Disclosure: This post may contain links from our sponsors.Blogging is a great way (and pretty easy) to make extra money online. My own online businesses have changed my life and helped me retire early. I started my most successful business in 2007 with a $7.99 website. I earn thousands of dollars a month blogging about business, life, and personal finance – all things I love to write about.
The best part is you can start a money-making blog for only a few dollars a month. Getting started blogging is easy, and in this step-by-step guide to getting started with blogging with WordPress, you’ll be up and running quickly!
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below to follow these easy directions.
Why should you blog?
Check out my business income reports. I now make over $40,000 a month from my blog and business products.
Many bloggers have been able to turn their blogging from a hobby into a career, allowing them to:
- Work from home
- Travel whenever they want
- Have a flexible schedule
- Spend more time with their family
- Achieve financial freedom
Anyone can make money from a blog. It’s so cheap to get started you can make your money back quickly. How many other careers do you know of you can start for $2.95/month and turn it into a six-figure income in a short period of time?
Blogging gives you the opportunity to share with the world. Blogging has been one of the best opportunities I’ve had to share my knowledge and thoughts with others and help them with their personal finances.
It’s easy to get started
A lot of people get stuck because they think setting up a blog is complicated and time-consuming. It’s not.
I’ll also explain how to write and publish your first blog post.
Watch the Video By Clicking The Play Button:
You don’t need to be a computer expert, have a master’s degree, or any technical expertise to setup your blog. I’ll walk you through the entire process.
What is WordPress?
While there are some free hosted options to start a blog like WordPress.com and Blogger.com, you will get the most control and features by using self-hosted WordPress. This is what serious bloggers use, and what I use here on my blog.
Do not use a free blogging service if you want to make money blogging. Free blogging services are terrible. If you want to make money blogging, become a freelancer, have a professional looking blog, you need to pay for blog hosting. Besides, paid hosting costs less per day than cup of Starbucks coffee.
How much does it cost to get started?
You can start your blog with Bluehost for as low as $2.95 a month (this low price is through my link only)! Also, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value). I want to suggest that you select the Plus Plan. This is Bluehost’s most popular option-and for good reason. It’s only $3.00 more a month than the Basic plan, BUT it gives you the ability to host an unlimited number of websites on this one account. I think that makes it a no-brainer.
It costs less to go with the 36-month plan, and that is what I would recommend instead of paying the higher month-to-month cost. Plus, there are no contracts, and you have 30-day money back guarantee.
Bluehost: The company I recommend for getting started
I’ve used Bluehost since 2005 for starting three different businesses. It’s the least expensive, best, and fastest way to get started online.
Disclaimer/Truth: I now use WP Engine for ScottAlanTurner.com. My site requires Internet servers with tons of horsepower and bandwidth. However, I started three businesses on Bluehost with great success (including this website). As the business’ grew I had to move to bigger servers. Bluehost specializes in shared servers, and it’s the perfect choice for getting started for cheap. WP Engine is very expensive and something to consider once your blog starts making money and you can invest in a faster service.
Here are seven reasons why you should choose Bluehost to get started:
#1: Support. Great technical support. Bluehost has great 24–7 support via phone, e-mail, or chat.
#2: Ease of Use. It’s easy to get started. You can create a WordPress blog easily with my step-by-step guide.
#3: Free domain. Bluehost gives you get a free domain for your blog (www.YourName.com)
#4: Satisfaction Guarantee. Bluehost has a 30-day money back guarantee
#5: WordPress Your blog will be self-hosted, meaning you will be able to monetize it better and have more control over the looks and functionality. Your blog will look more professional than if you used a free service like Blogger. The more professional your blog, the more readers you will attract (and the more money you can make if that’s your goal)
#6: Reliability. Bluehost is super reliable. It boasts an uptime average of 99.9%. There is nothing worse than having your website go down and losing money. I’ve lost over $10k in product sales over the years due to other services going down (GoDaddy for example).
#7: Cost: It’s cheap! Bluehost is inexpensive – you can get started for just $2.95 per month if you use my link to get the discount. The longer you are willing to commit, the cheaper it is. I’d suggest you try the Plus or Prime plans for just $5.95/month, which have more features as well as $200 in free marketing.
You can get your blog up and running on Bluehost by following these steps:
While it looks like a lot, it isn’t. It’s just a thorough step-by-step list where I list every little button click and thing you have to check/uncheck in a checkbox.
If you get stuck during the process, email me for help – firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 1: Pick a domain name
ScottAlanTurner.com is my domain name for this site. The first thing you need to think about is what your blog is going to be named. This is actually the hardest part about the process.
Give it some serious thought. Finding a good name isn’t hard – finding a good name someone hasn’t thought of yet and owns is.
It’s cheaper and easier to setup your blog if you haven’t bought a domain name yet. You can click here to purchase a domain name and create a blog,
Step 2: Set up a hosting account
Go to the Bluehost home page. Click on the Get Started Now button.
You’ll need to decide on a plan. The most popular is the Plus plan. The Plus plan gives you unlimited websites. It’s a great option if you plan on having multiple blogs (example: food, travel, tech tips, fashion, sports, journal).
If you are unsure about blogging, pick the Plus plan for 36-months. The Plus and Prime plans include over $200 worth of free marketing. You’ll have 30-days to cancel if you change your mind. You can always upgrade your plan later.
No matter what plan you pick, the following steps are the same. Continue by clicking the Select button.
Now enter your domain name in the left box if you’re creating a new domain. Pick the appropriate extension (.com, .biz, .org, etc.) If you have an existing domain, enter it into the right box.
Click on the Next button.
Next fill in your account information, then scroll down to select a package.
The prices when you use my special link range from $2.95 (Basic) to $5.95 (Prime) per month. You pay in advance the annual rate which is how the Bluehost service is so cheap.
You can also receive a refund at any time, so I highly recommend signing up for the 36 months as it is the cheapest option. There’s really no risk because you have a 30-day money back guarantee.
Uncheck these services. You won’t need them to get started, and it will save you some money. If you like, you can always add them back later.
- Domain Privacy Protection
- Site Backup Pro
- Search Engine Jumpstart
- SiteLock Security
Now enter your billing information. Check that you have read the Terms of Service, and click the Submit button.
Bluehost will then present you with a Congratulations! page with special offers. I would skip all these upgrades. Click the no thanks link at the bottom of the page. This may take a minute or two so be patient.
You should see the Welcome To Bluehost screen. You will now need to choose a password for your account. Click create your password.
Click the generate password button to create a strong password. Once you do click the button with they eye next to the password field to review your new password. Copy the password (⌘-C on the Mac, or Control-C on a PC). Don’t forget to write the password down or store it using your password manager (if you have one).
Click the checkbox for the Terms of Service.
Now click the continue button. Boom! You now have a Bluehost account.
Login to your Bluehost account
Your password is still in the clipboard so you can paste it into the password field (⌘-C on the Mac, or Control-C on a PC).
If your domain is not already showing, type it in.
Click the Submit button.
You might get a message to upgrade or a screen with some offers. Ignore these for now by clicking the Skip this link. If you want to add more services or change your plan, you can do it another day.
Click on the Hosting link in the upper left to go to the main Control Panel (also called the cPanel). You can skip the tutorial/walk-through, that’s what I’m going to show you now to finish setting up your blog.
Step 3: Installing WordPress
Once you are in the Control Panel, scroll down to the Website section.
Click the Install WordPress logo and wait for the WordPress install (it might take a minute).
Click the green Install button at the top to install WordPress yourself for free.
You will be prompted to pick the domain (your URL) that you want to install WordPress on. Click Check Domain. It might take a couple of minutes.
Click Show advanced options. Type in your site name or title. (Don’t worry. You can always change this later.) Accept the “Admin Username” and “Admin Password” that Bluehost suggests.
Click ‘I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2’
Click on Install Now. The install will take a minute. Once the install is finished a message at the top will say ‘Your install is complete!’
Now click on the View Credentials button in the upper right. This will take you to the Notification Center. Click on the View button.
You will see your login credentials. Write them down, take a screenshot, or copy/paste them into a document on your computer for safe keeping. Bluehost will also email you a copy of the information.
Copy the Password to the clipboard.
Step 4: Login to WordPress
- Click the Admin URL on the Installation Credentials screen.
- Type in your username and paste your password. Click Remember Me so you won’t have to keep typing in the info every time you log in. Then click Log In.
You’re now in WordPress looking at the DashBoard. You might see more offers or notifications – you can ignore them.
What you are seeing is the WordPress back-end. This is what you use to create blog entries and work on your WordPress site. What your readers see is called the front-end, which looks like a regular website.
Let’s write your first blog post!
Step 5: Write your first blog post
Click on the Posts | Add New option in the left-hand side menu. You should see the Add New Post screen.
Enter the title of your post – ‘Hello World!’
Below the title write something in the text editor. You could introduce yourself and why you are starting the blog, and what you plan to write about.
Once you have finished writing, click the blue Publish button on the right. This publishes your post for everyone to see.
At the top of the page you might see a message that says, “Your site is currently displaying a ‘Coming Soon’ page. Once you are ready to launch your site click here.” If so, click on the click here link. You will see a message that your site is live.
Congratulations! You have just published your first post on your very own self-hosted WordPress blog.
Step 6: Check out your new blog
Click the View Post link at the top. Your new blog will load.
As you can tell, this is a bare bone WordPress install, but you are up and running. The default install is very generic. As you can see from my website, there is a LOT you can do with WordPress.
You can make your blog look different by installing what’s called a theme. Many are free and many you have to pay a few dollars for. The better your blog looks, the more visitors will be attracted to it, so consider finding a theme that suits your content.
Learn more about WordPress
Optional: What if you already have a domain name?
If you already have a domain name you want to use, you will need to follow some steps to get your domain to point to Bluehost. Depending on where your domain is hosted, the steps might be different. Bluehost describes the process here.
For example, if you bought your domain from Go Daddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names.
For example, at GoDaddy, where I have some domains registered, you log in, then go to Domains | Domain Management, and click on Manage My Domains.
Find your domain, click in the upper right and select Manage DNS.
Click on the Add Record link. In the Add Zone Record window select the NS Record Type.
Enter @ for the Host. Enter ns1.Bluehost.com in the field for Points To.
Click Add Another
Enter @ for the Host. Enter ns2.Bluehost.com in the field for Points To.
Click Finish. Now log out. It typically takes 24–48 hours for these changes to take effect. Sometimes if you’re lucky, the changes might start working in a couple of hours.
Note: Bluehost or the company you registered your domain with may change this process. Each registrar provides their own instructions on how to update nameservers. This is something you will need to contact your registrar for assistance. I cannot provide technical support for you because there are hundreds of registrars and they each have different steps.
After changing your nameservers you can go back to Step #2. Instead of entering a new domain use the box on the right that says ‘I Have a Domain Name’.
Everything else in the process will be the same. If you have issues with getting your website to appear once it goes live, it’s most likely because the 24–48 hour period hasn’t passed yet. You’ll have to be patient!
That’s it! You’re on your way to earning money as a blogger. If you still haven’t signed up yet to start blogging, click this link to get my special discounted price at Bluehost.
Here are more blogging-related posts you should take a look at after you have signed up for your blog:
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