A blog is a wonderful thing. It can be a place to express your interests, a forum to practice your writing, and a way to make some extra money. Recently, I was asked the most simple fundamental question of blogging: How do I start a blog to earn some money?
Most of us who have been up and running for a while already know the answer to this one, but we forget that there are many who were much like us when we first started: a technical infant.
So, in order to answer this question, I had to go back in time to a moment before history began: the time before Riches Corner came to life.
But Wait! Even if you’ve done this before, you might be interested in sticking around for this post.
I’m going to walk through an honest to goodness, 100%, no credit card, no account info needed FREE way to create a hosted wordpress blog.
So, even if you already have a blog, you may want to read this to set up a free hosted wordpress blog either for testing or as a beta blog.
Method 1: Set up a Free Hosted WordPress Blog
I’m going to suggest starting out your blogging career with a free hosted wordpress account before you move on to a paid service.
A free hosted wordpress blog is a good way to learn some technical skills and get familiar with wordpress and blogs in general. This way you can start it as a beta or test account. Don’t get me wrong, you should treat it as the opening of your business. Develop all your skills here and when you start to see a following, you can announce the grand opening of your blog and move it over to a paid host.
Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform. That’s an advantage to you as the user for several reasons:
- Ease of use
- Support is never further than a mouseclick away.
- You will have access to thousands of fully mature plugins that can help you automate the process of blogging.
- WordPress is already search engine friendly
I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, virtually everyone will recommend using a hosted wordpress blog.
Getting a free domain name
The first step to creating your free blog is to get a domain name. There’s a few sites that offer free domain names. I came across a quick and free service run by co.cc. This service will give you 2 free domain names with the .co.cc domain per email address. (I have yet to find a way to get a .com completely for free.)
It’s very simple to visit the site and search for the availability of your chosen name.
Once you’ve determined that your domain is available, then you just continue with the registration. If you’re new to the service, create an account. Don’t worry you don’t need to enter any financial information for this service. That’s the best part!
When you’ve completed the registration process, you will now own your domain name.
Go get your free domain name now.
Now, you just need to set up hosting.
Get Your Free Host
I was able to find a completely free webhosting service without any ads at 000webhost. Again, there are no strings attached as there are with some of the other free hosts. They don’t need you to commit to buying anything in the future, you don’t need to give them any financial information. Just sign up.
Of course there are some limitations with the free hosting: You only get 1.5 gb of disk space and 100gb of traffic per month. However, that’s all you need for a beta launch or a test site. By the time you actually fee those constraints, you will be generating enough cash to cover the overhead of switching to a paid host.
So, go ahead and sign up for your free host by filling out their form with the domain name that you picked out at co.cc.
Once you registered at 000webhost with your domain name, go back to your setup page at co.cc and finish setting up your domain by filling out your name server information.
Manage settings page at co.cc
Enter in the following information accordingly:
- Name server 1: ns01.000webhost.com
- Name server 2: ns02.000webhost.com
Once you’ve done this you may have to wait 24-48 hours for the service to activate, but then you are essentially done setting up your free host.
Get your free host now.
After your host and domain are active, you can log into your account and install wordpress. Log into your 000webhost account with your login information and go to the control panel.
You’ll see a list of different applications in the cPanel. The software that you want to use to install wordpress in this case is Fantastico.
Run Fantastico and then select WordPress. It will ask you to provide an admin name and password. Use a unique admin name and password that is different than your 000webhost account. Fantastico will then automatically install wordpress for you.
Once you have wordpress installed, you can customize it with a theme and plugins of your choosing.
Congratulations! You’re done with setting up your completely free hosted WordPress blog.
Method 2: Set up a Paid Hosted WordPress Account
This is the next step to building your blog into a truly profitable business. At some point, you want your blog to give a sense of being a professional business. You’ll want to have a .com domain and you want your host to be more robust to handle the traffic that you’re bringing in.
At this point, you’ll need to move to a paid host.
I will walk you through a simple installation of a wordpress install using my host: ipage.com.
There are several paid hosting services that you can use. Don’t feel the need to chose iPage just because that is the installation method I am showing you. However, iPage is my host and you can read about why I chose it in my webhosting rundown.
iPage hosting is fairly simple to setup. Just head over to their page. Domain registration is included with their hosting service so you don’t need to go anywhere else to get a domain first.
Just hit the sign up button and it will give you a page to select a domain. Select your domain and hit continue.
It will then take you to the billing information page. Just select the package that you want and check out. Their cheapest package is $42 for a year of service, which breaks down to $3.50 a month.
Once you complete the checkout, you can login to their account.
They already have a wordpress software setup right on their control panel.
Just select the wordpress button and the installation will go through automatically.
Now you’re up and running with your new hosted wordpress blog!
If you started out with the free wordpress blog and then move to the paid hosted account with the .com domain, you will want to create an announcement post on your beta blog to let your visitors know that you are going live!
You can export your old posts and move them over to your new blog as well. This way, your new blog will start off with a good amount of traffic and be off to a running start.
Make sure you are already set up with a good theme and the essential plugins that you’ll need to manage your blog.
Last of all, whatever you do, make sure you enjoy your blog!