Are you completely new to blogging? Looking for a beginner-friendly guide to creating your first WordPress blog? This starter-guide will show you how to start a blog with Bluehost quickly and painlessly.
To complete your blog creation, I'll also take you through some quick steps for installing a theme and some plugins.
Are you ready? Let's go.
Skip this step if you don't need to know what a blog is.
A blog is an online journal where you can write and publish articles about any topic you wish.
Blogging has been around for quite some time now; it is not new. However, it's grown into quite the powerhouse. For some bloggers, their blogs represent their business.
Blogging is also an effective content marketing tactic. Companies also use blogging to help them increase awareness about their brand, products, and services.
A blogger is someone who manages a blog. Managing a blog involves writing and posting blog posts regularly, creating other forms of online content and marketing, developing products and offering services, growing a community, and serving an audience.
A blog can be anything you want it to be. If you want to start a blog as a hobby, then that's fine. If you want to start a blog as a business venture, then even better.
There are over 600 million blogs worldwide. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You'll have your work cut out to compete with that many blogs, right?
But that should not put you off because not all blogs are created equally. Some blogs go on to become very successful, some go on to become one-hit-wonders, but the vast majority go unnoticed.
That's the ultimate question that many bloggers ask. The answer cannot simply be written in a few short paragraphs, sadly.
I've been blogging for over 10 years myself, and I'm still learning how to build a successful blog.
You see, blogging is a lifetime journey, education, and experience. If you're only going to commit to blogging for a few months, then do not start a blog.
To be successful at blogging, you have to be prepared to be in it for the long run. And, you need just a few critical ingredients -
Passion - You're going to need a ton of passion. You've got to be in love with your blogging subject to make a success of it.
Check out this post for tips on finding the best blogging niche.
Smart work - You have to approach blogging like a business. You don't need to slave hours in front of the computer to build a successful blog; you just need to work at it smartly and have a good strategy in place.
This pro blogging workbook will help you become a smarter and more organized blogger.
Patience - Like anything in life that's worth waiting for, you have to be patient as long as you're working towards your goal the best you can.
Blogging will NOT give you instant results. You WON'T be able to quit your job to blog full-time in just a few months. It takes time to build a successful and profitable blogging business, so be patient.
Let's finally go through the steps of starting your blog. The first thing you will need is some web hosting.
There are quite a few web host providers around these days. I've used quite a few of them myself over the years. In this tutorial, we'll look at creating a WordPress blog with Bluehost.
Bluehost is a hosting company that's been around for a long time. Over the years, they've built up a decent reputation and have been the top choice for WordPress for a long while.
Bluehost was my first web hosting experience when I started my blog back in 2010. I recommend using Bluehost's basic plan to kickstart your blog, but as your blog grows, I would recommend seeking a more suitable plan or even a different host to meet your needs.
Recommended alternative host tutorial: How To Set Up A WordPress Blog with SiteGround
First, head over to Bluehost here to begin the process of launching your blog.
Take a look around the website if you wish to learn more about the company. When you're ready, hit the Get Started button on the homepage of their website to begin.
Special Offer: At the time of updating this tutorial, Bluehost offers a special price of just $3.95 per month* and a 30-day money-back guarantee. (*36 months minimum term)
Now, as you are creating your first ever blog, you're not going to need every resource under the sun. You can save money by simply taking out the most basic plan available with Bluehost. That's my personal recommendation. I would not recommend anything more than this as you would be paying for resources you will not need.
The basic plan offers affordability and enough resources to start you off. You also get a free domain name for the first year and free SSL. You can use the free domain name to create your blog. We'll talk more about the domain name in just a second.
As you will see from the price plans below (correct at the time of updating this post), you can choose to upgrade your plan to scale up your blog's growth.
OK, so let's imagine you have picked the Basic Plan for the sake of this tutorial. Next, you'll need to set up your hosting/domain. Let's do that next.
You can either create a new domain or set up a domain that you already use somewhere else. For the sake of keeping this tutorial simple, we'll create a new domain with our hosting plan.
So, as I already mentioned, you get a free domain name for the first year for new Bluehost accounts.
Take some time to think carefully about what you want your blog to be called, as this can be used for your domain name.
Recommended Post: Check out this post for more tips on selecting the perfect domain name for your blog.
Next, you'll need to fill in all the mandatory fields to complete your web hosting account signup. These include -
This is where you add your personal information such as name and address. Pretty simple stuff.
Here you can review the account plan you have selected. You will notice the longer duration you select for your hosting plan, the more money you can save. For example, a 36-month basic plan will set you back less money than a 12-month basic plan.
This is where you can select additional services from Bluehost. These include -
From my own experience, you don't need any extras until your blog is at a level, and even earning money to justify investing in those extra resources.
Of course, this is where you add in your payment information.
Once you have entered all the details carefully and accurately, simply agree to Bluehost's terms and hit Submit.
Boom, you've paid for your hosting plan. Next, you'll need to set up your hosting account. To do this, you'll need to enter a username and password.
When you're ready, hit the Create Account button. See the image below.
Now you have your domain and hosting taken care of and your account is set up, it's time to log into your hosting account to set up your WordPress blog.
So, once you're logged in, the first thing you will see is the setup page. You will need to go through the short steps to set up your WordPress blog successfully.
The First step, give your blog a name and tagline.
Don't forget to slide the toggle to add a blog. Your posts will be displayed on whatever page you pre-select. Then hit Continue. See the image above.
In Step 2, you'll need to check a few boxes that apply to your blog goals. Then hit Continue to Theme Selection. See the image above.
Here you can choose a theme of your choice, and Bluehost has quite a few to choose from.
However, I personally would recommend using a premium quality theme purposely designed for bloggers, like the Genesis Theme Framework by StudioPress, or something like Thrive Theme Builder if you want to build your theme from the ground up.
You can find these themes below -
So going back to the WordPress installation step, in this instance, you can just click on Skip This Step and WordPress will begin to install into your domain name. The installation process shouldn't take too long. See the images below.
You've successfully set up your web hosting and WordPress blog with Bluehost.
You can now head over to My Sites and Log in to WordPress to access your blog's admin area. See the image below.
Next, from your WordPress admin area, you can install a theme of your choice and some essential plugins.
Remember, a theme is basically a skin to give your WordPress blog a unique appearance. By default, your blog will probably be using a Twenty 'Something' theme - There are quite a few of them. Here's what the TwentyThirteen theme looks like -
You really don't want to be using any of the Twenty themes; it's entirely up to you, however, but they're not exactly unique, nor do they look exciting.
Again, I would recommend a premium theme that you can customize to match the brand you would like to create for your blog. I've already mentioned Genesis and Thrive Themes, check out the following posts for more theme ideas -
After installing a theme, the next step is installing some plugins. The use of plugins is what makes WordPress the most flexible website building tool on the planet.
Plugins enhance and expand the functionality of WordPress entirely.
For example, if you need an online store for your blog, then there's a plugin for that called WooCommerce for that.
Or, if you need to create an online course, then there's a plugin for that called LearnDash (This is a premium plugin).
You can find a wide range of functional free-to-use plugins in the WordPress repository here. There are currently over 58,000 to choose from.
I recommend using a combination of quality free plugins and premium plugins where possible.
The plugins that I'd recommend installing for a new blog are as follows -
#1. Rank Math - This is by far the most powerful and complete on-page and site-wide SEO plugin available for WordPress. RankMath is not the most popular SEO plugins on the planet, but it is, in my opinion, the best! I am currently using this plugin here on Magnet4Blogging.
#2. WP Super Cache - This plugin will generate a static HTML file from your WordPress blog. After an HTML file has been generated, your web server will actually serve that file instead of processing the heavier WordPress PHP scripts. All this simply means your blog will load faster. Your users will see cached versions of your pages.
#3. Google ReCaptcha plugin - This plugin is 100% free, and you can use it to help reduce comment and contact form spam as your blog begins to get popular.
#4. Monster Insights for WordPress - A must-have plugin to help you install the Google Analytics tracking code into your blog. Google Analytics is used to monitor your blog traffic growth.
#5. Social Snap - This is a powerful, lightweight, fast loading social sharing plugin that will help your site visitors share your awesome content on social media. There are a free version and premium options for using this plugin.
So, those are just a few of the essential plugins I would recommend you install when setting up your first WordPress blog using Bluehost.
So, there you have it, a step-by-step guide to kick-starting your blog WordPress hosted blog using Bluehost. Hopefully, you found this tutorial useful; let me know if you did not, and I'll try to make it better.
Please do check out the recommended links for additional tips and tutorials below.
Affiliate Disclaimer: The opinions of the Bluehost Web Hosting Company and their services, in this review, are purely my own expressed, and based on my past and present experiences with the company. The links to Bluehost Services in this post are affiliate links. This means if you purchase hosting or domain plans with Bluehost, I will be paid a small commission, at no additional cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclaimer here.