Next week is my 1 year “Blogiversary”. I wrote about the 5 Reasons I Blog and Why You Should Too. I hope that it encouraged you to think about your story and how you might want to share it with others. This blog post will share how to start a blog in simple and straightforward steps.
*Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. Thank you for your support in this way!
What’s Your Story?
I am drawn to read people’s stories or journeys, especially if the writer is open and authentic. Are you on a:
- debt free journey?
- adoption or foster care journey?
- new motherhood journey?
- empty nester journey?
- simplifying journey?
You have a unique story to tell that can encourage others. You most likely have wisdom and tips that people would benefit from hearing and learning from. If you think so too, here are the simple steps to start your very own blog!Share your unique story through a blog. Here's how to get started. #blogging #howto Click To Tweet
How to Start a Blog
Step 1: Purchase Hosting
There are free blogging sites. You could write your story on Blogger or WordPress.com for free. However, if there is any desire at all for potentially generating income from your blog, I would encourage you to start a self-hosted WordPress.org site. I have heard many cries for help as people later migrate from Blogger or WordPress.com to a self-hosted site and it sounds pretty complicated. Needless to say, let’s save you that headache in the future.
I personally use Bluehost and would highly recommend it. The first step is to click here to go over to Bluehost (this will open in a new window so that you can come back here as you work through the steps).
Click the green “Get Started Now” button.
Step 2: Choose Your Plan
Figure out what kind of plan you would like to choose. I personally didn’t have any plans to start more than one website, and I was on a tight budget, so I chose the Basic Plan. It has been working great for me so far.
Press the green “Select” button of the plan you choose in order to move to the next step.
Step 3: Choose a Domain
A domain is a web address. The domain you choose will be what people type in to get to your blog. My domain is settingmyintention.com. I was going to use www.settingmyintention.com, but my husband pointed out that I didn’t need to use the www.
If you are starting a brand new blog, you will use the “New Domain” box on the left. If you are transferring a domain, then you will use the “Transfer Domain” box on the right.
Make sure your domain name is easy to remember and easy to spell. Try to use a .com whenever possible.
Click on the blue “Next” button.
Step 4: Enter Your Account Information
Step 5: Choose a Hosting Package
First, choose the account plan that you chose in Step 2. I chose the 36 month package because it was the best price. When I started my blog, I figured committing to blogging for at least 3 years was not unreasonable. I’m glad I did.
My first year I chose the Domain Privacy and SiteLock Domain Security. I won’t renew the SiteLock Domain Security this year. The Domain Privacy is highly recommended because it keeps your personal information (home address, phone number, etc) protected. You could skip this if you have a business address that you don’t mind publicizing.
Step 6: Enter Your Billing Information
Enter your billing information and check the box to confirm you have read the fine print.
Press the blue “Next” button.
Step 7: Skip the Upgrades and Check for Login Information
You’ll probably want to skip all the upgrades. Complete your purchase, and then check for the welcome email from Bluehost. Your administrative login information will be contained in that email. This is really important information to write down for future reference. You will use your administrative login to manage your website and make changes behind the scenes.
Step 8: Install WordPress on your new site.
Go back to Bluehost and click the Login button on the top right corner of the screen. You can also access the administrative panel through the welcome email you received.
Enter your administrative login information. Select the “Hosting” tab, not “webmail”.
Once logged into the Admin website, click the “Install WordPress” icon under the “Website” header.
Step 9: Start the WordPress Install
You should see a window that looks similar to this one below. Click the Install or Start button to begin the WordPress installation process.
Step 10: Choose Where to Install WordPress
If it’s not already populated, choose the domain you picked in Step 3. Leave the directory part blank.
Click the green “Check Domain” button.
Step 11: Enter Your Admin User Information
Check the box next to “Show Advanced Options.” Enter your Site Name or Title (your blog’s name)
Choose an Admin Username. Choose a password. This will be the information you use to login to WordPress once it’s installed. Read and agree to the terms. Click the Install Now Button.
You should see a message that says something similar to “Your install is complete!”
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a self hosted WordPress site!
Step 12: Write down your login information for both Bluehost and WordPress
I was really confused by this at first. Your Bluehost login will rarely be used. My husband logs in at times to help me fix formatting issues.
Your WordPress login will be used frequently – this is where you will write all of your blog posts. To access it, you can type in yourdomainname/wp-admin/ (ex: settingmyintention.com/wp-admin/).
Step 13: Change the default settings
Login to your WordPress account.
Go to “Settings” near the bottom of the left hand column. Under General, you can change the Site Title and the Tagline from the generic information to something more tailored to your blog. For example, my blog’s Site Title is Setting My Intention and my Tagline is “Simplifying Life One Step at a Time”.
Under “Posts” with the Thumbtack symbol, you can edit and write your first post!14 step by step directions on how to start #blogging. Get started today! Click To Tweet
SteP 14: Pick a WordPress theme for your blog…or not
WordPress will automatically install a theme which you might choose to use. To change your Theme, you can go to “Appearance” which is the paintbrush symbol. Click on “Themes” and there are options at the top for “Mojo Themes” and “WordPress.org” Themes. The Mojo Themes cost money. The WordPress.org themes are free. Choose something that reflects your personal style and blog niche.
I went with a free theme when I started my blog. I still use the same theme, but it runs into problems every time there is an update. Any changes we’ve made to the design and set up of the blog gets erased with every update. My husband recently figured out how to make a “child theme” for the website. He used the “Child Theme Configurator” which he raves about. This allows us to change things and they don’t get erased when the theme is updated.
That’s it! You now have a beautiful website to write meaningful blog posts that will change you and the people you touch!
When you’re ready to take it to the next level, Ruth Soukup offers an amazing program called Elite Blog Academy. It will walk you step by step through starting and growing a blog. Click below to get started!
If you start a blog with these instructions and have any questions, please let me know! I’ll get my husband right on it! 🙂
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