Do you want to know how to start a blog….?
Or always wanted, but postpone it, because you are afraid that you’ll get stuck?
If yes, then today is the real day to get started with a blog setup … right away!
You will be able to “create a blog” of your dream from your to-do-things list.
It will be easier than you ever think. Even, if you’re not good at doing it.
In this beginner’s blog setup guide, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on setting up a blog, and get started with posting, editing, changing appearance, and making endless adjustments to your blog.
All that without even need to learn to code!
You’ll be able to create a blog with six simple and easy to follow steps to start a blog!
The 6 simple and easy steps to start a blog:
1: Choose a blogging platform.
2: Choose a web hosting service.
3: Decide a domain name.
4: Set up WordPress (the simple way).
5: Choose and customize design.
6: Start writing your blog content.
You’ll find this entire guide so easy, that you’ll love to start your own blog in one sitting – on the go, without need to learn to code!
Step #1: Choose a blogging platform.
Before getting started with creating your blog, you’ll need to select a “blogging platform”, software that’ll be used to run a blog.
If you missed you can still get more information about the top most popular blogging platforms used globally by bloggers.
But, if you want to start a blog on a user-friendly platform with easy – then WordPress is the serious choice, because…
- It‘s 100% free,
- It’s super-easy to setup,
- It’s friendly to beginners,
- It makes blogging as easy as writing emails,
- It allows you to have your own “.com” domain,
- No monthly fee (you only need a web host and a domain name),
- It comes with over 5,000 themes to suit your style,
- It also comes with awesome plug-ins for all need,
- It’s mobile friendly, that’s great for SEO, and
- Gives you the ultimate power to make money from your blog, professionally!
That’s why WordPress.org is able to support 91% of all blogs on the Internet, including 62% of the top 100 company blogs created with WordPress.
But please don’t rush to sign up just right away!
I’ll show you the way to install WordPress in step 4 – and how to configure in the next step – but we need to do some quick things first.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
There are two WordPress platforms to choose from: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The following are the main differences: –
- It’s 100% free software,
- But, you need to pay for WordPress hosting
- Thousands of WordPress plugins (free and paid) to add functionality
- Can use thousands of WordPress themes (free and paid) to style
- Annual fee (starting at $48/year),
- Hosted by Automattic parent company of WordPress (no web hosting required),
- No software to download, install or maintain,
- Themes and plugins are more and more limited.
If you want details to get started with WordPress.com, than have a look at this post.
What are the most popular WordPress Alternatives (Website Builders)?
You may have heard of some website builders such as “Weebly”, “Wix”, or “Duda”, etc.
If you need just a very simple site, website builders may be a good choice. They are web apps to provide drag-and-drop functionality, as well as the WYSIWYG editor for building blogs or sites.
However, most bloggers have chosen the flexibility of WordPress, for its amazing functionality and simplicity.
WordPress is more powerful, scalable, and flexible than any other site builders out there. It’s able to do almost anything you want to do with it: complete freedom to create the blog you want.
If you are scared of WordPress ideas, website builders may be worth a look. But my advice is to stick to WordPress as much as possible.
If you need to learn more, check out the list of top website builders for bloggers.
Can’t I start a blog for free on a website like Blogger?
Yes, you can always create your blog for free on sites like Blogger. But, I won’t recommend it because you should know some very serious drawbacks with Blogger:
- Your blog would be hard to find,
- You won’t have control over the content,
- You couldn’t customize your blog the way you want,
- You’ll find it costly to switch to other platform (WordPress), and
- Others will benefit profit from your blogging efforts,
It would be better; you do create a blog using WordPress, that’ll grow with you.
If you’re not sure, what the cost of creating a blog is? It’s really less than you ever think!
With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you pay less than $10 a month, and get your own design, with your own “.com” to launch. Along with great features, functionality, and flexibility!
Step #2: Choose a web hosting.
Second step in starting a blog is to choose a web hosting; a service that helps you put your blog on the Internet. Which means a good web host can make or even break your blog.
In terms of choosing a web hosting, you’ll need to consider four important things:
- Price: What is the monthly fee?
- Speed: A blog needs to load quickly. It’s important when the user turns to your blog.
- Uptime: Every website gets offline sometimes. However, a good host can ensure reduced downtime issues.
- Support: This might seem boring, but live support is very important indeed.
What features and functionalities are important for blog hosting?
Here are some of the most important features and functionalities to look for when choosing which web hosting provider to use for your blog:
- One-click WordPress installation (fast, simple, and easy to setup),
- Disk space and bandwidth depend on the traffic your blog receives,
- Uptime ensures that server crashes and maintenance issues are prevented,
- Security features such as malware scanning, daily backup and 24/7 site monitoring,
- Speed and performance, so that your site always delivers the best user experience,
- Technical support types such as email, support tickets and live chat,
- Affordability – High quality web hosting is not free.
What is the best web hosting for WordPress?
We recommend using Bluehost, as they are the perfect web hosting service for new WordPress powered blogs.
If you want a cheap but secure and powerful hosting service, Bluehost is highly recommended.
Here’s why you’ll like Bluehost:
- One-click WordPress installation (fast and easy; with no messy stuffs),
- Their uptime is really excellent, and
- WordPress recommends Bluehost (since 2005).
You will get a great plan for $3.95/month; and they are presently offering a domain name for free for a year on every hosting.
Of course, you are always free to use any other web hosting for your blog, but to keep it simple and easy; I will choose to use Bluehost to explain the setup process.
Sign up for Bluehost:
To take advantage of discounts and a free domain name, click here to access Bluehost in another window. Then, press the big button to begin. Wow – you are on the way to start a blog!
Important: The site may look a bit different, but the steps are exactly the same. Just press the big “Get Started” button they are currently running great discounts.
Select the “basic” plan (and save some $$):
The basic plan is great option for beginners and you can get to upgrade at any time when you are ready for an upgrade.
Step #3: Decide a domain name.
Your domain name is your blog identity on the Internet. This is the URL that people enter in their web browser when they visit your blog.
For example, ours is techglamour.com.
This is your chance to stand out from the millions of blogs that already exist on the web!
Please follow the guidelines below, before registering your domain name. Your domain name should be:
- Easy to spell,
- Descriptive (i.e. describing your blog topic or a brand name),
- If possible, be short and simple,
In short, a domain name is just the address where people can find your blog, such as www.yourblogname.com
If you can, I recommend using “.com”, as this is the easiest thing to remember for most people on the web. But, if your first choice is not available, you can also get a .net, .org, or .info domain.
Pro Tip: Struggling with a domain name?
Try using tools like NameStation or Instant Domain Search! Just enter your desired keyword or topic to get ideas about available domain names all at once.
How to register a domain name
When you sign up for a hosting account with Bluehost, they’ll provide a free domain name. So you can buy your host and register your domain name at the same time.
If you already have a domain name, please fill out the form on the right. Even if you are already running a live website, it won’t break anything.
Once you have added your domain name, simply click “Next.”
Complete your registration process:
You’ll have three quick parts in this step. First, add your account information using a real email address (because you’ll need it later to log in!).
Choose your package and optional add-on services:
Next, choose the options you need for your account. The first option you have is the “Account Plan” – 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. I recommend only 12. Why? It is good…
You can save money by prepaying for three years. But in 12 months, the price is quite reasonable. So, if you decide that the blog is not suitable for you after one year, you won’t have any extra money to pay.
In final step, you can choose whether to add additional features (add-ons).
Pro Tip: For beginners, most of the extra add-ons are waste of $$, but some are definitely worth considering:
- SiteLock Security – $1.99/mo (optional): Enables you to secure your newly started blog with ease; while protecting your blog information from hackers, hijackers, and data miners, etc.
- CodeGuard Basic – $2.99/month (optional): A website time machine for daily automatic backups, gives you a protection against viruses, hackers, and even your own code accidentally, etc.
Remember: If you really don’t want any optional features, be sure to uncheck these boxes before proceeding to next step! This is sometimes very easy to miss.
Enter your billing details:
Here you’ll need to enter your credit card billing details and you’ll be a part of the competition!
If you would like to pay with your PayPal, please select “More Payment Options” at the top of the field above.
Set a strong password and log in details:
You should now come to a page something like the screen given below. Just click on the big green “Create your password” button.
Finally, click the “Login” button. That is very simple isn’t it?
Pro Tip: You are about to receive an email from Bluehost with your login information and activation link. Anyhow, if you can’t find it, check the spam folder.
Step #4: Set up WordPress (the simple way).
Fortunately, once you have created a hosting account with the Bluehost, installing WordPress is really very simple indeed.
Good news: Now that you are logged into your control panel, WordPress just sits there waiting for you to get installed!
How to install WordPress?
You are lucky, because WordPress is known for its “5 minute quick installation.”
Just follow the step-by-step instructions – and you won’t ever make a mistake!
On the first screen you will be asked to select a theme.
I recommend that you skip this step by clicking the link below the theme image, as you’ll see how to explore more (and better) options later.
Ultimately, if you choose a theme now, you can always change it at any time without any problem.
On the next screen, you’ll need to click the “Start Building” button.
Pro Tip: If you choose to use a new domain name, your blog may show a little bit on the temporary domain name. This is not a malfunction!
It may take few hours to organize the technical information for the host. As soon as it’s ready, Bluehost automatically fix the domain name.
You should now see the screen shown below:
Welcome to your new WordPress dashboard! This is the place where all the amazing things happen.
Pro Tip: Want to know how to log in to WordPress after logging out?
Now, you don’t need to go to Bluehost.com: you can quickly log in to the WordPress dashboard by typing: “http://www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin”
Just replace “your blog name” with your actual domain name.
This is a very handy shortcut – you should consider bookmarking it!
On the left sidebar you will see several different tabs. Some quick highlights (don’t click on any of them for now!), you’ll learn about them in next steps:
- Posts: This is where you go to write a new blog or view old posts.
- Media: View your uploaded photo galleries and files, or add more content.
- Page: Used to create a static page (if you choose to use it).
- Comment: Manage and review the comments on your content.
- Appearance: You can choose a new theme or edit your theme.
- Users: If you decide to create content with others, you can add them as users through this tab.
- Plugins: Add and remove plugins that provide new features and functionality to your blog.
Don’t worry about other tabs for the time being.
After coming to this point, you’ll get two options to focus on in the centre of the screen: That says “Welcome to WordPress” What kind of site we can help you set up?Business or Personal.
Choose the one that works best for you, then again: don’t worry; all of these are easy to change in the future!
Nothing is permanent, you can’t actually mess up.
If you click on “Business” or “Personal” you will see the following:
The “Site Title” will be the name of your blog. Enter yours – don’t add “www.” – Just write in simple English.
“Site Description” is an opportunity for you to write a short and exciting summary of your blog’s content. Keep it short – just like you explain your blog to a friend or a potential customer!
As usually, you don’t need to worry – if you change your mind, all of this can be edited later.
On the very next screen, you’ll be asked if you want to update your site with news or blog posts. Just click on “Yes” button.
Here, you can choose what you want people to see on your homepage: the latest blog posts/ updates, or more “static” homepages. You should choose the first option.
Next, if you want people to be able to send you messages or feedbacks through your site, you can set up the “Contact Us” page. It depends on you!
At finally, you can choose to connect the “Jetpack” profile to WordPress for added security, increased traffic, and tracking statistics for your blog.
Jetpack is a free plugin – so if you have time, I suggest you go through this fast process.
If you don’t like it, just click “Not now”. As, you can do this at any time later!
Pro Tip: If you just signed up with a new domain name, be sure to check the email from the Bluehost for the activation link in the message.
You’ll need to click it to complete the activation process and bring your newly created blog to the world.
Step #5: Choose and customize design.
After login, in the WordPress dashboard, the control panel for your blog. There is an “Appearance” tab to let you handle everything from choosing a design to customize everything using themes and plugins.
Customize using WordPress themes:
WordPress will help you easily change the theme of your blog:
Simply, from the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
Now you will see all the WordPress themes. By selecting featured, popular, and latest. You can choose one or search for the name of the topic you’ve been looking for.
To narrow your search, use the Feature “Filters” to choose a layout, features, and blog themes.
Once you find a topic you like, you can preview it live with your own blog.
If you don’t have required plugins for the content or theme of your blog, this may not get the exact preview.
Once you have chosen a perfect theme, just click on Install, followed by Activate and you are done!
All of your blog content will appear in the new theme, and you don’t need to do anything else to get your new theme up and running.
Customize using WordPress plugins:
Plugins are the great useful extensions that help you add more functionality and unlock more powerful features of WordPres to you!
You can always install and active popular plugins on your blog to add:
- Improved SEO performance (making your blog rank higher in search engines)
- Speed up your blog with “cache tools” (making your blog load faster)
- Add surveys, polls, reviews, or discussions,
- Add more premium features.
To customize using WordPress plugins follow the steps bellow:
Click Plugins > Add New, in the WordPress Dashboard sidebar.
Check out the featured plugins on this page for the most popular plugin options.
Use the search feature to find plugins for specific features you want to add to your blog.
When you find a plugin you like, just click Install Now.
Activate the plugin, and you’re good to go!
Step #6: Start writing blog content.
When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, in the sidebar you’ll see “Posts” tab, to start a new blog post.
This will take you to the WordPress Editor screen, which is where you’ll start writing your blog posts.
The good news is that; if you can use Microsoft Word, Gmail, or Pages, it’s just as easy to write a blog post in WordPress.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important features you should know!
How to Start Writing a first blog post?
To start writing a post, just login to your WordPress dashboard, and click on “posts” in the sidebar and click “Add new.”
You will see a very friendly editor screen similar to MS Word or Pages on your Mac device:
Let us break down what you see here:
1. Title area: This is where you write the title of the post.
2. Content area: This is where the body of the post goes. The entire area is like text editing in MS Word or Pages.
3. Standard editing tools: The following are options for bold, italic, list, paragraph and title.
Later, I will show you how to use this section to add links, images, and videos etc. to your posts.
At the end of the standard editing tool is “Toolbar Toggle” as follows:
Click this button to add more options to the toolbar, such as the line break, text color formatting, indentation, Undo/ Redo button, and more.
4. Publishing Tools: This is where you get your posts published and shown to the world.
The most important thing to note here is the “Publish” button, which you’ll have to push when your blog post is ready to get published.
You can also save your work by clicking “Save Draft” on an incomplete post without having to take the post into live.
The Preview button can be used to test the appearance of a post as it is published, without having to publish it immediately.
You can also use the options in this section to schedule a post for the future, publish posts publicly or privately (requires a password), and even unpublished a post by changing “Status” back to “Draft”.
5. Formatting Tools: Here using this tool you can selected the format of your blog posts between Standard, Image, Video, Quote, Link, Gallery, or Audio based.
To use the post formatting tool, simply scroll to right sidebar and select the “Format” by checking from the options given below!
6. Other fine-tuning tools: You can use these tools to update your blog posts, use category tags or add a featured image – but for now, you won’t be using them.
Pro Tip: Do you write a blog post in a program such as Word, then copy and paste it into WordPress? If yes, then you might be frustrated with how WordPress formats your pasted text.
To avoid problems, make sure you have already clicked the “Toolbar Toggle” button and then click the “Paste as Text” button as shown below:
WordPress will delete all previous formats, so you can customize the text to see what you like.
Heading can really help you build content beautiful, and make it easier for people to read. For example, in the text above, “Add Heading” is my heading!
This helps people who want to scan content to find what they need. Consider adding a heading to each point you’d like to use.
To add a heading, scroll up to the “Paragraph” drop-down menu section and select the heading you’d want to use in the post.
Please note that “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the title of the post, so please stick to the smaller headings (H2, H3, H4, H5, or H6) inside the post.
Pro Tip: “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the title of the blog post, so you should not use it again in the body of the content.
You should use “Heading 2” to break down the different parts of the content and use “Heading 3” to analyze the sub-headings in these important parts.
Adding a link:
Linking to other (reliable) sites is a good idea; whether to share a piece of content or to back up a statement you have made, or to share another post of your own. WordPress makes it simple for you to add a link.
To add a link to a post, highlight the text you want (for this example, I just used “add a link” as my text) and scroll up to the blog menu.
Click the button that looks like a paperclip, located just right to the “Align Right” item in the menu.
From there; you add the URL you want to link to:
Then, click on the Settings icon on the right (the wheeled item above) next to the arrow.
Click the “Open a link in a new tab” box. This is important – as you won’t want people to leave your site when they click on the link goes out!
Adding an image:
To add images inside a post, scroll to the top of the blog menu first, and then click “Add Media” in the top left corner of the menu tab.
Select the image file you want to upload. Here you can also find previously uploaded files in the “Media Library” in the top left corner next to “Upload files” – so you don’t need to upload again!
After uploading the image, you can choose the size and location to place that image inside a post.
Adding a “Featured” image:
Featured images are just images that will be used to display at the top of your post, and will be used in thumbnails of posts when you share them on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or more!
To add a featured image in your post, scroll the mouse along the right sidebar of the blog menu. You’ll find an option called “featured image” and click on “Set featured image.”
Click the button and then perform the same upload process to add an image, just as you already did in the step above.
After the upload is complete, click on “set featured image”, and it will be selected as a featured image for a post.
Pro Tip: Try selecting a featured image that catches your eye – you will be surprised to find out how featured images make a huge difference on how visitors will click to read your blog post
Adding a video from YouTube:
Whether you want to show your own video blogs or just want to share your favorite videos, adding such type of content is really a great way to get people interested.
To add a YouTube video inside your post…!
Visit the YouTube video page you want to share, and copy the URL.
Paste the copied URL into the content section of your blog. And, make sure the link is on its own line (no text before or after) and should not be clickable (don’t need to make it a link!)
As soon as you press the “Publish” button on your post, the video will appear in the live version of the post.
Not only from YouTube, but also from other video sharing sites you can copy the URL and paste it inside your content area to add a video.
Customize your “Slug”:
What is a “slug”?
This is the URL of your post. For example, if your domain name is “yourdomainname.com”, then slug will be the address of the specific post you want to publish, such as “yourdomainname.com/my-post/”.
You want this slug to be clear and concise. This’ll make it easier for people to share your content on social media sites.
You can find the slug below the post title. It will say “Permalink: http://yourdomainname.com/post_title”.
By default, WordPress will make the title of the post a slug. But usually, this might be too long.
You should change it so that it does not exceed 2-4 words.
Here’re some tips for optimizing WordPress slugs:
Target keywords: Think about what people enter when they search for information you share in a post; these are SEO keywords.
Avoid duplication (make sure it’s different from another slug on your site).
Do not change slug after publishing a post (unless you absolutely need to) because this is bad for traffic.
Publishing Your Post:
If you’ve already done everything perfectly! It’s time to click the “Publish” button. Then, click on “View Post” when the link appears to see live version of the post.
Congratulations! Just you published your very first blog post. But now don’t stop here, keep posting amazing contents!
Share it with the world through the social media networks to get popular on the web.
If you have not started your blog yet, then you should go to Bluehost now, and sign up!