In this post, I am going to go through some core pieces that you need to know in order to build a profitable blog.
Most people are overwhelmed with the thought of launching a blog because they face questions like:
- What do I talk about?
- How often do I need to put something on my blog?
- How do you blog if you’re not a writer?
- What if you’re not that techy?
- How do you make money blogging?
- How do I find the time to blog?
- & So Much more…
I know exactly how you feel because I’ve dealt with similar questions over the years, and I’m now learning how to navigate around all of these concerns, which is what I share with all of those who join our Content Cashflow Club!
To keep this post short and simple, I want to walk you through the core things that you’ll need to get your blog up and running.
I’m going to map them out for you below to show you exactly how to set things up, so let’s get started. They break down as follows….
Here’s what you’ll need to set your blog up:
- Domain Name
- Hosting Services
- Blog Theme
- Auto-Responder or CRM Tool
- Blog Plugins
To get started, there will be a minimal investment required as low as $3.95 to get you going. I’ll show you how to keep overall cost to a minimal getting started, but know that whatever the investment required, it will be worth it!
So let’s get started….
Step #1: Purchase a Domain Name
The most important element in building a blog for profit is identifying how people will find you. Your domain name is like your home address. If you make it too complicated, you will make it hard for people to find you but if you keep it simple, you will see a lot of traffic coming your way.
Here are a few key things you’ll want to consider when it comes to selecting a domain name:
- If you’re new, use your name. If your name is a bit too hard to remember, make it easy. For example, if your name is long, like Samuel Izbian, make it simple like SamIz.com. Don’t try to overcomplicate things. Keep in mind that the domain name is more about the user than it is about you, because your overall goal is to service your audience and make their lives easier to find you in doing so.
- When it comes to business names, I have news for you… they change ALL THE TIME. Since being online from 2007, I’ve had sooo many names, it’s crazy. I’ve had www.ArticleMarketingGeeks.com, www.TheSuccessSeekers.com, www.TheMailboxMoneyBlog.com and now I just kept things simple www.NicoleSCooper.com. If I do choose to use a separate domain name for my business, like I recently purchased, I’ll just forward that domain name to my blog (www.NicoleSCooper.com) and that way if that business name changes, my blog stays intact because I built it on my name and not on a business name.
I highly recommend you purchase your name and use that starting out, to keep things simple.
Step #2: Purchase Hosting Services
Assuming that we are building on a WordPress site (there are other options but this post is focused on WordPress, I’ll be sharing more insight on other platforms later), it’s very important to have hosting.
The way that hosting works is like this. Imagine that your blog is the car but hosting is the gas in the vehicle. It supports you getting your message to the destination of someone’s computer.
Here’s a visual illustration to show you how it works:
When setting up your blog on WordPress, WordPress offers 2 types of Blogging Platforms:
- WordPress Hosted Blog
- Self Hosted WordPress Blog
The difference between the two is that if wordpress.com hosts your blog, you’re very limited with what you can do and how you customize your blog. You also can not set it up for income generation, and they have the right to leverage your content that you put on the blog, for the company to market links for profit (and no you won’t get paid from any ads on the free hosted version).
However, if you really want to leverage your blog to the max, generate income from your blog and have more customizable features, you’ll want to go with a Self Hosted Blog, which means that you’ll want to invest in hosting.
When hosting your site, I highly recommend leveraging BlueHost. It’s what I used when I first got started, and it’s the goto source for newbies getting started with blogging online.
How to set up BlueHost:
Step A: Get Started
Step B: Select A Plan
When picking a plan, you can always start off with the lowest package (if you’re only going to build 1 website for now), and upgrade later. The way that hosting works is that you will be paying for the 12-month plan at one time, which will save you the headache of worrying about losing your site cause hosting expires (OMG this has happened to me before and it is a wreck).
If you plan on hosting more than 1 website, then you can select the Plus plan. The difference between the Basic and plus is 1 website vs 10 websites and the website space. So if you plan on hosting videos on your site, along with tons of pictures and other resources, you may want to start with the Plus plan.
Step C: Specify Domain Name
If you have already purchased a domain name, you will want to click on transfer domain. However, if you’re looking to purchase a new domain name, which you can do through Bluehost, you’ll want to go to a new domain, and type in the domain you’re looking for.
If it’s available, you will be able to purchase the domain name. When transferring domains, when you put in the domain name you’re transferring, you will be given additional instructions from Bluehost, on next steps to take to get things up and running!
Step D: Enter Your Contact Information
In this step, you will want to submit all your contact information, which is self-explanatory.
Step E: Select Package & Add-ons where needed
In this step, you will select the plan you choose to go with. As explained before, you will pay for the year in full, and you have the choice to buy it in 12, 24, or 36-month rates. As far as add-ons are concerned, you may only want to get the “domain privacy protection” at this time, which keeps people from getting your info and spamming the crap out of you, like I’ve experienced countless times. The other options, I’d say bypass for now!
Step F: See Confirmation & Create Password (self-explanatory)
Step G: Confirm Main Password
When selecting your password, it may be best to allow the Password Generator to make the selection for you. You don’t want to use a basic password, as it will leave you open to getting hacked. Be sure to keep track of all your passwords using a tool like Dashlane, so you can access them in the future, if it’s too complicated to remember.
Step H: Login to your account
Once you’ve set up your password, you will be led to log in to your site. There are 2 options, hosting or webmail. You want to select hosting.
Step I: Select “I can do it” for your own getting started options
Step J: CPanel Dashboard
If you’ve made it this far, congrats, you are officially a techie! Woohoo…
Okay, so this is where the magic happens and where the blogging begins. What you’ll want to do is Identify the WordPress Icon under Website Builders, and that’s where we will get started building your blog.
Step K: Click on The WordPress Icon & click start so we can begin building your blog
Step L: Select Domain Name To Install
Once you’ve clicked start, you’ll want to find the domain name (the one you installed at Step C), so you can begin building your blog out. Just hit on the drop down menu, find the domain name, and voila…
Step M: Installing Screen should pop up
Step N: Create Blog Info
Once you’ve installed the blog, you’ll need to give your Blog a Name and put it in the “Site Name or Title” Box.
You’ll also want to choose an admin username. This can be your email address, full name, or anything you’d like. I recommend using your email account that you use frequently.
Create the admin password and input the admin email address for them to use when sending any related info regarding the blog. Be sure that it’s an email you use FREQUENTLY.
Last Step of setting up the Blog: Mission Accomplished
Now that you’re done, you should see a screen that says “Your install is complete!” … Yayyyyyy
Now check your email because you should have received a verification email to get you up and running. Be sure to save this information as you will need it for future use.
One suggestion to be able to easily find the login link is to click on the URL in the email, and bookmark it because you will be spending a lot of time on this site!
Step #3: Select a Blog Theme
Now that your blog is all set up, you’ll want to log in to your site by clicking on the URL above that was provided in your confirmation email. The login is usually set up as follows http://www.(the domain name you chose).com/wp-admin
Once logged in to the back office, this is what your dashboard will look like:
In order for us to load a theme on your page, you’ll want to click on the “Appearance” tab, and we will install the selected theme there.
Step #4: Purchase an Auto-Responder or CRM Tool
Building your list is very critical when it comes to blogging. One of the ways to do so is by using a few apps I will suggest below, and linking them to your auto-responder tool or CRM.
What is an Auto-Responder you might be asking??
It’s an email capture tool used to keep you in communication with people who agree to give you their email address, in exchange for something that you offer. I will be sharing with you, multiple ways to capture emails, but the focus on the Auto-Responder is building a list that you continuously communicate with to build a relationship with.
My recommendation for selecting an auto-responder is to use Convertkit. It’s the best way to get started on the right foot with building your business, and it will allow you to segment your emails so you don’t send duplicate messages to your audience.
Step #5: Get Blog Plugins
Plugins are how you get your blog to do all the fancy stuff. There are a few key plugins that I highly recommend.
- Google Analytics: In order to know how your blog is doing, it’s important to track down the numbers of whose visiting, what activities they’re taking and where your visitors are coming from. Google analytics is a bit techy, but it’s the best way to keep track of these numbers.
- Yoast SEO: this is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It allows you to optimize your blog for SEO. What this means in layman’s terms is it will help you to drive more traffic to your blog.
- Floating Social Bar: this plugin allows your readers to instantly share your blog post through social media sites.
- Pretty Links: this is the quick and easy way to create shortcuts to your links like this www.NicoleSCooper.com/bluehost This is actually one of my favorite plugins.
- Facebook comments plugin: the best way to get people to comment is right from within Facebook. Using the Facebook comments plugin makes it easy for people to share comments and it also makes it easy for them to share their comments on their facebook wall, which in turn means, more traffic and fresh eyes on your blog post!
There are so many more plugins that I want to share but stay tuned, more to come soon in the upcoming training I’ll be releasing called Blogging Profits Blueprint. Go here now to register, so you can get insight into the step by step process to get your blog up and running, and profitable!