Hello sweet friends! Have you ever thought about starting a blog? I was unsure for the longest time. I initially tried a few different platforms but decided I wanted more out of my host. By more, I mean I wanted to be self-hosted. Basically, I wanted to be in control of absolutely everything. Unfortunately for me, I was newbie so I was prepared to struggle with the technical side of blogging. I heard wonderful things about blogging on WordPress.Org because all you need is a domain name and web-hosting. Bluehost highly recommended by bloggers as a hosting platform for beginners and you get your domain name for free! Not to mention, setting up WordPress on it is now just a one-click install! My friend Abby has a 10-Day Quickstart Guide to walk you through step-by-step on how to start a blog, but if you want to jump right in, I have broken down the steps to at least get you set up so you can get started with Bluehost.
First things first, should you start a blog? In short, YES! The only regrets I have when it comes to blogging is not having started sooner and not taking it more seriously when I started. Did you know that you can make money blogging? I didn’t when I started, but you can! Before you start, ensure that your internet service provider is top notch. This helps tremendously when it comes to saving your sanity long term. The best way to go about it is to have a self-hosted site. Like I mentioned before, you can achieve this through Bluehost. I have had such great experience with them and I am certain you will too! Blogging has been a tremendous creative outlet for me. I have met so many other bloggers and the warm welcome was almost overwhelming. It’s such a beautiful group to be a part of and with so many different niches, you are sure to find a place where you fit right in. Blogging allows me so much flexibility in my schedule, because I can do it anywhere and everywhere. If you do decide to monetize your blog, then self-hosting is a must. Besides, you’ll earn your money back for hosting before you know it.
Click here to start building your WordPress blog and you will be directed to Bluehost homepage. Click the big green “get started now” button.
Select the basic plan. You can upgrade to plus or prime down the road, but at this time, the basic plan gives you everything you need. If you do decide to upgrade to plus or prime, you’ll only be responsible for the difference.
On this page, you can enter an existing domain name (box on the right). I purchased my domain name through Namecheap but you receive a free domain name if you use Bluehost if you do not have one at this point. To register a new domain name with Bluehost enter it in the box on the left and click next.
Now that you have signed up (YAY!) enter all of your account information and take a look at the package information. If you select the 36 month package, you receive the lowest rate. However, you do get charged for the first 36 months up front. Bluehost offers a money back guarantee if you change your mind, so signing up is risk free. 🙂 If you are unsure if the blogging thing is for you, they offer a twelve month option too. I wouldn’t worry too much at this point (unless you’ve already decided) about the other available options in the “package information” box, you can upgrade those later too and you don’t need them to get set up, aside from maybe the backup pro. If for some reason, your sight crashes, you don’t want to use all of your hard work. I currently use a plugin called WordPress backup to Dropbox, however, it’s much more expensive than the options Bluehost offers. On average, hosting costs $59 a year, so $99 for THREE years is a pretty sweet deal.
The next screen is where you enter your payment information and agree to the Terms of Service. Once you’ve done this, hit that green submit button.
Time to set up a password, and make it a good one!
I’d write that password down for future reference and keep it somewhere safe. I love this Business Planner because it’s perfect for keeping track of everything blog related as well as planning out and tracking the growth of your business.
If you’ve reached this screen, you’ve done everything right and it’s time to start building your website!
Bluehost offers a variety of themes, but you don’t have to limit yourself to them if you are 100% happy with what you see. I purchased the Market Theme from Restored 316 because I love how soft and feminine it looks but recently switched to a Bluchic Theme. Both offer excellent support and are a breeze to use. They have a wide variety and the customer service is so amazing! They walk you through the setup of the theme in very, easy to follow directions and are quick to respond to support questions submitted. Make sure you LOVE your theme, because changing it later can be kinda tough. After you have chosen your theme, you will be prompted to start building your site. Click “Start Building” and you will be taken to your WordPress dashboard. Bluehost makes it super simple to create a WordPress blog.
Here you can select whether it be a personal blog or a business blog. This part is totally up to you. When making this decision, think about what direction you want your blog to go in long term. Follow through the prompts in setting up your WordPress site until you reach this screen.
When you reach this point, I suggest taking a pause. It sounds super exciting to just click on that launch button, but that will STRESS YOU OUT. Don’t ask me how I know 😉 . On the left side of your dashboard, hover over “Posts” and then click “Add New”. You are going to want to focus your efforts now on getting a good amount of posts written. Take this time to write, write, and write some more. I recommend getting 15-25 posts written and posted before hitting that launch button. I say this because, when you start promoting your work, you want to give your readers a reason to stick around and then want to come back for more. Now, if you have gotten to this point and don’t quite know where to go, my friend Abby has a book called Building A Framework that is absolutely amazing! It takes you step by step through how to turn your blog into the most beautiful website you could imagine. I have personally worked through it several times and learned something new each time. She also offers lots of support through her facebook group if you’ve worked through Building A Framework yourself.
If you have any questions at all about how to set up a WordPress blog on Bluehost, their customer service team is terrific! I know this because shortly after I started blogging, I made a mistake (don’t recall what it was) and crashed my entire site. I lost everything. One email later, everything was reset, and back up and running again. You can contact their support team here. I hope this tutorial helped you set up your own self-hosted WordPress blog. Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to leave your new website url so I can pop on over and say hello!