Professionally Start A Blog in 20 minutes

Professionally Start A Blog in 20 minutes

1920 1280 Joaquim Miro

I started my first blog in 2015, and today it earns enough for me to keep traveling long-term, growing my career through travel and living a free life of adventure & discovery. Now I want to help you start your blog so you too can earn money from blogging and pay for your travels.

When first starting out, I too had no idea how to start my own blog. So this guide breaks down the entire process step by step to make it easy and efficient for you to start your own blog. Whether you want to start a travel blog or one that caters to your specific skills and offerings, if you follow these steps as you go then by the end of this guide you will have a working blog.

The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to professionally start a blog while spending the least amount of money. It all begins with your host, which is why we are starting the blog with Hostgator, the most trusted and cheapest hosting provider out there. If you follow this guide, then by the end of the day you will have a premium looking blog for $3.95/month (that’s $47.4 / year!!).

Get 50 Professional Pictures for Free

how to professionally start a blog

When you start your blog from this post, you will gain free access to 50 professional content images. One of the most important factors when building your new blog is to have engaging images, as these convey the feel and look of your blog. By using some of these images you will already be one step ahead, and not have to pay for any images yourself.

traveling physical therapist

Gain Access To Your Professional Pictures

Make your website look professional and clean with these 50 pictures

Commercial attribution license (you can use there for commercial purposes)

New curated images every month

Don’t feel like starting your blog today? You can still get the images.

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Let's Begin!

Step 1 - Set Up Your Hosting & Domain

Let’s jump right in. The first thing we need to do is set up your hosting provider & then find a domain name. You can get started by clicking on the button below. The link will open a new tab sending you to Hostgator with the special discount already applied.

Click the above button and automatically receive 43% off of your blog Startup cost!

After you click on the button above, you’ll arrive at a special Hostgator page made for people starting up a new blog like you are! You will also get $100 USD in Google Adwords Credit and another $100 USD in Yahoo!/Bing Ads Credit. You will see a big yellow button that says “Get Started Now”. Click on this button to proceed.

front screen hostgator

What is Hosting?

Great Question!

Every legitimate website and blog has to be hosted by a hosting provider. The host is in charge of keeping all your website information safe, and will largely determine your site speed, security and reliability. As Hostgator is one of the most powerful hosts, if you ever plan to grow and make money then they are your best choice. You could also start a website for free on Blogger or WordPress, but then it wouldn’t be yours. You must own a domain and pay for hosting if you ever plan to monetize your blog. Once you click “Get Started Now” on Hostgator, you will be buying your site and brand so that you 100% own it.

What is a Domain?

Another great question!

To explain it in simple terms, a domain is like your address. It is what you write after “www.” and before “.com”. To register and buy a domain name, you can either go through your host provider (which will be Hostgator) or you can get it through GoDaddy. Both are great options, one being more simple (Hostgator) and one being a bit cheaper (GoDaddy).

What is WordPress?

All these terms can get confusing!

WordPress is a content management system. In simple terms, this means that it is the tool that you will use to make blog posts and make modifications to your website. Rather than learning to code, you can visually change things using WordPress. It’s like using Microsoft Word but to change webpages instead of word documents.

Can't Think of a Blog Name?

No Problem!

You can sign up and set up your account and come back to attach a domain name later. Here are a few resources to help you find a great blog name. You can also contact me and I would be happy to help you find one!

You can choose the most basic plan on the left and click “Select”. You are just starting out, so no need for anything more than the basic right now. See the picture below for clarification.

pricing table hostgator1

Now that you’ve selected your hosting provider, it’s time to choose your domain name. The domain name is your website’s name: whatever is between “www.” and “.com”. This will become your brand and company name, so make sure to choose wisely.

If you are having trouble coming up with a name send me a message! I would be happy to help you find the perfect name.

Once you’ve decided on a name, time to put it in to Hostgator. Write in the domain name that you want, and Hostgator will see if it is available or not. If you already bought it from another domain name provider, then simply click “I already own a domain” and put in your domain name.

Choose a domain

Now that you have selected your hosting package and registered your Domain name, it’s time to select all the right options and pay. The most cost effective way that still will let you grow quickly is to choose the baby plan for 3 years, but if you would rather only get it for 1 year then that is also okay. By putting in code: rsosaveas2new, you will get 3 years for the price of two, paying a total of $150.76, instead of $378.15!

Pretty amazing that you can get started for so cheap wouldn’t you say? You won’t have to worry about any costs related to hosting your blog for the next 3 years!

baby plan hostgator

Make sure to uncheck all the boxes offering extra things, and then check the “https://” (SSL Certificate) box. This will help you rank on Google, and is included in the price I mentioned above. All the other addons are not necessary for a new blog so you should make sure to uncheck them.

addon options

You’re almost done with the hardest part! Now the only thing left is to pay. Make sure all your information is correct and submit your application.

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Congrats! You Are Now Eligible for the Free Images!

Now that you’ve taken action and made the first steps towards building your blog, you get access to 50 free images to help you get started. Simply click the blue button below and the link to the pictures will be sent to you by email.

This Newsletter Will Help You Travel

This Newsletter Will Help You Travel

But we aren’t done yet!

Now comes the fun part! Let’s learn how to create your account, design your blog, and write your first post.

Step 2 - Set Up Your HostGator Account

After clicking “submit”, you will receive an email confirming your purchase and highlighting the next steps.

Awesome! You are now ready to log-in to HostGator. To do so, click the link provided in the email and enter your username and password. Then click “Submit” or enter.

You’re in!

Step 3 - Install & Set Up WordPress

Wordpress is the content management system that you’ll use to manage your blog. It’s by far the easiest and most popular blogging software out there, and it’s completely free.

Installing WordPress used to be soooo difficult to do. But thankfully for you, they have now made it easier than ever! It should take less than 1 minute to install.

Once you’ve signed in to HostGator, you should arrive at your “CPanel” which is your backend control panel. There’s a lot of options and things you can click, but don’t worry about any of those for now. Simply look for the “Install WordPress” button and click it.

1-click wordpress instalation

Follow all the instructions they give you and it will automatically install wordpress for you.

See? As easy as pie. If you need help with this part I am happy to help. HostGator is also happy to help, offering 24/7 support through their chat app.

Step 4 - Log In to WordPress & Choose a Theme

Now comes the really fun stuff. Let’s pick an amazing looking theme for your new blog and start adding posts, pictures… and maybe even videos! This is where those images you just got access to will come in handy. I will show you the basics of how to choose a theme and customize it how you would like it, and provide you with links to great articles that will help you become a pro.

The first thing we need to do is log-in to WordPress. Open a new tab on your browser and write “www.YOURBLOGNAME.com/wp-admin” in the URL field. This will bring you to the page where you can log-in.

Once you log-in, you will enter the main platform from which all the blogging magic happens. Here you can write posts, set up your theme, and do much more.

Now that we are in, let’s get you a theme. On the left hand side find the term “Appearance”. When you hover on it a dropdown will appear, click “Themes”.

There are thousands of themes to choose from, some free and some premium. As this is your first blog, I recommend you check out some of the available themes. To see what the themes look like, click preview on the bottom right of each theme.

After clicking “Add New” on the top left, search “Travel” and 100+ themes will appear.

There are also thousands of premium themes, which usually cost around $60 USD. These offer much more customization so sometimes they are a better choice. If you are interested in these types of themes I recommend using Envato Market’s Theme Forest.

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Click the above button and automatically receive 43% off of your blog Startup cost

Now that you’ve picked a theme, you can pick out what colours and fonts you want.

Customizing Your Theme

To start customizing your new blog, under “Appearance” click “Customize”.

Once on the customizer page, you can find all the different customizable aspects on the left hand side.

I recommend you play with it to get a better feel for what changes you can make. Here is an explanation of the more confusing ones:

  • Site Identity – The title of your site, your tagline, and sometimes you can find a “meta description” which is the description that will show up in Google searches.
  • Menus – This is where you choose what will be in the menu bar at the top of every page. Just place them in order from left to right and watch them appear on the page!
  • Widgets – These are all the things you find on the sidebar of most blogs. You can choose and customize them here. To get more widgets or to change their text, you have to go the Widget’s page.

Depending on the theme you choose, there will be different aspects you can customize. Play around with it until you find the design that works best for you. Granted you can always come back and customize the theme later.

Useful & Helpful Plug-Ins

Plugins are like add-on functions for your blog. There are hundreds of plugins that can help you with different things. To find the plugins page, look on the left-hand side of the page and you will find Plugins in the list.

From SEO Optimization to Social Media Boosters, here are a few of the most important plug-ins everyone should have. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back to this if you don’t feel like downloading and setting up all this plugins right now.

  • Akistmet Anti-Spam – To prevent spam
  • Backup – To backup your website and make sure you don’t lose all the work you did.
  • Easy Facebook Like Box – This allows you to easily display the facebook like box with your fan page in the back.
  • WP Smush – To optimize your image sizes (faster website).
  • WP Cache – To help other browzers cache your website (much faster website).
  • WP Retina 2X – Make your website even more sexy for those who have a retina screen.
  • Wordfence Security – To help improve the security of your website.
  • YOAST SEO – To help you rank well in Google searches.
  • SumoMe – If you want pop-ups, this is the best.
  • Mailchimp for WordPress – For email newsletter subscription, this is the best.
  • Mailchimp forms by Mailmunch – A great plug-in for increasing newsletter subscription rate.
  • Contact Form 7 – To make contact forms on your contact page.
  • Duplicate Post – To clone that beautiful post or page rather than having to rebuild it every time.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – To create a sitemap link and help you rank on Google.
  • Google Analytics dashboard for WP – To be able to see how many visitors are on your website each day, along with other insightful information.
  • WPML – For multi-lingual capabilities.
  • Woocommerce – For online store capabilities.

If you get all the above plugins – which are all free – then the speed, conversion rate, and search engine optimization of your website will be optimized. You can browse for other interesting plug-ins, but keep in mind that when you have too many plug-ins your website slows down. Less is more in the plugins world.

By now your theme is set up, the design looks great, and you’ve optimized your website. So what’s next?

Step 5 - Start Blogging!

You are now ready to write your first post!

To do this, go back to your dashboard. From here there are a couple ways to write your first post, which you can find in the image below.

Once on the post edit screen, write away! The more content you write on a regular basis, the faster your blog will grow. I try to write 1 post per week, which is low compared to most bloggers. If you can publish 3 posts / week, that’s great. As long as you post regularly, Google will begin to notice your presence and you will start appearing on search results. Here are other things you can do to help increase your search presence. L’Autre Couleur, my inbound marketing agency, also offers these services if you feel like you would rather have this done by professionals.

Try to write articles that are unique, easy to read, and most importantly that offer value to the readers. Give them practical advice, offer information that only a specialist like you would know in your given industry. Make sure you use headings and sub headings to make your articles easy to browse. Here are the best tips on how to become a great copywriter.

After writing posts on your blog, you will need to raise awareness around the posts. To do so, having an active social media presence is key. Create a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. If this is too much, start with as many as you can handle posting and engaging on a regular basis. Here are some tips to help you boost your social media presence.

There are many other things you will need to do and know in order to grow your blog audience quickly.

By following a proven course that has helped thousands of bloggers become financially independent, you will increase your chances of becoming successful. Fellow blogger Nomadic Matt offer’s an amazing course on how to become a blogging superstar. By joining his class today, you would immediately gain access to a private group of fellow bloggers like you, step by step tutorials of how to build your blog, and one on one mentorship to help you along the way.

CONGRATS! You are now an official blogger!

Congratulations for taking the first steps towards building your blog. If you bought your domain and built your blog through affiliate links in this post, thank you immensely for your support! Feel free to contact me with any questions about running a blog or if you need help with any of the steps mentioned above. I am here to help, and only an email away.

 

Looking forward to seeing your blog shine,

The Alternative Ways

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Click the above button and automatically receive 43% off of your blog Startup cost

Joaquim Miro

As a passionate traveler, pianist, paraglider, digital marketer and cryptocurrency enthusiast, I always felt the urge to travel the world, but stopped myself because of my career. So I took a leap of faith to prove that it is possible to grow your career through travel. And it worked! Now I am on a mission to help you do the same.

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