Are you interested in starting a “mom” blog? How about a food blog? Do you want to start a deal blog? Maybe a blog to share your faith? What about starting a homeschool blog or a kids activities blog? Maybe you just want to share your weight-loss journey or start a fitness blog. Are you a professional who wants to start a business blog?
Blogging is a great way to share your story–and help others, too. There are so many options when it comes to blogging, but I’m going to share a quick and easy way to get started now.
Honest! You can start your own blog today!!
I often receive emails and talk to people who are interested in starting a blog, but they just don’t know where to begin. Since I get many of the same questions, I thought I’d address them in a Simple Blogging 101 series over the next few weeks. I’m not saying I’m an expert in this field (there is always more to find out)–but I have learned a few things over the past 3 years that I think will be of benefit to a new blogger. To kick off this Blogging 101 Series, I thought we’d better set up a blog first!
Let’s start your blog:
Step 1: Buy a domain and hosting
Then, enter a domain name and click the “Next” button. Not sure what domain to use? That will be my next post! You may also want to consider using your name–that seems to be fairly popular right now!
On the next page, you’ll want to enter your account info at the top. Be sure to use your actual email address….this is where you will receive your log-in info. It amazes me how often people use an email that doesn’t work to buy things or sign up for things. You want to have access to the upcoming emails you will receive!!
Look where it says “Package Information” and choose your “Account Plan”. You can get the three-year-package for as low as $4.95 per month, but if you just want one year, you can get it for $6.95 per month.
You’ll probably want to skip the add-ons–except for Domain Whois Privacy. If you want to keep your personal information private, I would recommend getting it. Go ahead and fill in your billing info, check that you’ve read the fine print, and move on.
Woohoo! You now have a domain name and hosting.
Step 2: Install WordPress
Your next step is to check your email and get your welcome message from Bluehost. Then, you’ll head back over to Bluehost and log-in. Go to the “Control Panel Log-in” button (in the top right-hand corner). Log-in.
Next, you are going to look for the WordPress symbol (It’s the blue one with a big W) under the title “Website Builders”. You may need to scroll down a little to find it.
Once you’ve clicked on it, you’ll want to click the “Start” button (in green) to install WordPress on your new blog!
Then, you’ll leave your domain listed and click the green “Check Domain” button.
This next part may seem a little more complicated, but I want to make sure you are set up correctly. You NEED to check the box that says “Show Advanced Options.”
Enter in your site name and choose an admin username. I DO NOT recommend using Admin. Pick something like your name, your favorite team, your initials…something that the hackers aren’t going to try to use!
You’ll also want to enter a strong password and a working email address.
Agree to the terms and then click “Install Now”!!
Congratulations!! You’ve just started your own blog! How does it feel?!!
Be sure to write down your admin log-in and password and keep it in a safe place. Then, head over to your new site and check it out.
To log-in to your WordPress account, just enter http://www.thisiswhereyouenterYOURsitename.com/wp-admin
Step 3: Choose a Theme (Beautify Your Blog)
I know what you’re thinking! “Now what? My blog is started, but it doesn’t look pretty.”
That is where themes come in, my friend! You can pick a free WordPress theme (look under “Appearance–Themes” on your WordPress dashboard).
You can beautify your blog easily with Genesis! This is my very favorite premium theme, and it’s easy enough to get started with a “child theme” on top of it. In fact, I’m currently working on a new blog as we speak–and I’m using Genesis with a very cool child theme. I hope to share it with you soon!
Anyway, you can find out more about Genesis and take a look through some of the beautifully-designed child themes over there, too!
If you decide to go with Genesis, be sure to check out all the helpful videos, PDF directions, and FAQs. They have a ton of invaluable resources over at StudioPress! Installation and other helpful instructions will be shared with you after your purchase, too.
I hope you’ll stick with me over the next few weeks! I’ll be sharing posts on choosing a domain name, figuring out your blogging purpose, making money blogging, and whatever else comes up in the questions you ask! Feel free to ask below or shoot me an email at motherhoodonadime @ gmail . com.
A few disclaimers:
1) This post contains my affiliate link. I want to be upfront with you about that. However, I actually used Bluehost for 2 years before I switched over to WiredTree when my traffic grew. I feel confident sharing this information with you, and I was a real customer (and still have my domain through them). Any website you find with a “Here’s How to Start Your Blog” kind of post is going to use affiliate links, but I want to be transparent and open with you. You can find my disclosure here and more about how I feel about using affiliate links and making *some* money from this blog here.
2) I highly recommend using a self-hosted WordPress blog, and those are the instructions you’ll find below. There are free blogs available (like on Blogger), and actually, my very first blog was on a free platform–but I later moved it.
If you’re just beginning, you really want to go with a blog where you pay the hosting. Why? Because you own the content. A free blogging platform can shut you down at any moment–I experienced that first-hand. Maybe if you are just writing a few posts for grandma, it’s fine to go with a free blog–but for everyone else, I highly recommend a self-hosted blog!
3) You don’t have to have vasts amounts of technical knowledge to get up and blogging. I knew absolutely nothing when I started blogging–I’ve learned everything as I’ve gone along. It’s really a process of trial and error–failing and succeeding. Just like anything in life, you can learn and grow better!
Recently, I had a friend who really wanted to blog, but she was feeling timid about starting. To her–and those of you like her–I say, JUST START!
Take a chance, be brave, and begin!