Have you been thinking about starting your own blog, but are putting it off because you have no clue how to even start a blog?
Don't wait any more! I promise , a year from now you'll be glad you started today. It's much easier than you think. I'm going to walk you through exactly how to start a blog, and you can have your blog up and running in less than 15 minutes! That's really all it takes to get started. (If you would prefer a video tutorial you can sign up here for that.)
*Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosure here.
Step 1: Choose your domain name and hosting
First, you'll need to choose your domain name. (Don't let the fancy tech jargon scare you. I'll explain everything and walk you through it step by step.)
Your domain name is what your blog is called. It's what people will type into your web browser to get to your blog. It's the part after the www. and before the .com. Mine is obviously iheartplanners.
This part is fun! I recommend choosing something fairly short, memorable, and easy to spell. Ideally it would even convey what your blog is about, so new visitors know right away what type of things you share on your blog.
I also highly recommend getting a .com address. The others are hard to remember.
Since there are so many blogs and websites out there already, a lot of names are already taken, so you might need to be a little creative.
Once you've picked a name (or brainstormed a list of several possibilities), go to Bluehost to see what name is available. First, click where it says “get started now”:
Next, you'll need to choose your hosting level. I recommend the starter plan for just $3.95 per month. I shopped around before I chose my hosting, and that's definitely a great price, plus they include the domain name for free. (Hosting is basically where your blog lives, so you're paying for that digital storage space for your blog to stay there and be available to visitors at all times.):
Please don't get discouraged if your first choice isn't available. My first several choices weren't available, so I had to keep trying.
Next, you'll enter some basic personal info and choose your package. I recommend the 3 year hosting plan since it's the cheapest. If you quit blogging, you can even ask for a refund for your unused portion, so there's no risk. I chose the domain privacy protection add on:
Step 2: Install WordPress
Next up, you'll need to install WordPress. It is the software that makes your site a blog and makes it easy for you to create posts and things. It's very user friendly and so easy to install with Bluehost's one click install.
After you login to Bluehost, go to the “website builders” section and click the “Install WordPress” button:
On the next screen, click “Install” or “Start”:
Next, enter the domain you want to install (which should be the same one you picked earlier), and click “check domain”:
Next, check that you've read the terms and conditions, and click Install Now. For the advanced options, put in the title of your blog, and pick your username and password. (Make sure you write down the username and password.)
Now WordPress is installed, and your site is now a blog! To access your site type in your website address with /wp-admin at the end. www.mysite.com/wp-admin . They should also send you an e-mail with a link to your admin. Use the username and password you picked to log-in.
Woohoo! You're all logged into your new blog.
Step 3: Make it Pretty
Right now your blog looks fairy plain and generic, so you probably want to pretty it up. This part is so easy. You do this by choosing a theme. WordPress has quite a few free options. (Just go to appearance, and themes to see those.)
My personal favorite is the Genesis Framework by Studiopress with a child theme from Restored 316 Designs. (My site uses her Graceful theme.) If you choose a Restored 316 theme, she gives you access to video tutorials that walk you through exactly how to install both the Genesis framework and your Restored 316 child theme. She also has several other helpful member only tutorials!
If you would prefer a video tutorial on getting your blog set up you can sign up here for that.