Honest Tutorials: How to Start a Blog in College

Quick Note: This post features a video on how to setup your own WordPress blog in well under 10 minutes. Make sure to join in with a comment!

At the beginning of “The Matrix” (1999) a trench-coat wearing soldier from the future named Morpheus presents two pills to then mere mortal, Neo.





“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Fortunately for you and I, Neo takes the red pill then proceeds to basically save the world from robots.

Unfortunately for you, no one presents you with this decision in life. Instead, you’re told to go to school, get a job, contribute to society, and not make much noise in the process.

What’s that? Get a job?

That’s right; you’re in college to get a job, dummy. And you better! However, somewhere along the line this magical process went haywire. Do you know how many kids graduate these days and don’t get a job?

Sure Obama says the economy is improving, but…is it?

By this point in time post-college, you’ve lost your ability to make noise. You’re out in the real world – trust me – it’s really tough and I’m not quite sure how I made it to be honest.

That’s why you need a blog.

A blog is your ticket out of the traditional path of the American Dream; it lets you write your own.

If you do it right, a blog can make you an expert in your field, opening new career outlets you’d never thought of and even brining new streams of revenue.

It’s not easy, but is has happened to me, and you should’ve seen my GPA in college (let’s just say B’s were a welcome sight).

How to Start Your Own Blog

When I started Honest College, I had a simple goal in mind – to create a platform where anyone could come by and share honest advice.

By two strokes of luck and one stroke of skill good fortune, we made our small community known. We’ve helped thousands of kids get ahead to date.

But for about two years, I forgot to write down the one piece of advice that made the biggest difference for me. Until now.

Take the Red Pill (you don’t get this life with blue pills)

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No one told me to start blogging in 2010, and honestly there are a lot of reasons to not begin. Job hunting, bills, girlfriend, all that. But now that I’m a few years in, I’m getting gigs on the web’s top blogs, travelling to conferences, meeting awesome people in my niche and working as my own boss.

Heck, I’m building website for legit companies, like the Mayor.

All the cliché stuff has come true; and I can prove it to ya – just Google my name and see what you find :)

So where did I start?

If you are blogging, there are lots of ways to get started. For example, you could use a free blog hosting service like Blogger, Tumblr, or even Weebly.

Ever heard of these?

You could go for a free blogging site, however I have a few problems with the route:

  • On a free blog, you don’t own your work. I have friends who’ve tried to take a free blog the distance to sell their music and their art only to wake up one morning to an email saying it was pulled down for some odd reason.
  • On a free blog, you don’t get your own domain name. Instead, you get a subdomain, like www.honestcollege.blogspot.com, for example. This generally looks unprofessional and is harder to communicate in person – so people end up forgetting your site.

Free blogs will always be available for beginners, so try them out. However if you’re serious about blogging and actually want to make it, I recommend getting a self-hosted blog. Here’s a hint: about 10 years ago this was much harder to do, but it’s become really easy today. That said, people are still super impressed, as if you made the next Amazon or something. You just register a domain name and hosting (like a cubby), install a blogging software, then you have your own blog aka a website.

You can design everything how you want, you can earn good money (and I’ve got guides on how to do just that) and did I mention it’s nice to have your own website for a lot of reasons in college?

So, let’s take a look in this video at how it’s done.

Create Your Own Blog aka Website on WordPress

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WordPress is free, open-source blogging software you use on your own domain name to run a website.

When you begin, you start with a default blog format. In the video below, I show you how to set this up, then transform a new blog into a complete website with themes and plugins.

It’s really fun, simple, and if you can setup a Facebook or Gmail you’ll be fine. Seriously, your Psych 101 class you copied your way through was harder than this.

“I was always a bit intimated by WordPress.” Now that I use it (the .org version) on all my blogs, I get what all the fuss was about. It’s unstoppable; I love logging in each morning.” — Greg Narayan, Founder

Why WordPress, you ask?

  • It powers nearly 20% of the web including the website and blogs of New York Times, Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg (now Snoopzilla)
  • It’s the best place for beginners with no previous knowledge
  • It’s also the most conducive to monetization with Adsense and other forms of reviewing and marketing of products you can choose
  • Because of all this, countless employers are putting WordPress CMS (Content Management System) in their job descriptions

Because everyone thinks setting up a self-hosted blog is impossible at first (it’s not) I embedded a video below where we register an actual domain name at HostGator, install WordPress.org, and publish a post in well under 10 minutes of your time.

Why HostGator? You need a blog host of some sort. More below in blue.

This is exactly how I’d set up a blog if I were starting all over – I hope it serves to help you!

Little bit impatient? In the video, we setup a complete demo WordPress.org blog I’ve titled “The First Try Blog” with all the fixings the pros are using. Click here to visit the First Try Blog now.

Disclaimer: Getting a self-hosted blog always requires selecting a blog host and there are hundreds of providers on the web today, some good some bad. GoDaddy, HostGator and BlueHost are a few. To save you some time, my choice is HostGator – the blog host I’ve used for years on all of my blogs and online businesses. Please do your homework anyways though. Know two things: if I was going to spend hours upon hours making a video guide, you can be darn sure I’d do it right, and two, if you click through my link here to visit HostGator and setup your blog, I’ll earn a helpful small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

And, to help you save some money, input coupon code “dearblogger” (that’s our sister site) to save 30% on your entire order at HostGator.


Then, when you file taxes each year, consider writing off the cost of a domain and web hosting as a “cost of entry to conducting business.”

There you go, I’ve showed you exactly how to setup a powerful new blog the same way the pros do it. You can always ask me any questions in the comments, or on Twitter (@gregnarayan). I’ve given you all the tools though – you have no excuse to not begin!

Enjoy your new blog!

How to Use Your New Blog

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Now that you have a blog, it’s all growth and profits and domination, right? Not quite.

As many of you know by now, I also run a full blogging help community called Dear Blogger where I spend several hours a day (quite happily) helping folks start blogging and learn the ropes.

So, to help you hit the ground running, I’ve listed some articles I think will be uber helpful to you as you get branch out into this “blogosphere” place.

These aren’t necessarily the “best” articles over at Dear Blogger, but they’re my favorites at the moment and show you a good variety of what’s possible with a blog.

Comments – Time to Practice

A huge part of being a new blogger is commenting, and eventually getting comments of your own. Why not start here; it’s Honest College after all and no one is judging.

If you’re new to blogging or just got started with your own blog using this guide, please post a comment! It would be great to hear from you and the Honest College community loves helping out. Thanks!

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