Don’t have time to read about how to start a blog? PIN IT for later! ** this page contains affiliate links **
Does This Sound Like YOU?
After weeks and months of going back and forth, you finally made the decision to start a blog. You are pumped! You’ve picked a topic that you love to blog about. And you think that you can squeeze in an hour to work on your blog each day while your oldest child is in kindergarten and your youngest child is napping. You’re excited. But then out of nowhere, it hits you. The feelings of intimidation, fear and overwhelm. “Oh, no! I have to setup a blog!!!” You’re screaming inside your head. You’re beginning to feel anxious because you’re worried that the instructions will be confusing and full of technical mumbo-jumbo. You think you’ll have to spend hours and hours trying to setup your blog with no success. And in the end, you fear that you’ll end up frustrated, thinking this whole “bloggy setup thing” was a complete and utter waste of time. Is this what you are thinking?
But, wait… What if I told you that it’s really easy to setup a blog and you could do it in 6 simple steps? Better yet, what if I told you that I could hold your hand through the process and it will only take about 20 minutes of your time? Feeling better about things? Let me give you step-by-step instructions on how to setup a blog. I will not use any technical jargon and promise to explain everything in simple words that everyone can understand. Because if you don’t know, lemme tell you a little about me. I am an online Information Systems professor. For the past 7 years, I’ve taught students online and have been trained to breakdown technical topics and make them simple to understand. So, with my experience and your passion, we can get this blog setup. And in all reality, you really don’t need me. When you go through the steps to setup your blog and see how simple it is, you’ll be calling all your girlfriends to tell them about it. Because you see, you’ve already done the hard work. The hardest thing was making the decision to start a blog. Everything else will fall into place. And with that, I will ask if you are ready to start your blog today? If so, cool! Let’s get started!
Web Hosting Service: What is it?
To set up a blog, you will need to get web hosting service. But just in case you’re not sure exactly what a web host is, let me explain it to you. A web host gives you space on the internet to “house” your blog. Let me give you an example. There are millions of town homes, houses, apartments, condos, etc. in every city. But each living space has its own unique location or address. The domain name is the address or location of that living space that identifies it from all the others. Your blog is stored in the living space online. But you need to find a web host to rent that living space online that houses your blog. The web host is the landlord who rents out a certain amount of space on the internet for your blog to live. To sum it all up, the web host makes space available to house your blog on the internet and leases or rents that space to you.
Your web host rents out the space to you. You cannot permanently own this space on the internet. Your job is to find a web host that offers rates you find affordable. Normally, you buy this service on an annual basis. The longer you pay up front for web space, the cheaper the rate will be. I recommend that you use Blue Host. The service is affordable and the customer service is amazing.
Web Host Setup Tutorial
Now, that you know what a web host is, let’s start the 6-step tutorial on how to set up Blue Host’s web hosting service. This tutorial covers the steps listed below. Also, if you are watching the video and following along, I have also put the time I talk about each step in parenthesis. So, if you want to jump to a specific step, you can!
- Select Your Plan (10:02)
- Setup Your Free Domain Name (11:10)
- Create Your Account (13:09)
- Pick Your Package (14:50)
- Make Your Investment (17:00)
- Install WordPress (18:00)
Why Blue Host?
But first, let me just tell some of the amazing benefits that you will get with Blue Host.
RELIABLE SERVICE (2:45)
Blue Host is one of the top web hosting providers and offers many benefits with its hosting service. You’ll get reliable hosting service meaning that your blog will never go down or crash. This is important because your blog is your business. And if your blog is down, you can’t get traffic or make money. You can rest assure that Blue Host is working hard behind the scenes to make sure that your blog is always up and running.
24/7 TECHNICAL SUPPORT (4:00)
If you have any issues with your blog, Blue Host has technicians available to help 24/7 and they don’t put you on hold forever when you call. This is so comforting to me because I usually work on my blog in the wee hours of the morning. Knowing that I can call Blue Host at any hour if I run into any problems with my blog is comforting.
FREE DOMAIN NAME (5:40)
You need a blog to make money online but Blue Host can also help you save money. Blue Host has agreed to give a free domain name ($15 value) to my clients if they sign up for web hosting service using my link. You must have a domain name for you blog and other companies that offer web hosting services will charge you for one. But not Blue Host. They offer a great deal with affordable prices and help you save money.
30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE 7:30)
Well, what more can I say here? You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by setting up your hosting service through Blue Host. Blue Host is affordable, reliable and super easy to use. If you still don’t love it after a month, no worries! You can get your money back with no hassle.
I could go on and on. But this is all about you and getting your blog set up. You ready? Okay, let’s do it!
To get started with Blue Host, visit marcellawilson.com/bluehost.
Step 1: Select Your Plan
Blue Host offers crazy cheap prices on its superior web hosting service. There are 3 affordably priced plans. Since you get a 30-Day money back guarantee, I suggest taking the plan that makes the least impact on your wallet. I recommend the $3.95 per month plan. So, you really have got nothing to lose since you can get your money back. Go ahead and sign up today.
Right now, you’re just checking out the plans Blue Host offers. In a few steps, you’ll actually sign up for your specific plan.
Step 2: Setup Your Free Domain Name
Every blog needs a unique domain name. Not sure what a domain name is? A domain name is a unique web address on the internet. For example, my domain name or web address is www.marcellawilson.com. It is unique because no two people can have the same domain name. When you type in marcellawilson.com on the Internet, it takes you to my blog. A domain name is like the address of your blog. Essentially, a domain name is the location of a web site.
Now, let’s be clear about one thing. You do not own your domain name. It does not belong to you. You can pay a fee to use your selected domain name for several months or up to several years. But in all actuality, a domain name is rented. Your domain name is yours for as long as your payments are current. If you let your domain name expire or don’t keep up the payments, your domain name can be resold to another party. The longer you pay up front to use the domain name, the bigger the discount usually is.
If you don’t have any ideas for your domain name, I recommend you pick something from the 4 most popular types of domain names for a business.
- What you do (Ex: makeyourbodywork.com)
- The name of your business (Ex: fracturedprune.com)
- Your first and last name (Ex: marcellawilson.com)
- The target audience of your business. (Ex: happyblackwoman.com)
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A DOMAIN NAME
You may already have a domain name that you bought through Go Daddy or another registration service. However, in order for you to sign up for this service, you must transfer your domain name to Blue Host. This is a common issue and Blue Host has created a tutorial video showing the steps you need to take to transfer your current domain name to Blue Host. Click HERE to learn how to transfer your domain to Blue Host.
Step 3: Create Your Account
Now it’s time to set up your Blue Host account. You have 2 options here. You can use your Google account to sign up for Blue Host. Or you can enter your personal information to setup your Blue Host account. Personally, I recommend setting up a Blue Host account and not use your Google login. The reason? Call me crazy, but if your Google login gets hacked or compromised in any way, those criminals have access to your Google and Blue Host accounts. Your Blue Host account houses your blog which is your business and you need to protect that at all costs. So, please, create a separate account for Blue Host.
Blue Host needs your full name, address, phone number and email address. Please don’t use any abbreviations or purposefully put in any incorrect information. Again, your blog is your business so make sure this information is accurate.
Step 4: Pick Your Package
This is where you tell Blue Host the plan you want. Again, I recommend the $3.95/ month plan. It is the most cost effective. However, I want you to notice that you will be billed for 3 years upfront. Don’t let this put you off. I know when bloggers are just starting out, they usually want to sign up for a year to see how things pan out. But trust me, if you are reading this, then you are in it for the long haul. And honestly, it may take your blog a year just to become profitable. When that year is up, you’ll have to reup and pay for more web hosting service. Your new rates for web hosting will undoubtedly be more expensive than $3.95 a month. The more years you buy upfront, the cheaper the cost for the service will be. So, sign up for the $3.95 plan .
If you are wondering what Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro and Sitelock Security are, check out my blog post “Blogging 101: What is a Blog, Bloggers and Blogging?” where I explain what they are in detail. Whether you chose to add one or more of these services to you plan is totally up to you.
Step 5: Make Your Investment
Yes, now is the time to make an investment in your business. It’s a small price to pay to bring your dreams and goals into fruition. Hopefully, you to see it that way. So, enter your credit card information to pay for your web hosting service. Be sure to read the fine print in the blue box. Basically, it says that when the 3 years they you paid for are up, automatically your credit card will be charged and your service renewed. You will get an email when it’s time for you to renew your service but just be aware of this.
Next, check that you have read Blue Host’s terms of service, cancellation and privacy policies. Then, click the blue submit button. And presto! Your Blue Host account is all set up.
Step 6: Install WordPress
When you get your web hosting service via Blue Host, you have to complete one more step in order to start blogging. You must install blogging software on your blog in order for it to work properly. I recommend using WordPress for your blogging software. It is the preferred blogging software of most bloggers. And installing WordPress on Blue Host is as simple as clicking a button because that’s all you have to do. Click the “Install WordPress” button on WordPress and you’re done.
Congrats on starting blog. Now, I’m not gonna leave you hanging. You still need to do a few more things before your blog is ready to be presented to the world.
- Learn about WordPress. If you have never used WordPress before or you need help with a specific WordPress issue, visit “WordPress Tutorials for Beginners“. It’s a site full of WordPress tutorials specifically for beginners. And it’s important to know where to run to if you need help or get stuck on a WordPress problem.
- Get a WordPress Theme. A theme is the design of your blog. Now, WordPress has some built-in themes that you can use and you can also get free WordPress themes on the Internet. However, I have tried both and firmly believe that you get what you pay for. I recommend Elegant Themes by Divi for your blog. I use it on this blog and it is a game changer. You can customize it to your blog and create any kind of configuration, layout or design that you want.
- Sign up for an email subscription service. Collecting email addresses is so important and having a large, engaged email list is the true sign of a profitable business. You need to start collecting email addresses on day one that your blog is up. As the popular saying goes, “The money is on the list!” I wish I had done this. There are lots of email subscription services out there. But I have used aweber since I started blogging and highly recommend it for you. Click HERE to learn more about aweber.
- Write your first blog post! Once you pick your WordPress theme and sign-up for an email subscription service, start blogging! I have created a tutorial that walks you through how to write your very first blog post using WordPress. It’s easier than you think and it will only take you about 20 minutes to learn. As I’ve said before, I believe that a blog post is the best way to create a customer and make a sale. So, check out my tutorial and let’s get started writing the first of many amazing blog posts.
- Promote affiliate products on your blog. I don’t want you even thinking about making money off your blog until you’ve got about 15-20 blog posts published. But since I get asked about it so much, here is a great way to make money blogging. Some bloggers make money selling affiliate products. If you don’t know what affiliate products are, that’s when you sell another company’s product to your audience and you get a cut of the sale. Lots of bloggers sell affiliate products or become affiliates for a company because it’s no work on their part. All they have to do is blog about other people’s products and cash their checks when someone buys it. Some bloggers make their entire living selling affiliate products. One popular financial blogger, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, makes over $50,000 each month in affiliate income. Yes, you read that correctly. Michelle has been blogging for years and her affiliate income has increased over time. So, making five figures a month in affiliate income may not be realistic for you to achieve right now. However, many bloggers start out earning $60 or $70 of affiliate income a month and then grow from there. If you want to learn exactly how Michelle earns $50,000 a month in affiliate income, check out her online course “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing“.
More Information About Blogging
Your blogging journey has just begun. Below, I have listed some blog posts I have written that will help you blog better.
- 5 Blog Posts Every Business Needs
- Anatomy of a Blog Post: 3 Steps to Writing a Killer Blog Post
- How to Create Your Blog Content – 4 Things You Should Know
- 4 Tips to Help You Blog Consistently
Congrats! You did it! You took time out of your busy day to make your dream of becoming a successful blogger a reality. You overcame doubt, fear and those not so pleasant thoughts in your head. You stepped out of your comfort zone and made it happen.You learned about web hosting and took the necessary steps – 6 to be exact – to setup your blog. I’ve shown you what you need to work on next – getting a theme for your blog, setting up an email subscription service and writing blog posts. You’ve got the tools to learn more about WordPress and if needed, where to go to get help. And the result? Now you’ve got tangible proof – a blog! You are off to a good start. I am so proud and excited for you. But before you start writing blog posts, do me a favor… Leave me a comment letting me know what your blog is and a link to it. I would love to check it out. Thanks and happy blogging.
Dr. Marcella Wilson