Are you a passionate writer with a story to tell? Have you seen bloggers making money online and wondered how they started?
Maybe you want to find out how to create a blog and earn money of your own?
Either way, the good news is that learning how to create a blog is incredibly easy to do. It’s not complicated and you absolutely don’t need to be ‘techy’. In fact:
You can create a blog in 6 simple steps in less 30 minutes.
My goal in this post is to show you how, step by step.
This will both save you time and prevent you Googling yourself into a confused stupor like I did (because I didn’t have a step by step guide!)
How To Create a Blog In 6 Simple Steps
Below I’m going to walk you through 6 quick steps that will show you how to get a domain name, set up hosting and install WordPress.
Here are the steps we’ll cover to get you set up with your blog:
- Decide on a Blogging Platform
- Choose a Domain Name (choose Bluehost for hosting and you can one for FREE)
- Set Up Hosting (don’t worry, this starts as low as $2.95 a month)
- Install WordPress.org on Your Domain
- Choose a WordPress Theme
- Start Writing About Your Passion
Ready to get started?
Step #1 – Decide on a Blogging Platform
First up, if you’re serious about starting a blog and its future potential, you need the blogging platform WordPress.org, NOT wordpress.com.
Don’t be lured in by offers of free hosting (which WordPress.com offers) or you’ll find yourself severely limited in terms of how you can scale and grow your blog in the future.
Installing WordPress.org is really simple to do and I’ll show you exactly to do it at the click of a button, when you set up hosting in Step 3 (insanely cheap via Bluehost, at around $2.95 a month).
Step #2 – Choose a Domain Name
The domain name for my blog is www.onemumandalittlelady.com.
This is how people will find you on the web. It’s kind of like a virtual address.
When choosing a domain name, it’s a good idea to:
- find a domain name that reflects the subject of your blog
- pick a domain name that is easy to spell and remember
- opt for a domain name with a .com extension, unless you are targeting a specific country, in which case choose a country specific extension such as .co.uk.
Problogger has an excellent post on Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name if you want some more pointers.
In the next step I’ll show you how to find a suitable domain name for FREE.
Step #3 Set Up Hosting
Hosting is basically a bit of real estate (or space) on the web.
There are many hosting companies out there, but most bloggers starting out go for Bluehost.
They make starting a blog a complete breeze, they’re cheap (from $2.95 a month), secure, offer great support and I’ve found my page load speed to be consistently fast (you do not want your blog to load slowly, as Google won’t like it and neither will your readers!)
Hosting Action Steps (it’s easy, I promise)
Click HERE to go to Bluehost and signup for your hosting (plus get your FREE domain).
Then follow my step by step visual guide below for exactly what you need to do to set up your hosting.
Setting Up Your Hosting – Step #1 (Getting Started)
The first thing you need to do is go to Bluehost and click on the ‘Get Started Now‘ button.
Setting Up Your Hosting – Step #2 (Select Your Plan)
You’ll now see the screen below.
Select your plan from the 3 options.
If you’re on a budget, the Basic Plan is more than ample when you’re starting out. You can easily upgrade to a different plan later on, if you want to.
Setting Up Your Hosting – Step #3 (Choose a Domain Name)
You now need to choose a domain name (mine is www.onemumandalittlelady.com).
You can either choose a completely new domain name (FREE for one year) or enter one you already have.
To choose a new domain name, enter it in the ‘New Domain’ box on the left.
It’s best to go for short and memorable if you can.
Then select the domain extension you want (for example ‘.com’) from the drop down list.
Unless you’re targeting a specific country, I’d opt for a .com.
Note: If your domain name is not available (i.e. someone else has got there before you and already registered it, you’ll get an alert message advising you of this. If this happens, don’t worry – just choose a different domain name.
Already have a domain name? (I did.)
Simply enter it into the ‘I Have a Domain Name‘ box on the right instead.
Then click the ‘Next’ button.
Note: If you already have a domain name you will need to transfer it in to Bluehost after completing your account setup. There’s a video that shows you how to transfer a domain in to Bluehost here.
Setting Up Your Hosting – Step #4 (Enter Your Account Information)
Congratulations! You are (almost!) the owner of your very own domain name…
On the next screen you need to:
- enter your account information
- choose your payment plan
- and make your payment.
You’ll also be asked if you want to purchase various add ons on this screen.
Personally, I’d skip these, apart from the Domain Privacy Protection, which is worth having, as it hides your personal information from the public WHOIS database.
Once you’ve completed this screen, select the ‘Submit’ button.
Step #4 (Install WordPress)
Now check your email for your Bluehost account information and login details.
Return to the Bluehost.com homepage and click on the ‘login’ button in the top right corner of the screen.
You’ll see this screen.
Enter your login information from your Bluehost email and select the ‘Hosting’ tab (it will probably already be selected as default).
Select the ‘login’ button.
This will take you to your personal Bluehost dashboard where you can install WordPress.
Now click the Install WordPress icon under Website Builders.
This will take you to the screen below.
Click the green ‘Install’ button.
You then need to select which domain you would like to install WordPress to from the drop down menu in the screen below (just leave the/directory field blank unless you want to create a sub folder, which is not very likely if you are setting up a new blog).
Click the green ‘Check Domain’ button.
On the next screen you need to check the box next to ‘Show advanced options’.
Then enter your Blog Name or Title (mine is One Mum and a Little Lady).
Choose an Admin Username and a password.
You’ll use these to login to your WordPress dashboard once it’s installed, so make a note of them and keep them safe.
Read and agree to the terms, by checking the box.
Click the ‘Install Now’ button.
Bluehost will now install Worldpress on your domain name and let you know when it’s complete.
Once you see the ‘Your install is complete’ message, click the ‘View Credentials’ button in the top right of the screen.
Click on ‘Admin Url’ and enter your WordPress username and password, which Bluehost sent you in an email.
This is your WordPress dashboard and you are almost ready to start blogging.
So far, you should have received two welcome emails from Bluehost. The first contains your login information for your Bluehost hosting account. The second contains information regarding your WordPress account.
Although WordPress is installed via Bluehost, it is completely separate to your Bluehost account.
So make sure you keep both sets of login credentials safe, so you can access your Bluehost and WordPress dashboards when required (Initially, I tried to use the same logins and got in a right muddle!)
Step #5 – Choose a WordPress Theme
You are now the proud owner of your very own self hosted blog.
Your next step is to instal a WordPress theme.
This is essentially the design or ‘look and feel’ behind your blog.
There are loads of FREE themes out there to choose from and a free theme is where most bloggers start.
To choose a free theme go to: Appearance > Themes in your WordPress Dashboard
Upgrading to a Premium Theme
Most bloggers upgrade to a paid premium theme at some point. They are much more customisable and more difficult to hack (which can and does happen when your blog starts getting more traffic).
But when you go for a paid theme, which one should you choose?
There are a lot of themes out there and choosing the one that is right for you can get overwhelming. So personally I recommend:
- The Genesis Framework by StudioPress, with a compatable theme (the top choice for most bloggers)
Their support is excellent and all their themes are fantastically designed, as well as optimised to be search engine friendly (i.e. Google will like it!).
Another choice that is gaining in popularity is Thrive Themes, due to the powerful set of marketing features their packages include. I haven’t personally used Thrive Themes, but from the research I did, it looked to me like the sheer level of features could get overwhelming for a complete beginner.
At the end of the day, of course, it’s up to you, so feel free to supplement with your own research.
Just keep in mind that your WordPress theme is essentially your online ‘shop front’, so it does pay to invest in a paid theme if you can.
Step #6 – Start Writing About Your Passion
Boom! You are now the proud owner of your very own blog customised with your chosen theme!
Now it’s time for the good bit.
Creating great content that offers real value to people.
What’s great content?
- solves a problem for people
- is almost never about you (sorry!)
- answers a question
- makes people laugh
- or even inspires them to lead better lives.
The web is bursting with blogs, so your goal is to stand out.
This doesn’t mean you have to spin a phrase like Charles Dickens, be as hilarious as Woody Allen or solve problems like Einstein!
But you do need to write about something you are passionate about. Otherwise your blog will become a chore.
Now go forth and write your first killer post! When you’ve written it, feel free to drop me a link in the comments section.
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