Thinking about setting up your own blog? There are tons of reasons to start a blog. You may want to promote your business, make money or simply enjoy writing about topics that interest you. If you’re wondering how to start a blog from scratch, read on for step-by-step instructions that’ll have you blogging in practically no time at all.
Before you proceed, you’ll want to figure out why you want to blog – what you hope to accomplish. Know that, like most everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. If your goal is to make a profit, you’ll need to devote a lot of time to writing dazzling content and promoting your blog, plus finding and maintaining advertising, affiliate and other revenue relationships.
Ready to roll? Let’s go!
This post may contain affiliate links; please read my disclosure here.
1. Pick a Domain Name
Come up with a list of potential .com domain names you could use, ranked with your number one choice at the top. Spend a lot of time on this step, since you want to avoid feeling like your domain doesn’t fit with your blog after you get going.
Unless you already have a clear picture of what you want to write about – your niche – it might take months for you to hit your groove, and you’ll want to avoid feeling like your domain name is totally out of step with your content down the road.
Therefore, you’ll probably want to try for something that’s adaptable to a variety of possible niches, if you can.
2. Decide on a Blogging Platform
This is the easiest step on the list. If you’re an individual or small company starting a blog with a hosting provider, WordPress is likely to be your only choice. The majority of serious bloggers use WordPress, and for good reason.
WordPress is super easy to use, and developers worldwide offer thousands of free plug-ins you can use to enhance your blog. You don’t need to learn any programming languages, and you won’t need to have much technical knowledge to use it. Even if you’re an absolute beginner at blogging with no tech background, you can use WordPress and learn as you go.
If your blog promotes a business or you plan to make your blog into a business, avoid free hosting platforms. It’s important to start the way you want to continue, rather than outgrowing your environment after a few months and then having to go through the trouble of moving your blog somewhere else.
3. Get Started With a Great Web Hosting Provider
A lot of bloggers use Blue Host and give it great reviews, so I’m providing steps here for that company. GoDaddy also provides great service with excellent prices for their Managed WordPress, sometimes as low as $1 per month. 1&1 is another well-established WordPress host with $1/month hosting offers.
Click here to sign up for WordPress hosting with Blue Host for as low as $2.95 to $3.95 per month (depending on what sales they have going on), then click the Get Started button.
Choose your plan next, and the cheapest one should do the trick to start off with. If you plan to grow quickly, choose the middle plan for more flexibility. Click the Select button under the plan you choose.
On the following screen, type in your top choice for a domain name. I strongly suggest finding a .com name. Despite all the different options available now, .com is still the gold standard, and there are still (believe it or not) good .com domains available.
After you click Next, you’ll find out whether your domain is available. If not, keep going down your list until you succeed in snagging a domain name that’s open for you to grab.
Fill out your contact information on the next screen. Scroll down and make sure all of the boxes for add-ons are unchecked (unless you want to pay 99 cents for domain privacy, which keeps others from finding out who owns your domain. Make sure your correct plan is selected as well.
Scroll down further and enter your payment information, and check the box confirming that you’ve read all of Blue Host’s terms and policies before submitting.
After you submit your request, you should receive an email with a login and password.
4. Install WordPress
Go back to Bluehost.com and click the top right login button, where you can use your new login and password.
Under the Website Builders section, select WordPress and follow the simple prompts to install it.
Make sure your domain is selected in the dropdown for where to install WordPress.
When prompted to create your username and password, don’t use admin – select a unique username and a very strong password which you can remember.
5. Design Your Blog and Start Writing
Click on Login URL to login to your new WordPress site and start creating content. Congratulations! You’re officially a blogger.