How to Start a Blog in 2018 (Step-by-Step Guide with Images)

Are you looking for a free, easy, step-by-step guide on how to start a blog?

How to Start a Blog in 2018 (Step-by-Step Guide with Images)

My free guide will show you how to create a blog that is both beautiful and functional, all in an easy step-by-step tutorial (with pictures).

My name is Meridith Dennes and I created my first blog in 2011 with absolutely zero computer experience. It took me forever to figure it out (Let’s just say I googled and youtubed until I nearly lost my mind.) Since then, I have launched several of my own blogs, and helped hundreds of others do the same.

I know that starting a blog can seem overwhelming and intimidating. I created my free guide to help beginners who only have basic computer skills.

Following these instructions will likely take less than 20 minutes.

Why You Should Start a Blog?

Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).

Do you want to make money while working from home? I make a full-time income blogging and many others do the same. Making money blogging is hard work, but the barrier to entry is low, making it very low risk.

Do you want to get more exposure for your existing business? A blog gives anyone–from individuals to large companies–the ability to reach a large number of people at very little cost.

Need More Intel, we’ve got you covered:

Why You Should Have a Blog – 10 Great Reasons

6 Reasons to Start Blogging for Your Business

Business Blogging for the Nervous and Unconfident

Starting a Blog – What Do I Blog About?

Blog about something you enjoy. If you don’t care about your topic, writing about it will be a snooze-fest. Also, why would readers be interested in reading a blog if you aren’t? About 6 years ago,  I decided to launch a lifestyle blog about work-life balance.

Can you now see how you would benefit from a starting a blog? Let’s get you up and running!

Follow these simple steps to Start a Blog:

Step 1: Choose a Blogging Platform (WordPress)

When starting your blog, there are several platforms to choose from (tumblr, blogger, wix etc.).

However, the only one that really stands out from the pack is WordPress.

It’s FREE, very user friendly, and perfect for people who’ve never built a blog before.

So keep it simple. Just decide to use WordPress and find a hosting company (more on that later) that supports it. WordPress is the web’s most popular CMS (content management system). It powers roughly 20% of the websites that are active today, and a huge number of those are blogs. It lets you customize your layout, create content, and expand your blog’s functionality over time. And you can achieve all this without touching a single line of code.

We also love WordPress because: It helps you to get started quickly.

So WordPress, along with a cheap shared hosting account, is the perfect combination. Many of the world’s most successful blogs were created in exactly this way, and still run on WordPress today.

Why People Use & Recommend WordPress?

  • It’s FREE (you only need a web host & domain name)
  • There are 5,000+ free & paid WordPress themes available to make your design look top-quality.
  • They have super helpful support forum.
  • It offers 45,000+ free plugins to help your blog run more smoothly and efficiently.

91% of all blogs are running on WordPress, including this one— projecteve.com and WordPress is also used by 62% of the top 100 company blogs.

More Intel:

5 Things You Should Know About WordPress

5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Blog Hosting Platform

Why you SHOULDN’T create a blog on a free platform

It’s true, you can create your blog free. But it’ll be very limited in functionality, it’ll look boring, and the address will look somewhat childish (e.g., YourBlog.WordPress.com), which diminishes your credibility.

There are also some serious flaws in free options that you need to know about:

  1. No Control – Your blog is being hosted on another website (e.g., wordpress.com, tumblr.com, blogspot.com). If you violate their terms of service (even by accident), they can shut down your blog any time (it has happened before).
  2. No Customization – You can’t use all the free plugins or themes. Heck, you can’t even use custom themes to really make your blog stand out.
  3. You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it much harder to ever make money from blogging.
  4. Other Limitations – Free space of only 3GB. For posts, images, and perhaps videos—that’s just not enough.

In short, don’t create a free blog, especially if you’re serious about starting a blog. Later migrating to a better option from a free blogging platform can be very time consuming and tricky.

More intel:

Top 10 Website Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Instead, create a self-hosted WordPress blog where you don’t have any limitations. Plus, you’ll be able to use your own (professional) domain name.

This leads me to the next step: finding a domain name.

Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name

Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!

Your domain name is important because:

  • It’s your “first impression” to website visitors.
  • It affects your rankings in search engines.
  • It defines your brand.

With that in mind, you should put some thought into your domain name, but not too much. A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential readers can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name. Just remember to choose something related to your brand (i.e. visitstratton.com), keep it concise and easy to type.

More intel:

10 Tips For Choosing Your Domain Name

5 Domain Name Tools to Suggest Domain Name for your Website

3. Sign Up With a Web Host and Install WordPress

There are Good & Bad Hosting Companies.

Choosing your host is one of the most important aspects of creating your blog. Bad web hosts cause most of the issues people have related to their blog. For example, unhelpful customer service and hidden fees are quite common…Many cheap hosts also overuse servers to cut their costs—and that leads to your site potentially not working just because many people are visiting some other site. Only some cheaper hosts control the resources well, so that your website always works right.

I highly recommend using www.Bluehost.com as your host.

They have one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy for you to get started. Bluehost has been officially recommended by WordPress since 2005.

So just to recap, sign up with a web host (I recommend Bluehost). Choose the hosting plan (you can pick the cheapest one). Log in and write a blogpost. Altogether, this takes about 5-10 minutes if you follow the instructions (and you have chosen your domain name). So, you can start writing your first post in just a few minutes.

Go to www.Bluehost.com and click on the “Get started now” button. Use this link to get a FREE domain, too.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide for creating a blog on Bluehost (or any other web host)

  1. Sign up with a web hosting (I recommend Bluehost).
  2. Choose the hosting plan (you can pick the cheapest one).
  3. Pick a domain name for your blog.
  4. Complete hosting registration.
  5. Install WordPress.
  6. Log in and write a blog post.

4. Sign up with a web hosting (I recommend Bluehost)

Go to www.Bluehost.com and click on the “Get started now” button. Use this link to get a FREE domain, too.

Currently Bluehost is offering a 50% to all projecteve.com visitors, so make sure you take advantage of it.

5. Choose the hosting plan (you can pick the cheapest one).

Now it’s time to choose your hosting package.

There are three options: Basic (recommended), Plus, and Prime.

The Basic option is perfect for beginners. The other two aren’t really needed unless you’re getting millions of visitors from day one. Best of all, Basic is the cheapest option so you save some cash, too.

*Special Partner Promo* 

Project Eve readers can get BlueHost’s most popular plan for just $4.95/month instead of $7.99. Click here to get your website & hosting set up.

6. Choose the domain name you want (they’ll give it to you for FREE).

Next, you’ll need to choose a domain name. You may or may not already have a domain. If you do, you would have previously registered it with a domain registrar, like GoDaddy. If you already have a domain name (i.e., you bought it from somewhere else), use the second form on the right (“I have a domain name”).

Need a new domain? Enter your desired domain on the left. If you’re not sure what domain you want to use yet, take advantage of Bluehost’s option to choose it later. Click the “Choose Free Domain Later” button in the popup that appears and looks like this:

Note: For the purpose of this tutorial, I will use a new domain. If you are using an existing domain, the process is nearly the same. You can still follow along easily.

Click here to learn how to transfer a domain.

7. Complete your registration

After choosing your domain name, the next step is simply to fill out your account, package, and billing information.

Just enter your contact information as you would normally.

The next part gives you some service options. Choose an account plan based on how far in advance you want to pay. Bluehost bills one, two or three years upfront. They do not offer a monthly payment option, but as you can see, it works out to a very reasonable monthly amount. Not bad for your own blog or website, right?

After you’ve filled in your billing information, hit “next”. You’re already almost there!

Skip the upgrades & special offers

Once you hit submit, you’ll be asked if you want to add any upgrades or special offers. I skip them by clicking the “no thanks” link.

Once you hit submit, you’ll be asked if you want to add any upgrades or special offers. I skip them by clicking the “no thanks” link.

Locate & save your welcome emails!

After completing your purchase, you will be sent multiple welcome emails. If you don’t see them in your inbox, check your spam folder. It’s important to locate them because your login information is included.

Activate your domain

In one of the welcome emails, you need to activate your domain (if you chose a new one). Simply open the email and click the button inside to complete the activation process.

Choose a password

At the end of your purchase, you’ll be welcomed and asked to choose a password. Just click the “Create your password” button to choose a secure password.

Let’s get you up and running!

8. Install WordPress with One-Click Installation

Bluehost made some major updates in September 2017. WordPress is now automatically installed so you can start working on your WordPress site right away. Yay! Have you set up your hosting with Bluehost yet? Okay, good.

Click the blue login button in the “Congratulations!” window to get started with WordPress!

Should you choose a theme now?

Bluehost gives you the option to pick a free theme immediately. If you’re not sure about the theme’s reputation, I recommend you skip this step for a few reasons:

  1. Use free themes with caution since many are not kept updated. Outdated themes can leave holes that hackers can exploit.
  2. The free theme that comes pre-packaged and automatically installed will suffice for now. You can always add a new theme later.
  3. You can click “Skip this step” at the bottom of the screen to move on and deal with your theme later which is fine too. Then you’ll be prompted to start building your site.

You can click “Skip this step” at the bottom of the screen to move on and deal with your theme later which is fine too. Then you’ll be prompted to start building your site.

Start building your Bluehost wordpress site

Note: Your site will be on a temporary domain at first. Don’t be alarmed. For new domains, this is because it takes 2-24 hours for your chosen domain to become registered. Go ahead and start working on your site. When the real domain is ready, Bluehost will switch it for you automatically. If you used an existing domain (in Step 4), you can contact Bluehost support or look in the help section when this site is set up and you’re ready to point your existing domain to this new site.

Start building your WordPress site

You have two options on this screen, the blue “Start Building” button and the link underneath, “Or, go to my Bluehost account”:

The latter is self-explanatory. Clicking the “Start Building” button will take you to your new WordPress site like so:

C-Panel login One-click install

Select a blog design and layout

After WordPress is installed, the first thing your blog needs is a face (design and layout). The design of your blog can be easily changed with the Themes. The default theme that comes with your WordPress blog installed is Twenty Sixteen—while it’s a good starter theme, you could select a theme that is more unique to your blog and compatible with your niche. Choose a theme that looks great, but also works for your unique content needs. Your readers will first notice the overall appearance of the blog, before even taking a look at the content.

More intel:

4 Easy Guidelines for Selecting a WordPress Theme

Where can you find a simple Word Press theme?

Things to consider before purchasing a WordPress theme

Action steps

Here’s a quick checklist for choosing your theme by searching within the blog dashboard:

  1. Read the description Most themes come with a short description of features and functionality. By reading it, you should have a rough idea if the theme matches your needs and how customizable it is.
  2. Preview the theme Preview the theme to get an idea of the overall look and layout.
  3. Check the ratings Popular themes will have star ratings that are visible in the preview and under theme details. They should give you a clear idea how good the theme is.
  4. Check for responsiveness Aim for a responsive design that will work on desktop browsers and mobile devices. This is recommended by Google.

If you find a theme that takes your breath away, cool down. Once you install a theme you like, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t look quite right. Your theme is just a skeleton of your blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill in content (text, photos, videos, etc.).

Congratulations – you now know how to make a blog using WordPress. You’ve installed WordPress and set up your blog, all on your own! As you can see, it was really easy and straightforward.

Now that your blog is set up, sign up for my FREE blogging course for tips on how to get started writing your first blog, finding readers, earning money, and personalizing your blog.

If you can’t get your blog online, get in touch with me here. I’ll help you out.

Are you looking for How to Create Your First Email Campaign, we have you covered with our step-by-step guide with pictures.

 

Disclosure: Because I’ve used Bluehost and found their hosting great, all links to Bluehost are referral links. I’ll earn a commission if you make a purchase and you’ll get a discounted price. This is how I keep projecteve.com up and running.

 

4619 COMMENTS

  1. whoah this weblog is excellent i really like studying your posts. Stay up the good work! You realize, many persons are looking round for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  2. I would like to express some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from this particular dilemma. Because of checking through the world wide web and coming across tricks which were not productive, I thought my entire life was gone. Being alive devoid of the answers to the problems you’ve solved by means of your blog post is a critical case, as well as the ones which might have badly damaged my career if I had not encountered your blog. Your good mastery and kindness in dealing with the whole thing was valuable. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come upon such a point like this. I’m able to now relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for this impressive and amazing help. I will not be reluctant to refer your web page to any person who needs direction about this issue.

  3. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw
    away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving
    us something informative to read?

  4. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  5. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done a amazing job with this. In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Opera. Outstanding Blog!

  6. I have to express some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from
    this trouble. Because of exploring through the the net and
    finding advice which were not helpful, I figured my
    life was over. Existing without the answers to the difficulties
    you have resolved by way of your entire website is a serious case, and those that would have badly damaged my career if I
    hadn’t discovered your web page. Your competence and kindness
    in handling almost everything was tremendous. I am not sure what I would have done if I
    hadn’t come across such a step like this. I can also at this moment relish
    my future. Thanks so much for this reliable and sensible guide.
    I will not hesitate to refer your web page to anyone who should
    receive guidance about this area.

  7. Awesome blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions? Thanks!|

  8. Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you present. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  9. Wow, amazing blog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The whole look of your web site is great, let alone the content!

  10. hi!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  11. I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

  12. Good website! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  13. Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I¦d like to peer extra posts like this .

  14. Hi there very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally…I am glad to find numerous helpful information right here in the put up, we’d like work out more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.

  15. Virtually all of what you assert happens to be supprisingly legitimate and it makes me wonder the reason why I had not looked at this in this light before. This particular piece truly did turn the light on for me as far as this subject goes. Nonetheless there is one particular issue I am not really too cozy with so while I attempt to reconcile that with the actual core idea of your issue, permit me observe what the rest of your readers have to point out.Nicely done.

  16. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  17. I¦ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i¦m glad to exhibit that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most indisputably will make sure to don¦t forget this site and give it a look on a constant basis.

  18. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clearness to
    your publish is simply nice and i could assume you’re a
    professional on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to
    snatch your feed to keep up to date with drawing close post.
    Thanks one million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  19. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  20. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you just can do with a few to force the message home a little bit, but other than that, that is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  21. You can certainly see your skills within the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart. “No man should marry until he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.” by Honore’ de Balzac.

  22. whoah this blog is wonderful i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, many people are looking around for this information, you can help them greatly.

  23. hi!,I really like your writing very a lot! percentage we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL? I require an expert in this space to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Having a look forward to look you.

  24. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  25. I do not even know the way I ended up right here, however
    I thought this publish used to be good. I do not know who you’re however certainly you’re going to a
    well-known blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!

  26. The following time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to learn, but I actually thought youd have one thing fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might repair when you werent too busy in search of attention.

  27. you are truly a just right webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a fantastic activity on this topic!

  28. The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to learn, but I truly thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you would repair if you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

  29. Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

  30. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  31. I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :).

  32. I just could not depart your website prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual information an individual supplyfor your visitors? Is going to be again frequently to check out new

  33. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually annoying

  34. The very heart of your writing while sounding reasonable at first, did not settle very well with me after some time. Somewhere within the paragraphs you managed to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I still have got a problem with your leaps in logic and you might do nicely to fill in all those breaks. When you actually can accomplish that, I will definitely be fascinated.

  35. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

  36. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My website covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  37. I will right away snatch your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me recognize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  38. What¦s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its aided me. Great job.

  39. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Appreciate it|

  40. I got what you mean , thankyou for posting.Woh I am glad to find this website through google. “Spare no expense to make everything as economical as possible.” by Samuel Goldwyn.

  41. Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  42. At reputable online casinos, gamblers are provided with free
    trial version versions of scratch cards and also other
    popular casino games, including no download slots and internet based poker.
    This on the web will lets you take an advantage of the unlikely offers we’ve got available which we are updating constantly
    to ensure you are getting the very best as well as the trustworthy prompt information.
    Yes +120No -160Will Phil Hellmuth win his 12th bracelet on the 2012 WSOP.

  43. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

  44. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specifically the last part :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.|

  45. I just could not leave your website prior to suggesting that I actually loved the usual info an individual provide in your visitors? Is gonna be back steadily in order to check up on new posts|

  46. What’s up all, here every person is sharing these experience, therefore it’s pleasant to read this weblog, and I used to pay a visit this website every day.|