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So you’re a busy mom but you have an idea for an awesome blog. Do you really want to start a blog? Congrats! This post will show you how to set up the tech stuff in only a few minutes (not counting the time you need to plan out your ideas.)
This is an exciting adventure and a pretty serious one too, since you’ll be planning to make money with it. My recommendations on this post are for if you plan to monetize your blog. Hobby blogging gives you more flexibility and much of what I recommend here may not apply if you are blogging part-time or for a hobby. But if you want to start a blog for business and money-making, this tutorial will show you step by step how to set this all up.
First things first. Before you start a blog you need to make sure you have a plan and a destination. So let’s clarify what that means
How to start a blog on Siteground video tutorial
Step 1: Determine your niche and tribe before you start a blog
The kind of blogging you do will depend on your niche. Who is your tribe? Who is your target market? Who would you like to reach on your blog?
You should determine this before you do any of the technical stuff. Knowing your audience will help you make the most of your blogging.
What kind of blog will you have? There are so many different kinds of blogs.
I’ve had several niches over the years, from personal blogs about my life and family to faith-based blogs to reach Christian women, and more recently my homeschool blog, plus this one: a blog about blogging and business for mompreneurs!
So…you should sit down and decide what kind of blog you want. To give you some ideas, you can start a blog on any of the following topics, and more:
- Food blog
- Travel blog
- Photography blog
- Parenting blog (mom blog)
- Fitness blog
- Education blog
- Craft blog
- Health and wellness blog
- A special interest blog
Really think through three elements: what you love to do, what you’re good at doing, and what people will actually pay you for. I created the graphic below to illustrate this concept, but don’t think this graphic is my idea. Thanks to a quick search online I found that many bloggers have been using this idea for years to help them discover their best niche, and hopefully this will help you too.
You want to make sure you’re hitting that sweet spot in the middle! This is going to be your best blogging idea because it incorporates all three circles. When you start a blog for business, know that you’re going into this for the long haul, so you may as well start off on the right foot. Make sure you’re blogging about what you love, what you’re good at, and what people will pay you to do. The combination of these three elements is crucial to your success as a blogger.
When thinking of how to start a blog, take some time to think about the kind of information you want to share and the people you want to reach. You don’t want to rush through this step.
Again, you may first have to sit down and discover what your true passions are. In my book I give a free talents assessment that can help you determine what your blog topic should be. Once you push past business fears and determine your niche, it’s easier to move on to the tech stuff.
Then, it’s time to select your hosting platform.
Step 2: Select your blog hosting platform
Web hosting is simply the virtual space that your website will be parked. It needs a home and a place where you will build it online. When blogging as a business you’ll need to go ahead and purchase your hosting so that you can park your website.
I advise against grabbing free hosting. Examples of free hosting platforms are Wix, Weebly, and WordPress.com. Oftentimes on free servers, the drawback for you and the price you end up paying is the inability to run your business like you want to. You can’t run third party ads on some free platforms and many times you don’t own your domain name.
As a professional blogger it’s always best to own your hosting space and domain. This way, you can be assured that the content is yours to do as you please.
My platform of choice is WordPress (WordPress.org, that is). This is an open source Another great platform is Squarespace, but since I’m not familiar with it I can’t give advice about it. I’ll get into the details of why I’ve chosen WordPress later on in the post. For now, let’s hop straight into setting up a blog with SiteGround hosting.
Why I like Siteground
I’ve been burned with a few different hosting companies in the past, so when I came to SiteGround I came whimpering…and they rescued me!
A few years ago my homeschool blog (my biggest blog where I’ve spent most of my blogging energy over a span of 7 years) was hacked. All 400+ pages were attacked with malicious code and Google flagged my blog as a result.
I was so upset that I stayed on the phone for hours with my old hosting company without success. I was asked to shell out more money and purchase additional services that weren’t guaranteed to quarantine or fix anything. So I hopelessly left the company shutting down my service with them. I ended up losing several infected databases which meant the majority of my blog posts and images were gone. You can imagine how upset I was! (And okay, I wasn’t going to name the company, but for the sake of transparency here: GoDaddy hosting).
When I came to SiteGround, however, they were understanding and patient, and stayed on the chat with me as long as I needed as they imported what I had left of my old database. The transition from my last hosting provider to SiteGround was seamless and easy and they had me up and running within half an hour! The difference between SiteGround and my last hosting company was like night and day! Truly.
I have used a few different hosting providers over the years and so far Siteground has been the easiest and quickest for me to set up and get going with optimum support.
My top reasons to start a blog with SiteGround
- They have excellent customer service
- They are reasonably affordable
- It’s super easy to set up and use
That said, let’s get on to your next step. We’ll start with setting up your WordPress blog with Siteground hosting. It’s quick and easy!
Step 3: Select your hosting plan.
Ready to get started blogging? Here we go! You are going to love how easy and quick this is.
Jump over to SiteGround and select your hosting plan. Start by selecting your hosting package.
Here is where you click “Web Hosting” and “Get Started”.
Next, you’ll choose your hosting package.
I highly recommend the GrowBig account to start, which gives you the option to host as many blogs and websites as you like and is great for at least 25,000 visitors per month. When you grow into 100,000 monthly visits you may want to upgrade to the GoGeek account. Or if you want to go minimalistic and only have ideas for one domain and website for now, the StartUp plan will be sufficient. Remember, don’t overthink. Quick is easier and gets you moving, so start with StartUp if you only need one blog. I want to make this easy for busy moms.
Step 4: Grab your domain name.
You will definitely want to do some research on this before you snap up any name. Finding an incredible domain name for your business might take a bit of time, so do this work up front before you get to this step.
Depending on your extension (.com, .org, .biz for example) your domain price will vary. Also, you can transfer a domain you already own.
Once you’re ready, enter your information and proceed to the next screen.
Step 5: Finalize your account.
With SiteGround you can lock in at the introductory rate for a few years. I chose a one year contract, but I believe you get up to three years at a time for the less expensive rate. Now looking back I wish I had paid up front for the full three years, but little did I know how much I would really trust this company. After one year of great service I’m happy to pay full rate to stay with them.
I also pay a bit extra for SGSite Scanner which is a malware detection program. Ever since my “little” hacking incident a few years ago, I’ve been super cautious to run scanner programs. For close to $20 extra per year I would say it’s worth it to me.
You can also choose to add on domain privacy so that your personal information won’t be displayed publicly.
So, once you hit this screen you’re ready to rock!
Step 6: Install WordPress
I understand that there are some pretty awesome blogging platforms out there that many bloggers swear by. However, my experience with WordPress and familiarity with it is why I love it so much. I have been using WordPress since 2005 and it is an extremely powerful and robust framework for blogs. I trust WordPress, I know WordPress, and I teach all my clients on WordPress, so that’s the platform I can vouch for and share with you.
Installing WordPress is really very simple with hosting providers like SiteGround. A simple wizard will take you through the steps quickly. Once you’ve set up your hosting account details (username and password) it will be emailed out to you. From here all you have to do to access your dashboard is to log in.
Within SiteGround you’ll come to a screen like this:
Click on the “My Accounts” tab.
Then click the red “Go to cPanel” button on the left top corner.
This takes you to the main engine of your website where you can make app installations, create backups, set up mail, and manage your files. Don’t let all the options on this page intimidate you. Just know that you can do the amazing work of installing your WordPress from this screen.
There is more than one way to install your WordPress, and if you choose not to go through the simple WordPress Wizard option you can still make an install from your control panel. Here’s how:
Once in the cPanel you’ll want to scroll down until you see this screen. Click on the “WordPress Installer” underneath “WordPress Tools”.
You’ll then come to this screen.
Scroll down until you see “Install Now” at the bottom left of the page and click on that.
Go through each step of the software setup, selecting your domain name to install the WordPress on and choosing a strong username and password for login.
Remember to create login credentials so your site is not easily vulnerable for hacks, but make it easy enough for you to remember. A random string of letters and numbers is not an ideal login for me, so I will change this!
Also, here you can type in your site name and description. Don’t spend too much time on this as you can always go back and edit this later within the WordPress dashboard once it’s installed.
Decide if you want to create a limited number of logins before someone is locked out using “Limit Login Attempts” option. I would leave other options as is.
Click on “install”.
Now you’re ready for action! You can choose to use the customization WordPress wizard to give you a quick jumpstart to select your theme and other essential apps, or you can skip this process altogether.
Step 7: Select your theme
If you go through this first-time wizard, you can select a theme from the many available options. Changing your theme in WordPress is super easy and there are thousands to choose from. I don’t recommend free themes for long term and at some point you’ll want to invest in themes with backup and support (companies like Divi and Studiopress are what I use for all of my themes), but you can always start with free and upgrade later.
Logging in to WordPress
It’s very simple to login to WordPress. Simply type your url in the browser and attach this at the end: /wp-admin
For example, for one of my blogs I would type in: http://www.christianhomeschoolmoms.com/wp-admin
Then log in with your username and password and you’re taken to a screen like this.
From here you’ll be able to change your theme, write posts, and add new plugins.
That’s it! You’re essentially done setting up your blog. In just a few minutes you’ve set up your WordPress site! See? It wasn’t that difficult to start a blog, now was it?
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