How I started my blog quickly and cheaply
When I started this blog a few months ago I was thinking that it’ll be at least a couple of years before I could help you with tips on how to start your own travel blog. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the beginning. Didn’t have any experience, I wasn’t particularly techy, I didn’t even know what a plug-in or SQL was. I was feeling like I was just about to dive in at 10 meters with no oxygen tank. 😀 Until I gave it a go and realised how possible it all was.
I realised that I didn’t have to know it all before I could start making steps to building my blog. And I didn’t have to pay a lot of money to do it either. All I had to do was take it one step at a time, find a reliable guide to follow and ask questions whenever I was feeling a bit stuck. A few people have asked me how I managed to create this blog without paying a developer to build it for me or spend months and months building it to be the way that it looks today. So I decided to write this post and share my journey and my tips to prove to you that you CAN do it too!
The Small Investment
Let’s start off by saying that to start The Global Eyes I paid a total of $153.72 (I did check my receipts 😀 )! This includes the purchase of the theglobaleyes.com name, hosting for 3 years (not just 1), privacy protection and my blog theme (not mandatory). I know money is important which I why I wanted to reassure you that starting a blog is NOT expensive.
I genuinely believe that life will become busier and busier and the life adventures will be so so many that each and every single one of us will have to start a journal, a diary or a blog to document and remember all of these moments. It’s sad but the memory in itself just cannot hold onto so many memories so we need to help it out if we want to be able to go back to them later. My answer to this was this blog!
The Important 5 Steps
As with anything, to make it manageable you have to split your goal into steps. Simple, doable, realistic steps. With blogging it’s no different.
Choose a Name
The first thing I had to decide when I was starting up my blog was “How is it gonna be called?”. And this might sound so so easy but trust me, a lot of people stop right here because they panic that they just can’t pick the perfect name. And let me tell you this straightaway. You will not find the perfect name and you don’t need a “perfect” name to make you blog awesome. The name will not define you. It won’t decide your failure or success. You and your content will! So pick something you like. Something that’s catchy and not too long and if you can, avoid the use of numbers or words that are easy to misspell. And remember you can change the name afterwards if you find the dreamy one so don’t spend weeks thinking about this 😛
Choose Your Blogging Platform
This essentially is the land you’ll be building your maze of content on. Everything you see on my blog is built on the blogging platform that I use which is WordPress.org. All the photos, all the posts, all the wizards that you see on the right, it’s all created on the blogging platform. So it’s important to make the right call on this one. Having used Weebly before which is a drag and drop platform, I knew I didn’t want that again. It’s tedious, limited and in general not ideal for a blog. So the obvious choice for me was WordPress.org. Why obvious? Well, because it’s great, in fact more than half of the websites on the web are created with WordPress.org. I was amazed by the ton of WordPress plug-ins (think of it as apps) that I could download for free to make my blog cooler and more functional.
Difference between .org and .com
A lot of people however still don’t quite understand the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Put simply, WordPress.com is the platform which will host your content for free so you wouldn’t have to pay for hosting BUT with that comes the nasty fact that you don’t actually own your content. And what’s the point in that?! WordPress.org gives you a free platform but you need to buy your hosting which might cost a bit BUT it gives you freedom and ownership. The functionalities of the WordPress.com site are extremely limited so you’ll immediately know if I had used WordPress.com because it looks dull and also! they add a ‘nice‘ wordpress.com at the end of the URL. So my blog would have been called www.theglobaleyes.wordpress.com! How terrible is that 😀 So my word of advice, don’t fall into the same trap and only use WordPress.org.
Choose Your Web Hosting
As mentioned before, with WordPress.org I had to buy my hosting so that you can see my blog on the web. This is all the hosting does! Gives you a share of the enormous web space to become visible. For my hosting I chose Bluehost. The things that hooked me up on it was the free domain, i.e. I paid nothing for The Global Eyes name (wicked 😀 ), the easy integration with WordPress (literally with 1-click), the good price and IT support. And it’s the most used and trusted hosting provider out there so that was reassuring! But it wasn’t until I had to use their support that I realised what a great decision I had made.
As mentioned, I had no idea what SQL was so getting my head round the WordPress set up was giving me a headache. So I messaged Bluehost support to ask them to guide me through the next steps. After a brief conversation the guy literally set it all up for me without me even asking and it took him exactly 2 minutes. I was so happy, it was all done … ready for me to blog! So I really highly recommend Bluehost. P.S. In case you wonder, I have used GoDaddy before but in my opinion they can’t stand up to Bluehost. The price is only slightly higher but the support is definitely not as good. And you must have the best IT support you can get!
Set up Your Bluehost and WordPress
This is super easy. Bluehost have really made it their priority to make sure even someone far from techy like me could set this up in no time. But to make this super easy and quick to understand I’ve put together a quick video to walk you through the steps. Remember, with Bluehost you also get your blog name for free and download WordPress.org with 1-click. Let me show you 🙂
Choose a Blog Theme
A blog theme determines what your blog looks like. WordPress has a number of free themes you can choose from but if you don’t find one that you like, you can buy one. I personally decided to buy a theme simply because I didn’t like the free WordPress ones. I bought my theme from a website called ThemeForest and honestly this site can’t be any better. They literally have hundreds of themes ranging between $13 – $125. I got mine for $14.40 so I was happy. Having said that there is a lot of choice, a lot of people use this as another ‘opportunity’ to get overwhelmed because the choice really is a lot. But let me remind you … you can change the theme at any point if you find a better one. So don’t overthink it.
Important tip: Set yourself a budget and ONLY look at the themes within that range. Don’t waste your time looking at the $100 themes when your budget is $15. Your time is precious and you don’t want to confuse yourself or end up buying a theme way over your budget.
Note: WordPress.org sells themes as well but they are very expensive compared to ThemeForest so definitely check ThemeForest first before you decide to purchase. Chances are you’ll find better value for money there.
Once you have completed this last step, I am happy to let you know that you will have officially created your blog. Now you can start writing your posts, customizing your theme, downloading some plug-ins and capturing your memories to remember them forever. Whether it’s a moment you want to remember or share with others or there’s something you’re passionate about and want to pass it onto others, blogging can help you do that. I believe that one day not too far into the future, everyone will have a blog so the sooner your start yours, the more you will have to come back to later on. Having set up my blog now, the only think I regret is not starting it at 18 as opposed to 25. Don’t make the same mistake and start your blog today. It’s the perfect time!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means that if you buy anything through them, I’ll get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. This commission will help me run my blog to continue to create more free content for you. Thank you for all your support!
Need more information to start your blog? Check below for more inspiration
- Best free plugins you must install (coming soon)
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