Well, what about you? What are your plans this summer? If venturing into blogging isn’t one of them, well then, let me give you some really good reasons why you should definitely start a blog this summer.
Plus, if you do decide to go a-bloggin’ this summer, I’ve got just the perfect guide to help you start your own blog in just a couple of steps, and in no more than an hour.
10 Awesome Reasons to Start a Blog This Summer
1. Share your knowledge, experience, and stories
Everyone has a story to tell, and you are no exception. You have knowledge and insight that no one else probably has. You have skills and expertise that are exclusive to you. You have stories and experiences, and even life lessons, that are worth sharing.
And the world needs to hear that. The world needs to hear you.
Whether it’s a new way of doing a particular thing, a novel approach to an age-old problem, a different take on the ordinary, a fresh perspective, an ingenious attitude, or an original story, you have something unique to share with the rest of the world. Something useful. Something amazing. Something inspiring.
And it’s about time you let the world know about it. About you.
So, start your own blog. Write about your awesome travels and adventures. Talk about the latest, boldest, most avant-garde fashion. Share your must-try food recipes. Give the best tips and tricks on gardening. Guide other people into prudent financial management. Impart your knowledge about the joys of slow living. Let fellow moms know about the secrets of raising kids successfully.
Whatever it is you’re excited to share with the rest of the world, you’ll do it better with a blog.
And this summer is just the perfect time to start blogging.
2. Connect with other people
I’ve always thought that fall (or autumn) is a time for yourself; winter, a time for family; spring, a time for your partner; and summer, a time for everybody else.
Ok, I know all that sounds corny, but my point is, summer is a great time to spend with other people – with friends, with family, with the world in general.
And blogging is a great way to do just that. It’s a great way to reach out to other people, build your community, find your tribe, and form meaningful relationships. It’s an awesome way to connect with other people who have the same interests as you, who share the same passions, motivations, and even opinions. And it’s a wonderful way of learning new things and novel ideas, and exchanging different point of views and distinct philosophies.
Whether it’s sharing the secrets of successful motherhood with fellow moms, swapping recipes with food enthusiasts, teaching aspiring solitary adventurers the basics of traveling alone, or working with brands and businesses for sponsorships, blogging is an excellent way to form a community and foster relationships.
And since summer is a time to socialize, why not start your own blog? That way, you’re guaranteed to meet new people, make new friends, connect with the rest of the world, and be part of something bigger than yourself.
3. Take up a hobby
There’s just something about summer that makes you want to take up a hobby, or a passion project, or something, anything that isn’t about work. It’s the perfect time to do something new, something creative, something artistic. Like blogging.
Now blogging is definitely a great hobby to pursue during the summer season. It’s enjoyable, innovative, and purposeful. It’s a perfect avenue to let loose your creativity, a powerful way of recording your summer moments that you want to last into memories, or simply a productive activity to pass the time when it’s too hot to go outside.
And the beauty of blogging is that you can blog about anything – fashion, travel, lifestyle, personal finance, blobfishes, anything! As long as you enjoy something, you can blog about it. There are no limitations, no restrictions. That makes blogging a hobby that anyone, and I mean absolutely anyone, can take up and make it uniquely their own.
Plus, blogging ties in well with other hobbies that you might also be interested in during the summer months. Learning to play a new musical instrument? Blog about it. Taking up crafting and creating DIY projects? Blog about it. Building a lovely, little rock garden in your backyard? Blog about it. Enjoying your hikes to local trails and beyond? Blog about it.
So, yeah. If you’re looking for something fun and creative to do this summer, why not try blogging?
4. Learn new skills
Over the summer, we’re not simply taking up hobbies and trying new things just for the heck of it – we also do it to develop our skills and learn new ones. And when it comes to skills, blogging has a lot to offer.
Like what, you ask?
Well, there’s writing and editing, of course, which are what most people associate blogging with. But there’s plenty more, like research, data analysis, digital marketing, social media networking, search engine optimization (SEO), web development, web design, graphic design, photography, videography, and countless others.
And the thing is that these skills aren’t just skills that are nice to have – these are actually valuable, professional, money-making skills that are much in-demand in today’s technologically- and digitally-driven world. These are skills that can enhance your career prospects and land you a high-paying job or a promotion, or allow you to start your own business!
Also, you should know that you’re not just learning hard skills from blogging. You’re bound to improve your soft skills, too, and in most cases, learn some new ones. Such soft skills include effective communication, time management, organization, problem-solving, creativity, adaptability, and the like. And these soft skills are highly relevant – they have a direct impact with how you perform in the workplace, or how you manage your own business, or even how you deal with everyday living.
If you’ve always wanted to pick up a skill or two, why not give blogging a go? Start a blog today, and by the end of summer, you’re guaranteed to have learned a few new skills and then some, which will benefit you for the rest of your life.
5. Relieve stress
Summer is a time to relax, unwind, let loose, blow off some steam. That’s why we have lazy summer days, and why we go on summer vacations and summer trips far and away. But if you’re looking for other ways to relieve stress apart from your usual summer getaways, you should definitely consider blogging.
It might not be well-known to most people, but blogging is quite a relaxing activity. Your blog could be like your personal journal or diary, where you write about your daily happenings and personal stories. It could be your own scream room, where you vent out your anger and frustration. It could also be like group therapy, where you share your problems with other people, and get help and social support. Or it could be something enjoyable to busy yourself with and immerse yourself into, and not have to think about work.
Blogging’s stress-relief benefits, particularly in problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, have been documented in scientific literature. Of course, people have long known the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing. But blogging takes it a step further because you also have receptive readers with whom you can share your feelings and frustrations, form meaningful relationships, and find help, support, and understanding.
So, if you’re looking for something novel to tame your stress this summer, blogging could be just what you’re after.
6. Promote your business
Summer’s as good as any time to promote your business to the world. In fact, it could just be the best time for endorsing your business. People are just looking to spend during the summer months – and that’s backed by statistics. It’s true. Recent studies show that 52% of Americans, 57% of British people, and 41% of Canadians spend the most money in the summer season.
And when it comes to promotion, blogging is a surefire way to drum up traffic to your business – and that’s also backed by statistics! In fact, did you know that:
- small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads?
- businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t?
- a business website featuring a blog has a 434% higher chance of being ranked highly on search engines?
- 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements?
- 90% of consumers find customer content useful?
- 6 percent of the world’s working-age Internet users buy something online each month?
- or that 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based solely on a blog post?
So, if you didn’t know before, well, now you do! Blogging is a great way to get the word out on your business. And there’s no better time to do that than this summer. Whether you have a longstanding business, or you’re planning to launch one this summer, start blogging about it today, and start getting real customers – and real sales – on your business.
7. Earn passive income
By now, most people know that it’s not only fun and enjoyment you get off blogging. You can make money off it, too. That’s right. Blogging isn’t only fun. It’s profitable as well.
In fact, did you know that the most profitable blogs earn millions of dollars per year? Seriously! The most profitable blog by far is HuffPost, which is estimated to earn $500 million a year. Other top earners include Engadget ($47.5 million per year), Moz ($44.9 million per year), PerezHilton ($41.3 million per year), and Copyblogger ($33.1 million per year).
Of course, most blogs and bloggers don’t earn millions of dollars annually. Some bloggers make a nice, healthy, full-time income. Some only earn a little something. And then there are those who make nothing at all.
But the point is that, for those who do blogging really well and seriously, there’s good money to be made – and that’s backed by history! People have been earning off blogging since the concept of blogging was invented decades ago! And today, blogging has only become even more profitable, thanks to the many more ways of earning money off your blog.
What ways, you ask?
Through affiliate marketing, for one. It’s where you promote other people’s products on your blog, and you earn a commission or some compensation for a successful sale. Did you know that around 35% of affiliate marketers earn over $20,000 yearly in passive income, while the top affiliate marketers can rake in as much as $10,000 a day?
Then there’s also sponsored content, where you get paid to write about other people’s products or services. Did you know that an average blogger with a fairly sizeable audience could expect to earn around $1,442 for one sponsored blog post alone? Just one post! Now imagine if you get three or four of those in just a month – you’ve just earned a full-time income for that month!
Bloggers also earn via the usual display and cost-per-click ads, which are actually becoming even more popular and more profitable than ever, thanks to an increased focus on mobile ads. Did you know that mobile advertising spending worldwide is expected to surpass $240 billion by 2022?
Still other ways you can make money from blogging include selling your own products, digital or physical – which can, by far, be the most lucrative way to profit off your blog (so long as you do it right).
Then you can also hire out your blogging-related skills and services, such as content writing, graphic and web design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, etc. to paying clientele.
You can also be paid to coach other people, or talk in blogging webinars and conferences and the like.
Of course, these are only a few of the major ways you can earn from blogging. There’s literally an almost limitless number of ways to make money off your blog. And there’s really no limit to how much income you can earn. The only limit is how creative you are, and how hard you’re willing to work.
So, if you’re looking to earn money this summer, why not start your own blog? Who knows, you might have what it to takes to not only earn some extra cash, but make a living off blogging after all!
8. Build a business
A while ago we’ve learned about how blogging is an effective way to promote your business. But did you also know that blogging can be a business in and of itself?
That’s right. Your blog can already be your business.
How so, you ask?
Well, think about it. A business is anything that sells products and services for a profit. In blogging, you also provide products and services to other people, and you can make a profit off it, too.
Just like traditional business models, you can sell products through your blog. These could be digital products, like eBooks, online courses, apps, programs, plug-ins, etc., or physical products, like crafts and customized merchandises. And all these products could be yours or somebody else’s.
You can also offer your services to other people through your blog. These services could be anything, not just those related to blogging, and could be something like coaching, consultation, appointments, speeches, etc., on any topic ranging from interior design, to health and fitness, to working from home.
But unlike traditional business models, what you’re offering to other people through your blog, for the most part, is content. Good, helpful, valuable online content. Like articles, listicles, tutorials, guides, walkthroughs, recipes, reviews, case studies, success stories, and the like.
And you can make money off this content in various ways. You can choose to hide this content behind a paywall and require people to pay a certain fee to access this content. Or, just like with most blogs out there, you can offer your content for free, and simply monetize it in other ways. Like ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts.
Now blogging as a business has plenty of advantages over traditional business models. First off, it’s online, so you and other people can access it from anywhere. In most cases, you won’t need to have a physical location, like an office, storage room, or warehouse.
Second, blogging requires so little capital to set up and launch. You don’t need to shell out a lot of money. You won’t be putting your life savings into it or taking out a huge bank loan or other such risks. Nope. In fact, did you know that you can already start a blog for just $3.95 a month? No kidding!
Third, it will be earning you passive income, the best type of income there is. Now you already know what passive income is, but in case you’ve forgotten, passive income is money earned on an investment, or work completed in the past, that continues to make money without any additional effort. So, guess what? All that work you’re putting in your blog is guaranteed to earn you money now, and in the future, too! The more work you put in, the more you increase your income potential.
Of course, these are just some of the advantages of blogging as a business over a traditional business model.
Anyway, if you’ve ever thought of starting your own business, why not venture into blogging this summer? It’s a perfect business idea to try. It doesn’t require a lot of capital, has very little risk involved, and yet it has unlimited revenue potential and can earn you passive income for the rest of your life.
9. Work from home (or from anywhere)
Another one of the major perks of blogging is that it allows you to work from home, or from anywhere, as long as you have decent Internet connection.
Just imagine – you don’t need to go to the office, or to a factory, or wherever. You don’t need to worry about rush hours, long commutes, or terrible traffic. In the morning, while the rest of the world hustles and bustles, you can stay back at home, work from there, on your bed, while still in your pjs, and you’re getting paid all the same.
And in the afternoon, while the rest of the world remains stuck in noisy traffic, you can spend some time sipping tea, reading a book, or taking pleasant strolls around the neighborhood or across the countryside – and you’re earning money anyway.
And you know what else? All that time you’re saving not commuting or being stuck in traffic, you can spend instead with your kids, your family, and with yourself, too. That’s more time to make sure your kids are alright, your family is well, and that you, too, are doing dandy.
But what if you want to take a little break from working from home? That’s ok, too. Just pack up your laptop and go wherever you will. As long as you have some Internet connection, you can access your blog – your work, your business – from anywhere, whether it’s on a white sandy beach on a tropical paradise, or in a forest cabin up in the mountains, or in a foreign city halfway across the world.
That’s why blogging is just perfect for summer (or for any season, really). You can take your ‘work’ with you while you go on vacation, while you’re traveling around the world, and you’ll be earning money regardless.
10. Take back control of your life
Imagine a job where you can work wherever you will, whenever you will. A job that you truly enjoy, one that doesn’t feel like a chore because you are passionate in it. A job where you can be your own boss, where the only limit to your success is how hard you’re willing to work for it.
Imagine a business that requires so little capital, and involves so little risk, and yet has the potential to earn you more than enough passive income to see you through retirement and beyond.
Imagine a life where slaving after money isn’t the norm, where winning the rat race isn’t all there is to it. A life where you can spend enough quality time with the people closest and dearest to your heart, and yet still have time for yourself, too. A life where you are free to pursue your dreams, and find happiness and fulfillment all throughout.
All that, and more, are what blogging has in store for you.
And this summer is just the perfect time to start a blog.
Blogging sounds awesome! How do I start my own blog?
First of all, let me tell you what a great decision you’re making. Blogging is such a wonderful pursuit, and a worthwhile endeavor, whether you plan on making it your hobby, or you intend to make a career out of it.
That being said, let’s get straight to building your very own blog, and I’ve got just the perfect guide to help you do exactly that. Below, you’ll find a simple, step-by-step tutorial that’s easy to follow, perfect for the absolute blogging newbie. It looks a bit lengthy, but I promise it’s very simple and straightforward.
So, ready to start your own blog?
1. Pick a niche
The very first step in setting up your blog is to pick a niche. So let’s go over what a niche actually is, why you need to pick one, and how do you go about picking the ideal niche.
What’s a niche?
Well, a niche is basically the topic of your blog. It’s what you’ll be writing about. It’s what you want your blog – and you as the author – to be known for.
A niche is a specific topic or a group of several topics all closely-related together – as opposed to a general blog, which talks about multiple and sometimes unrelated topics at once.
Examples of niches include personal finance, making money online, fitness, interior design, travel, etc. at the broadest level.
At a narrower level, you have topics like blogging, affiliate marketing, working from home, minimalist home decor, solo traveling, and the like.
Going further down are topics like mommy blogging, online night jobs that involve writing, minimalist home decor under a budget, solo traveling in Southeast Asia, etc.
You can still narrow down those topics, but you already get the idea of what a niche is – it’s defined, it’s specific, and it’s specialized.
Wait, why do I need to pick a niche? Can’t I just blog about everything?
There’s really no rule that says you have to pick a niche instead of blogging about anything and everything. You can blog about whatever you want, if you want to. But generally, you’re better off picking a specific topic, and let me give you six good reasons why.
- It’s easier to create and build an identity
When your blog is focused on a single topic, that topic is what your blog will be known for. It’s your blog’s identity. When people ask you what your blog is all about, you can simply mention its niche. You can say it’s a personal finance blog. Or a blog about tourist spots in Ontario, Canada. Or a blog for stay-at-home moms who want to start their own online businesses. You have an exact idea of your blog’s identity, what its purpose is, and what content it offers.
On the other hand, if you write about various and random topics, you – and your audience – will have a harder time figuring out what your blog really is about.
- It’s easier to find and attract your audience, and build a loyal following
Picking a niche allows you determine what crowd or audience you want to visit your blog. It allows you to know who you’re writing for.
For example, if your blog is all about fitness, then you can expect fitness-conscious people to come to your blog. If you only write articles on vintage cars, then you can expect your audience to be made-up largely of vintage car-enthusiasts. Similarly, if you focus solely on personal finance, then you can expect people who want to learn more about prudent money management to stop by.
If you create content about a single topic consistently, not only can you expect or predict the types of people who visit your blog. They as well can expect what to see from your blog.
Plus, since all your articles or posts revolve around just one topic (or several related topics), it’s likely that if your audience finds one article interesting, then they will find the rest of your content interesting as well. They’ll be more likely to read and engage with your blog and keep coming back for more.
But if you write about various and random topics all at once, you can’t exactly tell who will come to your blog. And because your topics are unrelated to each other, it’s very likely that your audience might be interested in one topic, but not to all.
- It’s easier to plan, organize, and create content
When you have a specific niche, you don’t need to waste time and effort figuring out what to write about. Instead, you can get straight to writing. You already have a topic. You just need to go from there.
For example, if your blog is all about pencils, then all you need to worry about is writing articles related to pencils. Today you can write about the history of pencils; tomorrow, the different types of pencils; on the third day, the best pencil brands for sketching and shading; on the fourth day, the longest pencils ever made; on the hundredth day, a guide on how to turn a pencil into a pencil crossbow; and so on and so forth.
- It’s easier to build expertise and authority
If your blog is focused on a particular niche, you can become an authority on that niche in a shorter time.
The more and better content you produce on that specific topic, the more you make yourself an expert on the matter. People will recognize your blog as the go-to reference for that particular topic. And the next time they have questions about such specific topic, they already know who to turn to. They will come to your blog for answers.
So if all you do is write informative and useful blog posts about pencils, then very soon people will realize that you’re an authority on all matters pencil-related. They will thus turn to you whenever they need answers regarding pencils.
But if people don’t know what your blog is all about, then they wouldn’t know what they can go to you for.
- It’s easier to rank on search engines
When you focus on a single topic, you’ll likely face (relatively) less competition from other blogs, making it (relatively) easier for you to rank on Google or other search engines.
For instance, when you blog solely about pencils, then you’ll likely only have to deal with competition from other pencil-related blogs.
In contrast, if you blog about pencils, pens, and papers, then not only will you have to compete with pencil-related blogs, you will also face competition from pen-related blogs, paper-related blogs, and other pencil, pen, and paper-related blogs.
Plus, if your blog has a specific niche, Google (and other search engines) will have an easier time recognizing what your blog is all about, and will more likely recommend your blog to people searching about that specific topic. But if Google can’t figure out what your blog is about and who it is for, then it won’t know to whom it will show or recommend your blog.
- It’s easier to make money
Deciding on a particular niche makes it easier for you to earn off your blog. Why? Because you already have an idea for whom your blog is intended.
When you know who your audience is, it’s easier to figure out what products and services you can offer that they will very likely need and buy. You know their problems. You know what they’re after. All you need to do now is recommend and sell the solutions to them.
Whereas if you can’t figure out what your blog is about and who is it for, then it’s all too likely that you could be selling products and services to people who are not interested in such offerings.
Of course, these are only some of the reasons why you’re better off settling on a niche instead of blogging about various and random topics.
But then again, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. You can blog about anything and everything you like. That’s what most lifestyle blogs are about, after all. And lifestyle blogs are pretty common.
Alright, so how do I pick a niche?
There are no definite rules on choosing a niche. You can blog about anything and everything under the sun. That being said, there are, however, some useful tips on helping you find your ideal niche. Here are the best tips.
- Pick a topic you enjoy talking about
When you blog, you most likely won’t just make one, two, or ten articles. You’ll certainly be writing many more than that, especially when you’re just starting out all by your lonesome, and especially when you’re blogging for the long-term.
So it’s important to pick a topic you enjoy writing about. A topic that you are, firstly, passionate in, and secondly, knowledgeable in.
Choose a topic that you aren’t just very interested in today. Choose one that you’ll enjoy talking about even after two or five years have already passed.
You might be eager now to share everything you know about the apparently shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusks – aka slugs – but will you still have that enthusiasm five years into the future?
Besides, if you enjoy writing about a topic, it won’t feel like a chore. It becomes easier to churn out content after content. And when you enjoy a topic, the quality of your content is visibly superior to content you’re simply forced to write about.
Plus, if you pick a topic you aren’t really passionate in, you might lose interest in blogging altogether, and give up after only a couple of months.
- Make sure there’s an audience for it
If you’re blogging solely for yourself, and don’t want other people to access your blog, then you don’t have to worry about this one.
But chances are, you do want to attract other people to your blog. You do want to draw in readers interested in what you have to offer, engage with them, and form meaningful relationships. And you do want to attract paying traffic – people who will buy whatever it is you’re offering, or who will in any way compensate your content monetarily.
So it’s really important that you pick a topic that other people are interested in as well.
Though it’s essential that you find a niche, you don’t want to settle on one that only you and maybe five other people are interested in. Find a topic that attracts, at the very least, hundreds, if not thousands, of like-minded people.
Some good free tools to use here would be Google Trends and Google Search. Google Trends allows you to see the top search queries worldwide or per country per month, per year, or even per five years. Google Search, on the other hand, allows you to see what related searches people are making for a certain topic, and what related questions they’re asking.
- Something not too broad but not too narrow
Now you want to pick a niche or a topic that’s not too general, but not too specific, either.
Pick a topic that’s too broad, and you’ll end up with a lot more competition from other blogs and sites, many of which have been camping on the front page of Google’s search results, and have the money and the resources to stay there for a long time. Plus, you’ll have a harder time establishing what your blog is all about and creating content that’s all closely related.
But pick a topic that’s too narrow, and you might find that there might not be enough demand for it. You’ll have a hard time pulling in a sizeable – and profitable – traffic to make blogging worthwhile. Chances are, you might get discouraged and quit blogging altogether.
So you have to pick something in between.
For example, a topic like ‘fashion’ is certainly, too broad, don’t you think? I mean, fashion for whom? Fashion for what? Fashion for when? And fashion for where? You definitely want to narrow it down further.
But don’t overdo it! Otherwise you might end up with something like ‘fashion for thirty-something moms who like to go clubbing on Tuesday nights’! Now that’s too narrow!
- It has to be profitable
If you’re not concerned about making money off your blog, and just want to blog for fun, as a hobby, or for other non-monetary purposes, then you can skip this one.
But chances are, you do want to make a profit from blogging. You do want to earn extra income from your blog, or even make it your full-time job or business.
So pick a niche where you have a likely chance of earning, where there are products and services to sell, and people who will buy them.
Look, even if you think of blogging only as a hobby, it still costs time, effort, and money, so you might as well earn from it.
Besides, when you put in the necessary work, you can actually build your blog into a full-time business that can earn you passive income even until your retirement and beyond! But it all starts with picking a profitable blogging topic, so you definitely want to choose carefully.
- It’s gotta have a future
For the most part, blogging is a long-term endeavor. I mean, you yourself want to see your blog last for quite some time.
So you want to pick a niche that people will be interested in not only today, but also in the next three, five, or even ten years.
Don’t go for a topic that’s only popular and relevant now. If you do that, your blog will also only be popular and relevant now, and might likely die out in the future.
Once more, Google Trends can help you out here. It will help you see what the most searched topics are and have been not just in the past month or year, but even further back to the last five years. While it can’t exactly tell the trends in the future, there’s a likely chance that the topics that have seen strong and stable attention in the last five years might also last for some time into the future.
Hey, so remember, picking the right niche is not only the first part of setting up your blog – it’s also the most important! A good niche means a solid foundation for your blog, as well as an excellent and worthwhile course or direction to take your blog towards. It can make or break your odds of success in blogging!
So it’s ok to take as much time as you need when choosing a niche. Give it much thought. Do your research. Weigh your options against what you want, and what the world wants, and find a balance in between.
Once you’ve decided on a niche, you can proceed to the next step.
2. Choose a domain name
Alright, now that you have niche, it’s time to come up with a domain name. In this step, we’ll go through what a domain name is and how you can choose yours.
Ok, so what’s a domain name?
A domain name is simply your website’s name. It forms part of a complete web address: it’s what comes after the ‘www.’ in any web address.
Examples of domain names include:
- phmillennia.com (my own domain)
Most of the time, your domain name can already give people a hint on what your website or blog is all about (note the word ‘can’).
For example, if you name your blog ‘wanderlust.com’ then people will naturally assume you produce travel-related content.
If your site’s name is ‘personalfinancetips.com’, then it is only logical that visitors will expect to find articles regarding personal finance.
But sometimes, domain names don’t tell anything. For instance, ‘google.com’. A person who has never heard of Google before will not know what to expect upon seeing the domain name ‘google.com’. Another example is ‘instagram.com’. Or ‘facebook.com’. They’re honestly random creations, and we only recognize them today because they’ve become such huge household names.
Anyway, the point is that domain names sometimes can already tell you what a blog or website is about. Sometimes, they can’t.
By the way, to own and use a certain domain name, you actually have to pay an annual fee with a domain registrar, the company that sells domain names. But the rule is that you can’t have a domain name that somebody else already owns! And if you can’t pay the annual fee, you lose the right to use a certain domain name and that domain name goes up for sale.
How do I create an ideal domain name?
Just like in picking a niche, there aren’t much fixed rules you have to follow when creating your domain name. However, there are a few helpful tips to guide you in coming up with an ideal domain name. Let’s go over the some of the most useful ones.
- Make sure your domain name is available
The rules of the Internet state that you can’t use a domain name that someone else already owns. Every domain name is unique and exclusive, and no two websites can have the same domain. So you have to come up with a domain name that no one owns yet.
But don’t worry. You can check if your tentative domain name is available using the nifty little tool below. If it’s available, you can register and claim it in the next step.
- Maybe make it at least related to your topic
As we’ve talked about a while ago, a domain name can already give potential visitors an idea as to what a website is all about, and what content it offers. So you might want to choose a domain name for your blog that’s related to your niche, something that gives people a clue as to the topic you write about.
But this isn’t really as important as other people say it is. Sometimes a domain name does hint at a blog’s identity or niche. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Besides, a lot of bloggers choose to use their personal names as their domain names.
Still, if you have the chance, do make your domain name at least related to your topic.
- Give it room to grow
While you want to pick a domain name that’s related to your niche or topic, you definitely don’t want to choose one that severely restricts what you can and can’t write about right from the start. You want a domain name that allows you to focus on a topic, not something that hinders your creative freedom.
What I mean is, pick a domain name that has room for growth. This ties in with picking a niche that’s not too broad, but not too narrow, either. Just as a too broad niche won’t allow you to focus, and a too narrow niche will severely limit your potential to grow, a domain name that prevents you from expanding your content into closely-related topics in the future isn’t a great idea.
For example, a domain name like ‘denvertouristspots.com’ is great if you’re writing about, well, tourist spots in Denver, Colorado. But what if, in the future, you also want to write about other tourist spots in Aspen, Boulder, and in other cities in Colorado, or in the US, for that matter? Do you think your new content would fit in with your domain name?
As we’ve talked about a while ago, blogging is a long-term endeavor. You want to start thinking about the future, too. So give your blog room to grow – and that begins with a topic and a domain name that both have room to grow.
- Easy to remember
A good domain name is something that’s remarkable, memorable, and unforgettable. It’s something unique, catchy, and easy to remember. So if at all possible, make sure your domain name is simple, nothing too long, and easy to spell and pronounce.
- Easy to type in
Your domain name also has to be very easy to type in. Steer clear of very long and overly-complicated domain names. Avoid including a lot of numbers and symbols, too. The last thing you want is for potential visitors to mistype your domain and end up on a different site!
- It’s gotta have an appropriate domain name extension
It’s not just a good domain name that you have to choose. You also need to pick a suitable domain name extension.
A domain name extension, otherwise known as domain ending or top-level domain (TLD), is simply the ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’, ‘.gov’, etc. part in a domain name.
The most common TLD is ‘.com’, which is short for commercial. However, there is now a wide variety of newer TLDs, ranging from ‘.academy’ to ‘.coffee’ to ‘.photography’. There are even funky ones like ‘.cool’, ‘.vodka’, ‘.pizza’, and ‘.sexy’!
But while these new TLDs allow you to express your creativity, and allow your blog to stand out and better communicate its purpose and identity, it’s still best to stick with the tried-and-true options.
So you’re still better off choosing ‘.com’, or if that’s not available, then ‘.org’ or ‘.net’. These TLDs are what most people are used to anyway, what they type in by default, and it’s really difficult to break an ingrained habit.
Plus, they’re cheaper – the new domain name extensions cost a lot more!
Alright, so remember, apart from the first one, which you cannot circumvent in any way, the rest of the above tips are just those – tips. You don’t have to follow them, but it really helps a lot if you do.
Remember, too, that while the right domain name is important, you don’t want to spend too much time coming up with the perfect domain name.
Otherwise, you’ll only end up wasting valuable time and effort, which you could have spent in building a website or starting a blog around a good domain name instead.
Worse, you might get caught up in trying to choose the perfect domain name that you never start blogging at all!
So start listing down a few good domain names for your blog. You may want to list down several, so you’ll have options, just in case. Then check if any of your domain name choices are available using the nifty little tool below. You can then register and purchase your chosen domain name in the next step.
3. Choose a web host
Now that you have a niche, and a good choice for a domain name (or several of it), it’s time to get yourself a web hosting plan. But before anything else, let’s find out what web hosting is, why you need it, and what the best web hosting plan for you is.
What’s web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows you to post or publish your website/blog on the World Wide Web, and allows other people to view and access your website/blog.
You see, a website is actually made up of many different files, and these files are kept in a special computer known as a server. All websites are stored on servers.
When another person wants to access your website, all they need to do is type your domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to the server hosting your website, and your website will be delivered and made accessible to them on their browser.
Web hosting is offered by web hosting service providers. These are the businesses that own the servers that store and host websites.
When you buy web hosting service from a web hosting provider, you’re simply renting a space on their servers so you can store your website’s files and make your website accessible to other people.
And when you can’t keep paying for that web hosting service, your web hosting company stops storing your website – you and other people won’t be able access it anymore.
Free web hosting vs paid web hosting: what’s the difference?
You probably heard this before, but there is actually such a thing as free web hosting. It’s basically just like any another web hosting service, except, well, it’s free (you don’t gotta pay for it – upfront, that is). A popular example is Blogger.com, a free blogging site with free web hosting and a free subdomain.
So now you’re asking: if there’s already free web hosting, why even bother buying paid web hosting?
The answer is simple. Free web hosting comes with numerous limitations, drawbacks, and conditions.
For instance, while you aren’t paying money upfront, running the servers that store website files and keep them live on the Internet is incredibly expensive, so free web hosting providers must make money off you somehow. They usually do that by running ads on your free blog – you usually don’t get a choice on what ads are displayed, and you don’t get a cut from the profits.
Also, with free web hosting, you usually have limited freedom with the way you customize, design, and manage your blog or website. You have limited options when it comes to themes, plug-ins, and other tools. Oftentimes, you can also only make a limited number of webpages and blog posts, severely limiting your potential for growth.
Besides, with free hosting, you usually use the free web hosting provider’s subdomain instead of your own custom domain. If, for example, I made my blog instead with free web hosting, such as Blogger, my blog would then be found at ‘www.phmillennia.blogspot.com’, with ‘blogspot’ as the subdomain of Blogger.
Paid hosting, on the other hand, gives you absolute freedom on the way you create and manage your website, especially with how you earn from it. Also, paid web hosting is faster, more reliable, and comes with dedicated support teams. Plus, you get your own domain instead of a free subdomain, which will make you look more credible and professional.
The bottom line is that free web hosting is only good when you just want to try blogging for fun, or you want to practice and get better at it. But if you really want to get serious at blogging, to build a credible website, and to make money off it, then paid hosting is the way to go.
So why should I choose Bluehost for web hosting?
While there are plenty of web hosting providers out there for you to choose from, I recommend that you sign-up with Bluehost. It is, hands down, the best web hosting provider. It’s one of the largest and most popular web hosting companies worldwide, and there’s a good reason for it – or in this case, good reasons, which I’ve listed for you below.
- Bluehost is reliable
Arguably the most critical benchmark for web hosting is uptime, or the time that your website is operational or accessible. Of course, you don’t want your blog to be down, or offline or inaccessible, at any time.
Well, Bluehost has you covered. It’s one of the most dependable web hosting service providers out there. It has an uptime guarantee of 99.98% (no web host can provide 100%), which means that your site will function amazing all year round, with only about an hour of downtime for the whole year (which only happens during scheduled maintenances).
- Bluehost is fast
Perhaps the second most important factor when it comes to web hosting is speed. If your website and your webpages don’t load fast enough, your visitors will all too likely hit that ‘back’ button, or close that tab, without hesitation. That means lost traffic, and potentially lost sales, too.
The good news is that Bluehost guarantees that you get fast page loading speeds, so you need not worry about losing visitors and potential revenue.
- Bluehost is secure
Another major factor to consider when it comes to web hosting is security. You definitely don’t want your blog to be hacked or be subjected to malicious attacks. Fortunately, Bluehost provides strong security options to ensure that your site is safe from hacking, malware attacks, spam, etc.
- Bluehost is beginner-friendly
For newbie bloggers, the many and various terms and technicalities of web hosting, and of blogging in general, can be quite intimidating.
Thankfully, Bluehost simplifies everything for you. From providing newbie-friendly and easy-to-use tools, to streamlining and automating the entire process of setting up your blog, Bluehost ensures that you get a fast, convenient, and hassle-free entry into the world of blogging.
- Bluehost is affordable
Being but a beginner blogger, it’s basically impossible – and unreasonable – for you to shell out a large amount of cash. Fortunately, Bluehost has your back. It offers some of the cheapest web hosting plans out there (we’ll go through each one shortly), guaranteeing the best bang for your buck. Plus, all Bluehost plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Bluehost is customer-centric
Bluehost boasts an expert, effective, and efficient customer support team who will ensure that you get nothing less than top-notch web hosting service for your blog. They are very responsive, highly knowledgeable, and they provide real solutions. You can contact them via live chat, email, and 24/7 phone support.
- Bluehost is trusted by over 2 million site owners
Bluehost is one of the largest and most popular web hosting providers across the globe. It is the first choice of over 2 million website owners, and having the trust and business of that many people means Bluehost is doing all the right things.
- Bluehost is recommended by WordPress
WordPress powers over 40% of websites on the Internet, so their recommendation is a big – no, a huge – deal. But we’ll know more about WordPress later on.
- You can make money with Bluehost
Bluehost offers one of the most popular, most profitable, and most successful affiliate programs online. If you join their affiliate program, you get the opportunity to earn $65 commission for every visitor you refer who buys a web hosting plan from Bluehost. It’s that simple!
Anyway, these are only some of the reasons why Bluehost is, by far, the best web hosting provider. There are plenty more reasons, of course, but all ultimately point to the fact that when you’re just starting out on your blogging journey, Bluehost is the most reliable and most dependable web host to help you every step of the way to success.
What web hosting plans are Bluehost offering? What’s the right one for me?
Bluehost offers four hosting plans, namely:
This is perfect if you only have one website or are just starting out. It has all the essential features to start a blog in an easy and convenient way.
Once your site grows, you might want to upgrade to this. You’ll also want this if you run multiple sites.
- Choice Plus
This is perfect if you have multiple websites and require more advanced privacy and security features for them.
You get the most advanced and optimized web hosting features Bluehost offers in this. Get this only if you run e-commerce and larger sites, and you need only the most powerful tools to manage them.
Since you’re just starting out and still getting a feel for blogging, I recommend that you opt for the Basic Plan. It’s a good and solid choice for beginners. It’s got all the essential functions and features you need for a quick, simple, and hassle-free start to blogging, such as:
- Web hosting service for 1 website
This is perfect since you’re just starting out and will only be running one site.
- Free domain for 1 year
As mentioned earlier, you have to pay a yearly fee to own a domain and keep using it. But if you buy your web hosting package from Bluehost, you get your domain for free for one year! After the first year, however, the renewal price applies.
- Free CDN
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a group of globally-distributed servers which helps improve your website speed and security, allowing for your webpages and content to load faster. Most web traffic today is channeled through CDNs. This just means that your blog is guaranteed to load fast.
- Free SSL Certificate
This is an important security feature to keep personal information, e-commerce transactions, and other sensitive data safe with encrypted connections. This just means that your blog is guaranteed to be safe and secure.
- 50 GB SSD storage
The Basic Plan offers you 50 GB of storage space for your site files. If you’re a beginner with a start-up blog, then your 50 GB can perfectly accommodate all your files, as it will take a long time to use up that much storage.
- 24/7 customer support
You get expert customer support to help you effectively build, grow, and manage your blog.
Sounds good! How do I sign-up with Bluehost?
Signing up with Bluehost allows you to buy web hosting service, and also register your domain.
Click the button below to proceed…
…which will take you to this page. Then click the GET STARTED button…
…which will then take you to this page. Then click the GET STARTED button (or simply scroll down)…
…which will in turn take you to this part of the page.
This is where you can see the price cards for the different web hosting plans offered by Bluehost, which we’ve just talked about earlier.
Hey, so by the way, you should know that the more prominent prices displayed are discounted prices – they only apply to your first purchase/invoice. The regular prices apply after your first 12-month, 24-month, or 36-month term – whichever you buy – is over.
But before you buy anything, take a look at the duration of the plans.
If you select a 12-month Basic plan, you’ll pay a discounted price of $5.95 per month for your first 12-month term.
A 24-month Basic plan will cost you a discounted price of $4.95 per month for your first 24-month term.
And a 36-month Basic plan sells for a discounted price of $3.95 a month for your first 36-month term.
As you can see, the 36-month plan offers the most discount to your web hosting fees. If you’re planning to blog for the long-term, if you see yourself blogging three, five, or ten years from now, getting the 36-month plan is a wise choice. You get to make a lot of savings that way.
Remember, you won’t be getting any more discounts after your first purchase/invoice.
Once you’re ready to purchase the Basic plan (or any plan of your choosing), click the SELECT button…
…which will take you to this page.
This is where you can register your domain. We’ve already checked if your domain name is available a while ago, but you can also do that here. You can also choose a TLD, but a ‘.com’ is already the best possible choice, and it’s automatically chosen as a default.
So type in your domain name on the text field provided, then click the NEXT button. If your domain is available, you will get to this page.
This is the page where you can create your Bluehost account and complete your purchase, so fill in the required fields with the appropriate information.
But before you pay for anything, take a look at this part first.
As you can see, Bluehost has taken the liberty of bundling some additional features to your purchase. It’s up to you if you want to buy these features or not. You can find out more about each feature by clicking the accompanying MORE INFORMATION link.
But if you ask me, only the first one – the Domain Privacy + Protection – is important. If you select this, Bluehost can hide your personal contact information and keep it from being accessed by just about anybody, including spammers.
Meanwhile, the rest of the add-ons are just optional. Besides, if you do need them, you can purchase them later on anyway.
If you have filled in every field with the appropriate information, you can tick the check box indicating that you understood the Terms and Conditions (after you’ve read it, of course). Then click the SUBMIT button…
Afterwards, you will receive a welcome message from Bluehost and a confirmation email, and you will also be asked to create a password. Remember to choose a password that is strong and difficult to guess, but also one that you won’t have a hard time remembering.
That’s it! You now have a niche, a domain name, and top-notch web hosting.
But there’s still just a bit more work to be done, so on to the next step!
4. Install WordPress
Alright. We’re almost there. Just a couple more steps and you’ll soon have a fully-fledged blog.
So let’s keep things rolling.
The next step now is to install WordPress. And we’ll do exactly just that, right after we get to know what WordPress is and why is it important.
WordPress, simply put, is an amazing piece of software – a Content Management System (CMS), to be exact – that lets you build a website in the easiest way possible.
It’s free and open source, which means anyone and everyone can use it.
It’s also very simple – you can use it to create, edit, and manage your blog even if you’re an absolute newbie or don’t know anything about coding, web design, or web development.
And it’s also very popular – about 40% all websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress! So chances are, about four out of every ten websites you’ve visited are made with WordPress!
And remember how Bluehost is recommended by WordPress? Well, now that you know just how important WordPress is, you can also appreciate just how big their endorsement is!
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: what’s the difference?
Upon your entry into the blogging world, two common terms you will see and hear a lot are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. But while they are kinda similar terms, they actually refer to two different things.
WordPress.com is a hosting service created by the founder of WordPress. It’s like Bluehost, or any other web hosting service provider, except that apart from selling paid hosting packages, it also offers free web hosting.
As we mentioned earlier, when you use free hosting, you also usually get a free subdomain: in this case, if I built my website using WordPress.com’s free web hosting, my subdomain would be ‘www.phmillennia.wordpress.com’.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, is the ‘real WordPress’, the amazing website platform one we just talked about a minute ago. It’s the one that powers over a fourth of all websites on the Internet. To be clear, when we talk about WordPress in this article, we’re referring to WordPress.org.
Ok, great! Now how do I install WordPress?
Installing WordPress used to be such a long and complicated process (it still kinda is). In fact, it used to be so time-consuming and difficult that a lot of people were put off from blogging altogether.
But with Bluehost, the process has gotten so much simpler. In fact, once you sign-up with Bluehost, WordPress is already installed for you. All you need to do now is complete a few finishing touches and you’re good to go. Amazing, yeah?
- Choose a theme
Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme for your blog from its current offerings.
A theme is a collection of templates used to change the overall look and appearance of your website.
There are lots of themes to choose from. Some are premium themes – it means you have to buy them. But there are also many free themes.
So take a moment to choose a theme you want. But don’t take too long! Remember, you can change your theme later on anyway.
In fact, if you’re having a hard time choosing, just a pick a free one that looks clean and simple, and change it later on if you want to.
Or you can just skip this step, and pick a theme whenever you feel like it.
- Start building
Just click the START BUILDING button.
- Choose a blog type
Bluehost will ask you to specify what type of blog you want yours to be. You can choose between BUSINESS or PERSONAL, or you can also click I DON’T NEED HELP, as this part is optional. Make your pick and that’s it!
Once done, you’ll then be taken to your WordPress Dashboard.
5. Start creating content
Ok, so after all that work, you’re now on the last step of setting-up your blog. Finally! Aren’t you excited?
At this point, you now have a live site on the Internet. Awesome! But wait – it’s still empty. So it’s time to fill it up with some amazing content.
In blogging, when we talk about content, we mostly mean blog posts, entries, articles, and all that good stuff. But we also include pages or webpages.
You can create both pages and posts for your blog from your WordPress Dashboard. Your WordPress Dashboard gives you access to all the site management features of WordPress. It’s your admin area, your workshop, where you make things happen. It’s like a studio, if you’re an artist, or a kitchen if you’re a chef.
By the way, you can easily access your WordPress Dashboard from the address bar of your browser. Just type in your domain name and add ‘/wp-admin’, which will land you on a page where you can log in to your WordPress Dashboard. For example, my domain name is ‘phmillennia.com’, and my WordPress Dashboard is accessible (only to me) at ‘phmillennia.com/wp-admin’.
That being said, there are tons of new and exciting stuff you can do on your Dashboard. You can explore all of them later on. But for now, you should focus on creating your pages and your posts first.
What pages do I need to create first? And why?
A webpage is a single page on your website. Think of it like a page in a book. It’s mostly static (means it rarely changes), as opposed to posts, which are the ones that get created and updated frequently.
Pages give your site structure and organization, and supply information about you and your blog to search engines and to your visitors. And when you have a brand-new website (like you do now), there are a couple of webpages that you need to create first. These include the:
This is the page that visitors land on when they type in your domain name. Your homepage usually includes a brief introduction on what your blog is all about, as well as a selection of your most popular or recent posts, what products or services you’re offering, etc.
And since ‘first impressions last’, you should strive to make your homepage as appealing and as engaging as much as possible, to convince visitors to read your content and even buy whatever it is you’re selling. Chances are, you only have one shot to impress your visitors, so make the most of it.
- About page
This is where you give some interesting background information about your blog and yourself. It is here that you share, in-depth, what your blog is about, what visitors can expect to find, as well as who you are, what motivated you to start blogging, etc. This is where you tell the tale of your blogging journey.
- Contact page
This is where you have your contact information – email address, business address, telephone number, etc. – displayed, for persons or organizations who want to get in touch with you.
Alright, so those are some of the pages you want to have on your website before anything else. As you grow, you can add more webpages to fit your needs. But for now, those first pages will do.
What about posts? What should I write for my first post?
Now, after you’ve created your main and must-have webpages, it’s time to turn your attention to writing. It’s time to create your first blog post.
Your posts, or articles, or entries, etc., will form the bulk of your blog content. These are your stories, guides, walkthroughs, tutorials, case studies, listicles, product reviews, and all manner of written material (and otherwise). These are what separates blogs from other websites. These are what gets your blog noticed by Google and ranked on its search results. These are what gets visitors a-visitin’. And these are what will make you money.
So what should you write for your first blog post?
Well, you can write about anything. But perhaps you want to start with a post that welcomes visitors into your blog, and introduces them to who you are, what your blog is all about, what got you into blogging, what they can expect in the future, and why they should definitely follow and keep up with you and your blog.
Or you can write about whatever. Just remember to make it interesting, engaging, and most of all, heartfelt.
Once you’re done, you can now publish your first post.
Congratulations! You now have a blog! It’s live on the Internet, and you’ve just made your first blog post and shared it with the rest of the world. See, it wasn’t that hard after all, now, was it? After all that time you spent thinking and overthinking, here you are. A proud owner of a blog and what will soon be your money-making business and your key to financial freedom and a more fulfilling life. Now give yourself a pat on the back. You definitely deserve one.
Hey, sorry, I didn’t catch all that. Do you have a shorter version or something?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have a shorter version. Here are all the steps to starting a blog – everything we just did, basically, but summarized just for you.
1. Pick a niche
A niche is just the topic of your blog. It’s what you’ll be writing about. It’s specific, it’s specialized, and it’s well-defined.
Picking a niche, instead of writing about various topics all at once, will make it easier for people and search engines to understand what your blog is all about, as well as make it easier for you to write consistent and coherent content.
You want to pick a niche that you’re passionate in as well as knowledgeable in. Something not broad and vague, but not too narrow, either. It has to have an audience, a future, and a profitable potential (which just means it can make you money).
2. Choose a domain name
After deciding on a niche, you now need to come up with a domain name, or the name of your blog.
An ideal domain name is something that’s unique, simple, easy to remember, and easy to type in. It’s somewhat related to your topic, has room for growth, and has a suitable domain name extension (a ‘.com’ will do).
And one more thing – your domain name must be something that nobody else owns yet, because the rules of the Internet state that you can’t own a domain name that someone already owns. Also, you have to pay for the right to own a particular domain name.
But don’t worry. You can check if your tentative domain name is available using the nifty little tool below. If it’s available, you can then register and buy it in the next step.
3. Choose a web host
The third step is to buy a web hosting plan. Web hosting service allows your blog to go live on the Internet, and make it visible and accessible to other people.
When it comes to web hosting, your best option is Bluehost. Fast, secure, reliable, and trusted by over 2 million site owners, Bluehost is the best web hosting provider out there. It’s Basic Plan has all the essential features you need to start a blog in a fast and hassle-free way.
You can register your domain name with Bluehost, too.
So click the button below to sign-up with Bluehost for your web hosting plan, as well as register your domain name.
4. Install WordPress
WordPress is an incredible piece of software that lets you build and customize your website in the easiest and simplest way possible. It’s free, it’s reliable, and it powers over 40% of all websites on the Internet.
5. Start creating content
From your WordPress Dashboard, you can now start creating content for your blog. You want to focus on two things: pages, and then posts.
Pages give your blog structure and organization, and provide information to search engines and to your visitors. The first webpages you want to create are your homepage, about page, and contact page.
On the other hand, posts are your written content. They’re your blog articles, entries, stories, guides, walkthroughs, tutorials, case studies, listicles, product reviews, etc. So go ahead and start writing your first post. Once you’re done, you can publish it for all the world to see.
After all that work, you now have a fully-functioning blog and the foundations of what will soon be a money-making business. Yes, it’s that simple!
Ok, so I started a blog. What now?
Starting a blog is actually the easy part. A couple of dollars, a couple of steps, and no more than an hour or so, and you’re done. What comes after is much, much harder – that is, if you’re planning on making a career out of blogging.
The next stage now is to grow your blog and monetize it. This will involve building up your content, optimizing your website, identifying products and services to sell, promoting on social media (and other channels) to attract traffic, and so on and so forth.
This next stage is the most difficult part of blogging. It’s what will require the most time, attention, effort, consistency, dedication, patience, and sacrifice. It’s what will determine who will succeed in the blogging world, and who will give up early on.
But it’s also the most rewarding stage. You’ll not only be building your blog, but you’ll also be building relationships with other people, from your visitors and followers, fellow bloggers, to brands and companies; as well as building your revenue streams and your money-making potential, from your first few cents and dollars, to full-time income and beyond.
This next stage needs an entire guide and tutorial of its own, which I’m writing as of this moment. I’ll link it here once I’ve finished it.
Start a blog this summer.
There are so many things to do this summer. Make the most of the sunny season and make your own summer an unforgettable one by starting a blog. That way, you’ll not only be doing something fun and creative, you’ll also be building and investing in a profitable online business that can allow you to work from anywhere while earning full-time passive income to see you through retirement and beyond.
Give blogging a go this summer.
I promise it will change your life.