P.S. This guide is 4,000 words long which means roughly 20 minutes of reading. So grab yourself a tea, coffee or juice (whichever you prefer) and start with STEP 1. If you get stuck, Contact me and I’ll do my best to help you out.
… 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. This should keep your start easy and painless.
How To Start A Blog – Complete Guide Step By Step
I recommend starting with a self-hosted site using WordPress.org. Why? This type of site will give you the most freedom and the most control over your blog. There is a small cost involved, but it will be worth in the long run to have total control over your own site. The first thing you’ll need to do to set up your self-hosted blog on WordPress.org is select your domain name and hosting package.
1st Step: SELECT A DOMAIN NAME AND GET IT REGISTERED.
Domain name – This will be your personal blog address where people find you over and over again. For example, Facebook’s Domain is www.Facebook.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behindYourNewBlog. 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.
Since you have the perfect name, you now need to register it so no one else steals it. You could choose to register it where you purchase your hosting package. We’ll talk about setting up hosting in a minute and give you an example of registering both parts together.
Another option would be to purchase your domain name separately from your hosting package, which some would say adds an extra layer of security but can also complicate things a little.
If you want to register your domain separately from your hosting, If you’re just starting out, I recommend you keep things as simple as possible and take advantage of the free domain name with Bluehost.
2nd Step: DECIDE WHICH HOSTING PROVIDER TO USE.
You want to pick a trustworthy host because if they have problems, you have problems. Your host is where your blog “lives,” so it affects your site speed and accessibility. Support is also an important factor to consider when choosing a host. You want to be able to call when an issue arises and have it fixed right away to avoid blog downtime as much as possible.
There are a few hosting services that Donnie and I have used and recommend. If you’re just getting started and want an amazing combination of price, speed, and reliability, I recommend Bluehost. It’s a big company but we’ve had a great experience with Bluehost.
if you want to keep things simple and get started right away, go with Bluehost.
SETTING UP HOSTING AT BLUEHOST
We’re going to walk you through the steps of getting started with Bluehost. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that there are 20 steps– that just means we’ve broken it down to make it really easy for you! Here we go!
1) Navigate to lazzybug.com/out/bluehost. You’ll be re-directed to Bluehost through my affiliate link and you may get a few additional perks for signing up through my code. (Thank you for your support!) Click the big green “Get Started Now” button.
2) You’ve already decided on a domain name at this point. To register your domain name with Bluehost, enter it under the “new domain” box and click “next.”
3) Enter all of your account and contact information.
4) Continue down to the “package information” section. You get the cheapest monthly rate by selecting 36 months. It’s important to note that Bluehost charges you for the full the 36 months upfront. You are preparing for the hosting. That’s one of the reasons they are able to offer great hosting at such a small price. They always have that money-back guarantee, though, so you won’t risk losing your money.
There are other services available on this screen but don’t worry about those yet. You can always add them later.
5) Enter your billing information, agree to the service agreements, and then click “next.”
6) Again, there are some additional options you can purchase here, but I wouldn’t. These could be added later if you need them. Click “complete.”
7) Congratulations! You officially have a Bluehost account. Next, you need to create your password.
8) On this screen, you’ll create your Bluehost account password. Don’t forget it! (And of course make it a strong password so no one can hack your site!)
9) Now that your password has been created, you can log into your account for the first time! Make sure you’re logging into “hosting” and not “webmail.”
10) When your account opens for the first time, you’ll see a helpful little welcome message. Fortunately, I’m walking you through the process, so select the “close this welcome message and don’t show it again” button. ?
11) Once you close that window, you’ll be in your account dashboard. You will get very familiar with this page. First things first– you need to install WordPress. Click the “install WordPress” button at the bottom of the screen.
12) On the WordPress Installation screen, click “Install.”
13) Click “show advanced options.”
14) Name your site (you can always change it later), create a username for the WordPress install, and create a WordPress login password. You’ll want to make sure that “Automatically create a new database for this installation” and “I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2” are checked as well. Click “Install Now.”
15) Watch the little bar at the top of the next screen turn green. Now WordPress successfully installed.
16) Now check your email, and you should have something from Mojo Marketplace. This email is important, so make sure you save it! It includes your website URL, your WordPress admin login URL, and your WordPress login username.
17) From the email in the previous step, click the Admin URL. It will take you to a site that looks like the one below. Enter your username.
18) To retrieve your password, navigate back to your Bluehost tab and click the very bottom “view” to see your WordPress password. Remember, this alert expires after 12 hours, so make sure you get the password within that time period.
19) This page shows everything you need to start using WordPress. I like to take a screenshot of this page and save it somewhere that I’ll be able to access easily if I forget my info. (Not that I’m forgetful or anything…. okay, just don’t ask my husband about that. ? )
20) Now you can log into WordPress and you will be presented with your WordPress dashboard.Spend some time going through the various settings. Maybe you’ll be confusing at the first time, but in no time it will all be second nature.
WOOHOO! You now have a WordPress blog. Good luck!
If you ever have any questions about the technical side of setting up a blog, please ask away in the comments, and we’ll try to help as best we can. No go out there and rock the blogging world!!