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How to Start a Blog and Write Your First Post Today!

Are you ready to learn how to start a blog and monetize it today? In today’s post, I’ve created a very detailed step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to setup your own blog.

I’ve setup thousands of websites and blogs since 1999 and have a unique way of teaching non-techies how to easily do this. No technical experience is required, and you could have this setup by the end of today.

If you have a topic you’re passionate about, blogging is a great way to share what you know with others. Blogging is a great tool for creating a tribe of like-minded people that have an interest on the same topic.

If done properly, you could earn an income from blogging about topics that interests you.

I think you’re going to be surprised at how easy this is. The only hard part about blogging is to do it consistently. This is where most folks fail. They start blogging strong, and then after the first month or two, they stop.

Results won’t come in overnight. This is a longterm play.

If you have the endurance to play the long game here, you could win big.

There are multiple ways to monetize your blog as you start to build your tribe … You don’t need thousands and thousands of subscribers to earn money, you could start earning money with as little as 100 subscribers.

Why You Should Start a Blog

When starting a business, consumers have many options to choose from. Blogging has always allowed me to showcase my expertise, while also positioning myself, and my company as the authority on a particular topic.

Because of positioning, it’s always allowed me to charge much more, and it typically brought in much higher quality prospects into my marketing funnel.

In other words, blogging allowed me to earn a boatload of money, lol.

Before we start, I want to outline a few reasons you should start a blog right away.

Make money while working from home (or living abroad). 90% of my revenue is generated from the blogs I have. As long as I have an Internet connection, I can work from anywhere.

Last year, we decided to sell everything we own to travel and live abroad. Because my business model allows me to go anywhere that has an Internet connection, I’m free to go anytime.

We spent our time living in Montreal Canada and Medellin, Colombia in South America. I like blogging because the financial costs to get started are very little. The risks are very low, and the upside income potential can be large.

Plus, it doesn’t seem like work because you get to talk about stuff you’re already passionate about, or interested in.

My First BookMy First BookMy First BookMy First BookMy First BookBecome a published book author. It’s much easier to get a book deal when you have a sizable following. And when you already have a following, it’s much easier to sell books to people you already know.

So far, I’ve written two books (one Kindle book, and one physical book).

These books have earned me big money making deals because the blog itself, along with the book, positioned me as the authority on the topics I wrote and blogged about.

This positioning thing is BIG. The more positioned you are, the more money you can charge, and the more opportunities there are to earn from your expertise.

Get speaking gigs. As your fame soars, blogging opens you up to getting  pitched to speak at different events related to your topic.

You get all-expense paid trips to local and exotic places all around the globe. You get to stay in fancy hotel suites and fly first class. And you get paid to talk about something you’d likely do for free.

Lots of exposures for your business. Blogging opens up the door for you to reach large audiences of people. Whether you’re a one-man shop, or a large corporation, blogging gives you the opportunity to engage and communicate with your core audience directly.

On one of my blogs, I engage and answer thousands of questions via the comments section on each of my blog posts each year. This interaction allows me to know what my customers and potential customers want more of.

Through this engagement, I’m able to custom create products and services based on the feedback and data gathered from the comments.

Topics You Can Blog About

There are so many topics you can start blogging about immediately. In my opinion, you should start on a topic you have interests in. I’ve seen too many people choose topics they thought they’d make a bunch of money in.

They weren’t really interested in the topic at all … And when you’re not interested in the topic, it’s easy to get bored and quit.

So choose something you’re passionate about, or choose something you really wish to learn more about.

For example, I’ve taken a heavy interest in nutrition and health. My dad was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I’ve been spending the last few weeks in research mode to find a solution for curing him of this illness.

While doing research for alternative options for healing, I’ve learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about.

It’s my intentions to start blogging about health and nutrition in the very short future.

So as you learn about a particular topic, you can share what you learn via your blog.

We find that others are interested in the ‘journey’ and would love to follow you as you learn. So you don’t really have to be an expert on a particular topic right off. You can become an expert as others learn with you!

Some of the best topics to blog about come from personal life experiences with raising kids, coping with divorce, how you overcame depression, and so on … The more ‘real’ and ‘sensitive’ the topic, the more you can connect with your audience.

Here are a few blogging topics to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Raw nutritional recipes
  • Juicing and smoothie cleanses or weight-loss
  • Mommy blogs  (topics around raising your little ones)
  • How to guides (how to yo-yo, raise chickens in the backyard, bbq, etc.)
  • How to overcome anxiety attacks
  • How to save and repair your marriage
  • How to recover from an affair
  • Document and blog about your travels abroad
  • How to get massive airline points
  • Couponing to save big money
  • Educational blogging
  • Jokes and humor
  • Overcoming illnesses or diseases
  • Product review blogs
  • Planning a wedding on a shoestring budget
  • How to save and budget money (your way)
  • Local high school sports blogging
  • How to train an English Mastiff  (get specific by the breed)
  • How to use software (Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.)
  • How to write resumes
  • How to make money
  • Start a consignment shop
  • How to make soups for diabetics
  • How to play the guitar
  • How to book gigs at local restaurants (singing, instruments, etc)
  • How to pair cheese and wine
  • How to apply make-up to dark skin (niche it down for greater success)
  • How to make money flipping real estate
  • Grow an organic garden in your backyard
  • How to pick-up girls
  • How to land a rich dude
  • etc…

The more specific the topic, the better … There’s likely an audience on any topic you wish to blog about. The key to longterm success is picking a topic you’re interested in. Do this right, and you can monetize it.

Required Tools and Resources for Starting a Blog

To start a blog, you really only need 3 things:

  1. Choosing a blogging platform (WordPress is my #1 preferred recommendation)
  2. Selecting a domain name (your dot-com name)
  3. Sign-up with website host and install WordPress blogging Software

Yep … This is pretty much all you need. You can quite literally be up and blogging less than 60-minutes from now. Follow along and let me guide you through the entire process step-by-step.

Step 1: Choosing a Blogging Platform

OMG … There are so many blog platforms to choose from it’s insane. But there’s only one clear choice when selecting from all of the choices.

Before I give you my preference, let me breakdown the pros and cons from some of the other popular platforms.

I want you to be able to decide which blog platform is best for your needs.

Ideally, you’ll want to stay away from the free blogging platforms. Here’s why:

  • With most free blogging platforms, you don’t have total control over content. Everyone is so offended by everything now, and the content you post could get you banned. These 3rd party platforms can shut you down without explanation. It happens more often than you think. Even Facebook has been known to shut down pages with millions of followers. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re not in control.
  • Some of these 3rd party platforms will run ads on your blog. You don’t want to spend all of your time building your blog and then have your visitors click on those 3rd party ads and leave your website. It took too much effort to get them there.
  • They forbid you to put ads on your blog. Ad placement on your blog is one of the many ways you can monetize. You don’t want to limit yourself here. On one of my blogs, Google sent me $77,711.61. If I couldn’t place ads on my blog, that would have been lost revenue. You can learn more about the Google Adsense revenue sharing model here.

In addition, as your blog grows, many of the limitations placed on ‘free blogging’ platforms prevent you from doing what you need to scale and grow.

Choose your platform wisely … I’ve been blogging on one of my websites for over 10 years now. Once you start, you’ll likely continue using it for the duration of your business. It’ll be difficult to switch much later.

Here’s a list of the major blog platforms:

  1. Self hosted WordPress software
  2. WordPress.com (3rd party platform)
  3. Wix
  4. Blogger
  5. Weebly
  6. Joomla
  7. Typepad
  8. Tumblr
  9. Squarespace
  10. Magneto

Self-Hosted WordPress Blogging SoftwareWordpress Logo

Wordpress Logo

There’s two options for using the WordPress platform.

One is the self-hosted route. This is where you get access to the actual ‘WordPress’ software itself, and you’re free to install it directly onto your own website.

There’s another option to WordPress and that’s via the company, WordPress.com, where they host the software on their servers and you can sign-up for an account through them. In a sense, you don’t technically own your site when you’re ‘leasing’ it from them.

WordPress.com can totally shut your website down without warning.

This is why we recommend using the ‘self-hosted’ option of WordPress (the software itself).

The self-hosted version of WordPress is a downloadable content/blog management software that let’s you totally manage and control your website/blog.

It’s by far the most popular blog platform in the word. Last estimates suggest this platform powers over 30% of of websites on the Internet.

According to Fresh Consulting, WordPress controls 59% market share of the Content Management Software (CMS) market, and currently accounts for over a quarter of all websites.

I’ve been using WordPress for all of my websites over the last 10+ years. It’s the only platform I use for myself, and it’s the only platform I use to build websites and blogs for my clients.

Nothing else even compares.

They’re easy to setup and you can typically have a blog setup and fully running within 30-60 minutes.

Posting content to your blog is very simple. In addition, there are a bunch of tutorials available to help make the transition to WordPress super easy.

One of the things I like about this blogging platform is your option to select from thousands of pre-made layouts and designs.

With a click of a button, you can have a super fancy website in seconds.

If you get tired of the way your blog looks after a while, just click a few buttons and a few seconds later, you can have an entirely brand new looking blog. Let me show you (play video below to see what themes look like).

 

In addition, with WordPress, it’s very easy to add videos and photos to your blog. After playing around with the software over a weekend, you start to see the range of flexibility to you have with this software.

There’s so much functionality that can be added to your blog.

WordPress has what are called extensions and plugins.

Plugins is a fancy way of saying, ‘there’s an app for that’ … In other words, whatever you need your blog to do, there’s a chance someone has already created an ‘app’ for that (the proper term is ‘plugin’).

So if you wanted to add a calendar to your website, there’s a plugin for that.

Perhaps you wanted to create a fancy gallery of your photographs. There’s a plugin that’ll do it for you.

Maybe you want to an appointment scheduler to your blog … There’s a plugin for that.

Just add the plugin, click a button, and it’s installed.

There are over 40,000+ plugins available for the WordPress platform. Most of them are totally free.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I absolutely love the WordPress blogging platform.

There is nothing else I’d recommend over this platform.

Nothing at all!

WordPress.com (3rd Party Host)

WP

As mentioned earlier, this is the hosted version of WordPress. You have little control over design customization, and you run the risk of being shut down based on whatever content guidelines WordPress.com has in place.

If you’re not serious about blogging, and simply want to test the waters, this is a good place to start.

You don’t have to install anything, and you won’t have to purchase hosting. All you need to do is register at their website, WordPress.com and you’re up an running.

With WordPress.com, you won’t need to buy a domain name. They’ll give you a sub-domain that’s attached to their WordPress.com domain.

For example, your website name might look something like: YourBlogName.WordPress.com

It’s certainly not the recommended route to go … If you’re going to spend any amount of time at all building a blog and an audience, you’d want your own dot-com name (domain). WordPress charges extra to have your own domain name.

As mentioned earlier, you can’t have your own ads on the WordPress.com platform.  And remember, these guys can shut you down without explanation.

As of the writing of this post, you have 4 options with WordPress.com

Free Plan: Just start creating: get a free site and be on your way to publishing your content in less than five minutes.

Personal Plan: Best for Personal Use: Boost your website with a custom domain name, and remove all WordPress.com advertising. Get access to high quality email and live chat support. ($48/yr)

Premium Plan: Best for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers: Build a unique website with advanced design tools, CSS editing, lots of space for audio and video, and the ability to monetize your site with ads. ($96/yr)

Business Plan: Best for Small Business: Power your business website with unlimited premium and business theme templates, Google Analytics support, unlimited storage, and the ability to remove WordPress.com branding. ($299.04)

WIX

WIX

This platform is okay if you have no design skills and wish to do as little as possible. But if this describes you, then you should probably look for something else to do.

This is not the proper platform to use if you’re wanted to earn money from your blogging efforts.

Wix is a simple drag and drop website builder with their own hosting platform.

With these types of services, you’re limited in what you can do.

Blogger

Blogger

This platform is owned by google and if you already have an active Google account, you can sign into it to activate your blogger account.

It’s very fast to setup an account through blogger. You can be up and blogging in minutes.

Like all 3rd party blogging platforms, you’re not in total control of setup and coding behind the scenes. In addition,  if they don’t like your content, you can get shut down.

It happens very often.

If you’re going to blog, make sure you’re in total control of your website and content. Don’t leave it to chance.

If you’d like to learn more about the other platforms, go check them out:

Step 2: Selecting a Domain Name for Your Blog

The dot-com web address is your domain name. For example, the domain name for my blog, Source Code to Freedom is www.SourceCodeToFreedom.com (this is the domain name).

If you don’t have a domain name, you’ll have to register one.

There are 3 domain registrars where you can purchase your domain name from.

Under no circumstances do you ever register through any other entity. Some website hosting companies will try to suggest you buy your domain name through them.

Don’t do it.

This is one on the things you want to have absolute and complete control over. There are countless horror stories where web design and hosting companies register domain names on behalf of clients, and things turn disastrous.

Many times, these hosting and web design companies will hold the domain names hostage and charge outrageous fees to give you the domain name back.

When you register through a registrar, you’re in total control.

No one can hold your domain name hostage and only you can give someone else access to your domain name.

The top 3 domain registrars are:

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Register.com
  3. NetworkSolutions

My recommended registrar is GoDaddy. I don’t use any other registrar.

I’ve used GoDaddy for the last 12 years and the service and reliability has been great. They have 24-hour support, 7 days a week.

They’re great for registering domain names … That’s they’re specialty. I would highly recommend you DO NOT buy any of the upsells they try and push.

I don’t like their website hosting platform at all and I’d suggest you stay away from it and leave it alone entirely. You couldn’t pay me enough to mess with their hosting platform … In the past, when potential clients asked me to work on their projects, I would turn them down and not take their money if they were hosted on GoDaddy … Wasn’t worth the trouble and headache.

They make simple things too complicated.

Choosing a Domain Name for Your Blog

Simple is best … Try to keep it short, simple and sweet. Use something that’s easily shareable.

Always go with a .com version if possible. Stay away from .net, .org, .co (especially if you don’t own the .com version).

By default, most folks will instinctively sit down and type in the .com version when they make it to their computer.

So when you tell someone your website address is AmericanFlags.NET … as soon as they get home, they’ll most likely time in AmericanFlags.COM and end up at some other website.

Stay away from fancy spellings and try not to use numbers or hyphens in your domain name.

Another option is to use your name … A lot of people use both their first and last name as their domain name. At a minimum, whether you use your name or not, at least register it. It’s much better to own it and not. I own my own name, CartessRoss.com and I own the names of my children too.

Before coming to a final decision on a name, make sure the name itself is available to use across the major social media platforms.

For example, I own the domain name TshirtRiches.com

I also control the social media properties as well … Example:

I’ve created a quick tutorial below showing you how to register your own domain name through my reseller account given to me by GoDaddy.

As of this writing, GoDaddy charges a yearly $14.99 fee for your domain registration. It’s yours during the year and no one can take it from you.

It’s advised that you should purchase your domain name for a minimum of 5 years. It’s rumored that Google looks at the length of your registration and it can affect how well your blog ranks.

Some suggest that folks who register domains for less than 5 years aren’t really serious about their website and really don’t believe they themselves have the staying power to make it work.

I’d err on the safe side and register for a minimum of 5 years.

Watch the video below to see how I purchased a domain name through my GoDaddy reseller portal. If you order through more portal, you’ll get a discount. This portal is through GoDaddy and when you register, you’re in their database and you’ll still get their 247 support and customer service.

 

Register for domain by clicking here.

Step 3: Choose a Web Host and Install WordPress Software

Choosing the right host is the most important decision you’ll make when deciding to start blogging. In order to have a website, you must have a ‘web host’.

A web host acts like a storage facility … They hold and store all of the files, images, graphics and content that makes up your website.

Almost like an apartment … You pay a monthly fee to store all of your furniture, TV, beds, tables, and washing machines that essentially make up what is called your home.

When a person types in your dot-com name, they’re directed to this storage space to see all of the files that make up your website.

When paying for this storage space, this is not the time be cheap. It’s the equivalent of living in a very bad and crime infested neighborhood.

The odds increase that someone will break into your home and steal your stuff.

The same happens with cheap web hosting companies … You open yourself up to more opportunities for getting hacked.

For years, I’ve always went with the cheap hosts, and time after time, I got hacked.

On some occasions my websites were down for up to two weeks … And I spent thousands trying to get it fixed and never really got it fixed.

I lost a bunch of customers and lots of wasted money on advertisements that sent visitors to a website that was down.

Cheap hosting providers also overcrowd their servers with people in order to offer cheap prices. The problem with overcrowded servers is that your website load up time is drastically slowed down.

When a website takes to long to load up, people leave and don’t come back.

Also, if someone on the overcrowded server decides to send out spam messages, then everyone on that server runs the risk of their IP address being flagged as spam and when you reach out to your customers or prospects, they don’t get your e-mails.

Cheap is not always good … I suggest you spend the extra few bucks and connect with a solid and reliable hosting provider.

Because all of my websites are powered by WordPress, I only deal with hosting companies that specialize in hosting WordPress websites.

My #1 recommended choice is WP Engine. They have 3 plans from which you can choose from.

Personal Plan: Great if you only have one website and you’re just getting started. The plan costs $29/mo and they offer discount if prepaid yearly ($290 for the year, which includes 2 free months).

Professional Plan: This plan allows you to host up to 10 WordPress blogs on this plan. If you have more than one blog, this is the plan to sign-up for. The plan costs $99/mo and they offer discounts if prepaid yearly.

Business Plan: If you need to host a bunch of websites, up to 25, this is the plan for you. The plan costs $249/monthly and they offer discounts if prepaid yearly.

If you’re just starting, the Personal Plan is more than sufficient.

Once you get signed up, you’ll be presented with an option to ‘Add Install’ to your account.

Fill out the space with a name that you’ll recognize for the new site you’re creating. Make sure to select the options listed below (Environment: None | Copy From: Create a new install) and then click ‘Create Install’.

Add Install

After you create the install, you’ll see a message that looks like this:

Installed

The message indicates your install is currently being built. After about 3-7 minutes, you’ll receive an e-mail saying the installation has been completed. It’ll look something like this:

E-mail

Once you get this e-mail, you can now click the Site URL that’s displayed and you can go to the installed WordPress site and login:

In my example above, you’ll see a basic WordPress installation (click link below)

mynewblogger.wpengine.com

You’ll see a ‘Log in’ link in the bottom right column. Use the login details you created to login to the WordPress admin area.

Once you’re logged in, you can now add a new theme or layout, and then you can make all the changes and updates to your blog to customize it anyway you like.

This is a great time to either buy a premium theme, or add a free one.

Watch the video below to see how simple it is to change your layout.

 

That was simple enough right?

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make and post your first blog post:

 

And there you have it … It’s not that difficult at all.

You just gotta make a decision to start blogging …. With this tutorial, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be up and running within an hour or two at the max.

It’s never going to happen until you make the decision to do so.

If the steps seem to difficult for you, and you simply want someone else to do it for you, we got you covered.

My web designer can setup the entire blog piece for you. When it’s all done, you only need to start blogging.

In addition, I’ll share some tutorials with you that shows you the basic ABC’s of blogging so you can get started right away.

We’ll get you setup for a flat fee of $395.

This one-time investment covers:

  • WordPress installation onto your hosting account
  • Theme installation and setup
  • We’ll connect your domain name to your hosting account
  • Provide you with tutorials that shows you how to add content to your blog
SIGN-UP NOW!

About the Author Cartess Ross

Marketer, blogger, course creator, serial entrepreneur, author and coach. One of the original pioneers to start selling t-shirts online 20 years ago. He's sold millions of dollars worth of t-shirts to people all over the world. He's been featured in Small Business Opportunities, Start Your Own Business, & Home Business magazines.

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How to Blog for Fun, Profit & Lifestyle Freedom


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  • wildflower hd says:

    This info is priceless. Where can I find out more?

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