So, you want to start a blog, huh?
Why wouldn’t you?
Having a blog is a great and amazing outlet for you to showcase your expertise, promote your product or your service, and of course it’s an effective tool for creating brand awareness. An extra perk is that it’s also one way to earn some extra funds.
Starting a blog is a pretty awesome decision.
Where do you begin?
Like, how do you do it? How do you choose a domain name?
Or how do you pick the best hosting provider without worrying about the reliability of the server?
Or what if you’re not well-versed in IT at all?
Well, if you’re really set on starting your own blog, you’ve come to the right place!
I have laid it all out for you–the simplest steps, the best practices, and awesome resources.
Within a short amount of time, you’ll have your own blog up and running because I put this together to make it very simple to follow.
And no, you don’t have to be a computer programmer or a very techy person to understand all these!
Ready? Let’s start walking through the process:
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost should you click through and make a purchase.
#1 Choose a domain name
So what’s your blog about? Brainstorm on this until you reach a eureka moment on your niche and theme.
Figure out what you want to call your blog and work from there to choose your domain name.
What’s a domain?
It’s basically your blog’s URL, and what netizens will type in the address bar to access your blog.
This sounds like a fun thing to do, but thinking of a domain name is where most bloggers usually take a really, really long time!
After all, it’s like your brand name and you will be known by it. Follow these simple steps to guide you in choosing your domain name:
- Finalize your blog’s name
- List your domain name options
- Check if the domain options are available!
- You can go to http://godaddy.com for a fast and efficient process.
- Don’t stop there! Check if your preferred domain name is unique and available on major social media platforms. In branding, consistency must prevail!
So is it available? If not, explore your options! You’ll arrive at your destination soon enough.
If yes, wait–you don’t have to buy it right away!
Here’s a bonus tip: you can actually also buy a domain when you undergo the next step.
#2 Choose a hosting provider
Now, all websites should have web hosting because it’s what will keep your blog on the Internet.
So how do you choose your web hosting provider?
There are just so many to choose from, each with their own packages, plans, and add-ons!
Don’t worry, as I said, I’ll make this easy for you because starting a blog doesn’t need to be hard.
Take note of this checklist of what you must look for in every hosting provider. If one provider doesn’t have one of these, you better look for another one.
- An affordable package. Since you’re just starting out, it’s important to invest in something you can afford. You might be tempted by expensive packages that offer a lot of extras, but remember–keep it simple! You might not need all those features YET.
- A reliable server. This is essentially the whole idea of what you’re paying for. A good provider can promise that there will be a huge amount of time that your blog is live. For example, Hostgator provides 99% uptime which means that people always see blogs or sites hosted by them.
- Quality customer service. This is very important especially to newbies. You need a provider that can easily be reached in case you have questions or run into issues. Remember that inadequate customer service will make you inefficient.
I personally use Hostgator, and have been using it for the past years. I can personally attest that their service is top-notch! Here are some of the other reasons why I trust HostGator:
- It’s easy to use! If you’re not a techie, you won’t need to worry.
- They have a 45-day money guarantee.
- Their customer service is amazing!
#3 Choose your plan
Most hosting providers make you choose among three plans that are all affordable. Since we’re going to walk through HostGator, these are their available plans: the Hatchling Plan, Baby Plan, or Business Plan.
So how do you choose which plan is right for you? Here are some helpful tips to guide you in your decision:
- If you are only planning to make one blog, go with the Hatchling Plan. But if you are planning to make more blogs or sites, go with the Baby or Business Plan.
- If you’re not planning to sell products or conduct business using your blogs, you don’t need the Business Plan.
Once you’ve made your decision, click on ‘Sign up now!’ Easy right? Now, on to the fun part…
#4 Get your domain!
Now, you get to choose your domain, the URL of your blog, and what people need to know to access your blog.
After choosing your plan, you’ll be directed to the HostGator Order Wizard. Here’s what you need to do next:
- Fill up the first box with your desired domain name.
- Select the ‘Register a new domain’ tab.
Most domains with .com will cost around $12 per year which will be added to your total bill.
But what if you happen to already own a domain?
Simple select the ‘I already own this domain’ tab and input your domain name. You’ll have to connect your domain to the hosting account.
If you bought yours from GoDaddy, they actually have a very helpful full support page which will help you walk through the process.
Here are some other bonus tips for choosing a domain:
- Make it unique, but something that can easily be remembered. You don’t want to confuse your readers. You want to make it easy for them to go to your blog.
- Make it short. Longer domains are harder to remember.
- Let it speak about your blog. It’s part of basic branding, and usually, your domain will describe what your blog is about.
#5 Provide your hosting and billing information
The next step is entering information for the plan you chose in Step 3. You’ll actually still be given a chance to change your plan, if you want.
Okay, now see the ‘Billing Cycle?’
TIP: If you pay for more months, you’ll actually get a way cheaper rate and you’ll end up saving more money.
This is also where you will create your username and security pin.
Next, you have to enter your billing information. Make sure to review and recheck everything before submitting!
#6 Choose your extras
Now here’s the fun part!
You actually get to have bonuses and extras!
You do have to pay for these, so make sure that you actually know what each add-on does. There are even add-ons to boost your SEO and to protect your privacy.
However, your hosting package already includes a FREE SSL certificate!
What does this mean?
The SSL certificate provides security for your domains and flags your blog as a secure website.
#7 Review everything before finalizing.
I cannot stress this enough–go through everything and review them all before clicking on ‘Checkout Now!’
You’re now just a few steps away from setting up your blog.
After checking out, go check your email.
#8 Install WordPress
You should receive an email from Hostgator with your account details so you can log in and begin setting up your blog.
Once you’re in, click the Control Panel link. This is also called cPanel and it will be your friend. Follow these next steps, and don’t worry! They’re easy and you’ll be done in a few minutes.
- Scroll to ‘Software/Services’
- Click ‘Quick Install.’ This is where you’ll install WordPress–for FREE!
- You should see ‘Wordpress’ on the left after you click Quick Install. Click on that.
- Click on ‘Continue.’
- Click on the domain you’re going to install WordPress on. Enter other info such as your email, username, and personal details.
- Ready? Click ‘Install Now!’
And there you have it!
Can you believe it’s that easy?
Wait, do you think you’re done?
Well… you’re just getting started.
Go and get creative. Start designing, start blogging!