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Yes, this is one of those posts about starting a blog.
And yes, I am going to write it anyway.
But that is mostly because I have had a lot of messages in my inbox about how to, so I figured I could refer them to this from now on instead of a long drawn out message.
Forgive me now? Cool. Let’s begin.
First, you need to figure out how serious this blog will be.
I don’t care what anyone says. Taking care of a self hosted blog is so time consuming. Yes, you get all the perks of completely personalizing your own site. And yeah, you get to fully own your own site. But in case no one told you; IT IS A LOT OF WORK.
I have redone my site four or five times and have sunk a lot of money into this bad boy that I am not proud of.
So if you aren’t prepared to fully take care of a self hosted website,
WordPress.com (peep the bolded .com, not the .org site) Blogger, Tumblr etc. would be way more your speed. You can still have a little customization and make it your own. When I first started out, I had a wordpress.com blog that I loved dearly, but I needed to grow.
So if you think you are going to be pretty serious about this, continue on reading!
So you’ve decided that you want the thrill of owning a self hosted blog
[Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Wondering how to start a self hosted blog? Here’s how![/Tweet]
You are going to first need hosting and a domain name.
Lucky for you, you can get them both at the same place.
I use BlueHost for my website hosting and also purchased my domain name through them. They give really great deals for when you are first starting out which allowed me to start on this journey with very little starter costs.
And right now they are apparently having a birthday sale, so you can get hosting for as little as $2.65 a month! (That’s through 7/18/2017, so hurry!)
I have had only a few kinks with them, but 99% of the time, my site runs really smooth.
And its super easy to set up! You just click on this link and follow through to their home page. Then click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button.
It should take you to this page:
Pick the one that is best for you.
Personally, I chose the basic plan, because it was the cheapest, and I haven’t needed any of the other stuff.
Save that money, you will need it.
So once you choose your plan, you’ll come to this screen:
THIS IS THE COOLEST PART OF THE WHOLE DAMN THING.
This is where you will choose your domain. This one is free but choose wisely! Think of what you want your brand to be. (This becomes extremely important so quickly.) The best advice I ever got was to try to make it your name. As you get older, your brand could change and you could grow out of a name that isn’t your own.
In fact, I use to be Apple Pie and Ice Cream, because I was eating it when I made the blog.
I quickly grew out of it though, and am now the proud owner of www.catholmes.com.
Anyhoo, choose whatever domain you would like, and this will check to see if it is available!
After you do all that,
You pretty much just set up an account, put in all of your information and pay for it. Make sure you read all of the things they are billing you for and how they are billing it. You can choose between a lot of different terms for hosting; 12, 24, 36, and 60 months. I have mine set up for 12 months because once my year is up I can choose to find a new hosting service if I feel like I have outgrown them.
In my opinion, you don’t need all the extra stuff.
So if you want, you can uncheck all of those for now.
AGHHHHH. You just did the hardest part! (In my opinion.)
Now that could’ve been because I had to figure all of that out by myself, cause honestly it looks pretty easy now that I’ve told all of you.
Another, anyhoo! Time to find a platform.
I use WordPress.org, because it is super easy and can be set up to your hosting from your C Panel!
And then you will get here:
Where it will literally take you step by step on how to set up your domain to WordPress.
And now the fun part!
Since you are self hosting and are using WordPress.org, you have the ability to choose from thousands (and yes I mean thousands) of different themes to fit however you would like your blog to look!
A few suggestions:
They both have a crap ton of themes to choose from because they have a bunch of designers in one place. You can click on a demo mode and view all the theme has to offer!
At this point, all the questions you may have will be pertaining to wordpress, and how to write your first blog post!
Which would make this post so much longer than it already is and its almost my bed time. SO. You can shoot me an email or comment below if you have anymore questions! I am more then happy to help!
But forreal, the rest is all up to you.
From how much money you sink into it, to the content you provide. Your blog will only give what you put into it.
A few pieces of advice:
Invest your time in Blogging Facebook groups. You can literally type it in the search bar and a bunch will pop up. If you really want your content to reach more people, I would start setting aside time everyday to participate in threads and learning from awesome people from within those groups.
Find your niche, the sooner the better. Do you want a fitness blog? Want to start an advice column? Write short stories and want to publish them? Figure it out. You can always change it later. But figuring out what your niche is will help you identify who to mingle with in the blogger world. There are so many of us, but it gets lonely without a friend.
And lastly, don’t try to be like all the other bloggers. Don’t try to be like me, or like Ruth Sukop. You will fail. You will hate your blog, and you will give it up. Make it your own. Figure out what you like and roll with it. They are at the top of their game, and maybe I’m not but I am way ahead of you. So don’t even start with that. It almost made me quit my blog.
annnnnnnd that’s it!
Again if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
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Your different font size got me all jumbled up reading your article! But I can definitely sense your excitement when you are typing this!
I am so sorry! I hope it is easier to read now!
Very detailed! This post should be the first thing people see when they are googling and trying to find out how to start a blog. This is all they need!
Good detailed information and you are right- choosing the domain is the fun part!
Starting a blog is definitely a big commitment, it’s not as easy a everyone thinks!
These are some great tips on how to get started! It was so confusing getting everything up and running but these tips make it much easier!
I like the tips you gave at the end. Investing time and finding your readers is critical.
Excellent advice and suggestions on starting your own blog. I remember when i started blogging and searching for info on how to start. I can say the list and tips you compiled here is great
Great tips there, I just started not too long ago and it was quite difficult at first but now i am getting the hang of it.
Thank you! I think I am getting the hang of it now too!
There’s always a need for tips and tricks for new bloggers. When I was new at blogging, I wanted to read everything I could find about starting up. This is a great list you’ve compiled.
Thank you! I was the exact same way!
I use Blogger but have wondered recently if I should transfer to WordPress. Thanks for this useful guide!
This is a great guide for beginners! Will definitely share with friends who are interested in starting a blog!
SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger
Great tips for new bloggers! I think anyone can start a blog, but you’re right on how to decide how serious you are going to be about it!
Nice advice! I wish I had come across your article before I started my blog haha 🙂
I love this! I wish you’d have written it for me to read when I was thinking of starting out!
I feel like when I was first starting this was the exact type of post I was looking for. Like I wanted to know exactly how to do all of these things!
What a great post and love the visuals you inserted!!
Thank you! For all my visual learners out there!
I totally agree with your advice about the name. I see a lot of people across the web either transitioning to new ones or who have obviously outgrown their original ones.
Yes! I think I read it from Melyssa Griffin? About changing her brand around her name!
Excellent advice and suggestions on starting your own blog. I have been blogging for 4 years and I had to start over myself. I am just getting back into the spending time commenting on others blogs and joined groups again. I also need to post at least once a week for now on.
I am sure your post will encourage and help others start their new blogs. I love how to blog posts.
Thank you! I know the feeling! I really hope others find this post helpful!
Nice pist! Sure to help the newbies out there. I too am on wordpress, my host is also bluehost (not as thrilled as you with them 🙁 I’m considering moving to Squarespace where most of the big bloggers are. Not sure why they feel it’s so superior to wordpress but I intend on finding out
Yeah I feel like I am one of the few lucky ones. But maybe Squarespace will be easier to use!
I love how you write! Such great advice!
Emma | Seeking the South
Really good advice. I used to struggle with what and how to write and would get caught up reading other’s blogs. I still do from time to time but always go back to writing what I want to write and then it comes much easier. It’s natural to try to write like someone you admire but it rarely works.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. I am so glad I finally said eff it and went my own way!