So you want to start a blog. I am seriously doing a happy dance right now I am that excited! Blogging has made a major impact on my life and I can’t wait for you to begin your blogging journey.
I remember when I created my first blog. It was terrifying because I had no idea what I was doing. There were so many steps and I had to learn as I went along.
Luckily, I have created a step-by-step guide to show you how to create your very own blog.
You’ll be surprised to find out that it isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think.
In fact, it only takes minutes to get started.
Now this is for bloggers looking to take their blog seriously.
If you are interested in making real money from your blog, freelancing or even turning your blog into a business, then making the investment and paying for hosting, using a company such as Bluehost, is an absolute must!
I have personally used Bluehost as my web hosting company for the past 5 years. It is affordable and I have had a great experience with them.
According to PCMag, Bluehost is one of the top-rated managed WordPress hosts for 2016. You can start your own blog with them for as low as $3.95 a month with a FREE domain.
Now some bloggers will say that the offer is only available through their affiliate link, but really the $3.95 is Bluehost’s introductory offer. So I am not going to lie to you like that. But, if you have been enjoying the content on Blog Me Lovely and want to help a girl out (at no additional cost to you) then feel free to use any Bluehost link in this post or throughout the site!
Reasons to Go Self-Hosted WordPress
- You own your site completely
- No Terms of Service to conform to, this isn’t the case with WordPress.com or Blogger blogs
- You have access to hundreds (possibly thousands) of free and premium themes
- You can use a custom theme (oh the possibilities!)
- So many plugins to customize your site with
- You can have an ecommerce site if you want!
Reasons to Choose Bluehost
- Easy to set up with 1-click WordPress install
- FREE domain with a yearly plan
- Extremely affordable, with hosting packages starting at $3.95 a month
- 24/7 support
- I’ve personally used them for the past 5 year and love them
Let’s get started…
There are 4 steps to starting a blog with Bluehost and WordPress.
- Choose a domain name
- Purchase hosting for your blog
- Use the 1-click WordPress install
- Sign into your new WordPress blog
1. Choose a domain name
Your domain name will be your site’s URL. For example, the domain for Blog Me Lovely is www.blogmelovely.com.
This is probably one of the most important decisions you have to make. I have had AMAZING blog name ideas only to find out that the domain (and social media handles) were already taken. So I had to start over.
Doing your research upfront can save you time and money!
I would wait to create a logo and branding until you secure your domain name. There is nothing like doing (or paying) for all this work only for it to go to waste.
I recommend trying to get the .com version of your domain name. Not only is this what most people expect when they hear a domain name, but it is still considered the most authoritative and tends to rank better.
Domain Naming Tips
- Avoid length domain names, shorter is better. It is easier to remember and easier to fit on marketing materials such as business cards and social media images.
- Avoid the use of hyphens. They are often forgotten when sometime types in the URL.
- Don’t use numbers. It is hard to remember if it is spelled out or not.
- Go for a more branded name rather than a generic, exact-match keyword domain. The exact match domains, such as say bloggingtips.com, don’t have the ranking power they once did. In fact, they are actually being penalized by the Google algorithm now.
The good news is that with a hosting package from Bluehost, you get a FREE domain name.
2. Purchase hosting for your blog
After you decide on your domain name, you can sign up for a Bluehost hosting account and “purchase” your domain with your hosting in one easy step.
Click here to sign up for Bluehost and get your FREE domain.
Bluehost offers 3 different hosting plans:
- The “Basic” Plan starts at $3.95 per month
- The “Plus” Plan starts at $6.95 per month
- The “Pro” Plan starts at $14.95 per month
If you are just starting out, the “Basic” plan is probably all you need. You can always upgrade later if your needs change. Plus since you are just starting out, the most affordable option it probably best, especially since it is billed yearly.
Once you’ve decided on your plan, hit “Select” to be taken to the next step.
Now since you have already decided on your domain, fill out the “New Domain” box to get started. If the domain is available, you will be taken to the “Create Your Account” page.
Fill out your “Account Information” and move to the “Package Information” section.
Now remember I said prices start at $3.95 per month, well that is for the 36 month (or 3 year) plan. If you plan on blogging for over a year, then I recommend the 36 month plan.
If you do the math, you basically get 3 years for the price of 2!
This also means that you don’t have to worry about renewing your hosting for 3 whole years!
Plus one your introductory offer ends, the price goes up. So I would get the most bang for your buck!
You will also see some add-ons. The only one I recommend is the “Domain Privacy Protection”, this will prevent your personal information from being displayed to the public. There are plenty of free plug-ins to handle site backups, so you can pass on that upgrade.
Finally, enter your payment information and click “Submit”.
3. Use the 1-Click WordPress install
Now that you have your domain name and host, it is time to install WordPress. This is incredibly easy with Bluehost because they offer a 1-click install.
You should receive an email with a link to your CPANEL, this is the backend dashboard for your hosting account, after you sign up for Bluehost hosting.
Sign in and select “WordPress Tools” from the top navigation bar.
Select “New Install” and fill out Site Title (don’t worry this can be changed later), Admin Username (I would choose something other than admin), Admin Password, and Admin Email. Then click “Install!”
Remember to save your username and password!
This step will take a few minutes.
4. Sign into your new WordPress blog!
Once WordPress is installed, you will get an email with your account information, including the URL to sign into the backend of your WordPress site.
Go to the URL and sign in! Welcome to your new WordPress blog!
Need help with WordPress or blogging? Check our some of these posts…
- 10 Reason Why You Should Start a Blog
- Questions to Ask When Creating a Blog Content Strategy
- Why Bloggers Need to Disclose
- A Blogger’s Guide to SEO Basics
- 25 Maddening Blog Design Mistakes for You to Avoid
- How to Add a Meta Description to Posts
Are you ready to start a blog?