Starting a blog is the easiest way to share your ideas and expertise with the world.And if you want to, you can use it to promote your business—or make money straight from the blog.
Luckily, in 2017, making a blog is easier than ever.It used to require lots of coding skills: HTML, CSS AND PHP, but today starting a blog can be as simple as creating a document in Word. That is, if you have simple instructions to follow.
Just promise to let me know when your blog is up and running, so I get to see it—that’s the best part for me (and the reason I still offer free help like this).
Choose Your Blogging Platform
When starting your blog, there are several platforms to choose from (tumblr, blogger etc..).
However, one that really stands out from the pack is WordPress.
It’s FREE, very user friendly, and perfect for people who’ve never built a blog before.
Why People Use & Recommend WordPress?
- It’s FREE (you only need a web host & domain name)
- There are 5k+ free & paid WordPress themes available to make your design look top-quality.
- They have super helpful support forum.
- It offers 45k+ free plugins to help your blog run more smoothly and efficiently.
91% of all blogs are running on WordPress, including this one— WebsiteSetup.org and WordPress is also used by 62% of the top 100 company blogs.
P.S: Don’t Download/Install WordPress yet. You’ll need to install WordPress in STEP 4.
Geetheme’s also a fan of WordPress and we know you are gonna love it
Why you SHOULDN’T create a blog on a free platform
It’s true, you can create your blog free. But it’ll be very limited in functionality, it’ll look boring, and the address will look somewhat childish (e.g., YourBlog.WordPress.com), which diminishes your credibility.
There are some serious flaws in free options you need to know about:
- No Control – Your blog is being hosted on another website (e.g., wordpress.com, tumblr.com, blogspot.com). If you violate their terms of service (even by accident), they can shut down your blog any time (it has happened before).
- No Customization – You can’t use all the free plugins or themes. Heck, you can’t even use custom themes to really make your blog stand out.
- Other Limitations – Free space of only 3GB. For posts, images, and perhaps videos—that’s just not enough.
In short, don’t create a free blog, especially if you’re serious about starting a blog. Later migrating to a better option from a free blogging platform can be very time consuming and tricky.
Instead, create a self-hosted WordPress blog where you don’t have any limitations. Plus, you’ll be able to use your own (professional) domain name.back to menu ↑
Choose a Domain Name
Before you go any further, you need to choose a domain name.
Your domain name is important because:
- It’s your “first impression” to website visitors.
- It affects your rankings in search engines.
- It defines your brand.
With that in mind, you should put some thought into your domain name, but not too much.
If you come up with something you like within 5 minutes, give it a go. (You can change it later). But here are a few domain tips to get you started:
- Choose brandable over generic. A brandable domain name is unique and stands out from the competition, while a generic domain name is usually stuffed with keywords and unmemorable. (For example, www.LisasRocks.com is more brandable than www.RockCollectingBlog.com.)
- Keep it concise. According to research from Gaebler.com, a magazine for entrepreneurs, the top-100 websites have approximately 6 characters in their domain name.
- Easy to type and pronounce. Your domain name should roll off the tips of your fingers and the tips of your tongue without any problem.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, use Godaddy. They’re currently offering FREE domain names for anyone who signs up for their hosting service. Plus, when you start a self-hosted WordPress blog, you’ll need a web host anyways.
Disclosure: Because I’ve used Bluehost and found their hosting great, all links to Bluehost are referral links. I’ll earn a commission if you make a purchase and you’ll get a discounted price. This is how I keep WebsiteSetup.org up and running.back to menu ↑
Sign Up With Web Host and Install WordPress
What is Web Hosting and Why Do You Need it?
Web Hosting is the service that keeps your blog accessible for everyone. It stores all the files, images and content that your blog has and displays it to the visitors.
If you don’t have a web host, you won’t be able to set up a blog for others to see nor will you be able to use your own domain name.
There are Good and Bad Hosts
Choosing your host is one of the most important aspect of creating your blog.
Bad web hosts cause most of the issues people have related to their blog. For example, unhelpful customer service and hidden fees are quite common…
Many cheap hosts also overuse servers to cut their costs—and that leads to your site potentially not working just because many people are visiting some other site. Only some cheaper hosts control the resources well, so that your website always works right.
I highly recommend using www.hawkhost.com as your host, and it’s the hosting company we currently use:
- They have one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy for you to get started.
- They have 24/7 support, so there’s always someone to answer your questions. They even have employees who work full-time on improving WordPress itself, so there probably isn’t a question you could ask that they couldn’t answer.
- They’ve been officially recommended by WordPress since 2005.
- They have a money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund if you decide you don’t want to have a blog after all.
- Lastly, you’ll get a FREE domain name.
Start registering a Hawkhost hosting with this link (25% coupon intergrated)
I need Primary Shared Hosting, so I press Hosting for the page about Shared Hosting of Hawk Host.In proportion to Primary, press SIGN UP NOW.
The next step requires you to choose a domain. You select the third option “I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers.”
Next, you select choose billing cycle and hosting location. You should choose 24 months price to get the best savings when applying a promo code.
The next screen is Review & Checkout page. Remember to use a coupon code.
Click checkout to go to the next step
On the checkout page, you enter your personal information and select a method of payment.
Here I select PayPal as the method of payment.
After finishing payment, access https://my.hawkhost.com/clientarea.php using email and password which you create at the above steps.
Go to Services -> My Services. You will the see status of your service is pending. It may take HawkHost some hours to active your service automatically. You should open a new ticket to force sales to active your account soon.
After your service is activated, you will receive an email named “New Account Information” contains essential information to access cPanel or FTP.back to menu ↑
Install WordPress source code on Hawkhost
Select the “Softaculous” option within cPanel.
- You’ll be redirected to the Softaculous page. In the left column you’ll be able to view and select different kinds of software. In this example I’ll be opting to install WordPress. (Picture)
- The next screen will give you a brief description and overview of the software you decided to install. If everything looks okay click on the “Install” tab. (Picture)
- Depending on the software you’re installing you’ll be asked relavent information regarding the installation. Fill everything out and click the install button. (Picture)
- You’ll now be greeted with the final install screen. Here it will give you more information on your install and give you the option to have this information e-mailed to you. At this point you can visit your newly installed software!
Log into your new WordPress site
At this stage, you should now have a blank WordPress site installed, along with your admin access username and password written down somewhere.
Start by typing in your new web address (www.YourNewBlog.com) to see what your WordPress blog looks like. Here’s what you’ll probably see:
Next, log in to your admin panel by going to an address like: http://YourNewBlog.com/wp-admin/. (You’ll use the same username and password you chose earlier during the setup.)
After logging in, you’ll see the welcome page of the admin panel. It should be fairly intuitive after browsing around for a few minutes, with all of your major options helpfully located in the sidebar panel.back to menu ↑
Get able to manage your WordPress site
Once you’re inside WordPress dashboard, you can start customizing your blog. We’ll go through everything you need to do to get your blog ready and your first post published today.
You should get familiar with the look and items of the WordPress admin menu. Here are the various admin menu items:
- Dashboard – This is the page you see right after logging in.
- Posts – Here you can write and publish new blog posts and view and edit old ones. We’ll go through this once we’ve set up the blog otherwise.
- Media – This is your media library with all the images, PDFs, videos, etc. you’ve uploaded.
- Links – Many blogs don’t use this at all. You can skip it for now.
- Pages – Here you can write and publish new pages and view and edit old ones. We’ll look at this after choosing your blog design.
- Comments – Everything related to comments. You can get familiar with this when you’ve published your first post and readers leave the first comments.
- Appearance – Here you can change what your blog looks like. We’ll go through this in detail below.
- Plugins – Here you can add and remove plugins, which add functionality to your blog. We’ll go through this after selecting the theme.
- Users – If you create your content with others, you can add them as users here, so they can edit posts. Otherwise, you can skip this for now.
- Tools – Here are some additional tools you can use for publishing posts. You can skip this for now.
- Settings – Here you can edit your blog’s settings. We’ll look at the essential settings later.
Choose a FREE Theme for Your Blog
I think choosing your new WordPress blog design is the most fun step.
The good news:
- You can do it all on your own.
- You can get a FREE WordPress theme that makes your blog look great.
- You can change it later (just don’t change it so often that your readers can’t keep up).
The bad news:
- You can spend a LONG time looking for the perfect theme.
- A WordPress theme is responsible for how your blog looks, so it’s an important decision.
In other words, a WordPress theme is like your car’s frame. It changes how the car looks, but doesn’t impact the features or performance too much.
Luckily for you, WordPress has thousands of great-looking themes already optimized to fit any brand, niche, or industry.You could have a look at what we share about top free wordpress themes here