Does the techie stuff about starting a blog make you want to put it off? Or are there so many options that you don’t know which way to go? Trust me, I know. I was there. And once I had decided on the options that were best for me, the next question was – Where do I start?
Well, I am here to show you the way 🙂
I have included a step by step process below including a video tutorial I found that might help you start your own blog!
Here are 4 steps to get your started.
1. Buy Your Domain. (Your place on the Web – A.K.A. your website URL)
2. Purchase a hosting package. (Where all of your posts, pages, pictures will be stored)
3. Install a blogging platform. (Install WordPress)
4. Pick your site theme. (This is the fun part)
Step #1 Buy Your Domain
If you haven’t already thought about it, now is the time to think about what you want your URL to be. You want to take your time to really think about this because this is something you won’t be able to change easily. You also will need to choose something that’s not already taken. If you try to purchase a domain that is already taken, the domain service will alert you it’s been taken.
Once you decide what you want, go ahead and register it. I used GoDaddy.com to purchase my domain. It was easy to set up and inexpensive. It will cost about $10-$15 a year to keep your domain.
The GoDaddy.com website will walk you through the purchase. See below for screenshot.
Enter your name and hit Search, if the domain name you chose is available, GoDaddy will give you the option to purchase it. Follow the prompts and you’re done! Keep in mind when purchasing that you can select to either purchase 1 year or more. If you purchase 1 year you will need to renew your domain annually. GoDaddy will notify you when it’s time to renew.
Step #2 Buy Your Hosting Package.
Hosting will cost you about $3 – $10 a month, depending on what type of hosting package you get. Just like anything, there is a basic option and a more Deluxe option that includes more options. I went with the Deluxe. You can also choose to purchase your hosting package with your domain service, GoDaddy in this example, but you can choose another hosting company. I actually purchased my domain name and hosting package together with GoDaddy, but I am in the process of switching my hosting service to Blue Host. I have heard really great things about Blue Host.
My personal experience with GoDaddy hosting is not great. I had many server issues in the beginning when I was getting setup. Fortunately the issues seemed to have gone away but I still plan on switching to Blue Host as soon as I have some time.
1. Go to Blue Host
2. Click on Sign Up Now.
Since you already have your domain name purchased, enter your domain in the second box.
Follow the prompts. You will be given the choices of purchasing 1 year or longer. The longer you purchase, the cheaper it will be.
Step #3 Point Your Domain to your Server
Next, you will need to point your domain to where all your files will be. Since GoDaddy & Blue Host are 2 separate entities we need to connect the two. So when someone types in your URL, it will connect to your folders at Blue Host.
This sounds more complicated than it is, and it’s probably better for you to watch someone do this, so I included a YouTube video I found below that walks you through this simple process.
#4. Installing Word Press
Now, there are other Blog platforms that you can choose. I personally like Word Press because there are many more options and gives you the flexibility to customize. If you just want something simple and very user-friendly you can also look into platforms such as Blogger or Tumblr.
To install Word Press, login to your new Blue Host account. Check your email to confirm your login information that you should have received after your purchase.
In your Cpanel, you will see the option for Word Press. Click on Word Press and Install and follow the prompts until you see Complete.
#5. Now to the fun part! Pick your theme.
There are so many free themes out there you can pretty much find anything. If you are choosing a free theme, I would recommend checking out the WordPress Free Themes site.
If you want to invest a little more into your blog, you can look into purchasing a Premium Theme.
I personally chose to go with a Premium theme. With Premium Themes you get a little more for your purchase, you will get support from the developers and it will usually allow for more customization.
Here are a few Premium Themes that I have researched on my own and would recommend.
1. The Genesis Framework – This is the framework I’m currently using and I’m extremely with. I have been able to customize my site the way I want, and I’ve already had multiple – How Do I questions. The support offered through Studio Press is amazing. You can email their support team and the longest I’ve waited to get a response was probably a few hours, even on a Sunday! I highly recommend them if you decide to purchase a Premium Theme.
Once you have purchased your Framework, you will need to select a StudioPress theme.
2. The Thesis Theme – The thesis theme is on par w/the Genesis Framework and theme that I use now. I chose to go w/Genesis over Thesis because based on my own research I have read that it’s simplier and more user-friendly. So it just depends on what you are looking for. I would take a look at both before deciding and compare.
3. Elegant Themes – These are more great premium themes. I actually started off with a theme from Elegant themes before I made the switch to Genesis. They are a little more affordable than Genesis and they do have a variety of selections. I still loved it and would highly recommend it.
YOU ARE DONE!!
So how does it feel now to own your own blog?? Now you’re all set to start blogging!
To get into your new WordPress blog, simply go to the admin page for your blog and login with your username and password.
Example – http://domainname.com/wp-admin
Now that you’ve setup your blog, see my post for Tips on taking your blog to the next level.
If you have questions or want some feedback I will be happy to help. Just leave me a comment or send me an email and I will do my best to help you on the road to blogging success.
Disclosure: This page contains some affiliate links. By purchasing a product through an affiliate, your costs are the same, but I will receive a small commission. All of the affiliate links mentioned are products or services that I am recommending because I have personally used them and believe in them and not because I may earn a commission.