Oh yes, I’m going there! I actually get quite a few questions about blogging and how to set them up. It’s a question I don’t mind answering. I wrote a detailed “how to start a blog and make money” post on Sprout Wealth some time ago and it’s still a popular one. It’s detailed to say the least, but I think it’s over many beginner’s heads. I’m OK with that. I’m technical when it comes to WordPress, so I wanted to make it even easier for you. Today, I’m going to show you how to start a blog on BlueHost in less than 7 minutes. Yes, just about 7 minutes and you can be done. Here are the steps.
Start at BlueHost
OK, the first step is obviously to go to BlueHost.com to get started. Their site is easy to use and their prices are good. While I don’t currently host at BlueHost, I have helped a number of bloggers there. Their pricing is good for beginners and I always recommend you go with self-hosted WordPress, instead of WordPress.com. You are here to make money, so it’s the way to go.
**Before you even start this process, you should have a domain name you want to use. This is not going to be counted in the time it takes to get started. If you don’t already have a domain name in mind, then this could take some time to come up with one and then start your blog. If you need to secure a domain, I use GoDaddy for all of my domains.
Pick a Hosting Package
Hosting a blog at BlueHost is easy and fairly cheap. They have WordPress optimized hosting starting at $3.95 per month. That’s cheap. Right now, they have three packages to choose from. Most new bloggers can get away with the cheapest package as they will only have one domain. If you plan on adding more blogs to your hosting plan, you will need to upgrade to the second package. You can do this at any time, so it’s not necessary at first.
On the hosting page, select the “starter package” and move on!
Get Your Free Domain
When you sign up for BlueHost, they will give you a free domain as part of the package. This is nice as you have to pay for domains at other services. To make this process completely easy, you can sign up for a free domain right at BlueHost. They will tell you if the domain is available or not, but that’s why I want to make sure you already have one in mind. If you have a domain you already purchased, say at GoDaddy, then you can also transfer it to BlueHost.
After you pick a package, it will then go to the domain screen. You can create a new one (perfect for a new blog) or transfer one (this takes longer). Type in your domain and hit “next”.
Add Your Account Information
Once you click “next”, it will say if the domain is available. Once you find one that is, then it will come up with a nice “Congratulations” page and you will have to enter your account information. This information is for hosting and all is required. Here are the pieces that you need to enter.
Verify the BlueHost Package Information
This next section, below the account information is to verify your hosting package. It’s very important to note that the price you see on the home screen is for three years of hosting, paid upfront. If you just want to pay for one year, it will be more. There is a drop down box (the first one), which will lay out the prices for the package you selected based on the time frame you want to pay. I recommend you pay for just one year, but if you think you will still be at it for three years, then do it!
**Important** – There are a few checkboxes in the package information section. There are only two you should be concerned with. The first is domain privacy registration. This costs money, but it hides your personal information from people wanting to know who owns your domain. If you are going to be blogging about things that could be controversial, or you don’t want people to know your address, then check this box and pay for the service.
The second is BlueHost’s backup pro service. This is relatively cheap for a backup service. Backing is one of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make. The mistake is they don’t back up their site. That’s terrible and I completely recommend backing it up. If you don’t know how to do this any other way, then pay for this service.
Don’t check any of the other boxes in the package information section.
Enter Your Credit Card Information
Now it’s time to enter your credit card information. Just enter the information in the boxes and then read the terms and conditions below. Check the box once you read them. Once that’s done, then click “Next”.
It’s Time to Install WordPress
BlueHost will process your order relatively quickly. Now, it’s time to start your blog. They will direct you to your control panel where you setup everything. There are a lot of icons here, but they make it easy with a simple WordPress installer icon. Click on this icon and start the process.
You will be directed to an installation page for WordPress. Click on the “Start” button to create a new installation of WordPress on BlueHost.
A new page will load and it will ask which domain you want to install WordPress on. Since you probably only have the domain you just created. Use the dropdown to select the domain if not already defaulted to your new domain. In the box next to it, you can enter a sub-folder if you don’t want WordPress installed in the root domain. This is what I mean.
Leave it blank if you want your blog to be at http://www.mydomain.com
If you want your blog to be at http://www.mydomain.com/blog/ then put in the word “blog” in that box. This means that when people go to mydomain.com, you will need to have another page there.
Most people, will just keep this box blank.
Click the Check Domain box and move on. You will then be brought to a new part where you have to enter some information. Make sure the “Show advanced options” is checked. Enter the information in the boxes as necessary.
Site Name: This should be what you want your site to be called. This can be changed later in WordPress.
Admin Username: enter the username you want to use to log into WordPress. Don’t ever use “admin” or “administrator”. Sometimes BlueHost requires you to use an email, so put in your favorite email, such as your gmail email address.
Admin Password: Enter something you will remember, but will be hard for hackers to figure out. Make it difficult and not something you use in other places.
Admin Email Address: Enter your email address again. This is where new comments and notifications from the blog will be sent to.
Make sure the box to automatically create a new database is checked.
Check the terms and conditions box after you read them, then click “Install Now”.
The system will take a little bit to create the new installation. Once it’s done, it will confirm with you and then give you links to log into your new blog! Boom, just like that, you are done and have created a new blog on BlueHost! It’s a really easy process and all said and done, it should only take less than 7 minutes to do it.
If you don’t know how to do this or you would like help, I do offer a free WordPress installation service, where I will install and configure your WordPress blog for you. Yes, it’s all for free.
So, what are you waiting for? Blogging can be a viable way to make money and I know quite a few people who do it. Get started now at BlueHost and then reach out to us and we will be happy to help you along!