I literally had no idea what I was doing when I started blogging in October. I didn’t know where to start or what to do or what to buy. It felt really overwhelming and really confusing, and I somehow still made it through because I started by signing up for Bluehost! I wish I had known that the initial setup could be as easy as 123 because I made it way too complicated for myself.
To hopefully help you avoid making things too difficult, I wanted to put together a really simple and easy guide to getting your blog set up quickly!
1. Choose a Blog Name
This was one of the most time consuming parts for me in the beginning. I put way too much stress on myself to think of the perfect name. Once I let all of that stress go, I thought of a name and went with it.
There are websites that you can use to help you think of a name for your blog, like Cool Name Ideas. It lets you enter keywords in and then gives you suggestions for domain names. I gave this a try and it did help me get away from particular words that I was stuck on. My advice (which is opposite of most) is to not put too much stress on the name. Chances are, no matter what you choose, you’ll wish it was different five years from now anyway.
The most important part of choosing a name (in my opinion) is doing some research on whatever you choose! Don’t let yourself get started blogging with a name that is associated with someone or something else. Google the name that you think you want to use and look at what websites currently come up when you search it. Look to see if there are products that come up, or social media profiles, or anything else. Go past page one of Google and keep looking. Make sure that your blog name is going to be unique to you!
UPDATE: My husband googled my blog name yesterday and informed me that nearly every search result on the first page was for my blog. This is because I took the time to research the name before committing to it!
2. Sign Up for Hosting
Once you’ve gotten your name picked out, you’re ready to sign up for hosting. There are plenty of hosting options you can choose from, but if you want a quick and easy set up, I highly recommend Bluehost. Not only is it an affordable hosting option, but it makes the process of setting up your blog incredibly easy, even when you have no idea what you’re doing!
When my husband and I got married, I tried to set up a website where he and I could keep an online diary of our relationship. It seemed like such a cute idea but it turned into an expensive nightmare. I spent way too much time and money trying to get this set up through GoDaddy. I ended up just crying for a while before giving up. To be fair, I had no idea what I was doing, so maybe that was the whole problem. That being said, I had no idea what I was doing with Bluehost either, but the set up process went super smoothly!
Get Started with Bluehost
The first thing you’ll do is head over to Bluehost through my affiliate link. I chose to be an affiliate with Bluehost because I truly believe that it is the best option for new bloggers. I can’t get over how easy it makes the entire set up. If you’ve decided you want to start blogging but are still asking where to start, the answer is Bluehost!
Choose Your Plan
Once you click through that link, you’ll click on the green button to get started. From there you’ll need to choose your plan. Bluehost offers multiple plans depending on what you’re looking for. I recommend starting with the basic plan (also the cheapest) because you shouldn’t need more than that when you’re just getting started.
Choose Your Hosting Term
Once you select your plan, it’s time to enter the domain name of your choice. Type it in and head to the next page where you’ll enter your account information. This is also where you’ll choose your preferred hosting term. I chose a 12 month hosting term because I was setting up my blog on a budget. If you choose the 24 month or 36 month terms, you will get a much better price in the long run! When it’s time for me to renew my hosting, I’ll choose the 36 month option.
Choose Your Add Ons
Once you choose your hosting term, you can select additional add ons. I normally think add ons in general are a waste of money, but I do recommend paying for the Domain Privacy Protection. This keeps your personal contact information safe and private, which was worth the extra cost to me.
It’s important to note that you pay for your hosting upfront. I spent roughly $118 for the 12 month hosting term, and was billed the full amount upon sign up. I know it can seem like a large investment if you’re on a tight budget, but Bluehost does have a money back guarantee.
Payment and Password
Once you choose your hosting term and your add ons, you enter your payment information and then create your Bluehost password. Once your password is created, you log in and move on to step three!
3. Set Up WordPress
Setting up WordPress within Bluehost couldn’t be easier, and that’s exactly why I recommend it so heavily! Bluehost walks you through the entire thing, so it’s easy peasy.
Once you login to Bluehost using your new password, they’ll have you pick a free theme. You have limited options during this first selection, but there are so many free themes to choose from afterwards. You can change your theme at any time if you decide you don’t like your initial pick.
Once you pick your theme, choose if your blog is business or personal. After that, just start blogging!
From this point on, you get to customize your blog and make it whatever you want it to be. Start adding posts and pages, customize your navigation menu, and add widgets to your sidebar or footer.
My advice is to play around with all of the options before you press that “Launch” button on your dashboard. Look at other people’s blogs to see what you like and don’t like. Get ideas for pages you could have, or what widgets you could have in your sidebar. Do you want to give people the search option? Do you want your subscribe section towards the top or the bottom? The options are endless so make sure you take the time to figure out what you want it to look like.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. Read my full disclosure policy here.