If I did it, you can do it.
Trust me, when it comes to scary terms like “web hosting” and “cloud technology”, I’m no guru. But setting up a website these days is really not as technical as you’d think. So, moms and dads? Fear not. This handy-dandy guide will show you how to transform empty, void space on the web into a money-making machine. That’s the dream at least!
Step 1: Pick Your Package
You can do this by heading over to Bluehost. They’ll give you a free domain (that is your blog’s URL) with the purchase of a hosting package, which you’re gonna need anyway. You might have to tweak your domain a little if the one you want is taken, but eventually you’ll find your happy place with your very own URL and hosting account to go with it!
You know I love deals, so here’s one of the best deals that includes everything and makes setup easy - Bluehost has you get setup in the cheapest and easiest way possible:
Here’s what you do…
At bluehost.com, click the “get started now” button up top and it will take you to this plan selector:If you are just getting started, you the $3.95 plan and it is easy to upgrade later if your blog grows and you need to expand your website space.
Step 2: Name Your Baby
This is it, the birth of your brand! Time to throw all inhibitions out the window and go with the title that suits your fancy… for the most part at least. Choosing your blog’s name is something you can really have fun with, just keep in mind that humans tend to like things simple. So something like thecouponator.com might be easier to remember than theeasybreezybeautifulcouponator.com.
I choose CuckooForCouponDeals.com before I knew anything about blogging, and quickly realized it was too long for some people to remember. So I ended up purchasing CuckooForCoupons.com and Cuckoo4Coupons.com. Now if anyone goes to either of those URL’s, they are redirected – or sent – to my main page. That makes it easier for people to find my site.
Once you feel rock solid about your catchy title, the next step is to cross your fingers and hope it’s available! There’s about a zillion blogs out there, so don’t get too attached before you check your new title’s availability.
Quick Tips for a Killer Blog Title
- Stay true to your audience. Would they like it? Is it their style?
- Stay true to you. Does it capture the essence and tone of your blog-to-be?
- Go shorter rather than longer – it’s easier to remember.
- Keep search terms in mind. Think of the type of words your audience will be searching for, and incorporate a few if you can.
- Make sure it’s a name you can live with for….ever. Rebranding is always a messy business.
- Take your time. Some of the greatest marketing slogans of all time took weeks to muster up.
- Last of all… have fun with it! Boring never sells, so be creative and catchy.
Since you’re just starting out, I’d say go ahead and select the cheapest plan (you can always upgrade later when your blog becomes mega-successful!). From there it’s pretty simple. You’ll type in your domain, account and billing information, the nitty gritty stuff.
Wait, what is hosting?!
Not sure what “hosting” even means? It’s okay… I didn’t either. Long story short, every site on the internet needs a place to live, right? A place to store all its files and keep itself running smoothly. That’s where a web host comes in. You absolutely have to have one to start a site. Thus, my Bluehost recommendation.
Now, enough tech talk!
Step 3: Install WordPress
This is my favorite part. I believe there’s a little designer in all of us, and that’s why piecing together the look and feel of your coupon blog will have you oozing with happiness.
Once you log into your new Bluehost account, go to your dashboard and you should be able to find an “Install WordPress” button, shown by the huge blue arrow below:
The installation is pretty straightforward, but try this walkthrough if you have any trouble.
Bluehost is your host… while WordPress is your site builder (and it is free). One is your site’s house, the other is your site’s tools. Got it?!
Once WordPress is installed, you can sift through hundreds of themes, customize your design, and start filling in the blanks with your killer content! I’d recommend publishing a few posts before going public. Clean your house and put up the decor before your company comes over, and then they’ll be enticed to come back.
And vuela! You’re ready to start blogging, sniffing out coupons, and saving the world. No biggie, right? Just remember… the set-up may be easy, but the dedication can be hard.
A successful blog takes time and lovin’.