Do You Want to Start your Blog? I appreciate your decision!
Blogging is a full-time career now and thousands of bloggers around the world including me are making 6 figure income.
In this article, I am going to show how you can create a blog effortlessly for almost free and make some good money like me.
The great thing about running a blog is you not only make a good amount of money with it but also get to do so many other things.
I started blogging for two good reasons 1) I wanted to help people and 2) Of course to make money with it.
There could be other solid reasons for starting a blog like
- Blogging makes you a better writer and thinker.
- You meet thousands of new people & followers through comments, social media or email.
- You help and inspire others through your blog.
- You can promote your own business or services through blogging.
- You become popular and more confident.
Whatever is the reason, the point is a blog can be a very powerful tool for achieving various goals.
When you get so many benefits and you can create your blog almost for free then why not create your blog today.
You just can’t ignore it.
And now I want to help out others who want to learn to blog.
So let us get started!
Free Blogs vs Self Hosted Paid Blogs
There are 2 ways to make a blog- one is free and the other is by paying around $100 (Rs 7000) for a domain name & hosting.
You can start a free blog with Blogger.com, Wix.com, WordPress.com, etc. but there are many limitations for creating a free blog with any of these.
To make things clearer I am giving you 6 compelling reasons why you shouldn’t start a free blog.
- The domain name of your blog will look like YourBlogName.blogspot.com or YourBlogName.wix.com which is too lengthy to read as compared to a paid blog that reads YourBlogName.com.
- You will face serious limitations incorporating many design changes.
- Monetization will become difficult affecting your revenue adversely.
- The whole process of shifting from free platform to paid one is very tedious and you might also lose some of the traffic & revenue.
- Your readers, advertisers, and clients are not going to take you seriously.
- Lastly, you are not in control of your content because everything is in the hands of the free platform you are using. If anything goes wrong with your blog, they will suspend your blog & you can’t do anything.
I hope the above 6 reasons are good enough to convince you not creating a free blog.
And if you want to buy a self-hosted blog with any web hosting company, you have to pay $100 or more.
But today, I will show you how to get a full-featured self-hosted blog in just $12 (less than Rs 1200) and that too for full 1 year.
This is less than a single outing for a movie or dinner for a family. For me, it’s almost FREE.
When you can start a blog for just $12 then why wasting your time and effort on a free blog for few bucks?
How to Start Your First Blog in $12
Now bloggers can start a blog from getting a domain name to hosting for just $12 (Rs 1200/- in India).
Here is the step by step procedure to get up and running your first ever blog.
Step 1: Choosing a Right CMS
Step 2: Selecting an Appropriate Domain Name
Step 3: Selecting Best Hosting Provider
Step 4: Setting Up the Blog
Step 5: Designing Your Blog
Step 6: Start Earning
Let’s dig deep into each of these steps.
Step 1: Choosing a Right CMS
CMS or Content Management System is a blogging platform like Blogspot, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, TypePad, etc where you are going to put all your files in.
Out of so many blogging platforms available out there we are going to go with WordPress because of the following great reasons.
- It’s free.
- It’s very easy to design a blog and understand its dashboard.
- WordPress gives you so much flexibility to design any kind of website with the help of their 5000+ free and paid themes.
- Right now there are over 70,000 free plugins offered by WordPress to run your blog faster and efficiently.
- Lastly, there is a whole WordPress community out there who can help you with anything you might need while setting up a blog. Join their WordPress Forum.
98% of blogs in the world are currently using WordPress. Even I use WordPress for all my blogs including this blog SureJob.
So I highly recommend you to create your blog with WordPress CMS.
Step 2: Selecting an Appropriate Domain Name
Step 2 is very important because a domain name is going to reflect your blog’s niche. So you have to do justice to your blog by choosing the right domain name.
My blog SureJob.in is all about jobs and careers as the very name suggests. I chose the name keeping my niche and audience in mind. So you have to do the same thing.
If you are planning to start a blog on Football or Cricket then choose names like CricketingWorld.in or SoccerFan.com.
If you love dogs and cats then go for something like CatsnDogs.com or PetsWorld.com etc.
I think you got the idea!
The following are the few things you have to keep in mind.
#1 Domain name must be in sync with the purpose of your blog.
#2 Name must be easy to remember and pronounce.
#3 While Choosing an extension you can always go for .in rather .com. If your blog is targeting Indian Audience then .in is much better. My extension is also SureJob.in.
#4 But if you are not getting the desired Domain Name with .com extension then feel free to go with other extensions like .in, .org, .net, .info, .co etc
#5 Give priority to choosing .com or .in extension.
Finalize on one of the most appropriate domain names.
Step 3: Selecting Best Hosting Provider
WordPress is just a software with which you create a blog by putting all the necessary files together.
But where are you going to host your blog?
Well, that is what you need a hosting provider for?
A hosting provider stores all your content of your blog like text files, CSS files, images, videos, etc at one place and make it available to the world.
So you need a hosting provider to use your domain name and make it accessible all around the world.
But which hosting provider are you going to choose?
In the last 9 years, I’ve used and experienced over a dozen hosting providers. But one of the most reliable hosting providers I came across was GoDaddy.com
WordPress.org and most of the other top bloggers recommend GoDaddy as their first choice.
To Learn More Why GoDaddy Go Here!
Step 4: Setting Up the WordPress Blog with GoDaddy
I have an exclusive tie-up with GoDaddy for my SureJob readers.
The actual price of the 1 year hosting with a domain is $75 but it has some special discount
And you get your domain for FREE.
So go ahead and create your first blog for just $12 or INR 1200/-.
To make things clear and simple for new bloggers we are using images with pointers.
- Visit GoDaddy here.
- Click on the “WordPress” Menu. Then click on “WordPress Hosting” under the “Personal & Business” Section.
- Now you are taken to the hosting plan’s page. There are four plans offered by GoDaddy Basic, Deluxe, Ultimate, Pro 5+. Choose the Basic Plan for one year and ignore others.
Read the features and click on the “Add to Cart” button.
Now choose a 12 months plan (as shown below) as you will get a discount and a free domain with 12 months and higher plan.
- On the next page, it will ask you to add your free domain.
- Type-in a domain name (as explained in Step 2).
I am very passionate about fitness so I thought of creating something related to fitness. I checked fitnessideas.com but as you can see above, this domain was not available.
GoDaddy suggests the availability of fitness ideas.in. So I chose this domain.
- While choosing the name use all the tips you learned in Step 2. Click on “Select and Continue”.
- After that, you will see a discounted amount (in the right corner in the green box below) of just Rs 1180 + GST. You don’t have to pay GST if you have a GST number.
If you are not from India, then you will see the price in the US dollar ($12) or your currency.
You got this price because you visited GoDaddy with my special discounted link. If you are getting a much higher price than this, it means you have not used this GoDaddy link.
Now Click on “Create Account” to create a new account with GoDaddy to buy this hosting.
- Create an Account by filling email, username and password details.
- Now You will be taken to billing information.
It is a no brainer! Fill all the details like Name, phone number, address, etc and click on the ‘Save’ button.
- In India, many young bloggers (especially from small towns) worry about payment options because they may not have a credit card. But here you can pay through Net Banking, Debit Cards, Wallets, and even UPI. So no need to worry about payment.
Complete the purchase!
- After completing the purchase you will be able to create your WordPress site as shown below.
Choose “Build a brand new site” and Data Center nearest to your country. I chose Europe as shown above in the Green box.
Create a WordPress username & password and click the ‘Create‘ button. It should be a strong username and password.
After the Clicking Create button, you will get a message “WordPress Successfully installed” as shown below.
Now click on the “Go to my sites” link to connect your domain with this hosting.
- After clicking the link you will be taken to the window shown below.
Now click on the “Add a custom domain” link to add your domain.
After clicking that, click on the “Attach domain” and from the dropdown choose the domain name (in this case fitness ideas.in) and click the attach button.
After that go back and click on the “WP Admin” (in previous to the previous image).
- In the next window, click on the “No Thanks” button and you will be taken to WordPress Dashboard shown below.
Now use all the powerful yet simple to use WordPress features to transform your blog into a masterpiece.
Step 5: Designing Your Blog
Here are some of the most important things to do after creating your blog.
1. Create a new user
You have already created an administrator account. As an administrator, you can make any changes in your blog. You can install any theme, plugins, creates posts, pages, categories and users and many other things.
Your Admin user and password must be very strong. Spammers and hackers can attack your blog with spam and malware if they can guess your admin username and password.
You need to do 2 things to avoid this.
- Make the Admin username and password very strong.
- Don’t publish any post or pages through the Admin account and don’t approve or write any comment through an admin account.
You need to publish posts, pages and moderate the comments you receive on your blog from an Editor account.
You can easily create an Editor account by clicking on Users as shown in the above image.
- Click Users –> Add New
- Enter a username, email, First name & Last name of a new user.
- WordPress will suggest a strong password. Click on the ‘show password’ button to see your password. Copy this password and note down.
- Choose a role as ‘Editor’ from the drop-down.
- Click Add New User.
Now if you want to publish a post or page from Editor account, you can logout from the option on the top right and login with the Editor username and password.
Login URL for your blog is yourblogname.com/wp-admin.
2. Install a theme after starting your blog
When you install WordPress for creating your blog, WordPress installs a default theme in your blog.
A theme is the most important part of your blog. It changes the look, design, style, and layout of your blog.
There are thousands of free & paid themes available for WordPress bloggers.
If you want to install any free theme, then take your mouse to ‘Appearance‘ and then click on themes (see above dashboard image).
Click on the ‘Add New’ button and you will find thousands of free themes. You can find Featured theme, Popular themes, Latest themes, and other options.
You can use the ‘Feature Filter’ option to find more themes.
Check the details and preview of each theme and install the one that you like the most.
If you have a budget, you can find thousands of premium themes on ThemeForest.
Experiment with your theme and make a great design.
3. Install Important Plugins
WordPress plugins are like apps that help you to add more features to your blog and make it more efficient & fast. You must install some of the important plugins for starting your blog.
Click on ‘Plugins’ (as in image) and then ‘Add New‘ to install plugins.
Some of the important plugins are Yoast SEO, JetPack, Contact Form 7, Akismet, Classic Editor, WP Super Cache, Smush Image Compression.
You can search these plugins and click on ‘More Details’ to know more about each plugin.
Click on the ‘Install Now’ button and then the ‘Activate’ button to install and activate the plugin.
You can check more plugins from the Featured, Popular & Recommended fields there.
4. Add Your First Post
You should write detailed posts and publish at least 2-3 posts every week. Your readers should be happy and satisfied with your posts.
Google will rank your posts and give traffic if you write useful posts with original ideas.
Write your first 800+ word posts and publish them on your blog.
Take your mouse to ‘Posts’ and click ‘Add New’ to add your first blog post.
Add a title in the ‘Add title’ section & copy your article in the text area. Add a good image(s) to your post. And then click on the Publish button to publish your first post.
Congratulation! This is your first post after starting your blog.
Keep writing and publishing such Awesome posts.
Other things you can do in your blog are Adding categories, creating a navigation menu and adding the same on your blog. You will find more details in my next article.
Step 6: Start Earning
Blogging is becoming a very popular full-time career in India and around the globe. Millions of bloggers are making $1000 to $100,000 per month from their blog.
Blogging is a full-time career for me. I work 10 hours a day and 6 days a week on my blog. I make around $20,000 per month from my blogs.
So if you want to earn some great money with your blog, you need to get serious for your blog.
You paid almost nothing for starting your blog. But you need to work hard if your target is $2000+ per month.
Your income would depend upon the number of visitors you bring to your blog. The more the traffic you bring in, the more the money you make.
There are two main areas you need to focus on to increase traffic.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Focus on writing quality content that people find educating, problem-solving, entertaining and joyful to read.
Good content is not enough if it fails to reach out to a wider audience. Your blog is of no use if it can’t rank high on Google Search engine. Hence you also need to learn SEO for ranking high on Google.
SEO is a vast subject and to learn if you need a few months at least. Here are some resources to learn SEO.
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
You also need to learn social media marketing to get traffic from sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
You have to exploit all the channels to increase the traffic to your blog.
Once you start bringing enough traffic to your blog you can monetize it with various advertising platforms.
Google Adsense is one of the best platforms. You can show Google ads on your blog and earn for each click. Adsense is the blogger’s first choice when it comes to contextual advertisement.
You can also earn through selling products and services on other’s behalf which is also known as affiliate marketing. Amazon Associate is one such example.
As you gain experience you will learn several other ways to monetize your blog and earn more money.
But as a beginner keep it simple and focus on Google Adsense.
So this was the complete guide on starting a blog in less than Rs 1200 (or $12).
Step 1 to Step 3 is very easy to learn. But you need to read again and again Step 4 until it is clear to you. We’ve explained it very well using images.
Step 5 about designing is also a bit technical and you have to pay closer attention.
Finally Step 6 is very important because you’ve to implement it every day unlike step 1 to step 5 which have to be implemented only once.