Let’s make money blogging. Now!

Blogging is a great way to build a following and earn some money. But do you really know how to start a blog and turn it into a huge success?

What we’re going to do in this post is look at the reality of blogging. Along the way we’re going to dispel some myths about starting and growing an online business.

Rather than tell you all about me and my experience, you can have a look at my about page – lots of info there, including contacts details. If you ever have any questions, please do get in touch and let’s talk.

Let’s move on.

The Right Way to Start a Blog

You want to start an online business and the heart of theat business is going to be your blog. Most advice on the internet goes like this:

  • You need to find a blogging topic something you’re passionate about.

  • Word 10x harder than your competitors.

  • Build relationships with people who will help your business grow.

They points all seem like sound advice.

But they’re not 100% correct. Here’s why…

Passion is Overrated

Unless you’re a romance writer, then passion doesn’t count for much (and as an author, I know that passion plays only a small part in success). A desire to get started and succeed are vital, but I’ve found that desire rarely extends to the actual topic I’m writing about.

Passion will carry you so far. But your passions can narrow down your choice of subject to the point that getting blog post ideas is difficult.

There are other problems with passion: it can run dry, or frequently comes in fits and starts. I’m passionate about the outdoors and hiking gear that I built a blog called Treksumo. But maintaining a high frequency of output is hard because my passion has dips and spikes.

What should you do instead?

Focus on the Process

You may have heard this one before: it’s in the process. This is a phrase that is commonly heard in the workplace. The reason why is because it’s true. Even for the most passionate, romance novelist.

What do I mean by “focus on the process”?

It’s really simple: set a task and then, following a series of pre-defined steps, work towards completing that task.

Example: Let’s say you need 5 article ideas. The logical order of finding blog post ideas that people want to read might look like this:

  1. Gather seed keyword or phrase e.g. car hire (auto rental for my US cousins)

  2. Expand the list using tools such as Answer the People, Google, Buzzsumo, etc (if you’re unsure of how to use these and other tools then jump on over to my keyword research guide)

  3. Create a series of potential headline ideas and secondary keywords you want to rank for

  4. Fill in the sections of this writing template (it’s free, grab it now!)

  5. Start writing

  6. Rinse and repeat

That’s all a process for blooging is: a way to get from idea to completed blog post.

Note: burnout is all too real. I recommend using an app like Tomato One, or buying a Pomodoro timer and use it to keep your work sessions short and snappy.

What is the Right Way To Start a Blog in 2020?

Here are your options:

  1. Follow your passion, writing millions of words of content and never making a penny.

  2. Spend some time researching and understanding:

    • Your skills

    • The earning capacity of a niche

    • Your commitment

Put quite simply, drop the passion!

Let’s explore those three points in more detail, starting with your skills:

How to Identify Your Skills

This step is pretty easy. Get a pen and paper (or keyboard and word processing app) and write down everything that you do. For example, if your day is as a project manager then there’s a pretty good chance you can manage projects.

What else can you do? Do you give presentations to large groups of people? If so, you can add public speaker to your list.

Do you mentor junior team members? Great, you just became a coach.

Drill down deep and you’ll soon discover you have many marketable skills. We’ll explore this idea more further down the post when we expand our chosen niche.

Takeaway: ask yourself these two questions: “What skills can I teach, or sell?” and “What knowledge do I have that my audience looking to learn ?”

Can You Earn Money Using Your Skills?

Next you need to research the market and find the value given to your skills. For example, as a qualified project manager with several years of experience you could easily pick up well paid consultancy work (a topic we’ll discuss in another post).

But is that what you really want? Or do you want to create a product that you build once and sell multiple times? Let’s assume the answer to that is a yes!

So what you need to do is assess your skills against the market and calculate which one will earn you the most money.

A good place to get an idea of the value of a skill is to look at the hourly rates charged on Upwork. This site is a great place to go if you want to buy and sell skills, which is particularly useful if you’re short of money and have the skills buyers are looking for.

Takeaway: learning how to monetize your website is the most important question you should ask when planning how to start a blog.

Do You Have The Commitment Required to Keep Going?

Commitment is essential and it trumps passion every time. Before you start to write cotent, or build a website you need to ask youself if you are prepared to keep going, pushing hard and accepting the highs and lows, no matter what? Do you have enough grit to see this through?

I’m the first to admit that I can be lazy. And like everyone else I get tired from time to time, and find excuses not to do the work. There are plenty of tools to help combat these thoughts and feeling, including:

Takeaway: grit, determination or commitment – no matter what you call it, you’ll need plenty to see you through the hard times.

And don’t forget to write a plan! Writing a plan, or vision, will help maintain focus on what you want and where you’re going. Here are a collection of tips I’ve picked up over the years: the ultimate business planning guide for beginners.

The next step is to drop any notion of blogging your passions and treat your blog like a real business. Instead of working in your business, work on your business. What do I mean by this?

Working In Your Business vs Working On Your Business

Don’t those two phrases mean the same thing?


Let’s explore these two ideas.

Working in Your Blogging Business

Let’s say your day looks like this:

The alarm clock nudges you awake at 0530.

You get out of bed and, after a coffee and some food, you lift the lid of your laptop and open a Microsoft Word document called ‘Weekly blogging schedule’. Staring back at you is a list of blog posts you need to write.

The first hour of your day is consumed by your writing schedule. You take a break for ten minutes, then head back for another hour of writing. By midday the first draft of your new blog post is complete.

Now it’s time for a quick lunch before you do some promotional work. This phase of your working is made up of outreach tasks (link here) such as pitching guest post ideas and asking for other site owners to link to your blog.

Outreach is an important step in the overall process of starting a blog and can take up many hours of you time.

Later in the evening you’ll do less brain intensive tasks such as replying to comments and emails.

Now repeart each of those steps six, or seven, days per week. I think you’ll agree that’s a lot of time taken up with simply getting posts up and promoting them. If you planning to training courses the time taken will need to be factored into your working week.

Any spare time you have is minimal leaving you with no capacity for important tasks such as networking.

This is what I mean when I talk about working in your business.

Working on Your Business

Imagine a different day, one that looks like this.

At 0530 your alarm clock serenades you into motion.

After a ten minute snooze, you roll out of bed and wander down to the kitchen, turn on the coffee machine. For good measure, you turn on the oven and heat up a couple of croissants.

You climb the stairs, walk into your home office and open your laptop. A series of chirps announce the arrival of several emails. You open each in turn and download the attached Word docs.

The next half hour is spent spell checking and personalising the blog posts you’ve outsourced to writers. Next you download some relevant images from pexels and Depositphotos, then open your WordPress blog post editor and paste in all the content.

You look at the clock: 0700

The Pomodoro timer plays a cheerful ditty. You get up, leave the house and go for a 15 minute walk.

Refreshed, you head home. Another coffee and it’s time to work again.

Now you need to review the guest post articles that are waiting in your inbox. A couple of hours later, the documents tidied and personalised, you email three guest articles to the webmasters you reached out to the week before.

The hour hand of the clock judders as it settles on 1000. Another signal from the tomato-shaped timer tells you it’s time for some fresh air.

Another 15 minutes and you’re back at your desk. It’s time to get personal.

Link building is a personal task that you love doing so no outsourcing here. Opening a spreadsheet named ‘Golden links’, you move to the first column, copy the URL and paste it into Firefox.

The next fifteen minutes are spent skimming blog posts on the site. Satisfied, you open your email client and send a short message to the webmaster:

“Hi John, I was looking over you blog post about the future of Bitcoin values. Some great points in there, but have you considered the recent adoption of Ethereum by the Federal Reserve? It’s a real game changer. Let’s talk, I have some ideas that might be useful to your website vistors.



You hit send, add a date into the spreadsheet and close your laptop.

It’s 1130 in the morning. Nearly time for lunch.

By outsourcing much of your workload you shift your mindset from working in the business to working on the business.

What I mean is this: no longer are you bogged down in the detail of content creation, outreach, etc. Instead you will manage a team who handle the heavy lift for you.

The bottom line is that you’re going to run a business, not a blog.

And you’re going to bootstrap your business like a startup.

Which leads onto the actual process of building your blogging business.

Choose a Profitable Blogging Niche

Earlier we talked about what skills or knowledge you have that can be marketed. This is where we dig down deep in order to find a profitable blogging niche for you work in.

What are the most profitable blog niches?

In 2020, the following niches are considered amongst the most profitable:

  1. Personal finance

  2. Travel

  3. Fitness

  4. Lifestyle

  5. Real estate

  6. Gadgets and tech

  7. Marketing

All of the above blogging niches are ones that have the biggest money making potential. That’s not to say that you can’t make good money in other niches, for example I know of one blogger who is currently making over $9,000 per month from her blog on succulents (if she gives me permission, I’ll post the link here).

Drilling Down into Your Niche

As niches go, the list above represents a hugely competitive market. Each one will have established businesses that have years of content and many backlinks. The achievements of the webmasters can be replicated, with time, patience and money.

But we’re going go deeper and start our business in a sub-category of a niche. First you need choose a niche that you feel skilled enough to produce a lot of high quality, relevant content in.

But before you write a single word, you’re going to explore sub-categories. Let’s jump into this idea:

Let’s assume you have a good idea of how the finance industry works. Maybe you’ve been working as a financial advisor, but the idea of writing a blog on personal finance doesn’t appeal to you. Now let’s imagine that in your spare time you’re a regular speaker at Toastmasters, and you’ve won a number of regional competitions.

What you have is a sub-niche: public speaking for financial experts.

It might seem like a crazy idea, but the fear of speaking in public is huge:

Fear of public speaking is number two on the list of the things people are frightened of. Image courtesy of SelfHelpCollective

Fear of public speaking is number two on the list of the things people are frightened of. Image courtesy of SelfHelpCollective

And this fear is prevalent in all areas of life and work, even in the finance sector.

With your skills that straddle public speaking and financial matters you will be able to position yourself as an authority who can help financial professional develop their lecturing abilities.

Alternatively, you might have coaching qualifications. Marry these up with your expertise in helping people juggle their money and you’re able to enter another niche.

The possibilities are almost limitless. All you need to do is and find a place where you skills crossover and produce a sub-category.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog

There are many thoughts and a huge number of guides on how to choose a domain name for your blog. The simplest advice is this: keep it simple and sellable.

That last point is very important – many a time is the temptation to use your name as the name for your blog. It makes sense if you’re intending to promote your brand, but this tactic makes it difficult to sell at a later date.

Example: Andy Kirkpatrick writes thought provoking posts and his passion is mountaineering. His website, https://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/, is a great read but it will forever be his (unless another mountaineer who just so happens to be called Andy Kirkpatrick wants to buy it off him).

So what should you do?

Choose a Domain Name That Has Value to a Buyer

Make it as relevant as possible, try to get your keywords into the domain name, but don’t personalise it (unless you want a personal blog that you might possibly never be able to sell).

Here are some examples for our imaginary financial expert who loves public speaking (some of these domains are either available, or parked for possible sale so it’s worth checking each one if you’re intending to work in this niche):

  • talkmoney.com

  • speakingfinance.com

  • financespeakers.com

  • talkingfinance.com

I think you get the idea.

What to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

The list below is a guide only and each piece of advice has a note, which you can ignore if you wish.

  • For a long time blogging advice has recommended avoiding hyphenated domain names e.g. my-great-domain-name-for-financial-speakers.com. Using hyphens in a domain name makes it hard to type into a browser and you need to consider how much direct traffic you’ll lose. The choice is yours.

  • Long domain names. They can be mistyped by someone attempting to come direct to your site which means you’ll lost traffic and possible revenue.

  • A domain name that opens you up to the possibility of legal action e.g. let’s say you have a blog about music, using the name applemusic.com will result in a letter from lawyers representing a very powerful company.

How To Start A Blog

Now that you have a chosen niche you need to build a website to host your pearls of wisdom (and act as a place where you can market your ideas).

Numerous options are available to bloggers, including:

  • Blogger.com

  • Medium.com

  • WordPress.com

  • Tumblr.com

  • Squarespace.com

  • Wix.com

  • BlueHost

Each of the above platforms have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at each in turn.


Advantages of using Blogger:

  1. Blogger is a great option for first time bloggers. The interface is clean and easy to navigate.

  2. It’s been around for a long time and is stable, mature and secure.

  3. You have the option of using your own domain name.

Blogger’s main disadvantages:

  • Blogger’s staff can edit, or delete, your posts if they feel they are not complying with terms of service.

  • Plug-in supportive is quite limited, especially when compared to WordPress.

  • Good themes (the templates used to customise your website) are limited.

Takeaway: Blogger is a good choice of blogging software for beginners and I encourage you to try it out (and use your own domain name). But be aware of the limitations and be prepared to move to another blogging tool when your popularity and traffic grows.


Advantages of Medium.com:

  • Over 210 million people visit Medium.com every month which means your traffic potential is huge.

  • A massive domain authority of 96 makes it easy to rank your posts.

  • It’s a great way to build an email list (as long as your content is good).

Disadvantages of Medium.com

  • You have no control over what happens to your content – it can be edited, or removed, if the admins have an issue with the copy.

  • Hosting your blog using your own URL is no longer an option.

  • It’s a very competitive place and can be hard to break through into the big time.


WordPress is pretty much the standard tool for bloggers. WordPress.com is Software as a Service (SaaS). What you get is the full power of WordPress without the headache of maintenance and updates.

Advantages of WordPress.com:

  • No installation or separate web hosting required, simply follow the account creation tutorial after you’ve signed up.

  • It’s a managed service so you free from the worries of patching and security issues.

  • There’s a huge selection of free themes available.

  • You use a custom URL.

  • Easy to migrate away from if you decide to move to another web hosting provider.

Disadvantages of WordPress.com

  • You have no control over patches which could make custom plugins invalid, or unworkable.

  • Break the terms of service and you’re out!

  • The small business option has most of the features blogger will need, but at $20 per month it’s more expensive than putting your blog on BlueHost.


Tumblr receives over 320 million visits per month which makes it a great location for your blog. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Advantages of Tumblr:

  • The tagging system is a useful feature that can help grow your following.

  • Custom URLs are available.

  • It’s free! No money upfront, or ever.

Disadvantages of Tumblr:

  • Few plug-ins available for customising your blog.

  • Users can post anonymous comments, some of which are hurtful or could be classed as bullying.

  • No way to redirect links if you move to another platform.


Squarespace has had some skin in the web hosting game since 2003. The brainchild of Anthony Casalena, the company now hosts millions of websites (including e-commerce sites and blogs). I currently use Squarespace for my personal blog, https://jamesredden.co.uk (yeah, that’s me venturing into the wild to raise awareness and funds for charity. Enough about me…)

Advantages of Squarespace

  • Amazing uptime of around 99.98% in 2020.

  • You get a fee domain name when you purchase an annual plan. Note: you’ll need to renew your domain name purchase every year.

  • Free SSL with you purchase.

Disadvantages of Squarespace

  • Gets a little pricey if you want to add e-commerce to your blog.

  • No refunds for anyone taking out a monthly plan!


Wix is a competitor to Squarespace and provides many similar features to their rival platform. I’ve used both and, to be honest, there’s not much difference in the service they provide.

Advantages of Wix:

  • Wix offer short term subscriptions rather than attempting to lock you in for many months. Useful if you want to run a professional-looking site as a test.

  • Drag and drop interface makes site building easy.

  • Once logged in to the management portal, you’ll find it easy to use.

Disadvantages of Wix:

  • Currently, Wix places ads on the websites using the starter plan.

  • SEO doesn’t seem to be a high priority for the developers behind Wix – the SEO Wizard doesn’t have the capabilities of software such as WordPress.

  • Few plug-ins which means you have to know what you’re doing if you want to customise your Wix site.


Another hosting company founded in 2003, Bluehost is now owned by Endurance International Group (a highly profitable company that has huge reserves of cash to throw at the business). I’ve been using Bluehost for over a year now and am very happy with the service. Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Advantages of Bluehost:

  • Huge discounts are available on Bluehost subscriptions – this one starts at $2.95 per month!

  • Their WordPress offering has one of the load times (website speeds) I’ve seen: 390ms.

  • Free SSL certificate.

Disadvantages of Bluehost:

  • Second year subscription jumps in price (although it’s still less expensive than many rivals).

  • No monthly payment option.

How to Find Good Staff

If you’re faily new to business it’s unlikely you’re going to be in a position to take on full time staff. A better option will be to find a virtual assistant and a few content writers who can take some of the work off your hands.

How To Outsource Content Creation

Getting the right writers and assistants to work with can take time. Before going to UpWork, or similar sites, think about the skills and personality you’re looking for and create a list of questions to use when interviewing candidates.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • If you’re sourcing a cotent writer, ask them for a 1,000 sample of their copy.

  • Check the content using copyscape.

  • Better, send a 1,000 word piece of content you’ve written and ask the candidate to rewrite in their own words.

  • Ask them to research a topic and come back with 5 key insights they have learned (this step is intended to reveal how deep they go when researching).

  • Check their reviews. Contact previous clients and ask about the quality of work, timeliness and responsiveness.

  • Are they native language speakers. This is important as the writer will be expected to not only spell in your language, but also understand and mimic your writing style in order to maintain the feel of your blog.

  • Do the candidates have holidays planned? This might seem unimportant, but you’re going to kick yourself when your new content creator announces a two week vacation just when you have a big piece of content to be written.

But what if you’re starting out with little money to invest, or income from your website?

Finding someone who is prepared to write for nothing is not easy, but it can be done. Many of the biggest blogs on the web pay bloggers in shares. The idea is that, at some point, the blog will be generatring huge profits and the shares will have massive financial value.

But what about your little, just started blog? Is anybody really going to write huge amounts of content for free, and in the hope you’ll one day make huge profits?

Probably not, but there are other options…

How to Find Content Writers for Free (or Nearly Free)

Bring Your Search a Bit Closer to Home. Literally.

Friends and family are a great source of ideas and help. Some of them will have experience, knowledge and even the writing skills you need.

Barter for Content

Bartering is an ancient trading system, one that predates the inventin of money. Even now, you can barter for goods in some countries. The basic idea is that you trade something you have for something you want.

Example of batering: you have access to a software suite that makes is easy to find blogs that accept guest posts, and the email address of the webmaster. In return for a piece of high quality content, you could off er another blogging a list of 1,000 niche-relevant websites that host guest posts.

Content for Links aka Guest Posting

Guest posts are a great way to spread the word about your blog and, sometimes, to get backlinks to your website. Later on in this series we’re going to look at how to pitch guest posts to other website owners. Right now you want to know how you can use guest posting to get free content for our website.

Simple: allow other webmasters to write guest posts for your website.

This is an easy way of getting targeted content that you can then promote in order to drive traffic to your website. Sure, you’re allowing outbound links in the content and this is only fair because, if you’re been diligent, you now have a high quality piece of content that will bring many visitors (and revenue).

Writing Forums

I’ve used this method a few times and it’s proven to be a great source of high quality content. There are countless writers forums dotted about the web and they are hangouts for authors of varying degrees of skill, most of whom are looking for places to showcase their work.

In som ways this is similar to advertising guest posting on your website, but may only require linking out to a social media profile rather than a website.

The key here is to research. Then research. Then research some more.

You’re looking for hungry writers. They may not the best of the crowd, but their enthusiasm and determination will carry them a long way (which is so often the case for life in general).

This method takes time and you need to be considerate of the writer’s needs – if they want to showcase their skills, let them do so. But the key is reach an agreement that benefits both of you.

Going forward, this way of finding blog post writers for ‘free’ could well prove to be a long and profitable relationship for you and the writer.

I’ll be adding more ways you can find blog post writers for free in a dedicated page.

Let’s assume you’ve found your profitable niche, mapped your skills and created a plan of action. YOu’ve also found a way to create the first 5 blog posts. What next? It’s time to build your website.

How To Build A WordPress Blog on Bluehost

As I use Bluehost to host my WordPress sites, this tutorial will cover off all you need to know about building a WordPress blog on Bluehost.

Note: Bluehost are currently offering a huge discount on the first year of hosting with them. They’ll even give you a free domain name. Grab this deal now.

How to Sign Up for Bluehost

I’m not going to insult your intelligence – you’re all clever and you don’t need me to show you how to sign up for Bluehosting web hosting plans. What I will do is to offer some tips you can try out once you’ve created your account.

How To Configure Bluehost Basic Email and Web Hosting

If you’re new to Bluehost and you’re confused about how to set up your Bluehost web hosting and also your email, then you clicked the right post. In this post, I am going to share with you a step by step guide on how to configure Bluehost basic email and web hosting.

So, if you’re ready, let’s get to it:

How To Set Up A Bluehost Account:

Step 1:

To start, you need to visit www.Bluehost.com. The home page would be displayed, and what you want to do is to click on the green ” Get Started ” tab.

Step 2:

Once you click on the ‘ Get Started ‘ tab, a page will be shown on your screen where you would be required to choose your preferred plan.

For starters, I recommend you choose the Basic plan option, which is ideal for any new website. However, you can go in for any other plan you think fits your business at that moment. Make sure you read through each plan carefully to choose what’s right for you.

Step 3:

After selecting your preferred plan, the next thing you’ll have to do is to set up your domain. You can either type in a domain you already know or use a new domain. A domain is the address of your website. When done, click ‘Next’

Step 4:

When done, a page should pop up where you will be required to fill in your account’s information, and also add any extra features you want to be added to your account. When done, you select your payment option.

Step 5:

Once you’ve made the payment, you’ll be shown a page where you would be required to create your password. So, make sure you input your password on that page and do not exit without creating your password since you’ll need that to gain access to your Bluehost account.

How To Set Up A Bluehost Email Account:

In this section, I am going to show you how to create a custom email with your Bluehost domain cPanel.

Step 1:

From your cPanel, you want to go ahead and click on the ‘Email Manager’ icon in the email subsection menu. This is because you already have a domain, and you want to be able to use this domain to send emails for email marketing. You don’t want to be sending emails from an email address like Joeabs@gmail.com instead, we want an email like Joeabs@yourdomainname.com. So, you already have your domain name once you sign up with Bluehost.

Step 2:

Once, you click on the ‘Email Manager’ icon, it will show you all your currently existing email accounts. But if you do not have any email account, do not worry. To create a new account, click on the ‘create an email account’ tab.

Step 3:

When you click on the ‘create an email account’ tab, a form will appear on your screen which you will be required to fill.

First, you want to type in the name that you want for your email address. After that, you want to make sure that you choose that correct domain( which is something you already have) that you would want to create that email for thus if you have more than one domain. Else, if you have only one domain, that domain will be automatically filled out for you.

Next, you need to type in your password, make sure that the password strength is strong enough. You also, have the option of generating a password if you like.

After, that, you’d be required to choose your webmail client if you know what you like. But you have the option of choosing later if you’re not sure.

You can also change the storage size of your mailbox, and you can do this by typing in a preferred size, or choosing unlimited if you signed up for any package but the Basic Plan.

Once, you’ve done all these, click on the create button. And now you have your sending address for email marketing or anything else.

If you want to access your email, all you want to do is to click ‘ View Inbox ‘ which can be located where your email is under the ‘ Current Email Account’ section. To view your inbox, you’ll be required to input your password, which is the password you created when you were setting up your account.

Once you log in you’ll see three different options on how you can access your inbox, just pick one it doesn’t matter. From there you can see what arrives in your inbox.

Step 4:

When done, you want to go back to your Email Manager screen on your cPanel. You want to go ahead and click on the forwarding tab. Once, on that page, what you want to do is to click on the ‘add email forwarder’ tab.

Step 5:

You want to go ahead and type in the email you just created. When it gets to the ‘Destination Options’ subsection, you want to select the ‘Forward to this address’ section. When you select that, type in your personal Gmail address and click on submit when done. This will forward all your emails to your Gmail.

If you want to connect your email to your phone, or laptop, then follow the procedure below:

Step 1:

On your ‘ Email and Office’ page, you want to go to the tab that displays the email address you just created. When you see that, click on ‘ Connect Devices’. A page will be displayed which will show you all the different devices and apps that your email can be connected to.

Step 2:

Once, you see the device or app you want to connect your Bluehost email address to. What you do is to access that device or app, and simply add your Bluehost email to the device or app, and you’re good to go. Mostly, your Bluehost email can be connected to Microsoft Outlook, iOS devices, Gmail, Mozilla Thunderbird, and many others. So, check to make sure the device or app you want to connect your Bluehost email to, is an acceptable option by Bluehost.

This is how you set up your Bluehost account and also, your email. If you have any questions or contributions, then kindly leave them in the comment section below. Also, if you found this post helpful, then feel free to hit the like button. INSERTED

Install a WordPress Blog on Bluehost

Once you’ve sign up for Bluehost, the process of installing WordPress is pretty easy. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

WordPress Configuration Tips

One of the things you’ll notice is that the default installation comes with quite a few plugins, many of which you won’t need. The WordPress configuration tips below show you which of these plugins you should probably remove.

There are also a few recommended plugins I use to help with SEO and security.

WordPress Plugins You Should Remove

I always remove the following WordPress plugins:

Akismet. This is an anti-spam plugin that I’ve used over the years. It’s actually pretty good, but some of the other plugins we’re going to add have the functionality built in. Having two tools creates confusion, adds to the overhead of maintaining your blog and creates multiple possible routes an attacker can attempt to break into you WordPress blog.

Jetpack. Jetpack is a management tool that hooks into other blogging tools such as WordPress.com. What it allows you to do is manage multiple blogs from one location, which is a great idea if you have many blogs to manage. I’m assuming this isn’t the case so… delete. If at some future point you are running a number of blogs you can always re-install Jetpack.

Hello Dolly. For a long time Hello Dolly was installed on WordPress blogs by default. The plugin flashes up random lyrics from Louis Armstrong’s, ‘Hello, Dolly’. It wasn’t installed automatically when I built ThoughtCafe, but it’s one to consider deleting if it does show up.

Any other WordPress plugins you’re not going to use. If you don’t plan to use a default plugin, then delete it. This will help reduce the number of what security experts call ‘attack vectors’ – these are the possible routes that could allow a hacker to break into your blog.

WordPress Plugins You Should Install

This list shows the Wordprss plugins I believe are important:

Yoast. Yoast’s all-in-one SEO plugin is one of the better tools you can use to optimise your blog and posts. There are competitors out there, but the ease of use makes it my preferred options.

Wordfence. I’ve only recently started to use Wordfence and have to say I’m very impressed by the firewall/malware scanning built into it. The default plugin installation is the community version which gives excellent protection and reporting. Upgrading to the Premium version of Wordfence unlocks a range of additional security tools.

TablePress. If you’re running a comparison site you’re going to need a way of formatting data in tables. There are plenty of paid options which are very pretty, but do you really need them? No, a free tool like Table Press is more than adequate for the needs of most bloggers (you can pay for a premium product once you are making money from your blog)

Ad Inserter. Or any other tool that makes it easy to manage Google Ads. There are ways to display advertisements on a blog without using a plugin, but they require you to insert code into your templates – DON’T BE TEMPTED TO DO THIS AS IT COULD MAKE YOUR BLOG UNWORKABLE.

EasyAzon. This plugin is designed for anyone wanting to display Amazon affiliate links on their blog. It’s a paid option. If you want a free, but very capable, Amazon plugin then choose

How To Remove/Delete a A WordPress Plugin

Now that you know which plugins you don’t need, let’s look at how to remove/delete a WordPress plugin. In this example I’m going to uninstall ‘Akismet’:

Login to your WordPress blog and from the menu on the left, click the plugins link:

WordPress plugins menu

WordPress plugins menu

In the centre pane, scroll down until you see your installed plugins:

Scroll down the installed WordPress plugins

Scroll down the installed WordPress plugins

Click ‘Delete’ link.

Click delete to remove the plugin.

Click delete to remove the plugin.

Deleting Akismet

Confirm you want to proceed.

Click OK to confirm deletion of the WordPress plugin.

Click OK to confirm deletion of the WordPress plugin.

You’re done, the plugin has been deleted.

Setting Up An Email Account Inside the Bluehost Admin Area

I’m assuming you’ve either picked up a free domain name from Bluehost, or transferred/redirected an existing domain name. Don’t worry if you won’t understand what I’m talking about – a complete guide to transfers and DNS is coming soon.

Once you log into your admin area, you’ll see a view like this:

Image: Bluehost admin area

Don’t worry if it doesn’t like exactly the same as Bluehost makes changes from time to time. The important part is to understand where you configure your email account.

Look down the left hand side of the Bluehost admin area and you’ll see a link to Office and Emails:

Image: click here to access email configuration and settings

When you click the link, you’ll be directed to this page where you can start the creation of your email account.

Image: keywords for this step

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