How To Start A Blog For Under $20 in 20 Minutes

Buckle your seat belt folks, I am about to show you how to start a blog for under $20 in 20 minutes.

Want to start a new blog but don’t know how and don’t want to spend a lot of money?

Don’t worry, I gotcha covered!!

In about 20 minutes you will have your own high-powered self-hosted WordPress blog which you can use to share ideas and information, to get the word out about your business, to post funny cat videos or to make so serious passive income

Sounds good?

Awesome!

how to start a blog

So, why do I love blogging?

As a full-time online marketer, I feel that blogging is the most effective way to market your business and grow your online presence.

I started as a way to make extra income while still working my full-time business and have since made blogging and lead generation my main income source.

Working from anywhere you want, making your own hours and pretty much writing about anything you feel like writing about is what I love most about blogging.

That’s my story, it doesn’t have to be yours, if your plans are to just start a blog to have some fun when you have spare time you will still learn everything you need to learn on how to start a blog.

In this how to start a blog training, I will be covering the basics of creating a blog including:

  • Planning your blog (picking a domain name and hosting provider).
  • Buying a domain, web hosting and installing WordPress
  • Customizing and optimizing your WordPress blog

It really doesn’t matter what your current skill level is when you begin this training, I will be holding your hand throughout this process to ensure you don’t run into any issues.

Don’t worry about getting lost or confused, every step will be covered in detail and I will be here to answer any questions you may have.

Follow along as I purchase a new domain name, sign up for hosting, install WordPress and create and edit content on a brand new blog, just like you will be doing.

Just copy what I do and you too will have a fully functioning, highly optimized WordPress blog by the end of today.

Get stuck along the way, watch the videos again or leave me a message below and I will walk you through the process 1 on 1.

So how much is all this going to cost?

You will be surprised to learn just how inexpensive it is to get started blogging, in-fact it will cost you less than $20 to get started.

Blogging is actually one of the least expensive ways to market online, you will mainly be investing time and energy, not money.

Sure, there are many higher priced upgrades you could choose but for the purposes of this training we will stick to the basics.

But there are a few costs to get up and running, don’t worry this won’t break the bank 🙂

  1. Domain Name – About $10-12 per year
  2. Hosting – $4-$8 per month depending on plan you chose.
  3. WordPress Theme – There are FREE themes, premium themes like mine are optional
  4. Email Management – optional but around $20 a month if you chose to add.
  5. Optional Tools – varies depending on selected tools

So as you can see, very inexpensive to get up and running.

Ready to get started?

Perfect!!

Let’s plan this puppy out.

Wait, WHAT!!!

How To Start A Blog

All great businesses start with a solid business plan, your blog is no different.

You didn’t think I was just going to show you how to create this freakin’ awesome blog and then leave you high and dry with no clue what to do next did you?

What kind of friend would I be if I did that?

Nope, before we ever buy a domain or install WordPress we are going to take some time to plan out your new blog.

Planning?

Justin, that’s boring!!

Slow down speedy! this is probably the most important step in the entire process, one I will not let you over-look.

Don’t worry though, this won’t take that long, and down the road you will thank me for making you do this.

So, you’re welcome!

Alright so what I want you to do is open a new notepad file on your computer, or go old school with a pen and paper.

Now follow the steps below:

Yes, all of them!

Determine your why! – why are you starting a blog, what purpose will your blog serve, and what do you intend to achieve if your blog is successful.

You why will be your guiding motivation to help you get through tough times and keep you on track if you start to stray.

Choose your domain name – your domain name should be something clever yet easy to remember.

For me, Next35.com actually means something, I started this blog on my 35th birthday and chose this domain name as a way of saying my next 35 years are going to be so much better than my last, come inside and see how.

May seem lame to some but I like it and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

What keywords will you target? the keywords that you build your content around are about as important as the content itself.

Keywords are the search terms that your potential blog visitors are typing into the search engines to find your content.

Target keywords that are too competitive and there is a good chance that no one will ever find your great content.

I suggest finding at least 20 easy to moderately easy keywords to build your first blog posts around so you can get your blog found a lot easier and with a lot less work involved.

Set goals for your new blog – whether you are starting a personal, business or blog to make money, your new blog needs well thought out goals.

Goals keep you motivated and give you something to work towards.

Without a set plan and goals, you will never know if what you are doing is successful or a waste of your time.

I feel that you should have 2 short-term goals, 1 medium range and 2 long-term goals for your new blog.

An example of a short-term goal would be: get 100 unique blog visitors per day

Medium range goals could be: Get to 100 blog posts

Long range goals: Make $2,000 per month in affiliate commissions from my blog

As you accomplish a goal, take it off the list and replace it with a new goal.

How will your blog look and feel? – while the content that you add to your blog is ultimately the most important part of blogging, how your blog looks can be very important too.

People like clean, professional looking blogs that are easy to navigate and you should use this to get design ideas for your blog.

The look of your blog is a great way to express your individuality but should also appeal to your target audience.

For this step it is a good idea to visit a lot of different blogs and see what others are doing, what do you like about this blog or that one.

Use your notes to come up with a design plan for your blog.

Hopefully by now you should have:

  • Determined your why
  • Have at least 3 possible domain names
  • Selected at least 20 keywords to target
  • Set at least 5 goals for your new blog
  • Have a good idea for how you want your blog to look

Got it all done?

Man, your awesome!!

I think your ready to start building this bad boy.

Buying A Domain and Web Hosting

Let’s go ahead and purchase your first piece of online real estate.

To do this we need two critical components, a domain and hosting.

Fortunately for you, both of these steps are super easy using GoDaddy and Hostgator

Why Hostgator?

Hostgator is the hosting service I have been using for years and absolutely love it.

They are freaking awesome!!

Very affordable, reliable service and the customer support is phenomenal.

When you sign up for hosting with Hostgator, you will have access to your cPanel which is basically your back-office to your hosting plan.

This is where you will give your newly purchased domain name hosting so it can be live on the internet as well as installing WordPress on your blog.

Cpanel is very user friendly and everything is labeled so you know exactly what you are clicking on.

In the video below you will see me purchase a domain through GoDaddy, hosting through Hostgator and installing the WordPress content management system.

Click the link below to get started with Hostgator.

hostgator

Awesome, you now have hosting and a domain name for your new high powered WordPress Blog.

Starting to get excited?

Me too!!

Let’s both take a deep breathe and calm down for a minute, there will be plenty of time to celebrate once we are done.

Hoepfully you can see it all starting to come together?

You made a lot of progress so far, not much more to go.

Now let’s get your new WordPress blog optimized to rank high in the search engines.

How To Start A Blog – Site Optimization

Ready to add all the bells and whistles to your new blog?

It’s going to look freaking awesome very soon.

In the video below we are going to take care of:

  • Navigating your WordPress back-office
  • Optimizing your site’s tagline and description
  • Changing your permalinks
  • Adding plugins
  • Looking at free and paid themes for your new site.

The plugins I recommended in this video were:

  • Activating your Akismet account
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Share This
  • Contact Form 7
  • A SEO plugin – one of these (WordPress Seo by Yoast, All In One Seo, Platinum Seo Pack)

Remember there are millions of plugins out there and some are really cool, but don’t get crazy with adding these.

The fewer plugins you use the better, too many plugins can slow down your page load time, big time!

Themes

Starting to think about which theme you are going to use for your new blog?

There are so many to choose from that you could easily spend hours if not days trying to pick the right one.

Let me be honest, your theme is not as important when you are first getting started, in the beginning you will want to focus on adding fresh content to your blog on a regular basis first then worry about the finer details down the road.

The fact is that it could be weeks or even months before you start getting a decent amount of traffic to your new blog, that’s completely normal and how your blog looks will not speed up this time, what will change it is adding more high quality content.

So if adding more content to your blog will help increase your rankings in the search engines faster than design and themes, then that is how you should be spending your time in the beginning of your new blog.

The choice is completely up to you.

Like my theme and want it for yourself?

It’s called Metro Pro by Studio Press, click here to check it out.

Recap Where We Are At

Now is where the fun starts!

We have started from scratch with nothing but an idea and look how far you have come so far.

In just a few steps you have already:

  1. Planned out your blog
  2. Bought a domain
  3. Signed up for hosting
  4. Installed and optimized WordPress
  5. Picked a theme

Man, that’s a lot and you didn’t even need to go to the bookstore and buy one of those for dummies books.

Getting someone else to do all of the steps you have just completed could have easily cost you a couple hundred bucks, probably more, but you did it yourself.

My goal was simple, to teach how to create a blog for yourself so that you now have a new skill that you can use again and again to start a blog, should you need it.

But we are not done yet!

Oh no.

We have a lot left to go.

The boring stuff is done and now we can move on to something a little more exciting, the stuff that is actually going to start driving new customers and leads to our blog like clockwork 24 hours a day.

But that should be plenty for one day, you need a break now.

Spend the rest of the day getting to know your new blog, play around with it but don’t break it 🙂

I am super pumped and so proud you made it this far, I will be posting links to additional training at the bottom of this page to really get your new blog off the ground.

Additional Training:

  • How To Start A Successful Blog
  • How Do You Make Money Blogging

If you found my how to start a blog training helpful, please click the like button and share it with your friends and followers, also leave me any comments or questions you have below.

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About Justin

Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog Next35.com, I created Next35 because I recently turned 35 and am committed to making my next 35 years as awesome as they can be for my wife and for myself. I have broken down the topics on my blog in the four areas of my life that I will be focusing on Family, Fun, Health and Wealth. If you have any suggestions on how I can make this blog better or if you just want to say hello, you can contact me anytime!