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Exactly How to Start a Blog

I decided if someone like me could actually create and run a blog completely on my own, then I would pass on the information about how to start a blog to others wanting to do the same. Let me explain the “someone like me” comment. I have no technology background whatsoever and I only have an iPad. Hard to believe, right? And that’s my proof that you can do this too!

What I do have is tons of information going through my head that I wanted to share ūüėä. Tips and ideas that I have discovered along our family journey that I wanted to put in one place. I had the content, I just had to figure out how to get the blog put together.

I am going to outline exactly what I did. Feel free to use my information and I hope it helps you! ¬†If I can do this…you can too! ¬†I set this up completely by what I learned and researched online.

How to start a blog

WordPress Self Hosted Blog: everything I kept reading from bloggers made me decide that WordPress.org was the way to go especially as far as being user friendly. ¬†I also chose to have a self hosted blog…meaning I do pay for it (it wasn’t free, but it also is very affordable). ¬†I chose self hosted because I decided if I was going to start blogging…then I was going to go for it, for real. ¬†Self Hosting allows you the most control over your own blog.

Bonus about WordPress: I have taught myself to do everything on my blog by searching WordPress archives. ¬†If I have something I want to learn how to do, I just google “how do I …….. on my WordPress blog” and I get immediate results from the forums. ¬†That’s easy!

Bluehost: Because I self hosted, I needed a place in the Internet for my blog to take up some space.  Basically you pay for a space, and upload your wordpress info.  Again I chose Bluehost because that was what many of the bloggers were recommending.  I chose to trust them because obviously they were users who honestly liked the product.

Here is what I have learned about Bluehost (my blog has been up and running since 7/2014)

  • it is very user friendly: (and this is coming from someone who knows nothing), I have been able to figure everything out that I have needed so far completely on my own
  • support: I have also used this service from Bluehost. Awesome. I specifically remember using their “live chat” option in the middle of the night and they helped me resolve the issue immediately.
  • affordable: I have been happy here as well. It has been very affordable especially considering everything I receive and how happy I have been with the service (like 3.95-5.95 monthly). I honestly couldn’t justify spending tons of money on something that started out as a hobby, so this was a great fit.

Disclosure: I am a  Bluehost affiliate meaning that I earn a commission through referrals from this site.  I chose to be an affiliate because of how happy I have been with this service and I wanted to help others do the same. I use this to offset the costs of running my blog.

How to start a blog

Exactly How To Start a Blog

1.) Bluehost: click here to be sent directly to Bluehost and click “get started now”

2.) “select your plan” I honestly chose the most basic…It has been great!

How to start a blog

3.) Sign up now: type in your domain name and click “next”

–I started off by purchasing my own name with .com behind it, I wanted my name to be connected to my blog as my first option

–later, I added another domain (girlhomefitness) that I link to the exact same spot. ¬†This way people can type either and be directed to the same place (my blog). ¬†I just thought this was easier to spell

How to start a blog

4.) Sign up…Congratualtions! Page, this is where you fill out your account information, choose package options, and pay attention here…there is a drop down box that gives you the option to pay for 36, 24, or 12 months in advance, pick what works for you. The monthly rate is less for the 3 year option. By the way, I unchecked boxes in this section for upgrades. Then add payment information.

Then click “next”

How to start a blog

 

How to start a blog

The one box I would leave checked is the domain privacy protections

5.) Again, I skipped several upgrades, and the process should be “complete” and you will see “welcome to Bluehost”

6.) Create your password, and I used the password generator to make it tricky

7.) “I confirm that I have read and agreed to the terms of service” “create”

8.) Log in to Bluehost and skip to the Control Panel to install WordPress (I did it myself)

How to Install WordPress

1.) Scroll down and click “install WordPress” WordPress is your actual blog software, Bluehost is the space it rents.

2.) this will take you to a new screen, click “install” and select your domain

3.) “You’re almost there”

4.) “show advanced options” type in username and password

–check “automatically create a new database for this installation”

–check “I have read the terms…”

5.) “Install Now”

6.) Now go to “view credentials” and write down

–URL

–ADMIN URL

–USERNAME

–PASSWORD

How to Log in to your Blog and make a Post

1.) Either use your admin URL and type in your username and password or you can go straight to your blog URL and scroll down to “log in”

2.) You will be in what is called your “Dashboard”

3.) Click the “+ new” icon at the top of the screen and you are ready to start typing.

4.) clicking “add media” allows you to add pictures

5.) create a link: high light the text you want to link somewhere else and then click the little chain icon in the toolbar.  Type in or copy and paste the destination you want that spot to take you to. (The words should turn blue)

How to start a blog

Make Your Blog Pretty

There are several ways to do this through WordPress (by using themes)…but again I took the simple route. I went on Etsy.com and typed “WordPress Blog Themes” in the search space. ¬†This brought up several pre-made themes to choose from. ¬†I picked one I liked, researched all of the reviews and purchased it. Super affordable…and the seller was great. ¬†She set it all up for me and was even kind enough to answer several newbie questions for me.

Some Features and Plugins I use

Yoast Seo: this one has been wonderful, it helps improve SEO for each of your posts if you follow the easy instructions

Limit Login Attempts: just for some added security

Jetpack: there are several things you can choose to have this plugin do like show site stats

Akismet: this helps to block spam (worth it)

vCita: this is the little pop up in the bottom of my screen that makes it easier for people to contact me if they choose

Hello bar: this is at the top of my screen, this redirects to another site of mine

Vaultpress: I recently installed vaultpress and pay a minimal fee to have my blog saved at regular intervals.  I do nothing and I have something creating backups for me.  Nice peace of mind. I did not do this at first, but decided I needed to when my blog started getting more popular. Exciting!

Hope this was helpful for those mommas out there like me with information to share! ¬†It has been such a creative and wonderful outlet for me…I wish you the best on your journey! ¬†You can do it!

 

 

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher