So you’ve decided to start a blog, that’s awesome! Blogging is one of my favorite things and it’s a fantastic creative outlet. While there about a few different options for starting your own website, we recommend and use self-hosted WordPress (AKA wordpress.org). With this platform, you own all of your content and have oodles of creative control. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Host Your Website
Buy hosting for your website. You need a place for your website to live – this is your host. They provide tech support for your site (if you get a loading error or the site crashes), and you can usually buy your website URL from the same company
BlueHost is an affordable host for new bloggers. They start at $4.49/month for the first year paid annually, which works out to $60 for the whole year. I used BlueHost for the first two years of my blog and never had any issues
Once my blog grew and I started exceeding my capacity on BlueHost, I chose to move to OrangeGeek. They start at $40/month and host all of my sites. It’s no drop in the bucket, but the customer service is amazing and I’d recommend anyone to their service.
*There is a difference between having a URL/domain and having a website. You can slap your own URL on any website, but hosting is you buying space on a server for your website to live on. This means you own your website and everything on it, as opposed to free “blogging” services where you can be shut down anytime, for any reason. I truly feel that if you want to be a serious blogger, the $60 hosting investment for one year is worth it.
Step 2: Buy Your Website URL
You can almost always purchase your domain (URL) through your host. I have most of my URLs through GoDaddy, but BlueHost sells them too. You’ll search the URL you want and see if it’s available.
*This is also a great time to see if the blog name you want is available on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Having the same name everywhere, and having that name match your URL (or very close to it) will help make finding you online easier.
Signing up with BlueHost:
Once on BlueHost’s site, click the Sign Up Now button. You’ll be asked if you already have purchased or URL for your site or if you need to buy one you can do it right here.
Next, you’ll need to provide your account information.
Now you need to choose the hosting package for you. BlueHost offers a different intro price based on how much time you prepay for. You don’t need to add on all the extras below, but I do recommend adding the Domain Privacy Protection option. It’s only $1/month and keeps your registered name, address, and phone number off of the public listings.
Enter your billing information, accept the terms of service, and you have a hosted website!
Step 3: Install WordPress
Once you have a hosted website, you need to install WordPress. BlueHost will send you a welcome email with a link to MojoMarket. Head on over there and follow these steps to install WordPress.
WordPress will automatically install to your website and you will receive an email with a link to your blog login page, your login username, and password. Now you have a WordPress blog!!
Step 4: Learn to Use WordPress
WordPress can be a little daunting when you first log in. It’s all new and there are lots of options on your dashboard, but don’t fret! We can help you get going with 10 Steps to Getting Started on WordPress. Our eBook will show you everything you need to get started and walk you through to different areas of the site with lots of visual references. This book is everything I wish I had known right out of the gate when I started on WordPress.
Step 5: Design Your Website
Now that your site is alive, it’s time to make it stand out and be totally you. My friend Kirsten has a great article about defining your brand that’ll help you create a foundation for how your website will represent you. Once you have your brand in mind & know how to choose a child theme you’ll be ready to launch your new site to the world! Need help designing your site, media kit, and/or business cards? I’m happy to help. You can see my design portfolio HERE and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in my services.