Are you looking to start your own blog to make some extra money on the side?
Blogging is a great side hustle to get into if you love being creative, you love helping others, you want to work for yourself, or you’re aiming to become location-independent.
In this post, I’ll teach you the exact steps on how to start your own blog and make money on the side.
Free Or Paid Hosting
To start off, you might be asking the question: Can I just use free hosting?
You’ve probably seen or heard advertisements for free domains from platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com. There are many out there!
But because they’re free, there are many limitations.
These sites only provide you with a subdomain, which means that your blog is hosted on their site. You don’t have full control of your site and you can’t fully customize it just the way you want to.
If you’re looking to make money off of your blog, it’s crucial that you pay to get self-hosted and your own domain. It will look way more professional and you’ll have the ability to customize it just the way you like it.
Don’t worry though – it’s not as hard as it might sound and I’ll show you each step of the way below on how to start a blog using WordPress on Siteground.
Register A Domain
But before getting into web hosting, we will first need to purchase a domain name.
There is always the option to purchase your domain name from your web hosting company but I usually avoid this.
The reason why I don’t recommend getting a domain from your hosting company is because things can always go wrong and the last thing you want is to have both your domain and hosting down at the same time. It’s always better to separate the two.
Namecheap is always my number one choice whenever I need to purchase a domain. I’ve had positive experiences using them because their customer service is great, they’re reliable, and their prices are very fair.
Use coupon code MYDOMAIN15 to get 15% off your domain name today until supplies last!
1. Brainstorm Your Domain Name
First you’re going to want to brainstorm a list of domain names. Most of the time, your first choice will not be available so brainstorm a few dozen back-up names and get creative!
Now input the domain name into the search bar.
You can also click the bulk options button to the right if you’re interested in searching for multiple names at a time.
2. Choose Your TLD
Now, choose your desired domain extension (or TLD). I always recommend getting a .com extension.
3. Get Privacy Protection
After finding your desired domain name and extension, go to your shopping cart and make sure to enable the WhoisGuard option.
Why is the privacy protection option important?
Because WhoisGuard will hide your personal information so that your information won’t be public if anyone looks up your domain. This is so important because you want to avoid making your phone number, address, and so on public!
Luckily, this is a free service provided for no extra cost by Namecheap so take advantage of this!
Then purchase your cart.
Hurray, we’re now done purchasing your domain name!
Start A Blog With Siteground
Now that you’ve purchased a domain name, the next thing you have to do when you start a blog is to purchase web hosting service.
My preferred choice is Siteground and based on my positive experiences with them, I highly recommend them!
As a beginner, you haven’t made any money yet from your blog so you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money when you’re just starting out. Luckily, their service are very affordable with different plans available for you to choose from depending on your needs.
Here are some other reasons why I love using Siteground for my multiple blogs (this blog included!):
1. Very reliable. I rely on having my site up 100% of the time. Siteground is very reliable and my blog is always consistently up and running!
2. Lightning Speed. A fast loading site is very important to keep my viewers happy (and Google!). I’ve been with Bluehost before only to have a painfully slow website load time. Siteground solved that problem and now I’m super happy!
3. Great customer service. They’re always available to help you 24/7 if you have any problems. Customer service is so important especially if your site is down and you need help.
4. Cheap prices. Their affordable plans, starting at $3.95 per month, are great as a beginner.
Now, on to the tutorial!
Purchase Web Hosting
The first thing you’ll want to do to start off is head on over to Siteground.
On this page, you’ll see all of their hosting plans that they have laid out.
As you’re starting a blog for the first time, all you really need is the StartUp Plan.
Click on the Get Plan button.
Next, it’ll take you to the domain name page. Here it’ll allow you to register a new domain.
Since you already purchased a domain from Namecheap, just click the I already have a domain button and fill out your domain details into field.
Then press Proceed.
You’ll see your cart in the next page which will show you the summary of your plan that you chose.
You can choose your data center location in this page as well as choose the period of hosting that you want to purchase.
I always recommend choosing 36 months when you first start out for $3.95 per month because this is the best deal you can get and will save you money in the long run.
Since this is an introductory price that can only be applied to your first invoice, once that period is over, you will have to pay regular price.
Next, purchase your hosting and voila, you’ve got your hosting package settled! There are just a few more steps you need to do to configure your domain.
Let’s Encrypt SSL
It’s important to give your readers the peace of mind that your site is secure so enabling this option is very important. It’s also free so there’s no excuse not to do this!
Access your Siteground dashboard and go to the My Accounts menu and then the Extra Services tab.
You will find a section called Let’s Encrypt SSL.
Click Manage and activate it.
This will turn your url from http:// to https://.
You’ll want to continue renewing this each time it expires so keep a reminder for yourself!
Point Your Domain Nameservers To Siteground
After getting your SSL certificate, navigate back to your Namecheap account to point your domain’s nameservers to your new host, Siteground.
Go to your Namecheap account dashboard and then select Domain List on the left-hand side of the screen.
Once you go to your domain list, you’ll see an area that allows you to point Siteground’s nameservers to your account. Below, you can see that I added Siteground’s nameservers to my domain. You should receive an email from Siteground once you purchase a hosting package from them that will tell you exactly what to input in this field.
Then click Domain List in the left hand menu.
Now you’ll see an area that lets you fill in your Siteground nameservers.
You should have received an email from Siteground when you purchased web hosting that tells you want to input here.
Allow up to 24 hours for the change to come into effect.
We’re almost done! All that’s left is to install WordPress.
Login to your cPanel at https://yourdomain.com/cpanel.
Under the WordPress Tools section, click the WordPress Installer icon.
Setting Up Your Installation
You’ll then be prompted to setup your installation.
Under Software Setup, choose from the following:
- https://yourdomain.com, or
The choice is up to you. I personally the shorter version without the www because it looks more clean to me.
Next, in the In Directory field, put the location you want WordPress to be installed in. You can either:
- Leave it blank – This means that when you enter https://yourdomain.com, WordPress will automatically load at the root directory, or
- Enter a subdirectory name such as blog – Your blog address will be https://yourdomain.com/blog
On my site, I left mine blank so WordPress loads under https://blogblossom.com.
Under Admin Account, enter your username and password you want to use each time you login to WordPress.
I highly recommend choosing a unique username and a hard-to-guess password as hackers will try to hack into your site.
Do not use admin as a username!
Then, click Install.
The installation process should take around a minute. Once it’s done, login to your WordPress at https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and use the name and password you generated earlier.
You’ve finished installing WordPress and now you’ll be able to see your WordPress dashboard.
Now, you’re on your way to write some posts, add pages, plugins, moderate your comments, and customize the appearance of your blog using themes.
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