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Create your New Beginning
So, the time has finally come! You are ready to start your blog and you want to do it the right way. Well, my friend, you are in the perfect place! You are ready to start blogging!
In this post, I am going to walk you through the necessary steps you need to follow to create your blog and get it setup with WordPress.
I have to confess that it took me a long time to finally dive into the blogging world. I used to browse Pinterest for thousands of things. One day I realized that people were creating amazing sites with really helpful information. But not only that, they were making money! So I read and read many tutorials about blogging and how to start your own. I have my doubts because I wanted to start a self-hosted blog and I didn’t have a big budget to get started. But I found that if I was to buy my hosting with BlueHost, I will also get the domain for free. On just one platform I could manage both things, and the price wasn’t bad at all!
With this tutorial, I want to help you create your new beginning. I can tell you that if you are passionate about what you want to share with the world and put some hard work on it, you can make money from your blog.
So, let´s get started!
Start Blogging 3,2,1…
As I shared with you before, blogging was intimidating. I used to look and read all these beautiful blogs on Pinterest, about many different things, and I thought how cool will be to have one myself! Don’t let the fear of failure win. There is no pressure. You just have to do your best and learn as you go, like I did and I am still doing
You can have a professional blog with Bluehost in little time and for as low as $3.95 a month. If you think about it is like buying one venti coffee or frappuccino at Starbucks! And I bet that you buy more than one a month 😉
So, let’s jump into how to start a blog!. I know it can sound confusing because you will read some words that you haven’t heard before. It might sound to techy, but don´t worry!.
At the beginning, I was kind of lost, but thanks to a blog post about how to start a blog I could create mine. So now, I want to share with you how to create your great blog as well as show you some great tools to make it possible.
Pick Your Niche
Niche, this word drove me crazy for a while. What does it mean? Basically, it refers to a category.
Will you write about shoes and outfits? Well then, your niche will probably be Fashion.
What if you wrote about tips on your awesome trips or your DIY projects?
Maybe some cool recipes to have us with the tongue out as we see your pictures?
There are many niches to choose from. Just browsing through Pinterest you can get inspired by many different categories that define different niches.
The word Niche can sound a little confusing at first, especially if English is not your first language (like my case).However, if you really think in categories it is easy to get it.
When I first started blogging, I decided to make my blog around the niche of Lifestyle. It was easier for me to come up with different topics because I love to do many different things. However, as it looked easier it actually got more complicated. I realized I wasn’t as passionate about writing my trips stories as I am about actually traveling. So I decided to Rebrand and change my niche. Now I blog about blogging, content, and SEO. Things I work with every day in my job, and that to my surprise I am very passionate about.
With this, I want to tell you that it is ok to change your mind. You donñt have to stick to one niche if is drawing you and you don’t enjoy it. There is always time for a change!
Choosing the Right Blogging Platform
There are many platforms out there when looking to start a blog. However, I recommend WordPress because that is what I know and what I use every day in my job and my blog. I chose WordPress.org mainly because with them my blog is self-hosted. Thi means that I won´t get up one day and discover that my blog it’s gone (read about that online, scary!). There are also a lot of tutorials out there to help you with basically anything, which makes it pretty easy.
Choose your Hosting and Domain
Here is when the fun part comes, for a bit at least. You have to pick a domain name. That is going to be your URL, how your blog is going to be known. And you cannot change it (well you can but it can become very tedious), so try to pick a great one!
Bluehost offers a free domain, which is a great perk! And if you get it through my link you will get a 50% discount as you see in the picture. Great deal! It also includes a tool that will help you choose your domain name. It will tell you if it is taken already.
Try it right here 🙂
However, if you need some help to decide a good name there is a free tool called Name Mesh that will be really helpful.
You can add some random words, press search and voilà! A bunch of results will come up to help you pick the best one or give you great ideas.
Think of the long run and your budget
To get the best offer you should sign up for a 36-month period. If you are new blogging and don´t know how well this is going to go I recommend the 12-month period. That is the one I bought and I am really happy with it. I will be renewing with the 36-month plan as soon as my first plan expires. It is also the best deal! Bluehost has an amazing customer service that you can reach out via phone or chat. I always use chat 🙂 and the responses are fast and helpful. If for some reason you are not satisfied with your blogging experience in the first 30 days, Bluehost has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Budget Friendly Tip: Do you know Ebates? It might sound out of context but I want you to get the best deal possible. If you don’t already have an Ebates account please set up one right now before you buy your domain and hosting. Why? Because when you buy in Bluehost and if you have Ebates activated in your browser, a nice window will pop up and warn you that if you make a purchase in Bluehost.com you will receive $10 in cash back!! Even a better deal! 🙂
How to start your blog with Bluehost step by step
To start your process you just need two things: good internet connection and your credit card. Click on the “get started now” button., and select the basic plan.
Tip: If you haven’t decided on your domain name don’t panic! If you wait a few seconds, a new window will show up with two nice people on it (just images! :)) they will give you the opportunity to skip that step and get the credit stored in your account for when you are ready to pick your domain.
If you have a domain name in mind just type it in the box for the new domain and click next.
Note: The domain .com comes as default because is the most common and easy to remember. However, if you will like to have a different domain extension just click on the drop-down arrow and pick the one you like the most.
Choose your payment plan
Fill in your account and payment information and decide which plan you want to purchase. If you know you want to create a blogging business, I recommend you to go for the 36-month plan because you will get the best deal out of your money.
I didn’t add any extras to my account. I didn’t think it was worth it and I didn’t want to get out of your budget. So to get the best price make sure to uncheck the site back up, search engine and sitelock security options.
With the 24-month plan the final price you will get a great price of $94.80. (Remember that you will get back $10 with Ebates!). But for $12 more you can get an extra year with the 36-month plan. That is why I suggested before that if you are thinking of the long run this option is the best one.
And that is how easy and fast you can signup and have your hosting and domain name ready to go. Not bad, huh?
Once you have paid and login to your Bluehost account, under the tag hosting you will find this screen.
Go to Install WordPress and follow the instructions.
Write down your domain name and click next. Further explanations will be given to you on the site on how to install WordPress. It is very easy, you just have to press a button. It’s really easy to do and it takes a little time.
Install a Great Theme
Now is time for the design part. In WordPress, you have the option to choose among many free and pretty themes. I started with a free theme. I think most of us do because we are starting out and in many cases our budget is tight.
You can pick a free theme (what I did at first) or choose a premium one. The difference is that the free one is very limited. But they can be very functional for beginners. However, if you are thinking of monetizing your blog it will be a good idea to invest in a nice theme that won’t limit you in any way. There are many affordable premium themes out there. You can customize them, arrange it to your brand colors and make it your own. That way you will stand out and no other blogger will have the same site as you.
To see the default free themes in WordPress, just go to the backend and click on appearance and choose the one you like the most.
My theme is Isabelle from BlueChic. Their themes are very feminine and elegant, and their customer service is impeccable. Also, once you download our theme you receive a password to get in a resource library with a lot of videos explaining to you how to add and change things around to customize your theme. It is definitely worth the investment.
There are other sites like Pretty Darn Cute Design, which I love also, with amazing and affordable things for you to choose.
Getting your blog looking nice is fun and a must! Now your blog is set up! In less than 15 minutes your Professional WordPress blog will ready to use with Bluehost!