So, you want to start your own blog. Well, let me tell you, you’ve made a smart decision.
A well-designed, easy-to-use and feature-rich blog can benefit you in many ways, regardless of whether you’re a business or an independent blogger.
For example, a blog can help you:
Pull more traffic to your website or e-commerce store. Blogging is great for search engine optimization (SEO), social media optimization (SMO), and other traffic generating tactics.
Turn more web visitors to buyers. Take advantage of your blog to entice your readers to take action, whether to subscribe to your newsletter, buy a product and so forth.
Market your brand, products or services easily online. After all, marketers who leverage a blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
Make money online. There are bloggers who rake in more than $250,000 each month. You can make even more depending on your niche. Let’s not forget that you can sell directly via your blog. And, there are myriads of ways to monetize your blog.
Boost engagement and build credibility online. When your blog is perceived as authoritative, you can generate more awareness for your brand, build trust, and improve your visibility online.
However you look at it, there’s no limit to what a blog can do for you. Which begs the question: how do I start a blog? Which is the best blog hosting platform for me?
If these are some of the questions you’re wrestling with, you have come to the right place. In this post, I’m going to walk you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a blog with BlueHost.
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If you’re not starting your blog just this second, you may pin this step-by-step guide for later.
First Things First: Why Start a Blog with BlueHost?
There are over 500 million blogs out there, not to mention additional 1.6 billion websites competing for the eyeballs of the online users.
What will make yours stand out? The only way to shine brighter than the rest is to make sure your blog is cutting-edge and host it on the right platform.
Unfortunately, you have a sea of choice when it comes to building and hosting your blog.
And you know what?
You don’t have to take my word for it.
Officially Recommended by WordPress
It’s not just me recommending these three web hosts as the best. It’s WordPress itself recommending them.
They’re the only three web hosts expressly endorsed and recommended by WordPress on their official website.
If you’re a beginner blogger with a very limited budget, your best option is definitely to go with Bluehost due to its extreme affordability.
With starting prices as low as $2.95, Bluehost definitely offer the best value for money to new bloggers and the peace of mind of being endorsed by WordPress itself.
You can’t go wrong with a web host specifically recommended by your blogging platform of choice, can you?
The fact that WordPress, the world’s number one platform for creating blogs, recommend Bluehost to all of its users, speaks volumes about the efficacy, reliability, and robustness of this host.
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But it’s not only that!
Here are the top benefits that make it a no-brainer to start your blog with BlueHost:
Trusted by 2 Million (and Counting)
BlueHost already power more than 2 million websites, most of which are blogs. It’s also trusted by who’s who of the world of blogging and content marketing, including Neil Patel, Pat Flynn, Create and Go, and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, just to mention a few.
Every Bluehost plan includes a free unique domain name. So, if you’re on a tight budget, again, Bluehost is literally the best value for money you can ever get! Not only you get the cheapest web host fee, but you also get a FREE domain on top of that! YAY! Another expense ticked off your budget list!
Every Bluehost plan also includes a free SSL certificate. That means you can incorporate an added layer of security to your blog at no additional cost. It’s what will make your domain https instead of http. You absolutely want this! Google penalizes website that are still on http and if you don’t have an SSL certificate, your users will be warned that your website might not be safe when they land on your site!
Around the Clock Support
Bluehost offers 24/7 expert support so you can raise your concerns, ask questions or get help whenever you need it.
1-Click WordPress Installer
You can install your WordPress blog with a single press of a button.
Each blog can be customized with an array of web features and plugins. More crucially, the Bluehost blogs come pre-packed with marketing and SEO features.
Now that you know Bluehost is the best hosting platform for starting a blog, let’s show you how to create one step by step!
Step #1: Picking your Bluehost Plan
From the homepage of Bluehost, click on the green “Get Started” button to kick-start your blog creation journey. You will be taken to the pricing page, featuring four key pricing plans that you can choose from. There are the Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro packages, with the latter being the most comprehensive.
If you choose the Basic Plan, you’ll get hosting for one blog/website, 50GB of storage, free 1 domain name & SSL certificate, 5 parked domains, and 25 subdomains. The basic package will cost you as little as $3.95 per month. For a blog, the Basic option is really what you need, unless you’re planning to self-host loads of videos.
If you need next-level features like dedicated IP, domain privacy, spam experts, and custom mailbox, you can opt for more advanced packages. Of course, advanced plans will cost you more each month.
When you’re ready to choose the right Bluehost plan for your blog, click on the appropriate “select” button.
Step #2: Choosing your Domain Name
You might already have a domain name up and running. But, if you’re starting from scratch, you have to pick an eye-catching domain name for your blog. This is one of the most crucial decisions that can make a huge difference in your blogging career.
As such, don’t rush into any name – the last thing you want is to choose an awkward domain name that you’ll regret later. Bluehost has made the whole process easy and effortless. You can just head over to Bluehost name checker tool to see if the name you picked is available. If it is, YAY! You can proceed!
But if the name you picked is not available, or you feel stuck trying to come up with a name, don’t spend your time worrying too much about this.
Bluehost has an option to choose your name later so you can get started on your blog without the stress of picking a name first! How cool is that? Besides, you’ll get at least one domain absolutely FREE so long as you purchase hosting for the whole year (12 months).
In short, enter your existing domain name, create a new one, or pick the option to choose your name later. You’ll be shipped to account sign-up form.
Step #3: Creating your Bluehost Account and Buying your Hosting Plan
It’s simple. Fill out the registration form with your information. This step should be pretty straightforward. Good thing, you can use Google one-click sign-on to register.
At this stage, you will also choose whether you want to go for the 12-month, 24-month or 36-month account plan. The longer the period for the plan, the cheaper the package. If you need extra features like domain privacy protection, SiteLock security, Codeguard, SEO tools, Office 365, etc., you can add them to your plan during registration.
Ultimately, you will enter your payment method and details, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and click submit. Don’t forget to set a tight password for your account lest you fall prey to hacking.
Step #4: Installing your WordPress
This is the part you’ve been waiting all along. By now, you should have an account with Bluehost, the domain name (if already picked and linked), and purchased hosting. It’s high time to set up your WordPress blog.
First, log into your new Bluehost account. You will be navigated to cpanel, which is a dashboard that allows you to set up everything, including installing WordPress. You can alternatively let Bluehost pros do it for you, but it’ll cost you. The process is actually quite easy.
You’ll be taken to “Let’s create a website!” page. Everything is self-explanatory. Just toggle “Do you want a blog?”
Don’t forget to enter the name of your blog/website, and the tagline.
On the next page, set your online goals to tell Bluehost what you want from your hosting plan. Make sure to check the first, third and fourth boxes because they are relevant to blogging.
Step #5. Choose the Right Theme for your Blog
At this point you will be presented with a selection of themes you can pick for your blog. You can sort them by categories and of course, there is a category for “Blogs”.
At the end of it all, pick a theme that best matches your brand, as well as blogging tone, concept, and personality.
But don’t spend too much time on this. You can always change your theme once you’re in your WordPress dashboard.
As soon as you click on your theme, WordPress will be installed into your Bluehost account.
And you’re pretty much ready to start blogging! Can you believe that?
Once you’re logged into WordPress, this is where things get really exciting. You can spend a bit more time picking the perfect theme for your blog!
To browse free themes, in the left side column of your WordPress dashboard go to “Appearance” and click on “Themes”. Then click on “Add new”.
Perfect themes for a blog on Bluehost
There is nothing wrong with starting out with a free theme.
And if you want to go with a free theme, here are a few nice options:
However, you need to keep in mind the following:
- Free themes come with limited functionalities and features, so you won’t be able to customize your blog as much as you like or the way you really want it to look. In fact, the customization features and flexibility of free themes are very limited.
- Free themes come with no obligation or support, which means 1) they could take it off the WordPress repository whenever they like 2) if you don’t know how to do something or something doesn’t work, you’re on your own.
- Your blog won’t look so unique or be able to reflect your brand as many users use the same free themes and again, they’re not really customizable much!
- Some free themes are poorly coded or they don’t keep up with WordPress updates. This may cause conflicts, speed issues which is a NO NO for SEO (search engine optimization, i.e. what you need to do to show up in Google and other search engines) or even make your blog stop working.
- If you plan to upgrade to a premium theme down the track, you’re probably better off if you do it now. You don’t want to spend hours and hours building your blog with the free theme and then having to do it all over again once you upgrade to a premium theme.
So, I suggest investing in a premium theme and these are my recommendations. These are the themes I use on my blogs and I can’t speak highly enough about them!
1) I personally use and love – actually, it has become my absolute favorite: Bluchic themes. Designed for women business owners who want to show off their flair and finesse, these themes are a female entrepreneur’s best friend. Sleek, feminine, sophisticated, and just a little bit sassy, these themes are not cookie-cutter, bland WordPress themes… They’re perfect to make a statement in style!
Although it’s not as fast, I will also add this option because it’s another premium theme very, very popular among bloggers – especially those who don’t want to see a single line of code ever!
3) Divi byElegantTheme which offers fully and easily customizable themes with a drag and drop builder. The downside is that apparently, it makes it a bit hard to migrate your content if you were to change your mind down the track.
What to do next
Once you picked the perfect theme for your blog, you can add pages, install plugins, add new posts, tweak the appearance and much more.
Plugins are tiny yet nifty programs which you can add to your WordPress blog to make it more functional, more appealing, and more robust. Some are free, while others will cost you a small fee.
I have listed here the best plugins and tools to use for your blog. Most are free. Some are premium but still very affordable. Some you absolutely need and can’t do without. Some others are nice to have and will make your life so much easier.
The first things you will want to create are your homepage, your about page, your contact page, and your legal pages.
While you set up your website, you also want to make sure that is ADA compliant and accessible to everyone regardless of any disabilities.
I would then proceed to writing your very first blog post. How exciting is that?
Final thoughts on how to start a blog with Bluehost
WordPress and Bluehost make it super easy to create and run your blog from day 1. Take advantage of features from both sides to take your blogging to a whole new and exciting level!
Keep having fun customizing the design, start writing awesome content and then promote, promote, promote!
Let me know in the comments if you set up your blog and how it all went. If you have any questions leave them in the comment or join me in the Facebook Group Blogging for New Bloggers, a supportive community of 36K+ awesome bloggers and growing!
Take my FREE 5-day email course Blogging for New Bloggers Fast Track for extra detailed and actionable tips on how to start your own blog and make money within the first 6 months of your blogging journey!