For years, I’ve always wondered “what if.”
What if I never started my seven-figure blog, Bargaineering?
I wasn’t a personal finance expert. I wasn’t an expert on anything.
But I hoped that, maybe, just maybe, other people fumbling their way through money could join me and we can learn and grow together. So I started a blog.
Six years later, that blog would be acquired for millions and I changed the trajectory for the rest of my life (SEC filing, search for my name). I was independent, an entrepreneur, and I learned valuable skills that were valuable in the marketplace, not just to my employer.
All because I started.
If you want to start a blog, you can. You need less than ten minutes.
Let’s do this.
Table of Contents
Step 1. Register a Domain
The hardest part about this entire process is finding a domain that you like. Once you have your topic, you want to start brainstorming keywords that match your subject. It may be helpful to pull up a thesaurus to help you find synonyms in case your initial keywords aren’t available (if it’s a single word or two words, it will not be available).
For my scotch blog, I thought of the obvious words – scotch, whisky, whiskey, and threw on the word blog at the end. None were available. Then I thought, drop the blog and go with something like ScotchReviewer or ScotchFanatic, but both are gone. I thought about alternatives to “fanatic” (scotchfan was available but I didn’t like it) and finally settled on addict. I had a few reservations about “addict” given that it’s alcohol, but I got past it.
Here’s a tool to help you search domains:
Some tips about domains:
- Get the .com version. If you can’t get the .com, try to think of a better name. JD at GetRichSlowly.org made it work with a .org but you can bet the guy who owned the .com was pretty happy at all the free traffic he was getting!
- Make sure it’s easy to say and type. Bargaineering is hard to say and hard to type. A lot of your early traffic will be from you spreading the word… make it an easy word!
- Make sure you aren’t infringing on someone’s copyright or trademark.
Step 2. Set Up Hosting
For this tutorial, I’ll be using Bluehost.
I personally believe that shared hosting providers are technologically similar and that you should go with a company that has a good track history and a reasonable price.
WordPress, which is the blog platform we’ll be installing, recommends three hosts – Bluehost, Dreamhost, and Laughing Squid. I’ve never used Laughing Squid but I have used Dreamhost and I prefer Bluehost.
Free domain name, unlimited data, Free blog installation, money-back guarantee
Click on the blue Select button.
What plan should you get? Start with Basic. Get the $2.95 a month package because it’ll give you everything you need. It comes with more than enough space, unlimited bandwidth, and 1 included domain.
If you know you want to start two sites at once, then you’ll need Plus.
Type your domain into the left hand box and click Next:
On the next screen, you’ll enter your billing information.
The next page is a list of upsells, you can scroll down and click the blue Complete button to skip all of these, none are checked by default. You’ll see a summary page with a link to Create your password – click that link.
The next page asks you to create a password and will not let you pass until the strength is considered Good (green). Follow their guidance, use an uppercase letter and at least a symbol, then you’ll be good to go.
It may take 24-48 hours for the nameservers to propagate (Bluehost set this up for you already), so if you type in your domain it may not go to your site immediately. I won’t go into the technical details but that information has to get passed to the various DNS (Domain Name System) servers throughout the world and that could take 24-48 hours. Until then, you can still install and configure WordPress but accessing your site may take a day or two.
Step 3. Simple WordPress Setup
You’ll be prompted to log in again and then it walks you through the installation process. Every account gets WordPress installed automatically – all you have to do is configure it to what you want! They walk you through it step by step and it’s super easy now.
First, give your blog a name and tagline:
Then you share what you hope to do with it:
Pick a theme:
Then boom! It installs with this screen:
Step 4. Done!
At this point, your blog will be set up with mostly default options of WordPress!
Congratulations – you are officially a blogger!
This guide only explained the first steps of getting everything up and running. If you want a full guide, what to write about, how to write engaging blog articles, how to promote, what plugins to install, SEO, newsletters and more – this is the definitive guide (and illustrated!) to start a blog in 2020.
Go check it out — and email me where I can find it, I want to see it too!