Why being a successful blogger has not solely rely on good writing?

Okay, so you’ve set up your hosting, picked a theme for your WordPress site, and come up with a list of topics to write about,  What next?

Now it’s time to start writing.

Writing can be a daunting adventure for many people. In fact, it was once upon a time for me too.

I remember when I first started blogging, I wasn’t a writer in the traditional sense by any stretch. I just shared my thoughts, emotions, tips, tactics, and inspiration in a format that people could digest. It turns out they liked it.

You don’t have to be a masterful writer to start and run a successful blog. Blogging is therapeutic. It’s an outlet. A way for you to share and connect with the (believe it or not) millions of other people out in the world who are just like you. You just haven’t discovered each other yet!

But, if you are still daunted by the task of writing a blog, here is a 3-part formula you can follow for making every blog memorable:

  • Write a mind-blowing headline that entices people to click and read your blog when they discover it.
  • Hook readers in with short, punchy sentences, storytelling, and emotive language.
  • Keep people engaged with visuals such as screenshots, infographics, videos, image quotes, and GIFs.

Just remember blogging does not solely rely on how best you are in writing and in English grammar. Blogging also involves on how you connect with your readers, how to entice them, how to keep them to always read you blogr posts, and having more sense of humor in your blog. Here are one of the lists to take in writing a blog and to generate traffic.

  • Engage with your readers.
  • Come up with the best and unique topic.
  • Know how to generate real and organic traffic.
  • Use the free but really best source of engagement to get traffic the social media site.
  • Know how to use back-links.
  • Avoid illegitimate and doubtful free traffic source.
  • Lastly, always be upbeat and always keep the fire up.

Advertisements

A Science of Good Sleep: A Best Guide on How to Sleep Best Every Day

HOW TO QUIT YOUR DAY JOB AND TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH FUN AND GREAT EXPERIENCE

download

 

Four years ago on a sunny April morning, I slinked into my new office building, suit slightly too big, 24-years-old and clueless. It was my first day working at a large, prestigious bank in downtown Boston. The first day of the career that would ostensibly define the rest of my life.

 

I felt strangely powerful as I collected my new security badge and gained access to the sleek silver elevator. This was it. I was finally a real, live, functioning adult.

But that sense of power vanished once I was led to my new cubicle. Grey, sterile, joyless. I looked around and noted the smattering of other ambitious 20-somethings about me, awkwardly stuffed into cheap suits and business attire. Some worked furiously at their consoles, invigorated. Others slinked in their chairs, lifeless and a paper jam away from putting a shotgun in their mouth.

I would soon be one of the latter.

I sat, nervously sipping my energy drink as I waited for my new supervisor to come train me for the morning. She arrived around 8:30 AM and by 9 AM had shown me enough pointless procedures to make even the drabbest college textbook shout with a vibrant life in my memory. I woke up at 6:30 AM for this?

By 11 AM I silently asked myself when the soonest I’d be able to quit would be. I was two hours into my lifelong career choice of finance and I was already contemplating an escape route. “This is not a good sign,” I thought next.

I quit six weeks later.

How to quit your job and leave the cubicle hell

Image credit
: Ste3ve

I would love to tell you leaving the bank was one of those triumphant movie moments, where I walked out of the office with a sly smile and Kevin Spacey fist pump. The reality is that I felt like an idiot. I trembled as I put my two weeks in to my manager. When he asked what I planned on doing instead, my shaky reply of some sort of website blog thing sounded just as ridiculous to me as it probably did to him. By lunch, the news has spread around my team. Most of them were so confused, they awkwardly avoided talking to me and didn’t say goodbye. I imagine they believed I had just flushed my future down the toilet. Part of me believed the same.

I get a lot of emails from readers asking me how I manage to travel the world without holding down a so-called “steady job.”

The short answer is the internet. Before this blog, I ran a number of websites and projects that earned some money. Then I did some freelance work. Then I wrote a book. Then people started telling me to write more stuff and jump ahead five years and about 500,000 words and here I am.

Many people dream about dropping out of the rat race. They want to let go of the career ladder and find a way to spend more time doing what they love. I wholeheartedly endorse this life decision. Although I felt stupid when I left the bank and would spend most of the next two years scared out of my mind, broke, and working all hours of the day and night, it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.

There’s already a lot written out there in this area: quitting your job, making money online, starting a business, vagabonding around the world, etc. A lot of it’s great. But a lot of it doesn’t talk about the emotional realities — dealing with doubt, finding the motivation, addressing the strains on your friends and relationships. I want to paint a realistic portrait of this life change. There are a lot of challenges, both mental and emotional, but I encourage you to take the leap.

WHY YOU SHOULD TERRIFY YOURSELF

Honest question. Do you love what you do?

If the answer isn’t a resounding, knee-jerk, “Yes! I live for this shit,” then I encourage you to seriously consider doing something about it. That may sound extreme, but seriously, in 100 years you and everyone you know are going to be dead and your great-grandkids aren’t going to get misty-eyed remembering how you got that quarterly bonus or a corner office. This is your life and every breath you take is killing you. Stop screwing around.

Chances are the thought of leaving your day job terrifies you. This is normal and expected good even.

When I left the bank that day, I had only a vague idea of what I would do. I made a little bit of money here and there online. It wasn’t anything close to a full-time living, but I knew it was a new market that was growing quickly. And with some hard work combined with my savings, I (naively) believed I could have a full-time business up and running within a few months.

It turned out to take almost 18 months for me to earn a full-time steady income. I went broke a number of times, was supported by my ex-girlfriend for a time and then moved back home with my mother. For most of 2008-2009 I worked 10-16 hour days and the majority of my projects failed and made little or no money.

It was stressful to say the least.

People ask me what motivated me through this period. The answer is terror. Complete and unequivocal daily terror. I was absolutely terrified to fail. Granted there was some love in there as well (I loved my job and still do). But that’s also where the terror came from: the idea that I would never make money doing what I love; the terror that I’d have to go back to living off a job I hated; the terror that I would have wasted two years with nothing to show for it; the terror that all of my friends and family who thought I was crazy would be proven right.

This fear kept me up at nights, and more importantly kept me up at nights working.

I’ve met a number of people over the years who want to quit their jobs, to start their own businesses, to develop new streams of income. And they’re scared. Obviously. They should be. But instead of leveraging their terror into action, they spend all of their time planning and planning and planning and not doing anything.

80% of your plans are going to fail no matter what you do. Get used to it.

It’s not because we’re poor planners, it’s because there are simply too many unknowns. And the only way to uncover the unknowns and adjust for them is by getting out there and failing. So yes, you should be terrified of failing. And that is why you should do it anyway.

When I wanted to leave the bank, a number of friends and family members suggested that I continue to build my business on the side until I had a steady income. In hindsight, I think if I would have done that, I would not have made it. Giving up would have been too easy. I wouldn’t have had the time or energy necessary to do it. That ever-present fear motivating me would have been gone.

The terror that jumping in headfirst gave me was my most powerful asset. I was committed. I’d win or die trying. I sold my possessions (video games, computer, furniture, guitars — everything). I stopped most of my hobbies. I lost contact with a number of my friends. I knew all of these things would return once I became successful. But failure was not an option.

Intellect is great. Work ethic is great. Ability to adapt is definitely necessary. But you also need the emotional drive to push you to achieve your dreams. Everyone’s had the feeling where you know what you should do in your gut, feeling it and wanting it, but not having the emotional drive or wherewithal to actually get up and do it. So you continue sitting in the desk you hate day after day, year after year, waiting for something that’s never coming, trapped by your comfort and safe in your mediocrity.

Terrify yourself. Use it as your ally. Give yourself no option but your dream.

“There’s no reason to do shit you hate. None.”

PLANNING YOUR ESCAPE

OK, that’s all well and good, but let’s talk about reality. Especially if you have kids, house payments, car payments, student loans or health problems. What do you do?

1. SELL ALL YOUR USELESS CRAP AND GET YOUR FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER

Excess possessions are counterproductive for pursuing a remote lifestyle. And they’re often counterproductive for achieving happiness in general. If you own something that is eating away at you financially (furniture, car, etc.), consider cutting your losses and getting rid of it while you can. Debt is the devil. I wrote an entire post on getting rid of excess crap you don’t need here.

Doing this may make you squirm at first. Or you may be sitting there (once again) thinking I’m a total nutcase and unrealistic and you could never get rid of your super-double-upholstered Italian sofa that just ties the room together, but fuck you, sell it anyway. There are a million sofas in the world, your life experiences happen once. Get on it.

In extreme cases, this may involve selling your house. That may sound insane and may be completely unreasonable for you, especially if you have a family. If so, then rent it out. Obviously mileage may vary depending on who you are and what your life circumstances are. Why be miserable and financially stuck in a house when you can be happy and free in an apartment? Boom.

2. FIGURE OUT YOUR SOURCE OF INCOME

People seem to believe they’re trapped within the typical 9-to-5 career track, but in fact there are a lot of options. In the US, we’re rarely exposed to the options we have outside of our nation’s borders (minus the military). You just have to be willing to take some risks and work a bit harder.

Jumping over a wall
Image credit: Sam Judson

An incomplete list of options to get your ass abroad and exploring the world:

  • Join a volunteer organization. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and putting yourself in some extreme environments, then volunteer organizations, both NGO’s and otherwise (i.e., Peace Corps) are always looking for help. You’ll most often be sent to developing countries, but some developing countries are surprisingly pleasant to live in (Thailand, Colombia, Philippines, Peru, etc.). Once you’re on the other continent, bouncing around from country to country is rarely more than a $50 bus/train/plane ticket away.
  • Teach English. The pay is low and the work is hard, but this will get you a paid trip to another continent and often with really good vacation time. Asia and Latin America are the go-to continents for this with no experience or foreign language required. If you teach in Europe, you’re going to have to know the destination language at the least. A friend of mine taught English in South Korea for six months, took the money she made and went to India for three months, then taught in the Philippines for another six months and then bounced around Southeast Asia for a while after that. Not a bad experience.
  • Find a source of mobile income. Poker. Stock/options trading. Freelancing. Consulting. Internet marketing. Blogging. Graphic/Web design. Writer/journalist. These are all professions I’ve run into on the road. These are all forms of income which can be earned regardless of location (and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few). Some of them have a steep and long learning-curve, but there’s never a better time to start than now.
  • Start an online business. This is a massive topic which other people can cover much better than I ever could, but internet startups can often be created and managed from anywhere. In fact, there are a number of startup “incubators” around the world where internet entrepreneurs congregate in places with high qualities of life and very low expenses (Chiang Mai in Thailand, Bali in Indonesia, Medellin in Colombia, etc.).
  • Convince your company to let you work remotely. Not an option for everybody, but if you’re a programmer, developer or designer, then this could be an option for you.
  • Get transferred overseas. Another option if you work for a large international corporation such as Procter and Gamble or Yahoo! is to get transferred to various locations around the world. You can often gain a lot of vacation time by working in other countries as well which will allow you to explore.
  • Find odd jobs as you travel. This is easy in some countries and impossibly hard in others. But finding jobs in hostels, bars and restaurants in cities you travel to can be done to support yourself wherever you go. A number of people do this. It takes time and effort and obviously is quite stressful, but it can be done.
  • Work on a cruise or for an airline. Seriously. These people have amazing flexibility with their time at sea and where they get to go. I met a woman who worked on a cruise in Costa Rica and she had been to over 75 countries, living in a dozen for more than six months. She was in her early 30’s. Same concept applies to working for an airline but to a lesser extent (and far more jet lag)
  • Start your entire career abroad. In a number of developing parts of the world, particularly Asia, there’s an extremely high demand for university-educated Westerners for high-paying management positions. Countries like China, Brazil, Malaysia, and Singapore, are importing a lot of western talent. Not only can a recent college graduate skip multiple rungs on the corporate ladder by moving to one of these countries, but they can see a major quality of life increase at a lower cost-of-living. Let’s just say that making $60,000 a year in Shanghai goes a LOT further than making $80,000 per year in New York City.

You can combine a number of these strategies. Sometimes you can just take off with your savings and begin to figure it out as you go. Someone can leave with their life savings, start a blog on the way, do some freelance consultant work online, work some odd jobs here and there, and by the time their savings run out, they have a modest location-independent income. But as always, Google is your friend. There’s no shortage of websites and resources on NGO’s, internet startups, marketing, expatriation, backpacking, vagabonding, etc.

3. CALCULATE YOUR “ESCAPE VELOCITY”

Do some research and choose your first destination(s). Do you want to try an internet startup in Asia? Work for an NGO in Central America? Backpack through Europe and pick up odd jobs on the way? A lot of people come to me and say, “I want to live abroad, how can I do it?” Well it depends where you go. You can live like a king off $1,000 in Thailand or the Philippines, or spend that much in a week in Brazil. It depends where you’re going and what you’re doing.

The other factor is your financial obligations. If you have debt back home you need to factor that in. If you have health problems, then you need to do a lot of research on that as well. The good news is if you’re an American, you’re going to save a LOT of money on health care by leaving the country.

Calculate the amount you need to earn passively per month to survive wherever you want to go. This may involve getting a job once you’re there. It may involve saving up a bunch of money now and selling stuff. It may involve creating passive streams online. Either way, budget it out so you know when you’re ready.

4. PULL THE TRIGGER

Once you know your target level of savings and/or location-independent income, work towards it with everything you have. This may involve killing your day job off immediately in order to free up more time to work for it. This may mean setting a financial goal for the day you can put your two weeks in.

Get creative and don’t have an ego about it. A friend of mine decided to throw himself into this lifestyle 100% and moved back in with his parents for almost a year before he got on his feet and running. I lived on a friend’s couch for a while. Later I moved back in with my mother until I had enough money to buy a plane ticket to Argentina. Once I was there I could live well off about half the income I needed to live in the US. From there I built my business up further.

But, like I said, planning will only take you so far. Plan the best you can, but then throw yourself into the fire. Leave yourself no option but to come out on top. It will be hard and nerve-wracking, but that’s how you grow. That’s how you squeeze all of juice out of life. Terrify yourself. Then laugh about it.

LONG-TERM TRAVEL COURSE

If you’re serious about this and want to really get into the nitty-gritty of building a life of long-term travel, you can check out my course, Escape Plan, that’s part of the membership to my site. I cover everything I know about travel and living and working abroad, from finding cheap flights to supporting yourself financially to making new friends in foreign countries. Living life with full of happiness, no regrets, enjoy at its fullest, helping others, and being great to yourself is one of the best thing we could do. Travel to different places will give you more rooms of experience, knowledge, ideas, meet with different people, know different cultures, great experience in life, and have fun in life.

Why Personal Blogging Is Still an Option Today

personal-blogging-585x390

In this digital age, it has never been easier to share one’s favorite entertainment with the rest of the world. Personal blogs can be used to discuss a blogger’s favorite music, movies, books, and performing arts. Posts can be archived according to specific topics such as the date of release of specific films or songs. Similarly, such blog posts can be classified by actor, singer or performer. Bloggers can have plenty of fun in creating their own personal archives featuring short statements or entire articles about anything related to entertainment. This could very well be one of the reasons why personal blogs rock.

When blogging about personal interests such as entertainment, it is important to keep in mind the type of readers that will be exposed to the posts. Often, friends and relatives will be the most loyal followers of such personal blogs. However, it is also a good idea to share some personal interests with fellow workers and other individuals from the workplace.

For example, some teachers are more than happy to share their thoughts about music and movies with students. Teachers might seem “cooler” if they have similar tastes in entertainment as the youth. Similarly, parents of students might also be interested in finding out about the personality of teachers.

Personal entertainment blogs can also act as “icebreakers” for professionals who start a new job. It’s a great way to bond with co-workers by using blogs to talk about specific interests in entertainment or sports. A young professional like Lindsey Stone and other ladies are examples of individuals who blog about their favorite kind of entertainment.

Blogging platforms and social networks actually allow individuals to encourage others to enjoy specific movies, video games, songs, books and more. For example, it’s quite easy to post a link that leads to a movie trailer or review on an external site. Similarly, links could be posted to official websites of video game publishers.

personal entertainment blog

Source

While ordinary individuals blog about their favorite entertainment, companies are also taking advantage of online platforms. For example, recent movie releases or classic films can be downloaded online and then watched on any platform. Users can select to download file formats for an HDTV, desktop computer, laptop or tablet. Before making an online purchase, customers get the chance to preview the movie by watching an extended trailer version.

Before downloading songs or entire albums online, customers have the chance to listen to samples. There might be different versions of a single song such as those for radio play and original album releases. Up to 30 seconds of actual soundtrack can be heard for free before making a purchase of the full-length song. Similarly, video game demo versions could be downloaded for free before making an upgrade to the full-length editions.

Blogging about favorite books is enhanced thanks to external links to websites that might have full versions of specific titles. In fact, most classic literature is available for download for free because copyright laws didn’t exist centuries ago. Marketplaces for digital multimedia are loaded with electronic versions of books that can be downloaded without any charges. Of course, there are also plenty of new releases of books that can be purchased. Before buying electronic books, customers can preview several pages of actual content. Full-length descriptions of books are also available in traditional synopsis format. Sharing these snippets on blogs can attract readers and help bloggers discover new favorites.

#76 - Mannequin Artist

Source

Finally, blogging is therapeutic. Where else in your life can you talk endlessly about any subject of your choosing? Likely, nowhere (If you do have somewhere you do this in real life, perhaps you should evaluate how others feel about this).

An entertainment blog can be tailor-made to suit your needs as a writer. Want just a few readers? Only tell your friends. Want your thoughts to be read by the masses? It’ll take a little more work, but there are abundant resources available online to help you learn to expand your readership.

Blogging is a great activity that accommodates all types of writers. Many people, though, have trouble writing that first post. My advice? Just write it, publish it, and then publish more. Expecting big after doing small things could become one of the biggest mistakes bloggers must avoid. Not many people will see the first post. By the time they catch up with you, you’ll have posted 20 times or more. You’ll be better at it from the practice, and your blog will start to have its own identity. The only way to get there is to start, so I encourage you, start your entertainment blog today.

HOW TO START A BLOG?

8

So you want to start a blog.

That’s great!

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:

  1. Choose a blogging platform.
  2. Register a domain name and hosting.
  3. Design your blog.
  4. Add posts and pages.
  5. 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
strtblg-item__image
  • 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…

WordPress, Tumblr and blogger market share

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.

Here’s why:

  • 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 http://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 http://www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be http://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.

  1. Page load speed – The average amount of time (in seconds) it takes your blog to load.
  2. 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.

Yes, thousands.

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…

…but now I only use and recommend www.HostGator.com for domain names and web hosting.

My Only Recommended Hosting Provider
strtblg-item__image
  • 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”

HostGator gets my vote since they really care about helping bloggers like you and me get started as quickly and easily as possible.

Want to know the best part?

Since I’ve been using HostGator for so long they gave me a special coupon to get my readers out on the blogosphere for cheap…

Typically you’d have to shell out over $10 per month to get a plan with a premium host but today you can get started for only $2.92/month.

That’s 72% OFF on the only hosting plan you’ll ever need with coupon code “STARTBLOG”.

But like all great deals this opportunity won’t be around forever…

You’ll need to act quickly because this exclusive offer from the link below expires when the clock strikes midnight at the end of October 2018.

This is the best price for blog hosting you’ll find anywhere. For just $2.92/month you have little to lose – and only tons of fun blogging experience to gain.

What makes HostGator so great?

Nothing has ever come close to HostGator for me in terms of blog load speed and uptime (see below):

My blog hosting performance

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:

SSL green padlock for starbloggingonline.com

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 http://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.

Your_Blog_Domain

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.

choose_blog_hosting_plan

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.

extra services for hg signup

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.

hostgator confirmation

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.

blog_install_finished

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 http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin (where “yourblog” is your domain name).

New Blog Homepage (1-6 steps)

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 http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/ and using the credentials you set up with HostGator or any other hosting company you used.

WordPress blog

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:

Your_WordPress_dashboard

Mouse-over the “Appearance” tab in the WordPress sidebar, then click on “Themes”.

find_a_perfect_theme

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.

add_new_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.

featured_themes

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!

apply_filters

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:

activate_your_blog_theme

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:

  1. 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:

permalinks

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.

disable_comments

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”.

Adding_a_new_blog_post

On the next screen, you’ll see something like this:

Writing new blog post

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.

BlogPost_status_visibility

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:

Adding Images

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.

Adding_media

Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, then click “Select Files”.

adding_images_blog_post

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.

insert_image_into_blogpost

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.

instert_a_blog_link

On the pop-up, you’ll need to enter a few important bits of information.

Adding_link2
  • 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.

Adding Headings

To add a heading, click on the drop-down menu on the bottom left of the toolbar.

Blog_Post_Headings

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.

Editing Fonts

You can also bold, italicize, underline and even change the color of your text in a click or two.

change_font
  • “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.

WordPress blog

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.

Done Those Two? Go And Read These Posts.

Ready To Take Your Blog To The Next Level?

Once you have some content on your blog it’s time to get some traffic and make it profitable.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What blog site should I use? A: WordPress. It is the most popular platform, powering over 30% of the web! Best of all: it’s free. Other blogging platforms aren’t in the same league.

Q: What should I write about? What blog should I start? A: Recipe blogs, fitness blogs, and business blogs are some of the most popular. Here’s how to pick a blog topic people will really want to read.

Q: How do bloggers make money? A: There are a number of ways including advertising and digital products, but some people just do it for fun. Check out my article How To Make Money From Your Blog.

Q: How Do I Pick A Domain Name? A: I would suggest using your real name (because you can change it later). Here’s more on picking a domain name.

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: Is blogging dead? A: No way! Over 409 million people read blog posts every month. You’re reading one right now!

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.