Step 3: Establishing Hosting
You CAN start blogging for free, the question is: do you WANT to?
There are many blogging platforms to choose from. WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Wix and Weebly are a few. They all have pros and cons, but WordPress is by far the most popular, and for good reason. It’s flexible, functional and has a large community of users who share tools and ideas.
Two Different WordPress Options
I use WordPress for my blog and it is what I know best, so I’m going to explain to you both the free and paid options. I’ll also tell you why I made the choice I did.
- WordPress.com – This is a company that hosts your WordPress blog on their domain. They will give you a free site, but it will have wordpress.com at the end of the domain (www.yourblog.wordpress.com). And while it is free to start, you still have pay to remove their ads or for other upgrades.
- WordPress.org – In order to use this option, you have to choose a website host (we’ll cover this in a minute), but the beauty is that it gives you complete control. It is known as the “self-hosted” option, because you choose where you want to host the blog. This also means that you control how it looks, operates, and how you can monetize it. This is the option I use for my blog.
Benefits of Paid Hosting (Only $3.95 per month)
I chose to pay for hosting of a WordPress.org blog because I want to use my blog as a business. By selecting this option, I can monetize in a number of ways without the limitations placed on a free account. Here are a few other benefits of hosting a WordPress.org blog:
- You own your website and all its data. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in full control.
- You can add free, paid, and custom WordPress plugins / apps to your website. You can use customize your website design as needed. You can add any free or paid WordPress theme that you want. You can also create completely custom designs or modify anything that you want.
- You can actually make money from your WordPress site by running your own ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
- You can use powerful tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking.
- You can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell digital or physical products, accept credit card payments, and deliver / ship the goods directly from your website.
- You can also create membership sites and sell memberships for premium content, courses, etc. and build an online community around your website.
Lesson3: Website Hosting
So how do you choose a company for hosting?
Every website on the internet needs hosting. This is your website’s home on the internet. There are several companies that host WordPress blogs.
I chose to go with Bluehost because WordPress has been recommending them for blog hosting since 2005. With 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and a super affordable rate, this is a great option for building your first website or blog.
I also recommend it because it is the host we use and we’ve been very happy with it. I can’t recommend the other providers because I don’t have any experience with them. Also, just want to let you know that if you use the link below, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. If not, no worries, I’m still very happy that you’re in the course and am glad to share what I’ve learned.
Let’s get this party started!
It’s now time for you to take the first step: make a platform & hosting choice and start your blog. If you choose to follow the route I’ve taken, click the link below to sign up for Bluehost.
Click here to –> go to Bluehost <– and start your own blog. (The link will open in a new window so you can reference these instructions as you work.)
Then you can follow along with the set-up instructions I’ve provided in the Bluehost Tutorial below.
Need More Help?
If you’re overwhelmed with the technical side of blogging, check out my course: Blogging Tech Made Easy where I’ll walk you through the steps to creating a blog in 20 video lessons. In each video I share my screen so that you can SEE what you need to do to establish your blog, create posts, edit and upload images, set up an email list, and even use Pinterest for generating traffic.