Been thinking about starting a blog? Here is your quick and easy guide on how to start a blog for the blogging newbie!
Starting a Blog is easy, but becoming a blogger can be tough
I always like to be upfront with anyone thinking about starting a blog. Blogging can be a lot of work. Don’t ever get into blogging if you think it will get you rich quick. Yes, you can make a lot of money with a blog, but it takes time and dedication.
The only blogs that don’t become successful are the ones who give up too easily.
So if you want to start a blog for profit, it’s absolutely 100% doable. Any blog, any niche. Just understand what you are getting yourself into first!
But even if you don’t make a ton of money, blogging can have some amazing benefits. Read the Benefits of Blogging and find out exactly how blogging changed my life… that doesn’t have anything to do with money. Although, making money with my blog has been pretty awesome too!
*This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.
Starting a blog
I wanted to start a blog years ago but I pushed it to the side because I had no technical skills and had no idea how to build a website. I thought I needed programmer experience, or hell… even just better computer knowledge!
Once I actually started to research how to start a blog, I almost cringed at how EASY it was. I can’t believe my fear of technically related stuff actually stopped me.
Starting a blog is so easy and trust me when I tell you, if I could do it then so can you!
Blogs are so much more than just an online diary. If you’re still confused about it then check out exactly what a blog is and how it makes money!
And if you are still super hesitant about starting a blog, then don’t worry. You have me here to help you through it step by step. You can follow my simple steps to start your blog with BlueHost below.
So just remember, the longer you take to get started, the longer it will take for you to be successful. I wish I would have started a blog years before I actually did!
But first, let’s look at what you need to do to get started…
6 steps to starting a blog:
- Decide what to blog about.
- Pick a domain name.
- Sign up with Bluehost
- Get started with WordPress.
- Pick a theme
- Start your Blog!
Before you start a blog, you definitely want to think about what kind of a blog you want… cause you’re going to need to name your blog based off of your writing topics. There are sooooo many options for topics to blog about.
Some popular blog topics:
- DIY/ home decor
A Lifestyle blog is when you just can’t decide what kind of a blog you want or you want to write about a few different topics (like I did!).
Once you really know what you want your topic to be, you will need to think of a good name for your blog. Try to keep it simple. 2-3 words are recommended for your name (and website domain). Too long will make it hard for people to remember. Complex words or words spelled uniquely will do the same.
Ok! Let’s get started creating your blog!
*Once you know what you want to name your blog, head over to BlueHost and sign up for website hosting!
First off, you want to be self-hosted. Why? (or more likely.. what does that mean?) I could get into all the mumbo-jumbo about what that means but the basics are… if you plan to monetize (make money from) your blog, then you need to be self-hosted.
Yes, it costs money (but not much). And Free blogging platforms sound great but it will make it really hard to work with advertisers or affiliates in the future. You also don’t have all the security features you would from a self-hosted platform. If you plan to make your blog a business, then those security features are a MUST.
BlueHost gives you your hosting and also includes a free domain name.
So think of BlueHost as the place you park your blog. WordPress is the place you design your blog.
For self-hosting, BlueHost is what I recommend all the way. They have wonderful 24/7 support and super easy one-click WordPress installation and setup. Which is perfect for us non-tech savvy people. In other words, all you need to really know is what the name of your blog is and the rest is simple!
Ok… Are you ready to start your blog? Let’s do this thing!
When you log into BlueHost, you will see a screen like this…
Don’t be shy, go ahead and hit that “get started now” button!
1) Select Your Plan and Domain…
BlueHost has several options but the basic plan should be good enough to start with. No need to pay the extra money and you can always upgrade later as your blog grows.
2) Select a domain name
After you select which plan you’re getting, you will have to select a domain name. This is the fun part because it’s where you start to feel like it’s real! Hopefully, by now you have spent a little time and come up with a good blog name. You cannot skip this step and do it later. So no pressure or anything, haha!
3) Pick Your Package
Once you name your website you will then go on to enter all your contact information. After that, you will be asked to select a plan. It may seem really intimidating to commit to a 36-month plan, but that’s what I recommend. You will get the best deal with the biggest savings if you sign up for 36 months.
*Not only do you get the best deal but it’s like you are truly committing to being a blogger.
I also recommend choosing the Domain Privacy Protection extra option. This affordable feature will hide your personal contact information from the public Registration Directory Services. But none of the other options are necessary, so don’t bother checking those.
After this, you will be asked to select a password. Make it something easy to remember because you will be using that password every time you log into your blog (which is every day if you are a serious blogger!)
The next few steps of setting up your password will look like this…
Congratulations! You officially have a website! It was THAT easy!
Now onto setting up your website with WordPress. This is the fun part because you will get to see your website in action and start making it pretty.
4) Set Up WordPress
You can set up and start working on your WordPress site right away. Click the blue login button in the “Congratulations!” window to get started.
5) Pick a theme
You will need to pick a theme for your blog. What’s a theme, you ask? It’s basically the blueprint for your blog. It’s almost like having your blog already created and you can go in and just make all the necessary changes to make it unique to your blog.
Skip the free themes. There are hundreds of WordPress themes out there and you can find most of them just by googling “WordPress Themes”. Wordpress does offer some free themes but they just never have everything you need. I recommend Genesis themes (which is what I currently use). They are more customizable and have way more features for your blog as you grow.
Once you have the theme you want selected, continue on!
When you finish signing up for Bluehost, you will see this screen: Go ahead and click “Start Building” to start creating your blog…
This will take you to your new WordPress site and most likely look like this:
The WordPress Dashboard
The black bar on the left-hand side is your WordPress Dashboard. You will become very accustomed to this sidebar as most of your blog building and customization will be here.
Once you are in your WordPress Dashboard, this is where you connect the new theme that you purchased.
The theme you purchased will come with its own instructions on how to download and connect your theme to your WordPress Dashboard. Follow those instructions as every theme can be slightly different in how it’s set up!
You officially have a blog! Now is when the fun (and hard work) all start.
get your blog started the right way
Do you know what a permalink is? Yeah, I didn’t either. Setting up your theme and blog can be really intimidating. Don’t go at it alone. Part of the reason I love blogging is that there are very little start-up fees. BUT... know when to invest a little money. A Blogging Startup Course has been one of my top investments in getting my blog up and running.
Alida at the Realistic Mama has created a super easy (and affordable!) course called Successful Startup to get your blog started and on your way to becoming profitable. This course saved me a TON of time in getting my blog up and running so I could start being creative and START MAKING MONEY!
Get your blog started today with the Successful Startup guide!
Now that you’ve created a blog, you might want traffic huh? Yea I thought so. Well, then you are in need of a Pinterest Business account for your blog. Head over to the next installment of my series on getting your blog up and ready by setting up the perfect Pinterest account for your blog!
*If you have any questions about starting your blog or what happens next, feel free to reach out: [email protected]