Are you ready to start your blog?
I’m so excited you’ve decided to embark on this journey!
The technical side of stetting up your blog may seem complicated, but this step-by-step tutorial will make the process easy so you can jump into the fun details like designing the look and feel of your site in 15 minutes.
When you’re ready to take the leap, this tutorial will walk you through the steps to acquiring your website name, choosing the right platform and hosting to get started.
CAN’T I JUST START A BLOG FOR FREE?
You could, but if you have a goal to make some money with your blog, you need to be self-hosted from the very beginning.
I highly recommend starting with WordPress.org (not WordPress.com).
This type of site gives you the most freedom to monetize your website and gives you complete control over your blog. There are small costs involved to starting a blog, but in the long-run it’ll all be worthwhile.
When you are not self-hosted (if you start with WordPress.com for example), you cannot have advertising on your website and when you’re first starting out, this is the easiest and quickest way to earn money while you build a loyal readership base.
The first thing you need to do to set-up your blog (your self-hosted blog on WordPress.org), is to decide on your domain name and buy hosting for it. Then we can walk through how to set this up on WordPress so you can begin to design your blog.
CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME
Before you settle on a domain name, think about what you want to write about and who you’re writing to. Come up with something unique and catchy that will help you stand out.
Search to see if the domain name you would like is available.
When you find a domain name that you love (and is available), you’ll need to register it and then move ahead with selecting a hosting package.
You have two options – you can register your domain name at the same time you’re selecting a hosting package, or you can do this separately.
(It doesn’t hurt you to have a domain name with one provider and hosting with another, you’ll just have to direct your domain name to your hosting provider with a couple extra steps.)
If you’re just starting out, you can keep things as simple as possible and get a free domain name when you purchase a hosting package with Bluehost.
SELECT A HOSTING PROVIDER
Your blog is going to be living with a host so you want to make sure you have selected a provider with good customer service (support.) Hosting will also affect your site speed and accessibility.There are a ton of different hosting options available to you.
When I first started and before my blog and audience grew, I started by purchasing my domain and hosting with Bluehost. This is the most affordable option, and I found the support and speed were very good, especially when my pageviews were less than 100,000 per month.
Here are different hosting options if you want to learn more about the different tiers of hosting I have experience with and can recommend. Don’t worry, switching hosting is easy if you ever want to move from one provider to the next. Don’t feel you’re ever stuck with one host.
But for starting out, I recommend jumping in with BlueHost for as little as $2.95 per month.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR BLOG: STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL
- Follow this link, www.thepragmaticparent.com/bluehost and you’ll be redirected to the Bluehost home page through my affiliate link. (An affiliate link means that Bluehost pays me a commissions for promoting their product, at no additional cost to you.)
Click the green button, GET STARTED NOW >
- Choose the Plan that you want to go with for your blog. Hit SELECT.
- You’ve picked the perfect domain name right? Let’s register your domain name with Bluehost, enter it under the NEW DOMAIN box and click the blue NEXT button.
- Enter your account and contact information
- Scroll down the page to the “PACKAGE INFORMATION” section.
Just a note that Bluehost charges you for the full 36-month agreement, upfront. You are prepaying for their hosting however they have a money-back guarantee if you end up moving to another host during this time. You can keep your domain with bluehost and redirect this to a new host if you ever more.
Don’t worry about the additional services available on this screen just yet. You can always go and add them at a later time.
- Enter your billing information, agree to the service agreement and then click the green button, “SUBMIT.”
- Here are some of the additional option you can purchase here, but don’t need to. These can be added later if you need them. Select the green box, “COMPLETE.”
- CONGRATULATIONS! You have officially signed up with a Bluehost account. Let’s create your password next.
- Now, here is where you’ll create your Bluehost account password.
- Once you create your password, you can log into your account. Log into the “hosting” and not the “webmail.”
- Enter your username
- Enter your password
- Select the blue “LOGIN” button.
- Once your account opens for the first time, you’ll see a screen with a welcome message. You can select the little box at the bottom to “close this welcome message and don’t show it again” since I’m going to walk you through everything.
- Now that you’ve closed that window, you’ll see your account dashboard. This is a place you’ll become very familiar with as you build your blog. Let’s move ahead and Install WordPress.
HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS
- Select the “INSTALL WORDPRESS” button near the bottom of the screen under MAIN FEATURES.
- Click the green button that says “INSTALL” on the WordPress Installation Screen.
- Select, “SHOW ADVANCED OPTIONS”
- Here you’ll name your site (you can change this later if you want), create an administrative username for the WordPress Installation and create a WordPress login password.
- Select the button “Automatically create a new database for this installation”
- Select that you “have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2”
- Choose the green button, “INSTALL NOW.”
- When the loading bar at the top of your screen turns green, that means that WordPress has successfully been installed.
- In your email, you should receive a new email from Mojo Marketplace. This email includes your website URL, WordPress admin Login URL and WordPress login username. Be sure to save this email – I suggest making a folder in your email with all your important information for the purchase of your hosting, domain name and WordPress information.
- Your email from Mojo marketplace will contain the ADMIN URL, click this. It will take you to your WordPress platform and looks like this below. Enter your username and password.
- If you need to retrieve or find your password again, go back to your Bluehost tab and click the “view” link. This password will expire in 12 hours so make sure you get the password before it expires!
- Now you’re all set to log into WordPress and you’ll see your dashboard. As you build and word on your blog, you are going to become VERY familiar with all the various settings.
Your next step is to choose a theme. This is the foundation for your blog and what your blog will look like – the colors, layout, font, navigation, background, etc.
I purchased a theme through Mojo Marketplace to get started and it had free installation so I was able to have them set it up on my WordPress dashboard. If you’re new to WordPress like I was, this all probably looks very foreign and confusing on how to use this platform.
This is an incredibly helpful (and FREE) course so you can understand the ins and out of working on WordPress. My friend Grayson Bell has put together a FREE course so you’ll be a pro in no time.
Check out the FREE BLOGGING TOOLS available to help you begin your blogging journey like a pro.