You really don’t need that much money to setup a blog. First of all, You need a Computer. I have never tried to create one from a Pad of mobile Phone, so I simply don’t know if it’s possible. I just know it’s relatively easy with a computer. You need an Internet connection. Most people already have Wi-Fi at home or at work, so they already have an Internet connection. I won’t explain how to setup an Internet connection here. Maybe some other time. Since you must to pay to have your blog online, a credit card or a Paypal account will be required. You might also need a camera and an image editing software, but they are not required to start the blog itself. It might be a good idea to have them eventually, if it get more serious.
First of all: Hosted or Self-hosted? You really need to have a blog that is “Self-hosted”, you will be able to modify it as you please and post whatever you want on it. Being self-hosted also means that you will have your own “.com”. Some sites like “blogger.com” offer to host your blog, but the problem with those site is you would not just really own your blog. If you don’t want to have to migrate your blog later, as well do it right from the start.
Having your own site cost around 10$ per month, which is very affordable for most people. Site like “BlueHost” has a great deal at $5.95 per month, it’s just great for a startup. It is basically this only thing you really need to pay for. If you’re serious and want to go ahead with your blogging, you have to register a website.
If you follow an affiliate link like this Bluehost or others ones lower on this page and purchase that product or service, I will be paid a small commission. I only recommend products or services I know and trust.
Bluehost also give you a domain name free with you website. The difficulty now, is to find a website name for your blog. Since almost every basic “.com” name are already given, you will have to find one that is not. Why a “.com” instead of a “.biz” or “.ca” or whatever other extension? Well, it’s a question of credibility. If you’re serious and want to be recognized, the “.com” are the way to go. It’s more difficult to find, but it just tells people that you are serious enough to take the hard road, instead of the easy one.
You have to find a name that rely on the subject of your blog. Since you want a .com, and most of the short names are probably already taken, so you will have to opt for a longer one. Two or three words is the norm now, unless you create a word that doesn’t exist in any language. Just like my site “Usefulnext.com“, made from the words “useful” and “next“, and look a bit like “usefulness“. You will have to be creative, and whatever you choose, just show it to someone in your family or friends. They will give you an honest and un-bias opinion, and maybe some suggestions you could use.
The main advantage to do it is to have instant Google Ranking. The Google ranking permit to have better search result in Google. Instead of creating a new name with a ranking of “1” and being on the bottom of Google search result, you can buy a name that someone dropped that already has a good ranking.
Here’s how to find those abandonned domain names: First you have to register at expireddomains.net, it’s free. On this site you make a search for the keywords to find domains names related to your main subject. I did it with the word “photo” to find names that I could use later on since i’m a photographer. By searching in the “deleted domains” section, I found three domains names that were useful: bangonpictures.com, photo-technique.com, picture-speak.com. When you find names that have possibilities, you have to check their rankings. You can do it on the moonsy authority page, it’s easy and free, you just enter your domain name in the “URL:” and click check.
I decided to buy all three of them for later use. For the moment, I only redirected them here on usefulnext or to my photographer website tonytremblay.com. I will probably switch my domain name from “usefulnext” to one of them later and improve my domain ranking. I also plan to setup a blog with the same informations as this site, but in french, with one of the other domain names.
You can also find names that are not deleted yet, but it’s a bit more complicated and sometimes costly. I will explain more in details later, in another post, how to search for those domain names.
By now, I supposed you already have your web space and name already selected and registered. If you did choose Bluehost, the next time you will log on their website, it should bring you to this window:
From there, you click the “Install WordPress” icon to install It. WordPress is the program used by the vast majority of bloggers in the world. They offer informations on how to install it on their site here. If something goes wrong with the automatic installation, there’s a way around. This site explain what to do if something goes wrong during the automatic installation.
Now that WordPress is installed:
You need to enter your “website.com” into your web browser. This will bring you to your website login page.
Enter your Bluehost login name and password and click “log in“.
Here’s a basic description of the WordPress Menu.
When you start WordPress for the first time, it doesn’t feel very inviting. Don’t worry, that’s not all. If you don’t want to start building your blog from absolute scratch, you need to install a theme. Themes are some kind of presentation for your blog. For my site, I use a theme from Inktheme called “Colorway“. It’s perfect if you want a blog with some visual animations and a Professional look, but don’t need to have a store. There’s a bunch of themes there you can choose and test. You can also choose a free theme on the WordPress website, they probably don’t look as good but they just don’t cost anything.
When you download a theme, you will receive a zip file that contain everything WordPress need to install it. I strongly suggest you try at least two or three different themes, just to get familiar with the differences between them before you choose which one you implant.
To install themes, just select “Dashboard” on your WordPress Menu. Go to “Appearance” and select “themes“. From there you can chose a basic default theme from WordPress or select “add new” to install a new one. If you already downloaded a theme from a website, click on “New one” and click “Upload theme” and select the zip file you received from the Template website. You dont need to unzip the file, WordPress will take care of everything.
In the Setting “General” section:
In the Appearance “Customize“:
In the Appearance “themes Option” or “Inktheme option” or “Other Theme” Options:
Et Voilà.. Now let’s install some plugin.
You have your blog theme ready, now you have to install the plugins and widgets. Don’t worry, everything I will suggest here you can get them for free. To Install a Plugin, select “Plugins” and “Add New” on your WordPress Menu. At the Top Right of your Windows you can see the “Search Plugins” window. Just enter the name of the plugin you want to install or enter the type of plugins you’re searching (Ex.: SEO) to have a list of related plugins. So what do you install? Well, let’s start with these 3 categories:
Once installed, you need to activate and configure every plugins. Most already have default settings though. Plugins are not perfect and sometimes you have conflicts between them. You have to be aware of this. It happen often between plugins from the same categories. A good practice is to install only one plugin at the time, this way, you will be able to tell which one is causing the conflict.
These Tools come mainly from websites, they are free.
Since I’m not a Marketing expert, I will show you free stuff I learn that can help you advertise your site.
That’s about it folks, you should be able to setup a blog with all these informations now, if it’s not already done. I hope I didn’t forget anything important. I will probably add more stuff as I find them, you can also subscribe to receive my blog updates.
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