Starting a blog is easy, and you can create a blog in just a few minutes without a lot of effort! If you read my previous post about why you should start a blog, you probably realized that starting a blog is a great way to connect with people across the world who share your interests. Whether you begin with a personal blog, one for your business, or for any other reason, creating a blog gives you the ability to spread the ideas and information you want from your own little corner of the internet, and that’s a wonderful thing!
Hey, you can even make money blogging too!
Just Click This Link (which will open up a separate window), then follow the directions below to get started.
How to Start a Blog in 6 Easy Steps
This post will show you every step you need to start a blog with WordPress and write your first post.
I’ll start by pointing out that there are several options available as far as blogging platforms go. The most popular are WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Blogger, and Typepad. However, WordPress.org is by far the best, and is the platform that most serious bloggers use (myself included).
By the way, if you don’t know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, you can click here to find out the differences.
When setting up your blog, you really don’t need any technical expertise. Just follow these detailed instructions below and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Step 1: Choose Domain Name and Hosting Service
There are 3 things you’ll need to start a blog:
- An idea for your domain name
- Your preferred payment method
- 20 Minutes or so…
If you already have a registered domain name there will be an extra step needed, which I’ll cover later at the end of this post.
What is “Hosting”:
Your hosting account is where all the files associated with your blog will stay. Your “host” is a remote computer where you rent space (very cheaply) so your WordPress blog files have a home. It’s not hard to set up at all, so keep reading!
There are tons of hosting services available, but the best one I’ve found is Bluehost. It’s the hosting company I use, and my experience with them has been excellent.
The advantages to using Bluehost to start a blog are:
- Stellar 24-7 support
- 99.9% Uptime
- Easy to use, even if you aren’t a technical person
- Unlimited Storage space
- Very affordable- the longer term you pay for in advance, the cheaper it is. Hosting starts as low as $3.95/month.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited number of domains (meaning you can host more than one blog or website on one account)
- WordPress recommends them– Bluehost currently host nearly 1,000,000 WordPress blogs
- Unlimited email accounts
- Values- Bluehost doesn’t allow pornography, nudity, or graphic adult content on their servers. So if this aligns with your values, that’s a huge plus (I know it is for me). Most hosting services will let just about any type of content on their servers, whether it’s offensive or not.
- 30 Day money back guarantee- I’ve never had to use it, but I know people who have. They had their money back within hours of cancelling their service within the 30 day window.
Why I Recommend Bluehost
By the way, I am a Bluehost affiliate, which means I make a commission every time someone signs up for service using one of my links. However, this is not the reason I recommend them. Most all hosting services offer affiliate commissions. I recommend Bluehost because I've had a great experience with them and truly believe they are the best option out there for the beginning WordPress blogger. (see the list of reasons above).
I've always had excellent experiences with their customer service. Whenever there has been a technical issue, they've always been there to guide me through to a solution in a fast and friendly manner! I wouldn’t use their service if I didn’t believe in them, and I don't recommend products I haven't used, period.
Step 2: Sign Up For Hosting
If you haven't already, Go to the Bluehost home page and click the “Get Started Now” button as seen in the Pic below:
Then you will see a page with various plans available for purchase. As a beginning blogger, I recommend you go with the Basic or Plus plan. You can always upgrade later as your needs grow.
The next page will ask if you need a domain name or if you already have one. I’ll assume you don’t already own a domain name (if you do, I’ll cover how to deal with that at the end of the post in the section titled “Extra Step: If You Already Own a Domain Name).
Enter the domain name you would like to have in the box, along with the extension that you want (.com, .biz, .info, .net, etc…) and click “Next”
On the next page, you will be asked to fill in your account info, then choose a package lasting from 12-36 months. The longer the plan, the cheaper it is per month.
Bluehost requires that you pay for your package in advance, but remember there is no risk, you can cancel within 30 days for a full refund if you need to.
I don’t recommend signing up for any of the additional services right out of the gate. As a beginner, you really don’t need them, and you can add them later when/if they are ever needed in the future.
Once you enter your payment info, check the “I confirm I have read and agree to the terms of service…” box. Then click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Now you will be asked to create a strong password for your blog so hackers can’t easily gain access:
You can use your own password or click “Password Generator” to have a password generated for you.
Click “Create” and your Bluehost account will now be activated.
Warning: It may take a few minutes for Bluehost to activate your account. If you get an error message, don’t stress. You can call Bluehost support at 1-888-401-4678 and they will be glad to help.
Once your account is activated, you will be asked to log in to your domain using the password you just created.
Once you log in, you’ll see a popup that looks like this. Click “Skip This” for now, you can come back to it later.
Then you'll be directed to your cPanel (control panel) which looks like this:
Now it’s time to install WordPress (don’t worry, it’s easy)
On your cPanel page, scroll down to “Website” and click on “Install WordPress”. Then you will be directed to a page with the WordPress logo and a button to “Start” a brand new installation.
Click the “Install” button and that will take you to a page that says “select which domain you would like to install to”. It should already be filled in with the domain name you chose earlier.
Then click the “Check Domain” button.
It will take a minute or so for Bluehost to check the domain. Then you might see a message with a check box next to it that says “OOPS! Looks like something already exists there! I understand that continuing will overwrite the files”
If that happens, it's ok, you didn’t mess up anything! Since this is a new blog, you won’t be overwriting anything important.
Click the “OOPS!…” checkbox, then click the “Check Domain” button again.
Next, you will see “You’re almost there! This is the last step!” Make sure to check the “I have read the terms and conditions…” box, then click the “Install Now” button.
The installation process will take a few minutes and will keep you updated as it progresses.
Once your WordPress installation is complete, you will see this:
After WordPress is Installed
Once WordPress is installed, you will see a screen with the url of your new site, the admin url (your login page), username, and password. Write these down or take a screenshot and save it for future reference. Bluehost will also send you an email with that info.
Next, click on your blog’s URL and your new blog will load to a new tab in your browser.
At this point, your blog will look very generic and has not been customized yet. Later you’ll want to choose a “theme” that will allow for more customization.
Step 4: Login to Your New Blog
Now, click on the “Admin url” link, and click on it. A login screen will appear, where you will enter your Username and Password.
When you login, you will be taken to your WordPress Dashboard (see below) that gives you complete control over what the end user sees.
Step 5: Write Your First Blog Post!
Time to write your first blog post! In the left sidebar, click on “Posts”, then “Add New”, which will take you to the “New Post” screen.
Enter a title, then in the blank area below the title, make a blog post by typing in whatever you like. You can tell people why you decided to create a blog, what it will be about, or just say hello- whatever you want, it’s totally up to you!
In the right sidebar, click “Publish” and your blog post will go live and be available for all the world to see!
If you want to see how your blog post looks to the reader, just click the “Preview” button in the upper right portion of the right sidebar
BOOM, you are now a blogger!!!
Bookmark Your Blog
Now you’ll want to bookmark your dashboard page so you will easily be able to return to it and login whenever you want. If you have already clicked out of your dashboard, you can get back to it by going to http://[the name of your blog]/wp-admin
Yeah baby! It’s a pretty sweet feeling to finally publish your own blog… Congratulations!!!
Install a Theme
However, I recommend spending some money to buy a premium theme.
Because a custom theme:
- Looks better
- Functions better- especially on mobile devices, which are what most people use now.
- Is more customizable
- Tends to be less quirky and more straightforward to work with
I recommend the “Get Noticed” and “Thesis” themes. You can click the links to those themes to find out more information and purchase if you choose. To install a theme, you can use the instructions that are provided when you buy one of the custom themes above.
Extra Step: If You Already Own a Domain Name
If you already have a domain name on another hosting service, all you need to do is point your domain name to Bluehost’s servers.
Bluehost shows you how to do that at this link: https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/1
Be sure to read all the information carefully.
It can take 24-48 hours for the changes to take effect. Be patient. Once your domain shows up on Bluehost’s servers, you can proceed with the rest of the steps to get your WordPress blog started.
Questions and Help
This should effectively get you through the process of getting your blog up and running.
If you have any general questions about how to start a blog, what you should blog about, writing, etc., please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks so much for using this tutorial to start your very own self hosted WordPress blog! I hope you enjoy blogging as much as I do and that it allows you to achieve bigger and better things in your life!