Welcome To How To Start A Blog Using BlueHost
So, are you ready to learn How To Start A Blog Using BlueHost? First off I’d like to welcome you and congratulate you on deciding to start your own blog. I believe blogging is a great way to express yourself on topics that you are passionate about. It is also a great way to make a side income. You can even make a full-time income from the comfort of your home.
I don’t want to paint the wrong picture here. If you want to make blogging a business, you will have to treat it as a business. Once you set up your blog, you will own your own piece of real estate on the Internet. You can then determine if you want to blog part-time or full-time.
5 Steps on How to Start A Blog Using Bluehost:
- Determine if blogging is a good fit for you.
- Finding the perfect name for your blog.
- Set up a self-hosted blog with WordPress.org on Bluehost.
- Log into Bluehost to Install WordPress.
- Get started with WordPress.
- Select a Premium theme for your new blog.
- Start creating high-quality content that helps solve a problem for your reader and followers.
Bluehost has made the process of setting up your blog super easy and super fast. They offer a one-click install so you won’t have to mess with anything technical. You’ll be able to sign up and create your blog in as little as fifteen minutes. You are can set up a WordPress blog for cheap by choosing Bluehost for your hosting needs. There are other hosting options also.
You will also receive a free blog domain from Bluehost by going through my link. You can also purchase 12 months or longer worth of hosting ($15.00 Value), which is what you’ll want. It will also get you the cheapest price for hosting and save you a lot of money. Furthermore, there are no contracts and you get a full 30-day guarantee.
Most people don’t understand that a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best option for a beginner blog business. Sure, you can set up a free blog on another platform. But, free blogs aren’t viewed as professional. Vendors usually won’t want to work with you if you have a free blog. They know that you don’t own the domain and it makes it hard to monetize your blog.
In my opinion, you want to own your domain and self-host it on a WordPress Platform. Many other bloggers agree that this will give you control over your blog. Who knows, someday you might want to exit blogging and if you own your blog you can sell it, which is a nice asset to have after all the hard work you will have put into it.
Click here to start a blog using Bluehost, then follow the easy step by step instructions below to get your blog all set up. If you have any problems while setting up your blog, they have a live chat support system which enables you to ask questions of their support team.
Bluehost has been one of the top hosting companies for 10 years and is recommended by WordPress.org. They have excellent customer service. Bluehost offers 24/7 support via phone, email, and chat. They’re also very affordable ($3.95-$6.95 per month, plus a free domain) which can save you up to $15 dollars. Bluehost is a well-established company and a company you and your blog can grow with. Be sure to use my link to get your special pricing.
So, I hope you are as excited about starting your blog as I am for you. I can’t imagine a better business where you get to determine the times and places you blog. Don’t get me wrong, you must work hard, learn new skills and commit to spending time in your pursuit, but it’s nice having the freedom offered by a home-based business.
Step 1 Determine If Blogging Is a Good Fit For YOU
Before we start walking through the step-by-step setup of your blog, we should look at a few questions to verify blogging is a good fit for you. Be sure to answer the following questions as honestly as possible.
- What do you want to write about?
- Why do you want to start a blog?
- What do you hope to accomplish through blogging?
- How much money are you willing to invest?
- How much time are you willing to invest?
- Why is your message important?
- How do you plan to reach your goals?
- Who will be your support if times get tough?
Step 2 Finding the perfect name for your blog
At first glance, this may appear to be an easy step. But, you want your name to be very specific and describe what your blog is about. You’ll also want your name to be your domain name, which is also referred to as your URL (your address where you can be found).
It is ideal to create the shortest URL possible while having a clear, defined name. It should be easy to spell and easy to remember. Try and keep your domain under three words if possible. I would suggest only picking a .com name as it is the most common type, domain, and most people will automatically type .com if you have an easy name to remember. If you pick a .net or.org extension you may be sending traffic to the website that has the .com extension and we want them to come to your blog.
Now it’s time for a little exercise to help you get your creative juices flowing. Take out a pen and paper, open a Notepad, or use your favorite way of brainstorming to answer the following questions.
- Describe what your blog is going to be about in a couple of sentences:
- Next, try and pull out some keywords that describe what your blog is about. Now write down as many blog name ideas as you can think of:
- Now that you have determined a few keywords that describe what your blog is about, you might also like trying a few online tools that can make suggestions for your domain name. These keyword tools are fun and generate all types of names. You can try the ones I’ve listed below, but you can also do a Google search for other Domain Name tools. Just type something like, “tools to pick a domain name.” If you find some that you like jot them down for the next step.
- Hopefully, you’re coming up with some really good names. If not, there’s another step that you might like to try. Go to thesaurus and type in some of the names you like best. Play around with the combos that you come up with and hopefully, by now you have found a winning blog name.
- If you are still having difficulty finding a name for your blog, you may want to ask your significant other, a friend, or family member if they can help you brainstorm some new ideas. They may be able to come up with new ideas that you haven’t thought of.
- Write down your top five choices below: Examples below…
- a. RockstarBlogger.com
- b. RockinBlogger.com
- c. RockstarBlog.com
- d. RockingBlog.com
- e. MaryJones.com (example using your full name to brand yourself)
Is the URL available for any of the names you came up with? Most of the online tools will let you know if the domain is available for purchase.
If the domain is available, then pick your favorite one!
If the domain is already taken, then go back and try some more word combinations that describe your Blog and you are happy with. Repeat this process until you find your ideal domain name.
Step 3 Set up A Self Hosted Blog on WordPress.org
Although there are many different platforms to start a blog such as Wicks, Blogger, TypePad, etc., you will want to set your domain up on WordPress.org so you have true control. When you self-host your blog using WordPress.org you have full control and ownership of your site.
Setting your site up this way will allow you to select from many different themes, plug-ins and the look and feel of your site. Starting a business blog that generates income is also building you an asset. If, at some time in the future you want to sell your site, you have control. Using some of the other platforms won’t allow you to create the look and feel you want for your site.
The next step will be setting up hosting. There are a lot of choices for hosting your blog. One of the cheapest and easiest hosting sites for someone to set up and who is just starting out is Bluehost. Bluehost is the only hosting service that has been officially recommended by the WordPress platform for almost 10 years in a row.
As your blog grows, your needs may change and you can always switch to a different hosting company at that time. If you sign up through this special link, you’ll get a special offer of shared hosting at $3.95 per month for 36 months, as well as a free domain name for a year, a free site builder, and a one-click install.
Bluehost also comes with 24 hour per day support, which is great if you work late like I do. It’s great knowing there is someone there to help you if you ever run into a problem.
Once you click the link, Bluehost.com you’ll be taken to the Bluehost main page, then click the “Get Started Now” button.
Next, select the hosting plan that fits your needs and budget. If you are just getting started in blogging you could probably get by with the basic plan. It does have some limitations, such as website space, parked domains, subdomains, e-mail accounts, and e-mail storage to name a few. If you want to save money up front, then the basic plan would probably be the best option for now as you can always upgrade at a later time.
The shared hosting plans are priced at 12, 24 and 36-month terms. In order to get the best deal and save the most money, the longer term you purchase, the lower the monthly rate will be. So, by choosing the basic package for 36 months you will receive the great introductory rate of $3.95 per month.
You can use the drop-down menu under Account Plan to play with the pricing plans. You can also select if you want any of the other additional paid options for your site. I personally go with the domain and privacy options. That’s all I’ve ever needed, but you should consider the other options and go with a plan that you feel comfortable with for your specific needs.
I have a separate backup for my blog, but for convenience, you may like to add that to this plan so you don’t have to purchase and set up a separate backup software.
Next, you’ll need to choose a domain name for your site. If you have already purchased a domain, you can enter it here, and you’ll have just a couple more steps to make sure your DNS servers are pointed to Bluehost.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, you will want to enter the domain name that you created in one of the previous steps. You will enter that domain name under the new domain name box and click next. Remember, by using Bluehost as your hosting company you will get your new domain name for free for one year saving you up to $15.
Once you have entered your domain name, you’ll need to fill out your personal information in the next fields.
Now, scroll down and select your package. You will save the most money by selecting the 36-month option as it drops the per month price to $3.95. You will then have your websites hosting set up for 36 months. If you don’t want to save money, you can select the 12 or 24-month options, but you’ll see that the per month price will increase, costing you more in the long run. It’s totally up to you and what your budget will allow, but I want you to be able to save the most money upfront and show you all the options for your new hosting.
I suggest also selecting domain privacy protection. If you select this, your domain will remain private and no one will know your personal information. If you decided to use your personal name as your domain, then you may not care and/or need this option.
The last option I would look at is the Site Backup Pro. I have a third party backup option on my blog, but it might be the easiest and best option just to add it to your plan. Either way, I do suggest backing up your blog as you don’t want to lose any of your hard work you’re about to create from hackers or other unforeseen problems.
Having a backup in place that runs daily will protect your new work each day that you create more content. If you don’t have any backup in place you could lose all the work you’ve created on your blog. If you have a backup running, you should only lose that day’s worth of work. It’s like insurance, you purchase it hoping you’ll never need it, but if you do it’s in place.
You will then be asked to create a password for your account. You can simply use the password generator or create one you prefer. It is important to create a password that has both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (&%$#@!*) in order to make your password strong enough to protect your account from being hacked.
Yeah, you are rockin and rollin my friend! I bet you are getting excited. You are one step closer to having your blog set up and running, so you can start sharing your knowledge with the World Wide Web.
Take a short breather if you need one, but when you come back we’ll be ready to get your blog live as we get ready to Install WordPress on your site. Don’t fear, Bluehost has made this really, really simple…
Step 4 Login To Blue Host To Install WordPress
Here is a video tutorial on how to install WordPress or you can follow the tutorial below the video.
If this is your first website with this hosting company you will want to click the green install button. The other gray import button is for people who already have a self-hosted WordPress website or another domain that are looking to migrate their WordPress contents to the new install. You can disregard the gray button if you are setting up a new install.
Next, we will be able to select the domain you wish to install on WordPress. If this is a new account, you should only see one domain, but may see it displayed both with the www.subdomain/prefix and without the www. and would display as http://subdomain/prefix. It comes down to a matter of preference as to which style domain you want. If you select the www it will be canonicalized and set to redirect to all non-www. web addresses.
You can leave the directory field empty. On occasion, the scan might find files in the directory and say it will overwrite these files, but if this is a new account, then this issue or error is nothing to worry about and you can proceed.
Next, select the checkbox for “show advanced option” to reveal the fields for filling in your WordPress website title, username, and a secure password. Make sure that your website title is the same as your website domain or business. Having matching titles and domain’s provide a boost with SEO (search engine optimization) making it easier to rank your site in the search engines.
Once again, when creating your password. Be sure to use at least one uppercase letter, a mixture of letters and numbers, and some characters to create the most secure password for your new blog. Click the Install Now button.
The next page will show that WordPress is being installed and you’ll be notified once it is completed. Once the install is complete, you’ll see an orange stripe at the top with a button saying “view credentials” which you should click, so you can see the login links for your site and you’ll be able to temporarily see your username and password.
Step 5 Login to WordPress
Here is a video on logging into WordPress and how to manage and design your blog.
After logging into your blog you should be on your new dashboard. On the left side of your dashboard, you will find several different tabs, which will be used to customize your new blog. Don’t let all the tabs intimidate you. It will take a little effort and some time to learn what everything does, but it shouldn’t take long before you’re comfortable changing the look and feel of your blog.
Take some time and click the links to familiarize yourself with your new blog. Let’s cover a couple of the task you should know how to do right away.
How to login to your blog:
- Go to your new URL to access your login page. Your URL should end with /wp-admin/. It should look something like this http://rockstarblogger.com/wp-admin/.
- Once you arrive at your login page, simply enter your username and password and click the login button. This will bring you to your dashboard.
How to Create a Category For Your Post:
- Hover your mouse over the post link. Then select the category link from the drop-down.
To create a category, simply fill in the name of the category. You can skip filling in the slug as it will auto-fill once you click the add new category button. Next, you can assign your category as a parent category which will be the main category. There are other subcategories that you can also assign under the main category. For example, if you have a fitness site, you might assign a parent category as fitness. Under fitness, you may assign a subcategory as weight loss, weight training, healthy diet, etc. Depending on what theme you go with, you may like to add a simple description to your category. When you’re ready, click the add new category button and you’re done adding that category. You can continue to add as many categories as you need, simply return to this section when needed.
How to create a post:
- Hover over the post link and select the “add new” post. Coming up with a catchy title can help your post rank and draw the attention of your reader. Your title should also explain what the reader will learn.
Next, you will add your article to your post. To the right, you will see the category section and you will tick the appropriate box to assign your post to the proper category. Uncheck the uncategorized box that is set as the default. Once you’re finished, click the blue publish button and your post will be live on the Internet.
- Follow the same process as you did in setting up your post, except you’ll hover over pages and select “add new”.
Now, I’ll show you how to install plugins which in my opinion is one of the coolest things about your blog. If you aren’t familiar with plugins, they are basically software that performs a specific action to occur on your website without having to know any coding or programming. There are plugins for just about anything you can think of that you might want or need for your blog. Before you go hog wild and put a ton of plugins on your blog you should know that they can slow your site down and that’s not good. So be very selective on what plugins you choose to install on your blog.
How to Install Plug-Ins:
- Hover your mouse over plugins and select add new in the drop-down. There are two ways to add plugins to your blog. Locate a plugin that is saved on your computer by clicking the “Upload Plugin” button. The other option is to search for the plugin located on the right side of the screen. Have a look around in the plugins section to locate some of the most popular plugins people install on their blogs.
Yoast SEO plugin -when it comes to on-page optimization the Yoast SEO Plugin can really help you with suggestions. It reminds you of things that you might have overlooked, but are very important in ranking your post in the search engines.
Google Analytics Dashboard – Google analytics dashboard, once installed provides you with the ability to see how much traffic your blog is receiving and where your traffic is coming from. Once you know where your traffic is coming from you can optimize and spend more time focusing on your best traffic sources.
Contact form 7 – your blog will need a place where your visitors will be able to contact you. The Contact form 7 plugin will create a contact form for your blog that is functional and visually appealing.
Now that you know how to install a plugin, you will want to look around and see what will be helpful to your specific type of blog. Just remember too many plugins on your blog can slow it down and cause you to lose traffic if your site doesn’t load quick enough.
6. Selecting a Premium Theme for Your New Blog
There are several other links that you can explore from the dashboard. But in my opinion, one of the most important things you need to install on your blog is a premium theme. Sure, you can pick a free theme and if you’re just starting out with little money to spare this may be an option but I would quickly switch to a premium theme that you pay for. When you are spending a lot of time building your blog writing articles, creating videos, posting images to social media, you will want to have a premium theme that is appealing to your guest’s eyes. If someone comes to your site and the navigation is hard or they don’t like the way your site looks they’re more likely to leave and never come back thinking of your site as untrustworthy or worse UGLY.
Another reason I like to choose a premium theme over a free theme is that premium themes usually come with support. When you’re designing your blog sometimes plugins can interfere with the appearance of your blog. It’s nice to have customer service to help you out when you need it. Free themes usually don’t offer support. If something happens to your website, you will have to hire a designer or someone that knows what to look for in the coding of your site to try and fix it. That alone could cost more money than buying a premium theme and you could be losing all the traffic for the entire time your blog is down. I don’t know about you but for me, I don’t want to risk having problems which can make your site look bad.
One of the premium themes I highly suggest is the Genesis framework by studio press. The Genesis framework has some of the best coding to keep your blogs loading times quick. They also offer excellent SEO before using a plugin like the Yost SEO plugin. Make sure to select both the genesis framework and child theme or the child theme won’t work.
Most of their child themes are very inexpensive, usually under $100. Once you purchase the Genesis Framework and child theme, you can use that theme on as many blogs as you own. The themes come with lifetime support. Studio-press also offers a huge selection of child themes. They all work with the Genesis Framework, so you have a ton of looks to work with. Child themes are what make your site look the way it looks. We are using the Brunch Pro Theme on this site.
I purchased the Studio-Press Pro All-Themes package and I’m so glad I did. I can’t tell you how many times I have switched child themes. It can be trying to find the exact theme I felt went with that specific blog. It has well paid for itself over the years and I love knowing I won’t have to purchase another theme ever again. Studio-Press allows developers outside of studio press to create their own child themes that work with the Genesis framework. Purchasing a pro package membership allows you to select any of the studio press child themes or any of the child themes developed outside of studio press.
The StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package currently sells for $499.95 and may not be in your budget but I love these professional themes wanted to share them with you. If you got sticker shock after seeing the price tag, don’t worry, you can pick up one of their themes for under $100.00. Some of their child themes sell for as low as $34.00 and are totally worth it.
Here are a few of the most popular child themes you might like depending on your blogging niche.
- Foodie Pro Theme
- Daily Dish Pro Theme
- Magazine Theme
- Lifestyle Theme
- Parallax Pro Theme
- Wellness Pro Theme
There are so many more beautiful themes to choose from. If you would like to check them all out before purchasing you can have a look around by visiting them at StudioPress.com.
7. Start creating high-quality content that helps solve a problem for your reader and followers.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a blog. At this point, you want to start creating some high-quality content for your readers. Quality content is by far the best way to grow your blog followers. Most people won’t return to a blog that has poor grammar, spelling mistakes or doesn’t solve a problem. Do some research on topics that people are searching for. Create your own spin on that content while using your own personality and voice.
How To Start A Blog Using BlueHost – Resources
If you are new to blogging there are a few books on the subject that can be quite helpful. I wish when I started that there would have been so many great references and training books. These books can be a great help for those new to blogging. Here are a few I recommend.
- Blogging All-in-One For Dummies
- How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul
- WordPress for Beginners: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Creating your Own WordPress Site in Record Time, Starting from Zero!
- WordPress Made Super Simple – How Anyone Can Build A Professional Looking Website From Scratch: Even A Total Beginner: WordPress 2014 For The Website Beginner (Super Simple Series) (FREE on Kindle at the time of writing this)
Now that you have your blog set up, be sure to search Facebook Blogging groups. I’m in so many I can’t count them. There are a bunch of groups that can help provide information on your blog topic. Join a few and start networking with bloggers in your niche. I wish you all the best in your new adventure. I look forward to reading some your amazing content you’re about to create.
Thanks so much for learning How To Start A Blog Using Bluehost. I hope it was fun and a simple process. Be sure to say hi, below. We love to hear from our friends. You can check out other resources for blogging by going to our resource page.
James & Tabitha