How to Start a Blog (In 10 Minutes )
Are you ready to start your blog, but the only thing holding you back is knowing how to start it?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
This quick guide will take you, step by step, through starting a blog – from installing your new site to getting your blog configured. If you follow each step, you’ll be up and running in as little as 10 minutes!
Things You Need to Know
A few quick details to go over before you start clicking.
While it’s possible to blog on a completely free platform (like Blogger), the real costs are hidden. You have less control over your design, you often don’t own the rights to your own images, and if you ever decide to upgrade and move to a more professional platform with more powerful tools for growing your blog, you’ll have to pay big bucks to have someone do it properly. Let’s just say…you get what you pay for.
Start with a WordPress blog and you’ll save lots of time, frustration, and in the long run, yes, money.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s start a blog!
1. How to Start a Blog :: Choosing a Web Host
Your hosting company is the place that stores and delivers the files for your site, and it’s one of the most important decisions you can make for your blog. A good hosting company will load your blog’s pages quickly, have excellent customer service (hopefully with a “live chat” feature during office hours), and will keep regular backups of your site just in case.
I’ve done setup, troubleshooting, maintenance, or design for different WordPress sites, and I’ve had a full range of experiences with hosting companies – from true excellence to total disaster. I now personally use and recommend the company below because not only does my site run lightning fast, but they have reasonable rates and their servers are configured specifically for WordPress. Plus, if you ever need help or support, they’re fantastic.
To get started, click here to go to Mochahost and then click “Sign up.” Since you’re just starting out, their starter package will be a perfect fit for anyone.
Order their “WP Starter” plan if you’re a beginner. When the time comes and you need a higher level of service, you can just file a ticket and ask them to upgrade you – it’s that simple.
If you don’t already have a domain name (aka “URL” or “dot com name”), this is where you’ll buy that. One reason to love this company is that domain names are free with them when you’re using them for hosting.
A few tips for making a good choice when starting your blog:
- Use keywords that are related to the topic you’ll be writing about. For example, if you write about crafts, brainstorm a list of words people might search for when looking for craft projects and incorporate at least one of those words.
- Avoid hyphens and variations of domain names that are already taken. And leave the kitschy misspellings of words at the door. You want to maximize people’s ability to verbally tell others about your site, and tricky domain names can get in the way.
- If at all possible, use a dot com name. Even though you could use .net, .org, or a whole list of other possibilities, many internet users still assume that .com is all that’s out there, and you risk losing traffic to the person who actually ownsthe .com version of your name.
- Keep your domain name as short as possible – not just because it’s more memorable, but being easy to type goes a long way, too.
- Don’t infringe on anyone’s copyright. For example, WendysFacebookTips.com will get you shut down in a heartbeat.
- If you’re not totally sure about what domain you want to use (maybe you’re not settled on a topic?), the fallback is to use your own name. But if you go that route, make sure that you personally have a visible presence on your blog, and you give your readers every possible chance to get to know you.
So for Step 2, enter your domain name and click Proceed.
If you do already own a domain name (because you’ve purchased it through GoDaddy, eNom, or another registrar), then at the end of this tutorial you’ll visit your registrar to point the domain name.
3. How to Start a Blog :: Set Up Your Account
Now you’ll just enter your personal details (name, address, etc.) and select a password for your account. It’s a good idea to use a strong password here – and don’t forget to write it down!
This is where you’ll enter your billing details, as well.
4. How to Start a Blog :: Choose Add-On Hosting Services
If you pay for a year in advance, setup is completely free. If you decide to just wait and “see how this blog thing goes” for a few months, they do offer another option for paying monthly, but you’ll have to buy your domain name separately.
You can take a look and see whether the add-on packages are important to you. The only one I feel is a must is Domain Privacy. For $12/year, they’ll hide your personal contact information as the owner of your domain – which means less spam email for you (those spammers are vicious!), and a much higher level of privacy.
And privacy is good.
5. How to Start a Blog :: Submit Your Order…Success!
10. How to Start a Blog :: Log in to WordPress
Paste your new blog’s admin URL into a new window, then enter the username and password you created. This will unlock the back end of your site, and VOILA! You’re in like Flynn.
You didn’t think I’d just drop you off at the front door, did you? I have several more posts in this series to help you navigate your first steps in your new WordPress home.
But first –
Would you do me a favor? If you’re finding this series helpful, please share it.