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If you’ve found yourself here at my Free Guide to Starting Your Own Blog, you are either ready to take action or you’re still on the fence and want to learn more about what starting a blog entails. To the person who is still on the fence, DON’T WORRY! I was in your shoes not too long ago and I remember the feeling. Starting a blog is exciting and terrifying at the same time! That’s why I’m here to guide you step by step through the process of starting your own blog.
Let me share with you for a brief moment why starting a blog was the best decision I could’ve possibly made. First off, it has been a dream of mine to write for an audience since I could hold a pencil. Starting my own blog has opened up a world of possibility for me without having to seek out a publisher to make my work known. Second, I have the freedom to write about whatever I’m passionate about! You could start a blog about ANY topic you could possibly want because it’s YOUR blog. Third, I’m able to make money through my blog doing what I love. There aren’t many jobs out there that can earn you a full time living that people can honestly say they absolutely love. You could be one of the fortunate few who can make a living while doing work that you are passionate about.
If you still need some time to think, no problem. Just bookmark this page, or subscribe to my blog, and come back when you are ready. I’ll be here to guide you through step by step and make this an easy, even FUN process. BUT, if you’ve decided you ARE ready, keep reading! The best part about starting a blog is how simple it is. Seriously, if I can do it, anybody can do it.
Now to the person who ALREADY KNOWS they are ready to create a blog they completely own and can monetize… Let’s begin 🙂
1. CHOOSE YOUR FOCUS + AUDIENCE
Choosing your focus and audience is an important part to starting your blog. What type of audience do you want to reach? Who do you want to help or inspire? Don’t feel the need to go too narrow. For example, you could start a blog about Elementary Education and blog about all topics from teacher tips to classroom decor. Or, you could start a blog about “Mommy Life” and blog about mommy hacks, best products for moms and kids, and more. So your focus would be tips, tricks, and advice for moms and your audience would be the moms in whom you’re writing for. Whatever you decide to write about, the choice is completely up to you and your passion! Pick your focus and audience and you are well on your way to starting your own blog.
2. CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name is essentially the title of your blog. I chose my domain name because I don’t have one set in stone topic, but rather a few (faith, food, fitness, and frugal living with a bit of blogging biz on the side). So when choosing my domain name, I knew I wanted something that would encompass all my topics. I chose “Write Your Story” because my topics are all essential topics to living your life well and to the fullest, and you are the only one who can determine what your life will look like. In other words, you are the only one can can “write your story”. When choosing your domain name, think of something simple and catchy that encompasses your topic or topics that you’ll be blogging about.
When I first started blogging, my cozy corner of the web was hosted by WordPress.com. Now, I’ve made the switch to WordPress.org so I could completely own my blog and have all rights to it. I also purchased my own domain name. My blog used to be called writeyourstory.blog.wordpress.com when it was owned by WordPress.com, but now it’s just writeyourstory.site. I own my domain name and my blog. One of the many things I LOVE about Bluehost, the company I host my blog through, is that they offer a free domain name just for choosing them to host your blog. Bluehost is one of the only hosting companies that offers a free domain name for a year when you sign up with them. Most domain names cost $10-$15 dollars per year, so you’re saving more money in your pocket by getting yours for free!
3. CHOOSE YOUR HOST
As mentioned above, my blog is now hosted through Bluehost, which I highly recommend to anybody who wants to start their own blog. It is one of the most affordable hosting platforms, and the customer service has been nothing but a pleasant experience and 100% helpful. The one time I had an issue, I contacted customer service and within 15 minutes the issue was resolved. That is far from the experience I was expecting as most of the time customer service can be a pain. I was so thankful and pleased with my choice to host with Bluehost because of their affordable hosting price and great customer service.
Your first step in starting your own self-hosted blog is choosing a host. I blog with the website creation tool WordPress, and Bluehost is the only hosting platform WordPress recommends as a server. I love using WordPress for free through Bluehost because it allows you to customize and edit your blog with ZERO coding whatsoever. WordPress is extremely user friendly and makes blogging possible for anyone. You can create your own custom domain name for free with Bluehost. If that isn’t enough, Bluehost is one of the most successful and well known blogging platforms because of its affordability and wonderful customer service.
If you choose Bluehost as your host, all you have to do to start your blog is 1) sign up with Bluehost, 2) create your free domain name, and 3) install WordPress with just one click from Bluehost’s dashboard. You’ll create your login info, log into your new blog website, and get started designing your blog! It’s REALLY that simple.
4. SIGN UP WITH YOUR HOST
I know there are many great hosting platforms to choose from out there, so I’m not saying you HAVE to choose Bluehost by any means. But because Bluehost is the platform I use, it’s the host I will be able to guide you through step by step in starting your own money making blog. And, as mentioned above, it’s a phenomenal hosting option. The best in my opinion. So if you choose to host your blog with Bluehost, start by clicking the green “Get Started” button below. Keep this page open as a guide and I’ll walk you through each step of the way.
Okay, so you’ve clicked the green “Get Started” button above. You should now see this page in a new tab.
Now, choose a plan! I recommend starting with the basic plan as a new blogger. You can always update your plan at any time based on the growth of your blog.
Now that you’ve chosen your plan, you get to pick your very own domain name. Pick a name that is simple, spelled correctly, and relates to your focus. If you already have a domain name from a blog you’re switching over, enter that domain name into the “I have a domain name” box.
Great! Next, you’re going to enter your account info, package info, and payment info. None of the upgrades are necessary at this point. You can always upgrade later on in your blogging journey if you find it to be necessary. What I love about Bluehost is you get 36 months of self-hosting at this low price. That’s three years you won’t have to worry about paying for your hosting plan.
5. INSTALL WORDPRESS
YAY! You finished signing up for Bluehost! Now the fun part. You get to set up WordPress for FREE with just one click and customize your blog with layouts, designs, plugins, widgets, and more!
Bluehost will automatically direct you to your Bluehost dashboard as shown below. If you were not automatically redirected to this page, you can access your Bluehost dashboard from your “Welcome” email you will have received from Bluehost right after signing up. Once on the Bluehost dashboard page, you want to click on “cpanel”, and under the tabs you will see a tab called “websites”. Under websites, click on the orange button “Install WordPress”.
It will ask you to choose your domain name from the dropbox. Your domain you created with Bluehost, or that you are transferring over, will drop down. Click on it and you’ll be taken to a new page to continue your WordPress installation. Click on advanced options to create your username and login.
Once WordPress has installed, enter /wp-admin onto the end of your domain name and you’ll be taken to your WordPress login. For example, for my blog I would enter writeyourstory.site/wp-admin and it would bring me to my login page.
Next, enter your login information, press log in, and you’ll be whisked away to your dashboard for your brand new blog website! It will look like this…
6. CHOOSE A THEME AND DESIGN YOUR BLOG!
And you’re DONE. Congrats! You now have your very own self-hosted blog and can design your blog and start writing! Welcome to the blogging world, friend! I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU! Please if you have ANY questions or want to share your new blog with me, shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to answer! Happy blogging!
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