How to Start a Blog this Year.
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Are you ready to learn how to start a new life and become successful blogging today? We have got you covered in this very simple and yet easy to follow tutorial for beginners.
Click here to get started with Bluehost, then follow our easy to use tutorial below.
Why start a blog?
Well, 16 months ago, my husband and I were a couple of frustrated professionals looking for a way out of the rat race. I had just put to bed, and we needed more money than our jobs could provide.
We were tired of everything. The rent was hard to pay; groceries was getting too expensive for us to afford and we couldn’t afford a decent vacation anymore.
In less than a year, we had started our first blog (later sold it for $400,000). It focused on health and lifestyle articles for young professionals. We turned it into a money-making machine with our blog.
We built a business from scratch and saw someone make an incredible offer for it.
The feeling was truly liberating. Like we have never felt before.
The blog has changed our lives.
We can wake up in the morning and do what we want to do when we want to do it.
We now take coffee every morning and design our day. Our families also see us more often, and we can travel around the world to countries like Bali and South Africa while working on the go to update our blog.
Simplified Guide On How to Start a Blog
Today, we will walk you through the steps on how to setup your first blog so you can design your life on your terms as we did.
The following guide below is a step by step guide that anyone can use to create the blog of their dreams and earn money from it. Trust us, a lot of people have used this guide to start a blog and change their lives.
If you don’t have a web host and domain yet – Click here to get hosting from Bluehost and a FREE DOMAIN NAME, then follow this guide below for the directions on how to set it up.
This article is focused on how to start a blog the only way we know – through Bluehost.
We chose Bluehost due to the huge number of savings they provide for bloggers.
- There is the bonus of a FREE domain name! This is super cool, and it saves you as much as $45 if you sign up with other hosting companies who charge you for your domain name.
- Ease of use is another reason why we recommend Bluehost.
We went around the market before settling with Bluehost. Trust us; if our 5 year old son Tyler can follow this guide and set up her blog, then you won’t find it hard to do. It is incredibly easy and straightforward. Our step by step tutorial also helps guide you along the way.
- 30 Days Guarantee. Bluehost offers a guarantee on every purchase made on their hosting packages. If you sign up for any of their 12 months packages or more and then decide along the way that it’s not a good fit – you can ask for a full refund thanks to its 30 days guarantee.
Can you see the benefits now?
- Ease of use.
- Free Domain Name.
- 30 Days Money Guarantee.
- There’s no risk, but most people don’t realise this.
The truth is, we were not fortunate to start with Bluehost. We didn’t read a guide like this before we started our first site.
We read it when we got into trouble.
So, three months into our blogging career, we had a spike in traffic due to a post we advertised on Facebook. This spike in traffic led to our website getting shut down. We were down for three days.
We ended up paying the hosting company more money before our hosting package was re-activated.
Once we got our website back online, we were recommended to Bluehost.
We rang the customer service team at night, and they picked it up, which was a bit of surprise for us. We told them about our experience with the former company, and they promised to take care of everything for us.
That’s our story.
So, this blog is super comprehensive, and it will walk you through everything you need to get started. You can save the pins or bookmark the site so you can come back to read it later.
Step #1. Register a Domain Name ($0 when you pay for a web host package).
Step #2. Get a Web Host ($3.75/month)
Step #3. Set up WordPress ($0 on Bluehost)
Step #4. Get a Theme for your Blog (Free)
So, let’s kick off with the first step you you should follow in your bid to start a blog.
Step #1: Register Your Domain Name for Your Blog
Click here or the image below to being the process and then follow the step-by-step process below to get started.
How do I get a domain name?
Purchasing a domain name is paramount to starting a website. It positions you as a brand and helps businesses take you seriously. Plus, when you want to monetize your site using Ads from Google or Amazon, you might not get accepted to the program, if you don’t have a www.YourName.com domain.
A domain name is the address of your website that readers will type into their web browser when they want to visit your blog.
You can click here to purchase your hosting so you can create your blog. There is a FREE DOMAIN NAME that comes with.
Check the availability of your domain name here:
How to choose a domain name.
Remember, when choosing a blog name, don’t over complicate it. You name won’t determine the success of your blog, it’s the content and how you market your blog (more on this later) that matters.
A good example is femniqe.com which doesn’t sound awesome when you pronounce it- but is one of the blogs that are quite successful in the fitness space and the name didn’t help it get there. The content did.
Remember, getting a domain name is FREE on Bluehost. You don’t have to pay $35 extra when you signup with other hosts. You can get it for FREE with Bluehost when you choose a hosting plan. We recommend doing this as it makes things easy for you.
Already have a domain name elsewhere, and you want to transfer it to Bluehost? You can get it done by going through this link.
Step #2: Select a Blog Hosting Package
What’s the big deal about hosting and why do I need it?
Every domain name has a web hosting where the files are stored.
While your domain name is similar to your home address, the web host is the house where all the files powering your site will reside.
All web addresses have a web host.
Here is the technical explanation.
When someone Googles your domain name, the domain name becomes an IP address on your web hosting company’s computer. This computer has all your files (content, code and images). The web hosts will then send those files back to the user’s browsers.
You need a web hosting before your domain name can go live and become accessible. You also need a domain name (address) once you purchase a web hosting.They go hand in hand.
Our domain name is Reviewdots.com
The web hosts are the company that keeps our files safely and powers our website, so it is readily accessible for visitors when they want to visits.
Getting a domain name from the same place as your host simplifies the whole process.
Again, since domain name and web hosting are two different services, it is easy to understand why some web hosting companies charge differently for both.
Bluehost offers the domain name FREE when you sign up for a web hosting package for up to 12 months with Bluehost.
So, let’s get your domain name and web hosting company up with a quick demonstration.
We will walk you through the step we took to register the domain name: ShelbyKitchen.com.
First, we start off by going to BlueHost.com to begin.
Make sure the Bluehost.com site is opened in another tab or a separate window so you can follow the steps.
Click on the ‘get started now‘ button
The next page will show you a list of the pricing options available.
Next step, choose the basic pricing option. Don’t worry; this is what we started with ourselves.
So this is a rundown of everything on the basic plan:
- Website: you can only use 1 website with this plan. In our case, the website will be ShelbyKitchen.com
- 50GB website space: this is the storage space on Bluehost servers that will be allocated to you to store all your text files, images and database. For most new sites, 5GB is enough because you probably won’t be publishing 10 posts per day like CNN or HuffingtonPost.com
- Unmetered bandwdth: this measures the speed of transfer of files when a user accesses your site.
- SSL Certificate: allows for secured connections from a web hosting server to your site. It boosts your rankings as it signals to Google that your site is secure.
- Parked domains: means you can register as much as 5 other domains which will point to your primary domain. E.g., our website is ShelbyKitchen.com; we can buy parked domains of ShelbyKitchen.com.uk (uk means United Kingdom) or ShelbyKitchen.com.au which will redirect UK visitors and Australian visitors to our primary domain of ShelbyKitchen.com
- Subdomains: these are prefixes before your primary domain. E.g. – for ShelbyKitchen.com, we have sub domain of Shop.ShelbyKitchen.com for our online store as well as Mail.ShelbyKitchen.com where our email will be accessed from.
- Email accounts: these are the number of email accounts you can open for your business. E.g – Shel@ShelbyKitchen.com, John@ShelbyKitchen.com, Brenda@ShelbyKitchen.com etc.
- Email storage: refers to the storage space for the files and images that accompany your images.
Now, that you have chosen the BASIC plan, you can get a much deeper discount, if you go for 36 months package.
Bluehost’s pricing plan comes with the following advantages.
- Cancel anything within a 30 days period. Set up your site and use it as much as you want – if you still feel the need to cancel it during the first 30 days, you can do so and get a full refund.
- Signing on longer for (24 months or 36 months) is an investment that you are making into your future. These things take time, but once you commit to it, you will reap TONS of rewards over the next few months.
Signing for longer also means your price of web hosting won’t get raised during that period.
Once you’re done with the plan, you will select your new domain name. Our domain name is ShelbyKitchen.com, so we will put it in the box as seen in the image below:
Type in your domain name under the “new domain” box, right inside where we inserted “ShelbyKitchen.com” and click on next.
The next step is to fill in your contact information and then head to the package information section.
Steps to Follow.
Check the account plan. Ensure the account plan chosen is the Basic Account Plan. As mentioned above, you can get more value for the 36-month plan as it means you won’t have to worry about paying Bluehost for the next 3 years.
Check the Domain Privacy Protection. Some of the boxes on this page might have already been checked for you except Domain Privacy Protection. What this means is that if by chance, you become ultra successful in the next 7 months, no one can Google your name to find out contact details of your site. By law, details of domain ownership should be made public, but when you pay for this feature, Bluehost will replace your ownership details with theirs, shielding yours forever.
So, there are tools that allow you find who owns what and in some cases, you will also dig up the person’s email address, phone number and home address. When you pay for Domain Privacy Protection, Bluehost will shield your information.
Your screen should look like this:
Once all of these have been checked; you can then add your credit card details to complete the order.
Congratulations! You now own a website!
That wasn’t hard, was it?
Step #3: Set Up WordPress on Your Blog.
With other web hosts, you have to go through a lot of hassles when launching a site through WordPress.
Not with Bluehost.
WordPress is a Content Management System that makes it easy for you to design a website without coding knowledge. All you have to do is click and click.
Bluehost has made it easier to gets started with WordPress as a beginner. They simplified their process which allows you cut to the chase fast.
Once you’ve set up your website, you will be directed to choose a theme for your WordPress site. Your computer should look like this:
A theme is used to create how you want your site to look. Forbes.com and CNN.com are good examples of sites that could be running on WordPress. What makes them look different (in style, colours and fonts) is what we call a WordPress Theme.
As a beginner, you can select any of the free themes displayed for a start. When it comes to themes (how your site looks), you can always change them anytime.
So, once you have selected a theme, you will be taken into your dashboard where you can customize a lot of things.
Your dashboard should look like this after selecting a theme:
- Choose “Business” option to be taken to the next step.
You will then see a screen that looks like this:
- From here, you can type your first post and start customizing options for your WordPress site.
To customize a site, we need to be careful.
When you’re learning how to use a new platform, the beginning can look confusing, but it won’t take long before you get used to it and become perfect.
At this stage, a lot of website owners get frustrated while some allow self-doubts to creep up. We have all been through this stage before, and it’s normal.
My husband and I had no coding knowledge too when we started, and we pulled through.
WordPress is the most powerful content management system in the world, powering millions of website thanks to its ability to give people with no coding experience the power to create beautiful websites.
Step #4: Choose a Theme.
Now, let’s choose a theme for your blog.
Go to the left-hand menu in your WordPress Dashboard –> click on “Appearances” and then select “Themes”. This is where you will select a free theme for your WordPress site or upload a premium theme that you might have purchased.
Your blog will require a theme. You can decide to go with the free option (which is limited) or go for a premium theme (depending on your budget and plan for your blog).
Option 1: Get a FREE THEME or use the WordPress Basic Theme
So, WordPress has a default theme that comes with your site once it was created on Bluehost. You can start with that or go with one of the free themes in the WordPress Theme Directory. Premium themes come with a lot of functionality, and you can always tweak them as you want. If you can spare an extra $50, you can get a free theme, but if you don’t have that in your budget, you should go with a free theme.
To check a list of free themes available for you, check out this list here.
There you have it!
Everything you need to start a blog as a newbie. Don’t feel overwhelmed; you have everything at your disposal now.
Feel free to comment here if you have any issues and I will do my best to help out as quick as possible.
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