There are a lot of ways to make money online and one of them is blogging.
If you are like me and want to start something online that helps you get some cash and share with the world your knowledge, then keep reading.
First, let’s define what a blog site is. This article is a blog, and my webpage thesaltyfeet.com is my blog site. So a blog site is a web page where people make and posts blogs or articles about anything. There are as many topics as there are people because everyone has its unique way of seeing things and have different experiences and knowledge.
If you feel that blogging is your thing, then let me tell you how to make a blog site from scratch.
You need to know some definitions before we get into the subject:
The tools, language and the application that you use to develop your website is the website platform. One of the most basics is the HTML language. It was created in CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) by scientists that wanted to share their works and data. Most of the platforms use HTML premade blocks, so this way anyone, even without programming skills can develop a website.
Every website needs an IP address to access it, it´s like a telephone number that you have to dial in order to access that phone. In the same way that you don´t always know the telephone numbers but instead, you associate a name with that number, like FRANK or MOTHER, your domain name is associated to your website IP address. There is only one list of the domains so you need to research for a domain name that is not already taken, so you can register it and only you can use it on your website.
Several providers offer a free domain, usually in the form of www.yourname.providername.com.
This is, in reality, a subdomain and is part of the domain name of the provider. If you want to have your own domain name you must register one.
All of the websites need a home, or in this case, a server computer in which all the code, images, videos and documents that you use to develop your website can be recorded. There are a lot of paid providers and a few ones that are free.
If you use themes to apply them to your windows, internet navigator or cell phone, then you can understand how you can apply a theme to your website so you can change the way it looks.
They are software components that add a specific feature to your website, like e-commerce.
It´s like the plugins for internet browsers that allow customization.
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Ok, let´s start on how to make a blog site
Chose a platform
There are a lot of platforms to choose from, but in my opinion, there is only one if what you are looking is to monetize your blog site and have all the design freedom you can get and that is WORDPRESS, but let´s see what the top options are.
This is a new platform founded in April 2013. All of its code is open source. At first, it targeted journalists and magazines, but now all kind of bloggers use it services. You can use its free download and install if you are a good geek, but if you don´t know anything about code, programming, tech, then you can use GHOST PRO starting at 19 USD/month and it includes hosting.
The platform does not include a domain, but you can get one externally.
It has several themes to choose from, but it doesn´t provide plugins
Ghost is very easy to use if you install the pro version, and has a lot of themes and some basic plugins, but it is not as customizable as WordPress.
There is a lot of promotion for this platform in TV (at least where I live) but how good is it?
It is very user-friendly website builder for beginners. It offers a free subdomain in the free service. It also provides with web hosting. There are about 500 themes you can choose from and have some essential free plugins. They also have an app market where you can install plugins for free or choose their pro version. There are not a lot of plugins in the app store.
For what I can see you can`t fully customize your blog site with this platform.
This is one of the oldest website platforms to date. It is owned by Google and is totally free. You can use a free subdomain or use your own. This platform is perfect for personal blogs but is not so good for a professional blog site. It doesn´t support external plugins and has a basic website editor. If you want to start blogging in seconds this platform may be good for you, but if you want to have more control over your blog site then you must look somewhere else.
This is a blogger platform and a social network at the same time. Yahoo bought TUMBLR on May 20 of 2013 for 1100 million USD. When you subscribe to TUMBLR you have access to a free subdomain (you can use a custom one if you want), the hosting of your blog site and a very easy interface to start blogging. It has several themes you can choose from. The content that you create must be short and you can use images, videos, music, etc. in your blog. You can see and share all the content that other TUMBLR users create and they can do the same with your content. This platform is not suited to monetize your blog, it doesn´t support plugins so you can´t customize it.
It´s a blogging platform and has some social network characteristics. When you subscribe with MEDIUM you get a free subdomain and hosting for free. All the blogs use the same theme so it focuses on content. The blogs you create here are very easy to share with other MEDIUM users. This platform was funded by co-founders of Twitter Evan Williams and Biz Stone.
It has a very easy interface for making blogs, but you can´t customize your Blog Site. If you want your blogs to be read by a lot of people, this is a good platform because MEDIUM has a growing users base but is difficult to monetize the blogs. Another downside is that MEDIUM has complete control over all the blogs.
Many people prefer WEEBLY over WordPress because it is easier to use at the beginning. WordPress has a higher learning curve than WEEBLY. In order to create your blog site, WEEBLY uses a drag and drop interface and has its own hosting, has several themes to choose from and has several paying plans starting with the free plan in which you have a free subdomain and 500 MB of space. Also in this plan, WEEBLY will show its own adds. In the higher plans you get unlimited space, the removal of WEEBLY adds, the option to use your own domain name and the integration of eCommerce.
WEEBLY has a closed system, you can´t use plugins from outside of WEEBLY. All technical problems are taken care by the staff of WEEBLY, so you don´t have to worry about technical issues. The higher the plan you have the faster you will get help from them. On the other hand, WordPress is a much bigger community, it has open source code and has a lot of people working in this platform building from free plugins to pro versions of the plugins, so you have a much customizable platform and is cheaper but has a larger learning curve, but there are a lot of documents, websites, and videos with tutorials to learn how to properly use of WordPress.
WordPress.com is a commercial enterprise and has a hosting service that uses its own version of WordPress. You can have a free account with a free subdomain and 3 GB of free space, but it will show its own adds and you can´t monetize your blog site. In the paying plans you will get the option to use Premium Themes, the removal of the WordPress.com adds, and, in the higher plans, to monetize your blog site.
This platform uses a custom application of WordPress and you can´t use the plugins created outside of this platform.
WordPress.org is an Open Source Project in which hundreds of people around the world are working on it creating plugins, Themes and updating the software. It`s a free software so anyone can use it free of charge, but you will need a hosting service to install it.
They claim that 28% of all the websites on the internet are made from WordPress so it is the most used around the world.
The blog sites that you can create with this platform can be fully customized. You can choose from thousands of plugins and themes, free and Premium.
It has a larger learning curve but it is not really difficult to learn. You don´t need to know how to code (I don´t), but if you do, your options are endless.
This is my favorite option for blog sites and any kind of websites. You will need to pay for your hosting service and your domain name register.
Chose a topic or a niche
This is the most important decision to make. You should choose something that you like, that you have experience and knowledge because you will be making content about that topic and probably you will have to do some research, so you will be investing a lot of time in this.
Also, the topic you choose should be something that you can monetize. Imagine that you are an expert in analog photo cameras, that´s a very small niche that will be very hard to monetize.
Chose a domain name
Some hosting providers offer a free subdomain with their service, but if what you want is to monetize your blog site you need to develop a brand and the best way is to have your own domain name. It has to be something related to your chosen topic or niche and try to keep it the shortest you can, that way it will be more easy for people to remember it.
Your domain name should be the same as your Blog site name, so if you register hollowelectricguitars.com then you should use that same name in your blog site.
Avoid hyphenated names as people can make mistakes when writing them and are very easy to forget.
I prefer to use .com of my domain names, but if you have a local business related to your blog site as a restaurant, then you probably benefit from your country domain, like .uk
All the hosting providers can register domain names, so continue reading to find out where you can register yours.
Chose the hosting
There are a lot of options for WordPress Hosting service, but if you chose a Web Site platform that includes hosting like WEEBLY or WIX then you can jump to the next step.
I`m not going to get into details here, I will leave that for another post. The best hosting sites for WordPress are:
It has plans starting at 5.95 USD/mo. for 1 site and 100k visitors per month, and the business plan with 5 sites and 500k visitors costs 9.95 USD/mo. in 36 months plan to pay in advance.
This provider is good for novice bloggers; it has a very reliable service.
1 & 1:
The basic plan is 0.99 USD/mo. for 1 WordPress site and 50 GB of SSD storage, with unlimited visitors, and the unlimited plan costs 8.99 USD/mo. for unlimited WordPress sites, unlimited SSD storage and unlimited visitors in 12 months plan to pay in advance.
The SSD (Solid State Disk) storage is a great plus that this provider offers, and have very good prices.
The basic plan offers up to 1 website, 50 GB storage, unmetered visitors and SSL for 2.95 USD/mo. and a prime plan is the most complete with unlimited websites, unlimited storage and unlimited visitors per month for 5.45 USD/mo. in 36 months plan to pay in advance.
It`s a very reliable provider with more than 1 million WordPress sites hosted.
The Lite Plan includes 1 Website, unlimited storage, unlimited visitors and free SSL for 3.92 USD/mo., and Swift Plan offers Unlimited websites, Unlimited visitors, unlimited storage and free SSL for 4.90 USD/mo. and a complete plan offers the same than the swift plan plus a Turbo option that can make the website Up to 20 times faster for 9.31 USD/mo. in 24-month plan paying in advance.
This provider uses SSD drives for hosting.
The basic plan offers 1 website, 30 GB of storage, unlimited visitors for 2.49 USD/mo., and the Deluxe plan offers unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited visitors for 4.99 USD/mo. in 36-month plan paying in advance.
After your plan ends the price gets much higher for renewal.
These are only some of the most popular hosting providers. Others are DREAMHOST, ARVIXE, INMOTION and MEDIA TEMPLE. Usually what you need to look for is the number of websites the plan support if you are planning to develop more than one website (most people are), the storage space (more storage, more websites, more blogs, more everything), the bandwidth (number of visitors per month) and the upload speed of your websites.
Design your page
First, you must choose a Theme for your blog site. If you can preview them do it. Also, after you choose one that you are comfortable with, search it on the internet so you can actually watch a website with this Theme so you are completely sure that it is that you want. In WordPress, you can change themes but is not recommendable because sometimes can render your website useless.
After you install your chosen Theme you have to design your front page, which is the first page your visitors will see. You have to design your menus, top image, your website name (it should be the same then your domain name) and the form of how your blogs will show on your front page.
After that you must create at least 3 basic pages:
A page dedicated to you, what you like, your experiences and why you decide to make your blog site, explaining the topic that you chose. Click here to see mine.
Contact Me Page
It is a form that any visitor can use to contact you by email. It’s not recommended that you leave your email address on any page because it can be saturated by spam. You may consider making one after you gain more experience with your site builder. Here is my Contact Form
With the recent GDPR law, you must create your Terms Of Service Page and some other important pages so you can comply with the GDPR. Please read my article GDPR for Bloggers about this important issue.
At last, you can focus on creating your blogs.
When creating content try to follow these guidelines:
- Create original content. Don´t copy paste, Google has ways of finding cheaters.
- Create quality content. Try to express yourself as much as you can. The blogs that are more shareable are the ones between 1000 and 2000 words.
- Always have images on your blogs, and if possible, videos too.
These are some basic rules to follow. In another post, I will expand on this topic, also be showing how you can monetize your blogs.
As you can see there are a lot of things to do and more things to learn while building a blog site, so I`m going to give you an advice:
I was like you, I knew almost nothing about creating blog sites and internet marketing, then I found WEALTHY AFFILIATE, a place where I learned everything about this. It´s a great community where all the members help each other to learn. The first course is completely free so you only need to register and start. This place offers free hosting so you can start learning with a free subdomain. If you find that you can learn more after the first free course (you will) then you can have a paid subscription which let you access to more courses, videos, and tutorials. When you became a full member you can register your own domain names and manage up to 25 custom websites and 25 free websites (subdomain).
If you want to know more before subscribing, check my in-deep Wealthy Affiliate Review 2018
WEALTHY AFFILIATE really is a great place, give it a try.