Whenever I’m talking to someone who is struggling with their desk job, and looking for more flexibility in their work/life balance, I always encourage them to start a blog about something they love. It’s not easy, so I make sure I also tell them that bloggers who make money usually have a strong work ethic and are self-motivated. I spent many months building my blog while receiving no income, but having faith I would one day be a full-time blogger.
This post was updated in September, 2016 to reflect more robust packages and lower pricing with Bluehost, yay!
But the fire in me was strong, and deep in my heart I knew it’s what I wanted to do. You can read more about why I chose to become a blogger here: 13 Reasons I Chose To Become A Blogger.
If you’re ready to rock and want to start setting up your blog, here’s my How To Start A Blog step-by-step guide that will help you get your website setup with Bluehost (the company I use to host my blog!).
Blogging can be grueling. But getting your blog setup is easy. Are you ready? You’ve totally got this:
1) PICK A WEB HOST
I recommend Bluehost. In my opinion they are far and away the golden standard for bloggers, especially beginners. Their setup is seamlessly easy and their support is top-notch. When you’re ready, head over to this page where you can sign up through my link. (Thank you for helping me keep my cats fed!) Once on that page, it will look like this:
2) CLICK ON THE GREEN “get started now” BUTTON
3) SELECT YOUR BLUEHOST PACKAGE
Because Bluehost will charge you for all the months in your package at once, I had to go with the $3.95 a month plan. This plan has the least amount of bandwidth, but I think it’s a perfect, robust package when you are starting your blog. Whichever plan you choose is up to you, but I have been absolutely thrilled with the Bluehost package I purchased. AS OF SEPTEMBER, 2016, THIS PLAN IS NOW ONLY $3.45. Please keep in mind all pricing is subject to change after the date of this update and may not be accurately reflected in my screenshots, but I do my best to keep this updated!
4) PICK YOUR AWESOME DOMAIN NAME
I’ve got some great tips on 9 Tips To Choose An Awesome Domain Name if you need it. Enter the domain name and click next:
5) ENTER YOUR CONTACT INFO
6) CONFIRM YOUR ADD-ONS
Above all of these three add-ons below, I am serious about recommending Domain Privacy Protection. I made sure to get it, so that my legal name doesn’t appear as the site owner when this is searched (and it’s easy for people to look up on sites like WHO IS). I subscribe to Domain Privacy Protection for that exact reason – privacy. You can still deselect all of these add-ons and continue with your site and add them later. Enter your billing info and click next.
7) WOOHOO – YOU HAVE A BLUEHOST ACCOUNT! ONTO THE FREE PERKS OF HOSTING YOUR WEBSITE WITH BLUEHOST!
Now, create a crazy-hard password (save it somewhere safe) and click on “Install WordPress”
8) CLICK ON INSTALL
You can totally set it up yourself, you’re already there, it’s easy, and you are a confident, smart cookie!
10) CLICK ON SHOW ADVANCED OPTIONS
Here you will enter your Site Name, your username and password, and your email address. Make sure to click on ‘Automatically create a new database for the installation’ as well as the button acknowledging you’ve read the terms and conditions.
11) WAIT FOR THE WORDPRESS INSTALL TO COMPLETE
…and badabing badaboom…You’ve got your very own website for your blog! Congratulations.
12) ACCESS YOUR SITE
Go to your web browser, type in your new domain and add this without the quotes “/wp-admin”. For example www.ijustcreatedmyownblogwithanawesomedomainname.com/wp-admin. Enter your username and password here.
13) DESIGN YOUR SITE
Unless you have advanced knowledge of HTML and CSS programming languages and can design one yourself from scratch, you want to buy a ‘template’ for your site to make it look all pretty. Luckily, there are a lot of gorgeous, affordable blog templates out there. I went with Pretty Darn Cute‘s popular blogging template called ‘Modern Blogger Pro’ and it was one of the best decisions I made for my blog. The support for the customization I wanted was unreal.
Here are just some of the beautiful designs Pretty Darn Cute can help set you up with:
See, that was super painless! You are up and ready to blog. Don’t forget to checkout How Bloggers Make Money with Affiliate Sales to give you an idea of how to actually start profiting from your new website! And for anyone who clicks on my links and signs up for Pretty Darn Cute or Bluehost through me and my blog, thank you sincerely for supporting my website!