So, you’ve decided you want to start a blog. Congrats, girl! Let me be the first to welcome you with open arms to the blogging community!
Starting a blog is a big step. I’m going to be honest and upfront with you right now, blogging is a lot of fun and a lot of work. But it’s also an amazing way to connect with people online and, let’s be honest, make some money.
So many people put off starting a blog though because they think they’ll get lost in the technicalities of it. I’m far from tech-savvy myself, so trust me when I say it’s really not as bad as you may think. Especially when you’ve got someone to help you along the way.
Which is why today I want to walk you through exactly how to start a blog (the easy way.) Let’s get started!
HOW TO START A SELF-HOSTED BLOG
First, before you do anything, you need to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. (click the link and I’ll walk you through it below.)
There are a ton of web hosting sites out there, but hands down I recommend Siteground. I’ve tried other sites out there but Siteground is the most affordable one I’ve found, with plans as cheap as $3.95 a month right now!
Plus, anytime I’ve had a tech issue (like recently when I was up until 3am because I tried changing my domain name and somehow got locked out of BOTH domains *facepalm*) their customer support was unbelievably helpful, and quick to respond.
Let’s address the elephant in the room for a sec. If you plan on making money from your blog, even if it’s down the road, DO NOT start on a free hosting site. Just don’t.
I know it’s an investment to spend money on your blog right now, but this is so important. This means that you’ll own your content and you have so much more flexibility with your blog. So when you do start making money from your blog, you don’t have to worry about not being able to put ads on your blog or having your content taken down for no reason, etc. etc.
(And yes, there ARE horror stories out there of bloggers who had their websites taken down on a free hosting site and there was nothing they could do because they didn’t own the content they wrote. Like I said, just steer clear of free hosting.)
STEP 1: PICK YOUR PLAN
After you click this link, you’ll be taken to Siteground’s homepage. Click the ‘SIGN UP’ button and you’ll see all of the plans that Siteground offers:
Personally, I’d go with the cheapest option, simply because a. it’s the cheapest, and b. it’s still got all of the essential things a good starter blog needs.
If you’re unsure of which one to pick, don’t worry! You can always change your plan later once your blog starts gaining more traction.
STEP 2: REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN
Next up comes the toughest part: picking a domain name!
I went through what feels like a million domain names before I found one that I truly loved, Simply Brandi Renee. It includes my name and just fits the style of blogger I am.
My tip to you is to think of a few blog names that you really like, that way if one is already taken you’ve still got some options. It never hurts to include your name in your blog (like mine) or include some of the words associated with the content you’ll be writing about (whether it’s blogging, finance, travel, food, etc.)
And it’s totally okay to change your domain name if you decide you don’t like it. Like I said, I’ve done it plenty of times, it’s okay!
If you’re feeling completely stuck, here’s a great post on how to pick the perfect domain name, from Lena at What Mommy Does!
STEP 3: REVIEW AND COMPLETE
This is where you’ll fill out all your info, add your payment method, and all that jazz. There are a few extra services at the bottom that you can purchase, or just unclick them if you don’t want them.
Once that’s all done, you should receive a confirmation email, and viola! You’re officially the owner of a brand-spankin’ new blog!
But we’re not done yet. Next, you’ve gotta install WordPress, but luckily Siteground’s got you covered. They’ll do this process for you, all you’ve gotta do is go to your User Area (if you’re logged out, just log back in and it’ll take you there!)
There should be a popup asking you if you’d like Siteground to install WordPress for you, and you just fill out your preferences, and ta-da! It’s ready to go!
If you don’t receive a pop-up, though, don’t worry. Just follow these steps to install WordPress:
STEP 1: GO TO CPANEL
Click the My Accounts tab and then click that little red button that says ‘Go to cPanel’.
STEP 2: CLICK ON WORDPRESS
From there, you wanna look for the WordPress icon under AUTOINSTALLERS.
STEP 3: CLICK INSTALL
This is just a page detailing everything about WordPress, so click ‘Install’, then choose your domain name and fill out the fields. Then click ‘install’ again, and it’ll do the job!
After that’s done, go to http://www.YOURNEWDOMAIN.com/wp-admin and type in your username and password, and bam! You’re ready to start writing!
GETTING YOUR BLOG READY
Before you start publishing anything, I’d suggest getting a few things in order first. You don’t wanna get too overwhelmed on your first day, but go to the ‘customize’ tab and make sure your blog is lookin’ sharp. That way, when you do publish that first post, your readers can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at how put-together your blog is looking!
After you get your blog set up how you want, you’re ready to start posting! Make sure that you’re writing quality, content-rich posts so that you can start building an audience that WANTS to come back, right from the start, and they can view you as an authority in your field.
Once you’re ready to really get some readers to your blog, make sure you start sharing your posts to social media, so people can find your posts and see all the hard work you’ve put into your blog!
And don’t forget to snag my FREE Blog Post Checklist! Let’s be honest, there’s A LOT more to a blog post than just writing it. If you’re struggling to remember everything you need to do before you publish a post, this checklist will definitely help you out the next time you’re stuck!
And don't forget to share this pin to Pinterest, so others can find it!
What are you most excited about with your new blog? Let me know below!
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FREE BLOG POST CHECKLIST
This blog post checklist will help you keep up with publishing bomb, high-quality content, every time!