In this part, we will learn how to create your first blog. I will guide you step by step through the exact way to get to the point, where you will be able to post your first article. I will be creating a Bluehost blog about home decoration tips, explaining every step of the process.
Disclaimer: All Bluehost and OneBit links and widgets in this article are affiliate links. Your purchase through them supports my site. If you decide not to use them, that is your decision and I respect it. Now, continue reading, you beautiful person.
Articles in this series so far:
1. The Introduction
2. How to create your first blog
3. How to write your first post
4. How to design your blog
Other Blogging Tips:
1. Tying your domain name to your Bluehost hosting
2. How to never run out of blogging ideas
3. WordPress plugins for every blogger
4. How to make money blogging
5. The best and cheapest hosting for bloggers
- Before we start - Should you go with paid or free hosting?
- Step-by-step Bluehost hosting guide:
- Selecting a domain and the hosting plan
- Choosing your plan
- Setting up the domain
- Payment and Packages
- Quick WordPress Site creation using the Bluehost quick 4 step setup
- And the site is born!
Before we start – Should you go with paid or free hosting?
If you are already decided to invest in hosting and just want to see how and where, then click here to skip this part.
The paid way
There are two ways to create your blog. The first one is by spending money on a domain and hosting. This way, pretty much everything you put on the site, you have control over. It is your rented space and yours only. You can attach all the analytics and tools you want for your site to function as it should.
You also want to be an authority in your niche. To show that you are serious about what you are doing. If you stick to the free domain as described below, this goal might be much more difficult if not impossible.
The free way
You can start your blog completely for free, but there are certain problems this will create.
The first problem is, your domain name will include the service provider you started your blog at. For example, my site would be www.sidehustlingtips.wordpress.com. As you can see, this shows you are not your own entity but belong to someone.
The second problem this might create is that you might have trouble putting in your analytics tools and will have trouble getting your page verified by affiliate programs.
The third problem is SEO. If you will keep your website up and running for a long time, people will eventually link to it. Links back to your site make your site more visible in different search engines, such as Google. If you then one day decide you’ll want your own domain and shed the .wordpress.com part, becoming just www.sidehustling.tips, you will lose this ranking and all the links connected to your site.
Why go free?
Going with a free website can serve a few important things. Most importantly, you can see if the niche you chose is the one you really want to keep up with. It also helps you to get acclimated to the WordPress site and see if it’s the right fit for you. But trust me, if you are willing to blog, WordPress is a marvel to work with.
- You own your domain as long as you pay for it
- You have full control over your website
- Advertisers and visitors take you more seriously
- Easier to monetize
- SEO friendly
- You have to pay a fee for both domain and hosting
- You get to try out your blogging career or niche for free if you are still not sure about it
- Good for testing stuff that might otherwise break your site
- Well, it’s free
- People take you less seriously, some even won’t click your link if they see it’s a free blog.
- Way harder to monetize
- The trouble with SEO as described above
- You might not have all features unlocked or be able to install necessary tools to make your life easier
The Conclusion to the decision
If you are serious about blogging, you need to invest some money. But don’t worry, if you’ll do stuff right, it will return. If you are trying out stuff, go free, but I recommend not staying with it due to complications that might arise from it. If you are decided to start free, then this article is pretty much done for you. You just need to go to WordPress.com and click the “start your website” button. I will tell you more about WordPress in the next article, so thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next one. Otherwise, for the rest of us, let’s begin.
Step-by-step Bluehost hosting guide:
If you wish to see a general guide, I will now send you to an article where I tell you some basics about creating a web and choosing your domain name.
Otherwise, if you don’t want to read that one or want to just see a step-by-step tutorial, I’ll be using my sponsor Bluehost, the #1 hosting recommended by none other than WordPress themselves.
If their hosting is too expensive for you, I recommend either reading the article I mentioned above or finding hosting from your country. They might be oftentimes cheaper. Another great option is also a Czech provider OneBit, which is where I host this blog. Bluehost is just the most recommended WordPress hosting so that’s why I go with it here. Otherwise, check OneBit. In this tutorial, I will be creating a home decoration blog with and I’ll to show you every step in detail. Let’s start.
Selecting a domain and the hosting plan
Quick Domain info
Let’s start with the domain. Your domain should be something you can easily remember and easy to tell to people. Bonus points if you can manage to also make it about the niche your blog is about. Also, try to get a .com handle. When you tell your domain name to someone, they will expect it to end with .com. Bluehost offers free domain to your hosting (although it’s more like it’s part of the price, but as far as you are concerned, it’s less worry for you.)
You can check your domain name with this little widget:
If you don’t see anything above it’s because of the AdBlock. You can also just go to this site and click the “Get started” button.
As you can see the pricing shows two different prices. Your first payment is in the price shown. That means 3.35 euro a month (+VAT so slightly more than that) and then it will be the other price shown next to it. By that point it should be more than affordable for you, if you keep up with your blog.
The 30-day money back guarantee
You can also cancel your hosting and get your money back in the first 30 days. If you decide you don’t want this hosting, I urge you to contact their support and ask for the money back. Here you can read on how.
Also, they will not refund your domain fee (which as I said is part of the plan). The non-refundable domain fee is around 16$ a year from Bluehost, so even though it won’t be refunded, you can still use it on some other hosting. If you want to avoid this and get a full refund, buy a domain from somewhere else, like domains.google and then tie it to your Bluehost account.
Choosing your plan
Anyway, after you clicked on the Get Started button, you’ll see the offered plans as below. Once again, these are without VAT included, which calculates by the country you reside in.
You now see several hosting plans. As a blogger, all you need is the basic plan on the left. If you’ll ever plan to create several blogs and have them under one hosting, then the other plans are what you want. Otherwise, the Basic plan is all you really need, so click Select.
Setting up the domain
Now, if you used the widget above, you probably already got over this step and selected your domain. Otherwise, just use the create a new domain window on the left and find the domain you want. If you already own a domain, put it in the window on the right. If you’ll skip this step, a temporary domain will be created for you and you can replace it later. See this article on how to do it once you bought the hosting.
Payment and Packages
Fill in your information and scroll down until you get to the package information. Here, you can pick the way you will be paying for the hosting and what packages you want.
This is why I said you will need some initial investment. If 120 euros is too much for you, you can select a one year plan. just click on the account plan and select Basic 12 Month. But understand that once you do this, you will have to pay the normal price next year. Remember, if you make up your mind in 30 days, you can still use the refund. (Here you can read up on how to do it.)
You basically can replace both of these with WordPress plugins. You don’t need to SEO Tools, as that will be provided 100% by a plugin and I’m pretty sure, you can backup your site using other WordPress plugins as well. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need Codeguard Basic either, but if you want to be safe, you can get it. Here is what it does:
You are making a blog. A chance of a disaster striking is minimal, but if you can afford it, it is a nice thing to have. Otherwise, just use the plugin I will show you in one of the next articles.
Here just put in your credit card. It will be billed automatically every time the term ends. The term you selected above, so keep that in mind, just like with every subscription these days.
If you’ve done everything correctly, you should now see this little page with the receipt below that you can download.
The next screen will show you your domain and the password to type in. If you haven’t bought a domain from Bluehost, I’ll show you later how to attach it to it. Meanwhile, you should see something like this:
Once you change your password, congratulations! You made it! It’s time for you to login!
Quick WordPress Site creation using the Bluehost quick 4 step setup
When you log in for the first time, you will be brought to a 4-step guide that will set up your very first WordPress site. Here’s how I’ve done it. For this tutorial, I am creating a blog that will share quick decoration ideas. So, let’s go through it step-by-step:
What kind of site are we creating? Definitely a blog. What type is it? Here you will have to select the topic that best describes your niche. For me, it is Home & Decor. And of course, we are making the site for ourselves. Continue to step 2.
This step is self-explanatory. For this tutorial, we’ll pick “Blog”, but you can add all three if you are planning to sell your product on your blog. About me, page can be created whenever you want. Continue to step 3.
Here you type in your title and some short tagline. The tagline will appear on google when someone finds your site and you can also see it on your site. If you look at my main page, you can see mine at the top. For being comfortable with creating websites, you should select “a little” if you are following this tutorial. It doesn’t really have any big effect as far as I know. Now to Step 4.
In this step, we will select a theme. Don’t worry, you can change it anytime very easily without losing any data. WordPress is really good at this. So, for now, just pick a theme you like at a first glance. I went to the Blog category and found a theme called “Responsive” as I plan to show many different products and ideas (posts for short) on the main page on my blog.
And the site is born!
And there you go. Your site is setup. You should now see the Bluehost main screen as shown below:
Here you get some ideas about how to make a better website and some settings. You most probably don’t need to care about most of them.
What you need to do now, is to go to “My Sites” on the left. You’ll see this screen.
It shows your created site and a button to create a new one next to it. The creation of a WordPress site is as easy as the four previous steps so don’t worry about it.
The only thing I’d recommend here, before we move on, is to go to Manage Site -> Settings -> and here turn off the “Disable Comments For Old Posts”. There is practically no need for you to have it on. Also, disable the Coming Soon page. There is really no need for it.
What you want to do now, is to return to My Sites and click on the login button and go to your brand new WordPress site. Your new blog! At the top you’ll see the name of your site. If you put your mouse over it, it will show you a button “Visit site” And there it is!
I know, I know, it doesn’t look like much now. But what we are looking at is the potential. Imagine the page as a newborn child. We will now have to teach it how to speak to people (fill it with content and articles), dress it (add photos and style it) and teach it how to socialize (add plugins and other things to make it easy to share on social media).
You can now go back to the WordPress dashboard and explore anything your heart desires. Get familiar with things! If you are scared don’t be. I’ll walk you through everything I know so you can create the blog of your dreams.
And that’s about it! You bought your first hosting and most possibly your first domain and even managed to setup your first WordPress site with its very own theme!
In the next part, I will show you how to create your first post and some other little details. In other tutorials, we will discuss what plugins (link at the top) you need, what settings are important and what I recommend. If you bought your domain somewhere else, I will be posting another article on how to connect it to your site on Bluehost, so subscribe to my mailing list to get a notification when that happens! Now, I hope you are enjoying this tutorial so far. Let me know if there’s anything you want in the comments below and share it with others if you feel it was helpful.