Why start a blog?
Great question! There are so many reasons why starting a blog is an amazing idea, but it might be helpful to talk a bit about my own blogging journey.
I started The Million Dollar Mama in August 2016. I was a new mom of a 4-month-old and I wanted to do something for me. I’ve always loved writing and connecting with people, and I wanted to find a way to combine the two.
Well under a year later, The Million Dollar Mama reaches tens of thousands of people every month, and I make enough money from home that I can spend my days with my son.
(You can read my online income reports here.)
It’s been a life-changing decision for me and it could be for you, too.
Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide to creating your own blog that you can grow into a money-making business.
Click here to start your own blog with the best hosting company, then follow the step-by-step directions to set everything up.
The hosting company I use for The Million Dollar Mama is Siteground, and I wholeheartedly recommend them.
Why should you start a blog with Siteground?
There are lot of reasons, but here are the most important:
1) Siteground is reliable
Siteground has amazing uptime – 99.99%.
Trust me when I say that this is a big deal – there are numerous horror stories of blogs experiencing regular downtime (which means losing pageviews and income) with other popular hosting providers.
This has never happened to me with Siteground, even when I’ve experienced large jumps in traffic due to posts going viral on Pinterest.
2) Siteground offers amazing support
There’s a reason why Siteground’s support team has an almost 100% customer satisfaction rating – their tech support is second-to-none.
Through their live chat, phone support and online tickets (all available 24/7) Siteground offers onboarding help, free website transfer and ongoing assistance any time you need help.
I’ve utilized the tech support for a number of questions I had and they’ve always been fast and courteous, and most importantly – solved my problem!
3) Siteground offers great prices
Siteground offers an amazing service for an incredibly reasonable price – just $3.95/month with a free domain name.
Siteground isn’t the cheapest of the cheap, but we’ve all heard the expression – “You get what you pay for” right?
Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, and it this case, it’s absolutely worth paying an extra $12 a year (yep, that’s it. Twelve bucks a year!) for 99.9% uptime, amazing tech support, and a fast, secure service.
But why can’t I just start a blog on a free platform, like Blogger or Tumblr?
You can. But not if you want to create a profitable blog.
Not only do blogs on free platforms look unprofessional, they’re very hard to customize and the monetization options are incredibly limited, if not impossible.
I don’t know anyone who runs a successful blog using a free blogging platform.
Ok, without further ado – let’s do this!
Your Step-by-Step Guide On How To Start A Profitable Blog
1) Choose a Niche
The first thing you need to do is choose a niche. What’s a niche? A niche is essentially the topic (or topics) that you’re going to be blogging about.
Your goal with your blog is to be reaching people who are interested in what you’re writing about. If you write about everything, you won’t reach everyone – you’ll reach no-one.
2) Register Your Domain Name
Now that you’ve chosen your niche, you need to register your domain name.
Click here to go to Siteground and follow the instructions I’ve provided below.
Your domain name is your site address. For example, mine is www.themilliondollarmama.com.
You’ll want to choose a domain name that is easy to remember and also fits well with your niche, but don’t stress too much about this.
When choosing your domain name, try to go with a DOT COM address (they’re easiest to remember and what people will naturally assume when they’re typing your address) and try to avoid using dashes and numbers, if possible.
How much is a domain name?
How does free sound? Yep! When you purchase your hosting package with Siteground, you actually get a free domain name.
So, let’s go onto the next section where you’ll choose your hosting package and get your free domain name.
3) Purchase Your Hosting
Your blog is made up of lots of different files and pages, and for those to be viewable on the world wide web, they need to be held somewhere.
Your web host is essentially a powerful computer that holds and maintains your files and assigns them an address, so that when people type in your url, they arrive at your blog.
It’s pretty technical, but the main thing you need to know is that you need web hosting, and I recommend using Siteground for this.
So here’s how you get your free domain name and set up your hosting.
Click on the “Sign Up” button on the homepage.
You’ll arrive at the following screen.
Choose the “StartUp Plan” – that’s all you’ll need in the beginning. (You can always upgrade later on if you need to.)
After you’ve chosen your plan, you’ll be taken to the following screen where you get to choose your free domain name.
Once you’ve entered your domain name, click on “Proceed” and you’ll be taken to the payment screen.
Unlike a lot of web hosts, Siteground’s discount pricing doesn’t require you to pay for 36 months in advance.
If you feel like you want to, you can lock in the discount pricing for longer than 12 months, but don’t feel obligated – 12 months is fine for the discounted price.
You’ll also see that there are some “Extra Services” that you can choose to purchase.
The only one I recommend is the “Domain Privacy.” Domain privacy means that your personal details (address, phone number, email address) aren’t publicly available through the whois registry.
Enter your billing information and hit confirm.
You’re now the owner of a shiny, new website.
4) Install WordPress
Now you need to install WordPress so you can start blogging.
And here’s another great feature of Siteground – they will install WordPress for you for free.
Just head on over to the Siteground homepage, click on the “Live Chat” and ask one of the friendly technicians to install WordPress on your new website.
Once the technician has installed WordPress, they’ll send you your login details.
Navigate to www.yourshinynewwebsite.com/wp-admin and log in!
5) Customize Your Site
This is where the fun starts – it’s time to make your site look pretty!
Now, I’m going to be honest here – there is a learning curve with WordPress, just like with any new program.
When I first logged in to WordPress, I remember staring blankly at my screen and then thinking to myself, “Back.away.slowly…..”
After getting over that little hurdle, I dove in headfirst, learning as much as I could about how to use WordPress.
Siteground has some amazing tutorials on how to use WordPress – I recommend watching them all (take notes if you need to.)
Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be ready to customize your site with a new theme.
6) Install a Theme
There are two options when it comes to WordPress themes – free and paid.
Free themes are available by clicking on “Appearances” then “Themes” in the WordPress dashboard.
You can then customize your free theme using the options provided.
Why would you pay for a theme if you can get one for free?
While using a free theme can be a good way to get started, especially if you don’t have the funds to buy a theme, there are a lot of benefits to having a paid theme.
- More customizable – thousands of people use free themes, so you run the risk of your blog looking exactly the same as a lot of other blogs if you use a free theme.
- A support team that can provide help/tips
- More secure – free themes often come with malware installed (which can largely be avoided by using a theme from the WordPress Directory)
- Regularly Updated – paid themes are regularly updated to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
Where Can I Buy Paid Themes?
I use Genesis for The Million Dollar Mama. I purchased the Genesis Framework through StudioPress and then the Glam child theme.
However, I will admit that Genesis and child themes are a pretty big learning curve and I probably bit off more than I could reasonably chew at the time.
To start off, buy a theme from Beautiful Dawn Designs.
She has lots of gorgeous themes that are built specifically for the beginner and intermediate blogger.
They’re only $45 each and they’re easily customizable without having to know any code.
And there you have it!
You’re now the proud owner of your very own blog!
Once you’ve set up your blog, please leave a comment with your url – I would love to visit!