If you have a real passion for something, whether it’s food and cooking like me or arts and craft or health and fitness or photography (it could be anything at all) then a blog can be a hugely rewarding (and in some cases) a profitable endeavour.
I get asked all the time how to set up a blog so I have prepared this easy step by step guide to get your started. (It is not difficult or expensive to set up a blog so don’t let those misconceptions stop you from getting started!)
Domain Name and Hosting
The first thing to do is to decide on a domain name and set up your hosting.
A domain name is the URL, or www name of your website (for example mine is www.myfamilymeals.com.au).
Hosting is basically renting shared space on the web from a hosting provider which allows you to display your blog. For a small monthly fee (less than $5 per month) you can get your site hosted and live on the net.
I use and recommend Bluehost for your domain and hosting requirements. They have a secure system and 24/7 customer support. (I have been a happy customer of theirs for more than 6 years). The best part, is that if you buy your hosting through Bluehost, they will include the domain for free!! (Normally you have to pay for your domain separately).
OK, so first things first. Grab a friend and brainstorm some ideas to choose your domain name and then head over to Bluehost to check if the name is available.
To do this, you will need to click on “Products” then “Shared Hosting”. (See below).
Next, choose the package that best suits your needs. If you plan to have more than 1 website than go with the “Plus” plan, otherwise stick with the “Starter” pack.
On the next screen, enter your chosen domain name to see if it’s available.
Complete the package and billing information on the next page and you are nearly done. (FYI – I recommend the only option you select on this page is “Domain Privacy Protection” which shields your personal address and phone number from being displayed to the public. Uncheck the other boxes.)
Select Next, and you will be ready to go live!
Making Your Site Go Live (WordPress)
I recommend you use the website platform WordPress on which to build your site. It is one of the most popular and internationally recognised website platforms, it’s extremely user friendly and it’s free! (All of my sites are built with WordPress).
The best thing is that you can install WordPress directly through your Bluehost account.
Here’s what you need to do.
After you have secured your domain name and hosting through Bluehost, log into your Bluehost account, and scroll down the page to the “Website Builders” section.
Select “Install WordPress” and follow the instructions all the way through.
You officially have your own blog now. Congratulations!!
Making Your Site Pretty
It’s time to pick your theme and make your site look pretty. A theme is the “backdrop” and “layout” of your site so to speak.
There’s lots of free WordPress themes to choose from. You can scan through the options here.
Or, you can choose a premium theme which gives you more features and options and they can be easier to customise. If you are looking to go premium, then I recommend you choose a theme from StudioPress Themes or Elegant Themes. These themes are built by reputable WordPress developers and there is a tonne of beautiful designs to choose from.
Just in case you need it, here’s a useful article on how to install a wordpress theme.
You are officially done! Congratulations and happy blogging.
Click the link for a list of useful blogging tools and resources.