How To Start A Blog and Make Money Online
This page contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you use them. However, I only recommend tools that I use and love.❤️
Starting a blog to make money online can be a little intimidating. You have to decide what blogging platform you are going to use, what hosting provider will work for you and your needs, and actually get it all set up.
I remember the first time I set up a blog. It took me forever. I researched and researched hosting providers; I wanted to pick the perfect one that would grow with me.
Finally, when I did pick the provider, I had to figure out how to configure the cPanel, load a WordPress site. Move my way around the WordPress, and actually get something loaded on it that I could share with the world. Ugggh!
It was overwhelming and took me way too long. That is why I am writing this post for you. I wish I had an easy to follow tutorial like this one. It would have saved me time and all the headaches of trying to figure it out myself.
In this post, I show you the step by step process you need to use to set up and start your mom blog using my preferred blogging platform and my favorite hosting provider.
Plus I add in a few extra tips about where to buy a domain name, that will save you money, and how to hook the domain name up to your hosting provider.
But before we get started, I hope by now you have decided:
- What you are going to blog about
- What Type of Blog you are going to start with
- Picked a Name for your Blog
Follow along as I show you how to set up and start your mom blog!
My Favorite Blogging Platform
I am going to cut to the chase; my favorite blogging platform is WordPress.org.
All of my blogs, including this one, have used WordPress.org as the platform on which to run my blog.
Your blogging platform is the program you use to make the blog work and helps you customize it as you like. Think of it as the software you use on your computer to run a program.
Yes, there are other blogging platforms, but I love WordPress, because:
- A lot of well-known sites use WordPress.org as their blogging platform like The New Yorker!
- There are thousands of themes (this is the layout and look of your blog) both free and paid that you can use.
- There are thousands of plugins (this is what makes your site function) both free and paid that you can use.
- Because it is such a popular platform, there are tons of resources on YouTube, Blog Posts and WordPress forums. Whenever I come across a problem or a question, I google it, and I get the answer pretty quickly.
While the program WordPress.org is free to use, it does require that you have a hosting provider to run it on.
My Favorite Hosting Provider
I am going to be honest, once I thought I found a better deal somewhere else and switched to a different hosting provider!
However, it was a horrible experience. I didn’t realize how much support I needed, and that deal wasn’t better when I figured in all the extras I had to pay to make it comparable to SiteGround.
So, after about a month, I switched back, lost the money I had invested in the new host for that year…lesson learned.
Now I am one of over 800,000+ paying customers who are in love with SiteGround and what they have to offer.
Ok, so that is my story, but why is SiteGround such a good hosting provider?
There is 99.99% uptime.
When I first started researching a hosting provider, I knew a few things were important, and one of them was that uptime matters. It is common for hosting providers to have downtime because of server load, but what that means for you is your site is not accessible when it is down…that means no subscribers, no readers, and no traffic.
When you have SiteGround you won’t have to worry about this, they have one of the best uptimes in the industry! Which means your blog will be viewable and accessible.
There SUPPORT IS AMAZING
I love their support.
I have a question anytime, any day I go into their chat support and get the answer within minutes. I have to wait a top of 30 seconds to ask my questions, and they are very quick and knowledgeable to get me the answer.
I seriously love them for this. I don’t know how many times I have dealt with a company and needed an answer and sent an email and heard back from them in 2-3 days. YIKES!
I have gotten off a chat with them and told my husband I wish everyone could have that kind of support.
I mean even when I was a rookie and asking those silly apparent questions, they were so helpful. Sometimes they would explain how to fix my problem; sometimes they would go and correct the problem themselves.
You can ask them anything and everything related to your hosting package like how to set up your CDN, or how to set up your email, or how to keep your inbox free of spam. ❤️
SiteGround is Managed WordPress Hosting.
All their accounts include this. Which means if you are using the blogging platform WordPress.org with them, they are going to take good care of you when it comes to speed, security, support, updates, and enhancements.
My favorite part of this is the automatic WordPress updates. It is super important for security reasons to make sure your WordPress install is up to date, and SiteGround takes care of this automatically.
The last provider I had did not do this, and I wasn’t regularly checking one of my sites. Wouldn’t you know it wasn’t updated, and I fell victim to a DOS attack.
So, after adding some extra security on my website, to fortify it again, I switched back to SiteGround.
Alright, so you can see, why I love using SiteGround, and why I think setting up a blog with them is excellent for people who want a reliable, helpful, fast hosting provider.
But how do you actually set it all up?
Step-By-Step How to Set Up Your Blog
In this easy to follow tutorial, I am going to show you step by step how to set up your blog using SiteGround and WordPress. Follow along, and you should have your site up and running in minutes.
Step 1: Purchase Your Domain Name (Money Saving Tip)
Ok, so there is one thing I am not crazy about when it comes to SiteGround, and that is the price of their domain names.
It doesn’t matter where you get your domain name from. So, when I purchase domain names, I like to go with a company that offers me the best price.
I do find it is easier to manage my domain names when I have purchased them all in one spot, so I have done my research based on the price and the company I like to use is Namecheap for all my domain names.
Namecheap domain names are always less expensive to buy than directly from SiteGround. Plus they also include free WhoIs Gaurd (this protects your personal information) for life. At SiteGround WhoIsGaurd protection can cost you an additional $24.00 a year.
The only negative is that it involves a few more steps in your set up process, and you might have to wait 24-48 hours after you purchase your domain name to set up your website.
If you can’t wait and aren’t sure about the extra steps, then go ahead and purchase the Domain Name directly from SiteGround, however, if you want to save around $20-30 a year per domain then follow these steps below.
1. Go to NameCheap
2. Type in the Domain Name you want to choose for your website
3. Pick the .com
4. Avoid the upsells!
5. Click View Cart
5. Choose the number of years you want to purchase… there is no discount for purchasing multiple years, so I purchase 1 year at a time. You can also set up auto-renew which means your domain name will auto-renew about 3 weeks before it comes up for renewal. Good idea if you have a domain name that you don’t want to lose.
6. Make sure the WhoisGaurd is enabled, and choose the auto-renew option if you did for your domain name too.
7. Click confirm order
8. Create an account (write down your username and password)
9. Pay and checkout
Now when you sign up with a SiteGround hosting plan, I will take you through the extra steps you need to do to have your purchased domain from Namecheap work on SiteGround. This is called pointing your domain name to your Nameserver.
Step 2: Choose Your Hosting Plan
When you are just starting it is a good idea to go with a Managed WordPress Hosting, the prices are the same for Regular Hosting vs. Managed WordPress Hosting. Just Managed WordPress Hosting gives you some extra helpful steps.
SiteGround offers three plans to choose from StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
The one I recommend for bloggers running WordPress is the GrowBig.
You can host multiple sites with the GrowBig account, which means if you have different ideas you can start a few various sites to see which ones work.
Plus the GrowBig plan is the cheapest plan that comes with the SuperCacher. The SuperCacher is super important to make sure your site doesn’t slow down. I mean who wants a slow site right?
However, if you are a new blogger and are pretty sure you will be just creating one site and just want to get your feet wet, the StartUp plan will work for you too.
Just remember you won’t have the SuperCacher, also if you need to restore a backup because something went wrong, you will have to pay for that on the StartUp plan.
Finally, if you already have a high traffic site, or want to start running an eCommerce site that needs to have PCI compliance, you will need to go with the GoGeek plan.
Don’t stress too much about this choice. Just pick the plan that is right for you right now. If you want to upgrade or downgrade your plan latter, you can.
Also, when you are just starting you get a special discounted price that lasts for one year. However, if you purchase a longer term like a 2-year or 3-year term you keep that savings longer. Just remember you will be locked into to a hosting plan for that long period.
Action Step: Choose your plan and click the Order Now Button.
Step 3: Pick Your Domain Name
Skip this step if you already purchased your domain name with another service provider like Namecheap.
If you want to save money and take the NameCheap route, then click on the “I already have a domain name” choice and type the domain name you registered in step 1 in the box.
If you want to keep it simple and register your domain directly with SiteGround, then click register a new domain and type the domain name you have chosen in the box.
Action Step: Click Proceed
Step 4: Make Your Purchase
Fill in your account and client information – make sure you write down your login and password.
Fill in your payment and purchase information. (Make sure you pick the 12 months or longer to get the 60% discount. If you are sure of your blogging plans you can save a lot of money now by purchasing more than 1 year.)
If you have purchased your domain name already these are the options you will see. You do not need to choose the SG Site Scanner at this point unless you feel you need it. I did not purchase this.
If you are going to purchase your domain name from SiteGround, these are the options you will see. I recommend you purchase the domain privacy which is Whois guard. If you do not purchase privacy, your name, address, and phone number will be publicly available on the whois.com database.
Congratulations! You now have a domain name and hosting for your blog!
Step 5: Set Up Your Site with SiteGrounds Help
Now, if you have purchased your domain name from Namecheap, and saved all that money, you will have to set up your blog manually, and you will need to skip step 5 and start up again with step 6. No worries, though, I walk you through each step below, and believe me it’s super easy!
However, if you purchased your domain name directly from SiteGround, the first time you sign into your hosting account you will see a pop-up asking you if you want to start a new website on your account.
Just click on the “start a new website” button and following along with the tutorial to install WordPress.
If you want to learn how to set up your site manually, even if you purchased your domain name from SiteGround, or the tutorial above is not working for you then follow along below.
Step 6: Set Up Your Blog Yourself
If you purchased your domain using Namecheap, or if you want to set up your WordPress Website manually, then follow along with the directions below.
If you purchased your domain from Namecheap, you would need to follow the first few steps. If you purchased your domain from Siteground and wanted to know how to set up your site manually skip down to #15.
1. Sing into your Namecheap account.
After you sign in you should be on your Namecheap dashboard. If you are not there, click on your username at the top bar and click on the dashboard.
2. Click on Domain List
3. Click the manage button beside your domain name and keep this window open
4. Open up a new tab
5. Login to your SiteGround Account – If you get this pop-up choose the “Don’t need help now” option.
7. Click on the My Accounts Tab
8. Click on the Information & Settings Tab
9. Copy the Account DNS number.
TIP: You only need to copy the first number, they are both the same ending it is just the beginning NS1 and NS2 that needs to be added in twice.
Tip: you can highlight the number and use command + c on a Mac computer or CTRL + c on a windows computer to copy the DNS.
10. Go back to your Namecheap tab in your web browser.
11. Click on the drop-down box beside Nameservers
12. Choose Custom DNS
13. Paste the Account DNS number you copied in #9. Paste the item into both lines change the first line beginning to NS1 and the second line beginning to NS2.
TIP: You can past from your copied items by click on the box and using command + v on a Mac and CTRL + V on a Windows computer.
14. Click the green checkboxes…you are all set for this step.
START HERE IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED YOUR DOMAIN FROM SITEGROUND
15. Go back to the SiteGround Tab in your web browser
16. Click on the go to cPanel button
17. Click the addon domain – If you just purchased the StartUp plan you can skip ahead to step #21
18. Type in your New Domain Name and choose a password
19. Click Add Domain
20. Click cPanel home
21. Scroll down to security click on “Let’s Encrypt.”
22. In the drop-down under “Install New Let’s Encrypt Certificate” choose your domain.
23. Click Install
24. Click cPanel home
25. Under “Autoinstallers” choose “WordPress.”
26. Click Install
Choose Protocol: choose https://
Choose Domain: your domain name from the dropdown box
In Directory: Leave blank
Site Name – This is the name of your blog (this can be changed later).
Site Description – A brief description of what your site is about, you can leave this blank (this can be changed later).
Enable Multisite (WPMU) – Leave unchecked
Admin Username – This will be your sign-in to your WordPress account. Make sure it is unique, and write it down. Don’t forget it!
Admin Password – This is your password to get into your WordPress account. Make it unique and write it down. Don’t forget it!
Admin email – Enter your email address. It can be one you have setup from your host, or you can use one you regularly use. The main admin email can be changed later, but make sure the one you use is active.
Select Language – Select the language of your choice
Select Plugins – Leave blank
Easy Setup – If you are starting to use WordPress, the WordPress Starter gives you a nice tutorial and shows you around WordPress.
27. Click Install
Note: If you just changed the Nameserver for your Domain Name from Namecheap to SiteGround, it may take 24-48 hours before you can access and see your blog 🙁
I know sad right. I have been able to access my site within 2-4 hours before, but sometimes it takes a day.
Usually, I wouldn’t have given you the tip of using Namecheap as a domain name provider, but they are just so inexpensive I couldn’t pass it up! So savings outweighs patients right?!?
28. Sign in with your username or email and password, and you will have access to the backend of your blog!
Yeah! You did it. Now you have your blog up and running. You officially have online real estate now!
Hopefully, that was easy and stress free.
Are you excited?
I remember the first time I got my blog up and running it was like a new toy.
I was so excited; I just kept looking and tinkering around with things.
Go ahead, try creating a post get a feel for things!
If you need help creating your first blog post check out this article.
Aren’t sure what pages you need to start? Click here to see.
Let me know!
When you set up your blog tell me about it and send me a link in the comments below!
I love hearing from you.
Also, please contact me and let me know if you had any steps that were unclear I want to make sure this process works for you.
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