A Step-by-Step Guide to starting Your Blog!

 If you don’t know a c-panel from a steering wheel or a plug-in from a power switch, take a breath because, I got you girl!

After being inundated with questions and fears about the ‘tech mumbo jumbo’ of starting a blog, I figured it was high time I just write it all out in one handy-dandy guide for you.

This step-by-step is the exact same process I followed seven years ago when I launched my lifestyle blog. If you end up loving the art of blogging, it’s probably something you’ll do at least a few more times and every time you do it - it gets easier. To be clear, this is the exact process I used to start my blog that changed my life. I now earn a full-time living as a blogger and have branched my lifestyle blog into a full-blown digital media company. I work from home every day, take a week off EVERY MONTH and I get to invest in the people and experiences I want.

Blogging can truly be a gateway to a new life. The beautiful thing is a) anyone can start a blog and b) it costs very little to get started. You can be up and running for just a few dollars a month and have limitless growth potential.

So let’s dig in and launch your blog shall we?

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Three Steps to Start a Blog (plus a FREE DOWNLOADABLE resource!)

Three Steps to Start a Blog (plus a FREE DOWNLOADABLE resource!)

Full warning: this post is EPIC and very long. Consider this a friendly reminder that you should bookmark this page, Pin the graphic above so you remember to come back.

And you can also fill out this form below and I’ll send you this entire post as a handy dandy PDF print-out.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Bluehost and many of the other services I recommend on TBGC. I only recommend products I’ve personally used and can vouch for. When you purchase a product using one of my links, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you (In fact, it often gives you a perk as well!)

Start the process

Ready to jump in and start you blog? Click here to sign up and get the process started. Then come back here and follow my in-depth tutorial for getting things set up and ready to go.

I’ve already written a post about the Five Reasons I Recommend Launching a Blog on Bluehost, but I will reiterate them here.

If you don’t want to sink a lot of money into your blog to start, then Bluehost is absolutely the best bang for your buck. It is a suitable web host and as I was launching, I had a great experience with them.

I was able to scale my blog to 25K pageviews a month while on the most basic Bluehost plan. (Hint: that meant I was paying about $5/month for hosting and domain servers and I was making about $500+/month in passive income revenue).

Bluehost is a top web hosting company and their starter prices are super competitive for what they offer. If you sign up for a 12-month hosting plan, you’ll also get your domain name for FREE! That’s like saving $15-$20 right off the bat. I always sign up for the annual plans because it’s less expensive than going month to month. The best deal is the three-year plan which works out to a very small monthly rate over the long haul.

{{PS. Gotta leave and come back?? DOWNLOAD the PDF version of this guide so you can refer to it whenever you need to!}}

Why it’s important to be self-hosted

At this point, you might be saying “but can’t I just save a few dollars a month and launch on wordpress.com or blogger or blogspot?” To which I say, if you are even half serious about blogging DO NOT do that. Sure you’ll save the $5 or so dollars a month, but you will be severely impacting your ability to monetize and scale your blog. Check out this post about why I love to say “Grow What you Own”.

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The Top Reasons to Start a Self-Hosted Blog and How it helps you Grow

The Top Reasons to Start a Self-Hosted Blog and How it helps you Grow

Here are all the reasons why I recommend starting on Wordpress and with a hosting company like Bluehost:

  • if you ever want to truly make money off your blog (I consistently make 4-figures in passive income every month)

  • if you want to freelance and turn your blog into a business asset

  • if you want to scale your business and basically do anything custom with your site

If any of the above even remotely appeals to you, then you need to be SELF-HOSTED.

Here’s an insider tip that not many others will tell you. When it comes to display ads (and display ad networks) many advertisers will shy away from bidding on sites that are built on Blogger or Wix or non-Wordpress platforms because they aren’t seen as stable, professional or as flexible for advertisers.

What does that really mean? It means that just by having a self-hosted Wordpress site, you are more appealing to brand partners and advertisers. And that means more income potential for you. Of course when you are self-hosted, you can also monetize in other ways, such as affiliate marketing, sponsorships and brand partnerships, ambassadorships, social media marketing - there are so many ways to generate profit.

 

Why BlueHost is a Great Place to Start your Self-Hosted Blog

Bluehost was a FABULOUS place for me to start my blogging career. I remember my whole world opened up when I went from a basic free blog, to being on a local blog network to then OWNING my own site. My pageviews saw an instant uptick and have keep increasing ever since.

  • Bluehost is easy to use and set up (especially using this tutorial and guide!)

  • Bluehost has in-house technical and hosting support

  • It’s super affordable

  • You get a free domain name for the first 12-months!

  • Wordpress operates completely free through Bluehost

    There’s a 30-day money back guarantee

  • You will be officially self-hosted and your blog will be ready for limitless growth potential!

Alright, if you’ve read this far down, you’re probably ready to start your Wordpress blog on Bluehost. Below is a full blown, step-by-step of how to actually do all of this, including screen grabs.

If at any point you have questions about what plan to choose or anything make sure you email me or reach out (plus, at the bottom of this post there are details about how we can work through this entire process TOGETHER friends* <hug>)

Step One: Choosing your domain name

Click here to purchase your domain name and create your blog, then keep following along with the steps in this guide.

The very first thing I do with all my 1:1 clients is walk them through what I call ‘heart work’. It’s where the mindset meets the strategy meets the technology of blogging. It can be challenging to do on your own, but I encourage you to take some time to really think about what you want your domain name to be. (PS. Just in case, a domain name is the actual web address of your blog - so the www.(yourdomainname).com is what we’re talking about here).

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Three steps to start your lifestyle blog! A technical step-by-step!

Three steps to start your lifestyle blog! A technical step-by-step!

There are a lot of things about blogging that you can switch up as you grow - from your logo to your brand colours to the layout of your blog - but your domain name is something you’ll want to stick with. Make sure it feels aligned and makes sense for you.

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You’ll also want to double check that all or at least some variation of the domain is available on social media accounts! (For e.g. I’m @thebloggirlchronicles on all social media too)

And listen, you don’t have to agonize over the domain thing. I mean I literally plucked mine out of thin air, felt like it sounded okay when I said it aloud, made sure none of the letters ran together to make cuss words and off I went. :)

Here’s the beauty thing - you can get your domain name and your hosting all through Bluehost and it make set-up an absolute BREEZE. Plus, did I mention they give you the domain name for free for the first 12-months? They do that when you buy the 12-month hosting plan! Yippee!

Step Two: Buy your Hosting Package

Speaking of hosting, you do need to pick a hosting package. There are few options with Bluehost, but the truth is you’ll likely be totally fine starting with the BASIC plan.

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Now you are into selecting your time frame for your hosting. A couple of things to keep in mind here - firstly, there is a 30-day money back guarantee. Secondly, the longer the term, the less expensive your monthly costs will be. I started with a 12-month plan and quickly realized I wanted as long a term as possible so I wouldn’t have to remember the yearly renewals!

So here’s what I would do - if you are still a little unsure about blogging - pick the 12 month term (which works out to just under $60/year…a TOTAL bargain).

The last consideration is whether to pay the additional 99 cents per month for Domain Privacy Protection. This essentially protects your website ownership info from coming up on web ownership searches. I buy it because I find it’s worth it for me.

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Okay, once you’ve done all this you are ready to configure your blog! (I know that sounds like a big fancy word LOL, but it’s not hard, I swear).

Quick recap of what you’ll need to have done so far to start your blog:

  • Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.

  • Click on the package you are interested in.

  • Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name here.

  • Enter your personal and payment information.

  • Next you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure it's secure as this information is very important. (Log this somewhere accessible!)

Step Three: Install wordpress onto your bluehost account

You are *so close to being finished! Pat yourself on the back, grab a cookie and let’s get through these last steps, okay? Your new Wordpress blog is almost ready to rock and roll your WORLD.

Once you’ve completed the account registration for hosting with Bluehost, it will guide you through the steps to enable Wordpress on your servers.

It will ask you to pick a theme. You can pick whichever one you want (because once you’re into your WP dashboard, you can change this!) or you can skip this step altogether. If you are interested in a gorgeous Wordpress theme, check out my Blogging Resource Page for options I adore.

Here’s where you get to click START BUILDING!! And it might ask you to choose between Business and Personal - I don’t think it matters, but I always stick with Personal to start.

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And hey, if you’re at this point and you’re still like ‘GAH! I don’t get it!’, once again, fear not. I reserve a few 1:1 spots each month so I can work with bloggers individually to get their dream blogs off the ground.

  • My Launch BASIC program is a 1:1 program with me and my technical team! We will take you through this entire launch process from choosing your blog name, URL and hosting service, to getting you up and running with a clear strategy for how to start writing.

  • My Launch PRO program goes one step further and over the course of three months, we build your blog, brand your blog and then you get access to ME (award-winning influencer and strategist!) to help you develop a personalized content strategy plan that will get you the momentum you know you want.




READY TO GROW YOUR BLOG?

If you’re launched and ready to power things up! I’ve got a free Page View Booster Plan that you can grab for FREE TOO! These are the exact 10 things I do on a regular basis to grow my pageviews to well above 100K per month and generate thousands of dollars in passive income every single year!

Ready to dive in more? Check out all these other blog related resources