When my sister and I started blogging for Dames in Debt, we had no idea where it would take us. As it turns out, it took us straight to being uber-focused on our financial goals, and hey – that is definitely not a bad thing! We also gained a new hobby out of it, and it’s been especially fun learning about the more technical website aspect of Dames in Debt.
One of the biggest perks to starting Dames in Debt is all the amazing network of other bloggers using their creative outlet as a way of making money. This lead us down the path to monetizing our blog too, and you know what? We have. We actually make money just by telling you all about our financial journey!
The one thing all these successful bloggers have in common is this: they all started a blog. Without taking this critical first step it’s impossible to make money blogging. It’s easy to think about “someday” starting a blog, but honestly the sooner you start one the better. By starting a blog today you are already far ahead of the millions of people who like the idea of blogging but have not taken the critical first step of starting a blog.
Before we get started, there are free blog options out there, and many people make the mistake of starting a blog on one of these free platforms (like us). The problem with free hosting options is that advertisers do not like them. They like the self-hosted blogs and do not take the blogs on free hosting seriously.
We’ve seen many bloggers go through the headache of transitioning from a free hosting platform to a paid, self-hosted one like Bluehost and some have spent an entire weekend going through the process and working out bugs. Don’t make that mistake! (Ahem, the mistake we totally made here at Dames in Debt – it took like 3 days.)
Since switching to Bluehost for web hosting, we have always recommended them to people who are looking to start a blog. They are highly rated, offer extremely affordable pricing, and make starting a WordPress blog extremely easy with their 1-click WordPress installation. They also happen to offer a free domain name with purchase.
So, are you ready to become our new blogging best friends?
How to Start A Blog (just like us!)
1. Get creative!
If you want to start a blog, then you need to decide what you want to blog about: finances, your pets, knitting, creative writing, etc. The possibilities are practically endless. It helps if you think about what you want the blog to do for you – a side-hustle that you’re hoping will make money one day is different from a writing outlet to relieve stress.
2. Choose a host
Next up, choosing a web host. As you’ve already read, we prefer BlueHost, but there are other options out there. We’ll be using BlueHost’s process since we are most familiar with it.
Once you have gone to BlueHost you will see the various hosting options. I highly recommend using the “Starter” package. Even though there are two higher-priced packages, there is nothing in the higher-priced packages that you need.
Keep in mind that this option is very affordable for self-hosting a website and comes with a money-back guarantee. If you decide within 30 days blogging isn’t for you, you can get your full payment refunded. Even at 10, 11, or however many months in, if you decide you don’t want Bluehost web hosting you will get refunded for any months you paid for but haven’t used yet.
You can also always upgrade to the other accounts if you reach any of the space limits from the basic account.
3. Choose a domain name
Once you have your name picked out, you have to register it – this keeps anyone else from using it. There a ton of ways to do this, but I chose the easy way and got it through my hosting site, BlueHost. Plus, this way it’s free.
You can use the tool below to check if your desired domain name is available or not.
4. Get registered
After you register your domain name, you simply need to complete your registration and you officially have a blog!
Next, you’ll have the option to select one of three plans, based on price and specific features. Decide what’s best for you. Then enter your domain name that you registered in step two in the box provided that says “I have a domain name”.
Follow the steps to enter your account information.
Next, decide which package you want to select. You get the least expensive rate if you signup for 36 months. And remember that if you cancel, you’ll get a refund for the prorated amount. This means you don’t risk losing your money up front (so why not?). You’ll also have options here that you can add-on. I would choose none of the extras on the last screen as they are just going to increase the cost of starting a blog.
The only one that I would consider is the $0.50 a month for “Domain Privacy Protection.” It’s not necessary, but it does shield and protect your information as a website owner.
You’ll then be prompted to enter your billing information and agree to the terms and conditions. You’ll be prompted to add other add-ons, but you don’t need to add them either. You can always add them later if you want them.
Next up, you’ll need to create a password for your account.
Once processed, you should see a congrats message, like the one below.
5. Start building your blog!
We are not web design geniuses over here, and we believe in NOT reinventing the wheel unless it’s necessary. Therefore, we recommend playing around with the guided set-up on WordPress. For one thing, it’s easy. For another, it’s hard to break something the owner invented.
First up, you’ll pick a theme for your new favorite website.
You’re now in your WordPress dashboard! This is where you’ll design your website and write posts…where the magic happens so to speak. If you’ve ever used a free WordPress blog before, then this will seem at least a little familiar.
Once you’ve tinkered to your heart’s content, it’s time to launch that baby!
To log into your WordPress blog, go to your domain name and add /wp-admin to the end of the domain. This will pull up the user and password fields that allow you to log into WordPress.
Just like that you have a living breathing WordPress blog. Congrats!
6. Start blogging!
It’s time to express your creative side. Whether it’s pictures, poems, posts, a GIF journey, or emojis. we’re excited you’re joining the blogosphere.
<3 from the Dames
Hit us up with a comment here so we can follow you after you’ve got everything set up and start blogging!