So, you want to start your own blog? Awesome!
Whether you’re looking to blog just for fun or you want to really make money from blogging, the starting point is the same — setting up your blog. And if you want to get through this part without hassles, you’re just on the right page.
Here, you’ll learn how to set up your own blog within 30 minutes or less — even if you’re a complete newbie with no prior knowledge of HTML or other technical stuff.
All you have to do is read the detailed guide below and other linked pages, and follow the steps to create your own WordPress blog. Within thirty minutes or thereabout, you should have your own blog live on the web!
Now, let’s get started with the basics.
At this point, I want to assume that you’ve already figured why you want to start blogging, and you’ve decided on the topic you want to blog about. So, I won’t bother dwelling on those aspects. Let’s move on fast.
Before proceeding to set up your blog, you need to do two important things: First, choose a domain name. And second, decide on which blogging platform to use.
Choosing a domain name
Your domain name is going to be your identity in the “blogosphere”, so you need to choose it carefully. Opt for a domain name that is unique, easy to remember, and short. Though including words that reflect your blog topic isn’t a must, it is recommended.
Bear in mind that your most preferred name might not be available, so you should have a number of other options by the side. Better yet, consider other domain extensions (that is, if the .com is no longer available, consider .net, or .org).
And if all else fails, it doesn’t hurt to use your name. Many successful bloggers use have their names as their blog’s domain names.
Deciding on blogging platform
This area can be really confusing for most beginner bloggers because they really don’t know the options they have. And when they do, they don’t know which option is preferable and why. But I’ll explain the options in simple terms here, so you can make a well informed decision.
Your blogging platform is the program that holds your blog and makes it available on the web. The two most popular blogging platforms are Blogger (owned by Google) and WordPress. While Blogger is a totally free platform, WordPress has both a free option (WordPress.com) and a self-hosted option (WordPress.org).
If you ask me and most other professional bloggers out there which platform is the best, our answer will be the same — self-hosted WordPress.
While Blogger and WordPress.com come at no cost, there are so many pesky limitations to using both free platforms. And here are some of them:
- You’ll have to include an ugly extension in your blog URL, so you get something like yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.wordpress.com. (Though you can get a yourblog.com name, it won’t come for free).
- You don’t have access to the thousands of plugins and themes available to a self-hosted blog. To gain access to some — not even all — of them, you have to part with some bucks.
- Your blog can be deleted anytime you post information that is regarded as spam or sensitive content by the platform’s overzealous bots. And most of the time, you can’t get it back.
- You can’t use a custom email like firstname.lastname@example.org. You can only get to use such on a self-hosted blog.
- You can’t monetize your blog as freely as you like. While Blogger allows a number of monetization options, WordPress.com allows none (unless you agree to share a whopping 50 percent of your profit with them — and that’s just crazy!).
However, with a self-hosted WordPress blog, you’ll be able to get started with a cool domain name like yourdomain.com or yourdomain.org. And You’ll be able to customize your blog as much as you like with the thousands of plugins and themes available.
In addition, you’ll be able to share whatever content you like on your blog without nursing any fears of having it deleted. And you’ll be able to make money through any monetization method you want. In short, you’ll be in absolute control of your blog.
So, how much does it cost to create a self-hosted WordPress blog?
Very cheap. With less than $60, you can set up a self-hosted WordPress blog — and you won’t get to spend anything extra until after one year.
First, you have to register your domain name for about $15 per year. (But don’t worry about this. Here, I’ll tell you a smart way to get a free domain name for life. Read on to get the details.)
Next, you need to purchase a hosting plan. This plan provides the space that your blog will occupy on the web.
There are more than countable companies on the web offering hosting services to individuals and companies looking to host their blogs and websites. And trying to figure out the good ones can easily get you confused. But I’ve done all the homework for you.
Which web hosting company should you choose?
Having worked with a number of hosting companies and learning about other customer’s experiences with many others, I’ve developed strong confidence in a few of them, and I can vouch for services of those few.
However, the hosting company I particularly love to recommend is eHost. And here are my reasons:
- They have a clean user interface, you can easily find your way around without getting lost — even if you have no previous experience of blog or website creation.
- They give you a free domain for life — many other web hosts sell a domain name for $15 per year.
- Their customer support staff are responsive and are always ready to help you with any issues you may have with their service.
- They guarantee and provide amazing server uptime of 99.9%.
- They offer unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth. So you don’t have to worry about exceeding space limits as your blog becomes more robust with content and traffic.
- They have a “one-click WordPress installation” feature, so you can get your blog live on the web within few minutes.
- Their services are cheap. If you use this discount link (or any other one on this page), you’ll pay less than $60 for one year. And if you pay for 2 or 3 years, you’ll get bigger discounts!
- They offer attractive freebies, which include FREE $100 credit to promote your site on Google Adwords and FREE $100 credit to promote your site on Yahoo/ Bing.
- They offer a 45-day, no-risk, money-back guarantee. So, if you set up your blog with them today and decide within 45 days to stop using their services or quit blogging altogether, you can get a full refund of your money by simply canceling your account.
Now that you’ve understood why you should go for a self-hosted WordPress blog, and why you should choose eHost as your hosting service provider, let’s discuss how to set up your self-hosted WordPress blog using eHost.
How to create a blog using eHost
At this point, you’re just a few minutes away from getting your self-hosted WordPress blog live on the web. Just get your credit card and follow the steps below.
First, click here to visit eHost (don’t worry, it will open in another browser tab, so you won’t lose this tutorial). Right on the page, click “get started now”.
On the next page, enter your preferred domain name (you’ll get it FREE) in the space provided. Use the drop down menu to choose your preferred extension if you’re not going for .com. But leave it as it is if .com is your preferred extension (that’s the default setting). Then click “Get My Domain”.
If the domain name you requested is no longer available, you’ll be required to choose another domain name. But if it’s available, you’ll see the page shown below. In the fields provided, enter your full name, email address, and password. Then click “Continue”.
On the next page, you’ll be required to enter your personal details, package duration and payment information (you can use PayPal or a credit/debit card):
Confirm that all the details you provided are correct. Then click “Complete”.
If you’re paying with a credit/debit card, the next page confirms that your order is successful. But if you’re using PayPal, you’ll be redirected to PayPal.com to complete your payment. After that you’ll be good to go.
After payment, you’ll be invited to buy some option add-ons. You can select any of them that you think you need, but if you don’t need any of them or you’re not sure, just click “No Thanks!”.
On the next page, you’ll be prompted to buy some more add-ons. Just scroll down and click “No Thanks!”.
Congrats! That’s all it takes to create a hosting account with eHost.
Your next step is to install WordPress on your hosting account.
How to install WordPress on your hosting account
After you’ve successfully purchased your hosting account, you’ll be shown the inside of your eHost account. The page displays “cPanel Hosting” and “Website Builder”. Since I use and recommend WordPress, I’d choose “cPanel Hosting”.
Warning: If you choose “Website Builder”, you won’t be able to switch later, so be sure to choose “cPanel Hosting”.
On the next page, scroll down to the “Software/Services” section and click on the “Quick Install” icon.
In the left menu, under “Popular Installs”, and click “WordPress”, then click “Install WordPress”.
Fill the form provided on the next page. And note the following:
- Select your domain name in the first field
- Leave the sub-directory field blank (the field right in front of your domain name)
- Choose a username you can easily remember but that is difficult for anyone else to guess correctly. Note that your username cannot be changed later.
Click “Install WordPress”. The page might show a notice that some files already exist in that location. In that case, just click “Continue”.
You might see a popup prompting you to buy a theme. Just close it. Within few seconds, your WordPress installation would be complete. Here’s what you’ll see at the top of the page:
And that’s it! Your WordPress blog has been successfully installed.
Now, you can login to your WordPress blog and start blogging right away!
Login to your blog and start blogging
To gain access to your blog, you need to login to the back-end. To do this, simply open a new browser tab and enter the Login URL you were provided after your WordPress installation. The Login URL should look like http://yourblog.com/wp-admin.
Your blog’s login page will be displayed next. Enter your username and password in the spaces provided, then click “Login”.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the promised land — the WordPress dashboard. That’s the “back-end” of your blog where you make changes to your blog and set everything that you readers will see on the “front end”.
The dashboard above might look somewhat overwhelming at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time at all, I promise.
Now that you’ve logged in to your new WordPress blog, you can publish your first post, just to see how simple the process is.
To publish your first post, start by moving your mouse pointer to the menu on the left. Hover your mouse on “Posts” and click “Add New” from the sub-menus that pop out.
Add the title of your blog post in the first field, and write your post content in the second, larger field.
Click “Publish” by the right hand side.
The next page shows a notification that your post has been published. Click the “View Post” to see how your new post would appear to your readers.
And that’s all there is to creating your WordPress blog! All you need is 30 minutes or even less.
Next, it’s time to learn a bit more about how to make your blog look great. You can check out the following links for more details:
- Understanding the WordPress Dashboard
- How to Install a WordPress Theme
- How to Install WordPress Plugins
- Necessary Changes You Must First Make to Your Blog
- How to Create Posts and Pages for Your WordPress Blog
- How to Set Up Menus and Widgets
Now, you can see how easy the whole set up process is.
Are you ready to get started now? Click here to head over to eHost and start creating your blog!
Do you need my help?
In case you get stuck at any point while setting up your blog, get in touch with me through Jimmy Rohampton [AT] gmail [dot] com, and I’d readily help you out for free.