I’m a big fan of starting a personal brand online and using a blog to do it is a great strategy.
Why do I like this concept so much?
Starting a personal brand can create true wealth.
Not just monetary wealth (though they can certainly do that) but also a wealth of time and the freedom to work on what you love.
So without further ado, here’s my step-by-step guide to setting up a WordPress blog from scratch – no coding or technical expertise required!
Before I dive in, I’d like to point out that this is a guide on how to start a WordPress.org blog.
- WordPress powers ⅓ of the internet, (source)
- It’s what’s used by major media outlets and solopreneurs, from The New Yorker, and The Huffington Post, to me or Neil Patel,
- And it doesn’t require any coding to use.
There are other content management systems and ways to build a blog.
But in my opinion (and in the opinion of most blog creators) WordPress is the best tool to use for building a successful blog.
Also, this post is a guide to setting up your blog.
If building a profitable blog is like say, learning to drive, this guide is about how to put the key in the ignition and start the car.
In other words, this is a necessary step along the path to a financially successful blog, but it’s one step in the marathon of blogging.
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you get started.
1. Get Bluehost Web Hosting
If you’re going to have a legitimate blog, you need something called “web hosting.”
This just means that a 3rd party business stores you website on a computer and makes it available to access on the web 24/7/365.
Nearly every website you’ve ever visited pays a 3rd party for web hosting and it’s not complicated to set up.
It’s the first step in building a blog.
So use this link to buy Bluehost web hosting.*
It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and nearly all of the most successful professional bloggers recommend it.
Plus if you use my link, you’ll get 50% off the standard price and can get started blogging for just $3.95 a month!
When you click the link above, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:
Then click on the green button (highlighted in red).
That will take you to a page that looks like this:
Again, I highlighted in red what I recommend.
You’ll want to upgrade your plan once your blog gets more traffic.
But the one highlighted in red is a fine place to start.
2. Choose a Website URL
Once you choose your plan, you’ll be taken to the screen below.
When you sign up for Bluehost, they’ll let you choose a domain name (website URL) free!
Picking a domain name isn’t rocket science.
There are three things to keep in mind when making your choice.
- Keep it short: Shorter domain names rank better and they’re easier to remember.
- Make it easy to spell: Remember, your domain name is an IQ test. If you use words that are hard to spell or you use a made up word, there’s a good chance potential web visitors won’t ever make it to your site.
- Think like a middle-school kid: When choosing a domain name, try to think through every way people could make fun of it or or rearrange the letters to form something silly or inappropriate. For instance, I’ve had multiple people tell me they think my blog URL sounds like “Profanity Anywhere Blog.” Obviously, you want to avoid choosing a domain name that people could misconstrue into something inappropriate.
After you choose your domain name, you’ll be taken to screen to put in your contact information:
And then you finalize your purchase information on the screen below:
If you don’t want your contact information listed on the publicly accessible domain name ownership database, then you’ll want domain privacy protection.
Here’s why I don’t recommend purchasing site backup pro, search engine jumpstart, or sitelock security – find.
- Backing up your site can be accomplished with a free WordPress plugin,
- Search Engine Jump-start will help your SEO minimally if at all,
- and the truly critical aspect of ensuring trust and security with e-commerce transactions (which is the goal of SiteLock Security – Find) is to have an SSL certificate which we don’t need to get into now.
Once you put in your purchase information and click buy, you have web hosting and are one (significant) step closer to starting a financially successful blog!
3. Install WordPress on Your New Website
The next screen you see should look something like this:
Once you’re here, you want to find the Install WordPress button and click it.
Then WordPress will ask you on what domain you’d like to install WordPress:
Accept the terms and conditions and click the install now button as shown below and then you’ll have WordPress installed on your brand new website!
The preceding three images are from Mike Vestil’s blog.
Be sure to check out Mike’s blog.
He’s a cool dude.
4. Choose a WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme is like the skin of your website – it determines how your website looks.
Here’s the good news:
You can change WordPress themes at any time with the click of a button and all your content *should* transfer seamlessly to the new look.
To install a WordPress theme:
- Click on appearance on the left-hand navigation when logged into WordPress on your website,
- Click appearance, then themes,
- And you can search and install new themes from that menu.
Choosing a theme when you’re just getting started isn’t a big deal.
You can always change it later.
You just want to make sure your theme is responsive.
Responsive is just a fancy way of saying you want your theme to adapt to the screen size of the viewing device so that your blog looks good on phones, tablets, and desktops.
Almost all themes are responsive these days so you shouldn’t need to focus too much on this.
Colorlib by Sparkling is a free responsive theme I really like.
Mike Vestil who actually makes money from his blog uses this free theme.
If you want something a little more slick, you can also buy the exact theme* I use for this website here.
Though this is just the start of your blogging journey, it’s exciting and very important.
Starting a financially successful blog is incredibly difficult, but equally rewarding.
And you’ve taken the first critical step in making that dream a reality.
So you’ve set up a WordPress blog.
Check out my sitemap where I show you exactly what steps to take next to turn your blog from a hobby to a profitable business!