Do you have a passion that you want to share? Are you currently vested in a hobby that you would love to display on the web and catch the attention of other readers?
If so, creating a blog may be the perfect way for you to get your most valued information out there!
When I created my blog, I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, I felt that I had zero creativity and what I had to share mattered to no one.
I was wrong 🙂
To become a blogger, all you really need is a passion for letting your voice be heard. The right audience will find you…if you don’t find them first.
Creating a blog does not have to be difficult, so I am going to show you how to set up and create a blog of your own. However, this is not your average step-by-step guide to setting up a blog, but I will still keep it simple. I promise.
I am going to sum this up as short as I possibly can because when I created my blog, I was able to figure out the set up process once I got to the basic instructions.
1. Find Your Niche
First things first, decide what you are going to blog about. This should come naturally for you. If the topic you decide to blog about does not genuinely interest you, don’t blog about it.
If you are able to think of your niche right now, go with it.
On the other hand, if you have no idea, jot down a list of topics that catch your interest before making a decision.
2. Choose a Platform: Self Hosted vs. Free Platform
Having only been a blogger for a short while, I can tell you that from what I have seen, it is highly recommended to use a self-hosted platform (which you pay for). Like Bluehost, for instance.
Reason being, your opportunities to maximize your blog through a self-hosted platform are seemingly endless. Such as monetizing your blog (which cannot be done on a free platform).
Not only that, but by utilizing a self-hosted platform (WordPress.org), you will have access to hundreds of free blog themes, have the ability to make your site look professional by way of customization, and play around with plugins that essentially enhance your site. These are all features that are typically unavailable with a free platform.
If you find that you are not ready to start off with a self-hosted site, try a free platform, like WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You can always transition to a self-hosted site later on down the road.
What does a hosting company do for you?
A hosting company allows you to claim the name of your site as your own “dot com”. It also enables your site’s capability to reach the Internet.
A good hosting company also provides technical support. Bluehost has 24/7 technical support which helps a great deal when you get stuck or need help resolving a problem.
My site crashed once (my fault), and Bluehost’s Technical Support came to my rescue!
3. Pick A Super Cool Domain Name
You have your niche that you’re going to blog about, right? Now it’s time to put your creativity to the test and come up with a domain name.
I chose www.thepennieswesaved.com because J and I were literally saving every penny we could in order to throw at our debt. I also felt that the words reflected what my site was going to be about, saving money.
Whatever you pick as your domain name, make sure it doesn’t look weird, contain words that are difficult to spell, or can easily be mistaken for another website that already exists.
4. Purchase Your Web Hosting Account
If you are convinced that selecting a self-hosted platform is best for and would like to learn more, please continue.
When I signed up with Bluehost, I was happy to find that my domain name turned out to be absolutely free because I purchased three years worth of hosting.
Please note that you have a month-to-month option, but this route does not necessarily benefit you in the long run. I say this because it costs more and there may be a point in time where you feel it is time to give up once that monthly payment is due…or worse, miss out on making the payment and your site will shut down.
So take it from me, invest in a 12 month plan, or even longer if you want to be in this for the long run. Consider it an incentive to keep working harder at growing your blog creating even better content!
Ready To Select Your Plan!?
Click Here To Start Your Blog
For Only $3.95 A Month!
5. Install WordPress
By now, you should have selected/verified availability/registered your domain name. You should have also purchased a web hosting package through Bluehost (where you would have had to enter all of your personal and billing information). Now it is time to install WordPress!
This installation enables you to actually create awesome blog posts for your site!
Rather than showing you step-by step on how to install this application, I am going to encourage you to just follow the steps once you are logged into Bluehost, yourself.
It is very self-explanatory.
I Will Help Get You Started:
Log back into Bluehost and go to your C-Panel.
Once there, you will see the icon “Install WordPress” underneath the Website section. Next, click the “Install WordPress” icon and follow the download instructions thoroughly.
You can do it! I believe in you!
If you still need help with the download, you can certainly search the Bluehost “help” tab and follow their →Install WordPress← guide.
6. Design and Blog Away!
After WordPress has been installed, the first thing your blog needs is a face lift (selecting a theme and adding plugins!). Your blog theme can be easily be changed under the Appearance tab found within your WordPress Dashboard.
To get to your WordPress Dashboard, type in your domain name in your browser’s web address bar and add /wp-admin/ at the end.
Here is how your dashboard will look:
Why Are Themes Important?
When selecting a theme (free or premium), you want to ensure that it has a responsive web design.
So, what does this mean?
The theme has the ability to adjust to different screen widths and function properly in different browsers and mobile devices. Having a responsive theme allows your viewers to comfortably navigate your blog. If your site is not responsive, viewers can become very frustrated and leave your site.
Likely never to return. Ever.
Why Are Plugins Important?
Plugins are pieces of downloadable software that can be accessed by clicking on Plugins in the dashboard menu of your WordPress.org admin site (see image above).
There are thousands of plugins that you can install on your own for the purpose of enhancing your blog! In a sense, you are coding, without knowing a thing about coding!
Browse the →WordPress.org Plugin Directory← for plugins that can make your blog even more awesome!