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So, you decided that you want to start a blog? Perfect – then you came to the right place!
In this post, I will take you through all of the necessary steps to get you started and on your way with your very own blog.
There is no need to get nervous. It is not as difficult as it seems and you definitely do not need to be super technical.
So, how to start a blog?
6 Simple Steps to Start a Blog
Below are the simple steps you will need to take to start your blog. We will get into the details for each one.
- Determine the focus for your blog
- Choose a blogging platform
- Sign up for web hosting services with Bluehost
- Come up with a domain name
- Install WordPress
- Design your blog
Step 1: Determine the Focus for Your Blog
Are you planning to sell a product or a service? Or are you passionate about a certain topic?
This step is for you to decide what you want to blog about.
Here are a couple of key things to keep in mind:
- Pick a topic or focus that you are interested in or passionate about
- Make sure that there are and will be plenty of material for discussion
The goal for your blog is to become an authority or trusted resource for your topic or focus.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
There are several blogging platforms that you can use to start your blog. However, I personally use and recommend WordPress.
- It is easy to set up and maintain
- It is free to use (although you may need to spend a little money on a domain and hosting services – more on that below)
- You are in good company with millions of other websites that also use WordPress (but don’t worry – your blog will not get lost in the millions as WordPress has many different themes and designs to help you stand out)
- Given its community of users, WordPress is constantly being improved and updated. In fact, there is a whole industry focused on improving, developing, and designing more functions and features for WordPress
Wait. How come there are two version of WordPress?
- WordPress.com – With this version, your blog would be using the WordPress platform and hosted on their domain
- WordPress.org – With this version, your blog would be using the WordPress platform but you are responsible to arrange for your own hosting and domain
So it sounds like WordPress.com is the way to go, right? Well, the answer depends on what you want to do with your blog. If you simply want to write and have no preference in the design of your blog, no plan to really monetize it,and no interest in the overall features, then WordPress.com is a good option for you. WordPress.com is easier to set up because it gives you less control over your blog. And while it is free to start with, it will require you to pay for certain upgrades and features – which can end up costing you more in the long run.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, will cost you a bit of money (though not much – as you will see below) to get started. You will also need to put in a little bit more work, but, in exchange, you will have full control over your blog and more options to monetize it.
While WordPress.com may sound tempting because it is free and requires less work to set up, WordPress.org is the clear choice and my recommendation based on the benefits and potentially lower costs in the long run.
Step 3: Sign up for Web Hosting Services
In order for your blog to reach your readers, it needs to be available on the web and fully functional at all times. That is why it is important for your blog to be hosted by a highly reliable web hosting company that provides excellent services and fast speeds at an affordable price, which is why I personally use and recommend Bluehost.
Let’s begin – Start by clicking here to go to Bluehost.
Once the page opens, click on the “get started now” button.
Next, choose the hosting plan. If you are just starting out, you may want to go with the basic plan since you can always upgrade at a later time. However, review your options and select the plan that best fits your needs.
Step 4: Come up With a Domain Name
Your domain name is your blog’s address on the web. For example, www.pennywisedollarwiser.com is my domain name.
Here are a few tips when coming up with your domain name:
- Pick a domain name that is easy to remember by picking one that is easy to say and spell
- Pick a domain name that is unique, fun, and interesting
- Pick a domain name that ends in .com as it is more credible and is most people’s first instinct when typing out a domain name
Hopefully, the domain name that you had in mind is available. If not, just keep trying and you will eventually get one.
Additional Hosting Options
Once you have your domain name, it is time to create your Bluehost account and proceed with your order. In addition to your contact information and payment details, Bluehost will also offer you with a few more hosting options. If you are just starting out, you can skip the additional options for now since you can always look to add these options at a later time.
However, there are two hosting options worth looking at – Domain Privacy Protection and Site Backup Pro.
Domain Privacy Protection will help protect your privacy by preventing your name and contact details from being published on the web registration. So you will still own the website, but everyone else does not need to know that you own the website.
Site Backup Pro will automatically back up your blog periodically, so you can always restore your work at the latest backup point and avoid losing your work – although, there are free WordPress plugins (tools) that does this too.
Once you have made your selections and completed your purchase, Bluehost will send you a welcome email that includes your control panel (cpanel) login details. Be sure you keep this email for future reference.
Step 5: Install WordPress
Fortunately, Bluehost has made it very easy to install WordPress to your website.
Let’s go back to Bluehost and click on the “login” button on the upper right hand corner.
Use the cPanel login details from the welcome email to log into Bluehost.
Once you have logged in, click on the “Install WordPress” button under the “website” section.
Then click on the “Get Started” button.
Then choose the domain you just created. You can leave the directory field blank unless you have a good reason to create a subfolder. Once done, click on the “Next” button.
Bluehost just needs a few more details from you such as what to call your blog (it can be the same or completely different from your domain name) and your WordPress login credentials. I definitely recommend keeping the box for “Automagically create a new database for this installation” checked.
Once you are done filling out the necessary fields and checking off the right boxes, click on the “Install” button.
After WordPress has been installed, you will receive an email with details on how to access your new WordPress site.
Step 6: Design Your Blog
Now it is time to create the look and feel of your blog.
Start by looking for a WordPress theme with site designs and features that you would like for your blog.
Do note that there are thousands upon thousands of free themes you can choose from. There are also many premium themes that require you to pay in order to use those themes for your blog. While there is no right answer to which theme you should pick, I do believe that a good premium theme is worth the investment because it will help you stand out.
Once you have made your decision and came up with your blog design, it will be time to start creating some content for your blog!