Starting a blog can change your life. If you’re looking for a career with flexible hours (perhaps so you can stay home and look after kids – I’m typing this with a baby sitting on my lap), unlimited earning potential (for real – more about that in my next post; it’s a doozy!) and the freedom to build a career around doing what you love – whatever your passion – there is absolutely no better job on the planet.
A lot of people think or dream about starting a blog but never get around to it. It seems like the setting-up part would be too hard or technical or scary, right?
I’m about the most non-techy person on the planet, so believe me, I get it. But the truth is, you can set up your blog in about 10 minutes flat – and I’m going to show you exactly how. It’s honestly so simple.
In 10 minutes time, you could either still be making excuses, or you could have your own blog already up and running. It’s that easy. So girl, if you’ve been putting it off, it’s time to take the plunge. I’m here to hold your hand and walk you through it step by step.
You ready? Here goes.
Take 2 minutes and jot down a list of ideas for the name of your blog. This is the fun part! Try to think of a name that’s simple and memorable.
We’re going to use this to set up your domain name – that’s your address on the web, starting with “www” and ending with “.com.” It’s usually just the name of your blog without all the spaces. So, my blog name is A house full of sunshine, and my domain name is www.ahousefullofsunshine.com.
Dot com addresses are much easier to remember than alternatives like .net or .org. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend using anything other than a dot com. But there’s so many websites and blogs out there already, that you’ll find a lot of names are already taken. So don’t spend ages agonising over the perfect name only to discover you can’t use it anyway.
Let’s head on over to Bluehost to see if your domain name is available.
Bluehost is a hosting service. They’re like your landlord – you rent virtual space from them so your blog has a home on the web. Their prices are super competitive – it costs less than a cup of coffee a month, and they throw in your domain name for free.
On the Bluehost home page, click “Get started now.”
Next, select your package. The basic package is all you need to get started with.
Now it’s time to plug in the name you thought of earlier. It may take quite a few tries to find one that’s available, so don’t be discouraged – you may need to get creative!
Next you’ll see a bit more information about your package. The cheapest option is the 3-year plan, so I’d suggest choosing that one. In order to keep their monthly price this low, they do require you to pay for the whole plan up front. But there’s no lock-in contract, so if you stop blogging before then, you can just cancel your account and get a refund.
You’ll also see a bunch of other optional add-ons. The only one that’s a must-have for me is the Domain Privacy Protection. All this means is that when spammers look up the “whois” details of your domain, they’ll see Bluehost’s address and contact details instead of your own. (And you don’t want spammers getting your private deets.)
Now that you have your piece of virtual real estate, you need someone to build your house (or in this case, blog). WordPress is what you use to do that, so the next step is to get it installed.
Bluehost makes this step easy with their one-step install process. You’ll be taken to this screen, where you click on the WordPress icon:
Then simply click “Install.”
It will prompt you to select your domain name, which will be the one you picked before. Then click “check domain.”
Lastly, you need to set up a username and password for your blog. Click “Show advanced options.” I recommend using your email address as your username, and choosing a strong password. Make sure you write it down!
Once you’re done, check the terms and conditions (remember to tick the little box at the bottom) and click “Install Now.”
That’s it! See… I told you it was easy!
Now if you type in your domain name, it will take you to your brand new blog. (WOOHOO!)
Of course, there won’t be any content there yet. To access the behind-the-scenes admin part of WordPress where you actually write new posts, type in your web address and add /wp-admin at the end. (eg www.myblog.com/wp-admin). Then log in with the username and password you just picked.
I’m proud of you! You’re already streets ahead of everyone else who dreams about doing this very thing and never makes it happen.
If you take the plunge, make sure you let me know so I can check out your brand new blog! And feel free to ask if you have any questions or get stuck with anything.
Happy blogging, friends!
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