If you want to get ahead in a bank, you will need to be known as a team player. Every appraisal at every firm I’ve ever worked for has included a review on my for enthusiasm for contributing to the well-being of the team. Every appraisal conversation I’ve ever had with a manager has included something along the lines of, “You’ve worked well within your team, but now you need to expand your teamwork to the rest of the floor.” Being a team player is the sort of thing that has no end.
It is also utter cr*p. In banking you are a team player at your own risk. And yet if you don’t perfect the art of appearing to be a team player, it will be used as a stick to beat you with at bonus time. – It’s one of the common weaknesses a manager will use against you in the annual review.
So what can you do about it? The art is this: you must be a team player, but only in areas where the ramifications will not damage you. For example, you do not want to be a team player when you’re building a relationship with a client; you do not want to take your “team” to a client meeting. Every client now interacts with dozens of employees at a bank and the reality is that you need to fight for your tiny share of that – not dilute it. A former manager of mine insisted on attending all my big client meetings and seeing all the emails I sent to them. – Eventually he took over all those accounts himself. This happens a lot. Beware.
Instead of being a team player, you need to play the game. When you’re in sales, this means you need to big-up your colleagues in call reports and to mention them in a nice way in group meetings. Nothing more. Where I work, cross-selling functionality was developed in our CRM tool but no one used it – because no one wants to introduce their client to someone else.
In a bank, therefore, being a team player is an exercise in politics. It’s about saying one thing and doing another. You need to know the right words: to talk about cross-selling, to say you’re leveraging the team, to reference how important everyone else is, and to quietly get on with building your own profile. Teamwork in banking is all about dropping colleagues’ names and networking relentlessly so that people know who you are and what you do. If you’re gullible enough to do any more than that you can expect to get burned.
Arnaud LeManche is the pseudonym of a salesperson in U.S. bank
Not only is blogging a great pastime, but with a blog, you can express yourself in a unique way, help others with problems you’ve overcome, establish yourself as an expert, and even make some money.
However, getting started the RIGHT way in your blogging career can mean the difference between a blog with a growing, loyal readership…
…or worse, another addition to the internet graveyard.
If you’re new to blogging, it really helps to have someone to point you in the right direction and help you avoid fatal mistakes.
As you’ll soon find out…
That’s why I’ve put this page together for you – to give beginners a fast, foolproof guide to starting a blog without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials.
In fact, over 9,500 newbies just like YOU have already setup blogs using this guide!
I’ve put this comprehensive resource together to walk you through the process to set up your blog in just 5 easy steps…
Here’s How to Start a Blog:
Choose a blogging platform.
Register a domain name and hosting.
Design your blog.
Add posts and pages.
Start growing your blog.
The goal of this page is to help you get started the right way today.
Not tomorrow, next week, or next month…but right now.
From 5+ years of coaching and helping friends with their blogs, I’ve found that many pupils make the same exact mistakes when starting a blog, sometimes resulting in them abandoning the project altogether…
We don’t want that to happen to you.
Here’s the deal:
Today I want you to take the time to thoroughly read this post. It’s about 4,000 words long (20 minutes), so get comfy and set aside some time.
I’m going to walk you through the entire process of setting up your self-hosted blog, so you ‘get it right the first time’ without any of the frustrations or headaches I experienced with my very first blog.
Ready to create your blog today? Alright, let’s get right into it.
Step 1: Choose the Right Blogging Platform (Hint hint: Use WordPress)
My Only Recommended Hosting Provider
Industry-leading blog load speed and uptime
Free 24/7/365 email, chat, and phone support
Free SSL Certificate (normally $78.99/year)
Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
The #1 blog host for beginners
Get started for only $10/month$2.92/month
72% off exclusive, limited-time discount using coupon code: “STARTBLOG”
Before you can even start worrying about how your blog will look like, you’ll need to choose your blogging platform.
There are A LOT to choose from. You are able to create a blog with many different blogging platforms, such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and more…
However, given that there are over 72 million active users using WordPress today (1), it’s clear which platform is the boss.
All of my own blogs and sites are built with the WordPress blogging platform.
It’s FREE for everyone to use (including themes, layouts, and add-ons that many other blogging platforms don’t provide).
It’s super easy for you to set up on your own. I’ll show you exactly how in a little bit…
It’s safe & secure; WordPress is always updating their software and keeping everything sound and secure, so there’s rarely a worry of having your blog come under hacking attacks. No wonder NASA, Time Magazine, and even top university blogs are using WordPress (2).
It’s HIGHLY customizable. There are hundreds of free themes and plugins that add more functionality to your blog, from contact and subscribe boxes to plugins that improve blog performance and more.
While the other blogging platforms are generally all pretty okay; nothing, in my opinion, has ever come close to matching the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers.
So without a doubt, go with WordPress. Especially when you are just starting out.
Why You Shouldn’t Create a Blog on a Free Blogging Platform
Without a doubt, you need to self-host your WordPress blog. This means you are in complete control of your own website and content.
Think about it – what famous, successful blogger you know is using a free blogging website like “www.startbloggingonline.freeblogsite.com” instead of their own domain name like “www.StartBloggingOnline.com”, for example?
It’s not just that – free blogging platforms will cause you other headaches too.
It gets worse:
You don’t control your content – the blogging platform does. They could shut you down anytime, and for any reason (3).
The web address of your blog will be long and hard to remember (like www.yourfreeblog.blogspot.com) instead of a catchy, branded address you choose.
You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it much harder to ever make money from blogging.
All of these limitations apply to the WordPress.COM blogs.
What you really want is to self-host a WordPress.ORG blog – it’s the same software without all the limitations!
If I were you, I’d start with a self-hosted blog on my own domain from day one. That way you won’t have to experience the massive technical headache I did when transferring from a free hosting to self-hosted blog.
Setting up a blog like this is WAY easier and less expensive than you might think, especially with the special deal and coupon code I’ve got for you below…
Finding a Domain Name and Web Hosting Provider
Now to the exciting part!
To set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain name, you’ll need two things:
Domain Name – This will be your personal blog address where people find your awesome articles over and over again. For example, Google’s domain is www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behind YourNewBlog.
The cost of a domain name is usually $10/year, but if you follow this guide all the way, I’ll show you how to get one for much cheaper…
Web Hosting – This will be the home of your blog address and content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a computer hard drive that stores all your content on your blog (images, blog posts and so on).
The cost of good web hosting is usually somewhere between $10-15 per month, but you will get over 70% OFF with the coupon code below.
With my special deal for you below the total cost will come out to less than a venti coffee at Starbucks a month – so it won’t break the bank.
It’s a relatively small, yet extremely important investment for your long-term blogging success.
Where Should I Get My Domain Name and Hosting?
When it comes to web hosting, there are only two things that matter.
Page load speed – The average amount of time (in seconds) it takes your blog to load.
Uptime – How often your site is up and running. 99.9% isn’t enough (that’s still 43 minutes of downtime per month). You should be aiming for 100%.
There are literally THOUSANDS of different web hosting providers.
They all offer you a similar service (domain name + hosting) with a relatively similar price.
And luckily for you, I’ve already done the research to narrow the list down to the one and only reliable service you should consider using for your first blog.
Note: As a longtime customer and independent review site, we get compensated if you purchase from the referral links below – at no additional cost to you. In fact, we have a killer discount so you will actually pay less for the same service through the links below.
Remember, I want to help you avoid the same mistakes I made when I first got into the blogging world, and save you from experiencing any sleepless nights from scrambling to get your website back online.
I’ve dealt with and monitored many famous and recommended web hosting companies like Bluehost, iPage, Godaddy etc…
Nothing has ever come close to HostGator for me in terms of blog load speed and uptime (see below):
HostGator has great performance, they are easy to use, and it’s absolutely the best pick for beginners like you.
Additionally, HostGator is one of the few web hosts that now offers Free SSL Certificates. This not only adds trust with Google, but with your site visitors as well!
With an SSL Certificate, your domain name will start with HTTPS and show up as Secure with a green padlock next to the URL in a browser like this:
Basically, with HostGator your website will look legit from Day 1.
You can always go with another web hosting service as long as it’s fast, reliable, and offers unlimited storage & bandwidth. This helps you to avoid problems later on.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of blogging platforms, it’s time to start walking the walk! With the next step, we’ll get your blog set up and running.
Let’s get crackin’:
Step 2: Set up a Blog on Your Own Domain Name (Self-Hosted WordPress)
If you don’t have a hosting or a domain name yet – don’t worry. I’ll be showing this in a minute…
At the end of this step (2), you will have a fully working self-hosted WordPress blog on your own domain name!
Sounds promising, huh?
If for some odd reason you don’t want to use HostGator, you can always choose another hosting provider. I can’t promise they’ll be that good, but the registration and the setup process should be somewhat similar.
Some hosting companies do not have one-click install for WordPress. If that’s the case, see this guide for installing WordPress manually (not recommended for beginners, though).
1. Go to www.HostGator.com and then click “Start Your WordPress Blog”.
Remember: Since I’m using HostGator by myself too, I’ve got an exclusive discount for you as thanks for using this guide (72% OFF).
You will get premium hosting for only $2.92/month instead of $10.95! You will not find a deal this good anywhere else…
It gets better:
The coupon code “STARTBLOG” will be applied automatically when you click the link below. Enjoy 🙂
Don’t delay since this amazing deal with the link above expires at the end of October 2018.
2. Pick a Domain Name For Your Blog
Already have a domain name? If not, why not check out our post here to see how much a domain name actually costs.
But if you already have one, then just write it in the right box (I already own this domain) and keep moving to the next step by scrolling down a bit.
How do I choose a good domain name?
Choosing a bad domain name is one of the most common mistakes I see bloggers make. Be sure you choose a domain name that is…
1. Easy to Remember – Don’t choose a nonsense name, something tough to spell, or a long name full of dashes. “www.best-tech-gadgets-in-the-world.com” won’t ever stick in someone’s head, but something like “www.techgeeks.com” rolls off the tongue.
2. Unique and Descriptive – You want a name that reflects who you are and what you care about. Be creative and build an identity you’re excited about!
3. Trustworthy – Domain extensions like “.com”, “.org” or “.net” are the most popular, with “.com” being the one most people think of first. Try to avoid crazy extensions like “.rocks” or “.biz”, as these are less commonly used, tougher to remember and not as trusted.
Type the domain name you want to use in the box, then click “next”. If the name is available, you’ll be able to claim it. If it’s not available, choose another one.
If the name you want isn’t available, HostGator will show you some alternatives that are similar – or you can punch in a new name and try again. I’d suggest you use something that ends with .com, .net or .org
3. Choose Your Blog Hosting Plan
I recommend the “Hatchling” plan for now – you can always upgrade later if you decide you want more advanced features, but you get more than enough to get started with the Hatchling.
4. Complete Your Registration
Once you’ve chosen the Hatchling plan and found a name you like that’s available, you’ll need to register it by putting in your contact and billing information.
You’ll also have a chance to customize your package a bit.
This is a chance to save some more money, so don’t skip it! Be sure to apply the discount code “STARTBLOG” for 72% off.
I would take a look at each of these additional services to see if you want any of them, but they are not 100% necessary for you at this stage.
5. Log In To Your New Account And Install WordPress Blog
It may take a few minutes for HostGator to register your account, so be patient. You will get a confirmation email when your new account is officially ready.
Once you’ve logged in to your control panel (all the information you need for that should be in your inbox), it’s time to install WordPress. Thankfully, this takes just one click!
Log-in to your Hostgator control panel
At the top click “Get Started With WordPress Today”
If WordPress isn’t there for some reason, scroll down a little bit on the control panel and click on “Quick Install” under the Software & Services section. Look at the top of the page, in the left sidebar section for WordPress.
Once clicked, you’ll be automatically transferred to Mojomarketplace.com – don’t panic, this is just a site that helps HostGator install platforms (like WordPress).
You should immediately see a screen where you’re offered to “Install” or “Import” WordPress. Click “Install” to get to the next step.
When you’re finished, “Install WordPress”. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a loading bar at the top of your page that will eventually tell you that your WordPress blog has been installed and you’ll see your log-in credentials.
6. Log In And Check Out Your New Blog
Once the installation completes, you’ll get an email that shares your login information, including an “Admin URL”. (In case you missed that notification bar)
To log in to your blog, click the admin URL. If you forget this URL, it’s simply www.yourblog.com/wp-admin (where “yourblog” is your domain name).
Congratulations – you now know how to make a blog using WordPress. You’ve installed WordPress and set up your blog, all on your own! As you can see, it was really easy and straightforward.
Now that your blog is set up, read on to learn how to design your blog and make your very first post.
Step 3: Designing Your Blog
In this section, I’ll show you some WordPress blog basics, including:
Changing your blog’s design
Installing new WordPress plugins/features
Making your blog search engine friendly
If you’ve set up your blog, you’re now ready to start using WordPress and customizing your blog. I promise – it’ll be pretty easy and fun at the same time.
Remember: You can log in to your blog by going to www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/ and using the credentials you set up with HostGator or any other hosting company you used.
Sample of a customized WordPress blog (SmartPassiveIncome.com)
Changing Your Blog’s Design (Themes & Layouts)
WordPress blogging platform uses design templates called “WordPress Themes” to figure out how your site should look. Changing your blog’s layout and design is as simple as installing a new theme.
There are over 2,000 professionally designed, fully-customizable and free themes to choose from – so you’ve got a lot of options. If you want to see premium themes and designs like the Genesis Framework, head over to Themeforest.net
Here’s How To Find And Install A Theme You Love:
When you log in for the first time, you’ll see a dashboard or admin panel that looks something like this:
Mouse-over the “Appearance” tab in the WordPress sidebar, then click on “Themes”.
On the next screen, you’ll see several themes are already installed. If you don’t like those, click the “Add New” button at the top, or the great big “Add New” square to start searching for a theme.
Now, you’ll see tabs where you’ll find featured, popular and brand new themes, as well as a “Feature Filter” and search bar.
I really like the “Feature Filter” option, because you can choose themes in certain color schemes, select specific layouts and even choose themes with built-in advanced features.
Just choose the options you want, then click “Apply Filters” on the left hand side. If you’re finding this challenging, just search by keyword – there’s no wrong way!
When you’ve found a theme you like, click “Install”. You’re nearly done!
Once the theme has been installed, all that’s left to do is click “Activate” on the next screen:
Configuring Your Blog To Be Search Engine Friendly
There are some things you’d need to do to make your blog more search engine friendly.
Search engines do not like two things:
Ugly and clumsy URL-s – http://yourblog.com/2012/04/topic-a/author-Karen/how-to-start-a-blog. A much better way is to use: http://yourblog.com/start-a-blog
See the difference? One is filled with irrelevant information and the other one is short, clean and neat.
In order to change your links to a more cleaner, click on the “Settings” -> “Permalinks” and use the following settings:
2. Spam comments – Unfortunately, lots of people want to leave automated spam comments on your blog. They do that for a couple of reasons – to get people from your blog to their blog and to advertise their services/products.
To avoid that, make sure you moderate your comments. Here’s how to do that: Go to “Settings” –> “Discussion” and tick those two options.
Step 4: Adding & Writing Blog Posts and Pages
By now you should have a fully working WordPress blog on your very own domain name. You should also have a custom blog theme that fits with your blog’s topic.
Congrats again – you’ve done a LOT and I’m proud that you’ve managed to get so far.
In the LAST step, I’ll show you how to write your first blog post and share some tips for writing blog posts.
In this section, I’ll show you…
How to write a post in WordPress
How to add images, links and format text
Some quick tips and tricks for writing great content
Using WordPress to Blog
Adding a New Post
To add a new blog post, click the “Posts” section on the left-hand side-menu, then click on “Add New”.
On the next screen, you’ll see something like this:
You can add the title to your blog post in the top field, and your content goes in the big text box below the title.
You can save your draft or publish your content live by using the box menu on the far right of the page. You can even schedule the post to be published later – or make the post private so only friends can see it.
Once published, your new post can be found in the “All Posts” section of the “Posts” tab, so you can edit it anytime.
Let’s take a quick look at some things you can do to spruce up your post:
To add an image to your post, click the “Add Media” button right above the lower content field.
Tip: Before you click “Add Media”, be sure you’ve left your cursor inside of your blog post where you want the image to show up. Otherwise, you’ll have to move it later on.
Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, then click “Select Files”.
Once you’ve found the file, double-click it and WordPress will upload it automatically.
When the upload is finished, make sure the image you want is selected, then click the “Insert into post” button to add the image to the post you’re writing.
Adding a Link
Linking out to other websites is a great way to build relationships and share interesting content.
To add a link, click on the icon in the toolbar that looks a bit like a chain link.
On the pop-up, you’ll need to enter a few important bits of information.
URL is the web address of the link you want to share. Make sure you include “http://” before the “www.” address, or your link will be broken.
“Link Text” is the text you want people to click on to get to your link. It might be “Click here”, or anything you choose.
“Open link in a new window/tab” – it’s a smart idea to check this box. Otherwise, when someone clicks your link, they’ll leave your blog.
If you want to link to an existing page, you can use the “Search” section to find a post or page you’ve already created and click it to add a link.
Finally, click “Add Link”, and your link will be added where you left your cursor in the post you were writing.
Adding Headers & Editing Text
It’s a good idea to use headers and bolding to make your content easier to read and scan.
To add a heading, click on the drop-down menu on the bottom left of the toolbar.
Try to only use “Heading 1” once within your page (usually at the top), and use “Heading 2” or “Heading 3” for other sections in the copy, as this is better for search engines.
Tip: You can also highlight the text you want to change in your blog post, THEN click on the drop-down menu and select the format you want the text to be in.
You can also bold, italicize, underline and even change the color of your text in a click or two.
“B” is for bolding
“I” is for italics
“U” is to underline your text
“A” will open a dropdown menu where you can select font color
As you can see, this is all pretty simple for anyone who has worked with Microsoft Word before.
Step 5: Start Growing Your Blog
Now that you have set up your blog and know the basics, it’s time to make your blog successful. Many beginners struggle at that point, thus I’ve put together a handful of guides to get you going easier.
If I were you, I’d suggest you go and check my resource page here. It contains all the content that I’ve published on StartBloggingOnline.com over the past couple of years.
Analytics from StartBloggingOnline.com (taken from my personal laptop)
Things To Do After You’ve Created Your Blog:
The first thing I’d do is create a proper About Me and Contact page.
Q: Are blogs social media? A: Blogs can be considered social media because they have comments and social interactions. However, from a technical standpoint, analytics software does not count blog traffic as social media traffic.
Q: What’s the difference between a blog and a website? A: Blogs are frequently updated with articles while a website is generally “set it and forget it”. Blogs might have fewer features than a website and just focus on creating really good content. For this reason, a blog is more socially active, with shares and comments.
We’ve analysed this list and picked out some key learnings about what makes blogs successful:
Blogging is a long game
There’s no escaping the fact that finding success with a blog takes time. Tuts+ has been going for ten years, The Huffington Post for twelve, CopyBlogger eleven and Mashable for twelve. Gizmodo has been on the go since 2002! For those of you who have blogging ambitions on a marketing-leading scale, the lesson here is that you’ll have to be in it for the long haul.
That’s not to say you can’t achieve excellent results in the medium-term. Mashable reached 2 million readers in the space of just 18 months – but the site’s founder Pete Cashmore did put in 20-hour days writing tech articles over the course of the blog’s first year.
One of the things that jumps at us about this list of high-earning bloggers is the vast number of online influencers and personalities associated closely with the blogs – e.g. Arianna Huffington, Moz’s Rand Fishkin, and Perez Hilton. These people have all become famous thanks to their blogs – but at a certain point that dynamic evolved, and their individual celebrity became a factor in the sustained success of the blogs.
This suggests that putting personalities to the fore in your blog content won’t just bring positives for the personalities themselves; it may also prove to be traffic- and revenue-driving in the long-run.
Tech and marketing blogging is lucrative – and competitive
Eight of the ten high-earning blogs on Forbes’ list produce content about technology, marketing and IT. There exists hugely popular and high earning blogs in other fields too, but this does indicate that digital and marketing content has excellent earning potential. If you intend for your blog to generate a high level of revenue, you should carefully consider whether the subject matter you’ll be covering is easily monetizable.
Think you have what it takes to become a worldwide content marketing sensation?
Take our Free Benchmark Skills Test and see how your content marketing skills stack up against others working in similar roles in your industry.