How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2017 – Step-by-Step Guide
Why start a WordPress blog? Listen to our story about how we went from full-time corporate workers to full-time bloggers in our first year of blogging!
UPDATE: Bluehost recently gave us a special discount for our readers! You can now set up your WordPress blog for as low as $3-5/month! It also comes with a FREE domain name!
10 months ago, Lauren and I were just a couple frustrated young professionals looking to make money online and escape the 9-5. We were tired of chasing fleeting weekends and vacations that never lasted long enough.
In less than a year, we started our first blog (Avocadu.com) completely from scratch and turned it into a money-making machine. You can see our income reports, and they will show you that we average around $20,000/month with our little health and fitness blog.
It’s not just the money though.
It’s what this WordPress blog has done for our LIFE that is most important. We can wake up every morning, have our coffee, and completely design our day. We have been able to visit family more often and travel to countries like Nicaragua and Bali and still work while having fun!
Today, we want to walk you through how to set up your first blog and get you on your way to designing your own life!
The following will be a step-by-step guide to creating the blog of your dreams and actually make money from it! And trust us when we say this: If we can do it, ANYONE can!
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for easy step-by-step directions.
In this article, we are going to talk about starting a blog the ONLY way you should – through Bluehost.
Why Bluehost? Well, they are very affordable! You can start a blog with Bluehost for just $3-5/month when you sign up through our subscriber discount (that low price is through our link only!).
It also comes with a FREE domain name ! These cost savings matter so much more in the beginning before your blog is generating any revenues.
Lastly, Bluehost also offers a complete guarantee on their hosting packages. If you sign up for 12 months or more (best pricing option) and decide that it’s not right for you, you can ask for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
Bluehost is also incredibly easy to use. The process to start a blog can get a little confusing when you start talking about domain names, hosting packages, etc. Our step-by-step tutorial below has images, and we even set up a new domain just to show you how it works.
Let me also just say that we didn’t initially start out with Bluehost. Our transition happened when we had an issue with another popular hosting company, Siteground. Basically, we had an unexpected influx of traffic from Pinterest, and our entire website shut down.
This cost us a TON of money in forgone sales, and we vowed that it would NEVER happen again.
We got on the phone with Bluehost, and their awesome customer service team took care of everything for us! They are available by phone 24/7, and they take care of whatever issues you throw at them!
Also, this article is focused on a successful blog (or blog that actually makes some dolla dolla bills) and not a personal journal or diary blog. There are other resources out there for things like that (but not here).
On that note about starting a blog that actually makes money (who can afford to give out free content all day???)… Let’s talk briefly about free vs. self-hosted.
There are free blog hosting and free plans (think blogger.com), but there is also a reason why 99.9% of profitable blogs don’t run on them and why you should not use them…
- It looks incredibly sloppy.
- The customizations are limited.
- The websites are slow (there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow website).
- I personally know of ZERO successful entrepreneurs who use them.
Because of these glaring flaws, we are going to focus on self-hosting (think Bluehost) in this article, because that is the ONLY way a profitable blog will ever run. The difference truly is only $3-5/month, so you can’t afford NOT to go with self-hosting!
Okay, so this post is going to EPIC. It will walk you through how to do EVERYTHING. Make sure to save/pin this, and come back to it for later if you can’t finish everything today. Setup your WordPress blog in 5 easy steps:
- → Step #1. Decide on a domain name and get web hosting.
- → Step #2. Follow these steps to get everything set up.
- → Step #3. Install WordPress – One Click Install.
- → Step #4. Login and Choose a Theme.
- → Step #5. Some Additional Help for Your Blogging Adventure
- → Step #6. Get Visitors to Your Blog.
How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2017 – Step-by-Step Guide
Step #1. Decide on a domain name and get web hosting.
Domain name is the name used for the website address. For instance, Pinterest’s domain name is Pinterest.com.
Hosting is a little different. It’s the power to your website and backend that other people don’t see. Without hosting, your website has nowhere to run and will not exist.
Anyone who wants to have their own blog has to pay for a domain name and hosting.
It’s also not something you want to skimp out on. A bad host we used one time almost cost us $20,000+ in sales over the course of a month. Trust us, you NEED a good host.
The good news? It’s ridiculously cheap with the right host. A powerful host like Bluehost (the host that powers over 850,000 successful blogs and only costs $3-5 a month – less than a fancy coffee).
*Note that the above pricing is only with our special deal, so make sure you use any of our links on this page to get the special pricing!
To find your blog name you can use this tool:
Your name might not be available and that’s okay. Try a few variations or even using your name can help.
If you need more help we have a great article on How to Come Up with a Great Blog Name in 30 Minutes or Less.
You can add unlimited websites and blogs to your BlueHost account so don’t worry too much if you’re not totally sold on your current domain name idea.
Step #2. Follow these steps to get everything set up.
We have reviewed and used every host you can imagine. Without a doubt, Bluehost is the best for your blogging needs. (The following images are screenshots I’ve taken from BlueHost so you know what to do.
Click here to open up BlueHost in a new window and follow along.
Yep, those are our bright, shining faces greeting you on the page!
Click the green Get Started Now button at BlueHost to get started.
On the next page, enter the domain name that you’d like to use.
After you click the button to get started on the homepage, you will then see a list of pricing options.
Next, choose which pricing plan is best for you. We personally recommend the Prime plan, and here’s why:
Even if you choose the basic plan, you will still want to add domain privacy protection (protects your email and phone number from being released to the public) at the very least – an extra $0.99 cents/month. After you have added this, you’re only talking about $1.51/month difference between the basic and prime plans.
The prime plan also comes with a lot of unlimited features, and it includes domain privacy protection. It’s really a lot more bang for your buck and absolutely worth it in the long-term.
Note: We also want to disclose that these prices are for the 36-month hosting plan. As with almost all subscription plans these days, you must sign up for a longer period of time to get the deepest discount.
We recommend that you go ahead and take advantage of the low pricing with the 36-month prime plan, and here’s why:
- You can cancel risk-free for 30 days. Bluehost offers a guarantee, and you can cancel your plan at any time during the first 30 days and get a full refund.
- Signing on for a longer plan represents a commitment you are making to your blog and yourself. Commit to making this a long-term deal that will reap you TONS of rewards over the next few years!
Enter your domain under “new domain” (you can see where we inserted the paleoeatz.com), and hit next. Fill in your contact information, and then go to the package information section.
Your page should look like this if you opted for the Prime plan (if you chose the basic plan, you should make sure to include domain privacy protection at the very least):
Congratulations! You now own your very own website!!!!!
Not too painful, right???
Okay, let’s get you started with WordPress!
Step #3. Now let’s install WordPress – One-Click Install
Login to your Bluehost account (if you aren’t logged in already), and click on “hosting” from the top menu bar. Scroll down until you see this…
Click on the “Install WordPress” icon, and follow these quick steps to install WordPress on your new site:
- Select your domain from the drop-down menu, and click “submit.”
- Now Bluehost will take care of the entire installation process, and when it is finished, you’ll receive some important login URLs.
You will be directed to a page that looks like this…
At this point, do not exit out, make sure to save this information (screenshot it or copy it into a text document), and click “configure your password.”
- Next, create a username and password, and store this information in a safe place! Click “complete setup” when you’re finished!
Complete the setup, and you will be able to log into your WordPress website! Now, remember that information you saved (see the photo above)? It’s time to use it!
You want to open up your LOGIN URL in your browser. When you do that, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:
Fill in your name and password, and you have now logged into your WordPress website! Now it’s time to select a theme and make your website look awesome!
Step #4. Log in and choose a theme.
Once logged into your WordPress website, follow the instructions on this page, and make sure to click ”yes.”
WordPress will walk you through the basics of starting your website and start to get you familiar with the platform.
At some point, you will see the back of the dashboard which will look similar to this:
Click “appearances” and then “themes.” It’s now time to find a great theme for your blog and start making it look how you want!
Note that WordPress has a few free themes that you can choose from, so play around with those a bit to get started and find one that works for you.
Free themes are a great place to start if you’re a beginner blogger, but they will lack some of the tools a paid theme gives you.
If you free stretched at this point, we get it. Rock a free theme for a month or so and get used to the platform.
If you have the extra $50 – $100 to invest and want to get your blog looking the way you want it to in less time with fewer headaches, then go for a paid theme.
Starting with X Theme was one of the best decisions we made as newbie bloggers. We started with X Theme on 5 different blogs that we started and set up over the last couple of years.
It’s incredibly customizable, and the support staff is sooooooo helpful and understanding of complete rookies. You can basically Google any problem you have like “change header color for X theme,” and 99% of the time, a support ticket that has already been answered will come up.
It also comes with 4 different styles of themes to try.
Starting with X Theme was one of the best decisions we made as newbie bloggers. It does cost about $60, but it’s incredibly easy to use and provides for a lot of customizability.
Click here if you think this is the right choice for you!
Step #5. Build and Launch Your Blog (Important Update 3/20/2017).
This post has been getting quite popular lately and people kept asking us for more help. They loved the walk-through but wanted to speed up the process to building and launching their blogs…
- When is the right time to launch my blog?
- How many posts do I need to start with?
- What should I start writing about and how can I improve my writing?
- How do I make my blog look as beautiful as I envision?
I sent out a survey and our thousands of readers were begging us to build an eCourse on how to build and launch a successful blog FASTER.
You can absolutely build your blog on your own without our help, but the idea is to speed up the process and help you avoid the many mistakes newbie bloggers make when building their blogs!
At this point, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed, but I wanted to make sure you have every resource at your disposal.
For some of you, just start with the basics and start working through things yourself. For others, this is going to be the best resource EVER for starting a blog…
Introducing our Launch Your Blog eCourse! – How to Build and Launch Your Successful Blog with WordPress in 1 Month or Less, Without Any Coding or Being a Tech Wizard, Guaranteed!
- WordPress Training
- Step-by-Step Designing Your Blog
- How to Create Beautiful Images
- How to Produce Amazing Content People Love
- Getting Started with Email Marketing
- Setting Up Social Media
- And so, so much more!
You can click here to check out the Launch Your Blog eCourse and get starting on the building phase! 🙂
Step #6. Watch This Video All The Way Through.
Listen, Lauren and I know it can be overwhelming and confusing when starting out. We were right there looking at our computers sitting in the same seat you are right now.
That’s why we made this little video to get you motivated for what being a full-time blogger can be like…
For more free blogging tips and tricks from the experts, make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel Now scroll back up and get started!! =)
The next parts of running a successful blog are painfully obvious, but many people miss them anyway:
- Get traffic.
Therefore, part 2 of the How to Start a Profitable Blog Series is about getting massive traffic to your blog.
Part 3 is then about how to convert that traffic and monetize the SMART way.
We hope you enjoyed this post on how to start a profitable blog, and we’d be happy to answer any of your questions in the comment section below!
Alex and Lauren
Co-Founders, Create and Go
P.S. Below are some additional free WordPress resources to help you get started! Use these websites for further customization of your blog and writing help:
- Must-Have FREE WordPress Plugins for Every Blogger
- 18 Essential Resources to Learn WordPress Like a Pro (Great article. Covers all sorts of free training blogs and other things I wish I had more time to say):
- 8 Great Tools to Help You Write and Edit Blog Posts Better
Alex & Lauren
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