Young Adult Money isn’t a perfect domain name.
It’s easy to overthink a domain name, but in all honesty the value of your blog will not be in the name but in the content you put out. There are many hugely successful blogs out there with obscure domain names.
It will almost for sure take a few attempts to find a domain name that isn’t already taken. Think of something unique (or not unique – i.e. Young Adult Money haha) and once you find one that is not taken, grab it. Just think of something that sounds good to you and you are good to go!
Once you have a free domain, you simply need to complete your registration and you officially have a blog! I would choose none of the extras on the last screen as they are just going to increase the cost of starting a blog.
The only one that I would consider is the $0.50 a month for “Domain Privacy Protection.” It’s not necessary, but it does shield and protect your information as a website owner.
Note: you can skip the section below and go straight to “Install WordPress” if you are registering a free domain name.
Already have a domain name?
If you already have a domain name that you bought on a site like GoDaddy, it’s easy to connect your domain name to Bluehost. Instead of registering a new domain, just choose the second option on the page and enter the domain you would like to be linked to your Bluehost hosting.
Here are the directions for connecting your GoDaddy domain to Bluehost:
To modify, add, or delete name servers (DNS) for your domain(s):
- Log in to the GoDaddy.com 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 under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this:
This can all be done within the cpanel once you have purchased hosting. If you run into issues do not hesitate to email me. When I first got BlueHost I already had a domain, so I’ve personally gone through these steps a few times.
3) Install WordPress
Once you have signed up for an account, login to your Bluehost account and go to hosting -> cpanel.
Once on this page, scroll down to website builders and find the Install WordPress icon.
Once you click the Install WordPress icon, you simply need to click install and choose the domain you are installing WordPress to. You will then set up your login information.
To log into your WordPress blog, go to your domain name and add /wp-admin to the end of the domain. This will pull up the user and password fields that allow you to log into WordPress.
Just like that you have a living breathing WordPress blog. Congrats!
Remember, if you have ANY questions at all do not hesitate to ask. I am happy to help you with any blogging questions just as I’ve helped many others set up a blog.
Blogging Tips for New Bloggers
As I said earlier, I have over 10 years of blogging experience and have made thousands of dollars blogging. I do not say that to brag, but to make it clear that I can attest to the fact that it is possible to make money blogging. If I can do it, you can too.
Here are area few tips I have for new bloggers:
- Commit to 6 Months – While I don’t have a statistic to prove this, a common quote that floats around the blogosphere is “most bloggers quit within the first six months.” When you start your blog, consider making a a deal with yourself to blog for at least six months. If you still want to quit, you can, but at least you gave yourself a decent amount of time to build up content and truly give blogging a try.
If you are hesitant about starting a blog on Bluehost because of the potential that you won’t like blogging, remember that they offer a refund for unused months that you already paid for. Even if you decide to quit after 3, 6, or any number of months you will get a refund for the remaining months you already paid for. There is very little risk in giving Bluehost – and blogging – a try.
- Connect with other Bloggers – The biggest mistake new bloggers make is thinking that traffic will simply appear. The reality is that getting ranked in search engines is difficult for established blogs and unlikely for brand new blogs. The best way to get some initial traffic and links to your site is by commenting on other blogs in your niche. This is extremely important for new bloggers!
- Plan ahead whenever possible – Many established bloggers do not write their posts on the fly. Instead, they plan their posts. This helps in situations where something unavoidable – an illness, a late night at the office, etc. makes it difficult to write a post the night before it goes live. Consider using an editorial calendar to plan posts in advance.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the tips I would give to new bloggers, it should provide a good start for those who are looking to start a blog. Remember, it’s more important to actually start your blog than to have it be perfect from day one.
If you have any questions about Bluehost or blogging, do not hesitate to send me an email. I have been blogging for years and have helped many people start a blog, so I’m happy to help you as well.
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