Hello Everyone! This is Anne Parker, The Southern Lady Cooks daughter!
This post is going to be a little different from our regular food post. We have had quite a few emails asking how we started our blog and is there an easy way to get started. I work a lot behind the scenes and I am going to share with you how easy this can be! I am sure many of you have lots of cool interests and hobbies and may want to start a blog to showcase them. Blogs are a great way to stay in touch with family and friends or to build a business. That is what is so wonderful about the blog world, you can use your blog for whatever you desire! So let’s get started on the steps to start your own blog!
There are many options for starting a blog, however we suggest you use a self-hosted WordPress site. Many bloggers use this set up and we are one of them! I have heard many people say they would love to start a blog but would have no idea where to begin. I am going to give you the step by step process of how to enjoy the blogging world! Do not be intimidated, anyone can do this!
Step One: Set up Hosting
I know this may sound confusing right off the get go, but I promise it isn’t, just hang in there! Hosting is where your blog will “live”. Think of this as a remote computer that hosts your site and keeps it safe. You will rent space on this remote computer for your WordPress software and manage your new amazing blog.
I recommend Bluehost because WordPress speaks so highly of the service they provide. I have been using wordpress for over 8 years and if they feel strongly about Bluehost there is a reason for it.
A few wonderful things about Bluehost:
- They offer wonderful 24-7 support! Very important if you have questions or concerns.
- The sites they host have an up time average of 99.9%. Be sure and read that again, this is VERY important. Nothing more frustrating than logging on and your site not coming up.
- Bluehost is simple to use, which is one o f the reasons I am recommending it. I have been doing this a long time and when something is simple and user-friendly it makes all the difference.
- Bluehost is very affordable especially for bloggers just starting out. Lets be honest, we all want to enjoy blogging, but it shouldn’t cost a fortune. With plans ranging from $3.95-5.95 a month you just can’t beat it. Another added bonus the longer you commit to their service the cheaper it becomes.
- There are no limits with Bluehost, unlimited band with, unlimited domains, unlimited disk space. When it comes to your blog, unlimited is a word you want to see!
I would like to note that I am a Bluehost affiliate which means the company does pay me a commission each time someone signs up using one of my links. However I want to be clear this didn’t influence my choice. There are many, many, many hosting services available but I feel this one is the easiest and offers the best for your money. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee. *This site, TSLC is not hosted on Bluehost because the site has just grown to be to large and we have our own server. Bluehost specializes in shared servers which is perfect for 95% of the blogs today.
Okay, so now lets click this Bluehost link to get to the home page and click “Get Started”
Now you will pick a plan. If you look at each plan, my personal opinion is the $5.95 plan since it is all unlimited. You may think you don’t have a need for that right now, however you want your blog to grow and this plan allows for lots of growth.
Now you will continue by clicking the select button.
Pick a Domain name! This is the “name” of your blog, so be creative, make it unique to you. If you are creating this for a business be sure and think about business cards, logos, etc. If this is a family blog for updates, family pictures and adventures then maybe pick a name that suits your lifestyle.
Example our name is: thesouthernladycooks.com however if your family loves camping and you want to blog about that maybe take your last name and the word camp.. campjones.com
This is where you will check to see if the name you have selected is available.
Now you will continue by clicking the “next” button and select your plan and enter your account information. You are one step closer to having your blog! Again I do suggest the “Plus Package” because you get more for your money. Bluehost does require you to pay the annual rate in advance, this is how they are able to keep the monthly cost so low. By using my Bluehost Affiliate Link, your cost for a year using the Plus Package would be $71.40 which is very reasonable considering all you are gaining with this package.
Personally I would NOT sign up for any of the other services listed on the screen. You can definitely decide that on your own, but I would recommend skipping those.
Next up is billing information and agreeing to the Terms of Service, click the NEXT button and the system will confirm your credit card information.
At this point Bluehost will ask you to “Select the Upgrades that best suit you” I suggest you skip all of these and click the complete button to continue on. This is where it will generate your account so please be patient, this may take a few minutes.
You will then be “Welcomed to Bluehost” and “Congratulations” for choosing a great service!
Next step will be selecting your password. We all know everywhere you go on the internet you need a password, however this one needs to be EXTRA secure. I suggest using the password generator to create your password. Copy this to the clipboard by pressing ⌘-C if you are on a Mac or Control-C if you are on a PC. Now click the Paste button to paste the password into the appropriate fields.
Now you will click the checkbook to “Confirm” you have read and agree to the “Terms of Service”, now click CREATE and your Bluehost account will be created.
NOTICE: You may receive an error message here, if you do..don’t freak out. Sometimes it takes a bit for Bluehost to create and account. If you run into this issue, call their customer service line at 1–888–401–4678.
Okay this is super exciting, you are one step closer to your dreams of being a blogger. Just a few more things and you will be way on your way to having your own little spot on the internet.
You should be redirected to the bluehost login screen, where you will be asked to login to your account/domain. Your domain should already be inserted into the login, however if it isn’t just type it in. Your DOMAIN is the name of your site, for example: thesouthernladycooks.com next enter your password and hit SUBMIT.
At this point you may see another option for an upgrade, I suggest you skip this. You are just getting started and I don’t feel this is necessary at the moment, you can always add things to your account later. That is the one great thing about this service, you can switch things up.
Okay now you will click on HOSTING in the top left corner and you will see the control panel.
This is where we are going to install WordPress which is your blogging software. Just to make sure you are not confused, Bluehost is where your blog is hosted (remote computer) and WordPress is the software you will use to produce your blog entries. So this step is getting those two together!
Next you will scroll down the screen to where you see Website Builder and click Install WordPress and wait patiently for a new page to load.
When the new WordPress screen appears click on the “Install” button, this will take you to another screen where you will select which domain name to install. Remember, the domain name is the NAME you selected for your blog, it should default to the correct name.
The last step is upon us as far as the installation process. The next screen will say “Last step, you are almost there.” Click on “Advanced Options.” This is where you will type in your site name or title.. example: The Southern Lady Cooks. Next accept the Admin Username and Password.. WRITE THEM DOWN and save them! Now click “I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2″ and click the INSTALL button! This may take a few minutes to install and it will keep you updated on the progress.
There may be a moment next where Bluehost tries to sell you something, just decline and move on. I know that gets super annoying because it annoys me, however this is part of the process and just ignore it and move on.
Once the installation is complete it will let you know! Click on VIEW CREDENTIALS so you can save all of your VERY important information such as your Blog URL, Login URL, username, and password. This information will also be emailed to you.
CONGRATS!! You are a success.. let the fun begin.
Now you will click on Admin URL and go straight to the WordPress Log in. Once you have added your information, click the remember me to make logging in easier in the future.
What you are seeing once logged in is the Dashboard, which is how you do everything on your new blog. You will see POST on the left hand side, then click ADD NEW. This is where you will enter your post each time you decide to blog. Once you have written your blog post, you can use the “PREVIEW” button the right hand side to see the post before you publish it. You can also save the post and publish it later. Once you have published your post, you can go back and edit it anytime, so don’t freak out if you need to make changes.
There are many amazing things you can do in wordpress! You can click on “Appearance” to set up the way you want your blog to look, adding headers, etc. I will be doing a few more post in the future on cool things you can do with your blog.
Be sure and Pin this great information!