It’s not too late to start a blog in 2020! Do it today and I’ll show you how.
The volume of information on how to start a blog is too overwhelming. It can make anyone’s head explode.
As confusing as this feels, it’s actually easy to start a blog in 2019. And I’ll show you how to do it step by step.
This is the last guide you’ll ever need before starting your professional and amazing blog that makes money.
Ready? Let’s go.
Here’re the 7 steps to creating your blog:
- Find a Web Host
- Pick a Hosting Option
- Select a Domain Name
- Choose Add-ons and Pay
- Create Account
- Install WordPress
- Decide on a Theme
- Customize the Site
First, you must find a web host.
#1. Find a Web Host to Start a Blog
The first step is to find a web host.
What is a web host? It’s a company that owns data centers. And data centers, connected together, form the internet.
If building a blog is building a house, then web hosting is renting the land your house sits on.
So you’ll need to rent disk space from a web host to store your website and connect it to the internet.
There’re thousands of web hosts out there. It doesn’t matter which one you pick as long as you pick a large web host that’s been around for a while.
Because the last thing you want is for your web host to go out of business and killing your website with it.
As a new website, you won’t have much traffic, so choose the cheapest and simplest web hosting. JUST START.
The Cheapest & Simplest Web Host? Bluehost
Bluehost is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world and it’s particularly well-known in servicing smaller websites.
It also has by far the cheapest web hosting price.
You can start with a basic web hosting for as little as $3.95 a month.
I’ve been using Bluehost for
By paying $3.95, you’re getting the shared hosting package, which is absolutely fine for new websites.
Pro tip: once you reach 10,000 monthly visitors, look into private hosting or CDN. But don’t bother with these fancy options now!
Use this link to get the special offer at $3.95 a month, including a 30-day money-back guarantee.
When you’re ready, visit the link above and click “Get Started”.
#2. Pick a Hosting Option for the Blog
Once you click get started, you’ll see a screen asking you to pick a hosting option.
Bluehost has 3-tiers of hosting options and a Go Pro plan for the enterprise companies. Go ahead and pick the basic option:
Click “select” on the leftmost column to move forward.
#3. Select a Domain Name for the Blog
Once you pick a hosting option, you’ll see a screen to select a domain name.
It doesn’t matter where you buy your domain from.
But I recommend you buy your domain from your web host. It keeps things simple and organized.
If you buy your web hosting from Bluehost, you’ll get a free domain name for 1 year. So if you’re getting Bluehost, get your domain there, too.
Try to pick a good domain name. But be realistic. Most of the short, easy-to-pronounce domain names are taken.
Spend half an hour brainstorming domains, then check in with Bluehost to see if the domain is available by clicking here.
If the domain is not available, Bluehost will give you a list of suggested domains to choose from.
Here’re my top tips on picking a domain name:
- Pick a domain that’s easy to remember (Doordash)
- Choose a phrase that contains a relevant keyword (
- Get an alternative spelling of a word (
- Keep it as short as possible
- Stay with .com domains. If you’re a nonprofit, use .org
- Don’t use numbers or dashes, it looks fake
Take a look and make a decision. Don’t obsess over this because a domain alone is never going to make you successful. So avoid picking a lousy domain name by reviewing the tips above, and keep moving!.
#4. Choose Add-ons and Pay
Once you choose your domain, you’ll be taken to what’s really the registration and payment page.
In the first section, enter your account information.
This includes your real name, address, and email address. Don’t lie here because this information is legally tied to your website.
In the next section, Bluehost will show that you’ve selected the basic package, and offer you to buy additional services.
The only add-on you may want to buy is Domain Privacy Protection.
It hides the identity (the information you just filled out above) of the website owner from the public view. If you don’t want the public to know about you owning your domain, buy this add-on.
There is NO need to pay for all the other add-ons because you can get them all for FREE with
Finally, enter your payment and click SUBMIT
Congratulations! You now own a piece of the internet!
#5. Create Account to Start Blogging
After you submit your payment, you’ll receive an email from Bluehost. Open that email and click to activate and validate your account.
It’s essential that you verify your account via email right away because it’s the only communication channel that validates your website ownership. Doing so will also create your account on Bluehost.
Once you click to validate your account via email, you’ll come to a page where Bluehost will ask you to create a password.
Click Create your password.
Choose a password that is secure because, again, this is the account that links your website to you. Then click Next.
Congratulations! You now have a VALIDATED website on the internet and you can access it by clicking log in below.
Now that you officially own a domain, let’s get to the fun part, which is building your blog!
#6. Install WordPress for your Blog
So you just got the “land” to “build your house.” How are you going to build your house?
There are many options out there, from SquareSpace, Wix, to Shopify or WordPress.
If you’re publishing a blog, the answer is easy: use WordPress.
Shopify is only for e-Commerce (where you sell physical stuff and ship them to customers).
Squarespace and Wix are just not powerful enough; they may seem relatively cheap in the beginning, but over time you’ll realize that you have to pay extra for every little additional thing. So it can get pretty expensive are also expensive over time.
WordPress is open-source, so it’s 100% free. It’s also super powerful because you can customize it to your exact liking.
The vast majority of bloggers use WordPress, from Jay Z to Tony Robbins to Tim Ferris, and of course,
WordPress does have a little bit of a learning curve. And this tends to scare people more than it should.
But don’t worry. I’m going to teach you all the critical ways to use it in the last step of this guide.
WordPress + Bluehost Combo
Better yet, if you are using Bluehost as your web hosting, then installing WordPress is a 1-click job. Bluehost does all the work for you.
So once you pick a password and click login, you’ll be asked to pick a WordPress theme like below.
It doesn’t matter which theme you pick at this point because you’ll update it later within WordPress (you’re still inside Bluehost right now).
So select one and move on.
During this time, Bluehost is
You might notice that loading is a little slow or that you get stuck. No big deal, log out and log in again now that you have email and password.
After you select a theme, you’ll see the page below.
Click on Start Building below to enter WordPress!
Clicking on the button above will take you to your WordPress Admin dashboard. It should look like this:
Welcome to WordPress!
Select whether you’re using your blog for personal or business. It doesn’t matter which one you select, this won’t affect how you use WordPress.
At this point, a couple of things to remember:
- You’ll be coming back to this WordPress dashboard, so remember it. The URL is simply [whatever your domain is] + [/wp-admin], or www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/
- If you try to visit your domain now, it’ll say under construction. If you want it to go live, simply click on the Launch button. It’s okay to go live now beacuse it’ll take a few weeks for Google to index your website.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
But before we move on, I want to make sure you understand the difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
What you just installed is WordPress.org, an open-sourced, free platform where you can customize using over 50,000 plugins.
Don’t confuse what you just built with WordPress.com. WordPress.com is NOT free, and it’s a hosting and publishing solution you buy instead of Bluehost. I do not recommend WordPress.com.
WordPress.com is more expensive than Bluehost. But more than that, WordPress.com does NOT allow you to use the 50,000 plugins at its base price without paying
Plugins are what makes Wordperss.org so powerful, so to not be able to install anything is a total death trap.
Officially Start Your Blog: Launch!
Now, once you’re ready to launch your site, enter the information below in your WordPress admin dashboard, and click Next Step.
You’ll be taken to the Bluehost admin dashboard.
For now, your work within Bluehost is done. You might need to go back here to update your URL to HTTPS, for example, but for the most part, you need to move to start working on the website inside WordPress.
So go ahead and click
#7. Decide on a WordPress Theme for Your Blog
Before you can customize your blog and publish your first post, you need to select a theme. A theme is like a style for your house, the “skin” that makes it look and feel consistent and unique.
There are thousands of themes to choose from, some free and some not. You can even hire a developer to create a customized theme.
Paid theme or Free Theme?
There’s nothing wrong with starting your blog using a free theme.
The biggest downside of a free theme is that its layout won’t be very customizable.
A great theme will not only fit your blog style and will allow you to customize in many different ways and provide out-of-box features that save you more time and money.
For paid themes, my #1 recommendation is the Genesis Framework by Studio Press.
You install the
For less than $100, I think the Genesis Framework is a worthwhile investment if you are serious about blogging.
A LOT of professional bloggers use the Genesis Framework.
Once you’ve purchased Genesis Framework, you’ll download a zip file of both the framework and your child theme.
Then you install the Genesis Framework onto WordPress. To do that, click Appearance > Themes. At the top of the page, you’ll see a tab that says “Install Themes.” Click on that to upload the zip file.
Remember to install the Genesis Framework first before installing the Child theme.
You should see the below page once
Next, you can install the Child theme by clicking again Appearance > Themes to install the Child Theme.
This time, do click the Activate link and your website will have the Genesis theme applied.
#8. Customize the Blog
Now that you have a fully styled website, it’s time to customize it and write your first post.
Here’re a few tips on how to use WordPress.
Edit (Customize) Theme Settings
To customize your theme, head over to Appearance > Customize.
Depending on your theme, there may be a lot or very little to customize here. At the very least, you should be able to enter your blog title, set your font and color and other basic stuff.
You may also be able to specify the layout of your pages here and how your menus will look and link together.
Below is the look when I customize my settings. The Genesis Framework and the Authority Pro child theme allow me to edit a lot of elements on my blog.
Do your best to fill out the basics for now, you can always come back and fine tune it later.
Use Widgets to Customize Layout for the Blog
When you publish a post or a page, you are really changing the main body of the blog. But oftentimes the layout of your page has a sidebar, header, or footer and you’d want to insert stuff like a form or a blurb there.
The place to customize what goes into these various side sections of your blog exist under Appearance > Widgets.
Take a look at your site and make any adjustments by dragging your available “widgets” on the left into the various spaces on the right. These widgets are all plugins, I don’t know why WordPress don’t just call them plugins.
Below is an example of my Appearance > Widgets section. Notice that because I use Genesis, I have a lot more sections to customize on the right hand side.
Get Plugins to Supercharge Your Blog
Click Plugins > Add New to explore over 50,000 plugins to customize your WordPress site in every way possible!
You can do some quick research on Google to find out what are the most useful plugins for your particular blog type.
But here’re my top 5 FREE plugins:
- Yoast SEO: The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
- Akismet Anti-Spam: Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com: Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.
- Really Simple SSL: Lightweight plugin without any setup to make your site SSL proof
- WP Super Cache:Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
How to Start a Blog: Summary
So there you have it, my step-by-step version on how to start a blog TODAY.
Get a web host, install WordPress, and pick the best theme that represents your blog and
Starting a blog today is as easy as 123.
The world is really getting more and more information-based. If you’ve got something to say, why not write it out on a blog?
If you have any questions about starting a blog, COMMENT below and we’ll help each other out!
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