This is a continuation of the Make Extra Money with Multiple Streams of Income series starting with how to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less for beginners.
This is followed by setting up the blog, what to do before you start considering any kind of monetization, and my best tips for reaching the audience you’re looking for.
When I started my first blog, it took me months to figure everything out and my research online confused me even more.
I would very much have appreciated a simple step-by-step guide back then.
How to Start a Blog in 30 Minutes or Less: The Beginners Starter Guide
1. Choose the Right Domain Name
This is the home of your new blog. What do you want to name it? It should be relevant to your topic but also be on a topic that generates results on search engines. I
f no one is looking up the topic (s) you’re blogging about, no one will find your website.
Before you choose a domain name, do some keyword research to verify if the topic you’re interested in is viable.
It would suck to blog and blog and blog only to discover later on down the line that you’ve wasted your time on a topic no one is interested in.
I recommended tools available online like Keysearch and SEM Rush. You can try out Keysearch for free for 30 days.
When you’re ready, use code KSDISC to get 20% off your Keysearch subscription.
Keep in mind your domain name should be unique, simple, easy to remember, easy to type, and shouldn’t contain hyphens, numbers, or weird mis-spellings.
Additionally, the best domain name extension is either .com or .net unless your blog covers a very specific topic that requires other extensions.
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, it’s time to check if the domain name is available. You can do this via Namecheap.
There’s a voluminous amount of information online about choosing the right domain name. Don’t get too hung up on the research or you’ll never get started.
You can purchase your domain name here.
2. Choose a Hosting Company
A hosting company will provide a base for your new blog as well as a platform for you to launch from.
They will do the techie stuff behind the lines while you focus on the business of blogging.
The best thing is hosting costs less than you would spend on a cup of coffee or muffin every day – less than $10/month depending on your hosting company!
If you’re new to blogging, start with a basic shared hosting account. You can upgrade according to your website’s needs as you go along.
For shared hosting, I recommend BigScoots or Siteground. They are both user-friendly, flexible to your needs, and have reliable servers. I wrote detailed reviews earlier about BigScoots and Siteground.
You can get hosting plans for as low as $4.99/month. The longer your plan is, the cheaper the monthly cost will be. This is a huge money saver if you’re just starting out.
Purchasing a Hosting Plan on Siteground
Step 1 – Head over to Siteground to purchase a hosting plan. I recommend the StartUp plan for beginners and/or low traffic sites.
Step 2 – Register a new domain name or use a domain name you already registered (I recommend buying a domain name from Namecheap.
Step 3 – Review and Complete Your Hosting Plan
Review your hosting plan, choose the preferred period – 1 month, 3 months, 12 months, or 36 months, confirm and pay and you’re good to go.
If you already purchased your domain name from somewhere else, you need to point your Nameservers to Siteground.
This is easy and you should find info on how to do this in the help pages of the company you purchased the domain name through.
3. Decide on a Blogging Platform
Once you’ve purchased your domain name and hosting account, it’s time to set up your new blog. Blogger, WordPress, Drupal, Squarespace, or some other platform?
You want to start with a platform you can grow and develop your blog with.
Migrating from platform to platform is a pain even with the help of a plugin. If your site is comprehensive when you make the switch, it’s an even bigger pain.
If you’re serious about blogging and eventually making an income from it, then my best recommendation is to start with WordPress.
I started one of my sites on another platform and I made only a few dollars here and there no matter how hard I worked.
However, once I switched over to WordPress and started making use of the valuable tools available, my income skyrocketed.
Even the most technologically challenged individuals can create a blog via WordPress.
You can install WordPress on the cPanel of your hosting platform with just one click.
4. Step by Step Guide to Install Your WordPress Blog on Siteground
This is the last step before you have your new blog all set up and ready to go.
It’s very easy to install your blog on Siteground. Just follow the directions below:-
Go back to the email Siteground sent you and grab your login details (username and password).
Once you log in, go to Accounts page then click on the Cpanel option. This is the control panel. If you can’t find it, do a CTRL + F and search for it.
Within the Cpanel, scroll down to auto-installers and click on the WordPress icon. Click on install.
It will ask you for some basic information. Once you have this filled, choose a very hard to guess password as well as an uncommon username.
Do not use email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is very easy for hackers to get into your site and wreak havoc. Check off the terms and conditions then click install.
The autoinstaller will bring up a page showing the progress of your installation. This will take a few minutes.
Once complete, you will receive your login details via the email address you provided. Congratulations! Your WordPress blog is ready for you to get started.
If you sign up through my link and need any help along the way, feel free to ask in the comments section or send me an email through the contact page.
Before you start working behind the scenes, be sure to put up a site under maintenance message. You can download any free plugin for this.
This isn’t absolutely necessary but it makes the website look clean and you can also start collecting email addresses while you are in maintenance mode.
5. Essential Tools for Beginners in Blogging
Once your blogging platform is installed and maintenance mode activated, it’s time to start making things look the one you want it to on the back end prior to launching.
You will require several tools to achieve this, which I have outlined below:-
1. Branding & Design for WordPress Blog
A logo and theme are one of the first things you need to get started. There are many free themes on the Internet as well as on WordPress.
However, they are usually limited in what you can do with them or how you can modify them.
You can search for free themes in the appearance -> themes section -> of WordPress.
If you’d rather something a bit more professional that you can modify to your heart’s content along with superb support, then I recommend two options.
- Genesis Framework is one of the most popular themes
- I also love the themes available from GeneratePress
If you haven’t come up with a logo or color concept yet and are design challenged, you can get someone to help you with that on Fiverr.
You can hire someone to create a basic logo for you but make sure the source files are included in the final product before you buy the gig.
2. Image Editing for WordPress Blog
An image is worth a thousand words and you will need to use them on social media as well as within your blog posts.
Remember to check the attrition clause on images. You can also buy cheap professional images in places like Deposit Photos.
All the tinkering I do with the images on my sites is with the help of Canva. You can do pretty much anything with an image on these sites.
This is invaluable considering the image can be shared in so many places on the Internet helping you promote your brand.
Related Content: What Can You Do With Canva Pro?
A page builder is an extremely versatile tool to have. It can save you hours of tinkering around trying to figure out how to make something look like you want.
A page builder is a drag and drop tool that helps you build pages and posts on your website; make things look fancy and all laid out nicely.
While I have a basic knowledge of HTML, I still found a page builder to be a useful time-saver. The best page builder for WordPress hands down is Visual Composer. With Visual Composer, you are in full control of your website.
Note, a page builder is not 100% necessary but as I said, it’s a very effective tool that makes your life easier when you’re working on your website. Find out more about Visual Composer HERE.
4. Google Trends
Google Trends is a tool that helps you find out the search volume for a particular item or phrase.
This will help to determine what kind of topics you should write about and/or focus on in the present as well as for the future.
This will help tremendously with search engine rankings. This is a free resource provided by Google. Create an account and learn more HERE.
If you already have a Gmail account, you can use the same email address to access Google Trends.
5. Google Analytics
Another immensely useful tool from Google. Google will provide a code to include on your website.
This code will track all your website traffic and activities and provide a comprehensive report enabling you to do more of what works and tweak or eliminate what isn’t working. Create an account and learn more HERE.
If you already have a Gmail account, you can use the same email address to access Google Analytics.
You can add up to 100 websites to the same Google Analytics account. You will receive a different UID for each website.
6. Email Marketing
You should start to build an email list from day 1 of your blog. This list will become the most important thing in your business as you grow.
Read 5 Top Tools for Small Business Email Marketing Management for a breakdown of each one.
7. Useful Plugins
Plugins are software that can be downloaded and utilized to expand the functionality of your website and make your life easier.
There are thousands of plugins but the ones you should definitely download when you launch your blog include:-
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- All In One SEO Pack or Rank Math
- Backup Guard
- Broken Link Checker
- FMTC Affiliate Disclosure
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Wordfence Security
- WP Super Cache
Before you go crazy downloading every plugin available, too many plugins can affect the speed and functionality of your website.
Download only plugins that are absolutely essential. Additionally, be careful about downloading plugins that haven’t been updated in a long time.
They can muck up your website. WordPress mentions the last date the plugin was updated before you download it.
You’re all set to start your blogging career with the basics above. As the weeks go by, I will be updating the list with more useful information.
Don’t forget to sign up below to get notifications of new articles.
Resources Recommended in This Article
- Make Extra Money with Multiple Streams of Income
- Domain Name – Namecheap
- Choose a Hosting Company – Siteground or BigScoots
- Blog Theme – Genesis Framework and Restore316 Themes or GeneratePress
- Logo Design – Fiverr or Canva
- Premium Images for Your Blog – Deposit Photos
- Image Editing & Social Media Grahics – Canva
- Drag and Drop Page Builder – Visual Composer
- Email Marketing – Mailerlite, ConvertKit, or GetResponse
This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure HERE.