Raise your hand if you want to start a blog but you’re not sure where to begin? (🙋🏼♀️) That was me for the past few years. I wanted to start a blog so badly, but I was scared to take the first steps. There are so many resources out there and I was overwhelmed. As a public relations major in college, I chose blogging as one of my final research projects and this allowed me to research all the ins and outs of how to start a blog including, hosting, platforms, domains, and the overall benefits of joining the vast community of bloggers.
Do you find yourself in the same boat I was, feeling overwhelmed by all the resources available for how to start a blog? No worries! Here is a condensed version of the resources I found most helpful when starting my blog, as well as a step by step tutorial for how to start a blog on Bluehost!
Choose a Domain
The first step in starting a blog is to decide on a domain name. This is the name people will type into the URL to find your site. You want it to be a representation of the content you will post, as this is essentially your “brand.” Some bloggers choose to use their name while others choose to create a phrase that encompasses the brand they want.
When choosing your domain, start by thinking of what the top three categories of content will be on your blog. Will you be a fashion blog or will you have more content focused on motherhood. These are important questions to ask before selecting a domain, because once you choose your domain, they aren’t easy to change and re-branding in general is no fun.
Choose a Hosting Site
To put it short, a web hosting site is what makes your blog or website accessible on the internet. There are a ton of options out there, but after my extensive research I chose to use Bluehost as my hosting site.
Bluehost provides web hosting as well as analytics such as how many people are clicking your website, how many visits you get per day, and demographics about your readers (geographic location, age, etc.). This information is important in tracking the growth of your blog and what content performs best! Bluehost also has the best customer service with representatives available to chat online anytime if you need assistance or have a question. Bluehost has a monthly fee of $4-$6, billed annually for a 1-3 year subscription, but don’t worry – you can cancel at any time and receive a prorated refund. Skip below for step-by-step instructions for starting a blog on Bluehost.
Choose a Platform
The most popular platforms are WordPress, Blogspot, SquareSpace and Weebly. Most of the time the platform you chose is determined by your hosting site which was on reason I chose Bluehost. WordPress is the platform you will download when starting a blog through Bluehost, and in my opinion is the most customize-able and user friendly. I was able to set up my WordPress site through Bluehost in less than 10 minutes! If you don’t want to pay money for your blog hosting and platform, there are some free options; however, if you are wanting a professional looking blog or website, I recommend paying to host your domain.
Choose a Theme
Choosing a theme is almost as important as choosing your domain! Much like a logo represents a business or the packaging represents a product, your blog’s theme will represent your brand. There are a ton of free and affordable blog themes available! I recommend looking and researching WordPress themes to find one that fits the look and feel you want for your blog. For me, I wanted my blog to feel feminine and full of joy, so I chose a theme with a floral design in the header and accents of pink.
Plan Out Your Content
Before I started my blog I had several posts already written out in word documents. Why? I wanted to prove to myself that I could commit to blogging before I paid for my domain and hosting. This also allowed me to plan out my content from the beginning and determine what my voice would be and what topics I would write about. I recommend sitting down with a pen and paper and making a list of 50-100 blog post ideas that fit within 2-4 categories. When you first launch your blog it will be important to get into the habit of writing and posting consistently!
Ready to jump right in and start a blog?
Here is a step-by-step tutorial for starting a blog on Bluehost! Click here to begin and follow along!
To begin, this is the homepage of Bluehost. You’ll click the get started now button to choose your hosting plan!
When I started by blog I chose the basic plan. You can always come back and upgrade your plan, but the basic plan covers everything you need to start out blogging!
Next, you will chose your domain. Type the domain you want in the dialog box on the left, and I recommend sticking with .com for the URL to help with your blog’s search-ability. Once you click next, it will let you know if that domain is available or if you need to go back and choose a different one. Remember, your domain is one of the most important aspects of the branding of your blog – choose something you know you’ll love for a long time!
After you choose a domain name that suits your blog, you will be directed to this screen. Here you’ll input your account information and select add-ons for your hosting package! When selecting the security options for your blog, I recommend adding the Domain Privacy Protection. This will protect your privacy and keep your personal contact information from being accessible to everyone who visits your site!
After you finalize your personal information and add the Domain Privacy Protection, you’ll input your payment information and click submit.
Now you will set up your account with BlueHost. Make sure to remember your domain and password!
After confirming your new password for your Bluehost account, you will have the option to choose a theme for your blog. I recommend choosing one to play around with while you become familiar with Bluehost and WordPress. You can always come back and change it later!
Downloading Word Press
Bluehost makes it super easy to download WordPress – literally just one click! Click the “Start Building” button to download WordPress for free and from this point on you will primarily be in WordPress for all of your blogging needs.
This is the first screen you will see in WordPress. For my blog I chose personal for my site preferences.
This is the home page of WordPress. If you bought a theme, this is where you will follow the instructions they send you for uploading your theme to WordPress. If you chose to use one of WordPress’ themes, you can instantly begin designing your blog and writing your first post! At this point in the process, you are in building mode and your site is not live to the public. This is a great time to experiment with the design elements available on WordPress! Once your blog is ready to publish, you will click the launch button.
Choose a site title and description and your blog will be ready to go live! If you have made it this far CONGRATULATIONS!! and welcome to the blogging community! If you’re still nervous to take the leap into blogging, I would love to connect and answer any questions you might have about starting a blog on Bluehost or WordPress.
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