You’ve recently heard of this incredible opportunity called blogging, and it has your attention. You’re wondering, is this for me? Can I start a blog with no skills or experience? I know because nearly a year ago, I was in your shoes. “How To Start A Blog With No Experience” had been in my search bar in so many different variations that included to make money, with no money, with no skills, etc. The list literally could go on and on.
So, trust me when I say, I’ve been there, I hear you, and I’m here to help YOU.
Reasons to Start A Blog
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a lot of incredible people in this community who come from many different backgrounds, social classes, and lifestyles. So naturally, their reasoning for starting a blog differs.
For me, it was to be more present for my kids while still contributing financially.
Sending my son to daycare all day and my daughter having to stay after school was weighing heavily on me and it was starting to show, both at work and at home. I just wanted to be able to choose.
Having a job outside the home or being a stay at home mom should be a choice, not a mandate of one or the other.
Other reasons for starting a blog may include:
- To earn an income
- Meet new people
- Build confidence
- Keep your mind sharp
- Help others
- A boost to get your work published
- Help your freelance writing business
- Heighten Creativity
- Build a Network
- Find Virtual Assitant Work
- Increase audience to an Etsy shop
- Bring awareness to a cause
- Market your product(s)
Honestly, the reasons to start a blog are endless as are the possibilities for success.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? If so, let’s get started!
5 Steps To Start A Blog
I’ll go over each of these in detail:
- Decide on a blogging topic.
- Choosing a Hosting Provider.
- Pick a domain name.
- Install WordPress
- Make it beautiful and start writing!
Number One: Decide on a Blogging Topic
Something you may not know – A Jar Full Of Change is actually my second blog. My first blog started as a food blog, went to something else, back to a food blog, went to something else; I wasn’t consistent at all. I felt like I was giving my readers whiplash and that’s not okay.
That’s why I decided to create A Jar Full Of Change since that “something else” was always money. It’s hard to turn off a nearly decade-long career in banking, so I decided to run with it. I’m glad I did. I now have a blog where my readers know exactly what they’re getting and a community built on consistency and trust.
My point is, choose something you know you can talk about forever, something you are passionate about and stick to it.
If you’re thinking, “But, I want to write about everything!” Don’t worry; it’s okay, you can. Just make sure that’s clear on your blog.
There are a boat-load of successful lifestyle blogs, but their readers know it’s a lifestyle blog. They aren’t like me saying, “this is a food blog”… but I’m going to write about saving money, but I swear it’s a food blog.
See the difference?
Number Two: Choosing a Hosting Provider
Think of it like this:
Let’s say you’ve been painting all your life and decide it’s time to start selling them. You’d look for a beautiful storefront in your town center to sell out of, right?
Well, that’s what hosting is. It’s the equivalent of an actual store, housing your products and your blog is the product.
Why do I need hosting?
Very simply, because it will be yours; you will own it, and you have the freedom to do with it as you please.
If you were to choose a “free” hosting provider, you wouldn’t have to pay for it monetarily, but you will pay for it in the sense that you’re limited in what you can do.
Making money, for example, a lot of bloggers earn money by using affiliate links, advertising, and sponsored posts. WordPress.com (different from wordpress.org) allows this but has restrictions such as only allowing one particular advertising program, the type of affiliate links, and limited allowance for sponsored posts.
Restrictions and limitations like these will keep you from making the amount of money that you want.
How much does hosting cost?
$3 per month.
To me, that is nothing compared to the possibilities it gives me because they are limitless.
I could find the $3 in change in the bottom of my purse each month, but I did something else to free up some cash.
I canceled my monthly subscription (that I loved) to Ipsy. Even though I loved and looked forward to that pink package each month, I wanted this blog even more because I knew it would provide for my family and me.
If you want it bad enough, there is always a way.
Which hosting provider should I use to start a blog?
I use HostGator. I chose them after I researched hosting companies for weeks because, to be honest, I didn’t even know what to look for in one. So I needed to be clear on what was important. In the end, those things were:
- Site Backup
The research I did on these hosting options pointed me in one direction, and that was HostGator.
The only thing they didn’t have going for them was a free domain name, but that’s changed now.
*When you sign up through this link not only will you get your hosting at an unheard of $3/month, you’ll get a free domain name too!
Click here to go to the website.
Once there you’ll see a screen that looks like this:
Click on the Get Started button, and it will take you to the page shown below.
Step Three: Pick a Domain Name
On this page, you’ll enter your domain name.
It’s best to choose one that has a .com at the end. For me, a .com comes across much more legitimate than a .biz or .site. Your reader will most likely see it the same way.
A few tips for choosing a domain:
- Keep it a .com if possible. If not, go with a .net
- Use keywords. If you’re going to write about food, some keywords might be tasty, food, meal, etc.
- Keep it short and simple
- If all else fails, go with your name. 🙂
After you’ve finished with your domain name, continue and choose your hosting option and complete the billing information.
Once you’ve checked out, look for an email from HostGator that contains login info as well as server information. Keep these. You may need them for future reference.
Next, login to your control panel (cPanel) with the information provided in the emails. cPanel is where you’ll download WordPress.
Step Four: Download WordPress
At the top of your cPanel, under popular links, you’ll see the WordPress Installer. Click on it.
Next, you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this:
In the drop-down, select your domain name and click next.
Choose your username and password.
Now you’re ready to log in and pick a theme.
Step Five: Make it Beautiful and Start Writing
When choosing a theme, it’s important to think of a few key elements:
- Is it customizable? Color, fonts, etc.
- Is it mobile responsive?
- Has it been optimized for SEO?
Then, as you become more experienced, you’ll want more customization such as:
- Menu Locations
- Layout Options
- Custom Widgets
That’s why, when you’re just starting out, I recommend using one of the free themes provided or purchasing an inexpensive one from the Marketplace (<– A link will be on your WP Dashboard). Then, once you know a little better about what’s important to you, I suggest upgrading to a theme built on Genesis Framework.
*Note – You don’t necessarily have to purchase from the Marketplace. My current theme was built on Genesis Framework but purchased on Etsy for $45. For the amount of customization included that’s pretty much a steal.
Logging into WordPress
Typically to access your login, all you need to do is type your site name followed by “admin.” It would look like this:
Use the username and password created after installation and login to be directed to your dashboard which looks like the image below.
When you hover your cursor over Appearance, a list of option will pop up. Click on themes and choose one that’s already been provided, activate it and then come back to customize it.
My sweet friend, you have just created your blog!
All you have to do now is hover over “Posts” and click “Add New” to start writing.
I’m so excited to see what you accomplish so comment below with the name of your site so I can check it out!
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