HOW TO START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY DOING IT

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MY STORY

Wow!  I can’t believe I’m sitting here about to teach others how to start a food blog.  It’s kind of surreal!!

I remember my very first month of blogging and literally RUNNING down the stairs each morning to check my stats.  I was over the MOON when I saw my very first month I had 463 visitors~ !!!

Not that that was a LOT mind you, but just the fact that I had captured 463 peoples attention ENOUGH that they visited MY blog was amazing!

It’s an unexpectedly giddy feeling.

I have an undying, to the core, passion about food, where it comes from and what’s in it.  This all started when I discovered where strawberry flavoring comes from.   Once I discovered THAT, it was game on!

I told everyone I knew.

My family got tired of listening to me, my friends got tired of listening to me, I was telling strangers in the supermarket what they were buying (that usually doesn’t go over well btw) until one day my husband said, “why don’t you start a blog?”

That day changed my life!

I now had a platform and within the first month 463 people were listening!!  That was WAY more than I could tell in person.  That fueled my passion to continue reaching more people and so the passion grew and grew.

And now almost 3 years later I have over ONE MILLION page views a MONTH!!

BUT HOW DO I START ONE?

Well, this a 2 part series and I will walk you through.  You first need to obtain your website name and hosting company. The next step is download the software.

 1. DOMAIN NAME AND HOSTING

This is the fun part (well ALL of it is fun really!) but this is where you decide the name you want to give your blog.  Brainstorm as many possible names as you can come up.  Grab some paper, the family, friends and have fun with it!

Once you have a bunch of names, head over to Bluehost and there is a search box where you can see if that name is available.  Be prepared to have LOTS of backup names!

I just found this link on choosing Domain names from Bluehost that you might want to check out too!

new domain

 2. CHOOSING A PLAN

Once you have your websites name and you’ve paid for it – it’s YOURS!!  Congratulations!!

Next you’ll need to choose the plan you want.  I started with the Starter Pkg and would recommend that for novice bloggers.  I had this package until my site crashed from too much traffic.   That was in December 2014 and I went from 50,000 visitors a month to over 200,000!!  But up until then the starter package was handling 50k+ visitors a month with no problems.  I didn’t have a slow connection or download.

bluehost plan

3. INSTALLING WORDPRESS

Now you have your domain name and a plan so it’s time to install the software for your blog.  I chose WordPress before I chose Bluehost.  They were both personal choices based on the research I had done on them.  I think WordPress pretty much rules the roost as far as software goes.  You really can’t go wrong.

Start by logging into your new Bluehost account:

bluehost signon

and find the Website Builders section.  It looks like this:

wordpress

Click the “install” button:

install

Click the “check domain” button:

install1. pg

Then click “install now”:

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Once you get the message that says “Your install is complete!” you’ll want to click on the “View Credentials” button and write down your Admin URL, Username, and Password. You can change these to something more memorable later, but you’ll need them for your first time logging in.

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Another fun part are thousands of widgets and plug ins that WordPress offers to customize your site.

4. CHOOSING YOUR THEME

Now that you’ve completed those steps, we need to go on the BESTEST part and that is DESIGNING YOUR WEBSITE!!!

There are literally thousand of FREE website designs.  You do not need to spend money to make a website.

This is how I explain it to people.  You know how to scrapbook?  You can either buy the paper, the scissors, stickers, frames, etc and design your own page or you can go to the store and buy precut pages where you simply INSERT the picture.

That’s kind of how the themes work.  You will have the option of choosing the ‘theme’.  For websites it’s broken down into categories like food, photography, commerce, etc.  Choose one that best suites YOUR website.

You can find the themes once you’ve logged into WordPress and they will be on the left hand side under the Tab Appearance.

themese

Don’t be afraid to try out different themes.  I think I changed the look of my website dozens of times until I made a decision.

CONCLUSION AND PERSONAL THOUGHTS:

You have officially started your own blog!  Congratulate yourself !!!

I chose Bluehost and WordPress based on the research I had done on them.  It’s just a personal choice and I’ve had them for 3 years now and have nothing but stellar things to say.  I have never used GoDaddy or any other hosts so I can’t comment on how good they are.

From my experience, Bluehost is reasonable priced, their customer service is great but my most memorable (and credible) experience was when my one of my recipes was featured in a big name blog which sent TONS of traffic (like quadruple) to my site in one day and it CRASHED!!!!

I, of course, panicked because when you searched for HappilyUnprocessed in Google it brought you directly to an ERROR page!!  I called Bluehost and they walked me through, step by step and got HappilyUnprocessed up and running the next day!

It’s also important for me to tell you that I have ZERO background when it comes to computers.  I do not have a website design degree, graphic degree … nothing.

I know NOTHING and I really need to emphasize those words N-O-T-H-I-N-G when it comes to computers.

I can turn it on.  I can turn it off.

I am not exaggerating.  So this was a BIG undertaking (or so I thought) for me.  I had NO idea where to begin.  But I just knew deep down this is what I wanted to do.  So, I researched the internet and how to start a blog.  I bought a small spiral notebook from the store and took tons of notes and watched tons of You Tube videos.

And the next thing I knew … Happily Unprocessed was born and I haven’t look back since!

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