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How to start a blog with Wordpress and Bluehost with Two Wolves Roam Blogging Beginners Start a Blog Tutorial
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How to Start a Blog with WordPress and Bluehost in 2019

A Simple Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners (like me)

Have you always wanted to start a blog but just don’t know where to begin? The reality is, there is a sh*t tone of information out there. Mine, now included! That said, as you have landed at this point in time, I’m going to do my best to help you learn what you need to create your own blog using the two simplest platforms and hosts i.e. WordPress and Bluehost.

We’re going to start in easy, manageable steps. When I began this process, things got a little overwhelming for me too. Especially if you’re not a techie…

So, I’ll do my best to keep things simple with as straightforward a guide as possible. We’ll take it step-by-step.

I’ve broken the process down into 6 stages. I think this makes things less daunting. Turning what you may seem like a not-worth-climbing mountain into something less so. I dub this the stepladder. 

If you’re ready… Here we go!

Let’s Start your Blog


QUICK REFERENCE

Step 1. Choosing your niche and target audience.
Step 2. Deciding on a domain name.
Step 3. Register a domain name.
Step 4. Buy hosting for your WordPress blog.
Step 5. Connect your domain & hosting.
Step 6. Install WordPress with Bluehost. 

Beginning at the Beginning…

Step 1. Choosing your niche and target audience.

First things, it’s really important to get clear. That is, to understand the overtone of the ‘who’ you’ll be writing to. i.e. your audience. They must be at the forefront of your mind. BEFORE you consider anything. So get out a piece of paper or if you haven’t already gotten into Evernote or simply Notes. Spend some time getting really clear on what you’re going to write about (your blog’s “niche”). And who you’ll be writing for ( your “target audience” or “ideal reader”). If you’re more visual a platform like Evernote is great. You are able to create more a vision board than a list – which for some of you may be useful.

If after brainstorming, you’re still struggling to decide on a niche for your blog; try and think back to when you were a kid. Before everything got really serious and #hustleandgrind. What kind of advice would you give the younger you? What got you excited? Is there something, in particular, you did you find fun? What made your soul bliss out? I love the experience of discovery. From little dive bars to seaside gems. I’ve always loved learning and am a lone-rebel outlier at my core. I am always questioning and butting up against authority and the system. With freedom as the ultimate zenith. And where Two Wolves Roam fits for me.

Take some time on this. The answer you will find.

Step 2. Deciding on a domain name.

Your blog’s name is muy importante! This is because it needs to…

1. Tell your readers what your blog is all about.
2. Be memorable
3. Be easy for people to spell (so they can find their way back to you and your site); with/ without the use of SIRI.

Most bloggers will advise that your blog’s name (or “brand name”) should clearly communicate the niche of your blog and/or your target audience. But I tend to lean toward the creative side and rather like the quirky odd spin to a name. Call me divergent! As an example, Two Wolves Roam plays into a bit of that. There is a sense of duality, two paths, seeking, wandering, wondering, independence and travel… So these would be the main areas of focus for me. Without getting too deep and lengthy, make sure (more than anything) you identify with the name. After all, this will be your site to get excited about before anyone else does.

If you are super stuck, you can always use your first and last name as your brand name. ** Topic for another day. 

A key bit of advice here to remember before you register your blog name: make sure the name you’re wanting (especially if it is your own) is available on social media handles. This is a biggie!

The last point is that your domain name i.e. what people type into their URL bar to visit your website should end in .com. For a push, .co but if you can get a .com, this is the first prize! .com is the most popular suffix for domain names. It is still the default people will search for when trying to find your website. #truestory

Have an idea on a blog name and want to check whether it is available as a .com? Bluehost has a really cool domain checker built in! Which is just below here for your convenience.

At this point you may be asking, Why Bluehost?

The short is, why not? So let’s answer that first. Here are a few reasons why Bluehost may not make it to the top of your list this year:

  1. Bluehost has no Windows hosting or any option to choose a preferred OS.
  2. They offer affordable starting prices, but high commitment periods (12 to 36 months).
  3. Lack of free migration service.

If these factors make you feel a little out of sorts, there are a good number of hosting platforms available. But there are a few main reasons you may want to choose Bluehost for your WordPress blog specifically. That is, over a host site like Hostgator.

Bluehost is a comparatively inexpensive, quick, and easy way
to setup a blog or website.

Besides hosting more than 2,000,000 bloggers and recommended by WordPress themselves for at least a decade, they are one of the best web hosting providers for bloggers. The following stack up right behind the last mentioned:

  1. You get a FREE blog domain.
  2. WordPress through Bluehost is FREE.
  3. It’s really easy to use. Yup, literally ANYONE can create a WordPress blog easily. Even non-coders like you and me!
  4. Web hosting offers 24/7 WordPress Support. This is so valuable especially when starting out!
  5. As mentioned before, Bluehost offer really affordable web hosting. That means you can have your own blog with the only real expense the inexpensive blog hosting which starts at just $3.95 per month.
  6. They offer a *guarantee in case you decide the platform is not for you.
    *If you sign up for Bluehost, but you’re left discombobulated for any reason (eg. how to set things up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.). You are welcome to send me an email and I would be happy to see if I can help you out before you jump ship.
  7. You will be self-hosted. This is really important if you want to monetize your blog. You will want to be self-hosted.
  8. Last but not least. You will appear professional to your readers, companies etc. A self-hosted site on Bluehost leaves a much better impression than being hosted on a site like Blogspot for example.

With that out the way, let’s get into the action, shall we!

Step 3. Register a domain name.

Once you’ve given your domain name some serious thought and decided on one, you can click here to purchase your domain and create a blog.

Following, you can carry on to follow the easy steps below.

As a reminder, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. Signing up for at least 12 months of hosting makes a good deal of cents (pun intended) as you’ll be saving a good amount of money. You also get a lower monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting. So the free domain just makes the deal even better. If you want an even sweeter deal, the best value would be a 36-month plan, making your monthly rate way lower over the long term. If you do decide to get the free domain, just carry on to the next step where you can buy your hosting and get your free domain all in a single step.

Bluehost Plan
Bluehost Plan Special

The “Basic” package is most likely all you will need.

3. Package Information

Step 4. Buy hosting for your WordPress blog.

Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is really easy. Scouts honour. But first, let’s get into the costs of blogging:

To get the lowest cost price to start a blog, choose the “Basic” plan. This is my first choice – and really all you need. Check out the site for any current specials running. At the time of writing this, a domain cost only $2.65 per month. This is through my link (due upfront in full) if you sign up for 36 months. A really great price!

If you sign up for a 24-month plan, the normal price is $4.95 per month. If you sign up for a 12-month plan, the price is $7.95 per month. $7.95 is still really affordable. It’s a great plan to choose (especially since you still get a free domain at this price)! Note, if you’re unsure about blogging, sign up for the 12-month plan. This is still a good deal for one year of blogging. If you buy a 12-month plan, your total price is only $95.40 a year. This is still a really great price. You also receive a free domain name when you sign up for 12 months or more! Saving you money. The best value though, would be a 36-month plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long haul.

In terms of plans, the Basic Plan is all you really do need for now. You can always change it to a different plan later if you want to. Then you can just pay the difference of your upgrade. Besides, there is no real reason to sign up for any extras when you’re just starting out.

One important bit you do want to add on especially when it comes to blogging; the Domain Privacy Protection that Bluehost offers. This ensures your contact information stays safe. For only $0.99 per month, this makes sense. Apart from this, you don’t really need the other items that Bluehost sells. So go on and uncheck any of the extras that are listed. Also remember that if you sign up using my link, you’ll get your domain for FREE if you buy a 12 month or extended blog hosting plan.

hy you should purchase at least a 12-month hosting plan vs a month-to-month…

Month-to-month is less worthwhile, so I do highly recommend signing up for a minimum of 12 months. I do this for many reasons namely; by signing up for a minimum of 12 months, you get a free domain name and lower pricing. But the most important one is not having to deal with an expired website after each and every month. See the thing is, if your hosting is not renewed or if your card expires, then your website is down. That means you risk losing major business (visitors/traffic) when you pay on a month-to-month basis. Then it’s also oddly more expensive to pay month-by-month rather than in one single payment.

Your blog hosting will reasonably cost you around $95 a year on average; or $142 for 3 years, which is a really good deal! That’s only 35 Starbucks Grande Frappuccinos over 3 years or just under 1 coffee a month! If you buy a 12-month plan, your total cost is only $95 a year, which is an excellent price. That’s two Starbucks Grande Frappuccinos a month. The best value? Buying a 36-month, as your monthly rate is much (much) lower over the long run.

When you’re ready to establish your blog, follow the steps to buy hosting for your blog below.

  1. Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
  2. Click on the Package you feel will suit you.
  3. Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name.
  4. Enter both your personal and payment information.
  5. Next, you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure this is secure.
  6. If you have any problems, you’re welcome to send me an email at shanna@twowolvesroam.com. I would be happy help solve any problem you may have p.d.q!

Step 5. Connect your domain & hosting.

Note: You can skip this section (Section 5) if you buy your domain directly through Bluehost.

If you buy your domain through Go Daddy, then you’ll need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names. Below is an extract:

“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.

If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”

How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:

  1. Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
  2. Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
  3. Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
  4. Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.

You’ll then have to add the domain you bought (i.e. through GoDaddy) as an addon domain to your Bluehost web hosting. You can do this by clicking on “Domains” when logged into your Bluehost web hosting account. Then clicking on “assign.” If you just follow the steps it should be a breeze!

Step 6. Install WordPress with Bluehost.

So this is likely the step that all of you have been waiting for! If you’re keen to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost then continue reading.

Bluehost makes setting up your WordPress blog super easy, so this part is pretty straightforward. And the best part is it’s FREE!

  • Once you’ve created your password, Bluehost will guide you through exactly what you need to do to start your WordPress blog.
  • First, Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. You can just pick a random theme or if you’re like me, find one that you actually like! Know that this isn’t set in stone. You can change your theme later. If you do want your own preferred theme from the getgo, you can scroll to the bottom and skip this step. Remember, there are a bunch of free themes on offer!
  • Click on “Start Building”.
  • On the following screen, you can opt for “Business” or “Personal”. This is up to you. Or, click the “I don’t need help” option.

So this is where we do a happy dance! You now have your very own WordPress blog! You’ll need to work on the design and get going with some high-quality content now, but you’ve ticked that first box! Super stoked! Well done!

If you do sign up for Bluehost, but you’re left a little discombobulated for any reason (eg. how to set it up, pick a plan, pricing, etc.), you’re always welcome to send me an email and I’d be more than happy to help you out. That’s what I’m here for! So really do feel free to mail me at shanna@twowolvesroam.com

A final note: A few standard tips on how to navigate WordPress:

  • When you’re logged in, to create a post,  click on “Posts” on the left-hand side toolbar.
  • To add an image click on “Media” on the left-hand side toolbar.
  • “Appearance” is where you go to edit your “Widgets” which is where you add items to your sidebar, footer etc.
  • If you are looking for an alternative to Mailchimp, to send newsletters or emails to your readers, I highly recommend ConvertKit or FeedBlitz.  (Use code “twowolvesroam5” to get 5% off your subscription if you sign up for a 15-day trial).
  • If you’re looking into the actual design of your blog, the Genesis theme through Studiopress is really really popular. And it comes highly recommended. I personally started out with Themify which I found to be a really versatile drag and drop builder. But I have since changed to the WP Royal Ashe Theme. You can also check out the free themes through WordPress. Just click on “Appearance” on the left-hand side toolbar when you’re logged into WordPress and go to “Themes”. Here you can activate whichever theme you’re keen on testing out. Or check out a site like ThemeForest for paid options. Then there’s a final alternate option which is to get a premade blog design. This can be done through the likes of a Beautiful Dawn Designs. If you’re not into building your own site or into learning code, this may be the easiest and quickest design option for you.

Do you have a blog? Do you use Bluehost for blogging? Have you made any mistakes which you’ve learned from? Feel free to share your wins (and fails) in the comments below. I do hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost. Happy blogging!

If you are planning to start a blog with Bluehost and interested in learning how to start a blog on WordPress, keep reading. I'll show you how, with my easy 6 step guide!

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