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Are you planning to start a blog?
Congrats! Starting this one was one of the best decisions I made. It became not only a creative outlet for my thoughts but also my new career. It allowed me to travel to new destinations, meet fantastic people on the way and earn an income. But more importantly, it allowed me to reconnect with my passion and make me believe that nothing is impossible and that if you really are persuasive, hard-working and determined, you can achieve anything.
Even if you don’t plan to quit your job and you like what you do, I am still a firm believer that you should start a blog as well.
• You help others. Each one of us has a set of unique skills and leaving it undiscovered is a massive loss for the world.
• Blogging about your work sets you up as an expert in the field, and it is a great asset when you want to change your job or start your own company.
• It can help you reconnect with your true passions.
Now, let’s get to work!
¨I would like to start a blog, but I don’t know what to blog about“ is one of the common problems that you might encounter on your way. A lot of people believe that you need to have this unique idea that nobody wrote about before or write just about one specific subject. And it´s the same with starting a company. I´ve heard multiple times ¨I don’t have a good business idea.“
That is, my friends, total bulls**t!
You don’t need to discover America to become a successful blogger. Your voice matters; even if something was written multiple times, your way of looking at the issue might be completely different. What makes a blog post, an Instagram picture or a Youtube video successful is YOU. Even if your passion is geology or something less sexy than beauty, fashion or travel, you can become a successful blogger and make it your career if you want to. If you really want to differentiate yourself as a blogger, read my 5 tips on how to stand out.
My advice here is thinking of what you are passionate about. If you want to be serious about blogging, you will probably spend a lot of time in front of a computer creating content on this subject. Don’t be afraid to cover multiple topics. For example, I blog about travels, blogging, and photography. But I prefer this to just writing about Barcelona (where I live) because it is more interesting for me, and I guess for you too.
Another challenge comes with finding a perfect name. I know it is hard, as you need to find one that you like, that shows what you are all about, that is easy to pronounce and available on the market. Plus it kind of stays with you forever.
My advice is to look for names that are either abstract (like Google), leave you open options (like Where Life Is Great), use wordplay (Wine not?) or just use your name and surname (at the end it is YOU who makes that blog special).
Brainstorm some ideas, write down options using Thesaurus.com to check synonyms. Then check availability on Namecheap.com. Here you can also find the alternatives for your name.
.COM or .BLOG?
In 2017, domains ending with .blog have been introduced. While it is a great alternative, I don’t recommend it over .com. As of now, Google Analytics indexes .com domains better and gives them priority in search engines.
THE THREE THINGS YOU NEED
Impeccable hosting is the most crucial element of every blog. A host, for non-tech people, is a place where your website lives and where all the files are stored.
You might be wondering, why get a host at all? After all, there are websites such as Blogger, WordPress.com or even Wix and Leadpages that offer web building with a hosting service in a package.
In the first case (Blogger, WordPress.com, etc.), you need to know that you don’t own that website. It is also tough to monetize with ads and affiliate links as you are bound by the policy of Blogger or WordPress.com. And if one-day Blogger stops existing, your website stops existing too. Plus you look much more professional with your own host.
In the other case (Wix and Leadpages), you still own the website, but you need to pay monthly about 29-39 USD for it. That is like 10 times more than hosting on your own with Bluehost… Plus your design options are more limited.
Important things to take into account when choosing hosting company:
1. How many times were the websites down because of the servers?
2. Does it offer 24/7 support? (You can’t imagine the importance of this!)
3. What is the yearly cost?
4. Does it offer free domain and one-click WordPress installation?
5. Is there a money back guarantee?
That being said, I recommend you use Bluehost. With Bluehost, you can start your blog for only 3,95 USD/month, and you get a free domain as well. Bluehost is one of the most popular choices around the Internet, and it is for a reason.
Whatever problem you encounter, they will resolve it fast over the 24/7 chat. I can’t stress how helpful that is!
Ok, enough about benefits 😉 Here is the step by step plan for starting your WordPress blog with Bluehost.
Choose a basic plan. For now, that is all you need, and you can always upgrade later.
As discussed above, every blog needs a registered name. With Bluehost, you get a free domain and save yourself the trouble of setting a DNS server. But if you decide to buy domain separately, I recommend using Namecheap. As the name suggests, it is really cheap and reliable.
I suggest choosing the 36-month plan as it gives you savings of 50%! With that plan, you get your hosting for 3,95/month which is sadly less than I spend on coffee! And you are in for a long game, right?
If you can afford it, add SiteLock which will secure your contact data and Codeguard Basic for daily backups.
I am a fan of Worpress.org. It is simple, robust and has plugins for all your needs. With Bluehost, you get a one-click WordPress installation so no sweat.
Log in to your Bluehost account and go through set up. That is the time when you need to choose a theme.
To be honest what I suggest now is to jump to my FREE Define your blog style video series where I explain the design process in greater depth, and the importance of the layout and consistent color scheme.
You can also choose a primary theme for now and start building content while you go through my design video series.
Anyway, congrats! You made it till the end, and you are now a Blogger!
Have fun and enjoy the ride! If you want more advice on blogging and Instagram, check out my second blog FROM ZERO TO BLOG HERO.