So you’ve decided to start a blog. Congratulations! Blogging is not only a great way to start a new hobby, but with a blog, you can help others with problems you’ve overcome, or teach them something that you’re adept at doing! A blog also allows you to establish yourself as an expert, and with your blog, you can even make money.
Here’s how to start your new blog in 6 steps:
- Think of a name for your blog
- Register your new name and purchase hosting
- Choose your blogging platform
- Customize your blog
- Add content
- Market your blog/Start growing
I created this page to help you get started on your blogging journey the right way. In my years of coaching and helping people build and manage their blogs, I’ve found that people make mistakes when they’re starting a blog, and will sometimes completely abandon the project out of frustration. I don’t want that for you.
Before you can start worrying about what your blog will look like, you’ll need to choose your blogging platform.
Please take the time to read through this post in its entirety. It’s only about a 15 – 20 minute read, so grab an iced tea and get comfortable. I’m going to walk you through the process of setting up your self-hosted blog, so you get it right the first time. If you already have a blog, sign up for my FREE course at the top of this page, for great tips on how to get readers, and even make some money!
Ready to get into it? (I see you nodding your head…)
Wicked! Let’s do it 🙂
Step 1: Choosing your blog name
Choosing a name for your new baby is the first step to starting your blog. Depending on what you decide to blog about, this part of the journey should be fairly easy. Once that’s done, you’ll move onto step 2.
Step 2: Choosing the right blogging platform
There are a few blogging platforms to choose from. You can create your blog on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and more. I generally (always) recommend WordPress to my clients, for a few reasons; I build my own blogs on the platform, because:
- it’s free
- it has in infinite number of themes (templates) to build on, many that’re also free
- it’s customizable in whatever ways you’d like
- it’s secure; WordPress is always updating their software to stay secure, so there’s never a worry that your blog will be hacked
- your WordPress blog is self-hosted, which means that you can pretty much do anything you want with it. You can’t do that with blogs that aren’t self-hosted.
If your blog isn’t self hosted:
- The web address of your blog will be long and hard to remember (like thisaintmyblog.blogspot.com) instead of a branded address of your own.
- You can’t advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it near impossible to ever make money from your blog.
- You don’t control what appears on your blog – the blogging platform does, and they could shut you down anytime, for any reason, or for no reason.
All of these ‘issues’ apply to the Blogger.com and WordPress.COM blogs. This is why a self-hosted, or a WordPress.ORG blog is where you want to build your new blog.
Now to the good stuff!
To set up your self-hosted blog and your own domain name, you’ll need two things:
Domain Name: This will be your blog address where people will be able to find you. For example, Google’s Domain is www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.whateveryoudesire.com, except that you’ll choose what’s going to be behind whateveryoudesire. The cost of a domain name is usually $10/year, but if you follow this guide, I’ll show you how to get one for free!
Web hosting – This will be the home of your blog address and your blog posts, pages, etc. Without web hosting, your domain will be useless. Think of your hosting as a computer hard drive that stores all of the information on your blog ( blog posts, images, etc.). The cost of web hosting is usually somewhere between $2-5 a month. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that you’ll buy for your blog.
“Where should I get this domain name and hosting that you speak of?”
There are hundreds of different domain and web hosting providers, and they all offer similar services (domain + hosting) with similar pricing, but since I’ve dealt with and monitored many famous and recommended web hosting companies like iPage, Godaddy etc.
I recommend IPage to my clients, and use it for many of my blogs, because they have great performance, they are easy to use and in my opinion, it’s probably the best choice for new bloggers. You’re not obligated to take my word for it. you can always go with another web hosting provider, as long as they’re reliable and they offer unlimited storage & bandwidth.
WHEW! So…now that THAT’S done, we get to the GOOD STUFF 🙂 (Can you TELL that I’m excited?) AREN’T YOU EXCITED??!
It’s time to get that blog up and running 🙂
- CLICK HERE to o to IPage and click “Get Started Now” when you get there. Because you’re using the link above, you’ll get your hosting for $1.99 US a month instead of $7.95 US a month (or $2.50 a month Canadian). That’s 75% off hosting AND you’ll get a free domain and email addresses as well!
2. It’s time to choose a domain name for your new blog. Once you click “get started” you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll choose your domain name. Go ahead and key in the name you picked and click “Search”.
What if the Domain Name I Want Is Not Available
This is very common, particularly when it comes to .com domains. Just about every word in the dictionary has been registered as a .com domain, so don’t give up hope if your first choice is taken.
If your name isn’t available IPage will give you a number of choices that you can pick your name from. If it’s available, you’ll see the message in green print, as in the illustration below.
Next, choose your term. IPage wants to know how long you want to register your hosting/domain for. Go ahead and choose your plan, which will include your free domain name, free email addresses, free website builder and marketing tools, AND you get a 30 day money back guarantee! You can’t beat that :
Next, you’re going to click on the “Next, customize my plan” button, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose any added features like site security, and privacy features. If you click on the little blue question mark beside each feature, IPage will open a window telling you what that feature is. You can take a closer look at these services to be sure that you don’t want them (or maybe you do), but my advice to you is that at the moment, you don’t need them. You can always add them later if you choose to.
Once you’ve chosen your domain and your hosting plan, it’s time to finish your registration.
4. Wrap up your registration
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and your plan, you’ll click the red button at the bottom that says “Next, customize my plan.” (again). This time, it’ll take you to the payment page, and allow you to enter your address and payment information. Double check the grey column to the right underneath “Your Order” to make sure that everything looks correct. If it’s all good (including the total), go ahead and click the “Purchase Now” button.
And VOILA! You’ve got a brand new name for your blog, and a kick ass host to run it 🙂 It usually takes a few minutes for IPage to set up your account, and you’ll receive an email once it’s ready.
5. Now it’s time to log into your new account, and install your WordPress blog.
Your confirmation email from IPage will include your login information. Once you’ve received that confirmation email from IPage, you can log into your Control Panel (sometimes referred to as the CPanel), and begin the process of installing WordPress. It literally takes just one click 🙂
Once you’ve received your confirmation email from IPage, CLICK HERE for instructions on how to set up your WordPress account (if you have any trouble, their customer service department is amazing, or feel free to shoot me an email. I’m happy to help wherever I can 🙂
If you want to create a simple blog, WordPress is a good choice. Applications like WordPress allow you to get a blog up and running quickly and easily.
Congratulations! You should be very proud of yourself! You just made yourself a WordPress blog! You’ve installed WordPress and set up your blog, all by yourself (with minimal assistance)! Easy Peasy right?!
Now that your blog is set up, it’s time to sign up for my FREE 5 Day blogging course for tips on how to get readers, make money, and customize your blog.