How to start your blog? (15 minutes and 50 Dirhams)
I have been a blogger since 2012 and I am happy about it. It gives me freedom to express myself and use it as a medium of exchanging knowledge. But, please note that it has not been a simple journey. Blogging takes some serious commitment. Let’s say you have a goal to save 1 million Dirhams for retirement. Unless you have won a lottery, you have to be consistent at it to save regularly. And if you are consistent, you will surely reap the benefits. Starting your blog can yield good returns over a longer period of time for your business as well as personally!
Why should you start a blog?
In the year 2011, I was made redundant…meaning, the company which I worked for terminated my services and I was left without a regular income. Couple of months into unemployment, I was thinking seriously as to I should not depend on a single source of income. I started reading a lot (so much time when you are unemployed!!). I was reading how people were making money online. I had no idea I could make money online, let alone the blog part.
After much reading and accumulating knowledge, I could get a sense of how people made money online. There are many ways you can make money online and blogging is one such medium.
Blogging has many advantages to it:
- You do not need any initial investment;
- You are free to do it at your own pace;
- You do not have to blog 9 to 5!
And many more but…you get the point right!
And why should you blog?
People start blog for many reasons:
- Be popular;
- Help others;
- Make money.
But if you have a knack to combine all the above points, it becomes a deadly combination.
How to make money with your blog?
Although there are numerous ways to make money with your blog, I prefer the following 4 ways:
- Sponsored Posts / Sponsored Lists;
- Own products and services.
(I will talk/cover these topics in detail in a separate post, promise!)
What are the platforms to start a blog?
There are many platforms you could use to start your blog:
FREE Blogging Platforms:
These platforms are free to use, meaning, you do not have a cost associated with it. However, the disadvantages are many.
- You do not own the content (technically!)and it is on service providers
- Once your content is published it’s not yours anymore;
- Google is notorious at culling their products, so you are at their mercy;
- There is minimal or no customisations that you can do to your blog.
- And many more.
Paid Blogging Platforms:
The above mentioned platforms are paid platforms that you can use to start your blog. But, the disadvantages are:
- The scope of customisation may be limited and you may have to stick to the designs provided by these platforms;
- They are not scalable;
- You content lies on the servers of these service providers;
- They are not open source.
What blogging platform do I use?
I use and recommend WordPress.org, which is an open source platform. I trust and use WordPress.org because:
- The platform is open source and Free to use;
- The content lies in my server and I own the content and the copyright to it;
- Easy customisations;
- Easily scalable;
- Powers more than 24% of sites on internet;
- Easy to use (I will show you how!)
And in this tutorial, I will talk more about how to start your blog in Easy and Simple ways.
Step by Step guide to start your awesome blog (including costs):
Total time required: <15 minutes
Before you start a blog, you must have the following things clear in your mind:
- Why are you starting your blog – your objective;
- Who is the reader of your blog;
- What type of content are you looking to produce?
Remember what Brian Clark says:
Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.
Step 1: Booking your domain name
Cost per year will be around: $ 10 or 40 Dirhams (!!)
- Credit Card;
Before you even start your blog, you should have your domain, the .com or any kind of domain you wish to have. I prefer .com as this is a widely used domain type. For this reason, I prefer NAMECHEAP.COM to book my domains. Right now, I have around 15 domain names and 13 of those are registered with NAMECHEAP. Why?
- They have a very strong support;
- They never compromise your privacy (even with Govt agencies…at least this is what I have heard)
- So book your domain at: NAMECHEAP.com
Step 2: Sign up for you server to host your website
Cost per month: $ 6 or 22 Dirhams.
- Credit Card
Most of the domain service providers also provide WordPress hosting service and vice versa. I do not recommend this as this ties 2 crucial elements, your domain and server with the same provider. I have come into problem with this and hence recommend to keep these services separate.
Now, when you are starting a blog, you will not have a huge amount of traffic to your site. So, you should initially sign up for a reliable shared hosting. It does not matter where your server is at, USA or UK or Germany….go for the reliable option.
I stress the keyword, RELIABLE as I initially went for a really cheap host and when my blog grew, the host literally throttled my blog with major down times for the blog. This meant that I would lose out on traffic and as a result, income. So, I would say go for the reliable service provider.
One such reliable shared host that I have found is: Inmotion Hosting.
Why are they reliable?
Currently, I have around 4 blogs hosted on Inmotion Hosting Shared Hosting and literally I have had very few outages in the past 2 years I have been using them…I mean literally NONE. I use Pingdom to monitor my site down times and here is the proof:
So, go ahead and sign up for the reliable hosting.
Reasons to sign up for Inmotion Hosting:
- Reliable service;
- Fast loading blog;
- Special WordPress hosting;
- Easy to use interface;
- Awesome Support
- And many more reasons.
Don’t wait, sign up now:
Signing up should not take more than couple of minutes.
Step 3: Connect Domain and Server
Once you have signed up for the hosting, you now have to connect your Domain and Server.
When you signed up for the Server with Inmotion hosting, you’d receive email from Inmotion with access to AMP (Account Management Page) login. Your nameserver details are under Account Technical Details, as below:
And your name servers will look something like this:
Now, do you remember the Namecheap Domain that you booked? This is where you will enter these nameserver details:
- Click on Manage button on the Domain List page;
- Select Custom DNS from the Nameservers and enter the nameservers as below:
Step 4: Installing WordPress:
In the next step, you will install WordPress blogging platform.
If you are already logged in to your Inmotion Hosting, you will have the following dashboard:
cPanel (Control Panel) is the technical area where you will install WordPress. Once you click on cPanel, you will be lead to another page which has full of technical matters. But do not feel overwhelmed. You do not have to do much here. You are now installing WordPress:
Click on WordPress under Top Applications:
Click on Install to install WordPress by selecting your domain name:
In the following page you will be asked to enter your Site Name, Admin Account name, password and email. Do not select any other option and click on Install.
That’s it. You are done installing WordPress on your own domain!!
Can you believe it?? You’ve done it!
When the system has done installing WordPress on your domain, you will be given a link to login and you already have selected your username and password. The login link will look something like this:
To start writing content, you must now login to the WordPress with username and password that you have selected and YES, there you are. Owner of a new blog, the key to your freedom!
Most of you may think, you’ve done a lot till now, but wait…the real work starts now!! I mean NOW!
Who cares that you have installed your blog?? People will visit your blog to read, listen and watch what you have to say, right!!
Step 5: Add a theme or use default WordPress
A theme in WordPress means the look and feel of your site. The theme dictates how your blog will look like. WordPress by default installs theme on your blog. So, you should not bother too much at this stage about your site design and functionality. I have seen many bloggers sweating too much about how their site should look like and what functionalities it needs.
Just forget it. No ones cares a damn at this stage! Your journey has just began. When you have some decent visitors, you could think of this. I am too embarrassed to show you my first blog design.
Step 6: Start Writing (create content)
By now, I am sure you are pumped to be a great blogger and I am happy that you have taken first step towards this. Now is the time to write your content and let the world know that you do exist. To start writing, in WordPress Dashboard click on Post and then New Post:
So there you are! You’ve arrived.
And here starts a beautiful journey. A journey that will take you places and make you satisfied.
I wish you all the best and hope that this has helped you. I will be covering various aspects of blogging in detail in the upcoming posts.
Disclosure: Links in this post may contain Affiliate links for which I may be compensated at no added cost to you.