A year ago, I didn’t know anything about blogging. I was searching the Internet for posts just like this, the one you’re reading, to show me an effortless and painless way to setup a blog. I had tons of creativity and motivation, but there was a LOT of learning. I’ve created this guide to be easy, comprehensive, simple, and I’ve also add pricing for everything so you don’t get blind sided! The good news is that you can start a blog for a lot less than you might think! Keep reading to learn the real cost of starting a blog, and how to do it!
Starting a self-hosting website using WordPress.org is usually the easiest way to go. It’ll give you tons of freedom and complete control over your blog. There’s a small cost, but it’ll be totally worth it in the long run to have complete control over your blog. I’ll go through all the costs, but the first thing you’ll need to do is set up your self-hosted blog on WordPress.org by selecting a domain name and hosting package.
STEP ONE: DOMAIN
Do. Some. Research. Choosing a name for your blog is hard and tedious, and sometimes even annoying, but you want to make sure you pick something that really resonates – this will be your home base! If you need help trying to figure something out, take a peek over at Bust a Name. Think of a few key words you want in your domain name and play around with it! Bust a Name is also a fun past time if you get bored, or are trying to brainstorm.
STEP TWO: HOSTING
Once you have the perfect name you need to register it IMMEDIATELY so no one else can use it! You can technically register a domain when you purchase a hosting package, but I found that to be really difficult. What works for Purple Unicorn Designs is a separate domain from host. For my domain, I used GoDaddy. I’ve never had any issues with them, and the cost is about $10 for a domain name! If you’re just starting out, you can definitely keep things super simple by taking advantage of a FREE domain name with Bluehost when you sign up for hosting.
I absolutely, positively cannot stress how important it is to have an incredible hosting company. You want to pick a trustworthy host because when they crash, so does your site. Your host is ultimately where your blog lives on the Internet, so it affects your website’s speed, accessibility, and performance. Support is also important when you’re thinking about chosing a host. If you have any issues, it’s important to be able to call and have it fixed immediately. Blog downtime is bad, and you don’t want to be in a situation where your money making blog is totally down for a few days.
I personally, really love Bluehost. It’s great for beginners AND intermediate/expert bloggers. I’ve actually started designing some website development packages, and I use Bluehost for all my clients’ hosting too. Since I use Bluehost so much, they’ve given me a super special referral code for my readers. When you use my link to sign up for Bluehost, you get the LOWEST prices possible that you won’t have access to otherwise! **Blue host does ask that you pay for a minimum of a full year so this can run $70 for the basic package. Personally, I think it’s absolutely worth the cost and it was the ONLY thing I spent money on in the very beginning!
I’m going to walk you through getting started with Bluehost. There’s a lot of steps, but don’t stress out, I just wanted to make it super duper simple for you!
1 – Head on over to BLUEHOST using this link. Like I said, you’ll get the LOWEST prices possible! I get a few additional perks since I’m an affiliate for Bluehost, but ultimately YOU’RE getting the real savings! (Thanks for your support! I’ll NEVER recommend products/services that I don’t absolutely love and use myself!) Once you’re on the site, click the big, green “Get Started Now” button!
2 – I personally picked the basic option, but it’s totally up to you! Then enter in your domain name, either an existing one or register a new domain with Bluehost
3 – Input all your account and contact info
4- Go on down to the “package information” section. You’ll get the least expensive monthly rate by selecting 36 months. Like I mentioned, Bluehost charges you in full for the time frame you get your hosting. You’re prepaying for hosting, but it’s one of the reasons Bluehost is able to offer such awesome hosting and support with a small price tag. Plus, they have a money-back guarantee if you’re worried about losing money.
5 – There are other services on the sign up screen, but you don’t have to worry about them yet. You can add them later, or now, it’s up to you, but it definitely isn’t necessary. I do recommend backing up your entire website somewhere other than your host JUST IN CASE something terrible happened. That way you can’t lose everything.
6 – Enter your billing information, agree to the service agreements, and click next
7 – Again, there are some extra options you can purchase on this screen, but you don’t have to. You can always add them later. Click Complete.
8 – Whoop whoop! You have a Bluehost account! Now make a password. A really STRONG password! You should be able to log in for the first time now, just make sure you log into HOSTING and not WEBMAIL.
9 – The first time you log in, you’ll have a little welcome message. You can close that since I’m guiding you through everything! From your account dashboard, you’ll need to install WordPress. Click the Install WordPress button at the bottom of your screen!
10 – Go to advanced options. From here you can name your site (and change it later), create a WordPress install username and password. Make sure you’ve clicked all the necessary boxes, including “automatically create a new database for this installation.” Hit Install Now! Hang tight, we’re going live!
11. – Check your email. You should have something from Mojo Marketplace or Jetpack. This email is important, so save it! It has your website URL, wordpress admin login URL, plus your username and password to access your site.
12. – From this email, click the Admin URL. It’ll take you to a site kind of like this one. Enter your username and password. You’ll have to grab your wordpress password from the Bluehost tab and going to the bottom “view.” The alert goes away after 12 hours, so just make sure you input your password before then.
13. This screen shows everything you need to start using WordPress! Log into WordPress and you’ll have access to your dashboard! It’ll take some time, but I promise you’re going to learn to love this dashboard! I use WordPress websites for all by business endeavors and for ALL my clients. You’ll have the hang of everything before you know it!
Stay tuned for info on finding beautiful themes and getting them installed to your site!
Was this just way too information? Not ready to do this all by yourself, but you REALLY want a blog? I offer website design packages where I’ll do all this for you, get your website live, add monetization with affiliates, and SEO marketing. You can click here to see my packages, check for the Bare Bones + Monetization + SEO package.
Once you have content, you can start monetizing and promoting your blog! Check out my other resources here: