Effortless Guide To Starting A Blog
Updated: Jun 5
Is it true that starting a blog is hard?
Not at all! Getting a blog up and running is rather easy and better still is the fact that you do not need to know how to code. This guide has been created to assist you in setting up your very own blog in an affordable way.
We believe that going the self-hosted blog route truly is the best when it comes to flexibility and power. This process does, however, have some cost involved, but we have put a few things in place for you to SAVE big on this entire process.
The benefits of having a self-hosted blog
If you look at the URL bar, you’ll see that you are on www.pixelden.co.za, there is no subdomain such as .blogspot or .wordpress in the URL. When most people decided that starting a blog, they all lean towards the free options, because let's face it, it is free. Ultimately it would be a better option to bite the bullet and invest in your own domain name and hosting.
So here is why:
When you choose to host through a free site like blogger, they, unfortunately, have full rights to your content. That’s right, as soon as you publish your work on a free platform, you are forfeiting the rights to your work.
As a blogger, you would like to be taken seriously. Sure there are plenty of great bloggers who don’t own their domains, but they had to work a lot harder to establish themselves as a serious blogger.
Making the switch from free to self-hosted can be painful. It is a real pain to switch your free blog over to a self-hosted WordPress blog, so in most cases, it would be better to rather pay for a self-hosted blog from the beginning rather than pay to for a self-hosted blog and a professional to transfer your blog.
Are you serious about blogging? For pretty much any other hobby that you are serious about there would surely be some start-up fee, We didn’t see why blogging should be any different.
A few things you will need to get started
Roughly about 30 minutes, or so to set everything up
Fundamentally basic computer knowledge
A credit or debit card. This will be for your hosting and domain name fees. Fear not, if you take your blog seriously, you will be able to make this money back and then some.
Getting Up & Running – HOSTING:
So as we mentioned earlier, we would like to help you get your self-hosted blog up and running, without breaking the bank. We have managed to secure significant savings for you through bluehost.com We will guide you through the setup in our video tutorial below.
Here is what you will need to get started:
Pick a domain name.
Choose a hosting provider & package.
Install WordPress & choose your theme.
Learn WordPress Dashboard & pick your WordPress plugins.
Step One: Getting Started and Choosing a Domain Name
Before you can begin building your website, choosing your domain name is one of the most important parts as this is how your audience will find you and identify with your brand.
Your domain name is what people type into their browser to get to your website. Though it’s tempting to choose something funny or flashy, pick a domain that both represents your brand and makes it easy for people to find you.
For example, “bobsmithwelding.com” is better than “bobdoesmetalwork.com” because searchers that are looking for Bob by name or for welding services are more likely to find him.
After you have picked your domain, you will need to buy your name and pick a hosting company that suits the needs of your website. Since you are building a website on WordPress, choosing a hosting provider that offers hosting specifically for WordPress site is ideal. This way you can purchase your domain name and hosting service from the same provider. Luckily, Bluehost offers both and is recommended by WordPress!
Step Two: Choose Your Package and Set Up Your Hosting Account
Bluehost offers a couple of hosting packages from our standard WordPress plans to our fully managed WordPress hosting plans. Once you have established your domain name, you’ll need to create an account for your hosting plan.
Enter your personal information into each field and then scroll down to the package lists
Choose an option that fits your budget and service needs. Prices vary across hosting providers, but most offer add-ons, like extra security features, tools to boost search rankings, and site backup.
Check the appropriate boxes and scroll down to enter your billing information. Take a moment to read through the terms of service, cancellation policy, and privacy notices, then click the box to confirm that you agree with the policies.
Follow the on-screen instructions to create a password and, boom, you are ready for step three: choosing your WordPress theme.
Step Three: Choose a WordPress Theme
If you’ve chosen Bluehost as your web host, WordPress will be automatically installed for you. All you have to do is click, ‘Log in‘ and choose a theme. if you aren’t sure which theme you want, don’t worry! You can go back and change it later. If you don’t like the generic themes, you can upgrade to one of the premium themes.
The next screen will ask if you are building your website for Personal or Business reasons. This will help us provide you with accurate recommendations to help on your website building journal.
Step Four: Learn Your WordPress Dashboard
Now that you are ready to start working, you should find yourself on the Dashboard, or the back-end, for your new website. This is the service area that allows you to control what your website visitors will see when they land on your pages. Spend some time learning the WordPress admin dashboard by reviewing features that you will use most often.
Step Five: Customize Themes and Pages
Let the fun begin! You are ready to start fine-tuning your site with your color choices, font styles, and special elements that will help you express your company culture or personality. You can dive right in and write your first post, but it’s beneficial to get to know the features and functionality of your site first.
On the left-hand sidebar you’ll find navigation links that allow you to customize your site. The best way to get to know your way around is to click on each tab and explore the options.
Browse the themes; there are paid and free options available.
Customize your theme with colors, headers, and social media buttons.
Upload photos to inspire your site visitors and add clues about your values and services.
Create your first blog post and main page content.
Add a contact form
Don’t forget to set up Google Analytics in order to collect data on visitors coming to your site and link Google Search Console to make sure there are no errors.
How to use Wordpress Dashboard
Become A Blogging Superstar with these tools:
Grammarly - Grammarly is a great little tool that will transform your blog posts into a more professional and enjoyable read. Millions trust Grammarly's free writing app to make their online writing clear and effective. Getting started is simple — download Grammarly's extension today. Try it free
Canva - Canva is an exceptionally easy graphic design platform that allows users to create all kinds of graphics and other visual content. It is available on web and mobile, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations. Give Canva a try!
Pexels - If you are looking for some beautiful stock free stock images then look no further than Pexels.com the offer free stock photos that you can use everywhere. ✓ Free for commercial use ✓ No attribution required.
Elementor - Build a beautiful blog with Elementor's easy drag and drop page builder. Designed By and For Designers. No Coding Needed. Pixel Perfect Design. Award-Winning Web Design. Showcase Your Creativity. Free & Open Source. Build Better Websites. Try Elementor