Since I launched this blog just 10 months ago it has received over 85,000 unique visitors, won 3 awards and earnt nearly $60,000!
In the last 3 months I have blogged from Amsterdam, Iceland, Under a tree, Austria, Texas, In a pub, Costa Rica & 30,000 feet up in a plane.
So what’s stopping you from creating a blog right now in the next 30 minutes and kickstarting your blogging career?
What You Will Learn
Today I’m going to teach you-
- How to create a blog over my shoulder step by step
- How to set everything up including your own domain
- The site will be mobile responsive, secure & automatically backed up
- It will also be fully SEO optimised with social integration
- You will also be able to add an email subscription opt in form
How To Start A Blog
Just watch the video below to make your own website in less than 30 minutes!
Want more great tutorials like this? Just enter your email and click “Sign Me Up!”
Resources In The Tutorial
Don’t Like Videos? Follow This Instead!
Hey! My name is Matthew Woodward – I have won awards and earned money from my blog. So far, I have made almost $60,000.
I created my blog only one year ago in August 2012, and it has really enabled me to do the things I want to do with more freedom than ever before.
I can travel around the world and work wherever I want. One time, I even sat down and blogged while in an airport!
In this post, I aim to instruct you on how to rev up your engine and start your own blogging career! I want this to be as easy as possible for you, so this guide will be simple. Going through the process step by step.
You Will Find Out How To:
- Get a domain name and install WordPress
- Optimise your blog for search engines
- Utilise social media
- Make a site that works on mobile
- Ensure your site’s security and automatically back it up daily
- Securing your site and setting-up automatic daily back-ups
If you want, I can even tell you how to create a form on the side bar that will give your readers the option of subscribing via email.
Let’s do this!
Before we begin, we should first glance at what the final product will be.
Below is a screenshot of the blog I created along with a sample post. You can take note of the fact that it also boasts social icons and links from affiliates.
How To Get a Domain Name
In order to begin with your blog we first need to set up a domain name and find a website hosting service.
I prefer JustHost because they are a well-known company with reliable uptime. Plus, their service comes with a domain at no extra cost. It is super easy!
Here’s what to do: go to JustHost and click the red button that says sign up now. It will prompt you to enter a domain name. You can do so and then click next.
It will ask for some more information, which you should fill out. You also get to pick a plan for your account — at this point, a one year plan is okay.
Also, be sure to make a good, strong password!
First, you will need to log in to your account on JustHost (you can do this with your newly-created domain and password). After you have access to the administrator tools, click on websites.
Here are the next steps:
- Click on the option to install WordPress
- When you get to the next step, leave Installation Preferences and Advanced Options at their default settings
- Deselect the recommended plugins and themes box — we will deal with that stuff in a bit
- Click complete at the bottom of the screen
Congratulations! At this point you have installed the basic WordPress set up.
One quick thing you should do, just in case, is write down the password and login.
There is no need to be intimidated by WordPress — it powers about 18% of the web and is made with non-coders in mind, so mastering the basics will not be hard.
Now, you might be going insane with blogging by this point, so feel free to change the name of the site to anything you want. I’m going with Blogsanity. Then click save.
Next you should head over to the left side of your screen and choose settings, then click on permalinks.
What is next?
- Select the custom structure option, and put in this: /%category%/%postname%/
- Download plugins — both the pack from my blog and the exclusive list that I recommend
- Keep all of your plugins in the same folder
To install plug-ins, here are the steps to follow:
You want to install all of these awesome plugins, so here is the process to do so.
- Choose new.
- Upload the plugin file.
- Do these steps with each plugin you want to add.
With my recommendations, you only have nine plugins to worry about.
Start by choosing SEO on the left hand side of your screen. Once there you can sign up, grab the verification meta values and put them in the appropriate forms.
Also be sure to keep titles and metas in mind — select the option for all four and then save your settings.
You will want to take advantage of Google author highlighting, and in order to do that you need to head over to Google+ and build a profile.
After you get a URL for your Google+ page, you should go back to WordPress. Look on the left side of your screen and click on users. Then choose edit. Here, you can paste your Google+ profile URL so that Google+ Authorship works on your end.
Before moving on, hop back over to WordPress SEO. You should go to title & metas — find taxonomies and choose the option to noindex the pages. Be sure to save your changes.
Finally, find your way to the help section and copy “%%excerpt%%.” Then place it in the right boxes.
Improving Blog Security
You do not want to have to always worry about people hacking into your site, so we are going to boost your blog’s security.
In the tweaks section, select every box that appears in yellow.
Once that is over with, return to the dashboard to deal with points four, five, and six. When you choose four it will prompt you to change the user admin ID.
Then you will need to re-log in. After that, get over to the dashboard and rename the other points.
Back Up Your Blog
You should have your site backed up in case the worst happens, so mosey on over to backup and choose Add New Job.
There will be a few settings you can tinker around with. One choice is where your backup will go to — I like having it sent via email. Remember to save your changes.
Our next stop is the schedule tab, where you can pick when your automatic backups happen. I’m going to opt for daily backups at three, which is the basic setting. Don’t forget to save your important changes.
Also drop by Files and make sure that it knows you want to back up plugins.
To make sure that you get your entire site backed up, we need to get rid of the maximum file size. You can do this by setting the maximum to zero.
Where are we now? A good place — we have a blog that is optimised for search engines, secure against attacks, and automatically backed up.
Now we can build on that groundwork.
Configuring Social Sharing
You probably want a social media side bar, so let’s make it.
Go to Global Config and put in your Twitter handle. (Don’t have a Twitter yet? I think the best idea is to just go ahead and make one.)
Next, allow normal display. For the time being, you can keep the defaults.
One thing you should do is uncheck all of the sharing options and then just choose those that you actually want. After the content, you can add Twitter, Google +1, and the Facebook like button.
Another tool we want is Pretty Link, which lets us mask all affiliate links.
How do you add this? On the options screen, you will want to switch link options to Permanent 301 and add no follow to link box. After that, update the changes.
Adding Affiliate Links
We are ready to add affiliate link #1! For this sample, we can use my HostGator affiliate.
What do we want to have happen? Every time a user goes to blogsanity.com/hostgator, the URL will direct them to the affiliate link.
You can create it, because we will need to put that link in our very first post.
Setting up Google Analytics
You can jump over to Settings > Google Analytics. It will allow us to enter a web property ID, so you should do that and then save the change.
Doing this will let you get access to all of the Google Analytics stats — visitor numbers, most popular content, etc.
Setting up a Contact Form
One way for visitors to get in touch with you is a contact form. Click Pages, then Add New. Choose the Contact Me option.
In the blank space, write the following: “Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or comments. I’ll do my best to get back to you within 48 hours. Thanks!”
Then we can go to our SEO control box to set some meta and title descriptions.
WordPress has thousands of free and paid themes to choose from. Start by going to Appearances and Themes > Install Themes.
It will show a lot of newer themes. I’m going to install Montezuma, a theme I really like because it works on mobile devices.
Once it installs, activate it. Now you are ready to write your first post!
Creating posts in WordPress is a piece of cake. Hover over the Posts link and click Add New.
There is a clearly marked box for a title. Try something like this: “Hello There! Welcome to the blog.” Type some stuff in, and maybe even attach an image (you can upload one or choose one from the gallery).
Adding YouTube Video
It is pretty easy to add YouTube content to posts on your blog.
Adding Link to Host Gator Affiliate
Remember our HostGator affiliate link? It is time to put that to use.
There are many different options: tabs, boxes, etc.
Let’s try a button. All we need to do is put the affiliate URL in the link spot, and then change the display text to “Visit HostGator Now.” Hit confirm, add shortcode, and then this step is complete!
We need a category, so call it “personal.” For SEO, the title will be “Hello There! Welcome to my blog.”
What about the meta description? Try something like this: “Welcome to Blogsanity, the part of the web where bloggers go nuts, 24/7!”
Are you ready? All you need to do is click publish. Now your post is live!
Everything looks great! We can see our sharing options, video, and our post.
Setting Up the Side Bar
To configure the side bar, you will need to head over to Appearance and Widgets. There are different things we could display: newest posts, a search box, etc.
E-Mail Subscription Form
If everything has made sense so far, why not go the extra mile? I advise you to create an email newsletter — when visitors subscribe you can collect their data.
Amassing a solid number of email subscribers is a huge part of your blog. How do you do that? An AWeber account will help, so let’s take a speedy look at that.
Setting Up an AWeber Account
For just a buck, you can make an AWeber account. Go ahead and do so, then log in.
Once inside, there is a process to follow:
- Make an email list
- Get a sign-up form
- Pick a template, any template
- Shift the template width to 320 pixels
- Find colours that are distinct
- See the box that prompts you to enter text and type something like, “Please subscribe. I will never spam you.”
- Format it — center the text
- Save the form before exiting
Next, name it. As per our theme today, I’ll call it Blogsanity.
Don’t forget to save the form!
Create an Email Subscription Box
First, head to Settings and lick on AWeber Web Form. Once you log in you can get the code it provides and type it in when prompted.
Second, navigate over to Widgets. Find the AWeber Form and drag it to the very top. As always, remember to save!
You now have an email subscription form set up, and once visitors begin to add their information you can start marketing to them.
You’re done! I have guided you through the process of setting up a search engine optimized, responsive, mobile-compatible blog.
You are even ready to connect with visitors using your social sharing buttons and contact page. These are the building blocks for making profit online.
You can use this blog that you have set up as a test site, an affiliate platform, or your main blog — but no matter what you choose, you have no excuse to not blog now.
You now have the skills and the knowledge, so why not? Follow in my foot steps and pave your path to success!