Why I Started A Blog and the Easiest Way to Start One Today
I’m glad you found my little corner of the internet. I started this blog only very recently, a few months ago – and I couldn’t be happier that I did. I always thought about starting a blog but I never had the time or the courage to do so.
But after what seemed like months of contemplating and reading (aka googling) about blogging, I thought I would take the plunge and get right into it.
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I have always really enjoyed writing whether it was poetry, letters, journal excerpts – I enjoy writing. But more than that, I’m an avid reader and I read just about anything, whether it be fiction, motivational, recipes, ideas – yep, you get the point. I love the fact that reading adds value to my life in a way that I can’t get anywhere else.
Learning, growing and being inspired by others is really a huge part of my life. Having read amazing content from fellow bloggers over many years, I was inspired to open up my own little corner of the big blogging world.
So here is the thing, you’re probably reading this because you’re curious about blogging, you want to gather information before you start or you just want to know how to start one. I know that’s what I did! Or maybe you have already launched a blog, and you want to see other bloggers’ perspective. Either way, I’m glad you’re reading this.
And if you love writing or are looking for a side hustle that could potentially make you extra money, then blogging might just be the thing for you. It is possible to make money working online from home or anywhere you wish. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection!
It may seem overwhelming to think about setting up a whole website from scratch, but let me assure you that it’s easier than it looks. I did it and you can too.
So here are the easiest steps I took to start my very own self-hosted site. I hope it helps you get started – and please let me know if I can answer any questions.
STEP 1: Pick a domain name
The first thing you need to do is decide on a domain name, which will identify your website. Try to use a name that hints at what your blog is about.
This will depend on your niche, which will be the topic you’re going to focus on throughout your blog. You can also use your full name if that is something you would like to do.
You then need to check that your domain name is available and that it is not trademarked by someone else.
This is the rookie mistake I made in the beginning (how embarrassing), and I tried to sign up with a domain name that was already taken.
You can check if your domain name is available here.
STEP 2: Choose a blog platform
Now that you have your domain name sorted, it’s time to select a blog platform. WordPress is the most popular and highly recommended by many people. I wouldn’t go with any other blog platform. They also work with Bluehost so you can easily get your hosting set up. In order to register with WordPress, you need to head over to their wordpress.org site, not wordpress.com. Wordpress.org deals with self-hosted blogs which is what you will be working with.
STEP 3: Sign up for a hosting service
Now you need to find a hosting service, which is essentially where your blog lives. There are a few hosting services but the one I am most familiar with and have been using is Bluehost. Bluehost is a trustworthy hosting service that has a good reputation. Whoever you go with, it is important to choose a hosting service that is trustworthy as it affects important aspects of your blog like site speed and accessibility.
Bluehost also provides 24/7 support online, which is really one of the best things about it in my opinion. This came in handy for me especially in the beginning since it was all very new to me.
My experience with Bluehost thus far has been good, though I know some bloggers have had issues with them. Do your research, and choose what’s suitable for your needs.
A lot of new bloggers use Bluehost or iPage (the cheapest) for their cheap price, which is the main reason I chose Bluehost. I know I can change over to another hosting service like Siteground if I decide I want to pay more for better performance as my blog grows.
Bluehost has three plans to choose from. I went with the Plus plan at $5.95 per month and registered for 24 months. You can always go with the Basic plan and upgrade later if needed.
Here is a step by step guide to register with Bluehost.
STEP 1: To get started, click here and it will take you to the following page.
Step 2: Choose your plan. Again, you can choose whatever plan suits you and you can always upgrade or downgrade later.
Step 3: Choose a new domain or an existing domain if you have one. This is where you can search a new domain of your choice and it will tell you whether it is available or not.
Step 4: Fill out your account and contact details
Click submit and there you have it! You have now registered with Bluehost. Easy right?
Now, you may go ahead and install wordpress. This step is very simple. Once you have finalised your registeration, you will be taken to the Bluehost dashboard. You will find the “Install WordPress” button within the dashboard. Click on it to get that installed.
So far so good?
STEP 4: Design your blog
Now that you have a self hosted website, it is time to set up your framework and child theme. This is where I initially got confused. If you don’t know what a framework is, it’s basically the bones and structure of the website. And unless you’re a web designer (which I certainly am not) it’s best to go with a framework like Genesis Framework by StudioPress, which has everything you need to build a strong website and is also search engine optimized (SEO).
Okay, now on to the fun part. Choosing your theme. A child theme is basically like the body or flesh of your website if that makes sense. A child theme is what makes your website look pretty and attractive.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to themes. I currently use the Simply Charming Theme from Restored 316. I love that they have plenty of pretty, feminine themes to choose from. You may also choose a theme from WordPress, Elegant Themes, though I have not used them before, so I can’t say what they’re like.
And that’s it! You’ve done all the basics.
It’s now time to get to your WordPress dashboard and log in. Now you’re all set to begin writing your first blog post and creating pages and categories of your choice. Yay! You made it.
I hope that was easy to follow. If you have any questions for me, please comment below or subscribe to my blog emailing list. I would love to be of help if I can.