Starting my own blog was one thing that I had in mind for a very long time. But somehow or the other I kept delaying the process. One morning when I was working on my computer I started setting up my blog.
All of this was done with an impetuous zeal of mind. I sat there with an undivided attention for just half an hour. And there it was. All set for me to start filling it up with content.
To start a blog is not rocket science. But to make yourself go to the computer and start doing it is what takes all the effort.
In today’s post, I will tell you the 6 simple steps for a beginner to start a blog.
How to Start A Blog – Basic Steps For Beginners
There are a few things that you need to have before you start your blog. You don’t need to freak out though because these are all basic things and it needs no professional knowledge of computers.
To make things easier for you, let me first list down what you do not need to start a blog –
- Blogging Experience
- Professional Coding Skills
- Lots of Money
- Another Blogger To Assist You
So what do you need to start a blog?
- A Domain Name
- A Blogging Platform
- A Web Hosting to Host your Site
Having said that let us quickly check out the steps that you need to follow to start a blog.
How to Start a Blog in 6 Simple Steps?
There are six main steps you need to follow in order to start a blog. If you follow this guide exactly, you’ll have your own blog set up in 30 minutes or less.
You might also want to read: Key Benefits of Business Blogging for Beginners
Step 1: Brainstorm A Name for Your Blog
The first step to start a blog is to think of its name. Remember that your blog name is also going to be your domain name in the future.
Your blog name will tell people what your site is all about. So be careful when you choose it. It is okay to spend some time brainstorming what it should be rather than randomly naming it. Pick up a name that best defines your blog.
Your blog name is the first thing people will see when they visit your site. So it is going to set the first impression in their minds. You do not want a bad first impression, do you? So use all your smartness in this step and come up with a great name that resonates the objective of your blog.
You can read my detailed guide on How To Choose A Domain Name if you need help. You can skip it if you already have a name and move on to the next step.
Step 2: Select a Blogging Platform
Picking up the right platform is the second most essential for you. You might otherwise end up jumping from one platform to another. There are tons of blogging platforms out there to choose from -WordPress, Blogger, Wix, Tumbler, Weebly to name a few.
These are amazing platforms that can help you start blogging in even less than 30 minutes. But what most people confuse with is whether they should choose a free platform or a paid one.
In this case, I would say, go for the paid one. Yes, you will have to spend a few bucks but trust me, it will be worth every penny.
Even though free blogging platforms save your money, it comes with its own drawbacks too. Let me list some of them for you.
- You won’t be able to get your own domain name – On a free blog, your domain name will have a trailing name attached to it, such as yourblog.wordpress.com, yourblog.blogspot.com etc This can make your website look unprofessional. That’s not the impression you want your visitors to have if you are serious about your blogging decision.
- You don’t control your content – Another disadvantage about free platforms is that you don’t get to control your content. The blogging platform does it. They could shut you down anytime, and for any reason. They have done this in the past and they will do it in the future.
- You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, it is tough to ever make money from blogging.
As I have already mentioned there are tons of platforms available. But If you ask me, which one is my personal favorite the answer would be WordPress! To be honest, that would be the answer of a majority of the bloggers.
Let me list down some of the facts that made me choose WordPress over any other platforms –
- Free, Open source and has a terrific community support
- Easy to install and use, and does not require any coding knowledge
- Thousands of plugins available to enhance the appearance and functionality of your WordPress site.
- Easily extensible, which is great if you want to start small and scale up as you go on
- Lastly, it is secure, regularly updated and offers innumerable customization options.
WordPress has established itself as the most popular blogging platform in the world and offers two different versions:
The main difference between the two is that the WordPress.com sites are hosted on WordPress server while WordPress.org sites are hosted on an external server.
Step 3: Select a Hosting provider
Your Web Host will be the home of your blog address and the contents of your blog. Without a web hosting, you will not be able to use your domain. Basically, a web hosting provides a server space for your blog/site.
As usual, there are different options you can choose from- HostGator, BlueHost, GoDaddy, iPage to name a few.
Out of all these, BlueHost is the most recommended one.
Below I have provided a step by step instructions for setting up your hosting provider.
- Visit www.BlueHost.com ( https://www.bluehost.com/) and click on the Get Started Now green button
- You will then be directed to a new page where you can choose your desired plan. Since you are just starting out with your blog, you can stick to the Basic Plan. Later on, when your blog starts gaining popularity you can go for the Plus or Pro version.
- After selecting your plan, in the next window, you will have to enter your blog name(your domain). Here you have 2 options, you can either select a new domain name or use an existing one. In case you choose to enter a new name, BlueHost will check if the name is available or not. If not then you will have to think of some other domain name.
- For the purpose of the tutorial, I will choose a new name for my domain. On the next page, you will see a registration form where you will be required to enter some information. Carefully enter the information and click on the Submit button once you are done.
- Choose an account plan based on how far in advance you want to pay. Bluehost bills 1, 2, 3 or 5 years upfront. They do not offer a monthly payment option. As you can see, it works out to be a very reasonable monthly amount. Not bad for your own blog or website, right? It’s a great deal.
- In the next step, you need to enter your billing information.
- After your payment information is entered, next you will be asked to set a password, which will be used for your account verification purpose. Make sure to create a complex password using a combination of alphabets, numbers and special characters.
- Congratulations, you are now done with the setup. You can now log in to your site by clicking on the login button.
Step 4: Getting Started with WordPress
You can start working on your WordPress site right away by clicking on the blue Login button in the Congratulations Window.
Then you can choose any one of the free themes available. However, be sure to choose a theme that is updated. Some of the free themes are outdated with severe security loopholes, making your newly built site an easy target for hackers. For the sake of this tutorial, we will continue with the default theme, which should suffice for now.
It takes about 2-24 hours for your domain to get fully registered. Before that time interval, you are in a temporary domain. That’s nothing to worry about, as BlueHost will automatically do the switching once the real domain is ready.
Step 5: Start Building Your WordPress Site
- To get started with setting up your WordPress site, click on the blue “Start Building” button.
- You will be taken to a new page as shown below. Here you can see your WordPress dashboard on the left side. We will skip the blue “Business” and “Personal” buttons and get started with a clean slate.
- If you look into the black left side of your dashboard you will find a “Bluehost” tab. Click on it and you will find a bunch of new tools to help in creating your new site/blog. Launch your site by clicking on the Launch button.
- You are now ready for your self-hosted WordPress site.
Step 6: Designing your blog and Layout
After you have setup your blog, the next thing we need to do is give it a good design and a layout. This can be easily done by selecting a theme. There are thousands of themes available, both free and premium. Choose a theme that is unique and that corresponds to the contents of your blog.
Also, don’t forget to create a proper “About Me” page. This page will tell your visitors what the objective of the site is.
So that’s it. Your site is ready. You can now go ahead draft and publish your first post.
Points To Consider Before Diving In
Here are a few points to remember before you start blogging full-time.
- Change your default username from “Admin” to something else, that is more secure.
- Change your permalinks
- Change your domain from HTTP to HTTPS, for security reasons. Also, your visitors will be more comfortable in browsing a site that starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP.
- Turn on your free BlueHost SSL certificate
- Get familiar with your WordPress dashboard. As being the admin of a self-hosted site, you will be spending a lot of time in this section.
Over To You
These were the 6 basic steps for you to start a blog. I hope you come up with your unique blog soon and start publishing amazing content for us. Do not forget to tell us the name of your blog in the comment section below. We would love to pay a visit.