Do you have great idea for a blog but don’t know where to start? Here’s an easy step by step tutorial with all the details to start a blog in 5 minutes!
Do you have great idea for a blog but don’t know where to start?
Maybe you want to figure out how to make money online or you just want to share your thoughts with the world and you know a blog is the perfect way to make that happen.
But maybe, just maybe, the procrastination is setting in because, as you imagine it, the technical part of starting a blog seems pretty daunting. If only you could get past that hurdle and just start writing…
Well guess what? You can! You can start a blog in 5 minutes even if you have no technical knowledge about computers or the Internet. If you can turn on your computer, look at things on the Internet and write letters in Word, you can do this!
I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to set up your self hosted blog TODAY and, best of all, it’s about the same cost as just one Starbucks coffee per month.
What is a self hosted blog?
In order to start a blog that will do everything you need it to do, you’re going to need a self hosted blog.
A self hosted blog is one where you have all of the control over your website, you own the content and it’s easier for people to find you. This is what you want if you want to be a serious or professional blogger. And, as your blog begins to grow and you find you want to add extra functions to your blog, like social media sharing buttons (for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.), advanced marketing tools or other elements to make blogging easier, you can easily do it with a self-hosted blog.
There are free blogging options out there, but when you use one of them, it’s not really YOUR website and it’s much harder to get people to see your work, especially if you’re trying to use your blog to make money.
WordPress self hosted blogs are the easiest and most efficient, most customizable blogs available. WordPress makes it so much easier to start and operate your blog without needing to know all the technical details. Other blogging platforms are more cumbersome and not as easy to modify, which will cause you a lot of work later.
I can show you how to start a blog in 5 minutes, so don’t even think about procrastinating this time! You know your dream is never going to happen unless you start and I’m giving you the tools to start today!
Read my easy tutorial below and then, when you see how easy it is, go do it! (No excuses! Just do it!)
If you’re going to get started blogging, you need to just start. It’s easy to get tangled in all of the details and just procrastinate your way out of starting, but you’re not going to do that! Instead of thinking about all the details you will ever need to know, just focus on these things and you’ll be able to get started right away! You can even have a blog post done today if you want to! Talk about overcoming procrastination!
You may feel overwhelmed, which is why I have done the research and found the simplest way for you so you don’t have to spend a lot of time researching or learning the things you don’t really need to know.
Don’t worry about getting it perfect– Do it now and revise it later!
You might have a lot of other questions floating around in your head like how are you going to make it perfect and what are you going to do about this and that but if you can’t start until everything is perfect, you’re never going to do it.
Instead, focus on the most important thing, which is getting started blogging. Then, once you’re started and you’re putting your content out on the Internet, you can adjust it as you go.
One thing we’ve learned over the years is that it’s better to do it imperfectly today and revise it later than to put off ever starting because you’re trying to make it perfect.
So here’s the quickest and easiest way to start your blog today!
There are a few things you’ll want to understand before we begin:
A “domain name” is your own personal website address, which people will use to find your blog on the Internet (something like “YourAwesomeBlog.com” or “SusiesSewingCreations.com”. It is your own personal address on the Internet where people can easily find you.Before you begin, you’ll want to have some ideas about what you would like to use for a domain name, and you’ll want more than one idea because someone may already be using your first choice. It’s best to include some keywords that describe what your blog is about. So if you’re blogging about sewing and crocheting, you might search for names that include those words.
- You will need a software program that actually makes your blog work. By far, the best blogging software is WordPress, and it’s the one I’m going to help you set up today.
- You will also need a space on the Internet where your website can live. This is called “web hosting”. Web hosting companies own large networks of computers where your website can live and these companies take care of all of the super technical details for you for a monthly cost. Bluehost, our recommended web host, has offered our readers hosting packages starting at just $2.95 per month!
I’m going to show you how to set up your blog using Bluehost (web hosting company), because it is the easiest option requiring the least amount of technical knowledge, and is the top recommended host by the developers of the WordPress software. Bluehost has also offered an extra special price just for our readers!
Bluehost makes it easy to set up your web hosting, buy a domain name (included for free with the hosting) and install WordPress all in one simple process. There are other ways you can set up a WordPress blog if you’re more technical, but they are more complicated to set up. I’m going for quick and easy in this tutorial so you can get a blog post together before you go to bed tonight! 😉
To get started:
Click the button that says, “Get Started Now”.
Next, you will be asked to choose a hosting package. If you’re just starting out, the basic plan should be sufficient, but if you have greater needs, like multiple websites or SSL, you may want to select one of the others.
The next screen will prompt you to choose a domain name for your site. In the box that says “I need a domain name”, enter a domain name that you would like to use. Registering your domain name is free with your hosting. If someone else already owns that domain name, the system will ask you to try something else.
If you already have a domain name, choose the “I have a domain name” option.
Once you have selected a domain name, you will be sent to a screen asking you for your account information (name, address, etc.). This is for your website hosting account.
Next, you will be asked to choose your hosting package. The account plan is where you choose 1, 2 or 3 years of hosting. Bluehost has extended special pricing to our readers, as low as $2.95 per month!
The prices listed are monthly, but be aware that each package as billed all at once up front, so if you select the 12 month plan at $4.95 per month, the total billed for the hosting is a one time $59.40, not 12 separate $4.95 payments. The monthly rate goes down as low as $2.95 if you pay for more than one year in advance.
Bluehost’s refund policy says that “If you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term,” so if you sign up for a longer plan and change your mind later, you can cancel and get the rest of your money back.*
You can also choose to add on the extra items listed on this page if you like.
- Domain Privacy Protection is nice if you don’t want random people to be able to contact you based on your domain information. This might be a good add-on to prevent junk mail and spam.
- I don’t recommend the other optional items. If you want to know what they are, I explain it here.
Next, enter your billing information. Be sure to check the box confirming that you agree to the terms of service and click “Submit”.
Now you will receive confirmation that your purchase was successful. Congratulations! You now have your own space on the Internet. But you’re not quite done yet! You need to log in to set up WordPress and before you can log in, you need to create a password. Click “Create Your Password”.
You will need to choose a password that is difficult to guess. Bluehost requires you to have both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (?!#, etc.) A box below will tell you if the password you entered is weak, medium or strong. This is what prevents hackers from getting into your server, so make sure it’s pretty strong.
I recommend a long random password. You can click the “password generator” to have the server generate a random password for you. Be sure you copy the password and keep in a safe place.
Once you’ve created a password, you will be directed to your hosting account login screen. Log in using your domain name or username and the password you just created.
After you log in, you will arrive at your hosting dashboard in your hosting account. This is the control panel for your hosting account (your space on the Internet). Now you will want to install your WordPress blog in that server space.
To install WordPress, click One-Click Installs.
In the Mojo Marketplace, select WordPress and then click the green button that says “Start a brand new install”.
You will now be on a page inside MOJO Marketplace called Scripts and Platforms. The blog section is at the very top, so all you have to do here is click on the WordPress icon.
The next screen asks you to select which domain you would like to install to. Unless you have more than one domain name, the correct one should already be displayed.
On the next screen you will need to enter some basic blog details:
Click “Show Advanced Options”. This section allows you to set up your own username and password for your WordPress install.
- Enter your blog name/site name. This can be changed later so don’t sweat it too much.
- Then you will need to choose a username you’d like to use for the administrative user. This cannot be changed later. It can be simply a name like “Michael” or an e-mail address email@example.com. I recommend that you DON’T use “Admin” as the username because it potentially makes it easier for hackers to access your site.
- Enter an password for the admin user. Use the same rules I mentioned above, but I strongly recommend that you use a different password for the WordPress login than you used for the hosting login. Be sure to copy the password and keep in a safe place!
- For admin e-mail address, use an address where you want your WordPress blog software to send you notifications when something changes on your blog.
- Since this is a new install, make sure “Automatically create a new database” is checked. Check “I have read the terms and conditions” and then click “Install Now.”
You will now see a screen showing the progress of installing WordPress.
When WordPress is successfully installed, you should see this confirmation message. Congratulations! Your WordPress blog is now installed and ready to start using!
If you check your e-mail, you should receive a confirmation message with the login details to get in to your new WordPress blog.
To log into your WordPress blog, go to the admin login URL in the confirmation message. (It should be formatted like YourAwesomeBlog.com/wp-admin) At the login screen, enter your username and password. Then click Log In.
You will now be looking at the WordPress Dashboard. This is where you will control everything for your WordPress site, including creating pages, writing posts, and changing your blog’s appearance.
Congratulations! You now have your very own WordPress blog!
If you’re ready to skip straight to starting your blog now, Get Started Here!
Now, if you struggle with procrastination, I recommend that you go make one post right now! To do it, in the left column, click “All posts” and then “Add New”. Enter your content and then click “Publish” if you want it to show up on your blog right now or “Save Draft” If you’re going to publish it later.
A note about blog themes:
Your blog comes formatted with a default look. You will probably want to work on the design to get the look you want for your blog. This is accomplished through themes, which you can edit to make your blog look however you want.
WordPress comes with a couple default themes preinstalled that you can choose from or you can search for a different free theme in WordPress by going to the “Appearance” menu item on the left, choosing “Themes” and then “Add New Theme”.
The theme you choose will be a starting place for the look you want. You might want to start with a free theme now and then upgrade to a paid theme later if you need more options. You can do a lot with the free themes but the paid themes have more options to make the design easier, especially if you’ll be using it for business. If you’re considering a paid theme, I strongly recommend Genesis by StudioPress, which is the theme we use for LivingOnADime.com. You can find it here.
Are you ready to start your blog now? Get Started Here!
(This post contains affiliate links so, if you choose to use one of the options I recommend here, I will receive a commission, which partially supports my work at LivingOnADime.com. I only recommend things that I like and that I personally think will make the blogging experience easier for you.)
We’ve been blogging since 1999 and I have been the technical guy on our blog at LivingOnADime.com the entire time. Over the years, our blog has changed in order to keep up with all the changes in the Internet since we started. We have tried so many things and learned what things work well and what things don’t, and I’m happy to share that information with you.
One thing we’ve learned is that, by far, the best and easiest blogging software to run your blog is WordPress, which is why I’m recommending it. We’ve tried lots of other things and we’ve known lots of other people who used other platforms and WordPress is so much easier to set up and modify as needed than any other system, which is why it’s so popular with professional bloggers.
More details about the add-on items I did not recommend from above:
- Site Backup Pro – You will want to back up your blog regularly, but there are a number of free and easy ways to do this which I will discuss in a future post, so I generally don’t recommend this option.
- Search Engine Jumpstart is not really needed. If Google is not finding it quickly enough for you, you can submit your blog yourself for free.
- I don’t recommend Sitelock Security. Unless you’re handling big financial transactions yourself, I don’t really think this is necessary.
Here are a few more details about Bluehost’s guarantee:
- If you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund on your hosting service.
- If you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term.
- Hosting is refundable but certain optional “add-on” costs you select might not be refundable, so keep that in mind when adding optional extras.
- (If you opted for the free domain name registration when you signed up, a $15.99 domain fee will be deducted from your refund if you cancel after 3 days because a domain name cannot be “unregistered” after 3 days. However, if you cancel after 3 days, the domain name continues to be yours for the rest of the year at which point you have to renew it to keep it. (Since you are purchasing the domain name, you can use it with a different hosting provider if you change your mind about Bluehost.)
- There are no hidden fees or penalties for ending your term early should you elect to do so.
OK, no more procrastinating! Get Your Blog Started Here!