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.

Checklist For Starting A Blog For Income

checklist-starting-a-blog

Now that you’ve defined your goals and chosen a niche, it’s time to build the foundation of your blog. That means choosing a URL, hosting site and theme — but don’t worry! I’ve provided every resource and tutorial you’ll need along the way to make it as easy as possible. Let’s get started!

Choose a Domain Name

The first step to building your blog’s foundation is choosing a domain name. You can check to see if your desired blog name is available instantly below:

Depending on how you plan to bring traffic to your site, you can either choose a domain that includes keywords that are discoverable in organic search OR a branded domain name with more personality. Discoverable domains are helpful for SEO search traffic and branded domains are usually more memorable but either can be branded.

For example, a discoverable domain for this site would be something like: howtoearnasideincome.com. Movingmountains.co is a brandable domain because we’re more focused on realizing your potential, not just making money.

Bottom line: Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and pronounce. Don’t get fancy with alternate spelling, it just confuses people. (I speak from experience, having done this before.)

Find a Host

Before you launch your website you’ll need to choose a website hosting provider that will store all the content on your website.

I recommend Bluehost because it’s reliable, has great support and is inexpensive at just $5.95 per month. The first time I setup my site I didn’t go with Bluehost, and I seriously regretted the hours of hassle it caused me.

Choose Your Website’s Theme

Choosing a theme is about more than just the website design. The theme also affects how your audience will engage with the site and the type of customer support you’ll receive.

Here are the main things to consider when choosing a theme.

  • Responsiveness – Is it a mobile responsive theme? Having a website that’s easily viewable on mobile devices is especially important after Google’s most recent update.
  • Free vs. Premium – A free theme is great for obvious reasons, but it also means fewer updates, less support, and a lack of control over some features. If you’re serious about your blog and plan to personalize some of the features, we’ve found it’s often better to choose a premium theme.
  • Customization – Does the theme have a visual page editor? While the theme will dictate the main features, you’ll want the option to make changes to the design of the site without touching the code.

You can check out theme Showcases to see the potential of different theme. Here are some great options for all types of websites.

STUDIOPRESS THEMES

  • These themes were created by the Copyblogger team and run on the Genesis framework (the framework is the foundation of the site and the customization of the backend things like columns and backgrounds.)
  • You can get any theme with the Genesis framework for $99.
  • Studiopress has great support.

WOOTHEMES

  • Woothemes are a great choice with simple backend management.
  • If you’re considering an e-commerce store they also have Blue Commerce which is a great choice.
  • They have free themes and paid themes starting at $99.

THEMEFOREST

  • Themeforest is where we got the Moving Mountains website theme. It is by far the biggest marketplace with many user generated themes.
  • Because the themes are user-generated you’ll want to read the reviews and see how good the support is for each theme. Make sure you can get answers to your questions if a problem comes up.
  • Most themes are in the $0-$70 range, but they also have free themes.

Install Your Theme

Once you’ve selected a theme, you’re ready to install it. It’s a simple process that shouldn’t take long at all. This video is a great step by step tutorial for installing your theme in WordPress.

Set Up Your Email Address

Finally, if you want to set up a specific email address for your new website this tutorial is very helpful. If you are the only one blogging, just start with yourname@yoursite.com.

Or, if you’re already using Gmail and want to integrate the email address into your existing account, use this tutorial.

Congratulations! Your website is ready to go. In our next post about starting a blog, we’ll discuss how to lay out the welcome mat for your visitors and start customizing your homepage and blog. Stay tuned!

 

Featured image by Ed Gregory via Stokpic

10 Ways To Make Money Online That Anyone, Anywhere Can Do

The online marketplace is the way of the future, especially for entrepreneurial types ready to ditch their 9-to-5 jobs and two-hour commutes. Many people assume they need to start a popular blog to make money online, and that is one option. But monetizing a blog takes time. Unless you really enjoy writing, you’re better off looking at other opportunities better suited to your skill set.

Here are 10 ways to earn easy income online without starting a blog.

1. Fiverr

fiverr-marketplace

Whatever service you’re selling, there’s probably someone on Fiverr who’s buying. Fiverr is a unique marketplace where users offer their skills or expertise for five dollars. Clients hire professionals for voiceover work, keyword research, Photoshop editing, career advice, logo designs, mobile app development — the list goes on.

Think about what services you can provide quickly and correctly, then create a free profile and gig listing. You can also upsell clients with add-on features after they make the initial five dollar agreement.

2. Fulfilled by Amazon

fulfilledbyamazon

The Fulfilled by Amazon program allows you to sell products to customers around the world, which Amazon will package and ship for you directly from its warehouses. You’ll have little overhead, since you don’t have to handle inventory and only pay for storage space as Amazon fills your orders.

Get started by finding a product that’s popular on Amazon, then order it in bulk from a site like Alibaba.com to resell.

3. Amazon Associates

amazonassociates

Amazon will pay you a commission just for referring people to its products. You sign up for a free Amazon Associates account, then use custom links to ensure you get credit if someone uses them to buy Amazon products. Here’s a look at the commission rates on different items.

You can write about your favorite products on a blog or personal site, or you can share the links on social media. The goal is to educate your audience about products that would be of value to them, then get them to buy using your affiliate links.

4. Mechanical Turk

mechanicalturk

This is another Amazon program, but it focuses on “hits,” or micro tasks, that you complete quickly. Thousands of people power the Mechanical Turk marketplace by working on small segments of many projects. For instance, if someone submits a 60-minute transcription project, 10 people will transcribe six minutes each, rather than having one person take the entire assignment.

Tasks on the site include data entry, writing short paragraphs, taking surveys, and countless other options. Daily earnings range from a few dollars to $100, for those willing to hustle.

5. Udemy

udemy

Leverage your personal and professional experiences for profit by creating a course on Udemy. With four million returning students, Udemy is the largest e-learning marketplace in the world, and you can sell a course on virtually anything through its platform. Current courses cover Javascript, writing, yoga, piano lessons, knitting, interpersonal relationships, and much more. Get creative about what you can teach, and then get paid to showcase your knowledge.

Udemy keeps a percentage of your profits, but promotes your course within its user base so you still end up making decent money. I started using Udemy about three years ago and earn a few thousand dollars a month from four courses.

6. Freelancing

odesk

Fifty-three million Americans make some or all of their income from freelance or contract work. You can work as a part- or full-time virtual assistant, or take on client projects as a writer, programmer, web designer, accountant, business consultant or several other capacities.

If you’re new to the freelancing game, create a profile on bidding sites like odesk.com or elance.com. Strategize before you start bidding to make sure you’re taking on projects that pay well. You’ll also want to set up a portfolio site to make it easy for clients to find and hire you directly. Thanks to intuitive themes from Themeforest, powered by great hosting from Bluehost, you can easily have a portfolio site up and running in no time.

7. Etsy

etsy

Have a knack for homemade crafts? Sell them on Etsy, the international marketplace that’s taken the DIY craft world by storm — and has earned some entrepreneurs serious dough. Sign up for free and test your best products in your own Etsy shop.

8. Craigslist

craigslist

Craigslist — it’s so much more than Missed Connections. You can start a profitable side business by advertising your freelance services or selling restored furniture on local Craigslist sites. You don’t have to deal with shipping if you sell locally, but sharpen your negotiation skills before you enter into any Craigslist transactions. People can be brutal when looking for a bargain.

9. Sell photos online

envato

Thanks to the ever growing number of blogs and news sites, good photography is in major demand. If you’re sitting on a repository of great photos, or are willing to shoot some fresh ones, you can earn money selling your snaps online. Sites like Envato, Shutterstock, and iStockPhoto and apps like Foap all buy photos. And you don’t have to choose just one — you can license the same photos to multiple sites.

10. Sell art on DeviantArt

deviantart

This is one of the largest online art marketplaces and home to a passionate art community. Sell your art on the site or promote your work to get commissioned for new pieces. Check out this great resource from The Abundant Artist on selling through DeviantArt.

There’s no limit to what you can sell online. Whether you’re a designer, an accountant, or you’re just really good at making wine bottle art, you’ll find a niche on the Internet. By thinking beyond blogging, you can create multiple streams of income. And before you know it, you’ll never need another 9-to-5 again (unless you want one, of course).

Featured Image by LEEROY via Life of Pix

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