So you want to install WordPress, start your own blog and build a platform to share your ideas with the world? Good news! You are in the right place and will be up and running in about 10 minutes.
This guide features the exact step-by-step process that I follow when I build my own blogs. No prior experience or tech-knowledge is necessary. By the end of this post you will have your own blog online. Are you ready?
Step 1: Get your domain name
Internet is amazing. All domain names are created equal and having one puts you on the same playing field as any big company out there. Anyone anywhere in the world can access your site by simply typing few letters in their browsers. And the cost of starting is low. Plus WordPress content management platform allows you to build a blog for free. The biggest investment you will need to make is your time.
WordPress is an open-source and free content publishing platform that is constantly developed and powers more than 60 million sites. This is 25% of the entire web including blogs from companies such as Facebook, eBay, NASA, Mozilla, CNN and many more. It is the dominant blogging tool and every second two new WordPress blogs are born!
Alternatives like Tumblr and Blogger are available but only self-hosted WordPress allows you the complete control over the look and feel, features and other aspects of your blog. It is also very easy to work in, update and maintain. I love it and run all my projects on it.
WordPress needs a domain name and a web server space to work. A domain name is the address people will type to access your site and a server space is where your content and files are hosted online. I recommend Bluehost for the easiest setup process. It is simple to use, offers a free domain name, an affordable hosting account with unlimited space and WordPress officially recommends it.
Are you wondering what domain name to use? These are the characteristics of a good domain name:
- Brief, simple and easy to spell
- Unique, catchy, easy to pronounce and memorable
- Appropriate to your topic, but not so descriptive that it is generic
- YourName.com is always a good choice (as long as you are comfortable with it)
- Need more advice? See this post.
Got an idea for a great domain name? Click on the image below to get the process started:
Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you signup to Bluehost using my link at no additional cost to you. Plus you do get an exclusive discount as a visit from my blog. Please know that I only recommend products and services that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to purchase through my affiliate link, thank you for your support!
Step 2: Enter your account information
After you have chosen your perfect domain name, you need to enter your account information in order to register it. It is a pretty straight forward process as seen in the image below.
Step 3: Choose your hosting package information
Exclusive promo rate for HowToMakeMyBlog visitors ranges from $3.49 to $4.95 per month depending on the length of your commitment. Note that you will be required to pay the annual rate in advance so if you pick 36 months at $3.49/month, a very reasonable monthly amount for the service you will get, you will be billed $125.64.
It is not necessary to signup for any of the other services they offer (Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, Sitelock Security, Google Apps for Work) so feel free to skip them.
Step 4: Enter your billing information
This one is pretty straight forward as you see in the image below. Enter your credit card details, confirm that you have read the T&C’s and click on “Next”. Your credit card information will now be verified. You will be offered several upgrades but you do not need them so feel free to say no to all the offers and complete your purchase.
Step 5: Time to install WordPress
Congratulations! You now officially own your domain name, a hosting account and are one step closer to getting your site live to the world.
On this page you can create your Bluehost account password upon which you will get an introductory email which has your account information. Save it.
It’s time to setup your WordPress site. Enter Bluehost control panel by clicking on “Login” on the top right of the front page navigation and filling in your login details. In the “Home” tab of the “Hosting” area in the control panel, scroll down the page, locate and click on “Install WordPress” in the “Website” section as seen in the image below.
Step 6: Start a brand new WordPress install
This will take you to the Bluehost Mojo Marketplace, a system that helps you install WordPress on your domain name and hosting space without needing any prior experience or tech know-how. Click on the large “Install” button as seen below to start a brand new install.
Step 7: Fill in your site name and other details
Simply select the domain name on which you wish to install WordPress and click on “Check Domain”. There will be an error message but don’t worry as you do want to overwrite the files.
This leads you to the last step. Click “Show advanced options” and fill in your site details as seen in the image below: Site Name, Admin Username, and Admin Password. Username and password will be what you use to login to your WordPress admin dashboard in your day to day blogging. Make them strong and secure in order to protect your blog better. Click “Install Now” as seen below.
Step 8: Your new WordPress is live! Login to the admin
Your site will be ready within couple of moments. You will see a confirmation message on your screen. Anyone can then access your new site by going to yourdomain.com. You can go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ to login to your WordPress admin back-end with username and password that you chose in step 7.
WordPress admin is where all the magic happens. WordPress is simple and easy to use but there is a medium sized learning curve to get used to it. Take some time exploring the opportunities and possibilities with your new WordPress site. Here’s a list of things I do as soon as I install a new site in order to launch it in style.
Starting a site turns out is much easier than creating a post. More than 50 percent of all blogs never publish a single post. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you! Create your first post by going into “Posts” in your WordPress navigation and clicking on “Add New”. Write your first ever post, go through this checklist before making it live to make sure your post is valuable to your future audience, and click “Publish”. Congratulations on your first post!
After starting your site or after publishing the first post you realize that the work is only starting. Be realistic. Your first post will most probably suck. Only your mother might like it. Your analytics report might say you had two visitors only. No one would click on the Twitter share button or the Facebook like button. This may sound a bit harsh but even the biggest bloggers published posts that sucked early on in their careers.
What separates the best bloggers from the rest is that while failing they were learning the fundamentals of creating immersive content. Focus your time and efforts on learning the craft of blogging. Learning how to create great content is the most important lesson for you to become a successful blogger. The content and the way you present and promote that content, determines how well your project will do.
This is what counts. Getting experience, learning how to write better, improving the way you present your content, getting more comfortable about reaching out to people and promoting your content. These skills are key skills that you need in order to build a successful site. It takes a lot of time to master all these activities. It is natural that you will be starting from almost zero and building your way up, learning from all the bad content you put out there and all the experience that you gain.
By taking these steps you will already achieve more than most people do. Other people keep talking and dreaming and you are not one of them. You have started a site. You have published that first post despite being fearful of the feedback. You are actually in the field working. Only doing the actual work can help you, it will improve you, it will teach you what works and what doesn’t.
Slowly but surely your site will grow, your reputation in the industry will increase, you will be growing an audience and will start seeing the benefits of having a successful site. You will not stand still like you would have if you were only talking about it and thinking but not doing it.
Commit yourself to keep blogging
Now make a promise to show up again tomorrow. Commit yourself to posting on a regular schedule. Also start working on making your design pretty, adding extra features by activating one of the plugins and attracting your first visitors. Put in the effort and you will see the results.
Visitors won’t just come after you publish, you will have to go out and get them. Starting a site is not the end as many people see it, it is just the beginning of a process. You cannot expect just to launch your site, publish the first post and have visitors come to you in any numbers. It does not work like that. The real work actually starts after you have launched. That is when you need to put in the effort and time. Without doing that your project will surely fail. This should not discourage you from trying though.
Don’t just give up after couple of weeks if you feel like you have not reached your high expectations, but manage your expectations better. We have all heard too many success stories about people starting sites and making products and then selling them and earning tons of money. We have all heard about people that started posting content online and ended up with book contracts and lucrative speaking engagements. We see people traveling the world and having great lifestyles thanks to their online projects.
You have to understand that blogging is not going to get you rich quick. These stories are possible but they only happen to a small percentage of people. Keep this in mind in order to have a more realistic expectation of your project. This will keep you grounded and will help motivate you to put in the effort that is needed over a longer period of time before you start seeing any progress. Big things are possible and you should dream about reaching them but do not expect it to happen to you overnight.
- Keep creating great content, the best content you can think of
- Entertain people, inform people, educate people… make them love and share your content
- Keep posting regularly and consistently
- Keep connecting to people in your target group
- Keep promoting your content wherever you can
- Keep networking with other authors, entrepreneurs and influences
- Keep measuring, learning and improving your efforts
The real work of a content marketer is about performing consistently day after day and building an audience few people at a time. It takes time to become a successful blogger. It is a lot of work, takes up a lot of your day and is hard to get away from. It is a marathon, it is not a sprint. There is a long road ahead and your first post is just the start of your blogging journey. Enjoy the ride!