Are you interested in learning how to start a blog? Do you have a passion or some knowledge that you are compelled to share with the world? Or perhaps you are interested in learning how you can make money blogging?
Building a blog is not exactly rocket science, but it’s also not a simple project for those who are less experienced in technology. This should not scare you away from creating a blog by yourself! My guide will show you exactly step by step – how to build your blog the easy way. BONUS: At the end of the blog post we’ve created a video for you to watch to walk you through setting up your blog! It’s 2 hours long and chuck full of information!
Things have changed over the years, and it’s more important than ever to start your blog the correct way and lay a solid foundation for future blogging success. But please remember that the ultimate key to your blogging success is action.
If you’ve ever wanted a creative outlet, a place to spill your thoughts, or to connect with other people with the same interests, blogging is certainly something that will bring you value. Whatever interests you, blog about it!
Business, faith, movies, DIY projects, fitness, home decor, gardening, parenting, baking – the possibilities are limitless. If you are passionate enough to put forth the time and effort into your blog, your hard work will pay you back. Honestly though, I never feel like I’m working. I enjoy it so much. Why not get paid to do something you love? With the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Blog – you can learn step-by-step what it takes to set it up. It’s super simple!
I’m starting you off with the basics of creating your blog before diving into the heavy-duty stuff down the road. I hope these steps to starting a blog will open your eyes to how easy it really is! Below is the guide to start a blog.
There are a number of critical decisions you need to make in the beginning. For starters finding inexpensive, reliable web hosting to ensure your blog shows up online and stays live at all times. Also, using the best blog platform for your blog is vital for long term success! I 100% recommend and use WordPress on all of my blogs and websites. And believe it or not… IT’S FREE!
What the heck is WordPress you ask? WordPress is a powerful publishing platform that allows you to easily create a blog, maintain it and promote it if you desire. All without the need for extensive technical skills! While the mere thought of web design can be daunting and the number of options available can be quite confusing, this tutorial is designed to offer you the ultimate online resource to jumpstart your blogging venture. WordPress is the most popular and most widely used platform for blogs and websites.
The reason why is simple… WordPress is the easiest and most intuitive platform and they are constantly updating the features to keep up with the next best functionality. WordPress is the dominant leader in blogging platforms.
The fact is, the process of building a blog doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It can certainly pave the way and help you on the path to professing your passion or even making money online. A lot of people seem to think they need to invest a significant amount of money on starting a blog and that they must hire a web designer to make it look nice. NOT NECESSARY! You may be surprised to learn that you can start your blog from scratch for less than $25 and you can make it look just as nice without a web designer!
The only required costs are for a domain and web hosting. We will go over these in more detail but to make a long story short, the domain is you website address, ex: www.MyDomain.com. Web hosting is what keeps your blog or website up and running on the internet.
There are 3 major factors that can impact the success or failure of a blog. They are…
- Proper Blog Setup – Throughout this guide, I will do my best to provide a simple, easy to follow guide on how to build a blog – all without the confusing technical gibberish. You will learn how to properly configure your blog so you can fully maximize its potential.
- Real Passion For Your Niche – Aside from getting a blog up and running, it is critically important to have real passion and knowledge for the topic you want to write about. This will make blogging less of a chore and more of a powerful platform to share your knowledge with the rest of the world.
- Continuous Learning Process – Your journey doesn’t simply end with learning how to build a blog. It’s a constant learning process to improve and enhance your blog. The key here is to keep an open mind and stay updated on the latest updates and trends that have an impact on your online presence.
The process involved in setting up and configuring your blog will only take you about 20 to 30 minutes, then you can start blogging! [say whaa? Yes! You heard me correct!]
But first things first, before you can create your blog, there are a couple of tasks that need to be completed first:
In this next portion I’m going to show you:
- Get a domain name
- Sign up for the best hosting plan (with my discount)
- Install WordPress in just one click
You must choose a Domain Name
A domain name is basically the name and web address of your blog. Ex: www.MyDomain.com. If anyone types your domain name into an internet browser, the person will be directed to your blog.
You will want to choose a domain name that’s descriptive and unique, one that will automatically give everyone an idea what your blog is all about. Of course, you can always opt to use your own name for your blog domain. You just need to make sure it’s unique and has not been already taken by anyone else.
In case your chosen domain name is already taken, you can try switching it up by adding simple words like “my”, “the” or “a” or even dashes in between words – anything that will make it unique. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to use punctuation marks in your domain name.
Check to see if your domain name is still available via the hosting service I recommend – Ipage
If you still can’t decide on a good domain name to start a blog, you can check out Name Mesh. This is a free online tool that generates domain name suggestions based on the words you enter, all available for registration.
Choose A Reliable Web Hosting Service Provider
Aside from having fresh, original content for your audience, the success of your blog also greatly relies on the performance of your web host. With that said, it is important to find the best web hosting service provider possible, especially one that specializes in WordPress hosting.
A web host is the company responsible for storing all your website files so that your visitors will be able to view your blog when they visit your domain name. Why do you need to invest in one of the best web hosting services? A bad host can spell major disaster. Unreliable service can be one or a combination of the following: slow page loading speeds, inaccessible site, missing web files – all of which can be frustrating to you and your visitors. If you want to save yourself from unnecessary headaches and even heartaches, take time to carefully choose your WordPress hosting service.
The task of finding one of the best web hosting providers can be quite daunting as there are hundreds of web hosts out there, all claiming to be the best. Sure, there are a number of decent service providers out there but after due diligence and careful research, I decided to go with IPage, which is also the web host for my other websites. Aside from the reliable and stellar service, I specifically chose IPage for the following reasons:
- IPage offers free installation for all major blogging platforms, including WordPress.
- WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform highly recommends IPage since 2005.
- IPage is widely considered an industry leader in web hosting services, providing exceptional 24/7 support, which is made available via email, phone and web chat.
- IPage also offers a 30 day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the services for whatever reason.
So What’s Next? Now that we have covered the basics – below is my step-by-step guide for setting up your blog!
Time to start your brand new blog! *Insert Happy Dance* 🙂
Follow the steps below to get your blog up and running in under 30 minutes!
Once on this page, click on “Sign Up Now” and proceed with filling out your contact information.
Remember: I’ve negotiated a special deal to get your blog setup for just $1.99, so make sure to use THIS SIGNUP
Awesome! You’ve unlocked our promo code granting you the $1.99/month hosting plan. Now click on “Sign Up Now” to continue.
Step 1 – Choosing Your Domain Name
Enter in the name of your website. iPage is going to help you purchase the domain name along with helping you host it online for everyone to view it.
In the example I’m going to show you, I selected “UniquelyWomen.co” to show you how to purchase a domain.
If your domain name is taken, you will be given a list of suggestions and alternate endings.
iPage will have you choose some other website add-ons. My recommendation is to uncheck all of those they have automically checked for you. This will get you to the $47.76 total for two years + free domain! You can also sign up for 3 years at the $1.99 rate as well!
Step 2 – Choose Your Hosting Plan
To receive your $1.99/month discount, make it’s selected under the Shopping Cart section. I recommend choosing the yearly billing, otherwise you’ll be paying $3.99/month (double).
If you’re hesitant about paying for an entire year upfront, don’t be.
NOTE: You can purchase 2 or 3 years at the $1.99/month rate!
Step 3 – Set Up Your Billing Information
This is our final page. On this page, you need to enter your billing information. The page is 100% secure, so you know your details are safe.
Important: iPage offers a 30 day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by signing up.
Step 4 – Checkout!
Click the “checkout” button and you are done!
Now onto Setting up WordPress with iPage
Step 1 – Check Your Email Inbox For Set-Up Instructions
Now that you’ve completed your order on iPage, they are going to send you a confirmation email.
Look for the subject line: Your iPage Order Confirmation & Login Info.
This email contains a link you need to click to setup your username and password for iPage.
ALSO – Check your inbox for a second email with the subject line Important: Please validate your domain name.
Click on the link in the email, and verify that your contact information and domain name is correct (it will be pre-filled for your automatically and should be correct).
Step 2 – Install WordPress
Now that you’ve got your login information setup, your next step is to login to your Control Panel which can be reached by this link:
Once logged in, navigate to the Website section and click on WordPress.
This is going to take you to the Wordpress installer.
If you’re going ahead with setting up WordPress yourself, enter in the domain name you want to install it onto (which should be your domain name you just purchased).
Go through the installation steps, and click agree, and then Install Now.
Step 3 – Enter Login Credentials
Once your installation is finished, click on the top bar on View Credentials.
Your credentials will have already been created for you, and use them to enter into your WordPress dashboard.
To get to your WordPress login page, add /wp-admin/ to the end of your URL.
For instance, to reach my dashboard I visit: http://uniquelywomen.net/wp-admin/
Yours would be: yourdomain.com/wp-admin/
Use the credentials created for you to login to your WordPress dashboard.
You did it! Congratulations on choosing hosting, installing WordPress, and logging into your dashboard for the first time.
CHOOSING A WORDPRESS THEME
Now is the fun part! Making your blog beautiful! Picking out a theme for your blog is a great way to add in your personality. This is going to the exterior of your blog – the part people will see when they visit your site! the background, colors, fonts, navigation bar, and the social media buttons in my header are all part of my theme.
Studio Press (Genesis) – One of the all time most popular and extremely powerful frameworks for WordPress. I currently use on my own blog. One of the best features is being able to utilize plugins to make your blog look exactly the way you want! I would highly recommend for your WordPress blog.
Restored 316 – These are the most beautiful themes I have come across. I have set up some blogs before using these themes and they turned out dreamy. So many beautiful ones to choose from!
Theme Forest – Theme Forest has a wide array of blog themes. The theme I use now is called the Florence theme. I love the functionality and sleek design of it. Of course, they have a theme to fit everyone’s personality.
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Blog. Please don’t be discouraged with the technical side of blogging. If you take my step-by-step instructions (listed above) you will be just fine. It just seems like a lot of steps in the beginning, when really it’s not.
BONUS: Now you can watch this 2 hour long video to walk you through step-by-step in setting up your blog. You can follow along – starting and stopping as you wish!
We go over how to:
- Set up Hosting
- Install WordPress
- Add recommended plugins
- Add a free WordPress theme
- Create your first blog post & page
- Set up your menu
- Add an image
- Add sidebar widgets
- AND much more!
Now to start planning out your blog. I have created a Blog Planner to jot down ideas, social media shares, and to-do’s. It’s totally FREE to you, my blogging friend!
If you ever have any questions about setting up your blog, please ask your question below in the comments, and I’ll try to help as best I can! Enjoy your blogging journey – go out there and ROCK IT!
(Affiliate links are included in above post. We may be compensated for our reviews and recommendations. For more information, see my disclosure policy here.)