From this tutorial, you’ll learn how to start a blog in 2018 in less than 30 minutes.
In fact, if you have the perfect domain name in mind and it’s available, you could be up and running in 15 minutes or less.
Does that sound too good to be true? It isn’t. It can be done.
But if you’re starting your first blog, I recommend taking your time and devoting at least half a day to the task. Maybe more.
This guide covers everything you need to know about starting a blog. I’ll do my best to avoid technical jargon too. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. By the end of the guide, you should know enough to get started. But if you’re stuck, need help with any part of the process or have questions, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.
How to Start a Blog: The 5 Step Process
- Finding the perfect domain name
- Registering and managing a domain name
- Choosing and buying web hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Making your blog look good
Now let’s look at each step of the process in a little more detail.
How to Start a Blog: Finding the Perfect Domain Name
A domain name is the address people type into a browser to find your site. Every website and blog has one.
Before you start a blog, you’ll need a domain name.
Ideally, it’s best if you choose a domain that reflects the stuff you blog about. For this site, I’m focusing on the topic of blogging, hence the domain.
Think about some of your favorite sites and the names they use. Almost 100% of the time, you can tell what the site is about just by reading the domain: Viral Nova, Smart Passive Income, Be a Freelance Blogger.
You don’t have to go with the obvious. Some of the best blogs have quirky names.
If you’re stuck for ideas, check out Lean Domain Search – a useful online app which suggests domain names based on your suggestions.
How to Start a Blog: Registering and Managing a Domain Name
Once you decide upon a domain name, the next step in the process is buying it. It’s an exciting time!
The average cost for a domain is around $10. But you can get them cheaper if you shop around.
Typically, you register a .com domain for two years at a time, but you can register them for longer than that if you like.
When you register the domain you’ll receive an email about the registration. Store this in a safe place as you will need the important information it contains, such as your username and password.
How to Start a Blog: Choosing and Buying Web Hosting
Luckily, if you like, you can buy a domain name at the same time as buying hosting as most web hosting companies throw in a free domain for the first year.
There are a lot of companies to choose from, and if you start going through all the packages and learn some of the terminology, you’ll soon end up with a headache.
If you’re starting a blog for the very first time, it’s a good idea to stick with one of the more popular hosting companies. That way you can get up and running in no time.
As you learn more, if you don’t like the hosting company you initially signed with, you can easily leave and go elsewhere (you may even get a refund if you paid for a year or more in advance).
Let’s go through the process for buying a domain and hosting from Bluehost.
How to Start a Blog: Joining Bluehost
Step 1: Visit Bluehost.com and click on the ‘get started now’ button
Step 2: Choose a plan – the Starter plan is good enough for beginners
Step 3: Choose a domain name
Step 4: Success! Now enter your personal account information
Step 5: Setup your hosting package
You should pay careful attention to the detail at this stage otherwise you could end up paying more than you want to.
The image below shows the default options offered by Bluehost. If you don’t change any of these, the bill for setting up your blog could be more than you expect.
You probably don’t need Site Backup Pro or SiteLock Security, but if you want to keep your personal name and address out of public databases, you do need Domain Privacy Protection.
Tick and untick the boxes relevant to you.
Step 6: Enter your billing information
How to Start a Blog: Installing WordPress
WordPress is probably the most popular and powerful blogging software around. It’s really simple to install, and although there is a learning curve at the start, once you get to know how it works, it’s very easy to use.
Bluehost, and other web hosting companies make it easy to install. All you have to do is click the install button and follow the on-screen instructions.
Instead of walking you three each step with a series of screenshots, take a look at this video to see how easy it is. Skip to 1.25 if you want to get straight to the instructions.
How to Start a Blog: Making it Look Good
Once you’ve installed WordPress, the next step is making it look good.
WordPress uses something called a ‘theme’ to create the design. You can choose from thousands of themes, many of which are free, right from inside your brand new blog.
There are others which you pay for. These are called ‘premium themes’.
Which is best?
Premium themes are typically better because they come with support, they’re often better coded/designed and combine additional features.
If you have enough money in your pocket, I definitely recommend buying a premium theme over using a free one. But if you’re just trying out this blogging lark, go with a free one for now.
I hope this page has helped you understand the process for starting a blog? As you can see from each of the steps I’ve described, the process is reasonably straight forward. And it’s probably one of the easiest and cheapest businesses to set up.
You never know, in a year or two, you could be one of those people you hear about who makes a full-time living from the blog they set up as a hobby!Why not? It just takes determination and taking that first step.
Good luck, my friend.
*Please note, this article contains affiliate links, which means, if you buy after clicking one of our links, we earn a commission fromthe sale.