The gold rush
There are over a million blog posts published every single day. A few years ago the word “blog” or “blogging” was something new and unknown. The pioneers bloggers started writing about a wide variety of topics and some of them became more than bloggers over the time.
In fact, famous blogs such as Mashable (Tech magazine) or the Huffington Post (News and Media) or Nomadic Matt (Travel) are now real media publishers with millions of readers per month worldwide. They move opinions and information.
After the success of bloggers as Chiara Ferragni with TheBlondeSalad, the phenomenon of the fashion bloggers exploded.
Today the world of blogging is crowded, pretty much any category, but yet is one of the most powerful advertising and marketing tool.
Social Media are powerful today, but when you spend time and money growing your social accounts you are investing on someone else’s platform. If Facebook, Google or any other social change something, you don’t have any control on that. A blog is your “home” and your asset.[sociallocker id=”6134″]
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Find a niche? No, just a passion
Most of bloggers and internet marketers say that if you want to open a blog and start your online business, you need to find a niche. This is true, if you consider the saturation I have shown you before, but it’s not if you think about yourself and you passions.
I am pretty sure it’s easier to have fewer competitors with a fishing blog than with one about social media. But, are you willing to write daily or weekly content about something you are not passionate about? I don’t think so.
That said, yes, think about what you like, what you would like to do and if you have experience in what you would like to blog about. It can be your job, your hobbies or a special skill you have.
There’s always something you know that someone else doesn’t
Most of people are afraid to start blogging because they thing nobody will be interested about what they’ll say. Internet is crowded of people, especially if you write in english, and there will always be people willing to listen to you.
You don’t believe me? Just see the numbers in real-time of the global internet users here (Now are over 3 billion!!)
So, think about your friends and if, ever, anyone of them asked you tips and suggestions on a certain topic.
I am sure you know something better than someone else! If not, start reading books on a subject you love. You’ll be surprised by how fast you’ll learn something new.
It’s not an easy game
Bloggers, influencers and technopreneurs didn’t get where they are overnight. Creating and start a blog it’s easy. The difficult part is to have the perseverance to post fresh content frequently, to grow an audience, cultivate your social channels and study, study and study again.
Yes, because everything changes fast here and you always need to be up to date.
So, are you ready to work overnight, sacrifice your spare time and eat dust? If you are. Let’s go! It’s time to start creating your very first personal online space.
Well, I don’t want you to bother with thousands of options available for a blogging platform. I will tell you just the one that is today the most used and trusted: WordPress.
WordPress is an open-source blogging platform which allows you to fully customize your blog. From themes to buttons, to colors.
WordPress has two separates platform: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The main difference is that with the first one your blog will be hosted on WordPress servers. With the second, WordPress.org, you will need to choose a hosting provider and decide a hosting plan.
If you host your content and blog, you’ll be 100% owner of your online business, with no limitations and no boundaries. This is enough for me to go for WordPress.org, and this is what I did.
I initially started with WordPress.com but I realized soon that certain limits didn’t allow me to fully customize my blog. So I decided to move it. As a result I lost time and I got unnecessary headaches.
1- Choose your hosting plan
Ok, now that we have established that the self-hosted option is the most suitable, let me explain what a self hosted plan is.
A web hosting is the virtual space where your blog content will be. To say it simple, it’s like renting a garage where you will park your car.
In this case you are not renting a garage but a server, usually located far away from you, for a monthly or yearly fee. Simple right?
Ok, now that you know what a hosting is, let me show you which one to choose:
All over the web is often promoted BlueHost as the best and cheaper one. I tried BlueHost and I decided to move to another one after a while.
Because I opted for another one with better speed performance and customer care, which is called SiteGround.
I don’t want to say that BlueHost is bad but just that I have decided for a better one (my opinion).
Pricing are quite the same. The difference from Siteground and BlueHost is just about 50 cent a month. You will pay less than $4 a month for the basic packages.
To wrap it up I suggest SiteGround, but if you want to save just a little money at the beginning you can go for BlueHost.Go for SiteGround Go for BlueHost
2- Choose a domain
What is a domain? A domain is the given name of a website (ex. www.example.com) and it will be your virtual address. The domain will point to your hosting in order to display the content.
If you are starting a blog from scratch you will choose your domain when subscribing to the hosting service I have mentioned above.
If now send me an email and I will clear out your doubts.
A domain has a yearly cost. Usually it’s around $12 and you need to renovate it every year.
Go for SiteGround Go for BlueHost
Here are some screenshots you can use as a guide ( I’ve used SiteGround as a sign-up process example)
1. Select “sign up” and than your plan and click “Order Now”. You can choose “StartUp” to start. Later on you could always upgrade to another one
2. Choose a domain. You can use your personal name or the name of your business. If the domain is already taken, try different variants and then click on “Proceed”
3. Review your order and complete it. You will be asked to fill out a form with your personal details and your payments info. Don’t worry, the website is super-safe and you won’t have any security problem. Complete the order at the bottom of the page
Great! You are done! Now it’s time for you to set up WordPress.
Now it’s time for the last step: setting up WordPress. It’s easier than it looks.
You should receive an email with your hosting information to login like username and password. So, login into your hosting account ant follow the steps below.
1. Go into the admin and then to cPanel.
2. Once there, look for “Autoinstallers” and select Softoculus or directly WordPress.
3. Now, select your domain and if you want to use or not the protocol www before the domain. Just leave blank the “In Directory” and the “Database Name”
4. Choose the name of the blog and a brief description (you can change it in the future). Also, insert a username and password you will use to login into WordPress admin. Then, click “Install”.
Well! You are done! Now follow the link you’ll get via email and login into your WordPress account.
Once you are in the WordPress control panel follow this video (it’s not mine) to write your first blog post.
3. Choose a theme
Now that your blog is set up, it’s time to choose a theme. The theme is the dress of your blog and how it will appear.
I strongly recommend you to take your time and wisely choose across the thousand of themes out there! I took a lot of time before choosing mine and, at the end, I considered also the assistance of the theme developer. One of the best places to find a theme is ThemeForest. Otherwise you can also check out the themes available on Iceable Themes, the one I used for TheWebMate.
Another option is StudioPress, a wide selection of clean and well designed themes.
You can decide a free or a paid theme. But I recommend to go for a paid one. Here is a post I wrote about this topic and why I suggest to buy one.Go to ThemeForest Go to IceableThemes Go To StudioPress
To sum up all the steps above here is a breakdown of all your expanses:
- Domain Name: around $12 a year
- Hosting Service: around $5 a month
- Theme: starting from around $30 (one time)
The gold rush starts
So, for less than $70 a year you’ll have a professional blog and you can start your online business. Of course the benefits are several since you can start now spread your voice and knowledge and nurture an audience. No matter if you are a freelancer, a blogger, a professional or a Sales and Marketing Manager of a big company. Remember: there is always an audience willing to listen to you
From now on, it’s time to monetize as soon as possible and start gaining new readers and new potential clients.
I tell you: IT WON’T BE EASY but if you’ll stay focused and you won’t give up, you’ll see results.
So, how can you do it?
Follow TheWebMate for tips and insights, and join the newsletter to get the steps you need to be always on top! Otherwise feel free to contact me for any questions 🙂
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Ciao!Ciao! Mi chiamo Stefano! Sono il creatore di TheWebMate, blog e internet company. Sono italiano ma vivo a Los Angeles, California. Con questo blog voglio aprire gli occhi alla nuova generazione e mostrare le enormi potenzialità offerte oggi dal web. Il nostro modo di lavorare e vivere sta cambiando grazie ad i social e a internet. Sei pronto ad unirti a questa rivoluzione? Puoi seguirmi su Instagram (clicca sulla foto per aggiungermi)