How To Start a Blog
Have you been considering to start a blog? Great, because having a blog is one of the best ways to promote your business and showcase your expertise.
Follow me to see how easy it is to get started!
You’ve heard everyone tell you that you ought to set up your new business site with WordPress. You vaguely know it has something to do with blogging… but what exactly is it?
“WordPress” actually refers to three separate entities…
- WordPress – A content management system (CMS) that allows you to copy-paste and/or easily format text to make it appear in the right places on your website. Saves you from having to learn HTML web coding and CSS data management. Used for sites or blogs.
- WordPress.com – A web-hosting company created by the developers of the WordPress content management system. They treat this like a community and encourage you to host your blog as a sub-domain on WordPress.com for free.
- WordPress.org – Separate from the hosting end of things, WordPress.org provides support resources for WordPress users.
Only one of these three completely different WordPress types allows you to actually host a blog for free. That is WordPress.com. But should you host your blog there?
Where to Host Your Blog
It’s not a good idea to create a free blog at WordPress.com if you’re planning to monetize your blog content in any way (displaying ads, sending people to your sales page, including affiliate links and the like) – or even use it for business. For one thing, this is against WordPress.com’s rules.
If you disregard these rules, you are quite likely to wake up one morning and find out your blog has disappeared off the face of the digital planet without a word of explanation. And all your hard work has gone up in smoke for some violation that will never get explained.
What is your best solution?
Host your WordPress blog on your own domain! (Yes, you can absolutely use the WordPress CMS even if you don’t host your blog on WordPress.com)
Here is how:
Step 1: How to Start a Blog – Select a Quality Web Hosting Company
You can pick and choose any web hosting company, but I highly recommend you research and look for reviews on your choices.
Here is what to look for:
- has stellar reviews
- is reliable
- has 24/7 phone customer service
- is WordPress-friendly
- has cPanel (a control panel)
BlueHost will give you all of the above and from my experience with clients, I highly recommend it.
Bottom line: There are many types of web hosting companies – and not all are ideal for blogging or “technically challenged” peeps like us.
Step 2: How to Start a Blog – Choosing a Domain Name
What is a domain?
Your domain is your home on the net. For example, say your name is Ray Bandana: You might pay a web hosting company to host “www.raybandana.com” for you.
Your domain URL (address) sits on your web host’s massive server computer (see Step 1). That is it’s home.
Be sure, however, to choose a strong domain name.
Either your own name, a catchy business name you want to brand, or an easy-to-pronounce-and-remember keyword and/or location-based name; for example: “chicagocloggingclub.com”. Yes, “ccc.com” would be shorter, catchier and easier to brand and remember – but that will only work if you want people who already know that acronym to find you.
A final word of caution: Most domain registration companies will offer amazingly cheap web hosting (or even free web hosting). I do not recommend using your domain registration company for web hosting: Often your site will be laced with ads you don’t know about or they provide poor support, obscure documentation or frequent “sit down” problems – as well as bandwidth limitations.
You really don’t want to sign up and discover your new web host doesn’t have a cPanel, doesn’t support WordPress, and wants you to upgrade to their $179.95 per year plan because you’ve exceeded your 15mb bandwidth… in the first week!
Now that you selected a domain, let’s set up your blog…
Step 3: How to Start a Blog – Enter Your Account Information
Simply enter your information to create your account.
Make sure you enter your best email address first to confirm your email and second because you don’t want to miss any messages from this company as it is the one holding your “baby” (aka your site).
Step 4: How to Start a Blog – Select Your Hosting Package
Select which hosting package will work best for you and your budget. These packages are pre-paid on an annual basis, so decide how far ahead you want to pay.
Decide on which Add-ons you’d like to include, but one that I highly recommend to keep your information private is “Domain Whois Privacy option”
Step 5: How to Start a Blog – Enter Your Billing Information
Enter your billing information and move forward by clicking “Next”.
Move forward through the steps to complete your payment.
Once that is done, you’ll receive a welcome email from BlueHost with the information to your cPanel on the email you provided to create the account.
I recommend you create a folder and label it BlueHost_Website Hosting. Save your email here for your future reference.
Step 6: How to Start a Blog – Login to Your cPanel
Using the link on your email, login to your cPanel. You can also go to BlueHost main page and use the login button on the top right.
Enter your login information that you received in your confirmation email and you’ll land on this panel.
Step 7: How to Start a Blog – WordPress Installation
Click on WordPress.
Step 8: How to Start a Blog – Continue to Install WordPress
On the next screen you’ll click on “Start”.
Step 9: How to Start a Blog – Select Where You Want to Install WordPress
Select your domain from the dropdown menu and click “Check Domain”.
Step 10: How to Start a Blog – Create Your WordPress Login Info
On the next screen you’ll want to click “Show Advanced Options” and enter the information requested.
Step 11: How to Start a Blog – You’re In! Success.
Do a happy dance! Your site is live and you can check it out by typing the domain on your browser.
Now that you have your domain and have installed WordPress you’re ready to roll and start creating the pages for your site and publishing your posts.
You are now ready to start a blog and roll!