DISCLOSURE. The following post contains affiliate links. Should you access a product through my links, I may make a commission to no added cost to you. I only promote products or services I personally use and endorse.
New Year’s Resolutions of 2020
Did you know that most people drop their New year’s Resolutions by January 17th? I will admit, the only New Year’s Resolution I made in 2020 that I actually stuck with, albeit not consistently, is my blogging. I posted my very first post on January 1, 2020, and scored 168 first time views! Anyone in the blogging industry understands that for a first post ever, that number ain’t too bad! However, after that, my views fluctuated, as did my topics. You see, the problem isn’t my desire to blog, my problem is my topic focus! The great news is, in this past year I learned I am certainly NOT alone. I have learned to hone in on those blogging goals.
What to write about?
When 2020 began, it was full of promise and excitement! I LOVE to write, tell stories, and educate. This is the PERFECT venue to meet my creative needs. When I first started, I wanted to write about current topics and things happening in my life. I love cats, people love cats (or, whatever). I am a consumer and love to share my unsolicited opinions, and the list goes on. Then I decided, well, I also love to travel! People love to travel, people love to take breaks, people LOVE deals! EUREKA! I’ll be a travel blogger! And, just as I felt so great about that decision, COVID turned into a pandemic. Story of my life. Timing. So I turned to creativity. I wrote about virtual travel, tips for travel in your home town, travel snacks, and local destinations. I had so many blogging goals!
As time continued to move forward, I realized I wanted to include OTHER stories too. I have cats and use products, I am a speech pathologist and offer accent reduction, I am ALL OVER the map with my interests! Finally, I am always looking for other ways to generate income! I wrote a post about the top 15 ways to make money on the side.
It finally fell into place. After a year of jumping topics, trying to find my blogging niche, I decided to call myself a Lifestyle blogger. Why is this important to label yourself? As I learned, if you actually want to start monetizing on your blog, you need to find an area that attracts specific needs. My purpose of blogging is to try to meet a need, answer a question, educate someone, or flat out entertain. As a Lifestyle blogger, one can move freely among topics. Reading other lifestyle bloggers’ stories offered me greater support for my decision. This is how I realized I made the right decision and gave my blogging goals a better direction.
As you can see, finding your blogging niche is very important, but understand you don’t need to find it right away. Unless you know for sure you want to write about cooking and recipes, only travel and all it has to offer, health and fitness, money management, or so many other areas, you can just sit down and get started with your thoughts! Early in the year, after tons of research, I wrote blogging 101 – tips for starting a blog.
Since that time, the basics remain the same, but I have learned so much more! Blogging has consistently been in the top 5 ways to make money online! But, just like everything else, if it was easy, EVERYONE would do it! Blogging itself isn’t that difficult, especially if you love to write. Making money from it, that’s another story, but if it’s part of your blogging goals, it is worth the effort.
Monetize your blog
The most important tip if you want or plan to monetize on your blog is, you NEED to OWN your host site! If you sign up for wordpress.com, you don’t OWN your site. You can’t monetize on your site. And, at any time, your site can be deleted. That’s a very scary thought! I would be SO upset if all my work and efforts were wiped out without even knowing it was happening! So how do you fix this? Nothing in this world is free, BUT, deals Do exist!
There are many options to chose a hosting company, but I chose Bluehost. Here is why I chose this one:
• Bluehost is flat out the most popular for bloggers (over 2 million users)
• register your blog name for free
• free blogging software, WordPress, which is easily installed
• recommended by WordPress since 2005 as a hosting leader
• Outstanding customer service offered 24/7
• Bluehost has a money-back guarantee
Getting started with Bluehost is easy. The first thing you do is simply, register your domain.
You will need to come up with a domain name which is not an easy task. You want it catchy, something that identifies your niche, something that sets you apart from the rest. If you are at a total loss of ideas, just use your name! My domain, theworthofwords.org, offers NO information at all regarding my niche. Only my blog titles offer this information. I don’t regret my domain, words can be very powerful. This just means I need to have very strong titles with quality content. Taking the time to determine your domain name should be one of your greatest blogging goals. Once you make that decision, you can get your domain name directly through Bluehost. This actually makes life easier doing it this way. If you are a brand-new blogger, I would recommend doing it this way. Another bonus with Bluehost, if you sign up for web hosting with them, you get a FREE domain the first year, as long as you purchase 12 months’ worth of hosting through them.
The shared hosting package (basic) is truly all you need at this point.
Blog hosing on average will cost you around $59. a year, or bulk is cheaper, $99. for 3 years.
How to set up the blog host
Now that you see how easy it is to get started and you are ready to create your blog site, follow these steps to set up your blog hosting.
1. Go to Bluehost here, then click the “Get started Now” button
2. Chose your package by clicking on it
3. Sign up for a new domain name
4. Enter your personal and payment information
5. Enter a secure password.
How to install Bluehost
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Time to install WordPress. Bluehost will walk you through the steps of installing WordPress, but here are a few tips anyway.
- After you receive your welcome email from Bluehost, open the link provided which takes you to your Panel, find and click the button that says “One Click Install”
- Once you see the WordPress image on the next page located under “Blogs”, click on it.
- Click on “Start”. Installation will begin.
- You will be asked which domain you want to install on WordPress. Use the dropdown menu to choose your domain.
- Under “Advanced Options”, choose your username and password for your WordPress website. Make sure this is very secure. Don’t use “Admin” as your username. My password is over 30 various characters in length. Make sure you write it down, there’s no way I will ever remember my own password.
- Click “Install Now”
Domain, check. Web host, check. Now what?
Write. Then, write some more. Don’t worry yet about how to make money on your blog. Before you can have ads, find sponsors, and join affiliate links, you need to have content. I’d recommend posting at least 10 quality posts before seeking affiliate memberships. There is a ton of information about what does it mean to be an affiliate, how to find a company you can support, and how to market your content. Think about your blogging goals before determining your affiliate goals. Come back soon and I’ll provide you leads to get you started on the right foot.
New Year’s Resolution of 2021
Keep on keepin’ on. 2020 was a year most of us would like to forget. Yet, despite the “unprecedented times”, I discovered what type of blogger I wanted to be. In addition to writing, I took the time to learn as much about blogging and monetizing as I could muster. There is so much more to know, but one doesn’t need to know it all to just get going. My 2021 blogging resolution is to keep on writing, educating, and entertaining. I resolve to continue learning, earn a buck or two, and share my knowledge of how I did it. Now go check out Bluehost and get to work! Be blessed! And I’ll see you next time!
Looking to earn some extra funds? This post called Making Money with a Side Hustle -the Top 15 will offer you some great ideas! Or maybe taking surveys is your bag. My personal favorite is Survey Junkie.