Setting up and building a website and blog is the best place to start in Affiliate Marketing.
Your website is your marketing hub for your affiliate marketing business.
All of the marketing you do will send traffic to your website where you will build your audience, your email list and where you will convert this traffic into customers.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to sign up for a Bluehost account, get WordPress installed and configured and then help you publish your first blog post.
You can use this post as a step by step guide to getting you there.
- Choosing the right website hosting plan
- Choosing a domain name
- An overview of your hosting control panel
- Installing WordPress with one click
- Setting up the base configuration
- Writing your 1st blog post
If you have questions, please leave a comment at the end and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Getting a Bluehost Web hosting account
Setting up a Bluehost account and installing WordPress is a lot easier than it used to be.
When I first started using Bluehost back in 2001, they were a small company run mainly by Matt Heaton and it took a little more effort and technical know how to set up your site and get WordPress installed. There were fewer features, products and support compared to now. They’ve grown and the services and support they have is great.
Before you head over to Bluehost and click on the Get Started Now button, there are a few things to consider.
You will need to choose a web hosting plan that works for your budget and your performance needs. You will also need to choose and register a domain name.
1) Choosing the right web hosting plan
Bluehost offers several plans with three main plans that you should consider as a blogger starting out.
The plans are the basic, the plus and the prime.
This website is hosted on a prime account. It provides the level of performance this site needs but, you need to choose a plan that works for your specific needs & budget.
If you are just getting started, choose a basic plan and when the time comes that you need better performance, it’s easy to upgrade your service just by calling the Bluehost support team.
2) Choosing a domain name
How to choose a domain name?
Choosing a domain name is different for everyone but should be rooted in your goals and the niche you will be promoting products for.
When you are building a niche affiliate marketing focused webiste and blog, then you’ll want to do some keyword research and pick a domain name that has your niche keyword it.
For example, this site is about Affiliate Marketing and I registered AffiliateMarketing.ws.
You can use SEMRush to help do research on keywords and your competitors. It will help you in choosing the right niche domain name and can also help you in figuring out the niche you want to focus on.
Choosing a domain name can be challenging as there are not many meaningful dot com domain names available unless you want to spend hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars trying to get one.
Don’t worry too much about this as it’s more important to create and publish great content than it is to have a .com domain name.
There are still many great top-level domain extensions to choose from like .co, .store, .online, .pro, .guru, .ninja, .travel, .agency and many more.
And who doesn’t want a .NINJA domain name…
The main thing to consider here is to have a domain name that represents your niche.
When your website shows up in the search engine results, this is where people we see your domain name.
Searching for an available domain name
Once you’re logged in, the Bluehost domain search interface makes it easy to search for and register new domains.
When searching for your niche keywords the results provide some auto-generated domain name ideas which is great to help in your search.
Bluehost may end up suggesting a better domain name than you can think of.
To find the domain registration search, visit to the Domains section of your Bluehost control panel, then go to the Register tab. From here, you can search for the domain you’d like to register and click “Check” or click the “Bulk Register Domains” button to search for multiple domains at once.
Now that you’ve chosen an available domain and you know the plan that suits you, go ahead and head over to Bluehost and click on the Get Started Now button.
Come back to step 4 when you see the following screen in your new Bluehost account.
3) Overview of your Cpanel Web Hosting Dashboard
When you login to your hosting account, your will start at the Cpanel Dashboard.
cPanel is one of the oldest and easiest to use web hosting control panels. Many hosting companies use it because it provides a simple user interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting and managing a web site.
Your Cpanel dashboard provides you with access to all kinds of features and tools to help you manage you web hosting server. It also is the place you will see offers for other tools and upgrades.
The main section of your web hosting control panel include:
- Website – this is where you can setup wordpress, find and add theme and also test you pages speed.
- Email – your hosting account comes with an email server. Here you can add and manage all your email accounts associated with your domain name.
- Domains – This is where you can add and manage your domain names. You can also have more than one domain names. You can also get access to more technical domain name tools here.
- Marketing – Various marketing tools and offers.
- Stats – View various stats about visitors to your site. I don’t use these stats, rather I use Google Analytics and that stats you can get with Jetpack by WordPress.
- Files – Access your web server file manager. Here you can see and edit all the files on your server.
- Database tools – Your blog will have a database that will be setup automatically for you. However, this section allows you to manage your databases using database management tools.
- and more…
Each of these tools within these sections does a specific thing and I’ll cover some of these more in the future. If you have a specific question, you can leave a comment below.
Alright! With your hosting account setup, let’s get WordPress installed and working.
4) Installing WordPress with one click
Find the “Install WordPress” button in the website category and click it.
Click on the Install button.
Choose your domain. If you only have one, it will show up in the drop down menu.
Select it and click Check Domain button.
It will check your domain to ensure the settings are correct and then if all is well, it will display the last step to installing WordPress.
Click on the “Show advanced options“, enter the name of your blog, change the email if you want to and change the password if you want as well.
You can keep these settings here for now and change the site name and password later but the admin email will have to stay the same. Make sure it’s the one you want.
When you’re done, read the terms and conditions, click the check box to confirm and click Install Now button.
The system will now install WordPress on your server. You can watch the progress at the top in the status section.
When it’s done, it will provide you with links to your home page and a link to the admin dashboard.
Admin URL will look something like this -> www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
I would suggest bookmarking your admin URL so it’s easy to find a login as you work on your new website.
Click on the admins URL and login to your new WordPress dashboard.
5) Setting up the base configuration
You should see your dashboard once logged in.
It gives you an overview of what’s happening with your blog. You can view your draft posts and activity like who’s linking to you, who’s commenting and how popular your content’s been.
Follow the instructions on the Welcome to WordPress screen and Customize Your Site. You can also change your theme here if you want.
Depending on the Theme you choose, you will have a few or many options for customizing your blog such as:
- Adding your logo if you have one
- Colors and style
- Header and Footer
- Menus – Setting up your navigation menus
- Widgets – those sidebar menu blocks like recent posts, ads, categories and text.
- Static front page and other settings.
If you want to change theme, I usually find what I need at ThemeForest.
6) Writing your 1st blog post
From the dashboard you can create a new post from the top New menu or from the Posts section on the left sideboard menu.
Create your first post, starting with the title and then use this outline below to get you started.
A basic Outline of your 1st blog post
Copy and paste this into your draft blog post to get you started
- Post title
- About Me
- Why I started this blog
- What you can expect
Your First Post
Take your time writing your first post.
Write a draft, and do several rounds of edits. It will take you a few posts to get into a rhythm and in no time you will be writing and posting lots.
Once your done click publish you’re done.
Congratulations! You’re done with the easy part of starting a blog.
If you made it this far. Good for you.
I hope the instructions were clear and helpful. If you have a suggestion, let me me know.
This is really just the 1st step on a million step journey. With the technical aspects of starting a blog out of the way, the hard part of creating great content begins.
What I’ave found to be the best next step is looking at the goals you have for your blog and create a content editorial calendar.
Blogging is a hard habit to create and sustain over time but it can be fulfilling and even profitable.
Creating a publishing calendar is about making a list of the posts you want to create and then setting deadlines to publish them. The sooner you get this part of the process going the better. before you know it, a year will have passed and you will have created a ton of valuable content for your audience and your audience will have also grow as well.
Good luck and happy blogging.
What am I missing?
I want this tutorial to be as helpful as possible to you so if I’ve missed a step or you think there’s an area that needs more detail, leave me a comment and let me know.