Do you have a dream of starting a blog? You should do it!
This post may contain affiliate links for things I highly recommend and love.
Click here to get started (it will open in a new window) then follow the step-by-step tutorial below.
Disclosure: We are an affiliate for Bluehost, which means we make a commission if you sign up—at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things that I have used and love. Bluehost is where we started our blog and where we recommend all our friends, family members and blog readers start. We’ve been able to negotiate a special discounted price for all our blog readers—you will get discounted pricing and a free domain through our link.
1. How to Decide a Topic & Name
Decide your topic.
What are you passionate about? What’s something you can talk about day after day and never get bored of. That’s your topic/niche!
- Love art… start an art blog
- Are you always in the kitchen… start a food blog
Don’t worry, you can always adapt as you go. Your topics can always change after you start, mine did! So don’t stress too much about it too much.
Decide your name.
Give yourself enough room in your name to write about all the topics you want to cover. You want it to be…
- Easy to remember
- And not too long
Don’t get too caught up in this step. It’s less important what direction you go and more important that you actually start. Sometimes the only way to figure it out is to begin the journey. So many people get so caught up in this step that they never start a blog because of it. Don’t let that be you.
2. What You Need to Know
When you’re ready to start a blog, it’s important that you are self-hosted. That means you own your website address.
A self hosted site look like this: www.yoursitename.com
Free hosting looks something like this: www.yoursitename.blogspot.com
The top one you own, the bottom one you don’t. A self-hosted site is reliable, monetizable and yours to do whatever you want with. You can get a self-hosted site through Bluehost (the same place I started my blog) for as little as $2.95 a month (that low price is only available through my link). It’s worth every penny to start with a self-hosted site and will save you a huge headache later trying to migrate over to one.
3. Step-by-Step: How to Start a Blog Today
- Click to Bluehost.com.
- Click “Get Started Now.”
- Enter the website address you want — if it’s unavailable they will suggest alternatives. Remember, don’t over think it and never start your blog because of it.
- Fill in your personal information.
- Choose your account plan — basic is fine, you can always upgrade later. I also highly recommend Domain Privacy Protection (it helps keep your personal information private).
- Special offers: get them if you want, however, I recommend skipping and hitting “no thanks.”
- Generate a password. Write it on a piece of paper or a secure document on your computer and save it in a safe place.
- When the pop-up appears, hit “Setup Your Website”.
- Install WordPress.
- Choose your domain from the drop down and then select “check domain.”
- View credentials. That’s your back end login information. Go ahead and login and then you’re ready to choose a theme. See below.
Note: If you have an existing website you can still migrate it to Bluehost by clicking below, hit “get started”, select your hosting plan, and fill in your domain under “I have a domain name.”
Don’t Forget to Verify Your Account:
You’ll be getting an email from Bluehost with the subject “Action Required: WHOIS Accuracy Verification For yoursite.com.” All you have to do is click the link in the email to verify your account. It takes 1 second and you’re done.
4. Select a Theme
When you’re ready it’s time to select a theme. There are a lot of options out there. We started with a free theme (called Sugar and Spice) and it totally worked but if I was doing it over I would start with the Genesis framework and a Genesis theme (which is what we use now). Genesis themes are very clean, professional and better for SEO (stands for search engine optimization) AKA traffic from Google.
Don’t get so caught up choosing a theme that you don’t start. Here’s a great list of Genesis themes to choose from, choose your favorite and go. This is where I would start, with one of these 9:
Here are 9 Best-Selling Genesis Themes:
- Altitude Pro Theme
- Digital Pro Theme
- Executive Theme
- Foodie Pro Theme
- Parallax Pro Theme
- Magazine Theme
- Showcase Pro Theme
- Aspire Pro Theme
- Glam Pro Theme
Note: All the links above include prices for the Genesis framework + theme, you will need both.
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Disclaimer: Blogging is a wonderful business with a very low start up cost but it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme. How successful you will be will depend on how much time, commitment, marketing knowledge, resources and investment you put in.