Creating your blog is the easiest part of the blogging process. Writing good content is where the real work is if you plan to monetize your blog.
Anyone can start a blog in as little as ten minutes. In this regard, I’m going to show how you can get started—with the assumption that you already have a working plan on how to create relevant content for your blog.
You’ll need the following items which I’m going to explain further in this post:
- A web hosting plan
- A domain name
- An SSL certificate
- A WordPress theme
In this guide, I’ll also show you the cheapest and most reliable options you can get in regards to the above items.
My assumption is that you already have a topic or niche in mind that your blog is going to focus on.
1. Web Hosting
Like traditional physical businesses, blogs need a virtual location to operate from—a web host.
Think of it as a business premise that you’ll have to pay for on a monthly or annual basis. The latter would be cheaper.
I personally use Namecheap Hosting which is one of the most affordable and reliable web hosting services you can find today.
Their cheapest plan (Stellar Plan) starts at as little as $1.48/month ($17.76/year) for the first year—it renews at a still reasonable price of just $3.88/month ($42.88/year).
The package comes with the following:
- A free domain name (On special offers)
- 3 websites
- 20GB SSD
- Free CDN (Content Delivery Network)
These are some of the most competitive prices you can find today. 3 websites are the deal maker here.
You can check out the other more expensive plans if you intend to work on more than three blogs or websites.
The available plans offer a free cPanel account and a WordPress installation for each of your sites.
Check out one of my recent posts where you can read my detailed review of Namecheap Hosting after using the service for more than one year.
2. Domain Name
A domain name is a website/blog’s identifier. This is what your audience will enter into their browsers if they want to find your site.
There are many services out there offering awesome deals on domain names. However, if you like having things in one place—Namecheap also provides domain names.
In fact, the domain name service is what Namecheap is mostly known for.
The benefit of having a hosting account with a company specializing in domain names is affordability.
However, Namecheap isn’t the cheapest when it comes to domain names (no pun intended) but they usually have lucrative deals for the first year of service.
All Namecheap domains come with privacy protection—a feature that hides your personal contact information in case you don’t want it to be public.
In addition, you’ll also get an SSL certificate for free for the first year of subscription (an SSL certificate enables a site to move from HTTP to HTTPS which is more secure).
3. WordPress Theme
Unless you’re quite tech-savvy, you will need to invest in a premium theme to make your blog aesthetically appealing.
You can achieve this with some free WordPress themes but these come with many customization restrictions.
However, there are a few exceptions when it comes to great-looking free WordPress themes.
I’ve used three of such themes on my other blogs before and they include:
But I had to do a bunch of code modifications to make these sites look like I wanted them to.
For this reason, it would be worth investing in the premium version of these themes. Their stock versions would still look great if you find the right free templates that each of the themes offers.
If you want great-looking themes with easily customizable options—you’ll have to pay for premium themes which will cost you anything between $30 – $100 each.
These prices are a one-time payment so you don’t have to worry about renewal prices.
Most premium themes come with simple customizing tools. You don’t need to have any coding or development knowledge at all and you’ll have a beautiful-looking site up and running in a matter of minutes.
If you’re short on your budget, there’s a legal way of avoiding paying for a premium theme.
Themeforest has a monthly promotion where they offer customers an opportunity to get three random premium themes for free.
4. Additional Things I Recommend
If you pay for all the recommended products above, one thing I’d also recommend having before you launch your blog is 5 – 10 posts ready for publishing.
The more posts you have on a new blog, the higher the chances of getting new visitors. Having posts ready when starting will help you figure out how WordPress works if you’re a total beginner.
Also, if one visitor loves a post they happened to stumble upon—they’ll have more posts ready for them to read.
They’re more likely to become regular readers if they like several of your posts early on. Also, remember to do these five things to ensure faster growth of your blog as soon as you launch.
You can get your domain name(s) from the Cloudflare Registrar at $9.15—I recommend Cloudflare because they sell domains at wholesale prices and it doesn’t go up upon renewal.
Launch Your Blog
Starting a blog is quite simple—taking only a few minutes of your time. Content creation is where the actual blogging work begins.
Not just writing content—research, writing, editing, promoting, and ultimately consistency in producing quality content.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a must for a new blog to start ranking up on search engines. It may need a little bit of getting used to before you get a grip of it—but it is a skill that many learn on the job.
For a start, consistent quality blog posts should be enough. Once you achieve the desired level of consistency you can start thinking about different monetization strategies to employ in your blogging business.