Blogging

How to Start a Blog

Quite a few people over the last two years have said to me “I would love to start a blog, […]

Quite a few people over the last two years have said to me “I would love to start a blog, but I have no idea where to begin.” For most bloggers, blogging was new at first.. way out of their comfort zone. And you know how they did it? They jumped right in! I am hoping that this page will give you the guidance and courage you need to begin that blog. DON’T PUT IT OFF ANY LONGER, TODAY IS THE DAY YOU START YOUR BLOG!

There are basically 3 steps:

1. Domain name and hosting
2. Installing WordPress
3. Designing and creating content.

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On the home page (above) , click on the green get started now button on the Bluehost website.

1. Bluehost is my host provider of choice. The next page (below) will ask you which plan you’d like to purchase and you should purchase the starter hosting. Even if they suggest the WordPress package (which they say optimizes WordPress), get the starter package, that’s all you need right now. Now, you have to come up with a domain name (if you purchased your domain name elsewhere, there will be an option to put an already purchased domain name). I knew that I was going to blog about things that I found on the internet that I thought were either beautiful, amazing, hard-to-find and that the site would be things worthy of . . . . drooling? I brainstormed and came up with 7 or 8 names and It’s Droolworthy was far and away the winner. But definitely brainstorming is the way to go. Get your family and friends involved. You will be surprised where your final domain name comes from.
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ItsDroolworthy3-Domain RegistartionBlueHost

In the box above, you enter the domain name you would like to purchase. It’s possible it’s already taken and if it is, Bluehost will give you some suggestions that are similar to what you are looking for. After you have typed in the domain name that you’ve decided on and it is available, you click next, which will bring you to the dialog boxes below:

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I like to purchase the Domain Privacy Protection which shields your personal address and phone number from the public. If you don’t purchase it, people can get that information from www.whois.icann.org . The other choices are optional and I usually don’t purchase them.

After putting in my account information, check the box “I confirm I have read the Terms of Service, etc. and hit next. That will bring you to a page of upgrades, select pass on these products for the time being by clicking here.
After you pass on upgrades, it brings you to Welcome to Bluehost!
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Bluehost gives you the prompt to create your password. Please make your password secure! After you have created your secure password and pin, it will bring you to your account settings page where you have to select the page to show after login, choose the second one – open to the cPanel main page and also select Disabled for Ads on 404 pages. The default is the home page, which is also an option (shown below) but I prefer the cPanel.
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The next prompt is to verify your account (although it says renew as the title of the page) either by email or phone. I like the phone option best. You just have to tell them your domain name, and the last 4 digits of your credit card.
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After verification, click on Bluehost logo on the top lefthand corner of page and it will take you to the Homepage and then re-direct you to the cPanel and you will select Install WordPress

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2. Once you have purchased your domain name and hosting, you’re already on to step #2 -Installing WordPress. You have to be logged into your account on Bluehost and go to hosting tab, then the cPanel and there you will find the Website Builders Section. Click on the WordPress icon.
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Click advanced options and I have read the terms and conditions, change the site title to the name of your blog, your admin user name should be the email that you used to buy the hosting and if necessary, change the password and take a screenshot of this page and keep it somewhere you will find it – maybe Evernote. In addition to saving it on your computer, print out the screenshot.

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ItsDroolworthy9-WP LoginBlueHost

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Then, click the “Check Domain” button. Do not type anything in the directory box.

Check the terms and conditions box and then click the “Install Now” button.

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After you get the message “Your install is complete!” (Yes, you should be very proud of yourself!) you should click on the “View Credentials” button and write down your Admin URL, username and password . Better yet, take a screenshot (shift, command, 4 on a Mac) and change the name of the pic to Blog_Important_Info and save it in 2 separate places. I have mine in Evernote and Dropbox.

Type your Admin URL into your web browser. (yourdomainname.com or .net or whatever url you got) and add /wp-admin to the end (mine is itsdroolworthy.com/wp-admin ). You’ll see a login screen like the one below. Enter your username and password you previously took the screenshot of and it will take you to the dashboard of your blog.

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I promise you it’s not difficult. It is complicated, but not difficult. If you get lost, call their helpline (888) 401-4678 and all you have to tell them is the domain name you purchased and probably the last 4 digits of your credit card to verify that you are the one who is in charge of the domain. Tell them you are trying to install WordPress and they can help you, practically instantly. You just have to call when there is no wait and I can’t tell you when that is.

After you do all this, you need to learn how to use WordPress which I promise you is very user friendly. If the thought of this overwhelms you, you can go to
Lynda.com and purchase their WordPress Tutorial. That’s what I did and it really gives you an explanation of the whole dashboard so that it becomes familiar and before you know it, YOU KNOW WORDPRESS!

3. Designing your blog
Now, you want to make your blog look good. There are many free themes out there. When you chose a free theme, all you get is the theme. No support. Nothing. I’ve had a lot of experience with WordPress and I can promise you, you need the support aspect when designing your blog. If you want to do a free theme in the beginning to get your feet wet, by all means, do that. But when you want it to look pretty and don’t want to waste hours and hours (really, days) the support of Elegant Themes and Theme Trust are the way to go. There are thousands of themes available out there, but from the research I’ve done and the websites and blogs I’ve created for myself and other people, some theme providers, their themes and their theme support are better than others. There are two that I have used: Elegant Themes and ThemeTrust. All are excellent when it comes to providing support.

#3A Last, but certainly not least, Creating Content – I don’t want to call it #4 because once you have purchased your domain name and hosting, downloaded WordPress and designed your blog, YOU HAVE OFFICIALLY STARTED YOUR BLOG! But creating content, your content will make your blog – YOURS. It should be the easy part, but it isn’t always. But if you started a blog, you probably know what you want to blog about. So get going! Create your content and publish your first post! I can’t wait to see it! If I have been influential in helping you start your blog, MAKE SURE YOU POST A LINK HERE! I really would love to see it. Good luck, YOU CAN DO IT!

p.s. The length of this post might be frightening, but each step is a second or two. I wanted to be thorough and include screenshots of every step of the way. Do not be intimidated! If I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!

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