Have you wanted to start a blog? Follow this step-by-step guide and hit “publish” today for AS LOW AS $2.95 a month!
I frequently meet people who want to start a blog or an online business. Several have now launched a blog, but many others never do. Is it because of fear? Technical challenges? Not enough time to figure it all out? Or a little bit of each of those?
I hope I can help anyone with a heart to share their passion, ideas and/or expertise with the world to take the plunge and go through the process… as painlessly as possible!
It hasn’t been that long since I myself decided to start a blog and then went through this process. And I’ll be the first to tell you that it was quite foreign to me. Now, most of what it takes to blog is second nature (thank goodness!). 🙂
Whether you’re excited start a blog now… like TODAY… or you’ve been procrastinating and need help, you’ve come to the right place! I’m going to walk you the process of how to start a blog — step by step with screenshot photographs — so that you can start pursuing your dream right now. Let’s get started!
STEPS TO START A BLOG
STEP ONE: Choose a name.
Would you believe that THIS is the step that held me up for literally four months? I finally decided on TablerPartyOfTwo.com. However, I overlooked the most obvious and best name I could have chosen: AndreaTabler.com. But I had no bloggy mentors giving me sage advice, so using my own name never even occurred to me!
How I wish I had started out as AndreaTabler.com! Why? Because, as a blogger, I am the brand. And that’s what you will be as well. (I will eventually move to AndreaTabler.com or start a whole new website on that domain, which I purchased quite a while ago.)
There’s another very compelling reason to use your own name as your domain name. You know what you want to be doing today. But what about in a year? Or five, or ten? You have the flexibility to shift your focus over time if your domain name isn’t tied to a name other than your own.
STEP TWO: Choose a blogging/website platform.
There are several platforms from which to choose. WordPress is by far the most popular and is the one I use. It’s extremely flexible, functional and easy to use.
When you choose WordPress as your platform, you have two options:
1. Hosted. This is known as the WordPress.com option. It is free but will have huge limitations for your blog.
2. Self-Hosted. Also known as the WordPress.org, this route is not free. But it’s also not very expensive. This is the option I highly recommend. Think of it this way. You are purchasing your own “lot” on which to build a house. You can add on to the house, modify the house and benefit when it increases in value. The free option is more like renting an apartment. It doesn’t offer all the flexibility and perks of home ownership. Plus, you don’t own it.
This guide offers the steps to create a self-hosted WordPress blog or website.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are referral links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.
STEP THREE: Determine your blog host.
Choosing the right host is a very important step in the process. The host simply provides a place for people to find you on the internet. I have been using Bluehost since I started Tabler Party of Two. It has grown with me so far, and I recommend it to anyone just getting started.
1. Click here to go to Bluehost. (It will open in a new window so you can still reference this guide!) Once the page opens, click the Get Started Now Button.
2. Select a plan. I chose (and recommend) the Plus Plan because it offers more features. One of the most important features for me is the unlimited email storage capacity. If the Plus Plan is not in your budget, by all means, go with basic!
If you are registering a new domain, the window on the left is where you will search availability. In my opinion, it is very important to (if at all possible) get the .com ending. Don’t use any hyphens or other characters. If your name isn’t available with .com, try adding the word The before it. Or add the word Blog after it.
Enter your account information.
Select an account plan.
Here, you will choose a package based on how much you want to pay up front. Paying for three years up front gets you quite the bargain! And, it’s completely refundable if you need to change in the future.
IMPORTANT NOTE: About half way down the image below, you’ll see Domain Privacy Protection. While none of the other options are imperative when you start, I would recommend this one. It will keep all your information private. Also, the Domain Privacy Protection option is only available if you registered a new domain rather than using an existing one.
Enter your billing information.
Fill this in, click the confirmation box after reviewing, and submit.
You will be asked if you want any upgrades. I recommend declining. (You can always add them later.)
Next you’ll choose a password for your new account.
Be sure to pick a strong password. You don’t want to risk being hacked!
Check your email for your new login information.
Bluehost will have sent you a welcome email including your login information for the Bluehost control panel (also known as cpanel). Be sure to store that information for future use!
Click the link in your email from Bluehost.
Next, enter your cpanel login information and select the “hosting login” option.
STEP FIVE: Install WordPress.
After you log in to your cpanel, click the Install WordPress icon under Website.
Click start to install WordPress.
Choose Where to Install WordPress
Select your domain from the drop down window. Click Check Domain.
Enter your WordPress User Information
Check the Show Advanced Options box. Enter your site name (for example, Tabler Party of Two). Note that your site name does not include the .com or whatever yours ends with.
Choose a user name and password for WordPress. Enter your email address, read over terms and conditions, and click the Install Now button.
When the installation is complete, you will see the indication below.
Be sure to take note of the information to access your WordPress site.
Your setup is complete! Check your email for a message from Mojo Marketplace. Be sure to save this email, as it contains your important login information.
Now you can log into your self-hosted WordPress blog or website. From your WordPress welcome email, click Login URL and enter your login information. This will take you to the back end of your site, where you will write your blog posts.
Navigating through your new site may seem confusing at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Don’t let it intimidate you! If I can figure it out (with my friends Google and YouTube at times), you can, too.:) If you get really stumped, or if you want a more customized design for your blog, you can hire extremely affordable freelancers to help you Fiverr or Upwork.
Congratulations! You are now ready to start a blog and share with the world!
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P.S. Do you have a friend who wants to start a blog? Please forward this to them so they can get started right away!