Have you been thinking about starting a blog?
Today I am going to walk you through How To Start A Blog. And guess what? It is SUPER easy to start a blog.
I get emails about how to start a blog weekly and most people are surprised that setting up a blog doesn’t take as much time as you might think. You can get a blog started while your baby is taking a nap! So what are you waiting for? I know you have tons of creative ideas to share, tips on being a mother, or yummy recipes… All they are waiting for is a space online to call home!
There are 3 simple steps to start a blog ….
- Pick Your Blog Name
- Sign Up For Hosting
- Install WordPress
- BONUS * – Beautify Your Blog
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. I have used all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust.
Step #1 : Pick Your Blog Name
This is a fun step! Brainstorm what you want to call your blog. Ask friends and family for suggestions. Once you have decided on a name you will need to make sure it is available. We will do that in the next step.
** If you choose to go with Bluehost for your hosting, which is my recommendation, then you will get a free domain name when you sign up! Yahoo!
#2. Purchase Your Domain Name and Set Up Hosting
When I first started my blog I purchased my domain and my hosting for this blog from Dreamhost. I have been very happy with Dreamhost. One great thing about Dreamhost is that they start you with a two-week free trial. So you can try it out and make sure you like it before you commit to anything.
Blogging and hosting has come a long ways in 5 years and now that I am a little more educated I would suggest new blogger to sign up with Bluehost. I have worked with Bluehost dozens of times when I work on clients blogs and it is just a reliable, has awesome customer service but it is less expensive! Only $3.95 a month! It’s perfect for a new blogger!
To sign up for Bluehost follow these steps. Don’t be afraid. I have included a lot of screen shots below. Not because it is complicated, I just included a screen shot for every tiny step in hopes to help you!
Head over to Bluehost and click on “Get Started Now”.
Next you will need to select your plan. If your just starting a blog you will only need to go with the ‘starter’ package. As your blog grows you can upgrade.
On the next page is where you get to choose your domain name! Make sure you do ‘new domain’.
Put in your contact info. Easy ;)
Verify your package info. You will be paying for 3 years of hosting but if you ever need to cancel you will get the prorated portion refunded. The will offer you a few upgrade options.
I would make sure you have a plan for backing up your site! If you don’t have something set up already then consider the Site Backup Pro. I use Crash Plan so I don’t need to pay extra for this service from Bluehost. But using Bluehost for this would be perfect too.
The Domain Whois Privacy shields your personal address and phone number from being displayed to the public.
Enter your billing info and done! Yahoo!
#3. Installing WordPress
Now that you have your domain name and your hosting set up you will need to install WordPress. WordPress is the software that you will use to write content, display your posts, and basically run your whole blog. The good news is that it is SUPER easy to install.
Login to your Bluehost account. And click on the WordPress icon.
Make sure your domain name is selected.
Last just fill out your Site Title and choose your Username and password. DONE.
Now you have a blog!!! Congrats! High five!
Note: You should now be able to go to your url and see your blog. To login you will find a link at the bottom of your blog OR www.yourdomainname.com/wp-loging.php (replace your domain name).
#4. Beautify Your Blog
Technically your are ready to start blogging and sharing your goodness with the world! But you can also take a few more steps and make it even prettier!
The design of your blog will be done by a “Theme”. WordPress automatically come with a variety of free themes. There are several cute ones but honestly I would recommend making the investment and going with a premium theme.
For a DETAILED post about themes —> WordPress Themes 101.
I recommend using Genesis from Studiopress with a Child theme. This is why you will love it … You want to start your blog out the right way don’t you? Start off on the right foot with a theme that is secure (so no one can hack in), built to load quickly, SEO (search engine optimized) and is very flexible and easy to use.
This graphic below (from the Studiopress website) explains how using Genesis and child themes work. You can click over to read more about why Genesis has become the industry standard and view their gorgeous themes. Lots of good info on in those links!
*** When I first started using WordPress (5 years ago) I used the Thesis theme. It is also a premium theme but it was very plain and blah feeling to me. I defiantly wasn’t in love with it and I wasn’t getting the design results that I wanted. When I tried out Genesis I knew that I would never design a blog with anything else and I haven’t! Genesis is the best.
Some of my FAVORITE genesis child themes are >>>
- The Foodie Theme (has a gorgeous photo index )
- Swank (The theme I am currently using)
- Tasteful (Available from Lauren at Restored 316. An Amazing developer! She has several pretty themes perfect for feminine bloggers!)
These themes come ready to use and with details instructions on installing and setting them up to look just like the demos.
***YOU HAVE A BLOG! Yay!***
But wait, before you go I have one quick tip to share with you….
Food Blogger Pro is a very cool resource for blogger. I mean seriously cool. Like where was this 6 years ago when I started blogging? It was created by Bjork and Lindsay from Pinch of Yum, the wildly popular (and rightly so) food blog. They put this site together to help teach people how to start their own food blog.
I have personally gone through almost all of the 250 videos.
You are going to love Food Blogger Pro because the videos teach you everything you would ever want to know about blogging and they are neatly organized into courses. There are courses for setting up your blog, themes, plugins, writing posts, generating income, analytics, social media, writing an ebook, photography, photo editing …. See what I mean? So much good material.
And yes, some of the sections are specifically related to food bloggers (like submitting to food gawker and food specific photos tips) but I would say the majority of the courses can be used by any type of blogger.
And honestly I was a little shocked (and obviously very excited) that even after blogging for 6 year and being a blog designer I learned so much while going through their courses. I learned so much about google analytics, seo, and google alerts. Bjork and Lindsay are the best for sharing so much information about blogging and how they developed such a successful blog. They are one awesome couple!
Check out Food Blogger Pro.