Choose a web hosting provider

There are so many different hosting providers out there that this can be a very difficult decision.  You will spend hours and hours searching and reading and my hope is to save you some time.  Learn from my own experience and just use one of my banners to visit Siteground.  The first thing you have to decide when starting a blog is if you should go self-hosted or free hosted. I know it sounds kinda technical if you’re a newbie, but no worries, this is much easier than it seems.

What is a web hosting?

If you want to start a blog, you’re going to need a web hosting, which means the “place” where your blog lives.  Don’t make the same mistakes I made, consider Siteground.

Kinda like renting a parking spot for your car, except you’re renting a space on the internet for your blog. Every website needs a web hosting.

When it comes to web hosting, you have two options: being self-hosted, of being free-hosted.

Since we’re going to talk about WordPress in a minute, you probably heard about WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The main (and only) thing that you have to know about these two, is that :

  • WordPress.com is to create a free-hosted blog
  • WordPress.org is for those who want a self-hosted blog.

And NO, the paid version of WordPress.com is NOT the same thing as a self-hosted platform. You’re just paying for them to allow you to do more things, but they still own your content and they still get to decide what you can do or not on your blog.

Please, PLEASE do not pay for WordPress.com. It’s more expensive than being self-hosted and you still get all of the cons of being free-hosted. 

Ok, so what’s the difference between self-hosting and free-hosting?

In order to start a blog that you can monetize (that makes you earn an income), you need to be self-hosted. You might be thinking, “Why would I pay for a blog when I can have it for free?”

There are several reasons why going free-hosted is actually the worse thing you can do to your blog:

  • You do NOT own your content with a free-hosted blog
  • There are restrictions to monetize your blog (Ads and affiliate links, for example, are not allowed)
  • You have to adhere to your host’s Terms and Conditions
  • You won’t be able to customize your blog as much as if you were self-hosted.
  • No one is going to take you seriously with a free-hosted blog (forget about working with brands)

 

And so many other reasons. In other words, you’re just allowing someone else to control all of your blog, and you can forget about ever monetizing your blog if you choose to go with a free hosted site.

Sadly I’m not kidding; I started with a free hosted blog and regretted it.

Free-hosted blogs are free because they were made for those who do not want to turn their blog into a business, those who are just blogging for fun.

 

That’s why starting a self-hosted blog is a must if you’re serious about blogging. The small investment ( $3.95 / month) of creating a self-hosted blog is really worth it.

Plus it will be quickly reimbursed if you monetize your blog from day one (and you should really do this)

I am going to guide you through the process of creating your blog with Siteground and WordPress. It actually is the simplest thing.

Set up your hosting and domain

I am self-hosted with Siteground, one of the top web hosting companies in 2017. There are many reasons why I chose to go with them:

  • It is easy to use
  • You get to monetize your blog any way you want to
  • it’s one of the most affordable hosting companies
  • you get a FREE domain
  • They have been working with WordPress for a while now, not only making WordPress.org completely free if you choose to go with them but also they are installing WordPress.org automatically without you having to do anything (They do all the work for you!)
  • Not to mention that you will look so much more professional to your readers and to any brand that could want to work with you.

In order to set up your hosting account, just follow those steps:

– Go to Siteground and click on the “Get Started Now” button.

– Click on the package you are interested in.

Their hosting prices allow you to start a blog for as low as $3.95 a month.

The StartUp plan is probably enough for you (that’s what I have).

 

– Sign up for a new domain name.

You can check if the domain name you want is available here:

 

– Enter your personal and payment information.

– Next you will be asked to enter a password.

Congrats! You just created a self-hosted WordPress blog with Siteground. I told you it was simple.

 

Little Bonus: If you purchase your Siteground account through one of my links, I’ll help you through the process of creating your blog for free! Just contact me at chatterboxdetox@gmail.com and include your domain name in the email.

Appearance matters

Congratulations, you have a blog! But the process of creating a blog doesn’t stop here.  Everything that turns a random blog into YOUR blog is yet to do.

As soon as you created your blog, you’re going to need a theme. WordPress has some free themes that you can use, but you can also buy your own theme if you’re not satisfied with those.

One thing you must be aware of when choosing your blog theme, is that the appearance of your blog matters… A lot. Writing great blog posts don’t make everything, your readers will also be (un)attracted by your blog’s visual.  You might think that’s unfair, but that’s the way it is; people will be more likely to read a blog that looks pretty, that is ergonomic, easy to run through, than a blog that has quality content but looks like a mess.

If I could give you just two more tips about choosing your blog theme, I’d say find a theme that reflects your personality, and choose bright colors, it will make your blog so much more appealing.

Connect your blog to social media

I’m using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  The power of transforming social media into a personal marketing platform for your blog is amazing.  The idea is to get visitors on those applications to visit your website.