I started my blog a year ago as an extra hobby. I had just moved from England to Florida following our long distance relationship. I had all this extra time and although Toney & I spent a lot of time going out places & being with each other I still had spare time throughout the week, so thought why not?!
With this extra time I had acquired I thought it would be a good time to give it a go. I always kept in mind if it goes somewhere, great, if it doesn’t then I haven’t lost out. I also didn’t start my blog with the plan or expectation make an income from it. Starting a blog does take hard work and dedication, however it isn’t complicated to get started. I know this as I have no tech experience myself!
I’ve had a lot of people contact me through my blog asking for advice about writing, starting a blog & asking how they can make their blog more successful. Therefore I’ve designed this page to hopefully help give you some guidance towards starting, building and motenizing your self-hosted site.
Starting a blog
Decide on your topic / niche
So I’ve explained above why I wanted to start my blog, but before I could get going I needed to pick my niche. At the time of starting my blog my life had completely changed and I wanted to share my story. Toney & I love travelling and have been lucky enough to visit the places we have in such a short time together. With also living a new life in a new home I had so many lifestyle topics & changes to write about. So if you’re going to start a blog you should figure out what you are going to write about; lifestyle? relationships? money? cooking? parenting? They’re tons of topics to choose from!
Another aspect to consider when choosing your topic is whether you will be writing about one topic in particular or several topics. Some bloggers believe you should only write about one topic and stick to that niche, I personally write about several topics that all resolve around my lifestyle. For instance, places Toney and I travel to, life events such as our wedding & pregnancy, any money-saving tips I come across & more. Not forgetting its your blog so you can always change your niche later if you want to!
Choose your host & install WordPress
Your next step is to decide on a host as your blog needs a sever to live on. If you have a WordPress.com site you won’t own your blog, therefore someone could take your site name and use that for their self-hosted site & theoretically own it even if you had that name first. Another thing to consider is if you’re planning to eventually or currently want to start motenizing your blog and earn a side income, most affiliate programs and other income services will require you to be self-hosted. Either way if you’re just starting a blog then you definitely don’t need to spend a lot on web hosting, which is why I recommend Bluehost. Bluehost also offer 24/7 support and a full 30 day money back guarantee.
So whether you already have a WordPress.com site or are starting out completely new, the easiest way to start your SELF-HOSTED site is to sign up with Bluehost. I will now walk through how to get started with Bluehost and begin your journey into fully owning your site!
First of all click on “get started now“
Select your plan
Your second step is to choose your plan. Which plan you choose is totally your choice. If you can spare a few extra dollars each month then I’d recommend the “prime” plan as you don’t want to run out of space however you can totally begin your blog on the cheapest plan without a worry. You can also upgrade you plan later on if you want to. Even with selecting the cheapest plan with Bluehost you get your domain name (URL) for the time that your register.
Once you’ve selected your blog you can now select your domain name. This will be the URL for your site. If you already know what you want your domain name to be, great! Although I’d suggest keeping a few ideas in mind just in case it’s already taken. If you don’t know what you want your domain name to be you can always choose this later. If you already have a site, such as with WordPress and you paid for a URL with them you can begin in the “I have a domain name” section”. If your starting out completely new or have a free wordpress.com site you can begin setting up your site with the “new domain” section.
Your next step is to enter your details such as personal information and select the plan you’d like. It automatically selects 3 years so if you click on the tab you can select 12 months. Although the 3 year price is lower you can begin with 1 year if you’d prefer – this is what I did too! One thing to be aware of is that Bluehost only offer annual plans to new sign-ups. You can deselect the boxes (as seen below) if you choose to and you can add them on later if you wish. You then get the choice after your first year to renew and pay monthly. Although this was a bit of a bummer for me when I first signed-up, I kept in mind that I wanted to eventually motenize my blog so would hopefully make the one-off fee back, which I have!
then move on to your payment information and select “submit”.
WOO! Your all set! You will then be taken to a congratulations page with further offers which you can take advantage of or skip.
You will then see a summary of your account and be prompted to create a password. You can then install WordPress and begin your self-hosted blogging journey!
Pick your theme
This is the fun part! You can now start designing your site!
I remember personally spending a while selecting my theme and adjusting everything to my liking. You can spending as much time as you like setting up but remember you can always change your theme later on, your site will also be in draft mode until you officially launch it. Once you’re done you will then see this page…
Awesome! Now you’re officially in the WordPress dashboard. Here it will ask you to select a “personal” or “business” WordPress site.
Now you can start adding everything you wish to your site! Although this isn’t the most important part, it’s good to make your site look as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Now your site is all done! I’m so happy for you & hope you get what you want from owning your self-hosted site.
There’s obviously much more to come from your site so I’ll add and link all useful blogging information below!
Along with my “How to start a blog” walk through above (which I hope those starting or looking to start a blog find useful!) I’ve created and continually creating new posts with content filled around Blogging 101. Advice, tips and resources all based around helping you to start, build and grow your blog.
While building my blog I’ve come across so many useful resources and information that has helped me enrich, motinize & grow my blog therefore I want to share this information to hopefully help you do the same! Just click the links below to read more information on the topic. Feel free to comment if I mentioned something in particular you would like to hear or know more about, I’m always happy to write up posts when you’ve told me that you want to hear more!
What All New Bloggers Should Remember