Do you want to start a lifestyle blog, yet you don’t even know where to start? I felt the same way when I started this project. But whether you are a new blogger with no idea where to start, or an old-school blogger trying to figure out how to grow, this guide will help you start your blog.
As a beginner, entering the blogosphere can be overwhelming. But, anyone can start a blog – even you! And once you do, you can write about anything. Suddenly, you have your very own space to write about whatever you want. And, before you know it, others will stumble upon your blog. Even better, they will love what you have to say.
I started my blog in February 2017 and I have enjoyed every moment of it. So much so that I started a second blog. And in my first six months blogging, I made over $2,200.
A decision you will have to make when you start blogging is whether or not to pay for a host. It seems obvious. Why would anyone pay for hosting? But, having a self-hosted blog is essential to those who would like to monetize their blog.Start a blog so you can share everything you're passionate about, and make money from it. Click To Tweet
The world of blogging is nothing short of incredible. And the benefits to starting your own self-hosted blog are endless:
- Create a space where you can share everything you’re passionate about;
- Start writing amazing, influential content;
- Connect with the supportive blogging community;
- Empower you and give yourself confidence;
- Inspire others through your content;
- Grow your skillset, including social media management;
- Open up a world of opportunities to collaborate with other businesses.
The benefits are tenfold, and starting a blog is easier than you think. This guide will walk you through starting your very own self-hosted blog. If you ever run into any questions at any point during the blogging process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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Learn the Difference Between Free Hosting & Self-Hosted
When you have the choice between a free hosted or self-hosted blog, it sounds obvious, right? Everyone likes the word free. But, free hosting isn’t all that it’s cut out to be.
- If you use free hosting, you do not own your content!
- You have to adhere to your host’s Terms and Conditions.
- There may be restrictions when you want to monetize your blog.
- With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you appear more professional, which makes businesses more keen to work with you.
If you’re confused, yes, WordPress.com and a self-hosted WordPress blog are different!
- WordPress.com starts as a free hosting service.
- WordPress.org refers to a very similar software that can be installed to your very own self-hosted WordPress website.
- With WordPress.org software, you have more control over the customization of your blog.
- You also own your content!
Get a self-hosted WordPress blog!
If you are serious about blogging, you should make the small investment to start your own self-hosted blog. Personally, I love the WordPress software and once you learn about its functions it becomes very easy to navigate.
Because Bluehost offered my readers (aka YOU) a phenomenal deal for starting up your own blog (seriously – it’s the best price you’ll find), I am going to guide you through the process of purchasing your self-hosted blog with Bluehost, and setting up WordPress on your blog (believe me, it’s easier than you think!).
Set up Your Hosting & Domain
To start your self-hosted blog, you will first need two things: a domain and hosting for your domain.
Bluehost is a popular website host with 24/7 customer service. Not only that – they make getting WordPress on your blog totally easy.
- 24/7 customer service
- 1-click WordPress installation
- Free domain
- Free website setup and transfer
- Upgraded servers that increase your website uptime
Bluehost offers three options for hosting plans. When you use this link to sign up, you can get your hosting plan for as low as $2.95/mo! This discount only applies to the number of months you pay for upfront, so I recommend paying for as many months in advance as possible.
Most websites can only offer you a hosting plan at $3.95/mo. But, using my link, you can get a Basic plan at $2.95 per month with Bluehost.
Plus, with Bluehost you get a domain for FREE! You can even use the little widget below to see if your domain name is available.
After you select a plan and purchase your domain, all you have to do is take a few minutes to fill out your information.
Because you only get access to this deal when you sign up, I recommend paying for as many months in advance as possible.
Seriously, you can start your own blog at only $2.95 per month! That’s cheaper than a Starbucks drink.
Set up WordPress
Immediately after you set up your domain and hosting, you can set up WordPress!
Once you set up your account, you can take advantage of Bluehost’s one-click WordPress installation.
Once you install WordPress, you can access your WordPress Dashboard by typing in http://YOURDOMAIN.COM/wp-admin.
Learn to Navigate WordPress
If you’re new to WordPress you might be overwhelmed by its Dashboard. Don’t worry, once you learn all the terms, you’ll realize how simple it can be. Let me walk you through the WordPress dashboard options on the sidebar.
The “Posts” option helps you organize your posts, including your post categories and tags. You can view “All Posts” including drafts and edit your posts from here.
When you add a new post, you can also manage its categories and tags.
Please, please make sure “Uncategorized” is unchecked. Give each post the love and recognition it deserves. Assign it to a category.
Categories are your blog’s overarching concepts. Like, for example, my categories are lifestyle, travel and blogging.
As for tags, you can think of them like subcategories or hashtags. If you link your blog to Bloglovin, your tags will show up whenever you post a new post!
The “Media” section showcases files you upload, including images. You can see what you’ve already opened by clicking Library. To add a new photo, click “Add New”. You can also add to your media library when you are editing a post.
You can title your images, edit their sizes, and update the Alt Text. Make sure you update the Alt Text on every image. This will contribute to your website’s search engine optimization and will help your articles rank higher on search engines.
Different than posts, Pages do not show up on your blog’s feed. You can get creative with the type of pages you make, but essential pages to write are an About Me page and a Contact page.
This section is where you can manage the comments on all your posts. You can approve comments, mark them as spam, and even reply to them!
The appearance section of your Dashboard is where you can select or upload your theme, and customize the look of your blog.
Believe me, I really like the idea of being frugal. So, I tried finding a free theme. But, the customization that paid themes allow is tenfold. You are more likely to find the theme you want if you’re willing to spend $20-50 on a theme.
- Themeforest has a huge marketplace for themes and it’s quite easy to navigate their website. While you’re searching for themes, all you have to do is hover over an image and it shows you that theme preview.
- Cityhousedesign is an Etsy shop with phenomenal and feminine WordPress themes.
Plugins are an additional way you can customize your blog. Think of them like apps that help you make your blog do what you want! Plugins are what make WordPress.org software so much better than free hosted blogs.
Now your blog is all set up and ready for you to start building it! But, where do you go from here?
Like I said, I made $2,200 my first six months after starting this lifestyle blog. Because I learned so much from the blogosphere and I’m all about givin’ back to the community, I created a couple resources for you to continue your blogging journey:
- A totally free Facebook group full of goal-getters just like you who want to make money blogging, reroute their lifestyle, and become the CEO of their own lives.
- Reroute Lifestyle, a free website for goal-getters to learn everything they need to start a profitable blog.
- Career in the Making, an ebook which goes into the exact marketing and monetization strategies (the flops and the successes) I used to make $2,200 in my first six months blogging.
There is so much to learn from the blogosphere, and I’m so excited for you. I’ve put in a lot of work for my blog, but I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. If you ever have any questions as you begin to start your blog, please feel free to contact me, or comment below!
Well, you can learn about making your blog your pay-thing, too!
If this guide helped you out, please pin or share!
Do you have any questions about creating a blog? What surprises you about blogging?