You may be thinking about how to start a blog to share your travel experiences, as a creative outlet, or a new way to make money. If you're looking to start a WordPress blog for cheap on a quality host, choosing BlueHost is the best way to go. Bluehost is a great platform to start your blog on and they are one of the top rated hosts online!
You can start your hosting plan with them for as low as $3.95/month which includes a free domain name when you sign up for a year of hosting (at minimum a $15 value, free!)
Starting a blog doesn't have to be difficult or expensive! Here are 5 simple steps to starting your own blog - click here to get started, and then follow the steps below!
1. Get hosting & a domain name
When you are figuring out how to start a blog, on the technical side, the foundation of it will be your domain name and hosting service. I have created and custom built several websites over the years with WordPress and used to do everything manually. Fortunately for you, Bluehost makes it simple, fast, and cost-effective to get a site up quickly with a free domain name! All you have to do is head over to their website and click the big gree "get started now" button.
2. Choose your hosting plan
With BlueHost, you can get started with hosting as low as $3.95 a month with their basic plan. They also have plus and prime plans for $5.95/month. I highly recommend going for the $5.95/month plan as it gives you all the options you'll need to grow your blog (including automatic backups, which are super important)
3. Choose your domain name
Your domain name is an incredibly important piece of your site and branding strategy. Be sure to keep it simple, easy to remember, and easy to spell. Choose a domain name using ".com" because that's what people are going to remember. Once you have a few ideas in mind, use the search box to see if it's available - you may have to go through a few attempts at finding one that isn't taken and works for you. Don't give up - you will find one that works!
3. Pay for your plan
You'll be taken to the next step that will ask you for your credit card information to create your account. There will be several options for different terms you can pay for, but the longer the term, the cheaper your account will be.
4. Install WordPress
The end-all CMS (content management) solution for hosting a website and blog is WordPress. You may be thinking about starting your blog on a site like Blogger, but don't do it! You'll have the most potential for growth and success using the open-source free version of WordPress that you can install directly on your site. Fortunately, BlueHost makes installing WordPress Incredibly simple and doesn't require any technical know-how to get started. Once you get your login for your C-Panel (control panel), you will be prompted to install WordPress and pick a theme (more on that below!)
4. Choose your theme
Now that you've figured out how to start a blog, now it's time to make it look good! Your theme controls the look and feel of your entire website. While Bluehost provides many free themes to get you started, my favorite source for WordPress Themes is ThemeForest from Envato. They have thousands of free and paid themes for you to choose from. The most versatile and customizable theme I've found and use on all my websites is the XTheme, which you can get for only $30 and never have to buy another theme again. They have over 30 pre-built layouts to choose from and an awesome drag-and-drop editor that makes building your site easy, even if you've never made a website before. They also have a "Pro" version which is geared towards developers, if you want to have a robust framework to build on.
The process of customizing your blog will take a few days, but it's fun and simple and you shouldn't need a designer to make it look awesome. Continue to examine your site as it grows to ensure that it works for your content and is easy for visitors to navigate.
5. Plan your content
This is an entire blog post or e-course in itself. When you're figuring out how to start a blog it's crucial to start planning your content, SEO keywords, and developing a consistent schedule of posting.
Ideally, you've chosen a niche to focus on and become an expert in. Choose keywords which best reference your niche and write your content around those. Then post at minimum twice a week on the same days. You'll start training Google's website crawlers when to look at your site, and your site will start to grow quickly.