For those of you who would like to start a blog and make money with your site, start here.
Back when Justin and I lived on a boat, we kept a blog on Blogger. It was free and easy to use but the options were fairly limited. When I decided to start Airstream Love, I wanted something more professional and powerful – something that will be able to grow with the site as we expand.
My goal is to bring in some income with Airstream Love and pay writers to write for us. I’ve been making money writing since October 2015 by writing for parenting websites. I began noticing that many of these sites were run by just one person and some were paying me to write for them! If they can do it, so can I.
I went through a lot of trial and error with creating this site, so I created this step-by-step guide so that if you want to start your own site, you might avoid some of the errors I made.
So, let’s start from the beginning. I’ll keep this as simple as I can, but if you have any questions you can ask me below in the comments.
Choose your domain name
A domain name is the URL of your site. Choosing a name that is short but easy to remember is key. You will save yourself a lot of time by doing a search to make sure your domain is available. This might be the hardest step. You’ll want to pick a name that is simple and memorable. Another thing to consider is if your domain name is available as a username for social media. If not, can you modify those usernames to make it work? Think of your domain name as your brand and what it says about what you want the world to know about you.
Register domain and buy hosting
Once you’ve come up with your name (phew), you will need to register it and buy hosting. I made two mistakes here: I registered my domain with GoDaddy when I could have gotten it free through Bluehost. Also, I started my site on WordPress before I owned my domain, so my site initially had a “.wordpress.com” address. Oops.
For hosting, I wanted to find a site that had good reviews and a great reputation. I knew I wanted to use WordPress to create my site and Bluehost made that easy for me to do. Hosting isn’t free, but it won’t break the bank, either, and once you get your website started you can set up an affiliate account and Bluehost will pay you for any referrals you send their way. I literally made money the second day this site went live because of it, and my Bluehost affiliate links have made more money on this site than anything else.
In writing for other websites, I’ve used WordPress, minimally. At the time, I just wrote a post, submit a draft to the editors, and that was that. Bluehost makes it easy to install WordPress to your site, and WordPress has free themes that let you customize your site. Here’s a link that goes into detail on how to install WordPress to Bluehost.
WordPress is really awesome, guys. It takes some time and effort to figure it out, but it’s totally worth it. I love that I can categorize and tag my posts. It’s easy to make my post look good, easy to add images, and it has a lot of cool plugins that I’m still figuring out.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, you can start creating posts! There are a lot of great tutorials out there on how to use WordPress so that you can get the most out of your site.
And really, that’s the long and short of getting started. Like I said, if I would’ve gone through Bluehost initially, I would have saved myself a lot of time and headache. There’s obviously a lot more to learn, like how to use affiliate links, how to make your site look good, using categories, creating menus, etc., but this is at least the first step in getting an Airstream website and/or blog set up and running.
Good luck, and happy Airstreaming!
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something I recommend, I can buy a much-needed cup of coffee.