Last Updated: April 22, 2019 by Nicky Sae
So you want to start a blog huh?
Can I guess one more thing? You want to make money blogging, turn it into a thriving business and go travel the world.
Don’t wait! Today is your perfect day to start a blog!
Read on this easy-to-follow, no-fluff guide for the next 15 minutes. I will hold your hand walk through every single process and ensure you can start your own blog properly.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no added cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.
THE 4 STEPS TO BUILD YOUR VERY FIRST BLOG
Step 1. Choose the Blog Topic
This part should be easy!
Always choose a topic that you have a passion for it. Blogging based on passion is fun!
It will keep you engaged with your blog for the long term.
You’ll never be bored!
Don’t pick a topic you know little about or have minimal practical experience in. It will be a failed attempt at a pointless cash grab!
Your blogging journey begins with topic selection. This is one of the substantial parts of building a successful blog.
Don’t make a mistake!
Step 2. Choose Domain Name and Web Hosting
This part is fun!
A domain name is the name/address of your website. This blog uses domain name nickysae.com.
Your domain name defines your business so you have to choose it wisely and carefully. Make sure you pick the best one (according to you).
Here are 6 tips for choosing the perfect domain name:
- Keep it short, easy to type, easy to remember, and easy to spell.
- Avoid using domain names that are similar to authority websites.
- Use .com if possible.
- Avoid hyphens (-) and numbers.
- Do not use other people’s brands.
- Check the availability of the domain name.
Whatever your domain names ideas, check its availability by entering the domain name in the box below. Don’t forget to include .com!
After you find a catchy, available domain name, now it is time to choose the web hosting.
Hosting is an online storage center that houses all your website files (including your domain name) and makes your blog connect to the Internet. It is like a hard drive on a computer.
If you want a reliable and affordable web hosting, I highly recommend Bluehost.
Here are some reasons why you’ll love Bluehost:
- 1-click WordPress Installation
- 99.9% Uptime
- Great Customer Support
- FREE Domain Name Registration
- FREE SSL Certificate
- 30-Days Money-Back Guarantee
Ready to register your domain name and set up your blog?
I have made this short video tutorial to walk you through the entire process in just a couple of minutes.
Click here to head to Bluehost® official site! (The link will open in a new tab to make it easy for you to follow this guide).
From their homepage, click on the Get Started button to initiate the process.
Now you will be asked to pick your plan and I would suggest the BASIC plan. The basic plan is perfect for beginners. It’s the cheapest price and fairly enough for a brand new blog. As your traffic grows and needs more options, you can upgrade your plan easily.
Choose the BASIC plan and hit the SELECT button!
Now, you will be asked to input your chosen domain name from the previous step. Type down your domain name in the “Create a new domain” box and click the “NEXT” button.
It will automatically re-check its availability.
Next, create your Bluehost account. You can sign up with your Google account or enter your personal info manually.
Filled out all the required fields with your personal information!
Select the possible options for your account. For the “Account Plan”, I personally recommend you to choose 36 months plan.
It will make sure you’ll get the lowest price at $3.95 per month for the next 3 years. It provides the best value for money.
Signing up for a longer plan means you have a strong commitment to your blog and yourself. Blogging is a long-term business. You have to well-prepared from the beginning.
Don’t forget to add Domain Privacy Protection to protect your domain information from public display. You can skip the other services as you don’t need them now.
Next, complete the payment information section by providing your credit card information, tick the box that says you agree to Bluehost’s Terms of Service and Cancellation Policy.
Click the green “SUBMIT” button to place your order.
Congratulations! You have a paid hosting account now and just one step away to start your very first blog.
Next, you’ll be directed to the special offers page by Bluehost. Simply skip this by clicking “No thanks”.
The next step is setting up your password to protect your account. Click the “Create your password” button.
Make sure that you create a strong and secure password. Using a weak password may expose your account to risk of being hacked by brute force attacks.
Great! Your password successfully created!
Click the “Log in” button to get inside your account for the first time.
Step 3. Installing WordPress
Now, it’s time to installing WordPress on your server. Do not worry, it is pretty easy – it is not rocket science.
According to BuildWith.com, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform. They hold a 60% market share for CMS (content management systems) and still growing.
Here’s how to install WordPress on your server:
1. After you get inside Bluehost account, you’ll ask to pick a theme for your blog. Don’t think too much over this detail. Go ahead and pick whichever you like.
Please wait for a moment…
Bluehost is going to install WordPress for you. You have to do nothing. In just a few seconds, your WordPress blog will be ready to go.
2. On the next screen, click the “Start Building” button and you are ready to configure your site with WordPress.
BINGO! Welcome to the WordPress dashboard! This is where all the blogging journey begin!
If you see this welcome message, it means that your blog is successfully installed. In this step, you’ll ask to choose what type of site you want to create, a business or personal site
Don’t fuss over the difference. Go ahead and click whichever you like and you’ll be fine!
3. Next, you have to set up a Site Title and Site Description. Make sure to add a simple yet attractive site title along with a clear, accurate description of your blog.
Click the “Next Step” button!
4. On the next screen, you will be asked if you would like to update your website with news or blog posts. Feel free to click “Yes“. You’ll be a blogger, right?
5. Now, you will be asked to select how you want your homepage display to be: the most recent blog posts or a static welcome page.
I personally recommend you to choose a static welcome page. It will make your site look more professional.
6. Next, you will be asked to set up a “Contact Us” page. I’m going to select NO for now because I usually set it up later with a free plugin called Contact Form 7.
Click the “No Thanks” button!
7. Now, you need to link your “Jetpack” profile to WordPress. This free plugin helps you to secure your site, display all your website’s stats and boost your traffic.
Jetpack is a completely free and very useful plugin. I highly recommend you to go through this easy process.
Click the “Connect to WordPress.com” button to initiate the process.
This step requires a few clicks. Don’t worry, it’s pretty easy!
Click the verification link in your email and your domain will be ready to go.
3A. How to Access Your WordPress Dashboard
Well, there are 2 different ways to get back into your WordPress dashboard.
The first way is through your Bluehost account. Log in using your email address and the password you have created in the previous steps.
After you get inside your account, click on the Login to WordPress button.
That’s pretty easy, right?
The second way to access your blog is by setting up a new admin account through your WordPress dashboard first.
Simply follow these steps below.
- Login to your WordPress blog through your Bluehost account by following the easy step above.
- On the left sidebar, hover your mouse to Users » Add New
- Create a new user account and password with a role as an administrator. This username and password will be used to log in to your blog in the future.
- Now, you can go back to Users » All Users and delete the old admin user.
After you set up this new admin account, feel free to log out from your WordPress dashboard.
Now, you can log in back to your dashboard with the new user account you’ve just created.
Let me show you how!
Type in your domain name and add “/wp-admin” next to your domain name and hit enter. You will be directed to the login page.
If your domain name is myownfirstblog.com, your login page should be myownfirstblog.com/wp-admin.
Log in to your blog with the username and password you’ve just created in the steps above and you will be taken back to your WordPress dashboard.
3B. 5 Essential WordPress Plugin for Your Blog
Plugins make blogs better! A plugin is an additional script designed to do a certain function on your WordPress blog. With the plugins, you can add some powerful features without touching any single line of code.
In this section, I will show you 5 essential plugins that should be installed on your blog. No need to worry, all of the plugins I have mentioned below are free of charge!
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin these days. This plugin helps you to create high-quality, optimized content for search engines and social media sites. This is a great plugin for beginners who don’t know too much about search engine optimization.
2. WP Super Cache
Do you want to boost the speed of your WordPress site? Using a caching plugin is one of the best ways to ensure your website load much faster. With comprehensive cache features and an easy configuration process, this plugin should be installed on your blog.
3. Social Pug
Probably one of the easiest to use social sharing plugin. It allows you to create customizable social share buttons to increased social media shares. It’s lightweight and won’t ruin your blog performance.
4. Wordfence Security
This plugin will protect your website thoroughly. It will identify and blocks various online attacks that may harm your site. I highly recommend you to install the Wordfence Security plugin to shields your site.
5. Resize Image After Upload
This plugin automatically reducing the size of the images (JPEG and PNG) that you upload without losing its quality. It will help reduce your server space usage and speed up your site’s loading time.
How to Install Plugins on WordPress
There are two easy, sure-fire ways to install WordPress plugins.
#1. Search Feature
It is really easy to install a WordPress plugin through the search feature. From your WordPress dashboard, hover to menu Plugins » Add New. Browse your plugin through the search column and select it.
Click Install Now and Activate!
#2. Direct Upload
The other way is by direct upload. You can use this method if you have downloaded the plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory or the other websites.
Simply hover to Plugins » Add New. Click the Upload Plugin button at the top, choose the plugin file you want to install and upload it.
Click Install Now and Activate your plugin!
Step 4. Making it Pretty!
The right theme makes your blog look gorgeous and professional. Fortunately, WordPress has tons of free WordPress themes to choose from.
You can search and install your preferred theme directly from your dashboard. Simply hover your mouse to Appearance » Themes » Add New Theme
I personally used a premium theme as it has more advanced features, multi-purpose and comes with regular updates and great support. If you’re looking for a premium WordPress theme with advanced features, take a look at these options below:
- The Genesis Framework – This site is powered by the Genesis Framework, the world’s most popular WordPress theme framework. If you decide to use Genesis, you have to purchase the Genesis Framework (parent theme) for $59.95 along with a child theme (prices vary).
- Divi Theme – Divi is one of the world’s best-selling WordPress themes. This theme has an advanced drag and drop visual editor to make it easy for you to design beautiful websites without touching any single line of code. Give your blog the look it deserves with Divi!
- GeneratePress – GeneratePress is a lightweight, fast and multipurpose WordPress theme for any website niche. It’s the perfect theme for performance-focused users. GeneratePress is currently active on over 200k sites and recognized as one of the best themes on WordPress.org
Start Creating Useful Content
Okay, you’ve done all the basic steps necessary to launch your self-hosted blog. Now, it’s time to start publishing some content on your blog.
There are two types of content that you can create for your blog in WordPress – ‘Pages’ and ‘Posts’.
On the left sidebar, hover your mouse to Pages » Add New to create your first page.
Use Posts option in WordPress if you want to publish your content regularly on your blog. All of your posts will appear on the homepage or blog page in sequence. The most recent posts appear over the old ones.
Now, it is time to write your first blog post.
On the left sidebar, hover your mouse to Posts » Add New to start writing your very first post.
Note: This is the classic version of WordPress editor. If you too want to use this classic version, you need to install the “Classic Editor” plugin and set it up.
The description of the picture above based on the number are as below:
- Write your article title here.
- A button to add pictures or videos to your post.
- Set the format such as bold, italic, list & numbering, read more, etc.
- Write your article in this field.
- Put each different topic in one category to make them neatly arranged.
- If your post is ready, click the Publish button.
If you use this practical guide to start your very first blog, I’d love to hear from you through the comments below. Let us know what blog you have started and how you found this guide.
Feel free to let us know if there is something to improve and add to this guide to make the process of starting a blog much easier.