Updated March 2021.
Today I’ll show you how to start a blog. Starting a blog has changed my life and allows me make thousands of dollars each month doing what I love. I’m so excited you want to learn how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog too. The best part is you can start a profitable blog for just a few dollars per month!
There’s a TON of information available online on how to start a blog, which can get pretty overwhelming. That’s why I put together this easy step-by-step guide for beginners. Today you’ll walk away knowing how to start a blog that makes money the right way — no tech experience required!
Whether you’re brand new to blogging (like I was when I first started) or you already have a blog that you’d like to improve, this guide was created to help you successfully launch a WordPress blog in minutes.
Starting a blog was one of the best decisions of my life. I started my blog as a hobby and now I earn a full-time income from blogging. (I earn between $8,000 – $14,000+ per month from blogging).
Blogging has allowed me to work from home, have a flexible schedule, travel anytime I want, and more. Just a few years ago, I was unhappy at a dead-end job and now I’m my own boss! It’s amazing how much my life has improved and I feel so blessed.
In just a few simple steps and with the click of a button, you’ll have your own blog ready to go!
If you’re ready to get started, click here to grab your blog hosting which also includes a FREE domain name.
If you’re interested, sign up for my free 5-day email course to help you start a blog and make it successful. It’ll also teach you how to make money as a new blogger. Sign up below!
Please note I started my blog with Bluehost and recommend them. If you make a purchase through one of my links (at no additional cost to you), I will receive a commission, which helps keep this website up and running. I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement. If you have any questions about starting a blog, please email me at [email protected]
How to start a blog in 2021
Today I’m going to show you how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost in 4 easy steps. This is the same way I set up my blog in the beginning.
Step 1: Choose the right self-hosted blog platform
Step 2: Choose your web hosting package
Step 3: Register your domain name
Step 4: Install WordPress.org
*Please note that your domain name and WordPress.org installation is FREE with the purchase of any Bluehost web hosting package.
Is starting a blog worth it?
I believe everyone should start a blog. We all have a story to share or the desire to spread awareness about an important cause.
Being your own boss is a dream for many people. Blogging can be a great path to help you generate passive income from home. Like any business idea, if you want to be successful, you need to be willing to put in the work.
Being passionate about a topic will help you prevail as a blogger and be successful. If you enjoy what you’re writing about, your passion with shine through and you’ll naturally create valuable content. Your readers will be coming back for more!
Should I start a free or paid blog?
Many people think that starting a free blog on WordPress or Blogger is a good idea in the beginning. I often hear people say “I’m going to start a blog for free, then once I start making money, I’ll switch to a paid blog”.
Starting a free blog is a bad idea if you have ANY desire to make money from your site. This is because it’s very difficult to make money from a free blog.
When you pay for web hosting, you’ll have FULL ownership of your website, which means you can make money through display ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and selling your own products.
If you just want to blog has a hobby and have NO desire to make money from your blog, then you should probably start a free blog.
If you want to blog as a hobby and eventually make money from your blog, then you should start a paid blog.
If you want to start an online business and make money from your blog, then starting a paid blog is a must.
I’m going to assume that because you are visiting this website, you are probably interested in making money from your blog. Maybe you just want to make some extra money for fun or maybe you want to earn a full-time income from blogging someday?
Either way, it’s nice to get compensated for all the hard work you put into your blog. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money from your blog.
Reasons to avoid using a free platform:
- It’s almost impossible to make money from a free blog
- Many free platforms put distracting ads on your blog (that you don’t make money from)
- The URL doesn’t look professional (for example, wanderlustdiaries.wordpress.com)
- You DON’T own your blog or the content on your website (this means your free website could shut down overnight for no reason)
- Free platforms offer no support and limited design options
If you want to make money from your blog, freelance or turn your blog into a business someday, then paying for your hosting (such as through Bluehost) is a MUST. It’s super cheap and easy to get started. And you can run your own advertisements, affiliate links or product sales with a blog using Bluehost.
What is a self-hosted blog?
A self-hosted blog is where you sign up for a paid hosting plan, such as with Bluehost, which gives you a professional site and domain name.
This website (mintnotion.com) is self-hosted and allows me to make money online. If you want to make money through your blog someday, it’s important get a self-hosted blog.
In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the entire process of how to set up your own self-hosted blog.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
In the beginning, I recommend just paying for web hosting. This will keep the costs low when starting a blog. You’ll want to choose hosting that’s fast, reliable and secure.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but Bluehost is one of the best. It’s one of the top web hosting companies of 2021. It’s also super easy and affordable to start your own blog with them.
Blog hosting – Starting at $2.95/month
You can get a 36-month package for just $106 with my 60% off discount. This is the cheapest way to start a money-making blog for beginners.
Step 1: Choose the Right Self-Hosted Blog Platform
Choosing the right self-hosted blog platform is important if you want to have a successful blog. This tutorial is going to show you how to start a blog with Bluehost.
Reasons why you should use Bluehost:
✓ It’s easy to use – anyone can create a self-hosted WordPress blog with this tutorial
✓ You get a FREE domain name
✓ #1 recommended web hosting company by WordPress.org
✓ Bluehost offers 24/7 support via live chat, email, or phone
✓ FREE WordPress.org installation
✓ Bluehost is the best affordable paid hosting for beginners. You can start your own blog for as low as $2.95 per month. This is an exclusive price for Mint Notion readers.
✓ You will own your blog and be self-hosted. If you ever want to monetize your blog, you must be self-hosted.
✓ Bluehost offers a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you have any questions throughout this process, just send me an email and I’m happy to help you out.
SPECIAL OFFER: There’s a NEW lower price on blog hosting for Mint Notion readers. Now you can start your own blog for as low as $2.95 per month (due upfront in full) when you sign up through this link. Plus, you’ll get a FREE domain name! That’s over 60% off the regular monthly rate!
PRO TIP: Most professional bloggers recommend and use Bluehost for their website as this creates the right technical foundation for a successful blog. It’s simple and easy to use.
Hosting is the #1 factor in website uptime and Bluehost is the #1 recommended host by WordPress. Uptime is an excellent measure of how good a hosting provider is at keeping their system up and running. Bluehost has a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Why uptime is important – If you’re website is down, users can’t access it. This is why uptime should be one of your top priorities when choosing a web host.
Over 2 million websites are already powered by Bluehost and it’s a favorite among many new bloggers because it’s user-friendly. With just the click of a button, you can easily install WordPress and get your site up and running within minutes.
Getting the most bang for my buck is one of the key factors when choosing a web host and Bluehost is affordable yet powerful. They even offer 24/7 support from their trained experts, including guides and video tutorials.
As you can see, there are many benefits of using Bluehost to start your blog. Thanks to their 30 day money-back guarantee, there’s very little risk of starting a blog through Bluehost, and a lot of potential to make money blogging.
Step 2: Choose Your Web Hosting Package
You can click the Get Started Now button at Bluehost to get started.
I recommend choosing the Basic starter package as that’s really all you need. It’s a great deal at 60% off the regular price! It’s $2.95 per month USD or as little as $3.92 per month Canadian dollars.
Step 3: Register Your Domain Name
I suggest putting some thought into the name you choose. It doesn’t have to be long or super catchy. A short and simple domain name is usually the best choice.
I know it’s easy to overthink your domain name, but remember the value of your blog is in the content you share. There are many successful blogs today that have silly names. Even my blog name is not perfect (Mint Notion), but I like it and it works for me.
PRO TIP: I recommend registering your name through Bluehost because it keeps everything streamlined. You’ll also get a FREE domain name if you purchase a 12 month (or longer) blog hosting plan (a $15.99 value).
You can get your domain directly through Bluehost for FREE when you sign up for at least 12 months worth of web hosting. Paying up front for at least 12 months of hosting will save you a lot of money in the long run.
To get the best value, I recommend purchasing a 36-month plan (paid in full). This is what I did when I started my blog. It’s the cheapest option and great for beginners.
If you want to get a free domain name, follow the instructions below which will let you to purchase your hosting and get the free domain name all in one step.
Once you’ve chosen your free domain name, the next step is simply to fill out your contact details and payment information.
You can uncheck any of the extra add-ons, as this will only increase the cost of starting your blog.
I recommend choosing Domain Privacy Protection, which keeps your name and phone number private. This is the only add-on you really need.
You may want to consider choosing Codeguard Basic. This makes daily backups of your website. Or you can use a free plugin, such as UpdraftPlus to do this.
Step 4: Install WordPress.org
Now that you’ve purchased your Bluehost hosting package and chosen your domain name, the final step is to Install WordPress.
Is WordPress blog free?
Bluehost makes it easy to create a WordPress blog and it’s FREE. WordPress is a free software that you’ll use with Bluehost hosting to create your self-hosted blog.
If you get stuck on any step, you can always send me an email at [email protected] or open Live Chat on Bluehost.
Once you login, you will be prompted to create a password for your new account.
How To Install WordPress.org
1. After you created a password for your account, Bluehost will show you what you need to do in order to set up your blog
2. Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. You can choose any theme here, just pick one that inspires you. You can always change it later so it’s not a big deal. There are lots of free options too, so if you prefer to skip this step, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click “skip this step”.
3. After you select a theme, click on “Start Building”.
4. The next screen will ask what kind of site you would like to set up: “Business” or “Personal” — it’s really up to you. Or you can click on “I don’t need help”.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT!
Now you can log into your WordPress dashboard and start blogging — this is the part I know you’ve been waiting for! The URL for your dashboard should be: yourblogname.com/wp-admin/
If you want to upload a different WordPress theme, you’ll need to click “Appearance” from the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard, then select “Themes”.
If you’re not ready to pay for a theme, that’s okay. There are lots of free WordPress themes available. I used a free theme in the beginning, then switched to a paid theme when I got serious about blogging.
The only downside of using a free theme is that it comes with limited features and it can be hard to customize. My favorite free WordPress theme is Olsen Light. You can get Olsen Light here.
If you want to choose a paid WordPress theme, I recommend going with a Genesis theme or Kadence theme for your new site. Genesis has built-in SEO and a ton of other great plugins that make it easy to change the look and feel of your blog.
Once your site runs on the Genesis Framework, you can choose from a variety of Genesis Child Themes, which is the design of your blog. Below are two of my favorite Genesis WordPress themes:
Foodie Pro is sleek with a minimal design that packs a punch with its features. It’s the most flexible Genesis theme, which makes it a popular choice with top bloggers.
Do you have a free WordPress.com blog?
If you’re currently using WordPress.com, you can easily transfer your blog to a new self-hosted site with Bluehost. When you purchase a web hosting package through Bluehost, one of their experts will migrate your website to Bluehost for FREE. You can learn more here.
What types of blogs make the most money?
One of the common misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be an expert on a topic or have an interesting life. This is so NOT true!
Your blog can be about anything you want it to be – it’s a spot on the internet that you can call your own.
Anyone can make money blogging. I’m not special or talented. I’ve never heard of WordPress before I started my blog. I learned absolutely everything from scratch.
If I can do it, you can too!
Some of the most profitable blogging niches include:
- Arts & Craft blog
- Fashion blog
- Finance or Frugal Living blog
- Food blog
- Healthy & Fitness blog
- Home Decor or DIY blog
- Lifestyle blog
- Mom or Parenting blog
- Travel blog
How do bloggers get paid?
There are many ways to beginner blogs make money. Whether you want to learn how to make an extra $1,000 a month blogging or make $10,000+ a month, it’s up to you!
Below are the four main ways bloggers get paid:
1. Display advertising – This is when you have display ads through your website. You can use Google Adsense or work with a company such as AdThrive or Mediavine.
With display ads, you can earn an average of $10 per 1,000 page views. This means if your blog receives 100,000 monthly page views, you can expect to earn $1,000.
2. Affiliate Marketing – This is when you earn a commission by promoting a company’s products or services. If you have an engaged audience, this is the best way to make money through your blog.
Some blogs earn $0 from affiliate marketing. Some blogs earn $100,000+ per month from affiliate marketing. As you can see, affiliate marketing gives you the potential to earn a lot of money. You also don’t need a lot of page views to make money with affiliate marketing.
If you want to learn how to make money with affiliates, consider taking an online training course that will teach you how to maximize your affiliate income. Michelle earns over a million dollars per year from her blog. The majority of the income she earns comes from affiliate marketing. Her self-paced course helped me grow my blog from $0 to $10K+ per month.
3. Sponsored Posts – This is when you work directly with a brand or media company to write paid content for your blog or social media platforms. The amount of money you’ll get paid will depend on a few things, such as your monthly page views and social media engagement.
4. Sell your own products or services – This is one of the best ways for bloggers to make money. When you have a self-hosted blog with Bluehost, you can sell any of your own products. This may include e-books, e-courses, photography, physical products, online coaching, virtual assistant services, freelance writing services, and so on.
Here are some helpful posts to help kick-start your blogging journey:
Growing Your Blog Traffic:
- What NOT to do when starting a blog: 10 Rookie Mistakes
- 6 actionable tips to increase your blog traffic
- Blog Traffic Report – Feb 2017
Growing Your Email List:
Making Money From Blogging:
- Best affiliate marketing programs for new bloggers
- Why your blog isn’t making money (and how to fix it)
- How to choose a profitable blog niche
- How to make money blogging for beginners
- September Blog Income Report – $1,274
- October Blog Income Report – $2,300
- 3 ways to increase your affiliate earnings
Still have questions? CLICK HERE for a list of FAQs about starting your own blog!
If you have any questions about starting a self-hosted WordPress blog, please leave me a comment or send me an email at [email protected]. I’m more than happy to help you, that’s what I’m here for!
If you know someone that wants to start a blog or website, please share this tutorial with them!
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