So you want to learn how to start a blog (and make money!), but have absolutely no idea where to start?
We’ve got a step-by-step guide you can follow so you can be blogging away today.
How to Start a Blog in 5 Minutes
If you want to make money from your blog, you’ll need your own domain name. (This is also called the “URL,” or web address.)
This means you’ll need “hosting” for your blog. Hosting is simply your blog’s home on the Internet.
As far as hosting goes, Bluehost is widely regarded as one of the best hosts to use if you’re just starting out. It’s affordable and easy to use.
Plus, it only takes five steps to get your blog up and running – in five minutes.
Step 1: Register Your Domain
You first need to brainstorm what you want to call your blog.
I ran through a bunch of possible names before I settled on “Afford Anything.”
Once you’ve thought of a name, head to Bluehost. Signing up through our affiliate link gives you access to the most affordable prices for hosting.
This leads you to this page:
Click the green “Get Started Now” button to, well, get started!
When you get to this page, enter your URL into the “new domain” box, like this:
Click next. Hopefully, the domain you wanted wasn’t taken!
Step 2: Set up Your Hosting Account
On this page, you’ll fill out your account and personal information:
After this, you’ll get to the “package information” section.
What you need to know here is that you’re paying up front for hosting. So if you sign up for the 36 month option, you won’t have to pay for hosting for another three years.
Here’s how the total cost breaks down:
- 3 months = $0 trial
- 12 months = $71.40
- 24 months = $118.80
- 36 months = $142.20
The plans are fully refundable. If you sign up for 36 months (which is the cheapest deal), and quit blogging after 6 months, you can get a full refund of the unused portion.
Select whichever option you’re most comfortable with.
Feel free to ignore the extras listed at this point (unclick those boxes).You can add them later, and there’s no need to worry about them now.
Next up, you have to pay. (Hey, at least blogging has low overhead, right?) Enter your credit card information here:
Check off that you agree to the terms of service, and click “submit.” You’ll get a congratulations, plus offers for various upsells:
Once again, feel free to ignore the extra services offered here. You don’t need these to start your blog!
Scroll to the bottom and click “No thanks.”
All right, now you’re registered, but you need a password. Click “create your password.”
Go crazy with this (and make sure you remember it) to prevent people from hacking your account.
If you can’t come up with something, you can take the easy way out and click “generate password.”
Now you can log into Bluehost! Choose the “hosting” login and enter your credentials.
This will give you access to your cPanel (cWhat?), where you can download WordPress for your site.
(WordPress is the platform on which you’ll be blogging — kinda like you use Gmail or Hotmail for email. It’s the standard platform that almost every blogger uses.)
As a courtesy, Bluehost will take you on a tour of this cThing, but we’ve already got you covered, so you can choose the “I can do it” option (you already are!).
Once you click out of that, your dashboard will appear. This is the back-end of your website. Don’t get too intimidated just yet!
Click on over to “cpanel” where we’ll start the next steps.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Navigate to “Install WordPress” under the “Website” section here, and click on it:
The handy thing about WordPress is that it installs with one click of a button. It’s that simple.
Click “Install” to start the process.
You’ll land on a page asking you which domain you want to install WordPress to. If you’re just starting out with your blog, it will simply be the “https://yourdomain.com” URL. You don’t need to worry about the directory.
After it’s done checking your domain, you’ll have the option of clicking “show advanced options” – do this to reveal a few extra fields:
Fill in what you’d like to call your blog under “Site Name or Title” (you can change this later). Your admin username and password might already be filled in. If not, fill those fields in.
Make sure “automatically create a new database for this installation” and “I agree to the terms and conditions of the GPLv2” are checked off. (You’re not signing your life away, don’t worry.)
Step 4: Set up WordPress
Give yourself permission to feel a little giddy right now. WordPress is installing – you’re about to become a blogger! This is what you’ve always wanted, right? #lifegoals
Once that bar at the top of the screen turns orange, you are good to go.
Go ahead, pop some champagne. We’ll wait.
In the meantime, you should have received an email from both Bluehost and MOJO Marketplace.
The Bluehost email contains your account and FTP information, and the MOJO Marketplace email titled “Next steps for your WordPress Install” includes your WordPress credentials.
It’s a good idea to save both of these somewhere safe!
Go back to that orange bar and click on “view credentials.” You’ll be taken to your MOJO Marketplace notifications, where you’ll see this message:
Installation information is available for a limited time; that’s why it’s important to save your information.
In any case, click “view” so you can see your credentials:
Click on the Admin URL and enter the credentials from that page here:
This will let you access your WordPress dashboard. It probably looks a little barren right now, but don’t worry. We’re about to get you a beautiful “theme” (that’s blogging-speak for ‘design.’)
The good news is WordPress is super easy to get acclimated to. You’ll be blogging away in no time.
Step 5: Set up the Blog
This is the fun part, and also the part where people get carried away. You need to choose a theme for your blog.
A theme allows it to look nice and shiny. You may be okay with the default WordPress theme, but in order for your blog to stand out, you should personalize it a little.
WordPress offers a number of themes for free to get you started. Just navigate to the “Appearance” tab, hit “Themes,” and browse through.
Try not to get too overwhelmed by all the choices here. Avoid the “Premium” label if you don’t want to pay for themes.
Going to the “Popular” tab might be easiest, as these themes tend to be reliable, quick, and beautiful.
Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s extremely easy to install it. Hover over the theme you want to choose, and hit “install.”
The theme will then automatically install to your site, and you’ll receive this message:
All you have to do is hit “activate” and boom! Your site should look a bit shinier now.
With that, you’re all ready to give blogging a try! Good luck!
Step-by-Step Video Tutorial:
Were all those instructions a mouthful to take in?
No worries, we have a video walkthrough of how to set up a blog using Bluehost and WordPress, too!
Check it out (it’s only 5 minutes):
Thanks, and have an awesome time blogging!
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