August 23, 2021
The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can maximize return on many kinds of investment.
The distribution of wealth follows a well-known pattern sometimes called an 80:20 rule: 80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 percent of the people. Indeed, a report last year concluded that just eight men had a total wealth equivalent to that of the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people.
This seems to occur in all societies at all scales. It is a well-studied pattern called a power law that crops up in a wide range of social phenomena. But the distribution of wealth is among the most controversial because of the issues it raises about fairness and merit. Why should so few people have so much wealth?
The conventional answer is that we live in a meritocracy in which people are rewarded for their talent, intelligence, effort, and so on. Over time, many people think, this translates into the wealth distribution that we observe, although a healthy dose of luck can play a role.
But there is a problem with this idea: while wealth distribution follows a power law, the distribution of human skills generally follows a normal distribution that is symmetric about an average value. For example, intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, follows this pattern. Average IQ is 100, but nobody has an IQ of 1,000 or 10,000.
The same is true of effort, as measured by hours worked. Some people work more hours than average and some work less, but nobody works a billion times more hours than anybody else.
And yet when it comes to the rewards for this work, some people do have billions of times more wealth than other people. What’s more, numerous studies have shown that the wealthiest people are generally not the most talented by other measures.
What factors, then, determine how individuals become wealthy? Could it be that chance plays a bigger role than anybody expected? And how can these factors, whatever they are, be exploited to make the world a better and fairer place?
We finally get an answer thanks to the work of Alessandro Pluchino at the University of Catania in Italy and a couple of colleagues. These guys have created a computer model of human talent and the way people use it to exploit opportunities in life. The model allows the team to study the role of chance in this process.
The results are something of an eye-opener. Their simulations accurately reproduce the wealth distribution in the real world. But the wealthiest individuals are not the most talented (although they must have a certain level of talent). They are the luckiest. And this has significant implications for the way societies can optimize the returns they get for investments in everything from business to science.
Pluchino and co’s model is straightforward. It consists of N people, each with a certain level of talent (skill, intelligence, ability, and so on). This talent is distributed normally around some average level, with some standard deviation. So some people are more talented than average and some are less so, but nobody is orders of magnitude more talented than anybody else.
This is the same kind of distribution seen for various human skills, or even characteristics like height or weight. Some people are taller or smaller than average, but nobody is the size of an ant or a skyscraper. Indeed, we are all quite similar.
The computer model charts each individual through a working life of 40 years. During this time, the individuals experience lucky events that they can exploit to increase their wealth if they are talented enough.
However, they also experience unlucky events that reduce their wealth. These events occur at random.
At the end of the 40 years, Pluchino and co rank the individuals by wealth and study the characteristics of the most successful. They also calculate the wealth distribution. They then repeat the simulation many times to check the robustness of the outcome.
When the team rank individuals by wealth, the distribution is exactly like that seen in real-world societies. “The ‘80-20’ rule is respected, since 80 percent of the population owns only 20 percent of the total capital, while the remaining 20 percent owns 80 percent of the same capital,” report Pluchino and co.
That may not be surprising or unfair if the wealthiest 20 percent turn out to be the most talented. But that isn’t what happens. The wealthiest individuals are typically not the most talented or anywhere near it. “The maximum success never coincides with the maximum talent, and vice-versa,” say the researchers.
So if not talent, what other factor causes this skewed wealth distribution? “Our simulation clearly shows that such a factor is just pure luck,” say Pluchino and co.
The team shows this by ranking individuals according to the number of lucky and unlucky events they experience throughout their 40-year careers. “It is evident that the most successful individuals are also the luckiest ones,” they say. “And the less successful individuals are also the unluckiest ones.”
That has significant implications for society. What is the most effective strategy for exploiting the role luck plays in success?
Pluchino and co study this from the point of view of science research funding, an issue clearly close to their hearts. Funding agencies the world over are interested in maximizing their return on investment in the scientific world. Indeed, the European Research Council recently invested $1.7 million in a program to study serendipity—the role of luck in scientific discovery—and how it can be exploited to improve funding outcomes.
It turns out that Pluchino and co are well set to answer this question. They use their model to explore different kinds of funding models to see which produce the best returns when luck is taken into account.
The team studied three models, in which research funding is distributed equally to all scientists; distributed randomly to a subset of scientists; or given preferentially to those who have been most successful in the past. Which of these is the best strategy?
The strategy that delivers the best returns, it turns out, is to divide the funding equally among all researchers. And the second- and third-best strategies involve distributing it at random to 10 or 20 percent of scientists.
In these cases, the researchers are best able to take advantage of the serendipitous discoveries they make from time to time. In hindsight, it is obvious that the fact a scientist has made an important chance discovery in the past does not mean he or she is more likely to make one in the future.
A similar approach could also be applied to investment in other kinds of enterprises, such as small or large businesses, tech startups, education that increases talent, or even the creation of random lucky events.
Clearly, more work is needed here. What are we waiting for?
December 30, 2020
Remember that special someone you all of a sudden started noticing when you were a teenager? (hey, don’t blush!).
Not long ago they might’ve been that annoying person from your classroom who you used to ignore or couldn’t stand.
But then, something happened—you don’t know what it was or what caused it but something inside of you changed. Suddenly that person you used to ignore (or poke with a pencil) became someone you simply couldn’t get out of your mind.
“How did I become aware of their presence?”—you started wondering.
What I’m getting at here is that relationships happen in stages, and over time—and a sales funnel is like a relationship-building machine for selling or generating leads on a massive scale.
To define it (so many gurus get this wrong and claim “everything” is a funnel—it’s not): a sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors toward a buying decision.
And in this process, awareness, interest, decision, and action are the high-level stages prospective customers and clients move through and they move through your funnel.
You see, with an online sales funnel, it’s all about engaging visitors and getting them to click or opt in to your free offers. You just need to figure out how…
- How to create a marketing funnel that actually converts
- And/or how to improve what you have right now
That’s why today, I’m sharing with you 17 examples of the best, highest-converting funnels on the web right now. From huge companies like Netflix to smaller brands like Crazy Egg and Mixergy, these examples cover all the bases.
I’m confident they will teach you how to convert many more (or even more depending on your stage of business) customers and clients.
December 29, 2020
Does is feel like it’s impossible to find inexpensive business website design or an agency that will work with you at an affordable price? One that actually does great website and logo design and knows how to drive leads? You’re not alone my friend.
Believe it or not, there are thousands of business owners just like you looking for the same thing. So, why in the world is it so hard to find?!
There’s no simple answer, but I do have some really great news. There is a way to test every affordable web design agency on the planet. You can check to see if what they are offering is any good.
In the paragraphs below, I’m going to go point by point through 15 questions. These are questions you should ask yourself before you even call your first agency. I’ve designed these questions to help you think through the website building process. I want you to be fully equipped to have a conversation with a digital agency.
So, let’s begin, and where do you start besides the beginning? The first question you should answer for yourself is…
Wondering why your website isn’t working?
Get a free quote and find out today! Contact us now!
Question #1: Why do you need a website?
Any small business owner or sole proprietor will tell you that they MUST have a professional website, and that they want it made by professional website designers. When you ask them why they need a website, their answer sounds a little like this.
“I just know I have to.” or “So people can find me online.”
The challenge every small business owner runs into is that a website isn’t magic. Websites don’t automatically bring in leads once you get it online. They don’t work unless you intentionally create them with a personal plan and specific business goals in mind. You can find designs for cheap, custom websites all across the internet. How in the world do we know if will it actually work for our business?
Knowing why you want a website in the first place is half the battle. Many business owners shell out Tens of thousands of dollars for a website that isn’t much more than a glorified digital billboard. Don’t let that be you.
Question #2: What do you want it to do?
The question above should help you give an outline to answer this question. Almost every business owner hopes that a website does a few things for them. Here’s a sample of what we usually hear at Fusion Creative when we talk to new customers.
- Give my business credibility online.
- Bring in new customers
- Facilitate conversations between potential customers and your business online
- Showcase our products/services
- Make it mobile friendly and accessible on all mobile devices
No matter what it is you want your website to do, you can achieve it. The only way it will help you accomplish those things is if you go into the design phase with the end in mind.
Question #3: Who is this inexpensive website design for?
Knowing the audience of the website you’re creating is paramount to its success. Let’s say you are creating a website for stay at home moms, trying to sell them affordable cleaning services. This website is going to look drastically different than other sites. A website targeting men in their 20’s selling products for shaving should look dramatically different.
When it comes to getting inexpensive custom website design, you must know the target well ahead of time. It is one way to take a giant step toward a successful end.
Question #4: What do you want it to look like?
Will the website enhance your company brand? If your company doesn’t have a brand yet, that’s a perfect thing to nail down first. If you haven’t worked out your company brand, stop searching for a website designer. Begin looking for a brand design specialist who can give your company and social media the right look. You don’t want to create a website that completely misses your target.
Question #5: How do you want people to feel when they get there?
How do I want them to feel, are you serious? Serious as a heart attack I’m afraid. A really good website will bring out emotion in people that stop by. They’ll load up the homepage and it will cause them a case of the feels. What kind of feels exactly? That’s up to the target that you’re trying to hit.
Answer this question to get started.
“When my perfect customer stops by my website, I want them to look at my homepage and feel _____________________.” Answer that, and you’re well on your way to giving your inexpensive web designer the information they need.
Question #6: What do you want people to think once they visit?
Just like the feeling you want to elicit above, not everyone is a “feeling” type of person. Is your audience prone to having their feeling at the ready? If they’re not the feeling type, maybe they’re the thinking type. If that’s the case, here’s the same question to ask yourself to identify the thoughts you want your clientele to have.
“When my perfect customer stops by my website, I want them to think ________________________________.”
Whether we know it or not, we all have thoughts and feelings about every website that we take the time to visit. Knowing up front what you want those thoughts and feelings to be can set you up for success.
Question #7: How would you like to be involved in the process?
While you’re building your website, to what extent do you want to be involved? There is a lot of decision making that needs to happen for the site to come together. Do you want to be in the room, get daily reports? The level of your involvement usually affects the price of the website.
To make a gross generalization here, the less you want to be involved in the process the cheaper it will be. WHAT!?
Let me explain what I mean by that. If you’re hiring a cheap website design professional, they’re pricing your site by time. The usual question asked is:
“How much time will it take me to create the website that this person wants?”
Many website designers will ask you to fill out a content form to get your website information. Then they’ll take that content and plug it into a template that they buy online, using cheap website builders to keep profits high. This is inexpensive website design at its finest.
If you decide on a website builder for small business, most subscriptions take place on an annual plan. You’ll want to find what each plan costs and if there are any hidden fees, then decide what works best, as well as which are the cheapest plans.
If you’re looking to be more involved in the process, it usually means customization. A custom designed website is always more expensive than a site based on an online template.
Answering the questions posed above will help narrow down what type of site you ultimately want for your business.
The extent to which you would like to customize your website needs to be discussed up front. Don’t demand a complex design where you approve every line of code after the contract is signed. Great communication up front can save incredible headache through the process. Make sure you both have the same expectations going in.
Question #8: Who will write the content?
This, my friends, is a big one. Most inexpensive website design firms aren’t expert content managers. They’re probably designers who know how to make something pretty that makes affordable small business website owners happy. If that’s the inexpensive website design company that you’re working with, they’re going to need you to write the copy/content for them.
If you’re not a content writer, this causes a bit of a hiccup to the process. Many web design companies will ask you to submit the content for each page and then design the page around that content. In this case, you’ll either need to have someone else write the content for you or you’ll need to write it yourself.
If you’re planning on having someone else write the content for you, know that it can cost as much or even more than the website creation itself. We’ve had clients pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for content and website creation and then numerous revisions to content throughout the creation of a website.
Be certain you know going in who’s going to write the words of your website.
Question #9: How will you get photos, pictures, and backgrounds?
Inexpensive website design (or expensive for that matter) takes a wheelbarrow full of pictures, photos and backgrounds to make it come to life. If your designer isn’t telling you how many stock photos are included, you should certainly ask.
If it’s up to you to provide the photos and backgrounds, where will you get them? How will you know if they’ll work with their designs? Will you buy a photo credit pack with a stock photo provider and let them choose what to buy?
The average webpage can take anywhere between 4 & 10 images quite easily. It’s a good question to ask ahead of time if images are included. It will allow you to see if the inexpensive website design is still a good deal when you add the fees back into the cost.
Question #10: Who will be your layout/designer?
“Isn’t every website creator a designer?” That’s a great question. The answer isn’t quite as simple as the question sounds, but let’s walk through it.
A website designer is the person who takes care of the layout, look and “feel” of your website. They’re good at things like color matching, layout and choosing complementary fonts. A good website designer is essential to creating a website that people will enjoy.
Here’s a surefire way to tell the difference. Are the inexpensive web developers that you’re hiring a group of geeks who live in their mom’s basement? If so, you’re most likely hiring a website developer. These guys are a completely different animal from website designers.
Website developers are the ones who know how to assemble pages in HTML and build databases and the like. Developers with technical skills know the technical aspects of website design. They do all the complex work behind the scenes.
If you’re hiring a website designer, who is going to add the amazing visual, responsive design? Yet one more great question to ask going into a website design contract. (Especially with an inexpensive website design company.)
Question #11: Who will be the developer to make sure things work on the back end?
We’ve described the website developer above, but let’s recap. They’re the ones who do all the technical coding work on the back end of the website. If you’re hiring a website designer, who will take care of the development needed for your site?
Any business that creates websites should have both web designers and web developers on their staff. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask questions about how they’ll handle design and development.
Their answers should tell you what kind of company you’re hiring and what their capabilities are.
Question #12: How will people find your website?
Contrary to popular belief, putting a website on the internet doesn’t mean instant traffic. There are two things that are working in tandem to tell the search engines if your website is worth showing.
The first criteria that you need to be aware of is domain authority. This is a scale of between 0-100, and it tells the search engines how “trusted” your website domain is against all others. If you’re registering brand new domain names, you’re starting with a domain authority of 0. In case you’re wondering, 0 is the absolute lowest you can get and lower does not mean better in this case.
It’s work to increase your domain authority and it takes time.
The second criteria is your page authority for each individual page on your website. Each page has a ranking between 0-100 as well, and the higher the better. You need domain authority and page authority to drive search engine traffic and become SEO, or search engine optimized.
So, a great question to ask your inexpensive web design company is..
“How will my website get found online after we launch?”
If they say that they’ll list it with the search engines and that should take care of it, they’re wrapping up bull poop and calling it fudge. It’s hard work to get your website found online, and there’s no overnight fix here.
Question #13: How quick do you want your website online?
The speed at which you would like your website designed and online can affect the price. Want to have your website online in less than a month? You’re most likely looking at a rush job for many inexpensive website design teams.
Here at Web Lion, we’ve had calls from business owners who were looking to have their website up in a few business days. These projects are very difficult to take on for inexpensive website design companies. It’s possible to get a homepage up in 24 hours, but given all the items above, give your agency a chance to help you.
48 hours is not nearly enough time to go through the process of understanding all your needs. Designing a website that will hit the mark for you is important, so plan ahead.
Plan to spend some time in the discovery phase with your web team. Let them get to know you and you get to know them. The more time and effort that goes into the discovery phase, the more on point the website they design for you will ultimately be.
Question #14: Who will take care of it afterwards?
Websites are much like a car. They need website maintenance every now and then or they’ll stop running. Like a car, a website functions with many different moving parts. The lubrication that keeps all website parts moving freely is what we call maintenance.
Weekly website maintenance is essential to keep your website at peak performance. Hackers on the internet are looking for ways to get into website just like yours. The easy way into your website for a hacker is through an old version of a plug-in. All it takes is a plug-in that doesn’t get updated, and they’ve got you. Once they’ve gotten through an outdated plug-in, they’ve created a back door into your site.
Most website design companies will maintain your website for a nominal monthly fee. The good ones will take an hour of their billable time and break it up into 15 minute segments to maintain your site for the month. 15 minutes each week is all it takes to make sure your website is always operating at peak efficiency.
Question #15: How will you host the website?
If you’re just getting into your first website, you might be wondering what in the world hosting even is. Here are the basics.
To host your website means:
“What computer do you plan on holding your files that’s always powered on and always connected to the internet?”
Your website = hundreds of files that are all stored on a central computer server somewhere in the world. Your files can be stored in your basement on a desktop computer if you want. They can also be stored by an industry leading hosting company that has warehouses of computer servers that you can rent space from.Most small businesses go with the second option here.
While unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth are big draws for most businesses, it’s not necessarily that important. Rather than trying to find unlimited storage, find the highest file transfer rate available in the hosting company you choose. This will determine how effective the hosting plan is and the speed of your new website.
Why don’t people host their website from their basement as opposed to paying a company to provide their web host? It comes down to convenience, capability and effort. Many business owners are already stretched thin as it is, and putting together a website server computer takes time. Hosting is something they don’t have the time to do or don’t want to take the time to do. So, they pay a nominal monthly fee to have their website hosted elsewhere.
Thinking about hosting it yourself? Here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself. What do you do when a power outage occurs? if your power is out, your website is down. If your computer restarts from an automatic update that Windows decides to do in the middle of the night, what will you do? your website will be offline until you notice that the computer is down.
Most small business owners decide to host with one of two agencies.
1. the website design company they’re working with
2. with one of the major website hosting providers across the internet.
The question you want to ask is, “Is hosting included in my website design cost?” If not, make sure you add that to the cost of your website.
Question #16: How long do you want it to last?
Back to the car analogy one more time here. A website is like a car in so many ways, and like a car there are always new models coming out every day of the year. The day you launch your new website you’re one of the new models driving around. Your site has a sparkling coat of paint, new tires and supple leather seats.
What happens a year later when it needs new tires, has chips in the paint and the leather isn’t so supple anymore? What are your options to refresh your website as it starts to look and feel stale?
Many business owners will completely redesign their website every year. They keep a brand new look to their site, and it always looks like they’ve spent $25,000 because often, they actually have.
So, the question remains. How long do you want this particular website to last for your business? Are there ways that your inexpensive website design company can help you refresh the look of your site? Will they do it each year without adding extra costs?
This answer will give you an idea of how inexpensive the website will be long term. How much your website will actually cost you in the long term matters, rather than just the upfront cost.
Question #17: Ecommerce Considerations
If you’re considering an ecommerce website, you’re going to need an ecommerce plan for your online business. There are multiple ways to customize site architecture to ensure that your ecommerce website fits your business needs.
Ecommerce websites aren’t that different from traditional websites, but there are a few key differences. The best online stores are built on a web development framework that feels natural to the end user. If your ecommerce website feels clunky to the person wanting to make a purchase from you, users tend to leave and find another option.
The cheapest ecommerce web design is rarely the best solution for any business. You can find people online claiming that they can build out a custom ecom website for $300. The problem with this claim is that there’s no way to invest so few hours into a fully functional website that this would be a sustainable offer.
In our experience, the cheapest ecommerce plan you’ll find from a reputable website builder will be in the area of $8,000-$10,000. If you see someone promising the world for a couple hundred dollars, be careful what you’re signing up for.
Looking for affordable website design for your small business? You want a company that you can trust. You’re selecting a team that will represent your company for what is likely years to come. You want working with them to be rewarding and fun.
The last thing you want is a company that won’t return your phone calls. They need to be available when you need them. All the questions that we’ve listed above are important, but here’s the last one that I think you should ask.
“Do I like the people I’m talking with, and will I enjoy working with them?”
If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, it’s probably time to move on.
Here at Web Lion, we use live chat, video meetings and in-person methods to work with small business owners just like you everyday. We help them create an online presence that works for their business. If you’re looking for a digital agency that is full of people who care about your business, we invite you to stop by and see what we’re all about.
November 23, 2020
So, you want to start a blog huh? Great idea!
But…how the heck do you get started? There’s so much info out there on the web, and everyone’s telling you to do different things. Who do you listen to? Where’s the starting point?
Damnit, maybe you should just forget it – it’s too confusing!
Well, hold up. I used to be a blogging newbie too. I had the same problems. I started my blog (BloggingBasics101.com) way back in 2006, and I knew less than nothing about blogging. In fact, it was only the week before I’d learned what a blog was.
Now I know a ton about them, and my blog’s doing pretty well – I receive more than 300,000 unique visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your own blog. I’m not some sort of Guru, but I certainly do know the basics.
I promise it’ll be simple, relatively easy, and definitely easy to understand (no stupid jargon). Sound good?
Awesome, let’s move on.
Why you should create a blog and join the blogging community
So below, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to get started and set up your own personal blog. Before we dive in though, I really want to talk about WHY you should build a blog.
Note: If you already have a solid idea of the whys, then skip this and go right ahead with the guide.
- Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).
- It’s a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share information with others.
- You become a better person and a better writer.
- The best reason? You can make money doing it!
I bet you already knew all of that, but it’s nice to be reminded.
One very last thing before we get started:
Creating your own blog can take a little while, probably up to 30 minutes. So grab yourself a coffee or juice (whatever you fancy) and let’s get stuck in. If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with me here and I’ll help as best I can and answer any questions you might have).
Disclosure: This guide to starting your own blog contains some affiliate links. If you purchase any service through one of these links I may earn a small commission, this is at no extra cost to you.
The Steps Covered In This Blogging Guide
It’s nowhere near as difficult as setting up a website from scratch (there’s very little technical ability needed here). In fact, there’s no coding required by you. Good news, huh?
How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps:
There are five main steps you need to do in order to start a blog. If you follow this guide exactly, you’ll have your own blog set up in 30 minutes or less.
- Choose a great blog platform
- Choose a web host for your blog
- How to Set up a blog on your own domain
- Design your new blog
- Useful resources for blogging
So, we made it. Phew. Better late than never! So, without further ado, let’s jump into step 1.
Step 1 – Choose your preferred blogging platform
Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.
It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.
There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically.
There are other alternatives, however, and they are listed below:
- Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
- Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.
Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:
- Super easy set-up and is free to use
- Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there are gazillions).
- There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
- Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
- People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.
Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including WordPress), give it a read:
How to Choose a Blogging Platform – (updated for 2020)
Now, Step 2 (see, we’re moving fast now!)
Step 2 – Self-hosting or a free alternative?
Whoa, slow down there! This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before we go any further. You need to decide whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.
WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger all offer free blogs for anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have downsides:
1) You won’t be able to get your OWN domain name
On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) will be butt-ugly. Like, really ugly. In short, create a free blog with any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:
I know, ugly right?
2) Limits and more limits
There are some limits to free blogs. You can’t fully monetize it, and you don’t have the possibility to upload all those videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all limited. Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free themes offered by WordPress.
3) You DON’T OWN your blog
It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want to. They have done so in the past, and keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts might have vanished within seconds. Sad…
On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example, “YourName.com” or “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images, and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.
So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.
If you still have questions, here’s some further information for you to look at:
Step 3 – Start a blog on your own domain (if you chose self-hosting and a custom domain)
I’m going to push ahead based on the premise you’ve chosen WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the best.
If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is, allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up for yourself.
You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog.
- Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!
- Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.
Disclosure: I recommend using Bluehost for web hosting. If you click through one of my links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission, which helps me keep bloggingbasics101.com up and running.
Personally, I use Bluehost (for my blog domain and hosting), and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it.
It’s probably one of the cheapest (less than $3 per month) hosting providers out there. A domain name will cost around $10-15 a year, but with Bluehost, you can get that for FREE first year.
If you do sign up with Bluehost be sure to use the coupon code BB101 as this will unlock the maximum discount they offer on all their hosting packages.
:). Big smiles for that!
They’re the providers I use for all of my blogs, including the one you’re reading right now.
If for any reason you don’t want to go with Bluehost, feel free to choose your own hosting company. Most, if not all of them, should have a “one-click” WordPress install solution on their admin panel.
That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. Did I say it was simple or what?
All you need to do is sign up with Bluehost (or your chosen provider), choose your hosting plan and a domain name and look for the one-click WordPress install button on the admin panel.
If you are getting stuck at any point this guide may help as it has screenshots.
WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend whois privacy (that will keep all your personal details private) and definitely automated backups (that’ll save your website just in case anything fails or disappears so you won’t lose any or very little of your blog).
Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.
At the start, the layout looks confusing, but it gets very understandable quickly. Don’t worry!
Step 4 – Designing your WordPress blog
Now, the fun bit.
Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.
I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty easy to customize. WordPress also has this awesome feature that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. So if you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.
Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and your personality, but also what the blog is about. There’s no point having a football-orientated theme if your blog is about tennis, understand?
On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move around it, people won’t stay. After all design is a subjective art; meaning everyone likes different things.
But no one likes ugly websites, and they especially hate websites that need a university degree to navigate. Make it easy for them.
For more reading, I’ve put together 3 blog posts about designing your blog. Feel free to check them through.
- Blog Design: Keep It Clutter Free and User-Friendly
- Advice for Blog Design and Blog Goals
- Is there any software I can use to make my own graphics, button, and banner?
Last step! Woo!
Step 5 – Useful Resources For Beginner Bloggers
Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.
These articles may help you avoid some of the growing pains when it comes to your first blog – enjoy!:
- 5 Beginning Blogging Mistakes You Can Fix
- Choosing a Blogging Niche
- 7 Ways to Boost your success as a Blogger
And that’s it! I’m more than confident that your initial blog set up should now be finished and ready to go, and all that should have been really damn easy (unlike my first time, lucky you!). If you are having any problems installing WordPress on Hostgator then this guide may help.
If by some unfortunate circumstance you get stuck or have any questions for me about how to create a blog, just get in touch with me or leave a comment below. I’ll help you out with any problems.
Enjoy your new blog!
August 21, 2020
Today, you will learn all about easily creating a blog on your own and how to start a WordPress blog. Blogging is what changed my life and allowed me to make thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love. Plus, you can start a money-making blog for just a few dollars a month! Below, I have included discounted pricing that I personally negotiated with Bluehost so that all of you can start a blog for cheap. You will also receive a free blog domain through my link too. Act quick though because I’m not sure how long these low prices will last!
If you’re looking to start a WordPress blog for cheap, then choosing Bluehost for your hosting needs may be your answer. Bluehost is a great web host and I personally have had a great experience with them.
Blogging has been one of the best things ever for me. As you can tell from my business income reports, I now make over $100,000 a month from my blogging-related services. I earned over $979,000 in 2016 through blogging, over $1,500,000 in 2017, $1,550,500 in 2018 and over $1,600,000 in 2019.
I am able to work from home, I can travel whenever I want, I have a flexible schedule and more. I am absolutely loving life and I can’t believe how much my life has improved in just the past few years.
Anyone can make money with a blog, and I was able to make the money back that I paid for blog hosting very quickly. It is well worth it to pay for blog hosting and I’m sure you will be able to make your money back quickly as well.
Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies in 2020 and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $2.75 a month (this low price is through my link only)! Also, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value). I highly recommend signing up for the 12 month hosting plan through Bluehost. It’s affordable and you can save a lot of money by signing up for at least 12 months. If you want a better deal, the best value would be purchasing a 36 month plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run.
You may be thinking, “Well I can just start on Blogger for a little cheaper and learn how to make a blog that way” NOOOOO… Don’t do that. There are so many reasons for why a Blogger/Blogspot blog is a really bad idea, and why you should instead setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
If you are interested in ever making money off your blog, freelancing or turning it into a business, then paying for your hosting, such as through Bluehost, is a MUST. It’s extremely cheap as well to go through Bluehost AND you get a free domain (for the first year). You can run any of your own advertisements, affiliate links, direct advertising, etc. with a blog ran on Bluehost. Making money on Blogger or any other free blogging platform is very difficult, and in many cases never happens. Most advertisers and companies tend to run away from Blogger websites because they don’t view them as professional as self-hosted WordPress blogs, so that’s another big reason to use Bluehost.
Also, if you take a look at my past income reports, you can tell that my income through blogging didn’t take off until right at the exact moment I switched to WordPress. That’s a lot of proof right there that being self-hosted on WordPress is the way to go!
Read more about why you should pay for blog hosting here.
There are many reasons for why you may want to choose Bluehost for your WordPress blog and I honestly believe they are one of the best web hosting providers. These reasons include:
- It’s easy to use. Yes, ANYONE can create a WordPress blog easily with my tutorial below. Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog.
- Bluehost web hosting offers technical support.
- Bluehost is extremely affordable and they offer cheap web hosting. You can have a blog of your own and the only real expense you need to pay is the cheap blog hosting which starts at just $2.75 per month.
- You get a FREE blog domain.
- WordPress through Bluehost is FREE.
- Bluehost offers a guarantee in case you determine that it is not for you. If you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email and I can help you out.
- You will be self-hosted. If you want to monetize your blog, then you will want to be self-hosted.
- You will appear much more professional to readers, companies, and so on if you are self-hosted on Bluehost than being on Blogspot.
First, you will need to head on over to Bluehost to do any of this. There are many web hosting companies out there, but Bluehost is honestly one of the best. There is a reason why many bloggers choose Bluehost for their web hosting needs.
If you plan on starting a blog on Bluehost and you are interested in learning how to start a blog on WordPress, continue below. Remember, if you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email and I can help you out. That’s what I’m here for so don’t be afraid to send me an email.
How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost
1. Register your domain name.
You can click here to purchase a domain name and create a blog, then continue to follow the easy steps below.
The very first thing you will need to do when starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost is to think about what you want your domain name to be. This can be tough, and I would give some serious thought to this.
I don’t even remember how I came up with my blog name. It’s a long one though and at times I regret it. Trying to spell out my blog name to people who don’t know about it can get frustrating because they don’t know if I’m saying “cents” or “sense!”
You can get your domain directly through Bluehost and make the whole process very easy. If you do this, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. This makes it well worth it to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as you will be saving a good amount of money this way. You also get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, so the free domain just makes it even better. If you want an even better deal, the best value would be purchasing a 36 month plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run. If you decide to get the free domain, just continue to the next step as you can buy your hosting and get the free domain all in one step.
The “Basic” package is most likely all you will need.
2. Buy hosting for your blog.
Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is very easy. First, we will talk about the costs of blogging:
- To receive the cheapest price to start a blog, then choosing the “Basic” plan is really all you need. It’s only $2.75 per month through my link (due upfront in full) if you sign up for 36 months, which is a great price. If you sign up for a 24 month plan, then the price is $3.95 per month. If you sign up for a 12 month plan, then the price is $4.95 per month. $4.95 is still extremely affordable and it’s a great plan to choose (especially since you get a free domain at this price still!). If you are unsure about blogging, I would sign up for the 12 month plan as this is still a great price and very affordable for one year of blogging. If you purchase a 12 month plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is still a great price. Plus, you still receive the free domain name when you sign up for 12 months or more which saves you money. The best value would be purchasing a 36 month plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run.
- The Basic plan is all you really need for now, so skip the Plus and Business Pro plans as they are more expensive. You can always change it later to a different plan if you want to (and just pay the difference), so there is no need to sign up for extra that you do not need.
- The other item you may want to pay for when it comes to blogging is Domain Privacy Protection, which is only $0.99 per month. This is so that your contact information stays safe.
- Other than the above, you do not need the other items that Bluehost sells, so I would uncheck any of the extras that are listed.
- Remember, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer blog hosting plan.
I want to reiterate why you should purchase at least a 12 month hosting plan. Month-to-month is less effective, and I highly recommend signing up for a minimum of 12 months for many reasons. By signing up for a minimum of 12 months, you will receive a free domain name, lower pricing, and you won’t have to deal with an expired website after each month. For example, if hosting is not renewed or if the card expires, then your website is down and you risk losing business (visitors/traffic) when you pay on a month-to-month basis. It’s also exceptionally more expensive to pay month-by-month rather than in one lump sum. The more years you sign up for, the less you pay.
Blog hosting will most likely cost you around $59 a year on average, or $99 for 3 years, which is a great deal! If you purchase a 12 month plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is a great price. The best value would be purchasing a 36 month plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run.
When you are ready to create your blog, follow the steps below to buy hosting for your blog.
- Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
- Click on the package you are interested in.
- Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name here.
- Enter your personal and payment information.
- Next you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure it’s secure as this information is very important.
If you have any problems, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a great person at Bluehost who can help solve any of your issues quickly and easily!
3. Connect your domain and your hosting.
Note: You can skip this section (Section 3) if you buy your domain directly through Bluehost.
If you buy your domain through Go Daddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names. Below is a snippet:
“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.
If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”
How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:
- Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
- Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
- Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
- Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.
You will then need to add the domain you bought (such as through GoDaddy) as an addon domain to your Bluehost web hosting. You can do this by clicking on “Domains” when logged into your Bluehost web hosting account and then clicking on “assign.” Follow the steps and it is very easy!
4. Install WordPress on Bluehost.
Okay, this is probably the step that all of you have been waiting for. If you want to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost then continue reading.
This part isn’t hard at all. Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog and it is FREE.
- After you create your password, Bluehost guides you through exactly what you need to do in order to start a blog.
- First, Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. You can just pick a random one here or find one that you actually like. You can change it later so it’s not a big deal or just scroll to the bottom and skip this step. Remember, there are many free ones too!
- Click on “Start Building”
- On the next screen, you can choose “Business” or “Personal” – it’s up to you. Or, you can click the “I don’t need help.”
WOOHOO! You now have a WordPress blog. You will have to work on the design and producing high-quality content, of course. Good luck!
If you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email and I can help you out. That’s what I’m here for so don’t be afraid to send me an email at email@example.com
Some general tips for how to navigate WordPress:
- You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side when you are logged in.
- If you want to add an image, click on “Media” on the left-hand side.
- You can go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets” in order to add items to your sidebar, footer, and so on.
- If you are looking for a way to send newsletters or emails to your readers, I recommend Convertkit.
- If you are looking into the actual design of your blog, Genesis seems to always be the most popular. Genesis is used on my blog, and I highly recommend it. Or, there are free themes through WordPress you can use too. Just go to “Appearance” on the left-hand side when you are logged into your WordPress website and click on “Themes,” then activate whichever one you are interested in testing out. By doing this, you can start designing your website easily! Another option would be to buy a premade blog design, such as through Beautiful Dawn Designs. She provides great premade designs for just $45 and this is probably the easiest and quickest design option.
- EDIT January, 2018: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger (even if you’re a new blogger!), then you NEED this course.
GET STARTED NOW!
Chat with me now on my website for any questions! or call me at 770-685-4499