Step-by-Step Guide: How to Start a Blog


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How to start a blog

If you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog here is a quick guide to get you going.  It’s not hard to get started, in just a few easy steps you can officially be a blogger!! 

In order to get started, there are 3 things you’ll need!

  1. Choose a name and set up your hosting
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Choose a design or ‘look’ for your blog

Below is the step-by-step Quick Start Guide to get your new blog up and running!  Note that this post does include affiliate links to companies and services I personally have used and know to be good companies to work with.  Using these links also helps support my blog.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

1.  BLOG NAME & HOSTING

Name: To choose a name, you’ll want to brainstorm up as many words as you can that encompass what you’d like to blog about.  If the name you had in mind is gone (and trust me.. this is VERY common) try to think of a variation or change the order of your wording. Using theasurus.com can help you come up with some new ideas.  Once you’ve decided on a name, head on over to Bluehost here and enter it in.  

Hosting:  If you think of your website as a physical business, your host would be the equivalent of renting a space.  You can’t have a store without having a location!  You will want to choose a reliable host for your website.  I recommend BlueHost for new bloggers.  They were my first host and your domain name is FREE if you use Bluehost…  free is better right?!!

Step-By-Step Directions to Set Up Hosting

  • Head over to BlueHost and enter your desired site name (they’ll let you know if it’s available).  You may have to try a few that you like before you find one that’s available.

BH1 Enter Domain Name

  • Next, you’ll have to choose your plan.  I would suggest beginning with the starter plan, you can certainly upgrade later if you need to.

BH1

  • You will be taken to your package information, you’ll be on the starter plan and you can choose your duration.  You’ll get the best price by choosing the 36 month plan w/ full payment (remember, you can upgrade if you need to)! The only other setting I’d suggest adding is the Domain Privacy which will hide your personal contact information.  Complete the form and submit.

Choose your Hosting Plan

2.  INSTALLING WORDPRESS

Now that you’re all signed up with BlueHost,  you’ll want to install WordPress.  WordPress is software you add to your site so you can write posts and manage your blog, most bloggers I know (including myself) use WordPress.  It’s very user friendly and it’s easy to install.

  • To install wordpress, head over to your Bluehost account. Go to the Website Builders area and click on the WordPress icon.

Install WordPress

  • Click “START a brand new install” Install window.

Click A Brand New Install WordPress

  • In the drop down menu, select your domain that you have just purchased above.  Agree to the terms and click install.

Choose your new domain

  • You will be able to view your your log in information (Admin URL, Username, & Password).

Enter your information

  • Head on over to your URL and log into your new blog!  Congratulations, you’ve just installed WordPress and can now start to post!

3.  CHOOSING A DESIGN

Once you have your name and your hosting in place, you’ll want to choose a design or ‘look’ for your site!  It’s kind of like paint, your blog is already built, you just need to paint it so it looks nice. 

There are lots of options when choosing your design!

  1. WordPress has many free themes available that you can use.  Just scroll through (you’ll find them in your dashboard on the left hand side under  Appearance/Themes).
  2. Another easy and inexpensive option is to head over to Elegant Themes.  They have lots of great designs, are inexpensive and easy to install.  My very first design was from Elegant Themes.   Many can be customized with your own color and/or logo if you choose.
  3.  Here on SpendWithPennies.com I started by using Genesis Framework with my custom theme provided by Pixel Me Designs.  Pixel Me Designs is amazing to work with and has created many amazing website designs for me throughout the years.  There are lots of fabulous themes you can purchase for about $45 (you will also be required to purchase Genesis Framework).
  4. Foodie Pro is another very popular option with bloggers.  This theme is designed with Food Bloggers in mind.  Like the themes listed above, this theme requires Genesis Framework.  You can purchase it in a complete bundle here!
  5. If you’re looking for something specific or CUSTOM DESIGN, you’re going to love Laura at Pixel Me Designs.  I honestly cannot recommend her enough… she does amazing custom work, is professional and extremely talented!  I have personally worked closely with Laura since 2012.

I hope this guide has helped you get started in creating your own amazing blog!  Once up and running I would love to hear from you so I can check out your new space!  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me or send me a message!  Best of luck with your exciting new venture!

 

Image © http://www.123rf.com/profile_evgenyatamanenko

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. I left a message before I seen the part on how to start a blog. Thank you,im excited,and when im able to get my blog up & going I will most definitely go to who you suggested,and get Laura,and will let you kno. You really are very nice to explain but keep it easy & to the point. I really hadnt thought about doing a blog until I was so impressed with your & seen how easy you wrote. Your a great person to want other people to experience the fun and how easy it can be to do.

  2. Hi, Holly,
    Thank you so much for such a detailed post on blogging! I am a complete novice, but I just managed to download WordPress. Thanks! If it’s OK, a quick question: everybody seems to recommend the Genesis framework. I am just wondering, if there is a reason to go with it instead of a free WordPress theme? I guess people aren’t just throwing their money around to just get their blog to look a certain way? Are there any other advantages? Thanks!!!!!!!!!

    1. You’re welcome Liza! I’m so glad you found it helpful. According to Laura at PixelMeDesigns.com (who does all of my site design work) Genesis offers a lot more than paid themes.

      It’s constantly updated to keep up with WordPress changes, new functionality, new code and more. Not to mention you get access to a huge and widely active support forum also not offered with free themes. You often get what you pay for in terms of products and if you want to start your site off on the right foot I feel it’s best to pay for quality of Genesis.

      Than free themes* not paid. Sorry on my phone