So, you want to start a blog!
With blogging, you can share your passion, interests, and expertise with others.
In addition, if you are a writer or freelancer, blogging will set you apart.
Blogging gives you a platform to be online in a way that Youtube or any social media platform never will. With your own blog, it’s ~yours~. With a blog or website, you’ll have your own online space, apart from social media (which is always changing – not always reliable).
With a blog, you can write all you want. Start a podcast. Encourage and empower others like you. Create an online store. Collect donations for a social cause. Teach. And more.
Blogging is one of the best decisions I’ve made and today, you’re going to learn in my following tutorial how to start your own self-hosted WordPress blog for $3.95 USD a month!
But first things first…
What is self-hosted WordPress?
WordPress.org is an open-source content management software (CMS) which is trusted by bloggers worldwide. 32% of the Internet uses WordPress.org to power their websites.
In order to use it, you must install it through your web host.
What is a web host and what’s a domain?
Hosting is like cloud storage, where your content lives. Like paying a fee to your landlord, your virtual content requires a host. A domain is your web address. In other words, a domain = http://www.yourwebsitename.com.
Why go the self-hosted route?
You’ll own your online space. Your blog won’t be hosted through Wix, Weebly, Squarespace… Self-hosted WordPress is exactly as it sounds. Self-hosted. You own it, you have full control over it, which means the options you have are unlimited in design and content.
Best web host for beginner bloggers? Bluehost.
As of 2019, Bluehost is reported to be one of the top web hosting companies for beginners because of the affordable cost and customer service. If you sign up for Bluehost hosting using my link, I will throw in some bonuses for you which will help you set up your blog!
With Bluehost, I highly recommend the 12 months or longer plan ($15 USD value) and you save more money by signing up for at least 12 months. You’ll also get a free domain.
Go the self-hosted WordPress route if your goal is to eventually make money blogging.
If your goal is to turn your blog or website into a platform for e-commerce (selling of products, services, or courses), a place to advertise, do affiliate marketing, and freelance… then paying for a self-hosted blog is a must. It looks more professional and taken more seriously.
Most advertisers and companies tend to run away from Blogger, Wix, or Weebly websites because they don’t view them as professional as self-hosted WordPress blogs. Squarespace is a good alternative (though not self-hosted) for non-techy people and creatives.
Why self-host a blog on Bluehost?
- Beginner-friendly + affordable.
- Bluehost offers technical support.
- Bluehost is affordable for hosting.
- You get a FREE blog domain*.
- WordPress.org is a 1-click install away.
- Bluehost offers a money-back guarantee.
- Self-hosted — important for monetization & professionalism!
Let’s jump into the tech tutorial!
How To Start A Self-Hosted Blog on WordPress Through Bluehost: Tutorial
Step 1: Head over the Bluehost website and to begin, click the button, “Get Started Now”.
The current price is $3.95 USD.
Step 2: Register your domain name.
How To Choose A Domain Name
To choose a domain name you love, make it memorable. You can use your name or combine words or phrases that represent your theme. Themed domain examples from real bloggers that I admire include wendyslookbook, fitnancials, and makingsenseofcents.
As you can tell from their domains, it’s easy to know what they blog about.
Since the ones I mentioned are some of my favourite bloggers, I highly recommend checking out their blogs. They are all such incredible people!
(Don’t believe me? Read their about pages!)
- Wendy blogs about style and social justice (her about page)
- Michelle shares finance & budgeting tips (her about page)
- Alexis shares about health & personal finance (her about page)
If you can’t think of a themed domain name, or you don’t want it to be specific in topic, use your name in case you rebrand or simply want to use your own name as the domain.
Whatever domain name you choose, make sure it’s something you’ll commit to.
Enter it in on the page below.
Step 3: Select your hosting plan.
If you purchase the 12-month plan ($3.95 x 12) of hosting, you get a domain for free!
For beginners, the basic plan should suffice. If you want more websites than just your one blog in the future, you can consider the plus or choice plus which has more data storage.
For pricing, you can either pay monthly or pay upfront. I recommend paying upfront because the overall cost is lower and you get the free domain. But do what’s best for you!
Step 4: Connect WordPress.org through Bluehost.
In your control panel (c-panel), find the “Install WordPress” button.
Leave the root directory blank and install – you should generate a URL which is yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ which will lead you to your brand new website!
Choose any free theme to begin with – you can upload another after.
Step 5: Welcome to your new website!
Go ahead, and familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard!
Finally, you want to figure out which theme you want to use.
As a blogger, your website’s impressions on people matter. Your aesthetic should be appealing, your user experience should be understandable. People should be able to land on your website and figure out: What do you blog about, who you are, and if they want to stick around.
Now, you can continue to blog with your original free theme, or pick a premium theme. A premium theme is another cost, however, I think it’s always worth the cost. I mean, you’re going to have all this great content… You need something that will make it look good, right?
Premium themes have a 1-time cost and are totally worth the investment because your visual online presence needs a good first impression on people landing on your website.
If you want some premium theme designer recommendations…
For Entrepreneur Themes: Restored316Designs
These designers make classy themes that are search-engine friendly, secure, and visually compelling for any entrepreneur selling services, products, or to showcase a portfolio. Fun fact: The designer named her business Restored316Designs, based on John 3:16.
For Lifestyle / Fashion Blog Themes: PipDig
These designers make themes ideal for bloggers and freelance writers. All the blog designs by these designs are content-focused, meaning people will land on your site and see your content first. The themes are also highly customizable and installation services are an option.
For Food Blog Themes: Feast Design Co
Specifically for food bloggers, Feast Design is known for their themes.
Want to learn more about kickstarting your blog with strategy? Join my FREE 5-day blogging course to learn more! It’s an email course, sign up below!