A Foolproof Guide on How to Start a Blog for Cheap

How to Blog

“Can you teach me how to start a blog like yours?”…

…Since the launch of this blog, this has been the question I’ve been asked day in day out.

Despite what you may think, starting a blog is not a demanding task, but it’s the part of producing quality content for your blog and promoting it which demands a significant amount of time, energy, and resources.

How to start a blog for cheap?

In this article I will get into the nuts and bolts of blog creation and will teach you how to create a blog from scratch and within a few hours, so that you can turn your passion into a successful business and start to make money from blogging while you’re helping other people experience a healthier and happier life through food and proper nutrition.

First of all, you have to decide if you want to use a free or a self-hosted platform.

The major free platforms are blogger and wordpress which both are 100% free use. You just create an account, choose a theme, which is free too, and start blogging.

If you’re not inclined to spend any money it’s totally fine to start with a free platform like blogger or wordpress but if you want to create a professional blog which looks good and you have complete control over it, I highly recommend you to go for a self-hosted platform.

There are also many self-hosted options available but the one platform that the majority of successful businesses use, as you see in this chart, is wordpress.

Top 100 blogs by platform

WordPress represents both a free platform (wordpress.com) and a self-hosted platform (wrodpress.org), which is highly recommended to use.

So, in this guide, I will get into the nuts and bolts of creating a self-hosted worpress blog and configuring it the right way. So without further ado here are the steps you need to take in order to get the blog up and running.

Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name

A domain name and a hosting plan are the only two services you need to pay for if you want to go with a self-hosted road. Fortunately some hosting companies let you pick up a free domain by your choice when you subscribe to their hosting plan.

It’s very important to choose a catchy domain name for your blog before buying a hosting for it. To check if the domain you’re going to buy is taken or not, simply go to instantdomainsearch.com or domainr and type your desired name in the search box and it will automatically show you the available domain names.

How to use InstantDomainSearch.com to find domain names...
How to use Domainr to find domain names...

Below are the most important criteria you need to keep in your mind while trying to find a domain name for your blog:

  1. ALWAYS go for Dat.Com domain names
  2. Choose a UNIQUE name which is not similar to other ones
  3. Don’t use words with difficult spelling
  4. Don’t use hyphens and numbers
  5. It should be easy to remember

Step 2 – Register Your Domain Name and Get a Hosting Plan

Now that you have come up with a compelling name, it’s time to register the domain name and buy a reliable and secure hosting plan.

If you’re starting out I highly recommend to get your hosting from bluehost. They provide powerful and affordable hosting plans with excellent support. They will also register your domain name for free!

It will cost you between $3.49 – $4.95 per month based on the subscription package that you choose.

Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to buy a hosting plan and register your domain with bluehost:

1. Visit Bluehost’s Sign Up Page

2. Select the plan of your choice (if you’re just starting out, I suggest you to pick the basic plan)

Bluehost's Pricing Table...

3. On the next page, type the domain name that you have chosen into the new domain box and hit “next”.

Bluehost's Sign-Up Page...

4. If the domain name you have chosen is available, you would be directed to a page where you can enter your personal and credit card information. On this page you have the option to add more services, which will enhance the security of your service, to your hosting plan.

Bluehost's hosting packages...

All of these services are optional, and you may uncheck all of them for now to keep the expenses low. You can add this services at a later time when you’re receiving some traffic and earning some money…

Step 3 – Install and Configure WordPress

Now that you’ve successfully registered a domain name and got a hosting plan, it’s time to install wordpress….

Watch the following step-by-step video to learn how to set up wordpress on Bluehost:

Now it’s time to configure your blog and learn how to use it properly. You can find LOTS of free wordpress tutorial videos on Youtube.

Watch Bluehost’s WordPress Walkthrough Tutorials to get started and learn the basics of wordpress.

Step 4 – Make It Pretty

If you’ve followed the steps above, you now must have a full-fledged running blog. But before actually creating any blog posts and letting the world to know about it, you may want to beautify your blog and make it stand out from the rest.

In wordpress you can change and control the appearence of your blog by installing and customizing themes. There are lots of free and premium themes available that you can choose from. Below are some of my favorites:

GeneratePress WordPress themes...

1. GeneratePress (FREE) – This is a free, simple, and lightweight theme with lots of fuctionality and easy to use. On the top of that, they also offer a premium package of addons (for $39.95) that let you customize EVERY aspect of your blog. They’re totally optional, but it’s just good to have them in your arsenal.

2. Genesis Framework – This premium theme is enjoying enormous popularity among bloggers. Many famous food and nutrition related blogs like Pinch Of Yum are using Genesis Framework to empower their blog.

If you want to publish lots recipes on your blog, I highly recommend to use the Foodie Theme, which is a child-theme for Genesis Framework.

3. Thrive Themes – Thrive themes is a membership-based site builder giving you all the tools you need to create engaging and high converting sites. In fact it goes far beyond a theme by providing you the tools to create email lists, amazing content, and converting landing pages.

I highly recommend this theme to those who are not afraid to get their hands dirty in email list building, which is HIGHLY recommended, or those who own a product for sale.

As you may have noticed getting your blog up and running will take only a few minutes. The next steps include producing blog posts and promoting them in your own venue.

I hope the tips and suggestions represented in this guide can help you to get started with your blog. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, I will be more than happy to help.

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