How to Start a Blog in Under 10 Minutes with Zero Tech Experience
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
– Margaret Atwood
Time Sensitive: I believe a blog is hands-down the most powerful passion-discovery and career-transition tool on the planet.
So today I’m sharing a short video I filmed on how anyone can start and publish a blog in under 10 minutes (even if you know nothing about technology or the Internet). I know many of you have held off on this for years for all kinds of reasons. I hope this finally gets to take a stand and publish something. We also have a special LYL partnership to get you set up for 20% off the regular ridiculously low blog startup cost. So that means it’ll cost you somewhere between zero dollars and $3.95, depending on what option you choose. No more excuses. Time to start writing.
Oh and I’m also giving away a $500 ticket (or two) to World Domination Summit 2014 to one of you who decide to join our start-a-blog contest this month. We’ve already had 70 people enter and I hope you’ll join in!
Read on for details and why writing (and a blog) completely transformed my career…
Writing has made me who I am.
In 2003, while sitting at a small café in Sevilla, Spain (where I was living at the time), I picked up my first journal and began to write.
From that moment my ideas started to take on a new life.
My conversations changed.
My thinking began to develop on a totally different level.
I’m not sure why I decided to write that first line, but I do know that ripple started a trend of experiments and discoveries that slowly took over my world. From there everything began to change.
Those first journal entries lead to discovering an online platform to do the same – a blog.
That little blog experiment turned into what Live Your Legend is today.
None of it would have existed without putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys).
So today I have a challenge for you.
It’s simple, and I fully believe those who decide to participate will make dramatic progress in finding and doing work you love in the coming weeks and months.
Also, one of you will win a $500 ticket to World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon!
I believe WDS is hands-down the best event of the year for meeting and connecting with inspiring, passionate, world-changing people. Plus, LYL hosts a party there every year. 😉 A couple weeks ago I bought an extra ticket just for this contest!
**Important: But realize that the real benefit in participating in our Start-A-Blog Challenge will come from what you learn about yourself through consistent writing and sharing your ideas, which means everyone who participates will win. And you’ll win big. The WDS ticket is just a little bonus!
So let’s get to it…
The past month has been filled with articles about self-guided education, and I’ve loved seeing how much you all have embraced it.
So today, I want to share the most powerful tool I’ve found for learning about myself and discovering and developing my passions. It’s also the perfect way to learn to think like – and become – an entrepreneur.
Here’s why a blog is so damn powerful…
Writing Leads to Opportunity
A blog is simply the easiest way available for publishing ideas on the Internet for others to see. It encourages you to get ideas out of your head and into the world, which then allows you to further develop them and give you a chance to showcase those thoughts as well as your passions and talents to others. And when you do that, interesting things start to happen.
That’s exactly how LYL came to be. I started a blog as a fun experiment six years ago. I had no idea what I was doing. But I had ideas I wanted to share. Over time, as my thinking, writing and passions developed, I was able to realize the way I really wanted to help people. Then LYL was born.
Developing your writing also happens to be one of the best ways for learning how to communicate, process thoughts and ideas, stay accountable to big plans and life changes, build an audience, develop your persuasion skills and to simply become a more interesting citizen of the world.
Daily writing is one of the most powerful habits I’ve developed in the history of my career.
And SO many of you ask about how and when to start a blog. So today is your answer.
When is the best time? To be honest, a long time ago.
When’s the second best time? Right now. 🙂
With today’s tools you can be up and running in literally less than 10 minutes, even if you have ZERO tech experience. And depending on what option you choose, it can be free or cost less than a latte a month.
If you’re serious about living your legend, it’s something you can’t not do.
Because I feel so strongly about the power of consistent writing, I’ve bought an extra ticket to the 2014 World Domination Summit, and one of you who starts a blog today will win it!
I’ll announce more details of the contest soon, but for now all you need to know is that you need a blog to participate (and it can be the most basic blog in the world), and you must have started it by the end of October. If for some reason you can’t make it to WDS, I’ll give a different prize valued at the same $500 – but I’d strongly suggest you figure out a way to come. Add the blog and WDS together and you’ll likely never be the same.
You already have a blog? Great! You can still win the WDS ticket. More on that soon.
Now, it’s time for action.
How to Start a Blog (& Publish a Post) in Less than 10 Minutes with Zero Tech Experience:
*Note: The instructions below are intentionally very, very simple to get you up and running with a totally basic WordPress blog so you can start publishing ideas ASAP.
There are about a million other decisions you could (and eventually probably will) make regarding your blog or site. Please do not worry about that today. All that matters is getting something published. Don’t worry about how it looks. Today is about creating your sandbox and starting to play a little. Landscaping (and other excuses for being afraid of getting a little dirty) can be addressed later.
For the more advanced folks who already have a blog, this is your next step: The 4 Pillars to Starting a Blog that Actually Matters (& grow it by 160x in 2 years). But if you don’t have a blog yet, just follow the steps below. It will be much quicker and simpler.
1. Sign up for the most basic website hosting account at Bluehost.
*To make this as easy as possible, see the video I recorded at the end of this step that walks you through setting up a blog and publishing your first post in under 10 minutes.
I fully endorse Bluehost. I am a proud affiliate partner of theirs (and LYL readers get a special 20% discount from the public price, making it even more ridiculously cheap), and it’s where all our domains live. I’ve tried a lot of hosts in the past, and this is by far the best discount option available based on my personal experience and that of the people I respect online.
They’ve also been a top recommended web host by WordPress since 2005. All you need is the most basic option, which comes with a free domain (website address) of your choosing. The only add-on you might want is Domain WHOIS Privacy ($9.95/yr), which keeps your personal information from being made public on your site.
You do not need any of the other add-ons or up-sells, such as Site Lock or Site Backup. All of that can be sorted out later. We want to keep this as simple as possible!
One reason we love Bluehost is because their customer support is awesome. If you’re unsure of what to do, just start up a chat session with their support team and they’ll get your issues sorted out.
A few clarifying points:
- This Bluehost setup will run you about the cost of one latte a month (you pay the first year in advance). It’s a very small price for finally getting traction on what makes you come alive. There are also some totally free options through sites like Blogger or Tumblr, although to be honest, I don’t really recommend those since you have much less control and won’t actually own the website. So if you go that route and decide to take your blog and site more seriously in the future, they can be a total pain in the ass to switch to something like the Bluehost option. You will also have a ton more resources and options available through the slightly less than free option we suggest. It’s your call, though.
- Since we’re an affiliate of Bluehost (as well as the other tools mentioned in the post), we will get a small commission if you decide to use them (although, due to our partnership with them, the price is actually 20% less for you). As I hope you know by now, we only recommend things that we believe will genuinely help you live your legend. I don’t care where you set up your blog as long as you get something live and start writing. But if you do sign up through our Bluehost link, thanks for your support! And if you’d rather not use our affiliate link (and pay the public price) you’re welcome to use this Bluehost link instead.
- Due to the increased traffic and complexity of Live Your Legend, we host it on a more robust platform via WP Engine (which I LOVE), but at $99+ per month, that is definitely not the option you need to start out.
Step #1: Watch this simple video to walk you through every step of the process in under 10 minutes…
Don’t see a video? Click here.
For the rest of the detailed written steps, read below (but the above should be all you need):
3. Pick your blog name (called a URL or domain name).
This is part of the sign-up process through Bluehost in Step #1. When you sign up for basic hosting, you get a website name for free.
Keep it simple. Don’t hold off just because you can’t come up with the wittiest web 7.0 name. Using your first and last name (or a similar rendition) is fine and might even be better since you might not know the specific niche you want to focus on. You’ll be free to cover whatever topics you choose. Using your name can also allow the site to serve as a simple online resume if nothing else, and it helps with your name’s Google rankings.
4. Set up WordPress on your new site (or better yet, have Bluehost do it for you for free).
Once you’ve purchased your hosting/domain, you are ready to install WordPress, which will allow you to edit and update your site without needing to do anything technical. Most every blog on the planet from LYL to ZenHabits to The 4-Hour Work Week are all run on WordPress.
Installing/setting up the very basic version of WordPress on a new Bluehost account is a pretty straightforward process. But I’m always a fan of having customer support do it for me. They should be happy to set it up. Just tell them something like, “Hey, I’m excited to get started with my blog. A big reason I chose Bluehost is because I’m not technical, and I heard you guys could get WordPress installed for me super fast. Could you please install WordPress on my new site so I can get started publishing content? Thanks so much!”
If you stall out on any of these steps, you can always search Google or YouTube for a video tutorial on setting this stuff up, but again, that’s what customer support is there for. They love helping new clients.
5. Play around/get familiar with WordPress & pick your theme (not mandatory).
A theme is kind of like a template. It’s an out-of-the-box design for your blog to make it look sharp without needing a designer. There are literally thousands upon thousands to choose from. Again, don’t stall out on this one. Pick one fast, or better yet, just keep the standard theme for now. The good news is you can trade out themes at the click of a button later on.
6. Publish something.
The goal is to start getting your ideas out to the world as soon as possible. Keep it short to start so you actually do it. Maybe even just a few paragraphs for the first post – perhaps covering your reasons for starting the blog. Or just create something fun. Your call. This is your world. Anything goes. If you’re scared to put yourself out there (as I certainly was), remember not that many people are reading it, at least yet!
7. Write consistently.
Do it daily or weekly. Ideally, make it happen first thing in the morning. Start with one sentence. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but any time you get an idea that excites you or notice something on your mind, open up your computer and get it out there. Treat this as your online journal of sorts. Write about what fires you up or catches your interest. Developing your writing is a priceless skill, and the refinement of ideas that will result is magical.
If a passion or idea doesn’t have room to breathe, it will die.
8. Tell a few people.
Send out an email to those close to you, or maybe announce it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, wherever. Explain your plan to keep your ideas online and welcome your buddies to keep up and follow your progress. Maybe even ask them to check in here and there to keep you accountable. Nothing beats the expectations of others when it comes to taking action.
9. Set up a way for people to sign up to get your posts via email (also optional, but very useful).
You want to make it easy for people to pay attention to what you’re doing. Collecting their email is the best and most focused way to do this. There are different free options available, but given the importance of creating a community, I’d recommend a more robust and user-friendly option. For this, I love AWeber email management. They do an amazing job of making it easy to get started without having to be technical or knowing how to code.
You can try their service out for a dollar a month. And they have a really cool visual editor for intuitively creating nice-looking email forms to put on your blog. Go here to get set up on AWeber. Again, this is not crucial in order to start writing, so if you want to wait, that’s totally fine.
10. See what happens.
My favorite part!
None of this would be here without a blog.
Seven years ago, I built my first blog without even knowing it. It started as an experiment to see if a guy who didn’t know a thing about technology could start a website.
The site was hideous, but I was damn proud of it – I loved it. The focus of Reading for Your Success initially was writing book summaries and recommendations on all the personal development books I was reading. I had no intention of turning it into a business, let alone its own movement. I didn’t even know that was a possibility.
Most importantly, it was an outlet for me to explore my ideas and what actually mattered to me. At first my writing absolutely sucked (the posts are still in this site’s archives if you really want to see them, but I’d rather you didn’t.) 😉
Over time, I learned what topics made my heart race and what seemed to connect with others. Knowing people were watching (even if only my parents and girlfriend at first) motivated me to continue to learn and grow.
An audience naturally makes us want to get better.
Before long, more and more people were asking for help on different fun things, especially related to quitting a keyboard-pounding job and doing work that mattered. One thing led to the next (i.e. I worked my ass off), the community grew along with my passion, and then Reading For Your Success eventually became Live Your Legend. Those three initial members of the community turned into tens of thousands.
The site and topics started to become my personal brand. A brand I was proud of. One I believed in.
That brand turned into a career.
People had a reason to come to me, and a specific way they wanted help. And I absolutely loved helping them.
The confidence and conviction that came with it were priceless.
But building a business and movement is not why I started. If it was, I would have given up long ago.
I started because I was pursuing something that I thought might interest me. That continued for four years of exploring and refining, without any publicly visible progress. I kept at it because I’d found an outlet for focusing and honing the impact I wanted to have. And it was published in a place the whole world could see, if they decided to look.
Momentum is a powerful thing.
Once a snowball starts rolling, it become difficult to stop.
Give your ideas a place to grow and transform, and you might be surprised where they take you.
Actually, I know you will – and that’s the most exciting part of all!
It’s about time you get those ideas out of your head and share them with the world.
Serendipity is waiting,
Now it’s time to take some action. I want to see how many blogs we can start or revive in the next few days!
- Start your blog. Visit Bluehost, click the orange button and take 20 minutes. Do it right now.
- Write your first post. Anything goes, no matter how short or simple.
- Tell a few people and follow the steps above. And have some fun!