Want to learn how to start a blog on SiteGround and then make money blogging? Can it even be done?
Yes, I am proof of that. I’ve owned several blogs, over the years, and what I can tell you from experience is that a blogging business is the ABSOLUTE best kind of business.
I have also owned clothing boutiques, an ice cream store, a hair salon, an eBay jewelry business, several apartments buildings and an online consulting company.
What I can say, from first hand accounting, is that blogging for a living is where it’s at. Really, I think any type of online business is the right kind of business to own.
I have two answers for you:
- You can start a blog today, from your home, with almost no outlay of capital.
- You have ZERO overhead. No employees, office or retail space, signs, insurance, workers comp, etc. That’s HUGE!!
I don’t understand, why in this day and age, every single person doesn’t have an online business or blog!!
I see bloggers selling their blogs, all the time, on websites like Flippa for upwards of $100,000. I have even purchased a few myself.
It is being done, over and over again – every day. So why aren’t you blogging?
If you need more convincing, you may want to ready this article with 7 more reasons you should start a blogging business.
All the blogging has taught me a thing or two about what it takes to start a successful blog. You will need a domain name, a CMS like WordPress, a WordPress Theme and a really top notch and affordable hosting company.
When I was getting started in blogging, and online business overall, everything was so darn complicated. I would take this course and read that book and watch as many Youtube videos as I could. Still, I learned maybe 65% of what I needed to know.
Every time, I just got kinda stuck knowing 65% of what I needed to do.
I just kept thinking that setting up a blog/website was SO complicated and, since I’m not techie, I needed to hire a developer to build one for me for upwards of $2,000??
NO, PLEASE NO!
Since those days, I have killed myself to learn the best (most affordable and easiest) ways to start a blog. I’ll show you every step here.
If you’re just starting out, keep your costs lean for now. I am a HUGE DIYer and I believe every blogger and business owner should know the basics of WordPress sites.
Friend, you are about to save a ton of money by DIYing it. And I am here to help!
(Note: I am in NO WAY saying that hiring a designer or developer is a waste of money. It is definitely not. They are professionals and I respect the heck out of them. But I do believe if you are strapped for cash, with all the technology available out there, you can do it yourself for now, and then invest in the pros when your blog is making money.)
What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?
Basically, a blog IS a website, but a website is not necessarily a blog. Lemme break it down for you:
Everyone knows what a website is. It usually has a home page, about me page, contact page, maybe some products that are being sold and is will sometimes have a blog area. Websites can have many purposes, the most prevalent usually being to tell you all about that business, its location, its founders, its products for sale, etc.
Now, a blog on the other hand, is a website where it’s homepage is all about content. This home page will list the latest posts in chronological order, with the most recent posts showing up at the top, generally. My business Whereverwriter is a blog. It is about information and I like to add to it regularly, as most bloggers do.
I write articles about travel, freelancing, blogging and opening businesses online.
I know, it can be a tad confusing. Both a website and blog sound sort of like the same thing. And more and more, they are becoming more similar to one another.
Let me put it this way: If you are wanting to write and create content about a certain subject, you are a blogger and need a blog. If you want to open an online business and sell sterling silver toe rings, for example, you probably need a website.
So does your business need a blog or a website? Or both?
It’s up to you to decide what your business needs but I hope my explanation will help you get started.
One advantage of blogging is you create more content, which helps your business get found via search engines (through a process known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization).
What You Need to Start Your Own Blog/Website
Let’s use a house metaphor to make this super simple to understand. Your visitors are your guests whom you are inviting into your house (your website) for a delicious meal (your content)!
- A domain name = Your address. This is the address where people can go to find your blog. (Example: This blog’s domain name is whereverwriter.com). You can purchase your domain name right on Siteground’s site. It’s a part of the process so no worries there.
- A CMS (Content Management System) = Your kitchen. In this case, I would highly recommend your CMS be WordPress.org. There is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and if you want to be in charge of your own blog, and own your content, you will want to use WordPress.org. Your CMS, or WordPress, is the “behind the scenes” area of your blog where you (the administrator) control and tweak content. This is where you will write and publish posts and manage plugins. Let’s say that the CMS is the kitchen where you’ll cook up the delicious meal you’ll serve your guests (AKA content for your visitors). (Example: My blog is on the WordPress CMS.) Remember, that’s WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com
- A WordPress “theme.” = Your house’s exterior. A theme is a design template. This is the exterior of your house. You want it to look nice and put together because you want it to be inviting to your visitors. My very favorite WordPress theme is Coursecats. I like it because it is really, really easy to set up. In fact, they have a concierge service where they will set up the theme for you. FREE. It’s amazing and I highly recommend it. The Coursecats theme is set up for bloggers who want to teach and sell products. It is really easy to set up and use and for me, that makes the difference between doing it and not being able to get it done. Coursecats is not the least expensive theme out there, as some are even free. But trust me, you get what you pay for. And coursecats will let you use the theme for free for a generous period of time, so you can really make sure you like it before you have to pay for it. I can’t say enough good stuff about it.
- Web hosting = Your plot of land. You’ll need a place on which to build your house, right? Your host is where all your blog’s files are stored. I only recommend one hosting service and that is because I use them and know how excellent they are. My host is SiteGround.) I will go into more detail below why I like them so much.
Which Web Host Is the Best?
To remain balanced, there are SO MANY OPTIONS for hosting companies. Popular ones include HostGator and Bluehost (my former hosting company) BUT I highly recommend SiteGround. If you really want the details, you can read here why I switched from Bluehost to SiteGround.
Can You Really Make Money Blogging?
Yep, I make money blogging. Lots of others do too. Just as with any business, if you have a solution to people’s problems, they’ll gladly pay you to solve them!
How to Start a Blog On SiteGround in 6 EASY Steps!
Before we begin, I highly recommend you download the google extension “Tab resize.” This is what the logo looks like:
It allows you to split your screen in half so you can be working on two things at once. You can be reading this article on the left side of your screen, and working on your own website on the right side. I use the extension daily and find it very helpful. I hope you do too.
So let’s get started! Click here to open a new tab in your browser and follow along step-by-step as I walk you through how to start a WordPress blog on SiteGround:
Step 1: Select a Hosting Plan
All right—now before we build your awesome house, you’re going to need to buy a plot of land for it.
Go to SiteGround.com and select a hosting plan. If you’re just starting your blog, go with the most basic and cost-effective plan, StartUp. But keep this in mind: If you get StartUp, you can only host ONE blog on your SiteGround Account.
With GrowBig, you can host UNLIMITED blogs. So start small upgrade your plan later as you grow. That’s what I did.
I started with the GrowBig plan and then graduated to the GoGeek plan as my website grew!
Step 2: Choose your domain name.
How are your visitors going to find your “house”? That’s right–you need a domain name to give your blog an address.
How do you get a domain name? Keep in mind, you can get it right inside SiteGround for $14.95/year! It’s all part of the installation process so it’s very fast and easy.
This image below assumes you purchased your name from Siteground.
Alternatively, you can buy a domain name from one company, and purchase hosting with a different company, or you can buy both in one place.
Personally, I bought my domains through Bluehost, but if I had to do it all over, I’d save myself the headache and do it all on SiteGround.
Don’t get too hung up on this or else you may never start your blog. Remember, you can always change your domain name later, and a domain typically costs around $10.
You can also always transfer a domain name from one company to another. For example, if I wanted to, I could transfer my domains from Bluehost to SiteGround.
If you’re a freelancer, it makes sense to buy your own name, if it’s not already taken. (Example: YourFirstNameYourLastName.com) Otherwise, try to choose a domain name that makes sense for the type of blog and/or business you’ll have.
Example: I chose whereverwriter.com because I planned to write about my travels and my life as a blogger. So, whereverwriter.com made sense.
Step 3: Fill out your information.
In this step, you’ll create your account username and password, fill out your contact and payment info, and then select your hosting period. For hosting, you can start out with 12 months.
In the “Extra Services” section, I highly recommend getting Domain Privacy. Without it, anyone can find your full name and address just by searching your domain! I purchase Domain Privacy for every domain I buy.
Step 4: Install WordPress. Next, you just hit “Install WordPress” and it is automatically all done for you via their Installation Wizard.
Boom! What a great service.
It’s why I recommend them and use them myself.
Installing WordPress with SiteGround could not be any easier.
And, if you do happen to get into any trouble, you can contact their support team and they will do it for you for FREE! Just click on the question mark, on top right side, to reach support.
Step 5: Pick a WordPress theme.
So you’ve got an address now… and a plot of land. It’s time to build your house! You want its exterior to be visually pleasing, and most importantly, you want it to be inviting to your ideal visitor.
My FAVORITE WordPress theme, as I mentioned before, is CourseCats. There are so many darn themes out there and trust me, I have tried dozens. They all just confuse the heck out of me.
Coursecats is different. They help you get it all set up and then offer an incredible video to walk you though setting it all up. It’s really fantastic. I built my latest website Open A Boutique in a weekend and it was crazy easy.
They have an unbeatable support representatives that provide a concierge service, and will set the whole thing up for you FREE.
Keep in mind, for a good WordPress theme, you generally will have to pay for it. There are free themes out there, and some of them I’m sure are good. But in my experience, a paid theme like Coursecats is worth it’s weight in gold.
Assuming you do not buy the Coursecats theme, and purchase a theme from somewhere else, you will need to know how to do the install. See below:
When you buy a WordPress theme, the design company you bought it from will email you a downloadable file. When you download the file, it will be a .zip file. DO NOT UNZIP IT. Leave it as is.
To install your WordPress theme, go to Appearance > Themes and click “Add New.”
Then click “Upload Theme.”
Now ALL you have to do now is upload the .zip file you received when you purchased your theme. DO NOT UNZIP the file. Just upload the zipped file, and you’re good to go!
Now hover over your newly-installed theme and click “Activate.”
If you do purchase the Coursecats theme, they will do the install for you, as a free service. Either way, now you know how to install your theme!!
Ta da! Go to your site and you’ll see your new WordPress theme! Now the fun begins. You will probably want to ready about my 23 Proven ways to monetize a blog straight away!
WordPress theme lookin’ a little rough? That’s because now you need to customize the theme. Go to Appearance > Settings > Customize to tweak your theme to look the way you’d like it to look.
If you purchased the CourseCats theme, you can watch their onboarding video and it shows you step by step how to set it all up. Again, it’s why they are my absolute favorite.
Keep in mind, you will only want to watch the video below once you have done all the steps above. That way you can get to building your website and blog right away!
Step 6: Start producing awesome content!
Now the real work begins! You’ve got to get into your kitchen (WordPress CMS) and start cooking up meals (content) for your guests (visitors)! (All right, friends, I realize I have now exhausted my metaphor. Thanks for bearing with me!) :)
My biggest piece of advice to beginner bloggers is this: Stop worrying about publishing new posts every day, or even every week. What works best (as in, ranks well in search engines) is high-quality, long blog posts.
Take your time to do research and write a blog post that solves someone’s problem. Think of what people are searching for, and write a blog post answering their questions about it. It’s quality over quantity.
Now you know how to start a blog on SiteGround—You did it!
Woohoo! Give yourself a pat on the back because you just built your own website/blog! I hope you found this guide on how to start a blog on SiteGround super helpful. Comment below with any questions!
So…How do you make your first $1K with your new blog?
The key is creating blog posts in a strategic way. You need a goal in place and you need to actually help people.
Check out my February income report to see how I made $3,575.05 in one month from this blog!