Step 1: Setting up my blog

Welcome to day 1 of my journey to make money online. In this post, I go over how I set up this blog, including the costs and time incurred.

1. Cloud or self-hosted?

There are two options when starting a new blog: cloud-hosted or self-hosted.

Some of the more popular cloud-hosted options include, Blogger, Wix and Weebly. Each of these companies offer “free” accounts, and for some people that might be fine. Personally, I don’t want to put up with their ads showing on my site. Of course you can upgrade your account and pay a monthly fee.

The benefit of a cloud-hosted blog really boils down to not having to worry about database maintenance and hosting accounts.

For me, I like to have complete control over my site, so I opted for the self-hosted option. Again, there are a number of different blog apps you can download and install, but I prefer WordPress. It’s easy to use, has a huge developer community and is entirely open source.

2. Get some web hosting

So to get your own self-hosted blog up and running you first need some hosting:

I went for a budget hosting company called “Hostwinds” and chose their WordPress Hosting Advanced Package.

I chose this company after doing about 30 minutes of research into budget hosts. User reviews were stacked in favour of Hostwinds and they got a great review in PCMag too.

Here’s what I like about the Advanced WordPress package:

  • 24/7 live support
  • servers configured for optimal WordPress use
  • free domain name
  • free SSL certificate
  • nightly backups
  • 30-day money back guarantee

I opted for a two-year hosting plan and that came to $191.76. The sign-up process took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.

3. Get a domain name

The second thing you need to do to get your own blog is buy a domain name. Fortunately, I had already purchased the domain name some time ago. I use for my domains.

However, the Hostwinds package included a free domain, so if you’re starting from zero, and only need 1 domain name, then you could skip this step by just going with the hosting package.

4. Get a WordPress theme

Ok, so far, you should have a hosting package, which ideally includes a domain name, or you purchased the domain separately. Before configuring all that, there’s one more thing to do: find a suitable WordPress theme for your new blog.

You have 2 options here. Go for a free theme, in which case I recommend browsing the WordPress theme repository – or – buy a premium theme. The main difference is that you’ll get support with your premium theme.

I opted for something in between. I chose a theme called GeneratePress, which is free to download. However, I purchased their premium add-on plugin which unlocks a whole lot of options. I was particularly interested in their pre-packaged theme designs. I really like their “Marketer” template, which is what I’m using for this blog.

5. Installing and configuring WordPress

6. Cost and Time

Web hosting – Hostwinds 2 year-plan40 mins$191.76
Domain name – GoDaddy 1-year .net domain20 mins$20
GeneratePress WordPress Theme20 mins$49.95
WordPress installation and setup30 mins$0
Total110 mins$261.71

7. Money made

Nothing to report so far$0

Money Made So Far


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