HOW TO BUILD A BLOG IN 5 MINUTES OR LESS (With Walkthrough)

How To Build A Blog in 5 MinuteS or Less

When a lot of us start the term “blog” is quite vague. What exactly is it and how do I put one together? In this we will give you everything you need to do an a walkthrough of exactly how to execute it step by step.

If you want to start thinking about a domain name or website address to name your blog, you can search for what is available here:

There are a lot of different platforms but WordPress (which is a piece of free software) is one of the world’s largest platforms for bloggers. The really neat thing is that WordPress has thousands of add ons called “plugins” that allow you to pretty much do anything you need. For most that means it is a blog that can grow with you – you can publish articles, setup forums, add a store – the possibilities are endless. In this article we are going to show you how easy it is to setup your own personal blog with which you can start blogging, building your business and earning income!

Before you set up a WordPress blog, you have to make the decision of where you are going to host it. A host is where your website and all your content “lives”. If you plan on dedicating yourself to starting a blog it is best to setup your own hosting so you have all the options available to you when you grow and add on to it.

Now there are many hosting companies out there, but Bluehost is the best choice, especially for a WordPress site. Even WordPress itself recommends Bluehost as the number one recommended hosting service, and they don’t officially recommend many hosting companies.

There are many reasons why Bluehost is so highly recommended, but here are a few:

  • Their service is very reliable.
  • Easy to use control panel to set everything up.
  • Bluehost has made it super simple to install WordPress with very little headache.
  • Courteous and professional 24 hour in-house technical support for your hosting account 7 days of the week all year long.
  • For $3.95 a month you can host unlimited websites, email accounts and domains; all on one account.

 

Plus, Bluehost has a 30 day money back guarantee. So, if their hosting is not what you need or want, you can cancel at anytime. (NO RISK)

Note: You Can Sign up Here and continue through our walkthrough. We’ll wait :)

To get ready, you will want to gather a few things beforehand to make the process even smoother. Here are some things you will want to have on hand:

    • Think of a Domain Name. (If you didn’t see the search bar above, I’ve included it below). TIP: Bluehost will give you a free domain with your BlueHost hosting account which can save you $20+.
      Search For Available Domain / website Names here:
    • Your credit card for payment.

Step 1 – Set Up Your Hosting Account

To get started, go to Bluehost’s home page. Click Sign Up Now.

Bluehost Home Page

Next, you need to choose a domain name for your site. If you already own a domain name, you can enter it here, and you will just have to go through a few extra steps to make sure you get your DNS pointed to Bluehost. If you don’t already own a domain name, you can purchase one now. TIP: a new domain will be free with your hosting account purchase, as you get a free domain with a new hosting account.

Signup: Domain Name

Once you have entered a domain name, you will fill in your personal information.

Signup: Account Information

Then you will choose the hosting package you want. Normal shared hosting is priced at 12, 24, and 36 month terms. The longer term you purchase, the lower the monthly rate is, which will save you money. For example, by choosing a 36 month hosting term, you can get the great introductory rate of $3.95 a month. Another great bonus to choosing Bluehost is that if you want more than a shared hosting account, Bluehost provides seamless upgrades to VPS or Dedicated hosting accounts from inside your cPanel!

There are a few other offers here, which you can include at your discretion. One that is highly recommended is Domain Privacy, which will keep all of your personal information private.

Signup: Package Information

After you have filled in your information and chosen your hosting package, you can click Next to complete your purchase. Now you will be asked to create a password for your account. You can use the Password Generator to create a strong password, or create one yourself. It is required to have both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (?!#, etc.) in order to have a strong enough password to protect your account.

Now that you are all signed up and are able to log into your account, you will be able to get started installing WordPress.

Installing WordPress

This may seem like the most complicated step, but Bluehost has worked hard to make this one of the easiest things for you to do. They use the new MOJO Marketplace for installing WordPress (and other applications).

MOJO Marketplace

In your cPanel, scroll to the section titled “MOJO Marketplace” and choose the icon One-Click Installs.

WordPress: MOJO icon in cPanel

You will now be on a page inside MOJO Marketplace called Scripts and Platforms. The blog section is at the very top, so all you have to do here is click on the WordPress icon.

This will open the installation window. Click on Start a brand new installation. This is going to start the WordPress installation process, which has a few easy steps:

WordPress: Install WordPress

Step 1: Choose where you want to install WordPress. This can be any domain on your account, or a subdomain or a folder for one of your domains. Next click Check Domain, which will make sure the domain is assigned and pointing to your account. You may get a warning that you are overwriting files, but as long as you don’t have another website built yet, you can check the box and continue. This is mostly to make sure that you really want to install in that location. If you do have other sites built, you will want to make sure you’re not overwriting something important.

Step 2: Show Advanced Options. This section allows you to set up your own username and password for your WordPress install. It is recommended to use a different username than ‘Admin’ and a very strong password. Make sure that the “Automatically Create a new database for this installation” box is checked, unless you have a database that you have already setup and want to use.

WordPress: MOJO installation, advanced options.

Step 3: Check the box saying that you have read the terms and conditions. Then click Install Now.

You will now see the progress page, which will show you how far along the installation is. Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your Site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password. You will get a copy of this information, except your password, in your email as well. Make sure you keep it in a safe place.

WordPress: Installation Process

Now you can log into your WordPress site, by going to the admin login URL. Enter your username and password, then click Log In. You will now be looking at the WordPress Dashboard. This is where you will control everything to do with your WordPress site, such as creating pages, writing posts, and changing the appearance.

Remember: Sign up through this tutorial to receive 36 months of hosting for $3.95, as well as a free domain name for a year!

Need More Help?

        Check out this video showing how to install WordPress!

 

The 5 Tech Things Your Blog Needs To Be Great

This isn’t meant to be a long list. In fact, I’m keeping it short intentionally, because there are just a few high impact pieces you need to set up your blog to become a great resource for others and a business earning income.

Here are the only tried, tested and approved plugins we use on Moving Mountains:

1. Akismet

akismet wordpress plugin

Akismet is the best plugin I’ve found for fighting comment spam. It’s always the first plugin I download when creating a new site with comments. There really isn’t much to set up, but you do need to register for a free token on their website to enable the plugin.

The image below is a snapshot of the settings page and the number of spam comments Akismet blocked. Over 119,000 spam comments!

Akismet Screenshot

2. Yoast WordPress SEO

Yoast wordpress plugin

There are many SEO plugins for WordPress, but in my humble opinion, Yoast WordPress SEO is the most powerful, all-in-one plugin you can get for free. You can set up everything from blog post titles, social media and sitemaps.

Most of what you need to do with Yoast is a one-time setup. I recommend this Yoast Setup Guide from Tom at Online Media Masters. He’ll walk you through each step of setting up Yoast for your WordPress blog.

3. Facebook featured image and open graph meta-tags

facebook featured image wordpress plugin

This little plugin is easy to install and all you have to do is activate it. When you share a post on Facebook, it’ll automatically make the image in your post the featured image on Facebook. Quick, easy and super helpful!

4. Google analytics

google analytics wordpress plugin

You can use this plugin or install Google analytics directly on your site. Either way, you’ll want to have Google analytics before you start blogging. It’s free and essential for tracking your blog’s growth and visitor information.

5. LEadPages (Best Resource we’ve found in a long time_

 

If you’re hoping to build recurring visitors to your blog, you’ll need to get them on your email list. Mailchimp is free for collecting and emailing up to 2,000 people and it’s easy to use.

Once you set up Mailchimp, LeadPages is a great program that allows you to create opt-in boxes at the bottom of your posts and in the side column of your blog. You can also create popups like you see on the bottom of our blog. Want to host a webinar? You can do it. Want to create an amazing place for people to download your ebook? You can do it. Super easy and very, very valuable.

Starting A Blog For Extra Income: From Date Money To A Down Payment

starting a blog extra income

My wife, Jessica, and I were like a lot of couples. We both worked full-time jobs and sometimes struggle to find the time — and the money — for date nights and special outings that keep us connected.

About three years ago, we decided to start a blog to make a little extra income. We weren’t trying to create a lavish lifestyle. We just wanted to be comfortable enough that we could indulge in a nice dinner once in awhile.

Like many bloggers, Jessica started with what she knew. For her, that happened to be cooking. She was already preparing dinner each night, so she started taking photos as she cooked. Then, she wrote blog posts to go with the photos and shared them on Pinterest.

Thanks to on-site ads and the popularity of her content, she was earning $2,000/mo in side income within just a few months —  we were onto something. No special tricks or secret sauce (except in the food), just delicious recipes and high quality photos to accompany them.

(Here is my step by step tutorial on how to setup your own blog: How To Setup Your Own Blog In 10 Minutes Or Less )

Blogging presents fantastic opportunities for supplementing or even replacing your 9-to-5 income. In my opinion, the fastest way to monetize is AdSense, Google’s advertising network, which is easy to set up even if you’re new to blogging. But don’t expect to throw up a few ads and watch the money roll in. Successful blogs rely on good content. Here is a sneak peak of our financials that first 90 days:

Screen shot adsense new site

Here are the most valuable lessons we learned in our first year of blogging.

Write content people want to read.

You’re probably thinking, Of course! That’s obvious. But the lines blur when you’re writing about something you love. When Jessica started blogging, some of the posts she thought were great turned out to be duds with her audience.

We tested different types of articles, about 10-15 a week, to see which drew the best response. We also looked at the most popular content on Pinterest and created our own version. Timing turned out to be key as well. The site drew the most traffic in the evenings, so we published and shared posts on social media during peak hours.

Successful content really depends on knowing your audience — what they like, what they share, and when they engage.

Be intimately passionate about your topic.

Don’t write about a topic just because you think it will lead to decent ad revenue. Successful blogs rely on the author’s credibility. And credibility comes from knowing — and loving — your niche.

Jessica’s blog took off because she lives her subject. She would cook every day even if her income didn’t depend on it, and her audience knows that. They share a culinary passion, and that’s where the magic happens in monetized blogging. You can’t fake passion, and readers will know if you try.

Publish consistently.

Blogging is a long-term relationship. Before you hit publish on that first post, ask yourself whether you’ll actually post at least once weekly for the next six months. Be realistic about what you can do, especially if you have other work or ongoing personal commitments.

Establish a routine.

Ah, writers. We love to procrastinate. But you won’t make a dime off your blog unless you sit down and write every day. Figure out when you do your best writing — and when your content gets the most traffic — and plan your schedule accordingly. I like to write in the morning and post in the evening. Other bloggers like to crank out posts later in the day. It doesn’t matter when you write, just that you do.

Blogging for a living is like a double rainbow — you work for yourself and you get to write about what you love. How many people get to say that? But it’s not all about you. Your content should cater to your audience, building a conversation that happens when and how they want it to take place.

Ready to get started? How To Setup Your Own Blog In 10 Minutes Or Less

 

  • Update: Since starting blogging in 2014 I’m now working from home building lots of businesses online. There are other opportunities at play in this scenario and blogging didn’t create it directly but it certainly was apart of it. If we can do it, you can do it!

Image by golyak via DepositPhotos

How To Stay Motivated And Focused When Starting A Side Project To Make Income

A few months ago I started a new side project. I had finally finished some other tasks and decided my next priority would be a Udemy course. The process involved creating and organizing the content, designing the slides, recording the videos, launching the course and marketing it.

My goal: Do it all in one month.

During that time I learned the difference between successful side projects and ”side ideas” that never turn into anything: It really does come down to how you approach them.

Below are three of the biggest strategies I’ve learned from my side projects, my research, and talks with hundreds of people about the key to success. (Did I finish my project on time? Keep reading to find out.)

Clarity Creates Better Priorities

The first thing that helped me stay motivated was clarity. Why did I wanted and NEED to finish this side project? If I didn’t remember exactly why it was important, creating my course would continually be pushed to the bottom of the list.

Create a list of each reason you’re motivated to start your side project. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • I am starting this project so that…
  • I will use the money to put towards…
  • If I don’t start this I am going to feel…
  • This project will help create…
  • In six months this project will look like…

Don’t stop there, add as many reasons as you can to motivate yourself during the tough times. Write it down on paper and make several copies of your list. I’ve always found pen and paper much more effective than the computer.

Look at your list every morning, or at least every time you start working on the project. It will help get you fired up — especially when you feel like procrastinating.

Immerse Yourself

When I first started my business, one of my greatest motivators was a new car. I knew I needed enough money to replace my current car when I drove it into the ground (over 200k miles.) It might sound silly, but I really didn’t want to have to take the bus to business meetings!

I knew the car I wanted. I read about it on forums after work, perused reviews, looked for deals, and drove by the dealership on Sundays when no one was there. My business partner at the time had a similar goal, and we were constantly discussing it.

The same idea can be applied to becoming great at anything: Immerse yourself in it. Total immersion creates genuine excitement. When you stop engrossing yourself in what you’re passionate about, you’ll lose sight of why you’re doing it and lose momentum.

When you stop immersing yourself, you also become jaded. You’ll create reasons why you shouldn’t complete the project or why it’s probably wrong. You’ll start to rationalize that the people you are learning from got there in ways you never could.

Don’t lose focus! Here are a few ways to get totally immersed:

  • Find experts you respect the most in your field and follow them to learn everything you can.
  • Subscribe to blogs, YouTube channels, and podcasts so you always have something to read or listen to on your topic. If you have extra time between appointments or a long commute, turn on a podcast and make every minute count.
  • Find other people who share the same passions. You can connect in person at events through Meetup.com or online through Facebook groups and forums.
  • Document what you learn so you can track your progress. Journals, blogs and voice notes all work great.

Make the Time

How many times have you caught yourself saying, “I just can’t find the time…”? Probably more than you can count. And you’re right — no one can find enough time to do everything they want. The most effective people make time for things that are most important.

You won’t ever be able to find enough time, but you will be able to make it.

When I started this course in December, I gave myself a one month deadline. My business was steadily growing as the holidays approached. It was a terrible time to work on a new project, but the deadline motivated me to trim the fat in my schedule and focus on what was most important.

“Will this activity or effort make the highest possible contribution toward my goal?”

–  Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

When I took a closer look at my calendar, I noticed there were many small detours (i.e. distractions) in my daily schedule. I was spending 10 to 30 minutes doing things that weren’t even on my to-do list. Upon closer inspection, I realized this was because I had way too many goals.

I decided to put everything but my business and creating the course on hold. While I didn’t finish within a month, I did finish shortly after and created this course months faster than previous ones.

One of my favorite blog posts from Seth Godin is just 10 simple words.

You don’t need more time

…you just need to decide.

Sometimes you need to make a decision more than once. Sometimes you need to make the decision to keep going every day. What decisions do you need to make to make your side project a success?

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7 Key Steps To Start Blogging For Income

 

desktop pc

You’ve taken the leap and started a blog to make a little extra income. You chose a template, added your bio, and now all you have to do start writing the content, right?

Not exactly.

Before you hit publish on your first post, some important planning needs to take place. If you want your blog to be a long term success it’s time to ask yourself the tough questions. Use this seven point checklist to plan the future of your blog and make the most of every article you publish.

(If you want to jump ahead and get started with your own blog, you can follow complete step by step instructions here: How To Setup A Blog In 10 Minutes Or Less )

1. Define clear goals.

One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is not setting goals. Short and long-term objectives will help keep you motivated when you just don’t want to write.

What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want ad revenue, traffic, social shares or all of the above? Set realistic goals and a time frame in which you can achieve them, starting with one month, six month and one year goals. For example, if your goal is to increase traffic, aim for 50 or 100 visitors the first month. Then, set incremental increases for long-term goals.

2. Decide how much you’ll give in return.

Most people set goals for what they want to achieve, but never give a second thought to what they’re going to give. What are you willing to do to make an extra $100, $1,000 or $2,000 per month from your blog? Is it worth that extra hour of sleep in the morning? That hour of TV at night? Write out exactly what you plan to give to accomplish your goals.

For example, maybe your goal is to commit 1-2 hours every day to writing. Growing that writing muscle is extremely important for maintaining your blog.

Setting aside time for building relationships is another way to give. Spend 30 minutes each day commenting on five other blogs or building relationships through email outreach and social media. This is an easy and measurable way to be sure you’re staying on track.

3. Decide who you’re writing for.

One question you’ll undoubtedly be faced with early on is who are you really writing for — yourself or your audience?

We’ll talk about this more in the near future, but here’s an example of what this decision looks like: You enjoy posting recipes of dinner meals but see your audience clearly enjoys breakfast recipes more. Are you going to respond to what they want, and post more breakfast recipes, or continue posting dinner recipes?

This is really a question of whether your blog is a passion project or a money-making project. If your blog is a passion project, and you want to treat it like a journal, it doesn’t matter what readers want. BUT if you’re treating this as a side business, you have to be willing to listen to your audience.

4. Find your niche.

Once you know who you’re writing for and what you’re hoping to accomplish (I’m going to assume it’s for your audience and to make money), it’s time to decide on your niche.

There are hundreds of new blogs being created every single day. Competition is becoming much more difficult and so is your ability to stand out. When clients ask how how broad to go with their blog, I always tell them it’s better to be good at one thing then average at lots of things. An average blog is not going to get noticed and not going to build a loyal readership. Stick to one niche for now and you can always choose to go a different route later on.

Here are some examples of niches: DIY, recipes, gardening, hair and beauty, social media marketing, travel, etc. If you need more ideas, just check out the Pinterest categories list.

5. Scope out the scene.

To really understand a specific niche, researching the competition and finding where the holes are can be extremely helpful. Evaluating your competition gives insight on how you can stand out and gives you a dose of reality on what’s already out there.

WARNING: this step can turn into a huge time-waster! Set a timer for an hour and only give yourself that much time to do research.

Start with the sources of traffic to your blog. If you’re creating a blog around food or fashion, it will be Pinterest. If the blog is business-focused, it may be LinkedIn, etc. Search for your topic and see who your competitors will be. What are they writing about? What do people like about them? Dislike about them? The comments are a great place to find this information.

Next, use a tool like Buzzsumo to find what content does well in your niche. Just put your competitor’s URL into Buzzsumo and it will give you their most popular posts based on the number of shares.

6. Plan your content categories.

Now it’s time to plan your initial content. No specific posts yet, just the main topics you’ll be writing about. I call these content categories or “buckets” that each of your posts fall into. More than likely they’ll be in the category column of your blog.

Choose 3-5 categories to start with. On one of my blogs I started with marketing, social media, productivity and branding. From there, I added more categories over time.

7. Create a plan to keep yourself motivated.

Yes, it may sound crazy, but I promise it’s the only way to keep going. I’m sure you’ve started a project before and seen how much easier it is to continue with a group vs. working alone. Blogging is no different. Here are a few places you can start.

  • Use http://feedly.com/ to subscribe to blogging and writing blogs. They’ll help you continually improve your blogging and you can get active in the comments to build relationships. Fill your RSS feed with any blogs you enjoy reading that help you improve or inspire you. A great blog to start with is http://www.copyblogger.com/.
  • Join groups that are dedicated to blogging. You can search Facebook groups or just Google blogging groups. There are dozens of blogging communities, forums and groups that exist for the sole purpose of motivating other bloggers.
  • Grab your calendar and set time each day for blogging. If you don’t block the time now, it won’t happen. Make a commitment that you are going to take this seriously.

 

For more reading see: How To Setup A Blog In 10 Minutes Or Less

Featured image by Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash.