It’s been over 7 years since I first started blogging, and oh boy do I wish I knew what I know now. Over the years and lots of trial and error, I’ve learned so much about blogging – from what platform(s) to use, to how to produce content, marketing your blog – and everything in between.
Since I’m constantly getting questions about this from my friends, readers, and online users, I figured it would be helpful to try to get everything in one place. So let’s get started, shall we?
(If you already have your blog created and want to get to the juicy stuff – content, tips, and more – scroll to the BOTTOM of this page for my BLOGGING 101 EBOOK!)
Step 1: find a host
This is where I’ve made 208242046 mistakes already for you (ha). I’ve tried having blogs on Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress.com, and various different hosting providers. While you could try those (free) routes, I think that if you really want to take your blog seriously you should invest in being self-hosted, as it is very much the foundation of your blog (where it “lives,” so to speak).
I finally took a friend’s advice and set up Hungry Blonde on Bluehost, and I can’t believe what a huge difference it has made. Bluehost is a great hosting provider for many reasons, but personally I have found that there Customer Support is the absolute best. It is also extremely easy to link up with WordPress, which I’ll get into below.
You can CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED ON BLUEHOST.
Please note that I am a Bluehost affiliate and will be compensated if you sign up through my link, but please trust that I genuinely believe in Bluehost as the best server I have used in 6 years.
Step 2: choose a plan
It’s up to your needs and budget which plan you choose, but I personally went with the “plus” and it has provided everything I need. You can always upgrade down the line.
Step 3: choose a domain
Your domain is essentially the name of your blog (i.e. www.HungryBlondeNYC.com). If you already secured a domain name elsewhere, enter that on the right.* If not, get a new domain by filling in the field on the left.
* You’ll eventually have to transfer your existing domain over to Bluehost. I would suggest calling the Bluehost support to help you do this, as that’s what I had to do and found them to be extremely helpful and walk me through it.
Step 4: fill out your account information
Step 5: choose a hosting package
Once again, this is up to your particular needs and budget. I personally started with a 12 month plan and skipped the add ons EXCEPT FOR the Domain Privacy Protection, which will keep your personal information private. That’s pretty important so I’d recommend investing in that.
Step 6: fill out billing info
Step 7: complete purchase + obtain your login info (via email)
Alright – you’re just about halfway through! This isn’t so difficult, right? 😉
Now we’ll move on to installing WORDPRESS, which is where the blogging magic happens.
Step 8: install WordPress
Log in to your Bluehost dashboard (using your new credentials) and click on the “Install WordPress” icon.
Step 9: follow the steps to install WordPress
It will have you choose your domain and enter some user info (admin name, password, email). All pretty self explanatory.
Step 10: log in to your new WordPress dashboard
You’ll receive a welcome email from WordPress upon installation and it will include a link that will take you to your new website (wooo!) as well as a LOGIN URL that will take you to your WordPress dashboard. That’s basically where all of the back end of your blog is (where you’ll update settings, theme, write your actual blog posts, etc.)
Step 11: get familiar with WordPress!
As with Bluehost, I find WordPress to be extremely user-friendly – it makes blogging so simple! I suggest going through your dashboard and clicking through all of the tabs on the left getting familiar with them. You can also head to WordPress.org and find a TON of tutorials, support, themes, plugins, and all that jazz.
Step 11: make that blog beautiful, baby.
You’ll find that WordPress has a ton of theme and customization options, but if you really want to take things to the next level I’d suggest investing in a web designer to really build your blog’s look, feel, and overall brand. I’ve worked with Jenny at Isn’t She Lovely Designs a few times, and she is incredible. She will work with you to take the vision you have for your blog and make it a (visual) reality.
(PSSST – there’s a VERY special promo code included for ISLD in my Blogging 101 eBook!)
Step 12: strategize
Now it’s time to start doing the real fun stuff – producing content, marketing your blog, and taking things to the next level. And would you look at that…I put together a comprehensive BLOGGING 101 eBook to help you do just that!
Who is Blogging 101 for?
Blogging 101 is for the person who has been saying for years that they wanted to started a blog but had no idea where to start. It’s for the person who has had others constantly telling them “you know, you should totally start a blog!”
Blogging 101 is different from other blogging guides because it’s based off of my personal experience from 6+ years of blogging. I’ve compiled all of the most important tips, tricks, secrets and lessons learned so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did! My goal was to create a guide that was exactly what I wish I had when I first started blogging. Here’s a peek at what’s included: