How to Grow Your Network and Your Income by Creating Your Own Blog, in Under 10 Minutes [with 3 videos]

In this post, I show you how to set up a wordpress blog

Tinkerbell decided to finally set up her own blog. And enjoy some Kung Pao chicken at the same time.

Let me let you in on a little secret.

One of the best things I’ve done for my business is also the simplest: I started a blog.

Creating and publishing my own blog has made a bigger difference in my business than almost anything else I’ve done to date.

However, I recognize that setting up a blog for the first time can be kind of intimidating.

It’s been known to reduce grown men to tears.

Well, not anymore. It’s actually gotten much, much easier.

And what barriers do remain I am going to tear down for you.

In this post, I am going to show you how you can use a blog to grow your network, your impact and your income.

I am also going to show you, step-by-step, how you can set up your own blog in under 10 minutes. Or even faster, if you work quickly or if you just downed a Starbucks triple macchiatto.

I even recorded 3 videos below showing you how to do it — so you have no excuses.

But first, let’s examine why you should set up a blog.

Why You Should Create Your Own Blog

A blog is an incredible tool which can solve many business problems all in one neat package.

  • Want more income? There are many ways to monetize a blog.
  • Want more clients? Use a blog to develop relationships with people who will refer you business.
  • Wish you had superpowers so you could fly around the room like a fairy princess? Sorry, you’re going to have to go to Burning Man like everybody else.

Here’s the thing: a blog is a tool. But it is a powerful tool for increasing your network, your impact and increasing your income.

Let me share a few of the ways this blog has opened up doors for me (and how it can open doors for you too):

  • I’ve connected with hundreds of incredibly successful entrepreneurs, business owners and authors, from Dan Pink to Gary Vaynerchuk to Guy Kawasaki.
  • I attract new clients for my services. (In fact, most people who use a blog successfully use it to sell services.)
  • I’ve been interviewed on dozens of podcasts (such as here, here and here), interviewed for books, and been featured, quoted or profiled on numerous sites, such as Amex Open Forum.
  • I have leveraged the blog to start writing for bigger sites, Huffington Post, Forbes, Art of Manliness, Get Rich Slowly, and numerous other high-profile sites.
  • I earn affiliate income from products I love by suggesting them to others, usually by writing a detailed review (like this one of Contactually).
  • I can easily and quickly share ideas worldwide.
  • Most importantly, I am able to amplify my influence and impact; I am able to help more people using a combination of a blog and an email list than I ever could as a one-to-one service provider.

And that’s just me. There are many others, like Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Pat Flynn or Michael Hyatt, who have parlayed a simple blog into traditional book publishing contracts, six or seven-figure incomes, or a highly profitable media platform.

Because I want you to take action, I am also going to walk you through the process of setting up your own blog today.

How to Set Up Your Blog in under 10 Minutes

Now, let’s move on to the mechanics of how to set up your blog.

The following guide contains both video and text, making the process of setting up a blog dead-simple for you.

This tutorial shows you how to set up a WordPress blog, as I have found that WordPress is the most widely-adopted, easiest and most flexible blog software.

You can use a free hosted option like WordPress.com or Blogger.com (where you see websites like http://www.georgesfavoriteblog.blogspost.com), but if you want to be taken seriously and have full control, you need to use a self-hosted WordPress format.

Self-hosted wordpress is what most serious bloggers use, and it’s what I use here at Smart Business Revolution.

Quick Video Overview of How to Register a New Domain & Get Hosting

Here is a quick video I recorded where I go through all the steps of registering a brand new blog:

 

Register for a New Bluehost Account [Step-by-Step Text + Screenshots]

If you prefer text over video, here is the process of setting up a new blog.

First, you will need three things to get started:

  • A domain name (or “URL,” like http://smartbusinessrevolution.com)
  • A credit card
  • 10 minutes

The first step in the process is to set up a hosting account with Bluehost. I have used Bluehost for years and been very impressed with them. They are one of the few hosting providers that WordPress.org officially recommends. That’s why I am confident recommending Bluehost. They also have great support and reliability, offer unlimited disk space and they are dirt-cheap.

Note: I am a Bluehost affiliate, meaning the company pays me a commission every time someone signs up via one of my links. But this didn’t influence my recommendation, because I have used and trust Bluehost. I recommend Bluehost because I honestly believe they offer the best hosting available.

Bluehost also offers a thirty-day, money-back guarantee. So if you get cold feet later, you could back out. There’s really no risk on your part. Zero.

Okay, so if you are still with me, go to the Bluehost home page. Click on the Sign Up Now button.

You will see a pricing box like this (the pricing may have changed):

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.40.41 PM

Select one of the plans, then insert your domain name of choice into the “new domain” box.

Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 12.29.16 PM

Choose the appropriate extension (.com, .net, .co, whatever) and click on the Next button.

Now you need to fill in your personal information.

Here’s what you should see: Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 10.41.21 PM.png

If you need help with this step, well, then your name is Lorba, Queen of the Universe and you live at 1 Zoolander Place, Pluto.

And you should totally have business cards made up that say that.

Scroll down further and select what package you want:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.39.56 PM

In my opinion, you can uncheck “SiteLock Domain Security,” “Site Backup Pro” and the other add-on options.

If you are using your home address, then you may want to pay for Domain Whois Privacy, as that will block your address so people can’t look it up in the public database of who owns your new website.

Scroll down further and enter your credit card information:

 Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 10.44.19 PM.png

Now you need to choose a password for your account. Click on the Create your password link and come up with an awesome password no one has ever used before, like the name of your cat or your girlfriend’s favorite American Idol winner or something.

Here’s what it looks like:


Bluehost Screen Shot

Write down your password somewhere 100% secure, which, if you’re like most of the population, means on a big sheet of passwords taped to your wall.

Now click the Create button. This creates your new Bluehost account.

Warning: You might get an error message here. It is simply because it sometimes takes a few minutes for Bluehost to create your account. Don’t panic. Worst case scenario, call BlueHost Support at 1-888-401-4678.

Then you will be asked to login to your domain.

Your domain should be automatically inserted for you. If it is not, type it into the field provided. Now use the password you just selected. Now click on Login.

You may have to click through another upgrade offer. Feel free to decline by clicking on the “No thanks” link and proceed to the next screen.

You should be at the Welcome screen. Now click on cPanel (short for ”Control Panel”). You should now see a page with a lot of buttons.

Once Inside Your cPanel, Install WordPress

Don’t be intimidated by the number of buttons in this step—it’s amazingly simple. The process used to be far more complicated, but it’s gotten simpler.

Bluehost now makes it super-simple so even a lawyer like me can figure it out.

Scroll down the page to ”Website Builders.” Click on the WordPress logo and wait for the new page to load. You should now be looking at a page full of ”scripts.” Again, don’t get overwhelmed. Simply click on the ”WordPress” logo under “Blogs.”

This will tell you it’s loading up your Mojo account. Mojo is simply a system for managing automated scripts. Don’t let this confuse or overwhelm you. This is what you should be seeing.

A new ”Install WordPress” screen appears. Simply click on the “Start” button. Now select the domain on which you want to install WordPress. It should default to the correct one. Click on “Check Domain.”

You might get a new screen with an error message. This is normal. Check “Oops. Looks like something already exists there. I understand that continuing will overwrite the files.” Since this is a brand new blog, you do. So select the checkbox that says, “Directory Exists! I understand that continuing will overwrite files.”

Now click again on “Check Domain.”

The next screen will say “You are almost there.” You don’t need the “Advanced Options,” so leave that unchecked. Click on the item that says, “I have read the terms and conditions.” Now click on the “Install Now” button. The installation process should begin and will keep you updated on the process. Be patient, this will take a minute or two.

When it is done, you will get a screen with your Blog URL, Login URL, username, and password. Bluehost will also e-mail this information to you. I would write it down anyways.

You’re almost there!

Load your New Blog

Simply click on the blog URL address. Your new blog should load in a new browser tab.

As you can see, there’s nothing very fancy here. WordPress uses a very generic theme by default. But that’s the beauty of WordPress. There are thousands of themes available. I will recommend one in a minute.

Log in to WordPress

While you’re still on your blog’s home page, scroll down to the Login link in the lower right-hand side of the sidebar. Click on the link.

You should now be looking at your WordPress login page.

WordPress Login Screen

In the future, this login page can be found here: http://[the name of your blog]/wp-login.

(You should bookmark or write down that page.)

Now enter your username and password, which you wrote down earlier.

You are now looking at the WordPress “Dashboard.” Sometimes, bloggers refer to this as the WordPress “back-end.” The “front-end” is what your readers see—your normal blog site.

Write your First Post

Now, you can write your first blog post.

Here’s a video showing you how it’s done:

 

Click on the Posts | Add New option in the left-hand side menu. You should now see the New Post screen.

 Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 1.19.43 PM

Enter the title of your post at the top. Since “Welcome, everyone!” is boring, maybe you could title your first post something like, “My Secret Plan to Buy Up the World’s Supply of Ice Cream and Hold it for Ransom Ahahahahahahahah.”

(Good luck with that, Dr. Evil.)

Write your first post in the field directly below the title. Perhaps you could explain why you are starting your blog, the topics you plan to write about, and how often you intend to post.

Now click the Publish button. This literally publishes your post for the world to see.

Now, do not freak out and break down crying if you made a mistake. You can always edit or delete the content you published.

And that’s it. You’ve set up your own blog and written your first post.

Congratulations! You have just published your first post on your very own self-hosted WordPress blog.

Bookmark your WordPress Log-in Page (your “back end”).

You’ll also want to bookmark the WordPress back-end so you know where to go to log in and make any changes.

Your wordpress backend page will be here: http://[the name of your blog]/wp-admin.

If you have followed my instructions, you now have your very own self-hosted WordPress blog. Pretty exciting, huh?

Install or Change Your Theme

One final thing you will probably want to do is to change the theme from the default theme.

There are literally thousands of free wordpress themes available. Just google “free wordpress themes” and you’ll find them.

Personally, I suggest spending a little money and buying a premium theme, like the Generate Theme which I use (referral link).

Here’s a video on how to change your theme:


If you know someone else who could benefit from this information, please pass along the link to this post. If you would like to embed the screencast in your own blog, please feel free to do so.

Above all else, have fun. Be creative. Take some risks and show your personality, you beautiful thing you.

The world doesn’t need another boring blog. But it does need another interesting, valuable, useful blog with some spunk and personality.

If you aren’t having fun with your blog, readers will be able to tell and your product will not be worthwhile.

OK, so if you haven’t started yet, what’s stopping you? Here’s that link to get started with Bluehost.

What questions do you have about the process of setting up your blog? I want you to take action today, so please leave a question below if you have any questions.

Photo credit: Flickr

 

 

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  6. Emma Warner-Reed says:

    Hey John,
    I’m not with you on the Kung Pao chicken, but the chihuahua’s adorable – loving Tinkerbell!
    I’ve actually already created a WordPress blog but haven’t done anything with it yet and I was interested to see your thoughts on them. My original idea was to blog about my experiences as a newbie indie author BUT I write children’s novels, not marketing books, and it occurred to me that going down this route wasn’t going to increase my readership. I am already building up a lovely mutually supportive network of authors on twitter so what I think I need my blog to do is to attract parents who will buy my book for their children. Am I thinking in the right way about this and, if so, do you think there would be value in creating a children’s literature/review blog or video blog on YouTube? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Best, Emma

  7. Great basics post. Whether we succeed or not will depend largely on how much people like our content. I write about books and reading and writing and education so I don’t expect my blog to make money. I think the businessy blogs are all about niche marketing and that just isn’t me. Happy blogging all….

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