We’re going to do something fun in this post. Something fun, and something easy. We get so many comments from readers who like reading our blog, and they often ask how to start a blog of their own. In the past, we have kept our tips and tricks to email, as we wanted to stay true to our Family Travel Blog vibe. Though as with anything, things begin to change. We are answering this question far more often and people look to us as the experts. So, the time has come to share what we know with you and make sure it is easy to understand.
The good news: It’s super easy to get started. It doesn’t matter if you want to start a blog to document your travels, share a hobby, or even start a business, it can all be done in 6 easy steps. The bad news: There is no bad news! I’ll cover how easy it is to get started with your own blog, so you can start sharing with the world! First you need to work on your mindset and belive you can do it.
Zap That Fear!
Fear seems to be the biggest reason a lot of people say, “I don’t know how to start a blog!” Fear of the technical stuff. Fear that it may be difficult. Fear that it will be overwhelming or too much work. Well, never fear. It is extremely easy to get started blogging on the popular blog platform called WordPress and a few other pieces of magic and you are there. WordPress is very popular for all different types of blogs. It’s actually more than just a blogging platform, but I won’t get into the gory details. Just suffice to say that it’s popular for a reason. It’s easy to use and it’s what we use. There’s that easy word again. I sense a recurring theme here.
How To Start A Blog – In 6 Easy Steps
There are a number of steps to the whole process, but here’s a simple outline of what I’ll cover in this post:
- Pick a Hosting Plan
- Pick a Domain Name
- Pay for your Plan
- Login to your cPanel (I’ll explain what that is)
- Install WordPress
- Create your content. Happy Blogging!
So let’s get started…
1. Pick a Hosting Plan
Head on over to Bluehost hosting website and pick a plan that works for you. The Plus Plan is a great way of doing the hosting. Unlimited websites and unlimited website space are excellent features to have. After all, once you know how to do this you may want to create more blogs.
The domain name you’ve chosen is included in all of the plans. And speaking of domains, let’s pick one.
2. Pick a Domain Name
Personally, I think this is the best part. Pick a name that means something to you or your potential audience. When we were picking our name, I thought AlanPontificates.com was awesome, but Heidi was not so thrilled. In the end, I think she picked right. Spend some time on this because this is the name you’ll have for a long time. Bluehost provides an easy way to figure out what domains are available, so make sure you have some alternatives in case yours is taken.
3. Pay for your Plan
Now that you’ve picked out your gem of a domain name, it’s time to setup your account information, and pay for the domain and hosting. When you’re entering the account info, make sure you type the email address in correctly. All email correspondence will go to that address, so make sure it’s right!
Pick your desired plan from the drop down box, and enter the billing information.
If you’re interested in obtaining additional domain names, you can do so at this time, or if your single domain is fine, click complete.
Once complete, you’ll see the following message:
There you go! You now have your own domain and hosting setup. It doesn’t get much easier than that does it? You’ll be emailed the account information for your domain/hosting package, so be on the look out for it.
The next part is important, and you’ll definitely want to store the information securely. You’ll need to specify a password to use to get into your Control Panel (cPanel). Remember to pick a password that is not easily guessed nor common.
4. Login to your cPanel
With your account setup, you’ll login to your cPanel to start the installation of WordPress. Check your email for the cPanel login link/info.
On the initial login, you’ll be presented with a Welcome screen. You can request the Bluehost team to help you, but installing WordPress is so easy, you won’t need their help. Since you know that you can do it, click the i can do it button.
This is what your cPanel looks like. There is a lot to take in, but don’t stress over all of the icons.
5. Install WordPress
Do you see that WordPress icon highlighted by the blue arrow? Click on that to start the installation of WordPress. If the word “installation” makes you nervous, don’t worry about it. The Bluehost cPanel takes care of all of the tough stuff for you.
Click on the Start button to install a new instance of WordPress.
You’ll need to select the domain you just created when you setup your domain/hosting plan, and select the Check Domain button.
The installation process starts, and you’ll see the status window appear.
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll need to provide some basic configuration information:
- The site name or title of your blog. This is normally the same as your domain name, but doesn’t have to be. In our case, Wagoners Abroad, it’s the same.
- Admin Username. This is an account within WordPress that will be used to administer the blog.
- Admin Password. This is the password for that account. Make sure you remember this, and store it in a secure place.
- Admin Email Address. This is the email address that will be notified of important events like users posting comments, updates to your WordPress environment, etc. Make sure you set this correctly.
Leave the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” checkbox checked. Check the “I have read…” checkbox, and click Install Now.
When the config/installation is complete, you’ll be presented with the following screens:
You did it! You’ve successfully installed WordPress! I told you it was going to be easy. Before you jump into creating the content of the century, make sure you remember the key information on the screen:
- URL – This is the website that you’ll use to publicize your new site.
- Admin URL – This is the URL that’s used to login to your website.
- Username – This will be the Admin username you specified earlier.
- Password – Same with the Password.
6. Create Your Content
Now that you’ve got your blogging platform installed, it’s time to create your content. You’ll need to login to your WordPress Dashboard to get started. All of the administrative and creative blogging tasks you’ll do within the WordPress Dashboard, so get familiar with it. You can learn more about WordPress from many different sources, such as Google, YouTube, and even the WordPress organization itself. They have a Getting Started Codex that you can read which walks you through configuring and using WordPress. It’s available here.
To login, just go to the Admin URL you saw at the end of the WordPress installation/configuration. You’ll need to specify the Username and Password, and click Log In.
Once logged into WordPress, you’ll see the Dashboard.
WordPress is very powerful. Take some time to read about it, and become comfortable with the environment. If you’re looking for some topics to learn about, you can research Posts, Pages, Plugins, and Themes. That’s a good place to get started.
Now you know exactly how to start a blog! I hope you enjoy blogging as much as Heidi and I do! It’s a fantastic way to meet people, and share your thoughts and expertise. Get started and build your blog today, click here.
So tell us when you start your blog and what it will be about?
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