This step by step guide will assist you to start your own blog, without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials. As proof of time worth, over 2,000 people have already setup blogs using this guide!
Advice :Should you get stuck, send an email here and someone will help you out.
More businesses and people are getting online today; to look for information, to place orders, to hire professionals, to look or work,.... Why should you or your business be left out. In fact, this is the new proof of authentic business or career profiles. There are many reasons why you need to create a blog. I will show you how to build a blog from scratch. And in the end, show you how to make money with your blog.
… And once you’ve set up your blog, I’ve additional guides for getting more visitors to your blog as well as making it profitable. So follow this 15 minute guide to the end.
Ready to create your blog today? Let’s get started…
Here is a step guide to start a blog. I’ll walk you through each one below in-depth.
- Choose your blogging platform
- Select a Domain Name & Set Up a Web Hosting Account
- Install WordPress
- Customize Your Blog and Choose a Theme
- Start publishing your blog
- Promote Your Blog and build your audience
- Learn some ways to Make Money from your blog
Step 1: Choose your Blogging Platform (WordPress)
Before you can even start worrying about how your blog will look like, you’ll need to choose your blogging platform.
There’s a lot to choose from. You are able to create a blog with many different blogging platforms, such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and more…
However, given that there are over 72 million active users using WordPress today, it’s clear which platform rules.
While the other blogging platforms are generally all pretty OK, nothing has ever come close to matching the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers. So without a doubt, go with WordPress. Especially when you are just starting out.
HOLD UP! At this point, you don’t need to install nor download anything – I’ll show you this in a minute, but first…
Why you shouldn’t create a blog on a free blogging platform
Without a doubt, you need to self-host your WordPress blog.
Think about it – what famous, successful blogger you know is using a free blogging website like “startbloggingonline.freeblogs.com” instead of their own domain name like “StartBloggingOnline.com”, for example?
It’s not just that – free blogging platforms have other problems too – including…
- You don’t control your content – the blogging platform does. They could shut you down any time, and for any reason. Don’t believe me? Read this.
- The web address of your blog will be long and hard to remember (like yourfreeblog.blogspot.com) instead of a catchy, branded address you choose.
- You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it much harder to ever make money from blogging.
All of these limitations apply to the WordPress.COM blogs. What you really want is to self-host a WordPress blog – it’s the same software without all the limitations!
Don’t get me wrong: If you really don’t care whether or not your blog will be successful, go with free blogging platforms. They’re an okay way to try out blogging for a little bit.
But if you ever want to look credible, build an audience and make money blogging, then you need your own blog, on your own domain name, with your own hosting. That way, you make the rules and control your content.
If I were you, I’d start with a self-hosted blog on my own domain from day one. Setting up a blog like this is WAY easier and less expensive than you think.
Finding a domain name and web hosting provider
Now to exciting part! To set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain name, you’ll need two things:
Domain name – This will be your personal blog address where people find you over and over again. For example Google’s Domain is www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behind YourNewBlog. The cost of a domain name is usually $10/year, but if you follow this guide all the way, I’ll show you how to get one for much cheaper.
Web hosting – This will be the home of your blog address and content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a computer hard drive that stores all your content on your blog (images, blog posts and so on). The cost of web hosting is usually somewhere between $2-5 per month.
It’s less than an XL coffee at Starbucks, so it won’t break the bank. But it’s an important investment to your blog success.
Where should I get my domain name and hosting?
When it comes to hosting, there are only two things that matter.
- Page load speed – The average amount of time (in seconds) it takes your blog to load.
- Uptime – 99.9% isn’t enough (it’s 42 minutes of downtime per month). You should be aiming for 100%.
There are hundreds of different web hosting providers. They all offer you a similar service (domain + hosting) with a similar price, but since I’ve dealt with and monitored many famous and recommended web hosting companies like Bluehost, iPage, Godaddy etc…
I now only use and recommend www.Bluehost.com for domain names and web hosting.
Why? Nothing has ever come close to Bluehost in terms of blog load speed and uptime (see below):
Bluehost has great performance, they are easy to use and it’s probably the best pick for beginners.
However, you can always go with another web hosting as long as it’s fast, reliable and offers unlimited storage & bandwidth. This helps you to avoid problems later on.
Step 2: Select a Domain Name & Set Up a Web Hosting Account
Web Hosting is the service that keeps your blog accessible for everyone. It stores all the files, images and content that your blog has and displays it to the visitors.
If you don’t have a web host, you won’t be able to set up a blog for others to see nor will you be able to use your own domain name.
There are Good and Bad Hosts
Choosing your host is one of the most important aspect of creating your blog.
Bad web hosts cause most of the issues people have related to their blog. For example, unhelpful customer service and hidden fees are quite common…
Many cheap hosts also overuse servers to cut their costs—and that leads to your site potentially not working just because many people are visiting some other site. Only some cheaper hosts control the resources well, so that your website always works right.
I highly recommend using www.Bluehost.com as your host, and it’s the hosting company I currently use.
There are many hosting companies out there, but for a WordPress site, Bluehost should definitely be at the top of anyone’s list. Bluehost is the only hosting service officially recommended by WordPress and has been the number-one recommended hosting service for their platform for almost 10 years. There are many reasons why Bluehost is so highly recommended, but here are just a few:
- Premium customer service, reliability and usability
- Easy-to-use control panel
- Custom-built servers to provide the most stable and reliable hosting environment
- Quickly get started with our one-click WordPress install provided by MOJO Marketplace
- Expert, in-house technical support provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Unlimited websites, email accounts, and domains – all on one account at an affordable price
- No gimmicks, no contracts. Enjoy the comfort of a 30-day money back guarantee and the option to cancel at any time.
And to sweeten the deal even more, if you sign up through this tutorial, you’ll get a special offer of shared hosting at $3.95/month for 36 months, as well as a free domain name for a year!
To set up your hosting account with Bluehost, follow the steps below. It will speed up the process to think of a domain name you want to use and to have your credit card for payment ready to go before you get started.
- They have one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy for you to get started.
- They have 24/7 support, so there’s always someone to answer your questions. They even have employees who work full-time on improving WordPress itself, so there probably isn’t a question you could ask that they couldn’t answer.
- They’ve been officially recommended by WordPress since 2005.
- They have a money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund if you decide you don’t want to have a blog after all.
- Lastly, you’ll get a FREE domain name.
Of course, you don’t need to use Bluehost if you don’t want to. Feel free to use any other web hosting provider that is reliable, secure and easy to manage (i.e. one-click-install for WordPress).
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide for setting up your blog on Bluehost (or any other web host)
NOTE: It’s easiest and fastest to do this if you go through the steps with me. But in case you want to know the steps before starting, here they are:
- Sign up with Bluehost or any other similar web hosting provider.
- Choose the hosting plan (you can pick the cheapest one).
- Choose the domain name you want (they give it to you free).
- Write down your contact and billing information and choose extras (you don’t need any).
- Use the 1-click install to get WordPress ready.
Altogether, this takes about 5-10 minutes if you follow the instructions (and you have chosen your domain name). So, you can start writing your first post in just a few minutes.
Next step is to choose a web hosting plan (you can pick the cheapest one).
There are three options: Basic (recommended), Plus, and Prime.
The Basic option is perfect for beginners. The other two aren’t really needed unless you’re getting millions of visitors from day one. Best of all, Basic is the cheapest option so you save some cash, too.
Next, you need to choose a domain name for your site. If you already own a domain name, you can enter it here, and you will just have to go through a few extra steps to make sure you get your DNS pointed to Bluehost. If you don’t already have a domain name, you can purchase one from right in the sign up process, and the best part is, it comes free with your new WordPress hosting account purchase.
It doesn’t have to end with .com, so you can also use different endings (such as: .net, .org, or even .co.uk) if your first choice isn’t available.
If you already have a domain name (i.e., you bought it from somewhere else), use the second form on the right (“I have a domain name”).
Once you’ve entered a domain name, you’ll fill in your personal information.
There are three parts to this page. The first is account information.
Just enter your contact information as you would normally.
Then, you’ll choose which hosting package you want. Normal, shared hosting is priced at 12, 24 and 36-month terms. To help save you money, the longer term you purchase, the lower the monthly rate will be. For example, by choosing a 36-month hosting term, you can get the great introductory rate of $3.95/month. And, because you’ve chosen to host with Bluehost, if you ever need more than a shared hosting account, Bluehost provides seamless upgrades to VPS or dedicated server hosting accounts from inside your control panel.
First you need to choose your account plan. Within the Basic option, you can choose to sign up for 12, 24, or 36 months. I’d start off with 12 months.
Next you’ll have some add-on options to choose from. I recommend you don’t go too crazy with these.
That being said, here are two you might want to consider:
- Domain privacy – When you register a domain name, all your information is added to a public database. If you don’t want that, you can tick this option, and BlueHost will appear as the registrant (you still have full control and ownership of the domain). So, this option protects you from spammers. If you don’t mind your information being public, untick that option and you’ll save $0.99 per month.
- Site Backup Pro – While WordPress is quite secure, it’s a good choice to sign up for Site Backup Pro just in case. If you are scared that you’ll mess something up, tick that box to have backups available.
The last part is filling your billing info. If you want to pay with PayPal, click the “More payment options” link.
You’ll then be asked to create a password for your account. You can use the Password Generator to create a strong and secure password, or create one yourself. It is required to have both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (?!#, etc.) in order to have a strong enough password to protect your account.
Now that you are all signed up and are able to log into your account, you can get started installing WordPress!
Step 3: Install WordPress Using the 1-click install
Now you need to install WordPress. Luckily, with the Bluehost’s one-click WordPress install, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Here is the step-by-step guide to install WordPress on Bluehost:
1) Login to your Bluehost control panel at: my.bluehost.com
2) Once you’re logged in, you’ll be redirected to your Control Panel. From there, choose “Install WordPress”.
3) This leads you to the next page where you can choose your blog destination URL. I recommend using your root domain (www.YourNewDomain.com, not www.YourNewDomain.com/blog/), so just leave the field on the right empty.
Log into your new blog
At this stage, you should now have a blank WordPress site installed, along with your admin access username and password written down somewhere.
Start by typing in your new web address (www.YourNewBlog.com) to see what your WordPress blog looks like. Here’s what you’ll probably see:
Next, log in to your admin panel by going to an address like: http://YourNewBlog.com/wp-admin/. (You’ll use the same username and password you chose earlier during the setup.)
STEP 4: Customize Your Blog and Choose a Theme
Once you’re inside WordPress dashboard, you can start customizing your blog. We’ll go through everything you need to do to get your blog ready and your first post published today.
You should get familiar with the look and items of the WordPress admin menu. Here are the various admin menu items:
- Dashboard – This is the page you see right after logging in.
- Posts – Here you can write and publish new blog posts and view and edit old ones. We’ll go through this once we’ve set up the blog otherwise.
- Media – This is your media library with all the images, PDFs, videos, etc. you’ve uploaded.
- Links – Many blogs don’t use this at all. You can skip it for now.
- Pages – Here you can write and publish new pages and view and edit old ones. We’ll look at this after choosing your blog design.
- Comments – Everything related to comments. You can get familiar with this when you’ve published your first post and readers leave the first comments.
- Appearance – Here you can change what your blog looks like. We’ll go through this in detail below.
- Plugins – Here you can add and remove plugins, which add functionality to your blog. We’ll go through this after selecting the theme.
- Users – If you create your content with others, you can add them as users here, so they can edit posts. Otherwise, you can skip this for now.
- Tools – Here are some additional tools you can use for publishing posts. You can skip this for now.
- Settings – Here you can edit your blog’s settings. We’ll look at the essential settings later.
To learn more about each one of these (and see screenshots) check out this article from WordPress.
Choose a FREE Theme for Your Blog
I think choosing your new WordPress blog design is the most fun step.
The good news:
- You can do it all on your own.
- You can get a FREE WordPress theme that makes your blog look great.
- You can change it later (just don’t change it so often that your readers can’t keep up).
The bad news:
- You can spend a LONG time looking for the perfect theme.
- A WordPress theme is responsible for how your blog looks, so it’s an important decision.
In other words, a WordPress theme is like your car’s frame. It changes how the car looks, but doesn’t impact the features or performance too much.
Luckily for you, WordPress has thousands of great-looking themes already optimized to fit any brand, niche, or industry.
Here’s what to look for in a WordPress theme:
- Simplicity: Unclear design makes it difficult for readers to navigate your blog.
- Responsiveness: The theme needs to adjust its layout across different screen sizes and devices. In the highly mobile world we live in, responsiveness is a necessity.
- Speed: Although most themes don’t slow down your blog significantly, it’s still good to test it. To test a theme’s speed, use the Pingdom Website Speed Test, enter the URL of the theme’s demo, and see how long the page takes to load. If the load time is longer than three seconds, you might want to find a different theme (ideally, the load time is below two seconds).
- Ease of customization: It should be easy to customize the theme—otherwise, you’ll struggle every time you want to tweak something. Fortunately, many themes offer plenty of easy customization options.
- SEO readiness: The theme shouldn’t make a huge difference to search engines. But it’s still better to choose a theme that’s designed with SEO in mind. (Look for “SEO Optimized” or “SEO ready” in the theme description.)
- Security: Themes don’t generally create security issues. But it’s anyway good to check some user reviews and comments—and while doing that, check if people have had security problems with the theme.
Keep these factors in mind when choosing a theme. But most importantly, pick something you love and want your readers to see.
So, how do you find a theme? Here’s a video on how to change/add WordPress themes:
STEP 5: Start publishing your blog
Okay, now you should be all set up with WordPress. So, now for the fun part – it’s time to create your first blog post! I’ll take you through each step of this process to make it easy for you.
Go back to your WordPress admin panel (http://your_domain.com/wp-admin/) and then to “Posts » Add New” (or “Pages » Add New) from the left sidebar.
What you’ll see is a very friendly editor screen that should remind you of MS Word or Pages on Mac:
Let’s break down what you’re seeing here:
- Title Area: This is where you write the title of your post.
- Content Area: This is where the body text of your post goes. The whole area works just like text editing in Word or Pages. You can also add images and other media to your post by clicking the “Add Media” button.
- Standard Editing Tools: Here are options like bold, italic, lists, paragraphs, and headlines.
- Publishing Tools: This is where you get your post shown to the world; chief among them is the big blue “Publish” button. You can also set a publication date to schedule your post in the future or save the post as a draft for more editing.
- Additional Fine-tuning Tools: Update your blog post and categorize it (you can learn more about WordPress categories and tags here).
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Adding links to your posts: You should use outbound links to other websites when needed to back up your claims. For example, if you’re writing an article about meditation, you can link to a study that showed that meditation helped people feel calmer. To add links to your posts, highlight the desired text, then scroll up to the blog menu.
Click the paperclip-looking item to the right of the “Align right” item (above the “Add BWS Shortcode”).
From there, add the URL you want to link to:
Then, click the Settings icon on the right (the wheel-looking item above, next to the arrow).
Click the “Open in link a new tab” box. This is important—you don’t want people to leave your site when they click on a link!
Adding Images to your posts: I touched on this briefly before, but I’ll explain it more here. Start by scrolling up to the top of the blog menu and click “Add Media”.
From here, select the files you’d like to upload. You can find previously uploaded files from the “Media Library” at the top-left corner next to “Upload Files”.
Once you’ve uploaded an image, you can choose its size and placement.
To add a featured image (the image that will be at the top of your post and in the thumbnails of your article), scroll to the right sidebar of your blog menu. You’ll see an option titled “Set featured image”. Click that, then go through the same uploading process to add in a featured image here.
Adding videos from YouTube: Adding in a video can spice up your post. This process used to be a bit complicated, but after some recent WordPress updates, it’s easy.
All you have to do is copy the YouTube video URL into the content area. Make sure that the URL is on its own line and not clickable. When you publish the post, the video will appear. I told you it was simple! Our friends at WPBeginner have a guide for this if you need any further help—check it out here.
Creating the slug: Your slug is the URL of the post. You want to make this slug clear and concise. This will make it easier for people to share it on social media, and overall it will just look better.
You can find the slug underneath the post title. It will say “Permalink: http://yourdomain.com/post_title”.
Sometimes, the title of your blog post will make the perfect slug. But usually, it will be too long, and you should change it, so that it’s no longer than 2-4 words.
Here are some tips for optimizing your WordPress slugs:
- Target SEO keywords. Think of what people would type to Google when they search for the information you share in the post—those are SEO keywords.
- Avoid duplicates (make sure it’s not the same as another slug on your website).
- Don’t change the slug after publishing the post (unless you absolutely have to) as this will result in lost traffic.
Adding headings: Headings help you structure your content and make it easier for people to read. Consider adding headings for each of your main points.
To add a heading, scroll up to “Paragraph” drop-down menu. Select the heading you’d like to use. Note that the “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the post’s title, so stick to the smaller headings (with larger numbers) inside the post.
Publish Your Post (or Page)
When you’re done working with your post, click the “Publish” button and then the “View post” link that’s going to appear at the top of the page (you’ll see your post live on the site).
Congratulations! You just published your first blog post. Before you share it with others (which is the next step), let’s add a simple tracking system to your site, so you’ll see exactly how many people you’ve reached.
Need More Help?
Check out this video that will walk you through the steps of installing WordPress: http://bluho.st/sfvBT
Step 7: Promoting your Blog
To learn how to promote your blog, please read this article
Step 8: Some Ways to Make Money
To learn how to monetize your blog, please read here how to make money with a blog