How to Start a Blog
To finish off my little “mini-series” about blogging, I wanted to write out the specific step-by-step process for creating and starting your own blog. Blog setup is actually the easiest part, but a lot of people feel daunted about the technical setup. In this tutorial I’m going to explain how to make a WordPress.org website using Bluehost, because I believe it’s best platform in ease of setup and functionality.
I’ve blogged on all different kinds of platforms and in different capacities. WordPress.org gives you the most control over everything on your website, and Bluehost has partnered with them to make the setup process easy and to provide you with superior customer support. There is a plugin for anything on WordPress, making your vision easy to realize. WordPress is extremely powerful, so no matter what kind of website you’d like to make you’ll be able to do so using their top-quality platform.
Pick a topic and a name.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably at least got an idea of something you might like to write about. A common mistake here is to decide to write about what you think everyone else wants to read about. Writing consistent blog posts easily starts to build up and take time, so whatever you choose needs to be first and foremost something you’re really passionate about. Something you could talk about forever, something you love learning more about and sharing what you’ve learned with other people.
Make sure you do what’s right for you, or any success you have won’t be worth the hassle of doing something you don’t want to do! I really want to drill this in, because I am the kind of person that tends to get caught up in what OTHER people want rather than doing what’s right for myself.
A lot of people will tell you that in order to be successful, you have to “niche down.” I really hate this term. Even just the word “niche” has a bad connotation to me, because it sounds like a rule that you can’t write about anything other than your super narrowly-defined topic. Do what’s right for you, but also keep in mind this: if you write about just ANYTHING that happens in your life or pops into your brain, you won’t get very specific traffic. This because someone who comes to your page to view a post about one subject won’t stay to read about the other subjects, because they just won’t care about them. I’m telling you this because I have literally done it. Writing about too many different subjects is a sure-fire traffic killer.
So the key here is to keep it to one or two subjects. Get specific about who you want to read your blog and what kind of information you want them to glean from your writing. But don’t worry about rules and niches. Just make it you, but keep all of your posts in a similar enough category so that someone who reads one might want to read another post too!
Once you’ve figured out the concept of your blog, you’ll have to pick the name. Don’t overthink it. While it is important, a lot of people put way too much pressure into the name. Remember, people don’t come to your blog because of what it is called, they come for the quality content that you produce. Make your name make sense for your topic, and I suggest making it something meaningful to you. But don’t worry about having the “perfect” name. Once people know your work and you’ve made a good reputation, any name will be the “perfect” one.
Sign up with BlueHost.
I’ve used different hosting in the past, but I’ve found Bluehost is the simplest, most reliable hosting service for blogging. They also have a partnership with WordPress that makes setting up your site super easy. Everything will be connected from the beginning so you can jump right into starting your blog design and posts. It only takes a number of minutes.
When you land on Bluehost’s homepage and click the green “Get Started Now” button you’ll be instructed to choose which hosting package you want. For a small, one to two-person blog, the Basic package is fine. However, if you can go for the better packages the extra subdomains, email accounts, space and storage are definitely worth it.
Choose your domain.
If you already know what you want your website’s URL to be, type it into the bar. Use the dropdown to choose if your want your site to be .com, .org, etc. If you haven’t totally figured it out yet, that’s okay! You can choose to create your domain later, and it will still be included in your package.
Purchase Your Hosting.
On the next page, you will create your account and choose your package details, such as how long you want the initial purchase to last. You can choose 12, 24, 36, or 60 months and the longer you choose, the cheaper the rate. There are additional add-ons as well which can help maintain your privacy and provide other security measures, however it is your choice whether to use these or not.
Set up your website.
Once you have purchased your hosting with Bluehost, the next few pages will bring you through the setup of your WordPress site. You’ll have to install WordPress, setup your account and choose your password, and login to your website for the first time!
Choose a Theme.
There are a thousand free themes in every style that are beautiful and modern. You can also pay for a premium theme for more functionality and detail.
*Bonus tip: If your readers are going to often be using mobile devices to view your website, make sure you choose a theme which displays nicely on mobile. Otherwise, you’ll lose a ton of traffic. People won’t return to your site because they won’t be able to view your site easily on their phones and devices.
Customize your Theme.
Even if you choose a free theme, there are many options to customize it for your specific vision. Just go to Appearance > Customizer in WordPress to be taken to the customizer where you can change colors, header images, logos, custom template settings, and more. If you’re tech savvy, you can also add custom CSS to your theme to make it just the way you’d like.
Write your first post.
In order to start a blog, you need to actually get something out there for people to read. So the final step in creating your blog is writing your first post. Many people choose to make this post an introduction to the world of who they are and what they intend to blog about. You can do this or just dive right into creating content for your blog’s niche.
Publish your website!
When you first create your website with Bluehost and WordPress, it is not immediately published to the internet. This is because they assume you want to spend a little time choosing your theme, layout, customizing your theme, writing posts, and creating pages.
I remember the first time I made a WordPress website I worked on getting it all set up, then navigated to the URL in my browser and it brought up an error page! Usually it says something like, “This site is coming soon.” I freaked out at first, thinking, “Where is my website!?” But don’t worry. It is such an easy fix.
Just navigate to “Bluehost” in your WordPress admin, and there should be a button that says “Publish Website.” You should only ever have to do this once. So once you’re ready to bring your blog to the world, just simply publish your site and then you are in business!!
I actually LOVE building websites and would be happy to answer any questions you have! Just comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also help design and develop your website for a very reasonable rate! (I designed and built this website along with several others, email me for my portfolio!) There really is no limits as to what you can do with WordPress and Bluehost, so if you’re ready to start your blog and start making your mark, I say just jump in! It’s easy enough, and you will learn even more along the way.
Contact me with any questions or comments! I hope this tutorial was helpful in getting you started.
*Disclosure* – This page contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission on any sales that result from a reader purchasing through those links. This does not cost you any extra and I only promote products and services that I would highly recommend to close friends and family.Tags: blogging, online