How to Start A Blog

 

I’m an affiliate for Bluehost, which means I get a kickback at no cost to you if you sign up through the following links!

Howdy there, Picky people!

Do you love to write? Do you have lots of interesting ideas (or pictures of cats) that you want to share with the world?

Do you sort of know how to spell?

Perfect! You should totally start your own blog.

And you’ve come to the right place to get started, my friend. Blogs are a fun way to get your ideas out there while making a bit of money, too! I’ve been blogging at Picky Pinchers for going on a year now, and I can honestly say that this site makes me happy to wake up every morning.

I typically turn “DIY” into “DOY,” so trust me when I say that setting up a blog is super duper easy. This page will give you step by step instructions on how to set up your own blog in about 20 minutes.

If you get stuck during the setup, give me a shout at contact@pickypinchers.com! I love to help new bloggers!

How to Start a Blog in 20 Minutes

Let’s get this show on the road!

Step 1: Set up hosting with Bluehost 

A host is what puts your blog on the internet by storing it on a server. I personally use Bluehost and I’ve had great results with them for the last year. It typically costs $7.99/mo for their basic package, but through my link here you can get it for $3.95/mo.

Not bad, eh?

1 Bluerock Home

Step 2: Select your plan

Select the basic package. If you need more storage or domains later, you can upgrade further down the road, so no biggie! I’m still on their basic package and it’s just right!

2 Select Plan

Step 3: Add your domain

If you’ve bought a domain and still own it, enter it into the “I have a domain name” box and click Next.

If you don’t have a domain name, which is likely if you’re creating a new blog, create one under the “New Domain” box.

For example, if you want your site to be www.ILovePuppies.com, enter that into the box and click Next. Bluehost will tell you if the site is available–if it’s already taken, don’t sweat it! You can try different variations of the domain like .org, .net, and more.

3 Domain

Step 4: Create Your Account

Once you’ve nailed down the domain name, enter your information here to create your Bluehost account.

Step 5: Confirm Package Info and Payment Information

Here’s where you’ll see your total. I highly, highly recommend opting in for the Domain Privacy Protection. I signed up for it to prevent people from accessing my contact information when looking up my site. No thanks!

5 Payment Info

Proceed to the next page to check out. You’re well on your way!

Step 6: Create Your Password

Congrats! You’ve set up hosting. Not too shabby, right?

You’ll be prompted to accept additional offers from Bluehost. If you’re good, continue to the next screen, where you’ll be asked to create your password.

6 Password

7 Password Step 2

8 Login

Step 7: Log in and choose your theme

Don’t worry–you can change your theme later; this is just to get you set up for now. The theme is the skin that stretches over your website and makes it look fantastic.

9 Pick Theme

Step 8: Start building your WordPress site!

10 WP Login

Step 9: Start building

Bluehost will automatically redirect you to your snazzypants WordPress dashboard. Choose whether you’re setting up a business site or a personal site. If you aren’t sure, don’t worry. This is just so Bluehost knows how to help you with the setup process.

11 WP Dashboard

Step 10: Prep your site

Once you’re in your WordPress dashboard, feel free to start preparing your site. This is where you can set up your site’s content, menu, and any other kind of functionality. If you aren’t ready to make your site live right now, wait to click on the Launch button. I did this when I built Picky Pinchers: it gave me time to write blog posts so my site wouldn’t look empty to new visitors.

12 Bluehost Tools

Step 11: Launch your site

Once you’re ready to go live (go you!!), click on the Launch button and enter your details.

12 Launch Site

Boom! You’re on the world wide web, baby!

What’s Next?

Now is when you can finally start building your blog on WordPress. There are infinite things you can do, but here are just a few actions you can take to let your blog take off:

Install a WordPress theme

You can access WordPress themes in two places. The first is in your Bluehost dashboard under the “Website” section. Just click on “WordPress Themes” to jazz up your blog. You can also access themes in your WordPress account by going to the sidebar and clicking on Appearance > Themes. Click “Add New” to browse different themes. I recommend starting off with a free theme, but paid themes are also out there if you’d like something more customized. Choose the theme that works best for you and click Install. That’s it! You can always change your theme if you decide later that you want a new look, too!

Update your WordPress settings

There are a few things you can do to make your WordPress experience a little easier. ShoutMeLoud has a fantastic guide here of a few quick actions you can take to improve your new blog!

Install plugins

The plus of using a WordPress site is that you can add plugins. These little dudes add extra functionality to your site in endless ways, whether it’s making your site attractive to search engines, more secure, or more shareable on social media. Check out this awesome guide from WP Beginner for a list of the best plugins for new WordPress blogs. I don’t recommend installing all of them since they could slow down your site, but I definitely recommend Akismet (prevents spam), Jetpack (lots of cool features here!), Sucuri (added WordPress security), Yoast (search engine optimization), and W3 Total Cache (tightening up your site’s settings for speed).

Write badass content

It’s your moment to shine! Add new posts to your site by going to Posts > Add New to begin sharing your ideas with the world. Don’t forget to throw in some pictures and plenty of descriptive content for your readers to fall in love with.

Stuck or need some setup advice? Shoot me at email at contact@pickypinchers.com. I’m always here to help with questions big or small!

I also have an eBook on how to be a bitchin’ blogger on a budget. Snag your copy here!

 

 

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