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Blog: noun- a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.
I discovered blogs a few years ago.
Michael Hyatt’s was the first that I really followed, but I shortly found others. My first blog was set up to chronicle our adventures in wildlife management at our place, The SnK Wildlife Reserve. It’s been fun adding stories and photos, and sharing with others. It’s nothing fancy, but I’m enjoying the adventure.
My second blog, Towards Your Better Life, was begun in the same pattern as Michael Hyatt’s. As a former teacher and counselor, I found myself drawn to teaching and helping others, as Michael seems to do. This blog didn’t go as planned. I found myself writing more about finances than anything else, thus Money is not Taboo, my third blog has come about.
Towards Your Better Life didn’t go as planned, so it’s now dormant. I found myself writing more about finances than anything else, thus Money is not Taboo has come about. As a retired educator, I found myself wanting to continue to teach, but without having to get dressed and go somewhere to do so. I can fulfill this desire, in my PJs in the comfort of my own home, with Money is not Taboo.
There are other reasons for starting blogs, such as chronicling events, sharing info with others, fulfilling the desire to write and publish, making money (which I have yet to do), as well as others. It all depends on the individual.
Have you thought of blogging? If so, what’s your motivation?
As I mentioned above, my first blog came to be as a vehicle to share about The SnK Wildlife Reserve, with Money is not Taboo coming about to teach and share.
So, how did I go about setting up my blogs? The SnK blog began on the free WordPress platform, www.wordpress.com. It didn’t cost a thing, was easy to set up but was limiting in the follow areas:
- The domain name will contain WordPress in it, such as the SnK’s original web address: https://thesnkwildlifereserve.wordpress.com/. It’s no big deal if you simply want to blog and aren’t worried about it, but it tells the world that you have a hobby blog, even if that’s not your plan.
- WordPress.com limits the ability to monetize a website. Now, if you’re not interested in the money side and simply want a blog to have fun with, it’s the way to go. If you’re setting up a blog as a business, then you’ll want to go with the self-hosted option.
I set up Towards Your Better life and Money is not Taboo using wordpress.org. I wanted more flexibility in the self-hosting option, so it was a no-brainer for me.
Setting up a blog, or any other type of website is very easy these days. With WordPress you don’t have to know how to code. You can manage your website using code but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
With free hosting services you get a domain name and hosting for no charge. It’s basically a “turn key” set up. If you don’t go with the free option, you’ll have to choose a hosting service, as well as register your domain name, if it’s available.
I use Bluehost for my three blogs, as it was the most highly recommended service that I came across. Bluehost also includes one free domain name when you sign up. I didn’t realize that and registered my domain names before signing up. Live and learn, right?
So, what is Involved in Starting a Blog?
There’s not really a ton to do. It only takes a few steps. The following is how I set up my blogs.
Pick a niche or topic to blog about – This can be something specific, such as money, or you can blog about anything that comes to mind. In each case, I had an idea what I wanted to write about.
Choose a name for your blog – It can be something as simple as your name or about the topic that you’re going to write about. As you can see, Money is not Taboo is about money. My other blog, The SnK Wildlife Reserve, is about our place and our adventures in wildlife conservation and management.
Sign up for a hosting service – As I mentioned earlier, I HIGHLY recommend Bluehost, so this part will be about setting up Bluehost service. If you’d like to sign up for Bluehost’s discounted plan, click here. You’ll be directed to the following window.
This is the “get started” window that explains that you’ve visited a paid endorser, Money is not Taboo, and is also where you start the process of signing up with Bluehost. When you click on the green “get started now” link, you’ll be directed to the following page.
As you can see, you have more than one option. At this time, I’d go with the cheapest route. I started each of my blogs with the lowest price option, knowing that I could upgrade should I ever need to. No need to spend more than is necessary.
It isn’t noted, but the rate is for three years, paid up front. So, what if you decide that you no longer want to blog after a year? Bluehost will give you funds back for the unused time. Pretty cool, huh?
When you select your plan, you’ll get the following page where you’ll sign up your domain name, if it’s available. You just might come up with something that’s already taken. So, it pays to have a few different names in mind.
I highly recommend that you choose .com in your domain, as it’s most commonly used. If you’re building a website for an organization, such as The SnK Wildlife Reserve, you might want to go the .org route. It’s totally up to you.
Clicking next will take you to the following page where you fill out all your information, add extras if you want to (which you don’t need at this time), and fill in your payment info.
When you complete that information and make your payment, you’ll have your very own domain and will be set up with Bluehost service.
Install WordPress – I highly recommend that you install WordPress as your Content Management System if you’re not into coding. I help manage a website that uses Dreamweaver instead of WordPress and I have to use HTML and PHP coding to get the job done. It’s powerful, but not easy to deal with. You can move to that later if you want to.
After completing the steps above, log into your Bluehost account. You should see a blue bar at the top of the page. Find the link for “Hosting” and click on it. You should then see a number of links. Click on cpanel then look for website builders. Under that bar you’ll find the “Install WordPress” link. Click on it and follow the cues.
Once you have WordPress installed you can search through the themes and choose one that works for you. There are free themes and premium themes. I’ve gone through a few them changes and am still using a free theme, Twenty Ten.
After installing WordPress, you’ll set up your login information. To log into your WordPress site, type your domain name + /wp-admin (www.mynewblog.com/wp-admin) into the address bar and you’ll be directed to the login window.
These are the very steps that I took to set up my three blogs. You can do it too and I hope you will.
If you have any questions, give me a shout. I’d be glad to help you out AND let me know about your blog when you set it up, I’d like to follow it.
So, you want to blog? You can start your own blog HERE.