This tutorial is going to show you how to easily start a blog this weekend! By the end of this guide, you will have your own self-hosted blog on WordPress.
It’s my belief that we all have value to share; no one has your unique view of the world based on your individual experiences.
If you feel called to start a blog, you definitely should take the plunge and go for it, you’ve probably got nothing to lose and you never know who your blog could help or where the experience could lead!
When deciding to start your own blog, probably the first big decision is going to be which platform or content management system to use. With a bit of googling you’ll soon realize there are extensive options.
How To Start A Blog This Weekend
Figuring out how to get started and launch your online can be overwhelming and frustrating, to say the least. But not with this tutorial; I’ll show you the process step-by-step, for how to start your blog.
My name is Chelsea Clarke, I’m a web designer and WordPress theme developer (check out my WordPress theme shop right here!).
And I run the entrepreneurship blog, podcast, and school known as HerPaperRoute.
I help women just like you, launch their blog and website from scratch as the foundation for their own entrepreneurial journey.
That’s why I want to teach you my shortcut to starting your own blog so you can focus on sharing your message with the world (and escape the 9-5)
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.
Create Your Own Blog
If you feel called to start a blog, you definitely should take the plunge and go for it!
I know it may seem scary, but you’ve got nothing to lose and you never know who your blog could help or where the experience could lead!
But starting a blog can seem really overwhelming… where should you start? In what order? What if you not that techy? And how do you launch?
I don’t want you to get so overwhelmed with the process that you don’t even start. That would be so disheartening. So, in this post, I’m going to try and demystify the ‘starting a blog’ process and make it as simple as possible, so you can dive in and go for it!
If you’re looking to create your own blog, choosing a WordPress blog with Bluehost, in my opinion, it’s the perfect affordable option (Yep it’s a win-win!)
WordPress actually powers about ¼ of all websites on the Internet
This is incredible and also demonstrates that you are in good hands!
I love, use, design for and recommend WordPress to my clients because it has extensive design options, it’s extremely powerful and adaptable to new features, you retain full ownership and it’s actually the most cost-effective.
Here are 5 reasons why WordPress is awesome that you may not know about and how it might be the right fit for your blog:
1. WordPress Is Awesome
It’s secure, constantly updated and improved, and gives you full control of your website.
2. You Own The Rights To Your Website
WordPress is an open-source (free!) Content Management System or CMS for short. When creating a web presence with WordPress you own your website – which is important because it means you are in the driving seat and what you say goes. Websites built upon other platforms and frameworks do not necessarily grant you ownership. It’s definitely worth verifying your rights of ownership before committing to a platform, framework, designer or developer.
3. Extensive Design & Functionality
WordPress websites offer ever increasing design, functionality and features due to its structure to utilize themes and plugins. “Can WordPress do this?” It’s one of the most common questions and I’ve honestly never said no.
WordPress websites are very cost-effective because they are 100% owned by their owner. This means the website maintenance costs are in your hands to choose a domain name and hosting service provider, usually costing less than $200 a year. Where as a ‘platform’ provider may charge a monthly fee (which you’ll be committing to indefinitely) to use their platform and host your website.
5. It’s A Win-Win
From a clients point of view – WordPress is very easy to use – No one wants to receive a new beautiful site if managing or tweaking it puts your stress into overdrive.
From a designer’s perspective – it’s vital your client’s web platform will be easy to manage (if they choose to do it themselves) be SEO-friendly, secure and adaptable to new features and technologies that the future may bring. WordPress delivers in all these areas.
Here are some of the reasons I love and recommend WordPress with Bluehost as a blogging platform:
- You can start a money-making blog for just a few dollars a month!
- It’s easy to use. Yes, ANYONE can create a WordPress blog easily with my tutorial below.
- Bluehost web hosting offers technical support
- You get a FREE blog domain
- You will appear much more professional to readers, sponsors and advertisers if you are self-hosted on
- Bluehost than being on Blogspot or wordpress.com
- You’ll have access to almost an unlimited number of premium WordPress themes to update your web design
- You’ll have access to all WordPress plugins to extend functionality to your blog
- You own all the rights to your site and maintain full control
If you are interested in ever making money off your blog, using affiliate marketing, accepting sponsorships or turning it into a business, then paying for your hosting, such as through Bluehost, is a MUST.
You can also add all the pro blogger features you want, including:
- Affiliate links and images
- Shopping widgets
- Run ads
- Showcase your Instagram feed
- Track analytics
- Integrate email marketing, sign up forms, funnels, etc.
- Ability to add a FREE online store
- Integrates with EVERYTHING so if your blog and brand expands in the future you’re sweet
- A professional self-hosted website presence for advertisers and sponsors
Plus, You’ll maintain full control and own all the rights to your site!
If you are looking to create a professional and stylish blog, especially one that is SEO-friendly and adaptable to new features, I recommend WordPress on BlueHost wholeheartedly.
Some other platforms and alternatives to WordPress are: Blogger, BlogSpot, Tumblr, WordPress.com, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly.
WordPress with Bluehost, is a flat $2.95 per month with my partner discount to self-host 1 site, or $5.95 to self-host unlimited sites, with no restrictions and no exclusions. 🙂
Compare that with Squarespace which offers seven pricing plans, ranging from $12 to $40 per month or wix which offers eight price plans, ranging from $8 to $35 per month for various inclusions and exclusions.
One main difference to note is that these ‘web providers’ are public companies listed on the stock market, vs WordPress which is an open-source FREE content management system developed by the community for the community.
As a web designer – it’s vital my client’s web platform will be SEO-friendly, secure, adaptable to new features and technologies that the future may bring, plus be able to manage their site themselves. WordPress delivers in all these areas.
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.
Step 1. Choose a name, and register your domain name & hosting
The first step in creating a blog or website is to register a domain name (your site’s address).
You can click here to purchase a domain name and create a blog, then continue to follow the easy steps below.
I recommend registering your domain name with your hosting together with 1 provider – It’s much easier in the long term!
Name Your Blog
You probably have a blog name in mind which is great! If not, or you have no idea where to start, why not a list of all the words that relate to your niche, adjectives, verbs, phrases you like, words that convey your brand’s mood and tone, words that explain what your brands about.
- What value does your brand provide to others?
- What three words do you want people to associate with your brand?
- Which brand or blog names do you love? Is there anything about them that strikes you as similar?
Then play around by mixing and matching the words together to create some unique combinations. Have fun with your domain name and remember to ultimately choose a unique name for your blog!
Have fun with your domain name and remember to ultimately choose a unique name for your blog!
“If you’ve already chosen your brand or blog’s name, awesome!
Or if you have no ideas, I can recommend a naming exercise I personally use:
Write a list of all the words that relate to your niche, adjectives, verbs, phrases you like, words that convey your brands mood and tone, words that explain what your brands about. Then play around by mixing and matching the words together to create some unique combinations!”
Yes, you can choose a different domain such as .net or . xyz or .pink but I still believe a .com (called a top-level domain) is the preferred choice.
You can get your domain directly through Bluehost which makes the whole process as easy as possible. And you can get a FREE domain if you select a 12-month hosting package.
By signing up for a minimum of 12 months, you’ll receive a FREE domain name, lower pricing saving you money, and you won’t have to deal with an expired website after each month.
For example, if your card expires, or your hosting isn’t renewed then your website will go down and you risk losing visitors when you pay on a month-to-month basis.
The more years you sign up for, the less you pay!
Buy hosting for your blog
The next step in creating a blog or website is to purchase web hosting (so your site can be viewed live)
To sign up for your domain name and website hosting with BlueHost, click here. And then select the package you’re interested in.
In the “Create a New Domain” box, type in your preferred domain name (the one you brainstormed earlier!)
Enter your personal and payment information. Next review your order and select any extras you’d like to ‘add-on’ if you wish Next, you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure it’s secure and you won’t forget it!
Next, you’ll see your accounts been created. See the next steps below to start your blog!
3.Connect your domain and your hosting
Note: You can skip this step (Step 3) if you brought your domain directly through Bluehost.
I recommend registering your domain name with your hosting together so they’re all with the 1 provider – it makes it a lot easier for you in the long term!
If you buy your domain through another provider such as GoDaddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. You can contact your domain registrar and ask them to do this for you on their end.
You will then need to add the domain you bought (such as through GoDaddy) as an addon domain to your Bluehost web hosting. You can do this easily by signing in to your Bluehost web hosting account, then click on “Domains” > “Assign” and add your domain.
4. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress from BlueHost is a simple process that takes just a couple of minutes to complete and it’s FREE
After you create your password, Bluehost guides you through exactly what you need to do in order to start a blog.
Fill out your preferences
Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. Just press ‘skip’ because we will do this later.
On your Bluehost dashboard, click on ‘My Sites’ and then ‘Log INto WordPress.’ Then you’ll be taken to your blog’s ‘back-end’ WordPress dashboard.
Woo Hoo! You’ve officially started your blog!
You can log in to your blog’s WordPress dashboard directly through Bluehost by clicking “Log in to WordPress.”
Or you can log in by navigating to your domain name followed by /wp-admin on the end. Example: http://yourblogdomain.com/wp-admin
Step 5. Planning Your Blog
Your niche and your unique focus is what makes your blog original and will help you attract and audience and stand out online.
No one has your unique view of the world based on your individual experiences, so draw inspiration from your own background, experiences, passions and obsessions.
Think about your love’s and hobbies
What are you excited about and passionate about?
What do you love doing?
What could you talk all day about?
What about your knowledge and talents
Where do your individual talents lie?
What knowledge, expertise and/or experience do you already have?
What do your friends compliment you on?
Now play around by mixing and matching these topics together to create some unique combinations and see what you come up with!
Bringing it all together
What do people need?
What are people already asking for?
Can you help them solve their problem?
WordPress websites offer ever-increasing design, functionality, and features due to its structure to utilize themes. A “theme” is like the skin or design for your site, that styles your content – essentially it’s the web design.
When choosing a theme I’d suggest deciding which features you’d love to have, then previewing the live demo site for each theme that interests you.
Our Web Design kits include everything you need you to start a site from scratch or rebrand with a new design! Including a stunning design + step by step tutorials.
How to choose a theme
You can now choose your theme. We have a selection of beautiful WordPress themes for you to choose from here.
As well, as some tips on what to consider when choosing a theme.
- Spam – Akismet Anti-Spam
- Security – Sucuri Security
- Email newsletter opt-in – Genesis enews extended
- Social share buttons – Grow by MediaVine
- Social channel icons – Simple Social Icons
- Affiliate link manager – Shortlinks by Pretty Links
- Contact forms – Ninja Forms
- Caching (to speed up your site) WP Rocket
- Image compressing ShortPixel
Logo & Branding
Branding; what is it and does it actually make a difference? Yes!
Branding is the collective style, vibe and value you create for how you want your blog to be perceived.
Branding Helps You Stand Out Online
It is worth the trouble of figuring out a style guide and branding your blog. Why? Because it’s the best way for our blog to get recognized.
In a world where hundreds, if not thousands, of new websites are created every day, it might seem impossible to stand out online.
But it’s not. Developing a thoughtful, beautiful blog brand is a giant step towards people visiting, remembering and returning to your blog.
Branding Gives You The Freedom To Create a Blog You Love
You get to create your blog’s brand any way you like and this is super exciting and liberating. Creating a brand that encompasses your style, your values, and your message is the way to ensure you have a blog you truly love ad will be passionate working on!
What Makes Up a Brand?
Branding is a powerful tool that can help you build a blog that you love, build community, attract readers and keep their trust. It doesn’t matter if your blog is just a hobby or if you are aiming to blog professionally, a beautiful, well thought out and consistent blog brand is every bit as important as the content you are creating – it’s the framework that holds your content, enhances it and establishes it.
Blog branding is really just how you express your blog’s message and it encompasses every element of your blog business, including:
* Color palette
* Web design
Images absolutely make up the look and feel of your website, regardless of the type of site or the theme you’ve chosen.
Take Your Own
Why not get creative and take your own images!
If you take a photo for yourself, then you most likely own the copyright and can do whatever you wish. ‘
Create Your Own
If you create your own graphic for yourself, then you most likely own the copyright. There may be exceptions, but the general rule is if you make it, you own it.
- Canva offers lots of free templates that you can use for free to start off your creation
- Creative Market has lots of stock design assets available to purchase
Find Stock Photography
You can also find beautiful and professional images free to use on your blog.
- Unsplash offers beautiful landscape, outdoor and portraits, royalty-free photography – free!
- Burst Offers a high-quality collection of royalty-free photography – free!
- Etsy and Creative Market offer premium styled stock photography from creatives and photographers around the world, just search “Stock Photography” in the marketplace.
- Haute Stock – my favorite secret source for premium images!
Think about which social media channels you’d like to have for your blog? (You can also just keep your personal accounts and link them to your blog)
You definitely do not have to be EVERYWHERE. Remember it’s quality over quantity, so choose one or a couple of channels you can really engage with and that you’re passionate about sharing content on.
Once you’ve decided which social media channels you’d like to pursue, go ahead and secure your blog’s username if you haven’t already.
Even if you don’t intend to start posting immediately, it’s a good idea to secure themes as soon as possible to get your preferred username for your blog.
Step 6: Start Blogging!
Adding a new blog post in WordPress is quite easy (Just navigate Posts > Add New Post).
Here are some of the features that make up the content editor and the hidden gems you may not know are available.
Update: Your post editor might look different. If so, you have the new Gutenberg editor, but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to! For my blogs, I wont be using the Gutenberg editor anytime soon. I think the original content editor is a lot faster and better suited to publishing a blog post! To turn it off, simply install the free plugin “Classic Editor” – you can find all the details are in this tutorial.
Introducing The Content Editor
The first text area on the content editor is for the post title and just underneath it, you can edit the URL of your post.
Remember to use keyword-rich titles and URL’s that describe what your post is about and the benefits readers will receive from reading it.
Below the post title is the Content Editor and this is where you’ll write your post.
If you write your blog posts elsewhere offline, be sure to press the “Paste As Text” button in visual editor before pasting your text. This will remove any formatting style of the text so it displays in your theme’s style.
It’s more user friendly to use the content editors Visual Editor rather than the Text Editor. The Visual Editor has been compared to an online version of Microsoft Word with its similar layout and formatting options.
On the other hand, the text editor is a plain text editor where you can actually see the HTML or write your own.
In the footer area of the content editor, WordPress will show you the word count for your post.
As you write, WordPress will automatically save a draft of your post. The post editor shows your current draft and autosave status in the footer next to word count.
How To Add Images + Media
Above the Content Area, there is an “Add Media” button. By clicking on it, this will launch the media uploader in a pop-up window where you can upload new images or select images previously uploaded stored in Media.
Simply click ‘insert into post’ to insert an image. Repeat the process for multiple images. WordPress comes with some basic image editing tools such as resizing and aligning.
Hover your mouse over the image to display the aligning and editing options. To edit the image, click the pencil icon which will bring up the WordPress image options. Here you can select sizing, alignment and link options.
And when your image is ready, just click update.
How To Add Videos
Instead of uploading videos straight to your WordPress media library, it’s a much better idea to upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo, then simply paste your video URL in the post editor.
And that’s it! WordPress will now display your video.
Adding Categories & Tags
You can sort your posts into categories and tags. The categories and tags meta boxes usually appear in the right-hand column, below the publish box.
Categories and tags help you organize your content for your readers.
Adding A Featured Image (Post Thumbnail)
Simply click on the “Set Featured Image” button and it will bring up the media uploader pop-up. You can select an image from your previous uploads or upload a new image from your computer.
If your post is displaying without an image thumbnail, this will be the reason why!
Your publishing options for your posts can be managed at the top right box in the WordPress post edit screen.
1. Save Draft button stores a draft of the post or page that you are working on. WordPress also auto-saves your posts as you write them.
2. Preview button shows a live preview of your post. You can use it to see how your post will look after publishing.
3. Status allows you to set a status for your post. WordPress automatically handles post status for drafts and published posts. Unless you are using a plugin to add custom statuses, you don’t need to worry about this option.
5. The next option allows you to password protect a post in WordPress.
7. Click on the edit link next to Publish, and WordPress will display the time and date options. You can use this option to schedule posts or create backdated post in WordPress.
8. Move to trash allows you to delete a WordPress post. Deleted posts live under trash, and you can restore them if you need to for up to 30 days.
9. Finally, the publish button makes your WordPress post public. Remember if you scheduled a post, then it will appear on your site on the scheduled date and time.
As I’m a theme developer I want to help my clients make setting up their blog as EASY as possible, so I’ve created a FREE course called Build a Blog In A Weekend.
It’s designed for beginners starting from scratch with video tutorials of the WordPress dashboard 🙂 You’ll learn how to choose a blog design, install the theme on your site and set up your blog ready for launch!
Here are more blogging-related posts you might like to dive into:
- WordPress Vs Squarespace: What are the differences and which one should I choose?
- WordPress.com Vs .org: What really is the difference?
- List of apps, tools & freebies I recommend for bloggers and boss babes
- Share Your message, publish your passion & make money blogging
- How to overcome blogging advice overwhelm by listening to your intuition
How To Start A Blog This Weekend – Conclusion
And then you go, there’s my resource of everything you need to start a blog! I so hope it helps you, even if it just makes the process a little less overwhelming and a bit more fun 🙂
Feel free to tell me about your blog in the comments if this resource helped you launch!
Why do you want to start your own blog? To share your passion, help others, for freedom.
Enjoy this article and find it helpful? Pin it to Pinterest so you’ll always have this info on hand!