Blogging has changed my life for the better in so many ways. Thanks to my blog, I’ve been able to earn a full-time income and work from home. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be able to spend more quality time with my family. It’s been amazing!
I’ve helped thousands of bloggers start and grow their blogs. In this free guide, I’ll show you how to start a WordPress blog as well as grow and monetize your blog!
UPDATE: Bluehost has a great deal! If you purchase your hosting through Bluehost for just $3.95 a month, they’ll give you a free domain name.
In this tutorial, I will teach you how to create your own blog from start to finish. But first, make sure you sign up for my free blogging email course! I have received so much great feedback on how helpful this course is!
There is always room out there for quality blogs. Your blog can be one of them.
Step 1. Decide on Your Domain Name
When choosing your domain name, ask yourself these questions:
- Does it reflect my brand or personality? Can you see yourself building your brand around this name?
- Is it available on all of the popular social networking sites?
- Is it trademarked?
- Is it too long? You want your domain name to be some something that is easy to remember as well as type. I recommend avoiding hyphens and numbers (for example: sarah-blogs4you.com).
- Does it have longevity? Is this a name you’ll love for years to come? You may be blogging as a hobby now, but what about if your blog gets big. Will you be happy with this name?
Choosing Your Extension
With the hundreds of extensions available and the increasing popularity of some of those extensions, .com continues to rule. For that reason, if you have the choice, I always recommend going with .com.
If .com isn’t available, some alternatives you could consider are:
- .co (rising in popularity with bloggers)
If possible, I recommend purchasing both the .com and .net extension for your domain name. This will prevent someone else from purchasing the extension. For example, I own both beautifuldawndesigns.com and beautifuldawndesigns.net.
When it comes to choosing your domain name, there’s no rush. Take your time. After all, this will be the name of your blog for years to come.
Step 2. Purchase Your Domain Name and Hosting
For hosting, I can’t recommend Bluehost highly enough. You are free to choose any host, however, for the sake of this tutorial we will be working with Bluehost.
#1. Head over to Bluehost and click on “WordPress >> WordPress Hosting” near the top of the page.
#2. Click on the button that says “Choose Plan.”
#3. The “Basic” plan will work just fine for most bloggers. You can always upgrade down the line if you feel like you need more options.
#4. On the next page, you can create a new domain or you can connect a domain that you already own. Go ahead and fill out one of the boxes.
#5. After inputting your domain name, you will be sent to the order form. Fill this out with all of your details. Click submit once you’re finished.
- Under “Package Information,” choose “Basic 36 Month Price” to get the best deal!
- Also, you do not NEED any of the “Package Extras.” However, if I were to recommend one of them, it would be the “Domain Privacy Protection.” This option is just $0.99 more per month, and it will keep your personal information private (such as your name, address and telephone number).
Step 3. Connecting a Previously Purchased Domain
Note: This is only for bloggers who purchased their domain separately.
If you have purchased your domain name and hosting from two separate websites, then you will need to change the nameservers for your domain name. Changing your nameservers will connect your domain name to your hosting account (your blog).
Because GoDaddy is a popular website for buying domain names, I will use them as an example for the sake of this tutorial. Here’s how you connect your GoDaddy domain nameservers to your hosting provider (Bluehost):
#1. Log in to your GoDaddy account.
#2. Click on the down-pointing arrow next to your name 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 “Nameservers” section and click on “Change.”
#5. In the drop-down box that says “Choose your new nameserver type,” select select “Custom.” Then place your Bluehost (or whoever your host is) nameservers in the two boxes. They should look something like this:
You should find your nameservers in the email that Bluehost sent to you after you purchased your hosting. You can also log in to your Bluehost cPanel and find your nameservers there.
#6. Save your changes.
Keep in mind that when changing your nameservers, it can take up 24 hours before your changes take effect. I’ve never had to wait more than an hour.
Step 4. Install WordPress
Once your domain name and hosting are properly set up, it’s time to install WordPress. You won’t believe how easy this is with Bluehost.
#1. Log in to your hosting cPanel. Bluehost will guide you through the process of starting your WordPress blog for FREE.
#2. Fill out your Site Title and Site Description. You can also choose whether you want to create a “Blog” or “Online Store.” If you’re creating a blog, go ahead and select blog. You can also choose the “I’m not creating a website” option.
#3. When you’re asked to select a theme, choose any theme that you like. Don’t put to much pressure on yourself as you can easily change your theme later. Also, feel free to scroll down to the bottom to skip this step altogether. At the bottom of this tutorial, I offer a free feminine WordPress theme to get you started.
#4. Once you hit the “Launch” button, your new WordPress blog will be installed!
Step 5. Login To Your WordPress Blog
#1. Log in to your newly installed blog by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/. The login screen will look like this:
Once logged in, you will have access to your WordPress dashboard 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 6. Choose a WordPress Theme
This is the fun part. It’s time to make your blog pretty! I highly recommend the GeneratePress theme. GeneratePress Premium is the theme I’m currently running on my blog and I love it. You can change the themes fonts, colors, and more without ever having to touch any code! Plus it’s so lightweight and will keep your blog running fast.
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.
Step 7. Conclusion
That’s it. You totally just learned how to start a WordPress 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!
Helpful Blog Posts for New Bloggers
Here is a collection of helpful blog posts to get your started!
- The First Blog Posts You Should Write as a New Blogger
- Earn Money With These 29+ Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
- 5 Ways New Bloggers Can Make Money Blogging
- 17 Ways to Be Productive When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging
- 250+ Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will Love