Updated: February 22, 2016.
Have you ever wondered how to setup a blog for fun or profit? If you have interest in setting up a blog or simple website, then this article will give you the info you need to get up and running. Whether you’re interested in writing for fun and self-expression, starting an interest blog to earn some side money through advertising, or engaging customers by writing for your new startup small or medium-sized business, this guide will help step you through the process of setting up your own blog.
Read on for tips to consider before you get started and to find out how you can setup your blog or website is less than five minutes!
What Are Blogs?
Let’s start from the beginning for those that aren’t fully up to speed. First of all, what exactly is a blog? Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 15 years, you’ve probably visited dozens of blogs and may not have even realized it!
Wikipedia defines a blog as: a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order.
Blogs can take many different forms and can serve many different purposes. Before we get into how to setup a blog by yourself, let’s look at three of the main types of blogs that you’d probably be interested in setting up.
Three Main Types of Blogs
Here are the three main types of blogs that one can create:
- Personal: This type of blog is used by folks to express themselves creatively or share aspects of their lives with others. This could be used to share poetry, artwork, personal feelings, events in one’s life, or share family photos (to name just a few uses). The most famous personal blog network that most folks interact with daily is facebook. I’m sure you’ve heard of it…
- Interest: This type of blog is an extension of the personal blog. The main point of these types of blogs are to create articles related to a specific topic that readers will find interesting, helpful, and engaging. Some typical topics could include money, politics, technology, etc. Writers of these types of blogs frequently seek compensation through on-line advertising or affiliate links for their time spent writing helpful articles.
- Small or Medium Sized Business: These blogs are really an extension of a small or medium sized business. Typically, they involve B2B type articles, push products or services, or simply serve as a type of on-line “business card”. The main point for these blogs is to advertise the businesses’ products or services to new and existing clients or customers. Writers of these types of blogs are typically folks in marketing employed by the company in question and are responsible for the company’s on-line presence.
With that said, what you have in mind should fit into one of the three categories above. Now that we have that squared away, let’s move onto the various places that you can setup your new blog.
Where Should I Setup my Blog?
There are a TON of free blogging sites out there, and they are all pretty much the same (more or less). In my opinion, there are three main options that really stand out for you to consider. These are: tumblr.com, WordPress.com, and paid hosting through Bluehost with the WordPress.org Plugin.
A special note on Bluehost: I use Bluehost for this blog (MoneyAhoy.com), and I have had a great experience with them so far over the past three years. They came highly recommended to me, and now I am recommending Bluehost to you because their service is reasonably priced, reliable, and it is very easy to setup the WordPress.org plugin through their control panel. The links I have setup here from Bluehost are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything additional, and I receive a commission from them if you sign-up to host your blog through them. If you decide to go with them, then let me say thank you for your support!
Below is a table that lists the features of the three main options for blogging:
|Features||Tumblr.com||WordPress.com||Bluehost with WordPress.org Plugin|
|Ease of Setup||Easy||Easy||Fairly Easy|
|Allows customized Ads for monetization||No||No||Yes|
|Allows custom .com website||No||No||Yes|
|Free design templates||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability for custom coding||No||No||Yes|
|Integration with Google Analytics||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Posts show up in search engines||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited storage space||No||No||Yes|
|Cost||Free||Free||Only $3.95 / month|
A couple of things should jump out at you from the table above:
- Tumblr and WordPress.com are both free and are very nice blogging platforms.
- Tumblr is better suited for creative types of blogs that are heavy in photographs, artwork, poetry, and other creative sorts of endeavors.
- WordPress.com has a more professional feel to it if you are considering creating more article based posts.
- There are several advantages to going with a paid hosting service like Bluehost.com with the WorldPress plugin if you are creating an interest blog or a blog for an existing company:
- Ability to display custom ads, so there is an ability to monetize your blog (starting with Google AdSense and branching out from there).
- Ability to completely customize the look of your blog.
- Ability to add custom coding to your blog (if you’re technologically gifted)
- Unlimited storage space.
- Register your own domain (DerekIsAwesome.com) versus having a domain like DerekIsMildlyInteresting.WordPress.com
- Will appear as the most professional for any type of existing business.
Based on all of the information I’ve shared with you so far, the following table illustrates what I’d recommend when building/setting up a blog based on the type of blog you plan to create:
|Type of Blog||Tumblr.com||WordPress.com||Bluehost with WordPress.org Plugin|
|Small/Medium Sized Business||X|
How to Setup a Blog
Now that you’ve made up your mind which blogging platform is right for you, we can get to the nuts and bolts of how to setup a blog. Rest assured, each of the options above is incredibly easy to setup – you’ll have your new blog up and running in no time! The Bluehost with WordPress.org plugin has a couple of additional steps, but it is still VERY straight forward, I’ve even included a video of the entire process below if you are having reservations!
For Tumblr.com, you just go to their website and register straight from their front page. It takes about one minute to join.
For WordPress.com, you go to their website and click the “get started” button. Fill out the information and click “create blog”. It takes about two minutes to join.
For Bluehost with WordPress.org plugin, here are the steps to setup your blog. I’ve also included my recommendations on what you can do without (to save yourself some money). This whole process can be completed in less than five minutes, and is really the way to go unless you are creating a personal blog. We’ll be using the example www.DerekIsAwesome.com in these steps as well as in the YouTube video below:
- go to the Bluehost.com website and click “sign up now”
- enter your domain name (DerekIsAwesome.com)
- Fill out your account information
- Select the hosting package (you can get the cheapest price if you purchase the 36-months plan – $3.95/month)
- un-check SiteLock Domain Security (unnecessary)
- un-chuck Site Backup Pro (unnecessary)
- check Domain Whois Privacy if you don’t want your name, address, and phone number available to spammers (I recommend paying for this service, but it is up to you)
- Enter your Billing information
- The “Congratulations, your purchase was successful” page will display. Click the “Control Panel for <DerekIsAwesome.com>” button.
- Under the “Website Builders” section, click “WordPress”
- Click the green “Install” button
- Fill in the Advanced Options with an admin username and password
- Click the green “Complete” button
- Click the link to login to your new WordPress installation <http://www.DerekIsAwesome.com/wp-admin>
- Click “Post” and write your first post in the textbox (be sure to give it a title)
- Click the “Publish” button when complete. You’ve now written for first blog post. Congratulations!!!
- The look and feel of your blog can be easily customized through the WordPress.org layout menu
- If you run into any issues, you can work on-line with a Bluehost.com representative through their 24/7 on-line chat help. I’ve used this more than once, and the tech support was fantastic!
Here is a quick YouTube video I made that steps you through the entire process I’ve outlined above for how to setup a blog on Bluehost.com with the WordPress.org Plugin:
How Much Can I Make From Blogging?
When it comes to blogging, the sky is literally the limit for how much money you can make! Over the past ~3 years, I have personally made nearly $14,000 with just this one blog alone! I made this much with just blogging a couple hours a week – imagine if you were to blog as your full time job.
There are plenty of success stories where bloggers are currently making $100K, $200K, $300K, and even more a year by fully committing themselves to blogging. If they can do it, then so can you!
How Can I Make Money From My Blog?
One question I get all the time is “how can I make money from my blog?” There are several different ways that you can make money from your blog once you have it setup. Here are a couple posts that will help understand the different ways to make money with your blog:
- How to Get Sponsored Posts on Your Blog
- Making Money with eBooks vs. Blogs
- Selling a Blog or Business – When is the Right Time?
- How to Start a WordPress Blog with Bluehost
For more on how I make money with this blog, check out my Reports page where I detail out my monthly side-income from blogging. It will give you some great ideas on how you can make money blogging.
How to Setup a Blog for Fun or Profit – Final Thoughts
For those of you interested in how to setup a blog, I’ve given you all the tools you need to get started out on the right foot. If you’re going for the most professional look possible, then you’ll have to fork up a little bit of money and go with a hosting service like Bluehost.com. There are great free options out there as well if you’re trying to get started on a shoestring budget, but they do come with some limitations.
So, what are you waiting for? Setup a blog for yourself or your business today!