Please note: Before you start your own blog you need a topic to write about. I’ve created this worksheet to help you do just that. If you need help choosing a topic please head over to my free Facebook group and post your questions.
Today marks the first step of your new exciting adventure. Today, you are going to create a WordPress Blog. Here’s a list of a few things that you’ll need.
- Domain – the name of your blog – ex. dollarefforts.com
- Host – where your blog lives
- Content Management System – The software that powers your blog
The good news is that the hosting company I use, Bluehost, gives you a free domain and only costs $3.95 a month. That’s about $47.00 dollars for a whole year’s worth of hosting!
Why use Bluehost?
- I’ve been using it for years. Rarely have I had an issue. I absolutely love them.
- It’s cheap and easy to set up. Don’t worry I’m going to walk you through everything below.
- You get a free domain! You have to have a domain. For instance, dollarefforts.com came free with my subscription to Bluehost.
Do I have to pay for hosting?
Yes, if you are serious about making money with your blog or building an online business then I highly recommend paying for hosting. Stay away from websites like Blogger or “free” hosts. Having your own host means you own all the content. This is very important.
Once you have your hosting account you’ll need a content management system to power your blog. This is where WordPress comes in, and the good news is that it’s completely free.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, head on over to Bluehost and sign up. Don’t get overwhelmed, I’m going to walk you through everything.
On the next page, Select Your Plan, make sure you choose the basic plan. Don’t worry about the more expensive options. Ignore them, basic is all you need for now.
Now it’s time to select your new domain. If, for some reason, you already have a domain then fill out the box on the right. If you have no idea what your name is then you should read my post about how to name your blog.
The next page is where you input all your information and choose some extra hosting options. If you want the cheapest per month price, you’ll need to pay for three years of hosting. The only extra option that you might want to pay for is the Domain Privacy Protection. Personally, I don’t think you need the other options.
Woohoo, hosting should all be set up now. You’ll definitely want to make a note of your Bluehost login credentials. Now we can finally set up your blog.
First, you need to install WordPress. Log in to your Bluehost account and navigate to the CPanel page. This is your hosting control panel. Don’t let all these icons and buttons scare you. In the middle pane of the page you’ll see different groups of icons. Near the top should be the Website box. Click on icon labeled One-Click Install. On the next screen you’ll want to click the WordPress button. Now, you are on your way to launching your very own blog.
Don’t stress over which theme you want, you’ll be able to change it later. Just choose the one you like the most. Make sure you write down your login credentials!
Now you should be able to log in to the backend of WordPress.
You can access your WordPress login at http://yoursite.com/wp-admin
There’s a few items in WordPress I want to point out.
- Posts – These are your blog articles. They are called posts and are listed chronologically on your website. This entry you are reading now is a post.
- Pages – Pages are one-off documents that are not listed in chronological order like blog posts. An example is my About Me page.
- Appearance- This is the section where you choose which theme you want for your blog. Your theme is basically how things will look on your website. I use a premium one called Voice. I highly recommend it. I’ve found that it’s usually worth it to buy a theme. Voice has great documentation that shows you how to change the way your site looks. You shouldn’t need to know how to code or program.
You should now have your domain, hosting, and WordPress website installed. Take a deep breath, your journey has officially begun. Here’s a couple bonus things I want you to do before you take a break.
Activate your free SSL certification for your WordPress website.
In short, a SSL certification tells Internet browsers, Google, and others that your website is secure. It’s a little more technical than that, but for now just activate it. It’s 100% free, after all. Here’s a great article that goes into a little more detail why you need SSL.
First, log back into your Bluehost cpanel account. Click on the WordPress Tools button at the top of the page.
To activate SSL, click the security tab on the left. Then click the button that reads “Free SSL Certificate” switching it from off to on. It might take a few hours for the change to take effect, so check back later.
While you’re on this page, you should also click the performance tab in the left menu. I suggest you upgrade your PHP to 7.0. You can see the setting under the PHP Versions box. The only reason I wouldn’t recommend this is if your website is older. Yours is brand new, so it should be fine. You’ll also see the CDN Settings box. I would recommend turning this on once you are completely done with setting your blog up and launching it. Don’t worry about it for now.
You’re done. Now it’s time for a well-deserved break. If you’ve run into any issues then I would suggest you join my free Facebook group and post your questions there. Alternatively, you can always email me. I’m happy to help you.