How to Start a Fitness Blog with Bluehost and WordPress in Under an Hour
Why You Should Start a Fitness Blog
My decision to start a fitness blog in 2014 was one of the best I’ve ever made. At the time, I didn’t realize how impactful something so simple could be on my life. From my experience, here are a few reasons to start a blog:
- Build authority and expertise in your industry/niche
- Personal portfolio and building a body of work
- Gain new skills (writing, design, technical, digital marketing, etc.)
- Creative outlet and personal fulfillment
- Potential income
- Job opportunities from new body of work and skill set
- Affiliate marketing for brands/products you use and love
- Course/Book/Product sales
While I’ve experienced all of these, the biggest impact has been related to income and career progression. The diversification of income from online entrepreneurship provides an earnings floor and safety net should you ever lose or leave a job. Having diversified income and potential revenue sources (along with saving money) allowed me to leave my day job to pursue other ventures. It’s a great feeling knowing that you have options and flexibility to make moves in your life, should the need arise.
Speaking more about online income, it’s worth mentioning that I’m Busch League compared to some bloggers who make $100,000+ per MONTH from their blogs. A majority of their income is generated by affiliate marketing, advertising, and product sales. I may not be on that level yet, but it’s incredibly motivating to know that your earning potential isn’t capped and is essentially limitless.
Note: I neglected affiliate marketing for years even though I regularly recommended products or services. It wasn’t until I went through the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course that I began making money from my honest recommendations. In my case, the course paid for itself in less than two weeks!
Ready to start your blog?
Where to Start
First things first, you want to own and host your blog. Free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, and Medium will limit your control and ability to monetize your site should you choose to.
I made the mistake of starting out on a free platform and went through a process of changing domains, platforms, and design a few times before figuring everything out. Don’t be like me, get it right from the start!
Note: As you can see in the image below, Ebates offers cash back for Bluehost purchases. You can sign up for Ebates here if you’re not already.
Next, you will see three different pricing options. If you’re starting small, go with the basic plan. You can always upgrade down the road if you need faster performance or more storage.
After selecting your plan, you will need to select your new domain or transfer it from another domain registrar like GoDaddy if it’s an existing domain.
Choosing your domain is challenging, to say the least. Here are a few things to consider in your domain decision:
- Keep it short – MasonFit.com wasn’t my first choice, but it’s short and easy to remember/tell someone about.
- Spelling – if you have to spell it out for someone, you may need to reconsider the name (unless it’s yourname.com)
- Be sure you’re not copying another popular website.
- Omit your name for branding purposes – MasonFit.com works as a personal blog but doesn’t scale to a bigger business. Eric Cressey of Cressey Sports Performance has said that using his name in the business has been a regret of his.
- Keep it relevant to the topic you’ll be blogging about.
- Wordplay is fine but avoid going overboard.
- Words look better in sentences or titles than domains – i.e., speedofart.com and whorepresents.com look great on a logo but not in an address bar. A name like “Woodruff” doesn’t mix well with “Fitness” because of the triple F’s in the URL.
As you’ll come to find out, many domains will be taken. The most important thing is to avoid domain selection issues preventing you from starting your blog. Just start.
You can always switch later or redirect your original domain to a new one. Noah Kagan, for example, spent $1.5 million on sumo.com after building a wildly successful business at sumome.com.
Once you’ve selected your domain name you will be taken to the final step of the sign-up process, finalizing your plan and entering billing information. You’ll have to pay for the full amount of your plan up front, so the 12-month will be the cheapest total. That said, be sure to look at the 24-month and others to compare prices. The only other upgrade I would recommend is the domain privacy, but you don’t have to have it.
Okay, you should be good to go. Now the fun begins.
Setting up Your Blog
This may sound confusing, but we’re going to use WordPress to create your blog. Before you scroll back up to where I said WordPress.com limits your freedom, let me explain. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are totally different. Confusing, right?
With WordPress.com, you can set up a blog for free and use their servers to host your blog (limiting your customization and monetization potential). WordPress.org, on the other hand, is an open source software that you install on your server and do whatever you want with – custom designs, advertising, affiliate marketing, etc.
Note: WordPress runs 27% of the entire internet.
That may sound complicated, but Bluehost makes it super easy to get started. All you have to do is click “Install WordPress” in the “Website” section. After you go through the steps to create your login credentials, you’ll be able to access your blog’s admin dashboard through your custom URL. (Keep your login credentials and URL safe.)
After you’ve logged into your WordPress dashboard, you’ll select a theme and start adding posts/pages. It’s easier than it sounds, so I won’t walk you through step by step. This would be a great time to tell you, be prepared to Google like crazy over the course of your blogging career. When I said I’ve developed many technical skills blogging, it’s due to making changes and adding plugins or features. You got this! If you have any specific questions or need help, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The (Almost) Final Step
One of the biggest mistakes I made early on (and continue to make) is not putting enough emphasis on my email list. Building an email subscriber list could make or break your blogging success, seriously. The leverage gained from a large, engaged email list is hard to imagine. Just know that many solopreneurs have completely retired or work while traveling the world thanks to their email list.
I’ve tried several email management systems over the years, but the first and only one that’s made managing a list easy enough that I’ll stay focused is ConvertKit. Their system is so user-friendly and eliminates all the fluff. If you want to get your blog off the ground first, I would understand that logic. In the meantime, to stay proactive, you could use ConvertKit’s educational materials to learn more about building a list.
The Final Step
The final step is the hardest part – writing your blog posts or articles. I would aim to get 10-20 high-quality posts out as soon as possible. After that, you will want to set a publishing schedule and stick to it. You don’t have to write a new post every day, but one post per week would be a great goal. Remaining relevant and at the forefront of your readers’ minds takes frequent posts.
Always remember content is king. If you publish great posts or release compelling content, people will come back for more. That said, self-promotion will be a must. Once you have a great post, spend time actively promoting it and getting it in front of as many eyes as possible. Potential channels include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Choose one that you’re great at or have the biggest engagement already and go all in on that platform.
Lastly, consistency is the end all be all. Building a successful blog or audience is going to take time, lots of time. There will come a time when you feel like no one cares about what you’re writing or sharing, and it will be partly true. But there will be a few people who truly care and love everything you write. Over time, those few turn into ten, and twenty, and two hundred, and ten thousand. Your efforts will snowball and before you know it, you’ll be an overnight success.
The Most Important Step
Start now and once you have forward momentum, don’t take your foot off the gas.
Elements of Style – The best tool for improving your writing
Pexels – Using high-quality images is essential to blogging success (these are free to do whatever you want with)
I want to see your creation. Send me a link via email or social media and I’ll share your new blog with my readers when you’re ready or give feedback if you’d like it. Good luck!