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Have you thought to yourself “I have a lot to say about (insert your topic here) I should start a blog but have no idea where to start?” Well, wonder no more. Here are the steps to get you started!
Find a name and register your domain for your blog-
Every blog needs to be called something. The name you choose will ideally let the reader know what your blog is about. You need to figure out what it is that you are going to be saying with that name. That’s where you need to do a little research.
Think out what you are going to be writing about. What are you passionate about? What areas of life are you you a pro at? Which areas do you struggle with? In short what do you have to offer the reader. (And don’t think that you have nothing to offer, EVERYONE does!) Once you have figured out what you are going to be writing about, find words that describe what you are going to be writing about. If you need some help with this part, look at thesaurus or Bust a Name. Both will help come up with alternative words that can help choose your name. Once you have decided what to name your blog it’s time to register that name.
There are several different companies out there that will do this. The one that I use to register my domain and use for my hosting is Blue Host. Their rates are low, just a few dollars a month for a name and hosting. And their customer service is amazing. I’ve asked some pretty obvious questions but they have been great at walking me through things.
Choosing your Hosting-
Think of hosting as where all the info you put on your blog is stored. When looking for hosting you want to consider the price, help offered by the company, site speed and ease of use. When I started my blog I signed up with Blue Host and have loved working with them! Love, love, love them.
And yes, there are other hosting companies out there that offer website hosting. Blue Host is just the one that I have had the best experience with.
Setting up with Bluehost
If you decide use Blue Host for your domain or hosting this next part is going to walk you through the steps you need to get everything started.
- First go to www.bluehost.com. This will take you to this page. Click on the green “get started button” then select your plan. If you are just starting out, the basic plan is all you need. You can always change plans later as you need to. (Then Plans Page)
Enter in your billing info and add payment info. Something to note about Blue Host. They do charge for the whole year of hosting. This can be a large amount to pay, just call or use the chat button and they can break that into a monthly charge. They will also offer some options for you to add to your purchase, don’t worry about adding them. If you are just starting out you are not going to need them yet.
Adding WordPress to your domain
Once your domain is set up and have logged in to your Blue Host account, you will see this page. Don’t stress about seeing all of buttons on this page. The only one you need to use right now is the install WordPress button.
Click on the “Install WordPress button, which will direct you to this page. Enter your domain name and click on the next button. You will notice that there are a few different options that are offered to help with setting up your blog. It may seem tempting to have someone do it, but it really is pretty simple to do yourself. Not to mention you can save some money if you just do it yourself.
Once WordPress has been installed and you have logged in to WordPress, it is time to pick your theme.
Picking your Theme-
So you did it! You have a domain, installed WordPress, now it is time to make things a little more you. This is where the theme come in. The theme is the visual part for your blog. The theme is where the colors, fonts, layout design are customized.
Now you may notice that some themes are free and some are available for a fee. Now you might be thinking, “Why would I spend money on a theme?” And that is a great question.
Don’t feel like you have to pay money for a theme. Especially if you are just starting out. There are plenty of options that are great for blogs. But these can be limiting on how much you can customize.
If you do pay for a blog, I would recommend using one that uses Genesis-by Studio Press.This is going to cut down on the coding you need to know by TONS! If you do decide to use Genesis you are going to need a theme that is supported by Genesis. Think of Genesis as the building blocks, then the theme as what the reader actually sees. Restored 316, Studio Press, or Creative Market all have Genesis responsive themes to choose from.
The theme will come with information that will help you set it up they way you would like. From a personal point I will say that Restored 316 has been he best when it comes to having detailed instructions. You are still going to have to learn the ins and outs of using your theme but they really do have the best that I have seen. And remember, if you don’t want to spend time messing around with colors, fonts, sidebars, you can always leave the theme the way it is and just add your own pictures and words. No need to stress if you don’t want to.
You have a domain, you have installed WordPress and now your theme is the way you like it. Now it is time for you to start writing some post and getting your blog out there for the world to see! Just remember, YOU GOT THIS!!