Are you interested in blogging? If yes, That’s awesome! If you were to start a blog this 2020, it most likely won’t end up being a bad decision. Heck! It might even rank number one on your list of best decisions made in 2020. In this post, we will look at:
- Why you should start a blog
- Where and How much to start a blog
- What do you need to start a blog
- How to buy hosting for your blog
- How to install WordPress on a new blog.
IYou can actually start a blog in 2020 by yourself for about ~$50—and I’m gonna show you how, shortly. But first, let’s talk about WHY you want to—or should—start a blog, really.
Why start a blog?
Have you thought about why you want to start a blog? What made you want to learn more about blogging? Before starting a blog, you really need to ask yourself WHY? Many people start a blog for all kinds of reasons. Here are the top reasons for starting a blog:
- To have fun
- To entertain
- To collect and share your thoughts and experience
- To develop your writing skills
- To network
- To share information
- To teach
- To learn and grow
- To make money
- To offer freelance services
- To build a business
- To build your brand
- To work from home, etc.
If you want to start a blog in 2020, you should blog about something you are passionate about. It can be politics, sports, food, stories, poetry, relationship, food, lifestyle, diseases, parenting, business, music, chemistry, physics, even guns, etc.
You don’t need to be well-informed or an authority in the topic from start—in the long run, it will grow on you. Some big names in the game say you should ask yourself, can you write 100 posts on what you want to blog about? Will you be able to endure the process and slow learning curve? Can you put in your time and efforts, and yes resources in it? You have to ask yourself these questions if you really want to start a blog in 2020 because it’s a pretty long and emotional path.
You need to ask yourself are you starting a blog for passion (like a hobby) or money, or both. Of course, we all like to earn money, most especially money from our passion. I have two blogs—one for my hobby (to have fun) and the other (this one) for business. But hey! I actually want to make money from both blogs. So there is no right or wrong answer. Whether for profit or for passion, blogging is just like any other business. It takes time (months to years “to lifetime”) to yield “reasonable” income. So it’s best to start a blog for fun and work up towards earning passive income from your blog.
Where and How much to start a blog?
You can start a blog even in 2020 for FREE!
Yes, thanks to platforms like blogspot.com, wordpress.com, and a host of others, you can create functional blogs with a lot of flexibility absolutely free, but there’s a catch. You will have to use their free subdomain. This means instead of martinsblogger.com, I’ll have to use martinsblogger.blogspot.com, martinsblogger.wordpress.com, etc, and you aren’t in full control of your blog. Suddenly it doesn’t sound that professional, does it? That’s why we advise you to use a few bucks to buy a domain name and hosting and own a self-hosted WordPress blog.
What do you need to start a self-hosted blog?
Alright, let me quickly tell you what you will need (and do) to start a blog in 2020. Basically (or for start), you need the following:
- You need a domain name
- You need a hosting platform
- You need WordPress
The good news is that WordPress is free. The bad news, getting a domain name and hosting space costs a few bucks. But what’s a domain and hosting, and what is a self-hosted wordpress blog?
– A domain name simply put is your blog address; it’s the link that is typed into a browser to get to your blog. E.g. martinsblogger.com is my domain name. Basically, you will want to go for a dotcom domain name. There are others like .net, .org, .co.uk, etc.
Domains names are paid for on a yearly basis. For the best cheapest rate on .com domain names, I recommend Namecheap.com. Namecheap charges you only $8.88/year when you purchase a dotcom domain name with them. Simply follow the link to their website, use the domain search tool on their homepage to check the availability of the domain name you want to use. If it’s available, you can go ahead and buy it. You will be required to create an account with them.
– A web hosting is a rented space on the internet where your blog content is stored. I like to see it as a folder on a company’s large computer (called a server) where you upload/store all your blog’s content—and pay the registrar a monthly, trimonthly, biannual, or annual fee to keep your folder there.
As a starter blogger, it’s advisable to go for their shared hosting or WordPress hosting plans, and the cheapest plan—and adopt the annual payment cycle. Most platforms usually offer a discount—up to 50%—on first-year purchase.
For the best cheapest web hosting with mouth-watering features and superb uptime, Dreamhost comes highly recommended @ $47.40/year for their starter shared hosting plan. The beauty of Dreamhost is when you purchase a web hosting with them, you get a free .com domain name of your choice.
– WordPress is a CMS software. CMS means “Content Management System”. It’s a powerful, popular and flexible software for building blogs and websites of all sorts. A self-hosted WordPress blog is a blog that has been set up by yourself on a hosting space you bought which is also connected to your domain name. don’t worry, you will learn that shortly.
So if you are wondering how much to start up a blog in 2020? Well, to start a blog in 2020, you need at least a domain and a basic hosting plan, which as you can see will cost between $26-$50 only yearly.
How to buy hosting for your blog
In order for you and your readers to access this hosting space and your content—aka your blog—you have to point your purchased domain name to it. So let’s look at how to buy web hosting and point your domain name to your hosting.
The best place where you can get a domain name and hosting to start your blog is Dreamhost. With just approximately $50, you can get a .com domain name and good hosting for your blog from Dreamhost if you opt for their shared starter hosting plan. They are highly recommended among their peers, and their shared starter hosting plan is great for new bloggers.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Dreamhost, and will receive a commission if you sign up through my referral link. This is at no additional cost to you, and you will get great pricing and a free domain name through my link.
==> Click on the Get Started button.
==> Select the Shared Starter plan by clicking the Sign Up Now button below its listed features. Note: Ensure the blue toggle just below the Choose Your Hosting Plan heading is set at Yearly Plans as in the image below.
==> On the next page, you will notice the total price you are to pay at the right bottom corner of your screen —which is $47.40 only.
==> Chose the Register a new domain option and enter the dotcom domain you have chosen for your blog (e.g. martinsblogger.com) in the field provided and click the search icon.
==> Dreamhost will check if the domain name is available (i.e. not already registered by someone else). If it’s still available, a congrats message and an ADD FOR $0.00 button will come up. Click on the button to add your domain name to the order.
==> Next, you will be taken to the final checkout page for account setup and payment.
==> You will be required to choose a payment option (Credit card or PayPal) and fill in your billing information.
==> Then, enter your signup details: your email, your name, and phone number. You can also signup with Google in a click using the Signup with Google button.
==> If you scroll down, you will notice ADDITIONAL OPTIONS before the Submit Order button. You get to choose or ignore the additional features such as: DreamShield Protection priced at $3.00/mo, DreamHost Email priced at $19.99/yr per mailbox Professional, and the G Suite – Free 30-day trial Starting from $6/mo. Ensure to check the Pre-install WordPress – free option as in the image below.
==> Finally, confirm all the information you have provided and click the Submit Order button.
==> Your order will be processed, the equivalent amount for $47.40 deducted from your card and your account will be created with your login credential sent to your email address.
How to install WordPress on a new blog
Usually, Dreamhost will review your account for 24-48 hours, during which you won’t be able to do anything. But once your account is approved, you will be able to log in and access your Dreamhost hosting dashboard.
Dreamhost automatically install wordpress for you when you select the Pre-install WordPress – free option in the Additional Option section when purchasing your hosting. If you didn’t miss that, great! You have successful created your blog. Cheers!
Now you can access your WordPress blog by clicking the Open WordPress Editor button in the blue Log In to WordPress box. Alternatively, you can log in to your blog using yourdomainname.com/wp-admin.
Side Note: Now I know this is a bit overwhelming, but there is a hack to this. You may be able to get your hosting company to set up your WordPress blog for you by contacting their support—but doing it yourself might come in handy in the long run.
Now that your blog is ready and working. There are a couple of things—kinda a lot—that you’re gonna be doing before you publish your first blog post. Things like learning how to post, create categories, writing and formatting your posts, setting your blog permalinks, adding plugins, finding a beautiful theme for your blog, setting up email subscription, various means to monetize your blog, etc.
In this post, we looked at why you should start a blog, whether you should start a blog on a free or paid blogging platform, what domain and hosting are—where and how to buy them, have your blog online, and we see that there’s more to successfully launch a blog.