Blogging has become an essential of the internet world in the past decade. A blog can be a fantastic way to share information and opinions with other people. Blogging has also become very lucrative over the years with lots of money to be made. Whether you want to start a blog to make extra money, or to share information or just to vent frustration, check out my guide on how to start a blog. These are four easy steps you can do to start your blog.
Register a good domain name
Registering a domain name is easy. Registering a GOOD domain name is not so easy. Try to think of something that is memorable or that describes your blog in two or three words. This is one area your blog needs to shine. It is best to try to stick to registering a .com extension. This was the original and is to the most used extension. But, it can be difficult to find a good .com name, so you may want to consider a .net extension. If you want to register a .com extension, try searching for variants of the name you have in mind. Avoid using numbers or hyphens in the name, it is the kiss of death.
To register a domain name you will need a domain name registrar. I personally use Namecheap. They are inexpensive and offer free Whois protection. Whois protection allows you to keep your personal information hidden from the public.
Go to Namecheap and type your chosen domain name in the search box and click the search button. You will be presented a list of names to choose from for your domain. Once selected, just checkout and you are ready for the next step.
Buy web hosting
Web hosting is how you store your content and serve up your blog to your readers. You really don’t need anything too fancy, especially when first starting out. A shared hosting account should suffice. However, you do want to go with a reputable web hosting provider that will keep your blog running 24/7. I use A2 Hosting for hosting my websites. They are an independently owned web hosting company located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A2 Hosting has excellent support, 99.9% uptime, and they are inexpensive.
Go to A2 Hosting and click on the Shared Hosting section. You can get this account for as little as $3.92 per month if you sign up for 24 months. Click on the GET LITE button to get started. Again, you don’t need anything fancy for hosting your blog, and this hosting option gets you unlimited storage for your web and database files and unlimited transfer to your readers.
On the next screen you are presented with four different options regarding your domain name. Click on the option for “I will use my existing domain name update my nameservers“. This will allow you to use the domain name you just registered in the previous step. Type in your domain name and click on Use.
Now you should be on the options screen. Here you will select the options that you want. Choose your desire Billing Cycle from the dropdown menu. The more months you choose upfront, the less you pay monthly. The other option you should pay close attention to is the Server Location. Choose the location that best coincides with where the majority of your readers will be located. Now, select any other options you may want and click on Continue.
Just checkout with your preferred payment method and you are ready to go. Once your web hosting is ready, A2Hosting will send you an email with instructions on how to sign in to your control panel (cPanel).
Point your domain name to your web host
This is now the time to get your domain name hooked up to your web hosting server. Go to Namecheap and sign in. On the dashboard, click on the Manage button to the right of your domain name. In the Nameservers section, select Custom DNS. In the boxes below, enter the following addresses, one on each line:
Click on the green check mark in the top right. Your domain name should now be pointing to your server. You could possibly have to wait a day or more before the changes go into effect but in all likelihood it will happen sooner.
Here is where the fun part starts. Sign in to cPanel and go to the Softaculous Apps Installer section and click on any of the options under categories. In the search box, search for WordPress. Then, click install. Follow the prompts on the screen to create your new WordPress blog. After you install WordPress, you will be prompted to login. Once logged in, you will be in the admin section. WordPress has many themes to choose from which can be selected under the menu item Appearance > Themes. Choose a theme and play around with the software. It may take you sometime to learn your way around but there is a lot of help on the web.
Now the real work begins.