Day 1 – Start your blog
Lesson 1 Module 1
Hi there! I'm Edwin, founder of Do Six Figures.
In today's lesson we're going to get a free domain name and start a blog using Bluehost and WordPress, create a logo using Canva, design our blog using Astra and Elementor, and write our first blog post with the help of Grammarly.
Here's my story before we begin:
When I started my first blog, I was a stay-at-home dad (to my then 4-year old daughter) holding down the home-front while my wife was helping us stay afloat financially working 12-hour shifts as a registered nurse.
My first year of blogging was rough (made $0 my first year). Not only that, but I had $22,625.24 in credit card debt I was juggling between multiple balance transfer cards. Knowing I had to do something big, I decided to go all-in and become a full-time blogger before I was ready.
After that rough start, I regrouped and began treating my blog like a business and ended up making $4,500+ per month in year 2. After this success, I started a second blog and made an additional $3,000 per month just 6 months after launch!
Now I'm taking all of the lessons I learned and sharing them on my third blog (dosixfigures.com) so you don't make the same mistakes I did when I was new.
Since becoming a six-figure blogger I've gone on to pay off all my debt, buy our dream home, get my dream car (Tesla Model 3), and retire my RN wife! I seriously have to pinch myself sometimes.
4-day action plan
In this 4-day blogging bootcamp, I'm going to give you an overview of my process for starting a profitable blog from scratch.
Here's the action plan for the next 4 days:
Day 1: Choose a niche and launch your blog
Day 2: Start an email list and build your tribe
Day 3: Get and grow an audience for free
Day 4: Set up your blog to start making money
Ready to get started? Let’s do this!
Step 1. Pick a profitable niche
This first step is critical to your future success. Choose the wrong niche and making money will always be an uphill battle.
There are two types of blogs that are profitable. I'll call them "money blogs" and "traffic blogs".
Money blogs make money by selling something or recommending products to buy.
Traffic blogs make money by displaying ads like a magazine would.
If you want to start a "money blog", rather than thinking of what to sell, think of what transformation you can offer.
If you want to start a money blog, these niches work well for transformations:
- Personal finance (credit, debt, investing)
- Marketing (blogging, social media, email marketing)
- Fitness (home workouts, building muscle)
- Health (diet, yoga, meal planning, weight loss)
- Learn a new skill (hobby, skill, language, pass a test)
- Personal development (business coach, life coach)
If you want to start a traffic blog, these niches work best:
- Food (recipes)
When deciding on a topic to blog about, gather ideas from your own life experiences, skills, knowledge, talents, passions, or even hobbies.
Step 2. Get a domain name and hosting
Now let's choose a domain name for your new blog!
You want to choose a dot com name that’s easy to say, catchy, and without dashes or numbers.
I recommend getting your domain name and hosting with Bluehost.
Bluehost is a budget-friendly host that is perfect for starting your first blog with. When you choose Bluehost as your host you get a few perks:
- The best price of any hosting company (less than $5)
- Free domain name included with your hosting account
- The WordPress blogging platform is automatically installed
You can start your domain search below:
To get your blog online within the next 15 minutes, follow these steps:
Go to Bluehost and click Get Started.
On the next page, choose the Basic package, that's all we need.
After selecting a plan, the next step is to choose a domain name.
If you're not sure yet you can skip this step by choosing "I'll create my domain later."
On the next page, choose the pricing plan that works best for your budget.
I recommend the 36 month plan since it provides the most value for your money. If you want to pay less up front, choose the 12 month option.
Price hack! It might not work, but if you're on desktop move your cursor to close the tab - did you get a pop-up offering a lower price?
Be sure and uncheck any package extras.
Note: If you did choose a domain name you might want to keep privacy protection since domain registration information is public and you might get spammed.
Once you're ready, enter your payment information, check the box to agree, and Submit!
Step 3. Celebrate!
Once you've got your blog all set up, it's time to...
Do a little happy-dance, it's alright!
99% of people never make it this far. Most people are either afraid to try something new or get stuck in analysis paralysis mode - both of which are horrible to the success of any business.
So take the time to celebrate what you've just done, this is a MAJOR first step.
Step 4. Log in to WordPress
Next, create a password and log in.
Note: There's an onboarding process Bluehost has for starting your new website, but I recommend just skipping these steps so we can get started building your blog with WordPress right away.
Once you're logged into Bluehost, click on the WordPress link and we'll start exploring WordPress.
WordPress can be a bit daunting at first. But once you get the hang of it it'll be a breeze. What you'll notice on the left panel is a section for Posts, Pages, Comments, Media Library, Appearance, Plugins, Users, and Settings.
Click around and get used to using WordPress. Don't worry, you can't mess anything up.
I like to start with a clean slate, so the first thing I do is go to Plugins to deactivate and delete them.
There should be a post that says "Hello World!" you also want to delete.
And there is a comment there to delete as well
Go to Settings > General to add or update your Site Title and Tagline
Go to Settings > Permalinks and make sure it's set to "Post Name"
Note: One of the reasons I'm having you go all over WordPress at the beginning is to get you used to using the platform. You're going to spend A LOT of time here, so it's important to get used to it.
Step 5. Choose a blog theme
Now we're going to move on to designing your [currently empty] blog.
Go to Appearance > Themes
The blog theme I recommend starting with is Astra.
If you want to start with the free version of Astra, go to:
Appearance > Themes > Add new and search for Astra.
Then click Install and Activate to complete the setup.
Astra comes with starter templates so you can have ready-made sites in just a few clicks.
You can see the list of ready-to-import websites right here.
To install the free starter templates, go to:
Plugins > Add new and search for "Starter Templates". Install and activate the plugin.
To use the starter templates you will also need what's called a Page Builder.
We're going to use a page builder to visually design our blog, because ain't nobody got time to learn how to code!
The default WordPress installation comes with the Gutenberg page builder, but I recommend using Elementor instead.
Elementor is a drag-and-drop visual builder that is perfect for designing the blog of your dreams.
To install the free version of Elementor, go to Plugins > Add new and search for Elementor.
With the Astra and Elementor, you now have all the tools you need to design the perfect blog!
You can use Elementor to design your homepage, about page, blog page, and even your blog posts.
Step 6. Design a logo
Even if you don't have one design bone in your body, we're going to design an awesome logo in the next 5 minutes.
Ready to do this? Giddy up!
First, use this free logo maker from Canva.
Note: You'll need to create a free account with Canva to continue.
Once you're in, simply choose a template, make your desired changes, and save the file.
To add the logo to your blog, go to Appearance > Astra Options > Upload Logo
Step 7. Publish your first blog post
Now it's time to write and publish your first blog post.
I recommend using the free Grammarly browser extension to help write your blog content.
Before you go spending all day doing this, keep in mind that nobody is reading your blog. The main goal here is to get this post published just to get the ball rolling on your new blog.
Go to Posts > Add new
You can use the following as a template for your first blog post:
Hello and welcome to [My Blog]!
My name is [Name] and I want to welcome you to my new home on the web.
I started this website because:
- Why this topic interests you
- Why you want to help others
- What is the goal you want people to achieve
- Why this matters / How will it make them feel
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment down below!
Follow me on social media [Twitter] [Facebook] [Pinterest] [Instagram]
Once you're done writing your first blog post, hit Publish.
And with that, your blog is officially LAUNCHED!
Step 8. Write insanely great content
Think of your blog like this.
1. You run a business.
2. Your blog is just a part of your business.
3. Your blog posts are the bait used to lure people to your business.
Keeping this in mind will help you write the type of content that attracts the right audience.
Let me break down what a blog post consists of:
1. The headline
2. The content
3. Your call to action
Master these 3 sections and you'll build a profitable business, rather than just another blog.
Step 1. The headline
To write great content, make bold promises in the headline and deliver that solution in the blog post.
Step 2. The content
When you promise (and deliver) solutions and transformations, you establish the exact type of relationship needed to make money blogging.
Pro tip: Use the free Grammarly browser add-on.
Step 3. Call to action
Whether your content is a "listicle", an epic how-to, or a product review, you should always have a strong call to action.
Since selling something directly via a blog post is difficult, I recommend asking your readers to join your email list as your call to action.
In the next lesson, I'll go over why you need to start an email list and how to set it up for free.