If you’re serious about making money from your blog, then you must realise that you need to set up a ‘blogging business’.
To help you do this, I’ve created this tutorial with two main goals in mind:
- Setting-up the technicalities of owning your blog completely, and
- Organizing your blog with goals, systems & routines from day one.
Those are the two basic foundations of setting your blog up as a business.
What You’ll Learn:
- Is Your Blog Topic Profitable? (Optional Step)
- The Importance of Owning Your Blog Completely
- Domain Name & Hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Transitioning from a Free Platform
- Styling Your Blog (Choosing a Theme)
- Organizing Your Blog for Business
1. Is Your Blog Topic Profitable? (Optional Step)
Before you rush off setting your blog up as a business and spending money on buying your own custom domain name and web hosting, you need to make sure that the topic/niche of your blog is profitable.
Not all blog topics are profitable; and if yours isn’t then you won’t have a business!
If you know it’s profitable and don’t need or want any further advice on this step, then please just skip this and go straight to #2.
However if you’re unsure that you can make a decent income from your chosen niche, then you need to do a bit of research.
I cannot go into all of this here, but I know a great teacher who can show you how to do this with his brilliant Blog Money Finder.
Yaro Starrak is the creator of this genius system and he goes into great detail in teaching you how to find your blog money topic and then helps you create your first profitable Online offer.
I’ve been following Yaro’s blog since 2007 and I personally have The Blog Money Finder and his big course Blog Mastermind. So I have no hesitation in recommending Yaro to help you on this subject matter.
You definitely don’t need the Blog Money Finder by Yaro if you’re sure that your blog topic can make you money, but I would say that you definitely do need it if you are uncertain in any way.
It’s just an optional step for those of you who are unsure of the niche you should enter into.
2. The Importance of Owning Your Blog Completely
In order to run a business blog with the sole intention of making a monthly income from it, you must have complete control of your Online business. You must own everything about your blog.
You own your:
• Domain name
• Web hosting space
• Theme (look & feel)
So if you’re currently blogging on a free, third-party blogging platform such as:
• Blogger (http://myblog.blogspot.com)
• WordPress (http://myblog.wordpress.com)
• Tumblr (http://myblog.tumblr.com)
… I need to try and convince you as to why using a third-party hosting platform such as the three above, is a very bad idea if you want to run a business blog; i.e. make money from your blogging efforts.
Case Study: Why You Need Your Own Web Hosting
This is EXACTLY why bloggers need their own hosting.
A user called Seawolphazan lost almost five years of work when Tumblr closed his account without giving an obvious reason.
It’s a scary situation for anyone who is building up an archive online or wants to make blogging as a business.
Over the years, I’ve also heard this exact same story from people who have had free Blogger and WordPress blogs also having their accounts shut down with no prior warning and no obvious reason.
Please don’t take the risk! Get your own web hosting and make backups of everything.
What about Blogger and WordPress even if you have a custom domain on those free platforms? It doesn’t make any difference. You still don’t own the hosting; they do and the above could easily happen to you too.
If you love your blog as much as this poor guy does (or did), then do yourself a favor and avoid this terrible catastrophe happening to you by simply OWNING YOUR BLOG COMPLETELY!
Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that you need your own hosting, let’s take a look at how to set your blog up as a true business.
3. Domain Name & Hosting
Choose a Domain Name
Choose a domain name that describes your blog as best you can. Use this free brainstorming worksheet to write down as many names as you can think of.
Note: You can type directly onto this PDF or simply print it off.
Then head over Namecheap to buy your domain at one of the lowest prices on the Internet.
I’ve been using Namecheap for at least ten years now and I’ve never had any problems with them whatsoever; and I’ve registered literally dozens of domain names with them over the years, including BloggingToolkits.com!
Choose a Hosting Plan
Now it’s time to choose a hosting plan. Web hosting is literally renting space on the Internet to ‘house’ your blog.
I’ve been using a company called MadRooster since July 2006. They have excellent customer service (very important), have very competitive pricing and I’ve literally had no problems with them during all the years I’ve been with them, therefore I have no reason not to recommend them to you.
When you get on the Home page, choose the Linux Hosting option by clicking on it.
You will then be presented with this screenshot. Choose the ‘Standard Egg Plan’. This is the one I use for BloggingToolkits.com and it’s very sufficient for your needs now and it’s less than $5.00 a month!
You can purchase your domain name through Madrooster too (which is probably the easier option for you), but I had been using Namecheap before I signed up to Madrooster so I just stick with Namecheap – it’s up to you.
If you do purchase your domain through Namecheap and your hosting through Madrooster, you will have to direct your domain name server settings to Madrooster (they have instructions on how to do that).
3. Installing WordPress
Now the fun part – installing WordPress.
WordPress is the blogging platform which I use for BloggingToolkits.com and is the choice of blogging software for about 99.5% of other bloggers Online too.
The reason why is that it’s free, easy to install and easy to use as it has loads of free plugins.
So login to your MadRooster account, which is called cPanel – here’s a screenshot of mine:
Scroll right down to the bottom of your cPanel until you come to ‘Softaculous App Installer’
You will then be presented with this screen and click on the WordPress logo.
Apply these settings:
Once you’re happy with your settings press Install:
You will then be emailed all your login information.
So from now on, you need to go to this url – www.yourdomainname.com/wp-login.php where you will see this screen:
Your username and password is the one which you chose above in the set-up before you clicked on ‘Install’.
You have now entered into your official ‘back office’ of your blogging business – congratulations!
Then simply have a bit play around with it and get to know your new best business friend!
4. Choose a Theme
Now it’s time to choose a theme for your blog to make it look nice and smart!
It’s really important about the ‘look & feel’ of your blog as this is the image you want to portray your business as.
As you will find out, there are a few free themes within the WordPress admin area. If you like one of these, then go ahead and use that.
There are also many free WordPress themes to choose from here.
Failing that, if you’re looking for a premium, mobile friendly theme (super important) then check out Studio Press Themes.
I use the Lifestyle Pro theme on the Genesis Framework, but they are so adaptable that you can change them in many ways to suit your taste and your niche.
5. Transitioning From a Free Platform
For those of you who are currently blogging on a free platform such as Tumblr, Blogger or WordPress, you now need to move your blog’s content and archives over to your new self-hosted WordPress blog.
Go to www.youtube.com and type in the following keyword searches to find a suitable video to follow.
move from blogger to wordpress
blogger to wordpress migration
transition from blogger to wordpress
Of course, change ‘blogger’ to whatever free platform you’re using.
If this is too technical, ask your web-hosting company if they can do this for you for an extra fee, or you could ask someone to do this for you on www.fiverr.com
(I’ve never needed to do this, therefore I’m not sure if Madrooster can help, just ask).
6. Organizing Your Blog For Business
Now you have all of the technicalities of setting your blog up for business, you now need to start laying the groundwork, the foundations of your new blog business.
There are three pillars without which you cannot build any business; including a blog business:
- Planning – where are you going?
- Process – how are you going to get there?
- Structure: what structure will deliver it?”
I have covered this in great detail in my Ultimate Blog Productivity Course where you get step-by-step instructions on how to organize your blog for success + dozens of interactive worksheets.
You obviously don’t need to purchase the course, you can follow the same principles in my free 7 Day Blogging Challenge.
Either way, you need to get your blog organized with goals > systems > routines from day one, otherwise you’ll start feeling totally overwhelmed and buried in the chaos of all those blogging tasks you need to carry out.
Are You Ready?
I realise that this is a lot to take in. Don’t panic!
Just take things one step at a time. Do a little bit each day; take the tortoise route and you will eventually get there.
The two main things I wanted to get across in this tutorial is that:
- You need to own your blog completely (web-hosing), and
- Get your blog organized from day one with goals, systems & routines (avoid the overwhelm!)
Do these two things, are you are way ahead of 90% of all the other blogs out there!
Use this little handy Business Checklist to help you tick off each task when you have implemented it.
Note: You can type directly onto this PDF or simply print it off.
The Blogging Toolkits Girl
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I have used all of the products listed above and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust.