Do you want to know how to start a blog?
Then stop looking anywhere else because you’re in the right place.
I created this step-by-step guide to to give beginners like you a fast, simple way to set up a WordPress blog.
There’s even a free video screencast below so you can watch over my shoulder as I make a blog of my own in under 20 minutes.
The best part is, you won’t need any technical expertise or programming knowledge to do this. And you definitely won’t have to waste your time reading long, boring tutorials.
You’ll also see how to avoid many of the expensive and frustrating mistakes newbies make when creating a blog for the first time.
In this guide you’ll find out:
- What is a blog? (It’s different than what most people think.)
- Why should you create a blog? (Hint: it’s both fun and profitable!)
- What’s the best blogging platform? (There’s only ONE most experts recommend.)
- And how to create a blog from scratch in just a few minutes! (This is the biggest and most important part of this guide.)
Are you ready? Great! Let’s begin:
Watch The Video Screencast
Here’s the video that walks you through the blog setup process.
(If you prefer to read, then I’ve also written an article about how to make a blog below. Important: you don’t NEED to read anything below! All the steps are in the video. I recommend you watch it now.)
What is A Blog?
A blog (also called a “web log”) is a website that is frequently updated with new posts.
Blogs started as a way for one person to express their thoughts online. A blog was almost like a personal journal or diary.
Well, those people needed some way to easily update their website and share their thoughts. Therefore blogging software was born, which made it easy for anyone to create their own blog and write/publish new posts to it often.
Now blogs have changed.
Sure, many people still use them as a day-to-day journal.
But now a blog can be used for many other reasons. It can be almost anything you want it to be.
- Regular people use blogs to make money writing about their passion.
- Authors, speakers and coaches use blogs to become seen as experts, authorities and mini-celebrities in their field.
- Small businesses use blogs to get leads and grow sales.
A blog is no longer just a personal journal. A blog may be a smart part of any business, news or author website.
Now a blog means almost any type of website that is updated often.
Part of the reason for this change is that blogging software evolved.
A blog used to be like a personal diary online. People posted their thoughts and needed some easy way to publish new posts often. Blog software was born. Now blogging is not just personal, it’s also used for business.
Why A Blog is the Best Foundation for Your Online Success
- easy to consistently update (google loves blogs)
- easiest way to get started building online audience and business, even if not an expert
- surprisingly simple to set up
What’s the Best Blog Platform? Without a Doubt: WordPress
The Engine Behind 25% of The Internet (And Your New Blog!)
What is wordpress?
For the past 5 years, I’ve used WordPress as the foundation of all my online businesses. It’s one of the most important tools that allows me to make a full time passive income online from anywhere in the world.
In a nutshell, WordPress allows you to build your website and publish/edit content on it easily, without needing to know any computer code. So if you can use Microsoft Word, then you’ll be able to use WordPress.
3 More Reasons To Use WordPress:
- WordPress is extremely popular. A study by W3techs found that 25% of ALL websites in the world now use WordPress! Incredible! 1 out of every 4 websites online run on WordPress. This means you will have a proven stable and secure foundation for your online business.
- Many themes and plugins available. WordPress offers an endless number of well-designed themes so you can make your website look however you want. And it has thousands of plugins available that help you do anything from adding a contact form, publishing a podcast or building your email list.
- WordPress is free. That’s right, you don’t need to pay anything for this software because it is open source. This means it is created by hundreds of passionate volunteer programmers.
Hosted Blog vs. Self-Hosted WordPress?
There are a few companies like Blogger.com, TypePad.com and WordPress.com that let you start a blog for free. These are called hosted blogs. I don’t recommend these. Why? Because with a hosted blog you give up a lot of freedom and control over your website. They limit what themes or plugins you can use. They also restrict how you can make money from your website.
Instead, in this tutorial I will show you how to start your own self-hosted Wordpress blog. This is what most serious bloggers use. This doesn’t have to be a hard or time-consuming process either. Just follow along with me and I’ll show you exactly what to do.
What You’ll Need:
To set up your own self-hosted WordPress blog, you’ll need 3 things:
- A Domain Name. This is what people type into their web browser to go to your website. For example, the domain name of my website that you’re reading now is www.eListBuilding.com. If you haven’t bought your domain name yet, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to do so in the next step. (Cost: ~$15)
- A Website Hosting Account. To put your website online, you will need to “rent” server space from a company. This is where your website will live. I hope this doesn’t sound complicated, because it is quick and easy to set up. (Cost: ~$5-$10/month)
- A Credit Card. You’ll need this to pay for the first two things. It’s amazing that now anyone can launch a business for under $20!
Step 1: Setting Up Your Domain and Website Hosting
To get your website online, you will first need to sign up for a hosting account. This means you rent space for your website on another company’s web servers.
Fortunately, there are thousands of companies that offer to host your website for a small monthly fee. These are called web hosting companies. The one hosting company I think is best for most people HostGator.
I recommend you use HostGator for several important reasons:
- 1-CLICK Wordpress Installation. HostGator offers a special tool that lets you set up a WordPress blog with basically one click. Without this tool, the process would be a lot more complicated. You’d have to upload files, create databases, configure settings, etc.
- Unlimited Websites. HostGator lets you host as many websites or domain names as you want from your one account.
- Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth. Unlike other hosting companies, HostGator does not charge you based on how much disk space your website takes up, or how many people visit your website.
- Affordable. HostGator costs $4.95 for the first month, then about $10/month afterwards. It gets even less expensive if you commit to a longer time like 12, 24 or 36 months. Sure, you can find a few cheaper offers, but they won’t match HostGator’s reputation for quality.
- 24/7/365 Technical Support. HostGator has an excellent support team available through phone, email or live chat. They will help answer any questions you have or solve any website problem that might come up.
- 45 Day Money Back Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with HostGator for any reason, they offer a full money back guarantee so you risk nothing by signing up.
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee. This means HostGator is very reliable, your website will almost never be offline, costing you valuable leads or sales.
(Full disclosure: I am a HostGator affiliate, which means they pay me a commission when someone signs up through my link. However, this does not affect my recommendation because every hosting company offers a similar commission program. I honestly believe HostGator is your best option and have used them myself for the majority of my websites.)
Now that you understand why HostGator is your best option for web hosting, here are the simple, step-by-step directions to get your HostGator account set up.
1.2 Click the big yellow “Get Started Now!” button:
1.3 On the next page, click the “Choose A Plan” button:
1.4 Select Your Web Hosting Plan
I recommend the Baby plan because it will let you host unlimited websites. The Hatchling Plan only lets you host one domain or website. The Business plan includes a couple of extra features that you probably won’t need.
So click the “Sign Up Now!” button for the Baby Plan.
1.5 Choose Your Domain Name.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, then you can buy one at the same time as you sign up for hosting. Just type in the domain name you want at the top of the page.
1.6 Select Your Plan Length
HostGator lets you sign up for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. The longer of a plan you commit to, the cheaper it is usually.