Do You Want to Start your own Blog? I really appreciate your decision!
Blogging is a full time career now and thousands of bloggers around the world including me are making 6 figure income.
In this article, I am going to show how you can create a blog effortlessly for almost free and make some good money like me.
The great thing about running a blog is you not only make a good amount of money with it but also get to do so many other things.
I am one of the topmost bloggers in India. I started my blogging career in 2009.
I personally started blogging for two good reasons
- I wanted to help people and
- Of course to make money with it.
There could be other solid reasons for starting a blog like-
- Blogging makes you a better writer and thinker.
- You meet thousands of new people & followers through comments, social media or email.
- You help and inspire others through your blog.
- You can promote your own business or services through blogging.
- You become popular and more confident.
Whatever is the reason, the point is a blog can be a very powerful tool for achieving various goals.
When you get so many benefits and you can create your blog with very less investment then why not create your own blog today.
You just can’t ignore it.
Take my example, I started blogging in 2009. I was unable to do much for almost 2 years but I learned a lot about blogging.
After 2 years, I started 2 new blogs SureJob.in and MoneyConnexion.com.
For next few years, I single mindedly focused on this blog and in just a period of 5 years I was able to make more than $1 million.
I bought 2 apartments with it and last year I purchased a BMW 520d Luxury Line. Moreover, I frequently travel to nice places twice a year with my family.
I could support all this lifestyle only because of blogging. (To be honest, I maintain more than 2 blogs.)
And now I want to help out others who want to learn blogging.
So let us get started!
Free Blogs vs Self Hosted Paid Blogs
There are 2 ways to make a blog- one is free and other is by paying around $100 (Rs 7000) for a domain name & hosting.
You can start a free blog with Blogger.com, Wix.com, WordPress.com etc. but there are many limitations for creating a free blog with any of these.
To make things clearer I am giving you 6 compelling reasons why you shouldn’t start a free blog.
- Domain name of your blog will look like YourBlogName.blogspot.com or YourBlogName.wix.com which is too lengthy to read as compared to a paid blog that reads YourBlogName.com.
- You will face serious limitations incorporating many design changes.
- Monetization will become difficult affecting your revenue adversely.
- The whole process of shifting from free platform to paid one is very tedious and you might also lose some of the traffic & revenue.
- Your readers, advertisers and clients are not going to take you seriously.
- Lastly, you are not in control of your content because everything is in the hands of the free platform you are using. If anything goes wrong with your blog, they will suspend your blog & you can't do anything.
I hope the above 6 reasons are good enough to convince you for not creating a free blog.
And if you want to buy a self hosted blog with any web hosting company, you have to pay $100 or more.
But today, I will show you how to get a full-featured self hosted blog in less than $60. You will also get a free domain & free SSL certificate with this domain.
How to Start Your First Blog
Now you can start a blog from getting a domain name to hosting for just $60 (Rs 4000/- in India).
Here is the step by step procedure to get up and running your first ever blog.
Step 1: Choosing a Right CMS
Step 2: Selecting an Appropriate Domain Name
Step 3: Selecting Best Hosting Provider
Step 4: Setting Up the Blog
Step 5: Designing Your Blog
Step 6: Start Earning
You can also watch this video for easy step-by-step guide for quick help-
Let’s dig deep into each of these steps.
Step 1: Choosing a Right CMS
CMS or Content Management System is basically a blogging platform like Blogspot, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, TypePad etc where you are going to put all your files in.
Out of so many blogging platforms available out there we are going to go with WordPress because of following great reasons.
- It's free.
- It's very easy to design a blog and understand its dashboard.
- WordPress gives you so much flexibility to design any kind of website with the help of their 5000+ free and paid themes.
- Right now there are over 70,000 free plugins offered by WordPress to run your blog faster and efficiently.
- Lastly, there is a whole WordPress community out there who can help you for anything you might need while setting up a blog. Join their WordPress Forum.
98% of blogs in the world are currently using WordPress. Even I use WordPress for all my blogs including this blog SureJob.
So I highly recommend you to create your blog with WordPress CMS.
Step 2: Selecting an Appropriate Domain Name
Step 2 is very important because a domain name is going to reflect your blog’s niche. So you have to do justice to your blog by choosing a right domain name.
My blog SureJob.in is all about jobs and career as the very name suggests. I chose the name keeping my niche and audience in mind. So you have to do the same thing.
If you are planning to start a blog on Football or Cricket then choose names like CricketingWorld.in or SoccerFan.com.
If you love dogs and cats then go for something like CatsnDogs.com or PetsWorld.com etc.
I think you got the idea!
Following are the few things you have to keep in mind.
#1 Domain name must be in sync with the purpose of your blog. Check above video for choosing a domain.
#2 Name must be easy to remember and pronounce.
#3 Try for a .com extension. You can target worldwide with .com. If you don't find .com with your desired domain, then feel free to go with other extensions like .in, .org, .net, .info, .co etc
#4 ignore number and dash in domain.
Finalize on one of the most appropriate domain names.
Step 3: Selecting Best Hosting Provider
WordPress is just a software with which you create a blog by putting all the necessary files together.
But where are you going to host your blog?
Well that is what you need a hosting provider for?
A hosting provider stores all your content of your blog like text files, css files, images, videos etc at one place and make it available to the world.
So you need a hosting provider to use your domain name and make it accessible all around the world.
But which hosting provider are you going to choose?
In last 9 years I’ve used and experienced over a dozen of hosting providers. But one of the most reliable hosting providers I came across is Bluehost.
WordPress.org and most of the other top bloggers recommend Bluehost as their first choice.
One of the best thing that I like about Bluehost is their support. You can chat online 24×7 and in most of the case, they solve your problem in just 5 minutes.
Step 4: Setting Up the WordPress Blog with Bluehost
I have an exclusive partnership with Bluehost for SureJob readers.
Actual price of the 1 year hosting with a domain is $85 but if you use my special discount link then you will get the hosting for just $60 (Rs 4000 for Indians).
And you get your domain for FREE.
So go ahead and create your first blog for just $60.
To make things clear and simple for new bloggers we are using images with pointers.
- Visit Bluehost here.
- Click on the green colour “Get Started” button.
- Now you are taken to the hosting plan’s page. There are four plans offered by Bluehost Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, Pro. Choose the Basic Plan if you want to start just one blog.
- If you are planning to start more blogs in future, then you can buy Plus Plan. In future, you can start multiple blogs with the same hosting without paying anything.
Read the features and click on the “Select” button.
5. On the next page, you have to add your free domain. Refer step no. 2 for deciding your domain. Type your domain and click ‘Next‘ button.
if you want to decide later, just click “I'll create my domain later“.
Until then, Bluehost will setup your blog on a temp domain. As soon as you decide your domain later, it will be added to your blog. Here I chose my domain name digitalmarketingcourseinmumbai.com.
6. On the next page, you have to add account information. Enter your name, address and other details. Choose 12 months in ‘Account Plan‘. You also get free SSL along with free domain. SSL makes your site https. It's good for Google search traffic.
You don't need Domain Privacy, SiteLock Security & Codeguard Basic. You can untick all 3 Extras in the ‘Package Extras‘.
Your Total price will be $60 after you remove extras.
7. Then you need to add your payment information. You can pay through credit card or PayPal (through more Payment Option). Then check the Bluehost terms box and click on Submit.
8. After clicking Submit button, you will get success message from bluehost. Then click on ‘Create Account‘.
9. On the next page, you have to create your password for bluehost account. Create a strong password as suggested below.
10. Next you will see the Login screen as below. Click on ‘go to login‘.
11. Login to your bluehost account with the password you have just created. Type your password and click ‘Login‘.
12. On the next page, you need to setup your blog. Add your blog name and a tagline. Enable ‘Do you want a Blog?'. Select ‘My Home Page' for ‘Display blogpost on' option. Then click on ‘Continue‘.
13. On the next page, it will ask “Tell us a bit more about you”. You can choose what you like OR refer this image below.
Then click “Continue to Theme Selection“.
12. On next page, you can select any theme if you like. These are free themes. You can skip this step if you did not like any theme. If you don't select any theme for your blog, then it will install the latest theme from WordPress.
13. On the next page, your blog will be setup on a temporary domain as shown in the image below. Your actual domain will be added to your hosting in next 2-3 hours. Bluehost recommended some settings, you can tick what you want. Then click on blue color ‘WordPress‘ button.
14. You will then be taken to your WordPress Admin Panel. You will be taken to WordPress Dashboard as shown below.
Now use all the powerful yet simple to use WordPress features to transform your blog into a masterpiece.
(You can login to your account by adding /wp-admin to your blog and then login with your email and password. e.g. yourdomain.com/wp-admin)
Step 5: Designing Your Blog
Here are some of the most important things to do after creating your blog.
1. Create a new user
You have already created an administrator account. As an administrator, you can make any changes in your blog. You can install any theme, plugins, creates posts, pages, categories and users and many other things.
Your Admin user and password must be very strong. Spammers and hackers can attack your blog with spam and malware if they are able to guess your admin username and password.
You need to do 2 things to avoid this.
- Make Admin username and password very strong.
- Don’t publish any post or pages through Admin account and don’t approve or write any comment through admin account.
You need to publish posts, pages and moderate the comments you receive on your blog from an Editor account.
You can easily create an Editor account by clicking on Users as shown in the above image.
- Click Users –> Add New
- Enter username, email, First name & Last name of a new user.
- WordPress will suggest you a strong password. Click on ‘show password’ button to see your password. Copy this password and note down.
- Choose role as ‘Editor’ from the drop down.
- Click Add New User.
Now if you want to publish a post or page from Editor account, you can logout from the option on the top right and login with the Editor username and password.
Login URL for your blog is yourblogname.com/wp-admin.
2. Install a theme after starting your blog
When you install WordPress for creating your blog, WordPress installs a default theme in your blog.
A theme is the most important part of your blog. It changes the look, design, style and layout of your blog.
There are thousands of free & paid themes available for WordPress bloggers.
If you want to install any free theme, then take your mouse to ‘Appearance‘ and then click on themes (see above dashboard image).
Click on ‘Add New’ button and you will find thousands of free themes. You can find Featured theme, Popular themes, Latest themes and other options.
You can use the ‘Feature Filter’ option to find more themes.
Check the details and preview of each theme and install the one that you like the most.
If you have budget, you can find thousands of premium themes on ThemeForest.
Experiment with your theme and make a great design.
3. Install Important Plugins
WordPress plugins are like apps that help you to add more features to your blog and make it more efficient & fast. You must install some of the important plugins for starting your blog.
Click on ‘Plugins' (as in image) and then ‘Add New‘ to install plugins.
Some of the important plugins are Yoast SEO, JetPack, Contact Form 7, Akismet, Classic Editor, WP Super Cache, Smush Image Compression.
You can search these plugins and click on ‘More Details’ to know more about each plugin.
Click on ‘Install Now’ button and then ‘Activate’ button to install and activate the plugin.
You can check more plugins from the Featured, Popular & Recommended fields there.
4. Add Your First Post
You should write detailed posts and publish at least 2-3 posts every week. Your readers should be happy and satisfied with your posts.
Google will rank your posts and give traffic if you write useful posts with original ideas.
Write your first 800+ words posts and publish on your blog.
Take your mouse to ‘Posts’ and click ‘Add New’ to add your first blogpost.
Add a title in ‘Add title’ section & copy your article in the text area. Add good image(s) to your post. And then click on Publish button to publish your first post.
Congratulation! This is your first post after starting your blog.
Keep writing and publishing such Awesome posts.
Other things you can do in your blog are Adding categories, creating navigation menu and adding the same on your blog. You will find more details in my next article.
Step 6: Start Earning
Blogging is becoming a very popular full time career in India and around the globe. Millions of bloggers are making $1000 to $100,000 per month from their blog.
Blogging is a full time career for me. I work 10 hours a day and 6 days a week on my blog. I make around $20,000 per month from my blogs.
So if you want to earn some great money with your blog, you need to get serious for your blog.
You paid almost nothing for starting your blog. But you need to work hard if your target is $2000+ per month.
Your income would totally depend upon the number of visitors you bring to your blog. More the traffic you bring in, more the money you make.
There are two main areas you need to focus on to increase traffic.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Focus on writing quality content that people find educating, problem solving, entertaining and joyful to read.
A good content is not enough if it fails to reach out to a wider audience. Your blog is of no use if it can’t rank high on Google Search engine. Hence you also need to learn SEO for ranking high on Google.
SEO is a vast subject and to learn it you need few months at least. Here are some resources to learn SEO.
You also need to learn social media marketing to get traffic from sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube etc.
Basically, you have to exploit all the channels to increase the traffic to your blog.
Once you start bringing enough traffic to your blog you can monetize it with various advertising platforms.
Google Adsense is one of the best platform. You can show Google ads on your blog and earn for each click. Adsense is blogger’s first choice when it comes to contextual advertisement.
You can also earn through selling products and services on other’s behalf which is also known as affiliate marketing. Amazon Associate is one such example.
As you gain experience you will learn a number of others ways to monetize your blog and earn more money.
But as a beginner keep it simple and focus on Google Adsense.
So this was the complete guide on starting a blog in less than Rs 1200 (or $12).
Step 1 to Step 3 are very easy to learn. But you need to read again and again Step 4 until it is clear to you. We’ve explained it very well using images.
Step 5 about designing is also bit technical and you have to pay a closer attention.
Finally Step 6 is very important because you’ve to implement it every day unlike step 1 to step 5 which have to be implemented only once.