So, let us guess: You’re thinking of starting a blog? Woohoo! We’re so excited for you! Obviously, all of us at The Blogger Union are advocates for blogging. We believe it’s a great way to express yourself + create a business and life you love.
We know the techie part about getting your site up can be totally overwhelming. We get it. And the reason we do this free class is because we don’t want that fear to stop you from starting your blog. Why do we want you to start your blog? Mainly for selfish reasons: because we know that your message and you living your purpose can change the world. And we would would like that. So let’s change the world, shall we?
STEP 1: Believe in Yourself!
For all our Latina friends out there, this saying sounds pretty awesome in Spanish: Si se puede! Yes you can!
Why are we cheering you on with the cheesiest slogan ever? Well, because you need to hear this. The main reason people don’t jump over the technical hump, is because they don’t believe they can actually do it. For some of us, the techie stuff automatically has us checking out.
Seriously, you need to believe that you can do this. If not, it’s going to be a frustrating process. So let’s take a quick moment, to reprogram our minds. Repeat after me, my friend: “I can do this. I am completely capable of building my own website, I just need to believe I can.”
If you ever find yourself, overwhelmed, or super scared, remind yourself why you’re doing this. Think of the happiness your site will bring. Think of all the people you will help. Focusing on the positive outcomes, will give you the courage you need to move forward.
STEP 2: Think About a Domain Name
The first thing you’re going to need is a domain. A domain is the title of your site. In technical terms, it’s a string of characters that define the location of a website. So for example, our domain is TheBloggerUnion.com. I like to see it as buying land.
Some people who just start up make the mistake of using a free account with WordPress, Blogspot or any other provider. I feel this is a mistake because you don’t own the domain. If we’re looking at purchasing a domain as purchasing land, using a free account would be like renting.
Even if you’re not sure where this blogging journey will take you, I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. Invest in yourself. You never know where this can take you.
If you’re feeling stuck on what you should name your blog, we have this great article that will help you narrow down your choices.
Also, when thinking about a domain name, you want to keep the following tips in mind:
- Pick a name that is easy to pronounce, read, and write.
- Stay away from numbers and hyphens.
- Go with a .com if possible.
- If you’re looking to make your site SEO friendly, consider using one of your keywords
STEP 3: Buy Your Domain and a Hosting Provider – CLICK HERE TO START YOUR BLOG
Alright, once you know what domain you want to buy, it’s time to, well, buy it! Depending on what you pick, the price will vary, but if it’s not a premium domain, it will cost you around $12 on most domain sites.
In addition to buying your domain, you’ll need to purchase hosting. Owning your domain, just means you own the name. Hosting is a monthly cost that allows you to run your website using your domain.
One of the best ways to save is by buying your domain and hosting from the same provider this way you receive a deal. For example, we recommend using Bluehost because it’s affordable and reliable. Plus, they have great customer service. When it comes to techy stuff, you always want to make sure you can get someone on the phone when you’re experiencing a problem.
STEP 4: Select Your Plan
The first thing you’ll be asked is to select your plan. If you’re just starting off, the Starter plan is a great choice. You really don’t need more than what’s being offered. If you’re thinking of opening several sites, you’ll want to go with Performance.The best thing is all plans come with a free domain name.
Just click on one of the green buttons titled Select.
STEP 5: Pick a Domain Name
Like I mentioned above, a domain is your web address. If you did your assignment, like the good student you are, you already have your domain in mind.
At this screen on Bluehost, you’ll enter your desired domain name under the box titled New Domain. If you already own a domain name, you’ll enter that that in the box titled I Have a Domain Name.
Click the Next button in blue.
STEP 6: Enter Your Account Details
Next, you’ll be asked to for all your basic account info.
STEP 7: Choose Your Hosting Package
Scroll down and you’ll see Package Information. Here you will pick the hosting, plan we spoke about earlier.
Pick your plan depending on how far in advance you want to pay. You’ll notice that Bluehost bills per year, but it’s still very affordable when you break it down by month.
Here, they’ll offer you a bunch of add-ons. I don’t add anything on. But if you’re using your home address to set up your domain, you may want to go with Domain Privacy Protection in order to keep that information private.
STEP 8: Enter Your Billing Info
Next step is pretty simple: enter in your money, honey. Or, at least your billing deets.
After entering in your info, you’ll want to click on that little box that says, “ I confirm I have read and agree to the Terms of Service.” But before doing that, maybe read the agreement just in case, right?
Then click the green button that says submit.
STEP 9: Almost Done!
At this point, you’ll be asked if you want several different upgrades. I just skip and complete the purchase.
As soon as you complete your purchase, you’ll receive an email from Bluehost welcoming you to the service. In that email will be your control panel login info. Make sure you hold on to this.
You’re all set with your domain and hosting. But now you’ll want to install a content management system, which is the easiest way to run your blog. For this class, we’re going to use WordPress. WordPress is the most commonly used CMS program and it’s highly customizable. Tons of big companies use it like CNN and Times, so know you’re in good company.
Alright, let’s get started with your WordPress installation.
STEP 10: Login to You Bluehost Account
Go back to Bluehost.com. On the top right of your screen, you’ll see a login button. Click there.
Enter in your login info and password, which was provided to you through that Bluehost welcome email I mentioned earlier.
Just as a tip, make sure you’re on hosting tab and not webmail.
STEP 11: Install WordPress
Once you’re logged into your Control Panel, you’ll see several icons for mail and website builders. You’ll want to look at the website builders section and click on the WordPress icon.
From there, you’ll get a WordPress window. Click the button that reads Install. This will get the installation process started. Next, you’ll get a window asking you where you want to install your WordPress site. In the dropdown menu, select your domain.
STEP 12: Insert Your WordPress User Info
We’re coming up on the last step!
First, check the box that says “Show advanced options.” Next, type in your site name. For example, my site name is Nikki Novo. Yours might be something like “Cool Cats.” You’ll now want to pick an admin name, like “coolcatsadmin.” This is what you’ll be using to login to WordPress. Come up with a hard-to-break password. And make sure to write it down. Click on the box that says, “Automatically create a new database for this installation.” Look over the terms and conditions. Click on the box. And then click on Install Now.
STEP 13: Wrapping Up
So now, you should see “Your Install is Completed.” You’ll then be receiving another welcome email, but this one will be from WordPress. You’ll want to save this email as well.
In this email, you’ll receive your Login URL for WordPress, which will give you access to your dashboard. This dashboard is where you will post your blog posts and manage everything having to do with your website, including design.
Again, you’ll receive a link that brings you to the login in page of your WordPress site, but typically it will be yourdomainname.com/wp-login. Go ahead and enter your username and password.
Voilà! From here, you can start customizing your site. If you’re interested in learning about how you can customize your WordPress site, check out The Blogger Union’s WordPress class.
Well, this is where we leave you. We wish you so many great blessing in this new journey. The Blogger Union is here for you! Find a chapter near you or connect with us on Facebook. See you soon!