Blogging note from Greg: This Bluehost WordPress guide was originally published in 2018 and has since helped over 500 readers create a blog just like the pros. I’ve updated each visual for 2019 along with new & improved discounts! If you get stuck, please Tweet, Facebook or comment me. You can share this guide with friends. No question goes unanswered here! 🙂
If you want to start a blog from scratch, where do you begin?
What are the exact steps you can use to create a blog successfully?
Well WordPress.org is the most popular platform for the most read, most profitable blogs.
And WordPress.org recommends Bluehost as the #1 Web Host.
And DearBlogger has helped over 5000 happy people start a blog with WordPress and Bluehost that changes the trajectory of their life.
So, I’d say this is a pretty darn good place! 🙂
In a hurry? Skip Greg’s Intro and Make Your Blog!
About The Author: Hey Guys I’m Greg, former web guy for the NYC Major, quit the job in 2014 and turned rogue blogger because I wasn’t happy with WordPress advice available to you (it was just the “codex”). Blogging has open doors for me to work with brands like Apple, Sony, HuffPost, USA Today, Honest Tea and earn blogging $$$ each month from wherever I want on my own schedule. It’s my goal to show you how to use a blog to accomplish the same and more, and DearBlogger is my headquarters for showing the way. All it takes a small commitment, someone to look up to, and a passion to break free of what others consider the normal path of life.
You can use free blogs, like Blogger, but your path to real success comes when you start a self-hosted WordPress.org blog like we’ll do here. If you follow this Bluehost WordPress guide (or a similar guide, the Internet is endless) and get self-hosted WordPress, other blogs will recognize your professionalism and you’ll have way more ways to make money blogging.
As you’ll see, I will openly share all kinds of blogging tactics here, but let’s get that important step out of the way today!
Disclosure: This guide contains a Bluehost deal to create a WordPress blog with a free domain name and 65% off web hosting. The discount is only applied on the first term and the free domain only applies to the first year. If a user clicks through our Bluehost links and signs up we will receive a commission. We review countless web hosts each year and feel Bluehost is an unbeatable web host for you today (plus they are #1 recommended by WordPress themselves!) in this beginner WordPress tutorial. Learn more.
And randomly, if you’re a bit scared, here’s what my friend Ryan at Blogging from Paradise said when I asked him why he started his first blog…
Freedom Greg! I wrote and published my first post nearly a decade ago because freedom overcame fear. Fun overcame fear, too. I felt blogging could be a fun, freeing way to express myself and to help people.
— Ryan Biddulph (@RyanBiddulph) January 21, 2019
The first step to create a WordPress blog will be to pick that domain name you always wanted to register, and that’s where Bluehost comes in.
Step 1: Pick Your Favorite Domain Name
Fact: There is a 99% chance the domain name you always wanted to register will already be picked. But it’s OKAY! Having to think a bit for your domain name can be a blessing in disguise because most of us don’t think long term when we want to buy our first domain.
For example the first domain I wanted to register was thoughtsofayoungeconomist.com
Not smart. What happens when you get old? Also way too long to remember.
Domain name best guidelines!
You want to follow a few general guidelines when picking a domain name:
- Think for the long term
- Be professional
- Shorter is always better
- Two word combos are GREAT! Think “You+Tube, Net+Flix, Car+Soup, I’m sure you can think of more” and all are multi-million dollar brands thanks in part to a sound domain name strategy.
Picture this scenario at a blog convention…
Randomly at the conference after party you meet this famous blogger you’ve watched or read. What an opportunity!
You two jive ideas and hit it off. The famous bloggers opens their phone and says:
Famous blogger: “So, what’s your domain name again?”
You: “Um, it’s forever-young-yolo-cat-lover-the-number-1999”
In the time is would take you to say that domain name you could lose that famous blogger’s attention forever. So keep it short and sweet!
Price of a domain name explained
Once you settle on a perfect domain name, you should know that the annual cost of a domain name is roughly $15/yr. That’s roughly what you’ll pay at GoDaddy.
For most new bloggers, that $15 is actually a lot.
Fortunately, the web host we selected for this tutorial, Bluehost, will give a domain name absolutely scotch free for 1 year.
This takes some of the pressure off starting a blog, and you can brag to friends who paid for theirs 😉
We’ll see how to get that free domain down below, but have one more item to cover together first.
Step 2: Choose a Web Host
A web host offer you space and a tool called a 1-click install to get WordPress.org setup. That’s really all there is to self hosted WordPress.
There are thousands of web hosts out there who want your business. Researching them can really throw a wrench in the whole create a WordPress blog thing.
You could even host a website yourself like Mark Zuckerburg did with “the Facebook”.
The difficulty of taking on too much tech work yourself is why nearly 100% of the popular blogs you and I read have chosen instead to get an affordable web host, like Bluehost, to take care of the techie stuff for them.
Price of web hosting explained
As mentioned above, a domain name typically costs $15/yr. Web hosting can run you up to $10/month.
For most new bloggers, that’s a TON.
Fortunately, along with the free domain name, Bluehost (click on the link to see the discount applied) has agreed to give DearBlogger readers an exclusive 65% off discount, so the hosting costs basically nothing (and the domain is free).
Based in the USA, Bluehost has been in the hosting industry over 10 years, has servers in UK, Brazil, Singapore, India and more, and is known for tailored WordPress packages.
Their friendly support staff is always turned on too, you can contact them 24/7/365. They come with a 45 day money back guarantee as well. They are so easy to setup that this Bluehost WordPress guide basically wrote itself.
It’s actually an amazing feeling when you get web hosting and install WordPress because you’re like “Whoa, I can do that? I thought it was way harder. Now I can do anything!”
And, Bluehost makes getting WordPress about as hard as opening up Microsoft Word.
That all said, let’s see how to create a WordPress blog from start to finish.
Step 3: Time to Finally Create a Blog!
So, you have your perfect domain name in mind (we’ll register it in one second, or if you already did register a domain, that’s fine too as there’s a step for that included here to connect it).
You understand web hosting (and if you don’t, that’s fine, we didn’t really get it until we made our first blog so it’s okay if you’re still in the dark).
MOST IMPORTANTLY, you know now that Bluehost offers DearBlogger readers a free domain and $2.95/mo web hosting. This deal isn’t a forever thing, it’s actually seasonal right now, and when I got web hosting I only got about 25% off, so, get going if you’re ready!
Settle in for about 30 minutes and grab a cup of your favorite beverage, we can do this!
Bluehost WordPress Guide – THE VIDEO
No Bluehost WordPress guide would be complete without a video walkthrough. This video explains how to get a free domain and the best possible web hosting discount at Bluehost, then install WordPress.org with ease and login to your new blog.
Note: If you don’t like the video or can’t wait, the full written steps are below.
Bluehost WordPress Guide – THE WRITTEN STEPS
Here we go with our Bluehost WordPress guide written steps with all the screenshots you’ll need.
We’ve polled over 500 readers who have followed these steps to create a WordPress blog at Bluehost and the average setup time reported is 10 minutes.
The first step is to visit www.Bluehost.com and click the green Get Started button.
You could also click “WordPress” in the menu, but this takes you to a more expensive, deluxe WordPress package. We want the cheapest option.
Once you click “Get Started” you’ll be taken to this screen with you can select your plan:
The basic and plus plans are the best value, so I’d go with one of those two. The main difference is the Plus Plan lets you run multiple websites while basic is just one. They both now come with a free SSL too, which is a huge upgrade over most other web hosts, and you can upgrade for more features at any time.
I just like the Basic Plan the most because it’s the most affordable – you’ll be a millionaire blogger someday after you’re done with our Bluehost WordPress guide but for now, if you’re like I was, even coffee feels expensive, so you should pick an inexpensive plan.
So go ahead and choose your plan, and you’ll then be taken to the domain screen:
Enter in a new domain name on the left (which you get for free) or pop in a domain you already bought on the right. Only fill in one of these boxes.
If you want to use another domain name from GoDaddy, Namecheap or elsewhere which you have already purchased ahead of time, we will connect it to your hosting after you get Bluehost hosting, so go ahead and proceed to just get hosting now if that’s your scenario.
Just click next and you’ll be taken to the account information screen.
Pop in your info, which Bluehost will keep 100% secure.
Then, scroll down to package information and select how long you’d like hosting for.
Here’s what to keep in mind: The basic 12 month price is $5.95/mo, however you can lower the price to $3.95 by registering more months up front.
When I first got hosting I signed up for 12 months, so this 12 Month Account Plan feels pretty good.
However as you can probably see the 36mo price is the best deal available. Basically for 12 months you are getting 33% off, however for 36 months you are getting 50% off!
If you want to keep your website up forever, it’s a good move to grab the 36mo plan. For example I’ve had my sites up for nearly 10 years now (making more than enough income thru ads and partnerships to cover the cost of hosting, btw!)
Once you’ve chosen your discounted plan, go ahead and feel free to uncheck the package extras. Bluehost can add them for you later on if you’d like.
Next, just complete your payment information, then scroll down, check the box, and click the green Submit button to submit payment and complete your domain and hosting registration:
Pretty neat, huh? It’s amazing to me that for basically the cost of a lunch you can have a real WordPress website like all the pros and get on their level!
Bluehost will then setup your account for you. All the hard stuff is done!
I’ll still walk you thru all the screens you’ll see on your way to getting your own copy of WordPress because I know it can still be a little nerve racking your first time, and I want this Bluehost WordPress guide to be flawless for you.
On the next page, you’ll see a Welcome to Bluehost message. Congratulations!
Click on Create Your Password:
Go ahead and enter a secure password a couple times (don’t need a screen for that) then click Next.
Okay now click log in. This will take you inside the Bluehost dashboard, to the pick a theme screen.
For our Bluehost 2019 Tutorial which you’ll find below, we used OceanWP theme. It’s a very basic theme and works perfectly with Elementor page builder, a drag and drop way to create your blog or website.
However, some other themes will guide you through how to setup a blog a little more.
My personal favorites you won’t find on this screen at Simple Catch and Laurel. Check these out. The best move now, given you should probably research themes a bit more so you’re actually happy with it long term (plus I have recommendations), is to just click Skip This Step at the bottom and continue with the Bluehost WordPress guide.
Bluehost will think for a moment, and it’s at this point where Bluehost is installing WordPress for you. Then they will show you this check mark screen.
Please note: I’m pausing this Bluehost WordPress guide to let you know that if you bought your domain name from somewhere other than Bluehost, now is a good time to enter your Bluehost nameservers (found in your welcome email) at that different registrar in order to connect your domain and hosting. Here’s a short tutorial on how to change namservers.
Next, let’s click Start Building.
You’ll be taken to your WordPress dashboard for the first time! You’ve arrived to the summit of our Bluehost WordPress guide, Welcome to WordPress!
Click on “I don’t need any help” as we don’t want WordPress to setup everything for you and guess what you want. This is a compete WP tutorial as well as a Bluehost WordPress guide, and I’ll show you how to create three different, equally amazing types of blogs + websites below in just a moment.
Once you click “I don’t need any help” you can then click Launch to get rid of your coming soon page.
I personally like getting rid of the coming soon page so my friends can view the blog from anywhere and give me their best friend test opinions.
But if you’re nervous about your boss seeing it before it’s done or something, you can keep that page up and don’t have to click Launch.
But I’d click Launch if I were you – it’ll convince you to actually start building cool stuff so people don’t show up and ask “what am I looking at?” 🙂
Your blog is now all yours! You have done an amazing job completing this Bluehost WordPress guide 👏. You have your own copy of WordPress.org just like Jay-Z, Tech Crunch, Mashable, Pinch of Yum, Star Wars Blog and more. Go ahead can create a WordPress blog however you want!
Time to set you free in the wonderful world of WordPress 🙂
Well if you want to run free, go ahead.
However, we have about a bagillion video tutorials that help new bloggers and website owners each day that take you way beyond this Bluehost WordPress guide, with a huge community you can engage at any time as you create a WordPress blog so you’re never really alone.
Just hit that YouTube button in the upper right of the blog and you can find any WordPress video your heart desires.
Step 4) How to Setup Google Adsense Advertising
The first step is to create a WordPress blog, as Google will check to see if you have a real website before accepting you. You must also be 18 years of age, and in some cases have to verify additional information like location and bank info.
Step 5) JOIN IN: Grab our FREE eBook, then let us know how it goes!
You can grab your free eBook on our rather secret community page right here.
WordPress rarely works 100% of the time. When you build a WordPress blog maybe 60% of the time it works.
But it’s often not WordPress’s fault. We just need to use good ol trial and error to figure out our own way for the best way to do something.
Then, once you master WordPress (hopefully this Bluehost WordPress guide has gotten you off on the right foot!) you have gained a skill that will open doors and some nice moola in terms of blogging and even web design. The sky’s the limit.
Bonus Content: Perfecting the Essence of Your Writing
If you’re like me when you first started blogging, you really care (and pull your hair out) over how your blog posts connect with readers.
So I dug up 3 of our most loved resources with time-tested proven blogging methods to give you confidence in your writing:
- How To Cure Writer’s Block: 9 Things You Can Try
- The 7 Facets of Confident Writing
- The 3-Step Blog Post Formula to Launch a New Blog
So, the stage is yours. You’ve completed our Bluehost WordPress guide and have the keys to the castle to become a blogging success. Now go for it!
We’re here to help you create a WordPress blog and do anything else you might want to do! Join the DearBlogger community for two free eBooks with answers to common FAQ.
Also, get used to engaging others by just posting a simple comment here with a little love. Taking little steps to get going is what it’s all about! Talk to you soon!