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I never thought blogging could be as easy as it is today. Yes, creating content and getting it set up just right is still the most difficult part (read: details galore). However, technology services have come a long way since the popular days of blogger and myspace. Chase walked me through the process on how easy it can be for you to start your own blog. So, today I want you to take a deep breath, prepare your wanna-be IT girl/guy face, and follow these quick steps to setting up your own blog on Bluehost.
There are plenty of things to think about when planning and setting up for your new blog. Chase keeps telling me that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most important aspects. But, before you even make it that far, you have to purchase a domain name. Then you have to purchase hosting, this is the place where your website files are stored. And, finally connect a database. If you tried to do this in 1995, you would have given up because it would have taken you all week. I told Chase to whittle it down to a 5 step process that could be done in less than an hour. He laughed at me and said… “Challenge accepted.”
Step 1. Why Bluehost and Why WordPress
There are many hosting options out there, but very few give you as many benefits and features as Bluehost. Not to mention that you get your own domain name included for free with your hosting, which is only $3.49/month! WordPress is also availble through an easy setup process (1 CLICK INSTALL!). Believe me, WordPress makes blogging as simple as logging into Facebook and posting an update. Here are some features that Bluehost offers that many others don’t:
- Ease of use! NO coding involved. This method is dummy proof and with my tutorial you’ll be posting your first blog piece in 2 hours.
- If you get lost along the way, Bluehost’s technical support is absolutely fantastic and available around the clock.
- Bluehost offers one of the least expensive hosting plans (that doesn’t suck) to get you started. Many hosts try to get you to purchase more RAM and harddrive space, but if you’re just starting out you don’t need it! Bluehost does offer more options but they don’t hassle you into it.
- Did you see that it only costs $3.49 per month to run your blog? Skip your Starbucks coffee once a month and you have your own virtual thought space.
- When you host through Bluehost you get a FREE domain name (that’s worth at minimum $12, and closer to $18-20 if you choose the wrong host).
- WordPress installs are several button clicks away, absolutely no coding and no experience needed.
- Bluehost offers a money back guarantee. If you end up hating blogging or have a life change, they will refund your money.
- Your blog will be self hosted. Meaning that if you make money on your site, it’s yours to keep!
- You’ll also be able to gain credibility as your site will have its own domain name.
First, you need to head over to Bluehost to do any of the tutorials below. Click this link, it will open up in a new tab so you can follow along here while you work your way through the prompts.
2. Register your domain name
I can’t tell you how long I thought about what my blog domain name might be. At first it was relatively quick, I was able to come up with about 6 or 7 ideas to throw at Chase. But, I soon realized that all the cool names are taken. So you’ll have to get creative with your choice. If you really are stuck on that name you’ve been thinking about for more than a year but it is taken (UGH) try doing something like this:
- supercoolname.com | TAKEN
- super-cool-name.com | NOT TAKEN!
- meganhodge.com | TAKEN
- megan-hodge.com | NOT TAKEN!
You get the idea! Now, when you’re ready, walk through the Bluehost process with me. You’ll simply select the BASIC package. Don’t be fooled by the upsells and the extra bells and whistles. We’re building this blog on the cheap. When you’ve put up a lot of content and you’re getting a lot of visitors, you can easily upgrade your website’s stats.
Remember to click the basic package, you don’t need “marketing offers”, spameexperts (what is that??) dedicated ips or siteback (you can do this for free with a plugin).
When you see this page, you’ll know it’s time to finalize your decision on your domain name. I’d recommend .com domains but you can choose any other if you must!
To get the cheapest price, you’re going to have to commit to this thing. Use this as your do or die moment. Take the plunge and get committed to your personal financial freedom through blogging. I believe in you, that you can blog for three years. If you start today, we can do this journey together and be blogging buddies.
Choose the basic 36 month option and uncheck all the extras. This should ring your cart up for around $125. That’s $3.49 per month to make your blogging dream a reality.
3. Install WordPress AKA you’re almost there!
If you’ve made it this far but haven’t made the jump, I challenge you to do it right now. Stop procrastinating and just do it! If you have made the jump, I hope you are as excited as I was when I got to this point. You’ve made the commitment to blog and now you’re only a couple of steps of way from writing your first post.
This was by far the most difficult step in the past (think databases, dns, ip configurations – what is all that anyway?), but, now, Bluehost has made is so easy. You’re going to press just one button, set your user name and password, then you’re done! Here’s the breakdown in steps, if your a list person like me:
- In the email that you get from Bluehost, there is going to be a link to your “cPanel”. Think of this like the settings app in your phone.
- Find that email/link and when you’re there click on “MOJO” Marketplace.
- Click the “One Click Install” button.
- Find the WordPress Icon on the next page under “Blogs”.
- Click the “Start” button. Guess what, your WordPress blog is installing right now!
- Choose the domain you want the WordPress installation to show up on by clicking the dropdown menu then clicking on your supercoolname.com domain name.
- Under the “Advanced Options,” you’re going to choose your username and password for your WordPress blog. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, which means that is also the most targeted by hackers. Make sure you use something like this for your user name “megan_hodge” (not “admin” or “wpadmin”). For your password, I’ve found that it is much easier (and secure) to use a sentence like this: “I love my husband Ian” – no that’s not my password or username! Nice try hackers!
- Finally, click install now and write down your username and password!
YOU DID IT! You have your very own blog where you can write and create to your hearts content. Chase says that back in the day, that whole process that you just in less than an hour, took multiple days because you had to configure several different things that weren’t all under one roof.
4. Navigating WordPress
If you are a “know absolutely nothing about WordPress” Jon Snow… then there is no need to stress. You, your grandma, and your 5 year old can make this work! Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use the next email you get from Bluehost to log into your WordPress blog. Save this email or bookmark this URL. It’s your URL to log into the back end of your blog.
- To create a new Post (after you log in) hover over to “Posts” in the left hand column and click “Add New.”
- “Media” is where you can place all of your photos or even your documents that you want to share on the web. Be careful, without further configuration anything you upload is available for the public to find.
- If you want to get started collecting emails or emailing your new subscribers you can check out our recommended email platform AWeber!
- To make your WordPress blog standout, you’re going to want to use a “Theme” which you can edit (without coding) and make adjustments while you work. Our favorite theme is called “X”. We love this theme because they have over 50+ demos that you can quickly install on your site to get a jump start on your creativity. Check out all of the demos they have that you can quickly and easily install on your site as a “base”.
5. More to come
Some of you have expressed an interest in figuring out how “email marketing” works so you can send out emails like ours! We’ve also heard some rumblings about making your WordPress site look just right. Chase has promised to write me more tutorials on these internet topics, so you can increase your revenue from your blog! If you need help with something specific, we can definitely offer our advice, or even do it for you! Feel free to reach out to us using our contact form.
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