Starting a new blog can be a terrifying thought especially if you are a Newbie or a Non-Technical Person. Actually starting a new blog is not at all complicated and not as daunting as many people think even for the Non-Technical Person and Newbies.
Easy Steps to Start Your Blog
- Choosing a Platform (WordPress.com, WordPress.org or Blogger)
- Choose a Domain Name and Web Hosting Service
- Customize WordPress
- Write Your First Blog Post
Step 1 – Choosing a Platform
The First Step on Starting Your Blog is to decide on which Platform You want to use to build Your blog.
WordPress.com is the free blogging platform where there are no costs for hosting or domain, as your blog name will have “.wordpress” in the domain name (eg. yourblogname.wordpress.com).
It has very limited functionality, looks very unprofessional if you plan to monetize your blog to earn money or even promote your business it is not recommended.
Blogger.com is the blogging platform of Google which also gives free hosting and domain name but as with wordpress.com name will contain “.blogger” in the domain name (eg. yourblogname.blogger.com). Its great option for people who don’t want to invest money in the blog. Google is very strict on affiliate marketing as it’s a free platform and If they find out that you are promoting affiliate links they can even delete/suspend your blog.
WordPress.org, it’s the Free Blogging Software which can be installed on Self Hosted Blogs. It gives you full control over your website, can edit codes, install themes and plugins and make Your Blog look professional. A Self-hosted WordPress blog is the best option for anyone looking to start a new blog and willing to invest just a few dollars per month on hosting.
Why I recommend Self Hosted Platform (WordPress.org)?
- Control over your content – You control the blog and its content as you host it. On free hosting blogs you have less control over your blogs and they can be shut down anytime.
- Professional – Biggest reason I recommend self-hosting is the website name as it looks more professional. You will have neither WordPress nor blogger in your blog name.
- Themes and Plugins – There are a huge number of third party themes and plugins which you can install on your blog and customize it as you wish while the options are very limited on free blogging platforms.
- Earning Money – You can use your blog to earn money by monetizing it by showing ads or using affiliate links and promoting products which cannot be done on free blogging platforms.
Step 2 – Choose a Domain Name and Web Hosting Service
Your Domain name or Blog Name is your window to the World, it’s the name by which you would be known online. It’s your own unique address on the internet. For example, I opted for rahul-taneja.com, as I wanted a domain name with my Name.
Hosting is basically the service which puts your website on the internet so everyone can see it. You can think of it as your Computer Hard Drive on the internet where your Website will be saved.
Selecting reliable hosting service will be the most important decision, as the functionality and performance of the blog will depend on the quality and service of the hosting provider. Many cheap hosts can offer very nominal rates. But a reliable host is recommended. The reason for that is cheap hosting providers put your site along with numerous other websites on the same server to cut costs. This results in poor performance of the website.
I recommend Bluehost for web hosting. Bluehost has been working on WordPress since 2005. They are offering free domain name and unlimited bandwidth starting at just $2.95/month* (with discount) and 30 days money back guarantee.
Click on the Green Button to get started.
Next, Select the Plan for your blog from basic, plus or prime. Basic Plan would be more than enough if you are just starting and can upgrade anytime when your activity grows.
Next, you will be asked to register your free domain or your existing domain, if you are looking for free domain name search it on the left-hand side otherwise enter your existing registered domain earlier on the right-hand side. I personally recommend using “.com” in your domain name.
Next, enter your account information like name, address, email etc, please verify all the details especially email address as your login information would be sent to your email address.
Next, choose the period as the discounts are for first payments only choose the best discount option i.e. 36 months which is currently offering to host at $2.95/month and you also get setup, domain and as Special Offer you even get domain privacy FREE which is generally chargeable. If there are any more options like backup and security remove them as they are not required.
Next, it will ask you for your payment information, by default its set to credit card, but you can click on more payment options at the top and get an option to pay via PayPal.
Next, click on the “Create your password” button.
Next, enter your password, choose a difficult password and also note it down in a safe place for your reference. Select the checkbox and Click “Next”.
Next, click on “log in” and your hosting buying process is complete. Your blog login link will be like “www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin”. Please save this address for your future reference and change yourblogname with your domain name. You will receive confirmation and activation emails, save those emails and activate your domain if its new with the activation link in the email.
You can also login to your account by going to Bluehost and clicking on login.
Step 3 – Customize WordPress
Now its time to customize the WordPress with themes and plugins you want to install
Next, you will be asked to choose a theme, pick anyone you can change them later too at any time. I personally love Genesis Theme and use it on my blog.
Next, you will get a confirmation that your WordPress is ready with the selected theme and you get two option to either go to WordPress or Bluehost account. Click On “Start Building” to go to WordPress account.
Next, you will be taken to your WordPress dashboard and asked that you want to automatically setup your site for business, personal or you don’t need help. I would recommend selecting you don’t need help so that you can customize it on your own.
Next, click on the Bluehost button on the lefthand side column on top, you will be taken to a page with various tools to help you build your site. Click on “Launch” button to launch your site as it will be on coming soon page.
Note:- New sites can take up to 2 to 24 hrs to get ready to set up, so if your site is still on coming soon page, don’t forget to come back after few hours and click “Launch” button again.
Next, when your site is ready to launch you will get this screen to enter the Site Title and Description about your site. After entering the details click on “Next Step” button and your site is Launched and Live.
Step 4 – Writing Your First Blog Post
You can login to your website by going to Bluehost and clicking on login or at “www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin” page.
This is your Bluehost welcome screen, which has links to your WordPress dashboard and also live chat for any help and support required from Bluehost support team.
To write the first blog post click on “Posts – Add New” menu in the WordPress dashboard. You will see the editor where you can type in your first blog post and then hit publish button to publish your first blog post to the world.
Congratulations you have successfully installed WordPress on your Self Hosted Blog.
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