Normally we talk about health and fitness topics but today I wanted to do something different. October marks our one-year blogiversary so it’s time to share what we have learned.
I have been building websites since 2001. Way back then starting out was hard. You had to buy a domain from one site, buy hosting from another, install all the software and set up your database yourself. It wasn’t easy.
Now, all of those problems have been solved for you. Armed with nothing but this short guide you can be up and running with a new blog in under 30 minutes. Of course, there is more to making a successful blog so I’ll also cover some basic marketing, search engine optimization, and social media as well.
Affiliate Disclaimer: In the interest of being fully transparent we are affiliates for many of the services on this page. However, that hasn’t influenced our recommendations. We sought out relationships with them because they are the best options, not the other way around.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
The first choice you will have to make is what blogging platform you want to use. There are a lot of options and it can be a bit confusing the first time. I’m going to save you a lot of time and trouble and tell you to pick WordPress. Some of the alternatives are good but you will eventually regret any other choice.
Hosting and Domain Name
We are hosted with WP Engine and they are a very good choice. However, they are not the best choice. We are with them because we have a lifetime free account that we picked up back when they were first starting out. If it wasn’t for that we would be with Blue Host and that is who you should choose as well.
Choosing a Hosting Plan and Get Your Domain Name Free
Blue Host is going to provide you with a domain name (free for a year), server, and WordPress install all at once. You don’t have stress over any of that. You will have to make a couple choices on hosting plans but I’ll walk you through that too.
You want to choose one of their two WordPress hosting options. They offer either a lower-priced shared plan or a better, faster, dedicated option. Both of them are very good but if you can afford the WP Pro solution I would recommend choosing that one. It has some features that are really nice and will be faster which will help with search engine optimization. If you don’t want to spring for the WP Pro solution their WordPress Hosting is still excellent.
Both hosting options will give you everything you need to have your WordPress blog up and running in just minutes. They also have extensive documentation and support if you have any questions about getting the most out of WordPress. You will also get a domain name for free for the first year which is about an $11.00 savings.
My Top 3 WordPress Tips
- Install the Yoast SEO Plugin on Day #1. Spend a little time understanding the options or just go for the defaults. Either way it will really help your search engine rankings.
- Don’t change your blog theme for the first 3 months. The default WordPress theme is pretty good and you should be focusing on content anyhow. After 3 months you will have a good idea of what you need your theme to do.
- Set up your permalinks (that’s how your blog post links will look) with just the post name. If your not sure how to do that this documentation will walk you through how.
Just like that, you are set up and ready to start blogging. I told you it was going to be easy. Now the work begins. When you first start there are hundreds of things that can distract you. Try to avoid wasting time on things that can wait. You will want to focus almost exclusively on creating content for quite a while.
I still consider myself a novice when it comes to writing. So instead of pretending I know what I’m talking about here are some of my favorite blogging resources. These should more than get you started.
10 Blogs To Follow
Getting Traffic and Making Money
I almost didn’t put in this section because too many people worry about this too soon. Set aside any notion that there is a fast track to loads of traffic and piles of money. Blogging is a long term investment and there are no real short cuts when your first starting out.
That said, there is plenty of things to learn that will help set you up for success. I’m still learning myself but here are the resources I have found most useful. I am always looking for more so if you know of any please share in the comments below.
Social Media Marketing
When you first start out social media will be your best traffic sources. The ones to focus on are (in order) Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. You might also consider looking into Tik Tok or Facebook but don’t expect a lot of results. No matter the platform remember to be helpful and act like an actual person.
Before getting started on social media I would recommend checking out a couple of my friends blogs. They know a lot more than me and will ensure you get off on the right foot. They both have courses as well that I have heard are very good.
If you are wanting to learn what tools and resources we use head over to our Resources Page. We keep that updated whenever we find something new that we like. It has everything from image editing tools and sources to the fitness equipment we love. You knew I was going to get back to fitness some time right :/
As always I really appreciate you reading this and I really hope that it helps you out. If you do have any questions or suggestions or anything please leave me a comment below. If you found this at all helpful I would really appreciate a share on your Social Media.
Thanks and have a wonderful day!