Do you want to start a blog? If so – you’re in the right place.
In this post I want to walk you through the basics of how to start a http://www.swotblog.com.ng/2017/04/15-business-terms-that-are-sure-to.htmlblog, and while I do, I want to answer some of the basic technical questions that many pre-bloggers need to answer to get their first blog up and running.
There are many reasons to start a blog, but the challenge that faces all aspiring bloggers (including me back in 2002) is: how to start a blog?
5 Easy Steps to Start a Blog
There are a few simple steps that you will need to complete to start your blog:
- Choose your blogging platform
- Secure a domain name and get hosting in place with Bluehost
- Configure your blog
- Design your blog
- Start creating useful content that serves readers
Below I’ll walk you through how I’d approach each step if I were to start a blog and suggest further reading that will be helpful on other important questions like: choosing a niche, finding readers for your blog, building community with your blog, and thinking about how to make money from it, etc.
My hope is that this step by step starting guide will help you to start your first blog.
Step 1: Choose a Blogging Platform
To start a blog you’ll need to select a blogging platform – or a tool that helps you to get your content up onto the web.
There are many blogging platforms available but in my mind the choice is clear and simple. I would set up straight away on a WordPress.org site, and I highly recommend you do too.
WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform and for good reason –
- It is free to use (although you do need to make a small investment in a domain and a server – more on that below)
- It is easy to set up
- It has been around for many years and is a robust and secure system (although you do need to keep it up-to-date to maintain security)
- It has a whole industry of tool providers, designers and developers around it that will help you to customise your blog in many ways
Keep in mind that WordPress offer two tools:
- WordPress.com – where they host your blog, look after the back end, and give you access to have it on their own domain. It’s free to start but, you pay to upgrade different elements of it.
- WordPress.org – where you have complete control and host the blog on your own server, your own domain and have complete control over how it looks, operates and how you can monetise it. It is completely free to use but you need to arrange your own hosting, domain etc.
WordPress.com is easier to set up and means you don’t need to keep upgrading versions of WordPress but it gives you less control over your design, how you monetise and what features you can add. WordPress.com is free to start with but depending upon what upgrades you want to get it can end up being just as expensive as WordPress.org.
My recommendation is to go with WordPress.org – you’ll have a little more work in the setting up phase (I’ll walk you through it below) but in the long run you’ll have full control over the look, feel, features and monetization of your site. It could end up cheaper for you too!
I know some of you are probably searching for advice on how to start a blog for free and so my advice to invest a little in a WordPress.org blog might not be exactly what you’re looking to hear because there are some small costs associated with it – but you’ll be better off in the long run and as you’ll see below the expense is not great.
Step 2: Secure a Domain Name and Set Up Your Blog Hosting
I recommend using BlueHost for getting both your domain and hosting set up.
Choose a Domain
For the next step of starting your blog you’ll need a domain name (your blog’s address) so that you have a home for your blog online. Here on ProBlogger my domain name is http://www.problogger.com – every blog needs its own domain, so it can be easier said than done to find one that isn’t taken!
For the sake of this article I just want to talk about how to technically get your domain – but there are a few other factors to consider including:
- The Human perspective – readability of your domain, the ease of it to say and remember, etc
- The Brand perspective – uniqueness, what the domain says about you
- The SEO perspective – choosing a domain with good keywords can help your site rank higher in Google
- The Legal perspective – copyright and trademark factors
We cover all four of these areas in our post 4 Things to Consider when Choosing Your Domain Name. I would highly recommend reading that post before you go out and grab a domain.
Depending upon where you get your domain and which domain you choose, a domain isn’t a super-expensive thing to secure – but it will cost you at least a few dollars a year.
Set Up Your Blog Hosting with Bluehost
Perhaps the simplest way to get your domain is to do so with the same place that you get your blog hosted. My recommendation for a good place to start is BlueHost.
WordPress has been recommending Bluehost for blog hosting since 2005. With 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and a super affordable rate, Bluehost is a great option for building your first website or blog.
Special Offer for ProBlogger Readers: As I write this article, BlueHost have an offer exclusive to ProBlogger readers to get set up for just $2.95 USD per month (including a domain name!). This is a 63% saving.
Step 3: Set Up Your Blog
If you’ve gone with Bluehost as your domain and hosting provider, installing WordPress is super simple. In fact Bluehost have created a simple video to show you exactly how to do it:
If you have any trouble during this process, they have a live chat support system which enables you to ask questions of their support team.
Note: other hosts including inmotion have similar simple install systems for WordPress but if you run into trouble WordPress have an installing WordPress page too here.
Once you’ve completed this process, you now have a WordPress blog installed! You started a blog! Congratulations – you’re almost there!
Step 4: Configure and Design Your Blog
If this is your first experience of WordPress you might be looking at the dashboard and wondering what you’ve done by installing it – it feels overwhelming doesn’t it!
Don’t worry – you’ll pick this up in no time and just need a good walk through!
Configuring your blog
Luckily the team at BlueHost have put together a great series of tutorials that will help you with becoming used to WordPress and also setting things up to make your blog look and operate just right.
Here’s a good video that introduces you to what you’re looking at on your WordPress dashboard.