For today’s post, I thought, let’s help you start a WordPress blog. Blogging has been a fun experience for me and I believe that everyone should give it a go at some point – no matter your age! I’m sure you’ve already read a million and one blog posts about how to start a WordPress blog. And probably the posts about how to start a blog in fifteen minutes and start earning gobs of money every month too. Am I right?
Me too. I’ve read them all. And since my career shift, I’ve read all the how to make oodles of cash from your blog and working from home. We’re human right? That’s what we do. We Google. And when the corporate rat race kicks you to the curb and you have a life ephiphany because of it, you start researching other ways to earn an income. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to work from home, not have a nagging boss, contribute to your own bottom line instead of someone else’s, and have the potential to travel whenever you want? Sounds perfect to me.
That’s blogging. Blogging lets you work from home, be the Captain of your life, and if you get the income part right, it lets you travel.
And if you’re an introvert like me who wants to make the world a better place by leaps and bounds, blogging lets you work from home while helping others create the life they dream of. And on occasion, it lets you be your introverted self and hide. At home. With no one around. Except your cat.
But seriously, blogging has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. It’s allowed me to meet some wonderful people both online and in-person and be a part of a wonderful community of bloggers and entrepreneurs.
How much better could it get?
Well, because you asked, it’s allowed me to make money from two things I’ve loved since childhood: writing and photography.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Who says you can’t do it?
Yes, I just asked you that. Flat out I asked.
I’m sure there is something in this world that you are so enamored with you could talk about it for hours on end. And I’m quite sure there’s something you’re going through right now that you’d love to share with others. That, my friends, is the essence and reason behind blogging. Sure, you might be scared to fail, scared to open yourself up for the world to see, and scared that you’ll never find the words, but trust me – you will, you can and you will be able to. You’ll go through all these things and more, but it will be the most rewarding experience.
I believe that many of the most difficult things in life, the things we are most scared of; are the things that offer the most potential for personal growth. I believe it builds character.
Let me tell you something. I was scared silly putting myself out there online. I’m an introvert and naturally don’t want to draw too much attention to myself. But, on the flip side, I absolutely love helping others and marching behind a cause I believe in. That’s where blogging came in.
Maybe the thing that’s holding you back is the how. How do you start? How do you even begin to setup a website online? Maybe you’re not super tech savvy and the techie side of it terrifies you.
You’ve got nothing to worry about, it’s not that difficult at all. Since I started blogging over five years ago, things have gotten much easier when it comes to setting up a blog. Of course, there’s lots of choice and maybe that’s where you’re stumped.
Ye shall be stumped no more! Let’s get you up and running with your very own blog. Right now.
Ready? Let’s do this!
The Super Simple Guide on How to Start a WordPress Blog
Why Start A Blog?
Well, why not? There are many reasons you might want to start a blog. Here are a few good ones:
- Make money while working from home. Ding ding ding! That’s the big one right? There are many bloggers who make a full-time income blogging. It’s easy to get started and doesn’t cost much. It’s low risk.
- Write a book. Yep, I went there. Maybe you’re like me and have been aching to write a book. What better way to get started and improve your writing skills than with a blog.
- Get exposure for your business. A blog gives you the ability to reach a large number of people easily and at a low cost.
- Build an online portfolio. If you’re unemployed or underemployed, a blog is a great way to showcase your talents to potential employers. And if you’re freelance, it’s the perfect portfolio for your business.
Were you nodding your head yes to a few of those? Alright, then let’s get going.
The 6 Simple Steps to Start A WordPress Blog
Here are the main topics we’ll cover. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple!
- What are you going to blog about?
- Choose a blogging platform (this one’s easy)
- Find a hosting provider
- Pick a domain name (your blog name)
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme design and blog away!
Step 1: What are you going to blog about?
You’ve probably heard many a blogger talking about niche. Niche is the main topic that you’ll be blogging about. Your main topic all depends on whether you’re blogging for business or pleasure. Let’s say you’re a freelance writing coach. Well, your blog will cover anything and everything to do with the craft of writing. If you’re blogging just for you, your blog could be about almost anything. Do you like gardening? And you’re broke? Well, maybe you’ll blog about gardening on a budget. See where I’m going?
The main idea is to choose a blog topic you’ll love and would love to become an expert in. You ultimately want to be the go-to resource for your chosen topic.
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
A who? Bet you thought platforms were just fashionable shoes with a 70’s vibe. Nope. Blogging has platforms too. But be forewarned: Free does not mean better! There are many free platforms out there (Blogger, WordPress.com), but you’ll be limited with what you can do. They also don’t look very professional.
I’ll keep it simple and advise you to get a self-hosted WordPress blog. By far, it is the most popular and offers the greatest flexibility for design and plugins (these are extras that help your blog work). This blog is a self-hosted blog running on the Genesis framework and hosted by Bluehost. They’re the #1 web hosting provider out there. I’ve trusted them with 3 blogs I’ve created and they are amazing! Customer Service has re-worked my whole account once with no questions asked, tech support has answered my questions quickly and clearly and I’ve never had issues with an outage of my site.
Step 3: Find a hosting provider
What the what? A who? You’ve lost me. Well friends, put simply, a hosting provider is a company that owns giant computers (servers), that provide a home for your blog or website on the internet. A provider is a company like Bluehost that I mentioned so glowingly above.
Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means, that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a thank you commission if you make a purchase. I’ve been a customer for over five years and wouldn’t recommend this product/service if I didn’t believe in them 110%.
Alright, are you ready? Click here to go to Bluehost and choose your domain (blog) name. (Link will open in a new window so you can keep this step by step guide handy)
Once the page opens, click the green “Get Started Now” button.
Select your plan
Here’s where you choose your plan. You’ll likely only need the Basic plan. It’s only $3.95 per month through my link (due upfront in full) when you sign up for 24 months. Plus you’ll get a FREE domain name (usually $11.99 each) if you sign up on a 12 month or longer plan.
Step 4: Pick a domain (blog) name.
Think of a domain as your address on the internet. It’s where people will find you. Consider it a representation of your brand and/or blog, so choose wisely! You may or may not already have a domain name. If you don’t, enter what you’ve chosen under new domain. If you already have one, enter it under transfer domain.
Enter your account info
This is pretty straightforward. Make sure you enter an email that you use regularly. This is where your login info and receipts (think tax deductions!) will go.
Select an account plan and enter your billing info
It’s checked here in the image below, but it’s up to you if you want to add any of the extras. The Domain Security and Site Backup Pro are entirely optional, and to be honest, I didn’t choose them. There are other free ways to secure and backup your site. The one option I did choose, is the domain privacy. That I highly recommend. It keeps your personal info private if someone looks up your site.
After you’ve entered all your info and clicked next about a half dozen times, you should be registered! Bluehost will email you login info and that’s when the fun begins!
Step 5: Install WordPress
Are you excited? This is probably the step you’ve been waiting for. Bluehost makes this part super easy.
- When you login to your cPanel (you’ll get a link to this in your welcome email from Bluehost), you should be at the Hosting, Home page or have the option to do a “One-Click Install”. Choose one click install if offered, if not, move to the next step below.
- Then, scroll down to the Website section and click on One Click Install.
- On the next page, click on the “Install” button. This will begin the installation.
- Once in the installation process, you will have to decide which domain you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu and choose the domain you plan on using.
- Now, you will see “Advanced Options.” This is where you choose your username and password for your WordPress website. You should choose something secure. Don’t use “Admin” as your username. On my website, I get many hackers each and every day trying to hack my website using the name Admin. Instead, create a username that is a combination of different letters, numbers, and anything else you can use. You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, unless you already have a different database.
- Click “Install Now.” You should see the installation progress.
- Remember to save your username and password somewhere safe!
Step 6: Choose a theme design and blog away!
Yay! You installed WordPress. Now it’s time to choose a theme for your blog and get blogging. Themes make your blog/website look pretty and let you design things how you would like it. For this blog, I’ve chosen the Genesis platform with a theme available through Studiopress.
Two of my favorite blog theme providers are:
Here are more blogging-related posts you should take a look at to help: