How to Start a Blog

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:

  1. Think of a name for your blog
  2. Register your new name and purchase hosting
  3. Choose your blogging platform
  4. Customize your blog
  5. Add content
  6. 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!

First, I need to say this; Building a blog is NOT easy. I know that there are a lot of bloggers out there who’ll tell you different, but I can’t do that when I know it’s totally not true. There are going to be times early in this process when you’ll want to chuck your laptop or desktop in the damn garbage. DON’T.

Building a blog isn’t easy at the beginning. But once you get past the point where you’re still designing the theme, making it look the way you want it to, it does actually get MUCH easier.

I didn’t tell you that just to scare you. I really don’t want you getting into this thinking that it’ll be a ‘piece of cake’, and finding that it’s not nearly as easy as some blogger told you it would be.

There. I’ve said it. That’s my blogging disclaimer 🙂

Ready to get into it now? (I see you hesitantly 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.

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 this hosting company 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 🙂

  1. CLICK HERE to go to the web host, and key in the name that you’d like for your blog into the search bar. You’ll get your hosting for $2.88 a month US a month (or $3.78 a month Canadian). And you DON’T have to pay for an insane number of months hosting up front to get that price.

2. It’s time to choose a domain name for your new blog. You’ll see a page where you’ll choose your domain name in the “search domain” bar. 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 the search will give you a number of choices that you can pick your name from. If it’s available, you’ll see the message in grey print, as in the illustration below.

 

Next, choose your term. This company wants to know how long you want to register your hosting/domain for; monthly or yearly. You can do either, it’s super affordable regardless of which option you choose.

Once you see that your name is available, click “add to cart”. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a bunch of other options open up for you to add to your domain, including “Stellar Shared Hosting” ($2.88/mo).

If you want site security certificate, click “Positive SSL” (recommended, and it’s only $1.99 a year), email with your blog name is free, so naturally, you’re gonna want to add that as well 😉

If you’d rather have a managed WordPress site (the company sets up the WordPress installation for you, you don’t have to do it), simply click “Easy WP”. It’s only $8.88 a year, which adds up to a whopping .74 cents a month (absolutely recommended if you’re a total newbie).

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 orange “View Cart” button at the bottom and review your order to make sure that everything is correct.

Once your order is completed, you’ll receive an email from your new web host with your order details. Keep that email in a safe place, in case you ever need to refer to those details.

And VOILA! You’ve got a brand new name for your blog, and a kick ass host to run it 🙂

5. Now it’s time to log into your new account, and install your WordPress blog.

Your welcome email will include instructions for setup 🙂

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.

HOW TO START A BLOG

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