How to Begin a Blog

Begin A Blog

Two months ago I decided I was going to start a blog. Why? I enjoy reading other blogs because it is so interesting to learn from other people’s experiences. Of course, I don’t enjoy every blog I read; as I’m sure some people will LOVE my blog and other’s will not enjoy it as much. To me, that’s okay! I had no idea what I wanted to write about or how I would even begin the process. I started my research. I read night and day for weeks, thinking there was some key to successful blogging. I then got into contact with a few of the blog authors I had been following and really enjoyed reading and got all sorts of opinions. I quickly found it, there’s no right way to blog. Bluehost

Over these two months, I have learned the basic steps to starting a blog, which I have listed below. After reading articles upon articles, I decided I would comprise a blog post of the beginning steps to a blog that would be helpful for other beginners. Remember, each person’s blog will be slightly very different from one another, with different material. It is important to remember this is about your interests, enjoyments and day to day activities that excite you.

The basic steps to starting a blog: (This might seem like a long post, with a lot of information. However, I add in a lot of Note’s for your reference as you go a long so that you are able to make an educated decision for your own page. I give details in the areas that seemed most confusing to me in order to help you not have the same confused looks. In reality, the whole process only took me about 10 minutes, then I got started designing.)

  1. Find your niche, come up with a name, and color scheme
  2. Purchase hosting- Bluehost
  3. Choose a domain
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Start using WordPress

Step 1: Find your niche, name and color

The fact you’re reading this, I am guessing you have maybe already given starting a blog some thought. Regardless if you have or not these are great pieces of helpful hints that I have found in my two month period blogging.

  1. Find your niche. Find what it is you enjoy. I used a word map. I started with something I love and jumped out to the next idea. I have attached my first word map I created. I have yet to throw it away because I have created additional maps from this. My point: you can write about anything, find what you’re passionate about. If I just write about what I think my readers want to read, my blog is no longer about me.
  2. Pick a name. Now that I have some ideas that I want to write about, I must call my blog something. Example: Dream, Live and Love. It’s short enough that I don’t lose my readers attention. It’s catchy that my readers wonder what I write about. It’s not a confusing string of words that when I speak it, my listener is able to comprehend.
  3. Color scheme. I know the items I want to write about, I’ve picked a name for the items I want to write about, now I need a color scheme. What colors speak to me? This is fun! Don’t overthink this. Again, what is it that you want to look at? If you like it, I guarantee your readers will also. I find that I love different shades of turquoise and blues. You might also find that this was my color for my wedding!  In order to not get too carried away, I’ll also use purples and pinks- It’s the colors I enjoy and are cooling to my eye.

These are the fun steps to beginning a fun journey. Enjoy them and make this site for you.

Step 2: Purchase hosting

A hosting site provides server space for my site to be found on the internet by others. Bluehost is the hosting site which provides you free access to a domain and free access to WordPress (which is what your blog is published through). Alternatives: I could have gone with a free site (ex. blogger.com) however, as the old saying goes, you will get what you pay for. You are able to transfer your free site to a hosted site (like WordPress) later on, but I decided to start right away to avoid hassle. Also, going with a hosted site gives me more earning potential, makes my page look more professional, and gives me branding. After doing my research, I also learned that purchasing a hosting site helps my page have more reliability and will get better speed performance.

Note: WordPress.com gives you the blog that you want to write on. WordPress.org gives you free access to blog like blogger.com. When you purchase through a hosting site you will have access to the wordpress.com.

Let’s get started through the steps:

Begin by going to Bluehost. Through this link you will get the special discount they have provided!

Then, click “get started now”

Bluehost start

Next, you will want to “select” your plan. I recommend the “starter” plan. You are able to upgrade later on if you choose, so this way you spend the least amount of money and are still able to the additional options later, if you choose.

Selection

Step 3: Choose a Domain

A domain is the web address, like www.dreamliveandlove.com.

At this step, as I mentioned in Step 2, you have two option’s:

  1. Option 1: transfer a previous blog. If you so choose to do this, it does not make any changes to your current blog, it will simply just connect your hosting site with your blog account.
  2. Option 2: start a new domain.

NOTE: If you are here to start a new domain you will want to remember a few things:

  • Give this some thought! This will be your domain for as long as you blog.
  • Whenever possible use .com
  • Pick something that is easy to say and spell. (I went with words that were easy to pronounce and understandably placed together).
  • Avoid using hyphens or numbers.
  • Avoid using confusing strings of words that can confuse a person when quickly telling them your site name.

After you have successfully chosen a domain name, let’s continue!

Next, you’re going to enter your account information. Remember, this is how they will verify your information so put your credentials in.

Account information

Now, let’s choose a package. There are two things to key in on.

  1. Pick your account plan. I chose to go with the 36 month plan as low as $3.45 per month because I do not know how long Bluehost is going to be so generous with these rates. Also, if at anytime I decide I do not want to continue I am able to get my money back (my theory: what do I have to lose then?).
  2. Check the domain privacy box. This will keep your personal information private. If you’re a business and interested in allowing people to know your address, phone number, etc. then leave this box unchecked.
  3. All other boxes (in my opinion) leave unchecked.

Next, you are going to enter your billing information then click “submit.”

Note: You will be asked if you’d like the upgrades which I skipped, went straight to my email and verified my account.

Step 4: Install WordPress

First, you’ll need to go to Bluehost.com and “login” at the top right hand corner.

Next, select “hosting” and enter your cpanel login information.

In the top left, white bar, click “cpanel.”

Cpanel

Next, “Install WordPress.”

Install WP2

Then, “Install.” (Some might say “start.)

Install WP

At this point, choose your domain and click “check domain.”

Choose domain to Install

Lastly, you will enter your WordPress information, which will be the connection between the wordpress.com and bluehost.com systems.

Click “Show advanced option.”

Advanced Options

Here, you will enter your site name. Example: Dream, Live and Love

Choose your username and password. Then, enter the email address you want the verification sent to.

Click, “Install Now.”

Step 5: Begin Using WordPress

Here, you have a lot of options. You can create your first post, change your themes, etc. But remember, there is no right way to go about this.

How I started:

  1. Learn the basics. Navigate through the left column and see what everything does and how they all correlate with one another.
  2. Pick a theme or design that sticks out to you. Find something that speaks to who you are, what you’re going to write about and again, that YOU like. (I promise, if you like it, so will your readers!)
  3. Have fun, and continue learning. Connect with other bloggers via email or subscribing to their blogs in order to gather ideas or to go back and ask them for help. I know I have experienced lots of bumps in the road and I’m sure you will too. Email me or comment on my posts and I promise I’ll get back with you and be of the best help possible.

Katie Montang

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