How to start a blog – Beginners Guide
Start a blog step by step – be it food blog or cake blog I show you everything you need to know about blogging, content writing, hosting, backup and maintaining. As well as secrets on how to monetize your blog.
Blogging is becoming very popular these day and almost everybody I know has or wants to own a blog. And you should!! It’s so much fun!
For me blogging is writing a journal. Sharing a little more about my passion. Adding a little of your own personal life and personality into it. My cake blog has my cake personality of course and my food blog has my mom; domestic feel to it.
I share more of what’s happening at home on my food blog and I share more about my business on my cake blog.
I started my blogs back in 2010 and have been enjoying so much so; I have helped a few friends start their blogs. It’s really easy and so I want to help you start your blog today.
Can I start a blog myself?
Of course you can!!! Trust me if I can – you can!!
There a professionals who can help design your blog. The prices for these can go from a few hundred dollars to over a few thousand dollars! It all depends on how much you are ready to spend? How much you want to personalize your blog? I know a friend who spent a little over five thousand dollars because she really was so obsessed with her blog.
Technically it can take you about 10 to 15 minutes to start a blog. I have given you step by step instructions below. If you have any questions; feel free to ask me at any time. I’d be happy to help.
Blogging platform – Hosting & Set-Up. (Free or Paid).
Do you know that you can start a blog for free?
Yes; you can. you won’t really own your blog. You blog url will be something like www.yourblogname.wordpress.com or perhaps www.yourblogname.blogspot.com when It should be www. yourblog. com
Like the saying goes – “you get what you pay for”.
Personally why start a free blog when you can get hosting for as low as $3.95 dollars a month. really!!
Start a blog – Step by Step – with Bluehost
There are many hosting companies to start a blog; I myself have used a few.
My blogs currently are hosted by WP Oven. They are like life savers for me. I came to WP Oven when I really needed help getting some technical work done and they helped me no questions asked. But the price point there is around $40 a month; which for a beginner might be a bit more than you can afford. For me it is worth every penny.
I also heard about Hostgator that has great recommendations from friends but I have not used them so cannot give you a tutorial for them.
I personally recommend Bluehost. This is by far the best and most affordable hosting you can get. It’s great value for your money. Most of all it’s incredibly easy to start a blog with their one click – automatic WordPress Blog Installation. Not to mention they provide outstanding customer service.
Shall we ? Start a blog – for you ?
Trust me it’s really easy and my step by step method with progress pictures will help you start your blog efficiently and effortlessly. By the end you will wonder why you hesitated at all.
- First go to Bluehost; click ‘Get Started Now” green button. Pick the very first option $3.95 a month
- Which should take you to the next page – which is select the domain. So easy!!
Pick your domain name and fill the rest of the packaging information.
If you check the ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ it will keep your personal address / phone number private.
The payment you make here is for hosting your blog/ site on Bluehost servers.
Your blog needs to be somewhere on the internet right? So you rent that space on Bluehost servers. Just like you pay rent to live in someone else’s house. Makes sense?
After you make payment, confirm your email and Log In.
Log-in to you Bluehost account, it will open the C-Panel.
Can you see WordPress – in the second column? Click WordPress- that’s the automatic one-click WordPress installation.
- You will see this screen. Since this is a brand new site we will click on the green” start a brand new install” WordPress site.
- You will see these two screen shots. Just follow the process
- Choose the same domain you just paid for, add a Username /Password and add your admin email address. (this will be your WordPress site username and password)
Click Install now.
- Next it will install and take you to this screen.
- You will receive an email telling you of your new WordPress install.
Log-in to your WordPress site
All WordPress sites usually are www.yoursitename/wp-admin. Do you see the Admin URL with wp-admin at the end? Click that and it should open a new tab for you. Bookmark that page for future use.
Use the username and password you just created to install the WordPress Site.
This is your WordPress dashboard.
From now on you will be working out of this dashboard. This is where you will work on your blog/site on a regular basis. Installing your theme, plugins, back-ups, write your post etc.. All happens right here.
Congratulations!! on your new blog!!
Design your new blog – this is the fun stuff.
Remember we spoke about adding a little of your personality to your blog? Well that goes right here. Your blog’s design and content tells a lot about you.
Just as when you go to someone’s home? It kinda tells you about the person. Doesn’t it? Similarly, you want your blog to reflect you.
In WordPress we use themes to design our blogs. Themes come with everything designed for you. You just customize it to your own preferences. There are FREE and Paid themes and we all know what I mean when I say “ you get what you pay for”.
Most premium theme can cost between $45 to $60 and can go over $200. I’d say there a many good themes in under $50 so spend wisely.
Disadvantages to free themes
- Your blog looks like all blogs instead of unique or one of a kind.
- The functionality is pretty basic so you need more plugins. More plugins can slow your site.
- There is no customer support with free themes.
- Free theme are very rarely updated.
- Less security with free theme leaves an open door for malware and spam.
Some of the premium theme I recommend to you would be those from Theme Forest.
Some useful Plugins for your Food Blog
Once you start your blog – some of the first few plugin you want to install would be
- Akismet – it’s a Free plugin to trap spam comments on your blog. Here is a simple video on how to set it up – Akismet Plugin set up.
- SEO by Yoast – Best free plugin for your blog SEO.
This a great video showing you how to set it up – How to install and set-up WordPress plugin SEO by Yoast
- WordPress backup to dropbox is a free plugin to back-up your site in dropbox.
Here is a video on how to set it up – Backup your WordPress site in dropbox
- Comment Luv or Disqus are two different comment plugins – both are good therefore you can go with your preference. I use Comment Luv
- Finally, If your site has recipes use a recipe plugin. I use Easy Recipe PRO. The free version is also good as a start.
Other important blogging tools to use
- Google Analytics – A very useful analytics which gives you insight about your visitors. Demographic, location, age, device etc. Setting up takes a little effort but once done it is very valuable. I strongly suggest you set it up. Here is video that can help you set your Google Analytics
- Add this Smart Layers found in the plugin section; helps share your social network connections so your visitors can share your posts to different social networks.
- Contact Form – Found in the plugin section as well. Contact form is a better way to let visitors contact rather than making your email address public.
Well, that as a long post with lots of progress pictures. I hope you found them useful. If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to help.
Have fun blogging. If you do start a blog using this post please do let me know if it was helpful. I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions.