Why Start a Website or a Blog?
That's a great question.
If you're interested to start an Online Business and generate income outside of your day job, you'll need a presence online to show your "stuff" to the world.
"Stuff" can often be blog posts, but can also be downloadable materials or digital content that you sell.
In any case, your website is your corporate HQ where you operate, and starting a website is the first (but important) step forward.
Free Bonus: Join this website/blog setup course where I'll walk you through step-by-step on how you can start your website in just 4 mins. It's FREE!
Stories of Real People
Here are some stories of people making a living online.
Notice they all have a website as the "face" and "voice" of their brand to the world.
Jeff Cavaliere is a physical therapist, and on his site, he teaches people the science behind body building.
Jeff sells his Athlean-X training programs on his site, and also physical products like exercise bands.
Espresso English sets out to help non English native speakers learn and improve their english rapidly.
Shayna offers a ton of free samples and resources, and also premium books and courses to learning English rapidly.
Requirements of a Website
In order to build any kind of website, there are a couple of requirements. Here they are:
A webhost is a company from which you rent a "space" online. This space is used to store your website, and served up to your website visitors 24/7.
You'll need to choose your website platform. There are numerous platforms out there, but I'll also share my most recommended with you.
Speaking of platform, you make that choice ONCE, because for the most part, you can't easily change from one platform to another.
That's why I highly recommend all of you to start on the right foot.
THE Platform of Choice - WordPress
WordPress is by far, the platform of choice when setting up a website.
That's because it is the dominant platform with a huge community, it's really easy for a beginner to set up and pick things up, yet is packed with great tools to "extend" the capabilities of the site.
Think about it as your smartphone. Yes, you need a great platform that works great, but also 3rd party apps that makes your phone a lot more capable.
So a dominant mobile platform like Apple iOS or Google Android results in the best apps built for it.
In the world of website, the dominant platform is WordPress (and it's not even close).
WordPress is the obvious choice, and personally I build all my sites on WordPress (including this site of course).
Examples of WordPress Sites...
And it's not just me. Below are examples of successful websites, all built on WordPress.
The famous Scott Schuman is the creator and the man behind the camera lens of The Sartorialist.
He is probably the world's most famous street fashion blogger, and this site receives about 700k visits per month.
He earns income from advertising opportunities and partnerships, and also from selling copies of his book, compiled from the photographs he takes.
A Blog to Watch
Founded in 2007 by Ariel Adams, the site has evolved to become the world's most popular source for watch reviews and news.
With 1.6 million views per month, this site also operates via the advertising model.
Founded by Chris Hunter in 2008 and based in New Zealand, BikeEXIF is site dedicated to custom motorcycles enthusiasts.
With more than 800k views per month, this site originally started mostly selling ads on the site, and has evolved to also selling bike equipment on its online store.
Lady Iron Chef
Brad Lau is the brains (and tummy) behind the most popular food blog in Singapore, Lady Iron Chef.
Ladyironchef receives more than a 1 million views on the site each month, and earns revenue primarily on an advertising model.
He has worked with major brands like BMW, Disney, Nestle and more!
Dr Axe is a certified doctor of natural medicine. He also has an incredible site of information relating to natural remedies, healthy food.
He provides a ton of incredibly helpful information for free, and also operates an ecommerce store where he sells both physical products (typically health items) and digital courses relating to health topics.
But wait.. there are 2 versions of WordPress
Other than being the platform of choice, it's really easy to manage. Tons of people in the online world are managing their website on WordPress by themselves, without needing to reach out to a programmer!
There's a distinction though, between 2 versions of WordPress.
- WordPress.com: WordPress.com provides you a simple free way to blog. That's great, but the platform is really limiting, because you cannot use any 3rd party themes or plugins. And the juicy bit of WordPress lies in the 3rd party themes and plugins.
- Self-hosted WordPress: This requires you to have a hosting service (more on that below) for a small fee per month. You can use the WordPress system for free, as it's open source. With that, you are open to a world of 3rd themes and plugins, many of which are free to use and install.
I would recommend only to start with the self-hosted WordPress, because of the power you unlock and utilize on your website or blog.
If your idea is important enough for you to get started, it should be important enough for you to start on the right foot.
My Webhost of Choice - Bluehost
While WordPress is open source, and free to install and use, you need hosting, which are specialized computers that you rent a space to maintain your website on.
It can be confusing finding a reliable webhost out there. Especially there are some dubious ones that make life difficult for website owners.
Just think about difficult landlords. You don't want to get involved with a difficult webhost, as you're hosting your site on them.
Bluehost is my choice when setting up every single new website. And I've set up a dozen of sites, and I always go to them. Here's why.
Reliable & Customer Support
Bluehost is reliable both in its performance, and also in its customer service.
I really like that it takes measures to maintains maintenance on it's servers (with sufficient notice) and takes measures for any known security issues with my plugins.
Here's some of my experience with them.
They are also responsive and helpful via both email and phone when I've reached out to them. An excellent experience working with them.
When you're starting out, you just want something that is affordable and just works.
For less than $4/mth, you can have your own website in mere minutes. That's such a small sum to invest in your future!
Great! So how do I start?
Even if you have no prior experience, once you follow the steps below, you'll have your first website/blog up in record time.
Step #1 - Sign up with Bluehost
Go to the Bluehost page.
Bluehost even offers a free domain name upon sign up. A nice bonus to boot.
Choose a plan that works for you.
Step #2 - Install WordPress with 1-Click
You won't believe how easy it is to install and manage your own site.
Log into the Bluehost admin panel.
Select the domain that you signed up with to install WordPress.
And it's DONE!
Step #3 - Sign in to your admin area
Next, go to the admin area to sign in with your logins provided.
It'll be yoursitename.com/wp-admin.
This is what you see at the back end (admin area) for you to manage your site.
And this is what visitors will see from the front end of the actual website.
Once you follow through the steps and see how easy it is to install a manage a site, you'll wonder why you've spent so much time procrastinating in doing so.
Do you want more? Follow my steps from A to Z and peek over my shoulder on building your first website or blog.