If you ever thought about starting a blog, but you weren’t sure where to start, then this post is for you! Even if you wondered whether starting a blog is the right thing to do, the answer is undoubted yes!!
In this post, I am sharing exactly how to start a blog. A step-by-step guide on everything you need to know and to understand before you start a blog. Warning: this is going to be a super long post, so grab a notebook and pen and a cup of your favorite brew and let’s get cracking.
HOW TO SELECT A DOMAIN AND REGISTER IT?
First things first. You need to choose a name for your blog. If you are struggling to pick out a name, this post by I Can Build a Blog will definitely help: Once you have the perfect name for your blog, you will need to have it registered before someone else snaps it up!
There are two options to this step. You can either register your domain at the same place you are planning on hosting your blog, or you can purchase your domain name separately. If you are planning on registering your domain name where you are purchasing your hosting package, stay tuned. If you choose to register your domain name separately, I recommend using GoDaddy. The site is easy to use and super cheap (with just a few clicks you can have your domain name registered in less than 5 minutes).
HOW TO PICK A HOSTING PROVIDER?
For South Africans, I recommend Afrihost as a hosting provider for your blog. The customer service I have received from them before is great! They are fast, efficient and on par with any other international hosting company. Afrihost offers hosting options starting at R9 per month (no error here, it really is just nine rand).
I absolutely love, love, love using Bluehost! Their service is great, they are always available when I need support and they are super affordable (even with the current exchange rate). The hosting plans from Bluehost start at only $3.95 per month (that’s about R65 if you convert) which is still really, really affordable for extremely fast site speed. If you are looking for great service, fast site speed, and affordability, then I definitely recommend Bluehost. Because I am such a fan of Bluehost, I will show you how to set up your money-making blog with Bluehost later on in this post.
But before we get there, let’s quickly discuss this age-old question:
WORDPRESS.COM VS WORDPRESS.ORG?
I recommend starting with a self-hosted site when you start blogging. WordPress.org is the perfect option for starting your blog because it gives you the freedom to do what you want on your blog. Yes, you’re going to have to pay a small fee, but having the control and freedom over your blog is totally worth it. WordPress.com is very restrictive in terms of design and use of plugins and will cause you more headaches than anyone needs in their life. So, if you’re looking to start a blog, start with WordPress.org.
HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS.ORG?
WordPress.org is extremely easy to install. This post on WP Beginner gives you a step-by-step guide on how to install WordPress, discuss any problems you might encounter and gives you solutions. (The only reason I am not discussing this section in this specific blog post is that I don’t want to risk this blog post is way too long and technical.)
HOW TO SET UP HOSTING WITH BLUEHOST:
This is probably the easiest thing you will ever do for your blog, so let’s get started.
Click here to go to the Bluehost site and click on the “Get Started Now” button. I suggest opening the Bluehost link in a new tab, so you can keep this page open for reference.
To register your domain (blog) name with Bluehost, fill it in “new domain” box and click “next.”
Once you clicked next, fill in all of your account and contact information.
Now choose the package you want in the “package information” section. For the cheapest option, it is better to choose the 36 months option. Bluehost will charge you upfront for 36 months, but they offer a money-back guarantee. So if you are not happy with the service, you can get your money back.
I definitely recommend adding “Site Backup Pro to your package to make sure that you won’t lose any of your blog posts when something goes wrong on your blog. Don’t worry about search engine jumpstart, because I chat about everything you need to know about SEO in this post.
Now, enter your billing information, agree to the service agreements, and then click “next.” Easy as pie.
Don’t worry about the additional options you can purchase. Once you have made payment, you officially have a Bluehost account! Whooooohoooo!!! The next step is to create a password – to make sure no one gets into your account.
Create your Bluehost account password. Make it a good one, and write it down in your blog planner so you won’t forget it.
Log in to your account using your new password. Please make sure that you are logging in to “hosting” and not “webmail”.
Once you are logged into your account, you will see the screen below. Click on the option you need (I recommend doing it yourself so that you can learn how everything works.
Once you click on the “I can do it” button, you will be directed to your dashboard. You will receive step-by-step instructions on how to link your Bluehost account with WordPress. And voila! You have now started your blog with hosting at Bluehost. Easy as pie, right?
The next step is to make your site pretty.
PICK A THEME
Fortunately, WordPress offers a large range of FREE WordPress themes that are easy to install, easy to update and even easier to design your own look and feel.
If you don’t have the time (or energy), I recommend purchasing a theme. There are lots of sites where you can buy a blog theme that suits your blog style. Here’s my favourite:
Once your site is pretty, you can start to add your awesome content! Write your first blog post and click update and voila! You are now officially a blogger! Congratulations new blogging bestie!
If you started your blog using this tutorial, leave me a link to your blog below and I will be sure to follow you.