Are you thinking about starting a blog? Well, this simple guide covers everything on how to start a blog on Cloudways.
Suppose you want to build a passive form of income, write on topics you enjoy, build a website, learn technical stuff, and create connections with like-minded individuals. In that case, blogging is the perfect platform for you.
With countless bloggers making over $5k a month, blogging can become your main income stream.
In the past eight months of blogging, I’ve learned countless things and have built my confidence in this online world.
With this step-by-step guide below, you’ll be able to get your blog up and running on Cloudways servers within no time.
Let’s get straight into it!
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links, where I may receive a small commission on purchases at no cost to you. This web hosting is one that I thoroughly recommend for all bloggers, and I use it myself. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Why Start a Blog on Cloudways?
Here are three reasons why I think you should start a blog on Cloudways in 2021.
A self-hosted blog is where you sign up for a paid web hosting account like Cloudways, buy your own domain name, and host your blog on a platform like WordPress.org.
Self-hosting your blog gives you the most freedom for designing and monetizing your blog.
Whereas you could sign up for a free blog site with Blogger or Tumblr, but be limited by the design elements and monetization options. Also, your domain name will look cheap, looking like [domain name].blogspot.com.
A self-hosted blog on Cloudways is the way to go if you want various monetization options and a reputable-looking blog.
Speed is Crucial
If you want a speedy blog from the get-go, Cloudways will help you achieve it.
Cloudways web hosting has servers worldwide, helping your content get shown as fast as possible to your audience.
Page speed is also a ranking factor in Google, so it’s super important to have a quick-loading website.
After migrating one of my other blogs from Bluehost to Cloudways, the Google Pagespeed Insights score jumped from 75 to 96 without having to do anything.
Here’s a page speed test of my recent blog post. This blog is run on Cloudways Digital Ocean’s 1GB plan that costs $10 a month.
Did you know to get a $2.99 a month hosting deal, you have to fork out the total 3-year plan upfront? Meaning it’ll cost $100+ upfront.
I didn’t know when I first started blogging and was misled into buying three years, to which I subsequently left two months later (an expensive mistake).
With Cloudways, they charge their plans month-to-month, meaning you’re never tied into a plan for years to come. You can also upscale your server at any time without extra charges.
Start your blog with Cloudways and receive a $15 credit (1.5 months FREE) when using my link.
GET STARTED WITH CLOUDWAYS
Cloudways Web Hosting
Cloudways is the web hosting I use and love with my blog. With its 99.99% uptime reliability and fast hosting speeds, it’s a solid web host to choose from.
- 24/7 live chat
- Dedicated backups
- No upfront cost (7-day free trial)
- Free site migration
- Scale the server whenever you want to
- More expensive
- More complex for beginners to use
Create a Blog on Cloudways in 6 Easy Steps
Let’s get straight into how to start a blog on Cloudways, split into six easy-to-follow steps.
1. Pick a Niche
A niche is the main topic area of your blog. For example, photography is a broad niche, whereas landscape photography is a more specific niche.
If you’re unsure about niche selection, make sure to ask yourself a couple of these things before choosing a niche for your blog:
- Are you passionate about the niche? Will you be able to write blog posts for years in the selected niche without being bored of it?
- Does the selected niche have an audience behind it? You have to make sure that there’s an audience big enough for the niche.
I’ll explain this more thoroughly below.
Passionate About the Niche?
I ask this question because you have to be passionate about the topic you’ve selected.
Why you may ask?
Because if you’re not passionate about the chosen topic, then you won’t be excited to write about it for months or years to come. The audience will also be able to pick up on your writing tone.
Also, you will not be making money in the first 3 – 6 months, so you’ll most likely abandon the blog if you aren’t passionate about it.
Does the Niche Have an Audience?
The second important thing to research when choosing a niche is finding out if it has an audience behind it.
There’s no point in writing about topics that no one is searching for. It’s a waste of time and won’t make you money.
A simple way to find if people are searching the topic is to do a quick keyword search on Ubersuggest.
Search up the topic name and your desired region (like the USA).
If it has over 1000 searches a month, it’s a good sign that shows you that people are searching for it.
2. Choose a Domain Name
The second step after you’ve chosen your desired niche is to buy a domain name.
A domain name is a URL, or websites name, like ‘strivingblogger.com.’
It would be best if you chose a domain name that’s relevant to your niche, is short and easy to remember, as well as is creative.
If you’re struggling to develop a name, research your competitors and see what domain names they have. You could also brainstorm similar popular ideas in the niche.
Now, if you’ve brainstormed a perfect domain name and find out that it’s taken, you can also use a thesaurus to find a similar name.
I wanted my domain name to be ‘aspiringblogger,’ but found out that the name was taken. I searched synonyms on Thesaurus.com for aspiring and found striving instead, which is a relevant and perfect name.
Tip: Avoid using dashes (-) or misspelled words as they can be harder to remember and may look unprofessional.
Buy the Domain Name
After you’ve chosen your domain name, you can now buy it through a registrar. I purchased mine through GoDaddy, but here’s a list of other registrars you can also buy from.
Domain registrars to buy through:
3. Buy Hosting Through Cloudways
Now it’s time to get your blog up and running. This process shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes.
This web hosting is a bit complex to start with, but it should be a breeze if you follow these steps exactly.
Start your blog with Cloudways and receive a $15 credit (1.5 months FREE) when using my link.
GET STARTED WITH CLOUDWAYS
Sign up by clicking “Spin Up My First Server For Free” on Cloudways home page.
Input all of your details and click “Start Free.”
Next, it’ll take you to a page like this. This page is where you deploy your server (hosting plan) and managed application (WordPress).
Choose the newest version of WordPress in the “Select Your Application” box.
Name the “Managed App,” your blog name, and the server whatever you want.
Choose the Digital Ocean provider, and scale the server size back to 1GB. It isn’t necessary for beginners to need anything more than that, as the 1GB option can handle 10k – 20k visits per month.
Remember, these plans are month-to-month and can be scaled whenever necessary in the future.
Next, choose the server location where you aim to get most of your traffic from. I chose San Francisco.
Now click “Launch Now” in the bottom right-hand corner.
Your new server is launching; this will take around 5 – 7 minutes to complete.
4. Launch WordPress
After your server has launched, click on the “Applications” tab and your blog name. (I have two applications as I run two blogs, you’ll only have one.)
It will automatically take you to your Application Management page. From here, click on the Application URL, which starts with ‘wordpress.’
Clicking on that link will launch a webpage like this. This is your blog!
To login to your WordPress page, type in ‘/login’ or ‘/wp-admin’ after the URL and hit enter.
This will take you to a login page.
The login details are on the ‘Access Details’ page under the ‘Admin Panel’ section. It should have the email you signed up with and a pre-generated password (you can change the password with the pencil icon later on).
Copy the login details into the WordPress login page and click ‘Log In. ‘
Now you’ve logged into your WordPress dashboard and the backend area of your blog.
In the next step, we’ll remove the pre-generated domain name and point your domain to Cloudways servers.
5. Point your Domain to Cloudways Servers
Head to the Domain Management tab in ‘Application Management.’ Enter your primary domain (the one you’ve already purchased) in the text box and click ‘Save Changes.’ You don’t need to put HTTPS:// into the box, only like [yourdomain.com].
After clicking ‘Save Changes,’ it will take you back to the ‘Access Details’ page, the domain name will have changed from the temporary one to your official one.
This isn’t finished yet.
We still need to point your domains’ DNS to Cloudways servers.
Head over to your domain registrar’s ‘My Domains’ section. In my case, I’d go to GoDaddy and click on my domain name.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Manage DNS. ‘
It will take you to your DNS Management for the domain name. Click on the pencil icon for the A-Type Record; this will allow you to edit the record. It should look exactly like the one below.
Do not change or get rid of other records. Only change the A-Type Record.
After you’re in the edit screen for the A-Type record, go back to the ‘Access Details’ page on Cloudways and copy your Public IP.
Head to your domain registrar’s page and paste the IP address into the ‘Points to ‘text box. Make no other changes and click ‘Save. ‘
The record should look like this:
- Type: A Record
- Host: @
- Points to: [Your Cloudways Public IP number]
- TTL: Custom
- Seconds: 600
After a short period, refresh the webpage that has your temporary domain on it. The temporary domain should now be changed to the purchased one. (This can sometimes take from 5 minutes to 1+ hours).
6. Activate SSL
To activate SSL for your new blog, simply head over to the ‘SSL Certificate’ section under ‘Application Management. ‘
Choose ‘Let’s Encrypt, ‘enter your email address, domain name, and press ‘Install Certificate.’
A popup box will appear labeled ‘Enable HTTPS Redirection, ‘click ‘Enable HTTPS. ‘
That’s it! As simple as that, you’ve successfully secured your WordPress site.
To login again, simply type in ‘/login’ or ‘/wp-admin’ after the URL. It will take you to the login page, and you can enter your details again.
Start Using Cloudways
1. Choose a Theme
The first thing you should do after logging into WordPress is to install a theme. You can install a free or paid theme; either option is acceptable. It just depends on your needs. Just make sure to opt for a fast and lightweight theme.
The theme I use is Salient – Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme by Themenectar.
2. Install Plugins
After you’ve chosen and installed your theme, you should start installing plugins. Plugins are downloadable software that can add new features and functionality to your WordPress website.
- Grow Social by Mediavine: A customizable social sharing button that gets added to all of your blog posts.
- Yoast SEO: An easy-to-use SEO tool for blog posts.
- LuckyWP Table of Contents: A table of contents that you can add to the start of posts for easy navigation.
- WP Cerber Security, Anti-spam & Malware Scan: Stops spam comments and bot attempted logins.
Tip: Don’t go crazy installing heaps of plugins, as they can make your site slow down.
3. Create Important Pages
Now that you’ve got the foundation of your blog done (theme & plugins), you should start creating essential pages.
These pages include:
- Home: The main page of your blog. Can customize however you please.
- About: A quick little summary of yourself + your intentions with the blog.
- Contact: A page with a contact form that lets people send you emails.
- Disclaimers: How do you monetize your blog? Explain how you make money through affiliate links, advertising, etc.
- Blog: A page that holds all recent blog posts.
4. Start Writing
Now that you’ve done blogging basics, your next move is to start writing blog posts. This may seem daunting but don’t worry, the bloggers making millions weren’t perfect writers, to begin with.
Aim for 80% perfect and hit publish.
Writing tips for beginners:
- Don’t spend too long customizing your blog. Just get the bare minimum done and start writing. No one will be reading your blog in the first month, so you can update gradually in that time.
- Once finished writing a post, read it aloud. This will help you pick up on mistakes that you can’t find when reading in your head.
- Make your content skimmable. Don’t include huge chunks of text. Make sure to break it up as I have in this post.
- Realize that you can continually update old posts. Within a few months of writing, you’ll naturally get better. So you can always go back to old posts and revise your writing.
Recommended read: First Blog Post Ideas in 2021 [20 Examples]
So now you’ve finished all the steps for starting and launching your own blog with Cloudways. I’m happy I chose Cloudways as my web host, and I hope you have an enjoyable experience with them too!
Blogging is a journey, and I’m so excited I got to help you at the beginning of yours.
Remember that blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, and it’ll take a while to become profitable. So my advice is to enjoy the journey, learn from your mistakes, put in the hard work, and persevere. Trust me; you’ve got this!
If you’d ever like to come back to this post, be sure to bookmark or share it. 😃
Did you successfully start a blog on Cloudways with this guide?