A Beginners Guide to Creating Your First Blog

If you have been planning to launch a blog but didn’t know where to start you are in the right place…

how to start a blog with Jamie SpencerMy name is Jamie Spencer and I have been blogging as my main source of income for the past six years. I have created and sold a wide variety of blogs in different niches which means I am in a great position to help you create your first blog. I am not guru but I have probably made my fair share of mistakes over the years.

I launched SetupABlogToday.com to teach you for free, how you can start a blog online in less than 20 minutes even if you’re a complete blogging novice!

In order to start a blog we will need to run through a few things:

1. Choose a blogging platform

2. Pick a Domain Name

3. Setup Web Hosting

4. Install WordPress on your hosting account

In this tutorial we will be building a blog with WordPress.

Why I Recommend WordPress

Plainly and simply I will never recommend someone who wants to start a blog to use a free platform such as Blogger. While there is zero barrier to entry and no up front financial cost to you there are lots of concerns which could cost you more in the long run.

When something is free you are the product –Because of this fact a platform such as Blogger or WordPress.com can shut you down at any point, with no warning and no way to recover your content. A minor indiscretion such as using an image without the right consent can have your site deleted and no way to challenge it.

It looks unprofessional –Many of the free blogging platforms do not let you have a custom domain which gives across an unprofessional appearance to potential customers and subscribers. You are also very limited with the level of customisation you can do to your blog so your site looks just like everyone else’s.

Paying for web hosting for your blog is not very expensive and can cost as little as $5 per month for very basic hosting packages. Having a reliable web host will mean that your site is backed up regularly and you have rights to recover your website for any reason.

blogging-platforms-banner Now that you know that the free blogging platforms are not a great option for your blog you need to decide upon the type of platform you will use.

There are lots of different open source platforms which most web hosting companies will support when you are creating your blog. The main blogging platforms are:
  • WordPress – is the most popular and customizable content management system (CMS) in the world
  • Ghost – is a new blogging platform that is creating a lot of noise in the blogosphere
  • Drupal – is quite popular but is difficult for novices
  • Joomla – another fairly popular CMS but there is a very steep learning curve
Over the past few years I have worked with all four of these blogging platforms but always recommend WordPress to blogging novices due to the great community support and ease of use. Out of the box WordPress ticks most of the boxes you will need for your new blog and if it doesn’t there is probably a plugin out there for you.

Create a WordPress Blog – Step by Step Tutorial

In order to setup a blog you will need a domain name and web hosting. If you are new to starting a blog then I recommend that you register your domain & hosting with the same company to keep things simple.

Domain Name: this is your website address i.e. the domain name for this website is setupablogtoday.com. Try to choose something short and catchy for your blog that will be easily remembered. I recommend that you stick to .com domain names if at all possible as many of the new domain names aren’t as easy to recognize.

Web Hosting: this is where your blog is stored online. There are lots of different hosting companies out there which offer different types of hosting for a variety of different types of websites. The WordPress platform is free of charge but you will have to pay around $4 per month for your Web Hosting and Domain registration fees.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried dozens of different WordPress Hosting providers and I highly recommend using www.BlueHost.com to set up a blog because of their simple installation process, great customer service & reliability.

Additionally if you sign up to Blue Host today you will get a great discount exclusive to setupablogtoday.com visitors as well as a free domain name worth up to $15 for your new blog too. They also offer an excellent money back guarantee with no contract if you don’t like their service.

When you sign up for hosting with Blue Host there are some additional services they offer. Domain Privacy Protection means that people won’t be able to see the name, address and contact details of who owns the blog, if you’re happy for people to know who owns the blog then you can deselect this and save yourself about $12 per year.

You also do not need Sitelock or the search engine Jumpstart for running your blog.

blue-host-blog Once you have completed the checkout process you need to login to your hosting account and then go to Control Panel (cPanel).

How to Install WordPress with MOJO Marketplace

  1. Navigate to the MOJO Marketplace section inside your cPanel.
  2. Click on the One-Click Installs button.
    One-Click Installs
  3. Choose WordPress.
    WordPress Icon
  4. Next click the Start button.
    Start a brand new installation
  5. Choose the domain name to install WordPress to.
    Select installation domain
  6. You can edit the email address, username and password for the new WordPress blog. Simply click “advanced options” and you can change those settings.
  7. Select the Install Now button.
    Install Now button
This whole process will take just a few short minutes to complete – yes it really is that easy!

Managed WordPress Hosting from WPEngine

If you find that the instructions in this tutorial are too complicated for you, don’t worry about it! Simply head over to our good friends at WP Engine and let them handle it all for you.

wp-engine Check WP Engine’s Plans

They’ll install WordPress on to your new blog, take care of any updates you need, backup your site everyday, monitor your site 24/7 for viruses and will happily provide answers to your questions from their team of WordPress experts.

I highly recommend WP Engine for managed WordPress Hosting.

Congratulations you have now taken the first steps to starting your new blog!