This post contains affiliate links and images. Read more of my disclosure policy here.
Ready to create a blog you can be proud of?
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the quick and easy tutorial below to guide you through the process.
If you’re new to the idea of blogging, I wanted to provide one more space online with comprehensive information on this subject to help others who are just starting out, just like the bloggers who helped me when I was new at this. Just think of it as me paying it forward!
If you’ve already done some research before finding this how-to, you can have your new blog created in half an hour or less. Some of the steps outlined below can take more time depending on how much effort you’re willing to put into your website. With blogging, one thing is guaranteed: you absolutely get what you put into it.
You can start your blog for just $2.95 per month through my affiliate link for Bluehost, the webhosting service I use for Tendril Wild. I would suggest going ahead and getting started, as this special promo price may not be available for long.
Also, as a “thank you” for using my tutorial to create your blog, send me an email after you’re all set up, and I will be glad to help you promote your new blog on my social media accounts!
With that in mind, you can take a quick look at what’s covered in this post:
1 | Register a domain name using Bluehost. (approx. 10 mins.)
2 | Install WordPress. (approx. 5 mins.)
3 | Install a WordPress theme. (approx. 10-15 mins.)
In my experience of researching and starting blogs in the past two years, the following tutorial explains one of the most popular ways to start a blog cheaply and easily.
Already have your blog up and running and ready to start sharing and promoting allll those blog posts you’ve slaved over? Read more about how I tripled my blog traffic in just 2 weeks!
How to Start a WordPress Blog in 3 Steps
Step 1 | Start off on the right foot by choosing a domain name and registering with a web host.
Now, you may have seen some bloggers using Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. And you may be a little confused. I know I was a lot confused.
What’s the difference between all the different website building/ blogging platforms?
There’s actually a HUGE difference.
Aside from Squarespace and WordPress.org, the other blogging platforms available out there in Internet land are mainly going to be used for hobby blogs. And if you think you may want to start out with a hobby blog and take it further in the future, most of those platforms won’t be able to stay the course long-term.
The (extremely) short answer is that most of the popular website-building platforms just aren’t up to the task. You get what you pay for. Most of the free sites like Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress.com, etc. are seen as less professional and reliable compared to sites like Squarespace or WordPress.org. If you’re interested in learning more, read about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org to get a better idea of your needs as a blogger.
In this post, I’ll be explaining how to create a blog on WordPress.org. It’s your best bet if you want to see your blog grow and become successful.
Side note: I’ve tried several website builders in the past, from building my own site or making them for my friends. I’ve used Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, WordPress.com, and WordPress.org. Hands down, WordPress.org is the best, with Squarespace coming in second. I really enjoy blogging on the WordPress platform, and that’s why I’m recommending it to you now. We’re friends, right? So, I want you to get the best experience out of blogging. WordPress.org is the way to go.
Now that we’ve got all that hoopla out of the way, it’s time to choose a web host. If you’re anything like I was hearing the term “web host” for the first time, you may be about to pee yourself. I get that. “Web host” sounds totally intimidating if you’re new to blogging…which I’m assuming you are, since you’re reading this post. 😉
Basically, a web host is a site that does exactly what it says—it hosts your website/blog. Every website needs a host. Just think of it like this: you live in your home, and your house “hosts” (or contains) all of your stuff. A website needs the same thing. Because WordPress.org is set up the way that it is, you can’t just plop content into your blog and then push it out onto the web. Your blog has to have someplace to call “home.” A place where it can kick back and relax. That’s what a web host is.
Disclosure: Because I use Bluehost.com to host Tendril Wild, some of the links below are affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I make a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you make a purchase.
I (as well as countless other bloggers) recommend Bluehost.com* as a web host (this link will open in a new window so you can reference the following WordPress.org tutorial as you work). Bluehost is currently the web host that I use for this blog. WordPress and Bluehost go together like pb&j. It’s a pretty serious relationship.
Click the green Get Started Now button.
You’ll already want to have a name chosen for your blog. Choosing a name is an intensely personal decision, so I’ll leave that up to you.
A few tips for choosing a domain name:
- Don’t choose anything overly cutesy.
- Don’t use a lot of weird, random numbers or letters or use a name that’s really long.
- Don’t misspell anything—especially on purpose!
- Do choose something fairly short and easy to understand.
- Do use a name that you have a connection with.
- Do use a .com domain if possible.
- Do check on domain registry sites to see if your name choice is available. (Psst! It’s also a good idea to check social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram to make sure your site name is available as a handle.)
Next, you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like the one below. Click one of the green Select buttons to choose your plan.
Note: Bluehost updates their website frequently throughout the year. As a result, the images and/or prices you see in this tutorial may be a little different from what you see on your screen. The process is still the same, don’t worry!
For new bloggers, I’d go with the Basic plan; you can always upgrade later if you need to.
On the next screen, you’ll choose whether to sign up with a new domain or sign up with an existing domain name. If you already have a domain name that you like, you can go ahead and choose the New Domain option.
Enter your account info on the next page.
Yay! You’re on your way to creating your own blog—woo-woo! Only a few more steps to go until you’re ready to start designing your blog and creating content.
On the next screen, you’ll see all of the package information along with several different options for package additions.
Under Package Information, select your Account Plan. As you can see on this screen, Bluehost bills one, two, or three years at a time. Choose whichever option is right for you.
All the extra stuff
To me, the only important extra that you need to check is the Domain Privacy Protection. This means that your private information (home address, phone number, etc.) won’t be visible to the public online.
Your total will be visible at the bottom of the screen. This amount you pay won’t be billed to you again for another 12, 24, or 36 months depending on the plan you chose.
Next, enter your billing information and click the green Submit button.
You will be asked if you want to add any other upgrades; you can skip those.
At this point, you’ll need to check the email that you signed up with to access your Control Panel (commonly referred to as the “cpanel”) information. You’ll want to keep this email for future reference.
Now go back to Bluehost.com and click Login at the top of the screen.
Enter your login information that you just received in your email from Bluehost.
Step 2 | Install WordPress.org like a boss.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a screen like the one below:
Click on Install WordPress under the Website section of tools.
You’ll be brought to the following page:
Click Get Started!
Next, choose your domain that you just purchased from the drop-down menu. Go ahead and leave the directory field blank; you won’t need to create a sub-folder since you’re just starting out. Click Check Domain. Check the box next to Show Advanced Options to enter your website’s name (this is different from your domain name that ends in .com).
Next, choose your admin username. Do not use “admin” as your username! Then choose a password. This username/password combo will be what you use to login to your WordPress site, so make sure you choose something you’ll remember.
Enter your same email address that you used above and agree to the terms and conditions. You’re ready to click the green Install Now button.
Congratulations! You’re now the owner of a shiny, new WordPress website! That wasn’t so hard, right?
Note: You can go explore your new site now and start learning the ins and outs of WordPress or you can keep following along with this tutorial and install a theme to go with your new website.
Step 3 | Install a WordPress.org theme and make everything look pretty…I mean, professional and legit. Duh.
I think we can all agree that first impressions mean a lot. A first impression has the chance of forever altering how you view another person. A first impression can determine whether you visit a restaurant or clothing store more than once. And a first impression is just as important online…if not more so. How many blogs have you visited once and never returned to again because the first impression, well…sucked?
I know I’ve seen a lot of websites like that, which is why I took such time and care choosing the “perfect” design and theme for Tendril Wild.
Now, it’s your turn, my friend!
After you install WordPress, your website will already be set up with a default theme. No offense to WordPress, but this default theme is pretty boring and generic. That’s NOT what you want for your brand spankin’ new baby website.
Time to fluff things up in hurrr!
When you first begin using WordPress, you basically have two options:
1. use a free theme
2. or use a paid-for theme.
Free themes are great for those just starting out because there are many options to choose from, and you can change your mind as many times as you like with no risk (read: wasted money).
As you become more comfortable with WordPress and learn more about the world of building websites and blogs, you may want to upgrade in the future to a paid-for theme that has many more options for customization.
If you’re interested in using a paid-for them for your blog, take a look at some of the themes from Restored 316 Designs, which is where I purchased my theme for Tendril Wild. Restored 316 Designs has tons of beautiful, feminine and easily customizable themes for bloggers.
Browse through all of their available themes here:
Pretty snazzy, hmm? See anything you like?
Once you find one you’ve fallen in love with (because that’s what happens…take it from a self-proclaimed WordPress theme junkie), purchase your theme and click Download.
Note: Each theme from Restored 316 Designs requires the Genesis Framework and a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
Next, go to your WordPress dashboard by typing in www.YOURSITENAME.com/admin in the address bar. (Since you just created your website, you may or may not need to sign in to WordPress.)
From your dashboard, hover over Appearance on the left-hand side of the page and click Themes.
Then click Upload at the top of the page.
On the next screen, click Upload Theme at the top of the page. From there, choose the file that you just downloaded to your computer then click Install Now.
Your theme will be installed on the next page. You can then choose to view a live preview of your new theme or activate it.
Woo-hoo!! Your WordPress blog is L I V E and ready fo’ some action.
Now you’re ready to start customizing your new website from the Customize option under Appearance and writing content. I recommend starting with a new blog post or your About page.
Want more blogging-related posts?
Bluehost.com is the only web-hosting service I’ve used with my WordPress site, and I would never recommend something to my readers that I haven’t personally used and loved. Their customer service has been great, and they have many helpful guides sprinkled throughout their site in case you get stuck.
Ready to start your own blog? Did you find this tutorial helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment below. If at any point while creating your new blog, you’re confused or get stuck on a particular step, please feel free to send me an email, and I’d love to help you out. 🙂