Do you want to know how to create your own blog? Then you’re in the right place because today I’m going to show you how to start a WordPress blog for beginners.
Some years ago, when I decided to start my own self-hosted WordPress blog, I knew nothing about the steps it took to get there. The process of creating my own blog was definitely a little confusing because I had to figure it all out on my own.
Thanks to some patience, and lots of tutorials on the web, I was eventually able to get my blog set up. Looking back I think to myself, boy, wouldn’t it be nice if I had stumbled upon one resource that went through the entire process from start to finish?
In this tutorial, I will teach you how to create your own blog from start to finish.
What is WordPress?
Before we begin, I want to explain what WordPress is, and why I recommend it for your blog.
WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com) is a free blogging content management system. It’s user-friendly, and gives you complete control over your blog or website. This means you will have the ability to upload custom themes, and install plugins.
While there is a small expense (you will have to pay for your domain name and hosting) involved in running a self-hosted blog, it’s my opinion that WordPress is the best option for someone who is serious about blogging.
How to Start a WordPress Blog for Beginners
If you’re ready to get started, here are the 5 steps we will cover in this tutorial.
- Choose and register your domain name.
- Purchase your blog hosting plan.
- Install WordPress.
- Log in to your new WordPress blog.
- Install your WordPress theme.
- How to make money with your blog.
This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend.
Step 1. Choosing Your Domain Name
You may want to take some time with this one. After all, this will be the name of your blog for years to come. Here are some things to consider when choosing your name:
- Does it reflect your personality?
- What will your blog be about?
- Who will be reading your blog?
- Does your name have staying power?
- Will you be building a brand around your name?
There are a few options when it comes to registering your name.
Option 1: Connecting a Previously Purchased Domain
You can purchase your domain name and hosting from the same provider, or you can purchase them through separate providers. If you purchased your domain name already through GoDaddy, then you’ll need to change the name servers for your domain name after you purchase your hosting. Changing your name servers will connect your domain name to your new blog.
Here’s how you connect your GoDaddy domain nameservers to HostGator:
1. Log in to your GoDaddy account.
2. Click on the down pointing arrow next to your profile and select Manage My Domains.
3. Find your domain name, click on the down pointing arrow and select Manage DNS.
4. Scroll down to the nameserves section and select Change.
5. In the dropdown box that says “Choose your new nameservers” select select Custom. Then place your HostGator nameservers in the boxes below. You can find your nameservers in the email that HostGator sent to you after you purchased your hosting, or you can log in to your HostGator cPanel > click on Service Info > find your nameservers under the DNS INFO section. They will look something like this:
Option 2: Purchasing Your Domain Through HostGator
1. Visit HostGator and click on Domains located near the top of the page.
2. Enter your domain name in the Find a Domain box and click on Search.
3. Add your domain to the cart, and checkout. Boom. Done! 🙂 You are now the proud owner of a domain name.
On the checkout page, you may see an option to add “Domain Name Privacy” to your order. This is completely optional. Whenever a domain is registered, accurate contact information must be provided with the registration. This information is made public through a WHOIS search. When you purchase “Domain Name Privacy,” HostGator will keep this information private. You can add this service to your domain name at any time. If you sign up using a PO Box address, then there’s no need to purchase domain name privacy.
Click here for a helpful article on how to log in to the account for your domain name.
Step 2. Purchase Hosting for Your Blog
I can’t recommend HostGator highly enough. This is the web host I use for Beautiful Dawn Designs. I have always received great customer service from them.
1. Alright, let’s head over to HostGator and click on Hosting > Web Hosting near the top of the page.
Choose the hosting plan that suits your needs. I recommend choosing the “Hatchling” plan since you’re just starting out. You can always upgrade later if you need to. I recommend paying yearly because you get the best deal that way.
Keep in mind that hosting is prepaid. If you choose to pay twice a year for example, you will be charged for 6 months upfront. Once you’ve chosen your plan, click on Sign Up Now.
2. On the next page, click on the I already own this domain tab. Enter your domain name in the appropriate box and fill out the rest of the form.
Under Step 2: Choose a Hosting Plan, make sure the correct hosting plan is selected.
Also, make sure you uncheck any boxes for products that you do not want. I personally recommend sticking with the hosting plan only.
You can always add-on additional services later. Once the form is filled out, agree to their terms at the bottom of the page, and checkout.
Once your form is submitted, HostGator will send you an email that includes your billing account information (separate from your cPanel), your cpanel URL (where you log in to your hosting account), username, and password.
Step 3. Install WordPress
You’re getting closer to having your very own self-hosted WordPress blog! There’s no going back now! 🙂 You won’t believe how easy it is to install WordPress.
1. To start, you of course want to log in to your cPanel. Remember, you can find this information in the email that was sent from HostGator.
2. Once logged in, scroll down until you reach Software and click on Quick Install. You’ll be directed to the Mojo Marketplace. You don’t have to create or sign in to your account to install WordPress.
3. In the left hand sidebar under “Popular Installs” click WordPress.
4. There’s no need to pay for any of the premium installation options, so you’ll just click on Install WordPress within the “Install WordPress for FREE” box.
To install WordPress on your domain, you WILL NOT type anything into the empty box directly after your main domain (the “install/path/here” box). This box is for a subdirectory aka subfolder. For example, if you type the word “blog” after the forward slash, WordPress will be installed on http://yourdomain.com/blog. That means, in order to visit your site, users will have to type http://yourdomain.com/blog into their browser. Also, please do not set your Admin Username to “Admin.” Doing so will make it easier for hackers to get into your site.
5. Once you have filled out all the fields, click on Install Now.
You should then receive a message stating that WordPress has been successfully installed. You should also see a link within this message that directs you to your new install. If the link doesn’t work right away, that’s okay. It may take a few minutes (up to 10 minutes, actually).
Your admin password will be sent to the email address you provided as your Admin Email.
Step 4. Log In To Your WordPress Blog
Once you receive your password, you can then log in to your newly installed site by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin. It will look like this:
If you cannot access your wp-admin right way, give it some time (up to around 30 minutes) and try again.
6. Once logged in, you will have access to your WordPress dashboard/admin area. Take a look around, and make yourself comfortable.
It may be confusing at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Here’s a look at the dashboard:
Step 5. Choose a Theme
This is the fun part. It’s time to make your blog pretty! I can’t bring up WordPress themes without mentioning our collection of feminine WordPress themes.
All of our themes are unique, simplistic, and highly customizable. You can change the themes fonts, colors, and more without ever having to touch any code.
Of course there are so many options out there when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme.
A simple Google search will provide you with tons of themes to choose from. Just take your time and make sure you’re choosing a theme that’s right for you.
Whatever theme you choose, it should include instructions for installing and setting up the theme. As a general tutorial however, themes are uploaded in your wp-admin, by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New.
Step 6. Making Money With Your Blog
When you have a blog, there are a lot of different ways you can make money with your blog. If you want to begin earning money with your blog, here are 5 ways you can start making money.
1. Affiliate Marketing
As a blogger, you can earn money through affiliate marketing by joining affiliate programs, and promoting merchants products. Each time someone purchases a product through your unique affiliate link, you will earn a commission (the commission is determined by the merchant).
To find affiliate programs to join, check out my post 6 Affiliate Programs for Bloggers.
Also, I recommend reading my article about the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course by my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She earns $50,000 a month in affiliate income alone. After taking her online course, my affiliate income increased by over 3,150% (see my income chart below)! I can’t recommend her course highly enough.
Placing Ads on your blog is one of the quickest and easiest ways to begin earning money. If you’re interested in placing ads on your blog, check out my post Top 5 Ad Networks for Bloggers.
3. Sponsored Posts
A sponsored blog post is a post that you’re paid (or given a free product) to publish on your blog. If you’re interested in monetizing your blog by publishing sponsored posts, here are a few places you can look:
4. Direct Advertising on Your Blog
With direct advertising, you’ll be selling ad space directly from your blog (usually to other bloggers) by charging an upfront fee based on how long the ad will be placed on your blog.
At one point, this was a popular way to earn money with your blog. I’m not seeing this method being used as much as I once did, but I still think that selling advertising on your blog can be a good way to earn some extra cash.
5. Sell Your Own Product or Service
I believe that this is the best way to earn money with your blog. You can be dropped by an ad or affiliate network, but no one can ever take away your product or service. Plus, selling your own product always you make money by doing what you love, and helping others at the same time.
Here are some ideas for products and services you can offer on your blog:
- Freelance Writing
- Online Courses
You Have Now Started Your Own WordPress Blog
That’s it. You totally just learned how to create your own blog! Was it as difficult or easy as you thought it would be?
There will be some learning curves along the way, but anything worth having involves a little bit of work. You will be a pro at this thing in no time.
Let me know how everything goes for you. Good luck!
I hope you found this tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog for beginners helpful. If you did, please be sure to share it with others who may find it helpful!