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I've been blogging for nearly 10 years now and the number one question that I get is… how do I start my own blog and is it expensive? Well, y'all – the awesome news is that starting a blog is so easy that you can do it in less than ten minutes AND it's less expensive then a new dress! And the even better news is that starting your own blog can be a life-changing thing. It was for me and I'm forever grateful for the day I started my own. Are you ready to find your little piece of the Internet? In this post, I am going to show you how to start a blog in four easy steps – get a domain name, get a host for your blog, install WordPress, and choose a theme. So let's get going and I'll show you how to start a blog in less than ten minutes!
Excited? Me, too! So, let's get right to it.
Choose a Domain Name
The very first thing that you need to do is choose your blog's domain name. Why? Because you literally cannot move on to another step unless you have a name purchased. Also, your name is EVERYTHING. A great name can make or break a blog (I get compliments on a weekly basis on my blog's name) and sometimes, it can be frustrating to "get" yours. I cannot tell you the number of names that I came up with – only to discover that they had already been purchased by someone else! If you are hooked on a name but it is already taken, then I encourage you to experiment with different ways to spell it or look for some synonyms. Big Fat Tip: Buy the .com version of your domain name. Sure, there are many different extensions you can own (i.e. .net, .biz, .tv) but .com is considered the most authoritative and professional. And better yet, if you purchase 1 year of hosting in advance through Bluehost, you’ll actually get a one year domain name registration for FREE!
Get Hosting For Your Blog
The next step is to get hosting for your blog. Hosting a blog means that you will have a "place" for your blog and domain name on the Internet. Bluehost is a very easy to use and reliable host that I recommend my clients. The best part? You can get a FREE domain name when you purchase 1 year of hosting in advance (versus paying monthly). This is an AMAZING deal and Bluehost has three great hosting options for you to choose from:
- Starter Package is $3.95/per month (12 month option)
- Plus Package is $6.95/ per month (12 month option)
- Business Pro Package is $14.95 per month (12 month option)
If you are debating purchasing an annual hosting plan versus a monthly plan, remember that a yearly plan is a better deal in the long run and you'll have the reassurance of running your blog without an issue. Blogs thrive and grow on reliability so a monthly plan could lead to issues if you forget to make a payment (and you blog gets taken offline until you pay). I really do recommend just purchasing the annual plan so you can get going with your blog! Big Fat Tip: I always recommend to those just starting out to go with the $3.95 package. You can then think about an upgrade down the road when you are starting to get good traffic, but until that happens, save some money and start with the cheapest option. Remember, you can always upgrade to the next level if you need to.
Install the WordPress Blogging Platform
One of the best blogging platforms out there is WordPress and it's insanely easy to install it with Bluehost. In order to start blogging, you'll need to install WordPress. Just follow these steps:
- After you buy your Bluehost hosting plan, you'll get an email with a link to your CPANEL (the behind the scenes dashboard of your account). Just click the link to go to your WordPress CPANEL.
- Once logged into your CPANEL click on the "Mojo Marketplace" and then click the "One Install" button.
- Next, you'll need to find the WordPress icon under Blogs, click on it, and then click on "Start". This will begin the installation process.
- Next you will select the domain name you want associated with your WordPress installation. Click on the dropdown menu and select your newly purchased domain name.
- Next, click on "Advanced Options" and create a username and password for your blog. Big Fat Tip: Make sure that both your username and password are secure and unique. Avoid using "Admin" and "Password" (or something similar) for your username and password. Trust me, those are the FIRST things that hackers try. I recommend using a combination of uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols for maximum security.
- Next, you'll click on "Automatically Create A New Database For This Installation". This creates a new database where all of your blog posts and images will be hosted (i.e. stored).
- The last step is to click "Install"!
Select a WordPress Theme
Now that you're done doing all the technical stuff, you can move on to selecting a theme and making your blog reflect your personality! One of the best things about WordPress is that there are thousands (no joke!) of free or premium themes that you can choose from to upload to your blog and make it look incredible. Big Fat Tip: I always recommend that new bloggers choose a free WordPress theme to get started. WordPress has several different WordPress themes already installed (which you can see by clicking on “Appearance -> Themes” while logged into your WordPress dashboard). Select one of those themes or upload a new theme by clicking on “Add New” right near Themes. This will show you all the available FREE themes. Use advanced search feature or keyword search to find a theme that fits your blog. You can also buy some really cool themes.
Once you have found a theme that you like, click "Install". After the theme installs, click "Activate" to make it your main theme. Now you're ready to start blogging!
So remember, to start a blog in less than an hour, you'll need to:
Get started and remember to share your new blog in the comments!