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Hey you! I see you peeking into the blogging world!
And I don't blame you! It's pretty freakin' awesome. Making new connections, sharing your life experiences, AND if you do it right, you'll actually make a profit. Yep, cash money. Sounds pretty dang good, right?
It's basically a no brainer.
And getting started is probably more simple than you'd think. A few steps, and you'll have your very own blog ready to share with the world.
So, wanna give it a go?
Take my hand and I'll show you exactly how to start a blog for beginners, my Friend.
START A BLOG
I was in your shoes not long ago. Full of ideas for a blog of my own but not quite sure how or where to start. It can seem overwhelming in the beginning. Especially if you're technically challenged like moi.
So I'll break it down for ya step-by-step, and you'll have your gorgeous website up and running in a snap!
1. DETERMINE YOUR NICHE
This may seem kinda obvious. But who are you gonna write for? And what exactly will you write about?
I wasn't super clear on this when I first began my blog, so I did my research.
One of the most helpful articles I came across was Melyssa Griffin's How To Choose Your Blog's Niche + Focus. Loved this short, helpful read.
So, here are the basics you'll want to consider when you're deciding upon your niche.
What do I know?
What are the things in which you have experience? Are you a stay-at-home mom like me? Do you have a ton of info to offer mamas who are home with their babies all day?
Or maybe you have insight on how to juggle it all as a working mama running a household. If you've experienced it, likely you'll have lots to write about it.
What do I love?
Turn to your hobbies and favorite pastimes for inspiration. What are you passionate about? What can hold your attention for hours at a time? This is what you should write about. This should be the backbone of your blog.
Will it make me money?
Chances are, you wanna make moola with your new blog. Am I right?
Yeah, blogging is fun and all but it takes time and dedication. So you may as well get paid for it!
Take a minute to think about ways in which you might do this within your niche. Maybe it's affiliate marketing, or maybe you'll enjoy writing sponsored posts. Nearly every niche has some possibility of making money.
After you've given some thought to these questions, you should have a pretty solid idea of what your niche will be. Now you're better suited for creating a successful blog for you and your readers.
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2. PICK A NAME
One of your first creative tasks as a new blogger is finding the perfect name for your blog. I blew through a few dozen before deciding on Splendid Blogger. I wanted something unique. Something that would stand out amongst a million other bloggers in Blogland.
So have fun with it! And select a few of your faves just in case one of them is already taken. It totally sucks when this happens. But if you have good back-ups, you'll be a happy camper.
3. CHOOSE A PLATFORM
So, now you know your audience and you've got your domain name. Here comes your first semi-techi step. Deciding on a platform. There are plenty from which to choose, however, I'm biased toward WordPress.org.
Granted, it's the only blogging platform I've ever used, but still, it fits the bill for all my blogging needs. So I totally recommend it.
WordPress works well for me because:
- It's great for beginners and super user-friendly. And hey, I'm all about that. The easier, the better.
- Your options for customizing are endless with tons of WordPress plugins and themes. Getting your blog to look just as you picture it is simple with this platform.
- WordPress is well known. You can find instruction or advice on just about anything related to WordPress online. Just Google what you need to know, and chances are, someone has already asked and received an answer.
Love, love, love!
4. START A BLOG USING WORDPRESS AND BLUEHOST
Here we are, at your second semi-techi step. This is where you need to determine who you want to host your beautiful blog.
As I went through the steps of starting a blog of my own, I did a fair amount of hosting research and ultimately decided on using Bluehost.
So, Why Is Bluehost Right For Me?
There were a few main deciding factors for selecting Bluehost to host my blog.
- It's Amazingly Simple.
This was, and still is, key for me. Bluehost makes it super duper easy to run a WordPress site. When I realized they have key features and built in tools designed specifically toward WordPress users, I knew my life would be much easier if they hosted my site. I neeeed simple in my life.
- It's Got Speed,Girl!
Bluehost is engineered with custom architecture and delivers unprecedented performance using their awesome VPS technology. This extreme speed is of utmost importance when you've got some good traffic flowing through your site. The last thing you want is a poor performing website to essentially ruin the first impression of your new visitors. Super lame.
- Top-Notch Support From an Exclusive 24/7 Team of Experts.
If you're anything like me, you'll have a question or two at some point during your blogging journey. So it's awesome knowing that you'll have support at your fingertips day and night. Bluehost provides exceptional personal and direct support by phone or chat. And you'll also have full access to their support resources which will usually answer many questions without much digging. Lots to love about that!
If these are factors that you're looking for in a host, then head on over to Bluehost's website and let's get your blog set up today!
1. REVIEW YOUR BLUEHOST PLAN OPTIONS
Bluehost has a few different hosting plans from which to choose.
In my opinion, the Prime Plan gives you the best bang for your buck. This is the plan I use and couldn't be happier with it. If awesome performance on a budget is what you're looking for, then this may be the perfect plan for you too.
- Unlimited websites
- Unmetered website space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unlimited email accounts & storage
- $200 in marketing offers
- Over $80/year in extras including, SpamExperts, Domain Privacy, and Bluehost's SiteBackup Pro
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Now, if you're simply looking for the basics, then I suggest you check out Bluehost's Basic Plan. This plan may have just what you need to get started as a newbie blogger.
Even lighter on the wallet, at only $2.95/month, the Basic Plan includes:
- 1 website
- 1 domain
- 50 GB website space
- Unmetered bandwidth
Whichever plan you choose, Bluehost has got you covered. And if for some crazy reason you're not fully satisfied, Bluehost offers an awesome money-back guarantee. If you don't absolutely love them, they'll refund your money within 30 days of signing up. Easy enough!
2. CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Here's where you'll break out the website name you decided on. Simply type the website name into the New Domain section to see if it's available for your taking. And if it is, congrats! You're one step closer to creating your very own blog!
3. ENTER YOUR ACCOUNT INFO
Simply add your information into the boxes as indicated.
4. SELECT YOUR ACCOUNT PLAN
Now you'll select which package plan you want to go with. Think about how far in advance you want to pay for your hosting. You'll notice the longer the term you choose, the lower your monthly payment will be.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE EXTRAS?
My suggestion is to skip all the add-ons except for the Domain Privacy Protection (which is included for free in the Prime package). This protection helps to keep your personal information private.
So if you want to keep your home address, phone, etc out of the hands of others, I highly recommend the Domain Privacy add-on.
5. COMPLETE YOUR PAYMENT INFO
Fill out your billing info and check the box below to show you've read and agree to Bluehost's terms.
Once these steps are completed, Bluehost will send you an email confirming your setup. This email will include your control panel (cpanel) credentials.
This is your Bluehost login information. Keep this information safe!
6. INSTALL WORDPRESS
So, here's where your blog comes together. You've decided on your platform (WordPress) and have your host (Bluehost). So let's mesh the two, shall we?
Below are the simple, straight-forward steps to install WordPress on Bluehost.
A. LOGIN TO YOUR BLUEHOST CPANEL
Head on over to Bluehost and click the login button at the top right of your screen. Or you can simply use the link to your control panel in the confirmation email that Bluehost just sent you.
B. LOG IN
Select the Hosting Login to log in. You can either log in using your Google account or your bluehost login info from your confirmation email.
C. BEGIN THE WORDPRESS INSTALL
Once you're logged into Bluehost, scroll down to locate the Install WordPress icon under the Website section.
D. CHOOSE WHERE TO INSTALL WORDPRESS
Enter the website name you decided to go with. The name may already be in the domain field but if not, go ahead and pop it in there yourself.
Bluehost will recommend assistance with your install but it's seriously so easy. You can totally do this on your own!
E. ENTER WORDPRESS USER INFO AND COMPLETE INSTALLATION
Now, you'll enter your Site Name or Title and your email address.
You'll also choose your WordPress Admin Username and Password. This is the login info you'll use each time you log into your website.
Be sure to read and agree to the terms. Then click Next to complete your WordPress installation.
Your WordPress login information
Once WordPress has been installed successfully, you'll receive your login information for your WordPress dashboard. The same information will also be delivered to your email inbox. Be sure to keep this information safe. You'll use it often to login to your new website.
Now, let's go check it out!
To access your website's dashboard, go to (yourwebsite.com)/wp-admin. You'll use your WordPress login credentials to login.
7. DESIGN YOUR BLOG
My favorite part! Time to select that gorgeous theme to reflect your unique style.
So, you have WordPress as your platform. Now the theme you decide to install on your WordPress website will determine how your site will appear to your visitors.
When you first login to your WordPress site, your theme will automatically be set to twenty sixteen. I like this theme for its simplicity but I suggest browsing through your many options before deciding on your own.
There are some beautiful themes out there (both, free and premium) to give your blog the exact look you're going for.
StudioPress has some of the most clean, professional themes I've seen. With themes to fit every niche, you're bound to find something you'll fall in love with.
And if it's a gorgeous, feminine look is what you're going for, you MUST check out Bluchic. Every single theme is perfection.
I use their Victoria theme and couldn't be happier with it.
UPLOAD YOUR NEW THEME
1. Select your theme and download it to your computer.
2. Simply navigate to your WordPress dashboard - (yourwebsite.com)/wp-admin.
2. Find the Appearance tab on the left side of your screen. Hoover over it with your curser and notice the Themes tab pop up to the right of it. Click on it.
3. On the Themes page, you'll see Add New. Go ahead and click on it.
4. Then click Upload Theme.
5. Upload the theme file from your computer to your WordPress dashboard.
6. Then activate the theme on your website.
And there you have it! You've just created your very own blog, my friend!
Uber easy, yeah?
Now that you've got your blog set up, get to writing! And if you need any help beautifying your posts with gorgeous stock photos, take a peek at my post for 10 Best Sites for Free Feminine Stock Photos.
I'm pretty sure you'll fall in love just like I did.
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