I started blogging about four years ago because frankly, I just love to write.
I’ve been writing since I was a kid sitting in my bedroom window seat at my parent’s house.
Of course, back then I was writing about the cute boy I sat next to in math class or scripting a sequel to Harry Potter where I was his love interest and we lived happily ever after.
I just knew blogging was for me.
So, I started a blog.
I watched all the videos, I followed all of the tutorials, I paid for hosting sites, I even had free blogs, but blogging just isn’t as easy as it seems.
There’s no one size fits all solution.
Even though I had thought I was doing everything right, I wasn’t getting traffic, my blog posts were short and frankly boring to read, and I was getting nowhere fast.
Needless to say, after many failed attempts, five to be exact, things started to fall into place.
I finally created a blog that drove traffic, that people wanted to read and most of all, built a community!
And that’s what I want to share with you today.
After trying multiple hosting companies as well as multiple blogging platforms with little to no success, I found something that worked and worked well!
I’m going to take you step-by-step through setting up your blog in less than 15 minutes.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you choose to use my link to purchase a product or service from that particular link.
Pick a niche
While yes, you can start a blog with the intention of creating a hobby or an outlet for your personal journals, I’m going to specifically be talking about starting a blog with the intention of turning it into a profitable business.
With that being said, before you even pick out your fancy new domain name and your hosting, you need to pick a niche for your blog.
Picking a niche is extremely important in blogging.
Your niche is what you are going to be blogging about. Parenting, DIY, recipes, business, brick and mortar businesses, social media…etc.
Make sure you choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about, that you can continue to scale and write for a long time and of course, serves your audience.
Do you run a home decor business?
Your blog could be about how to find budget-friendly home decor or how to style your home etc.
You also want to think about monetization if that is something you want from your blog. Is this blog topic profitable?
Does it serve a particular audience?
How can I monetize my blog?
Ads, affiliate links, courses, products, and services are all great ways to serve your audience as well as monetize your blog.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
Next up on your list of blogging “to do’s” is to decide which platform you are going to blog on.
Of course, there are a plethora of blogging platforms you can choose from but I’m going to narrow it down to just two, wordpress.com and wordpress.org because these are the two I trust the most with both of my blogs.
So uh, what’s the difference? They’re both WordPress, right?
While yes, they are both WordPress, there is a big difference between the two and I’m just going to break this down simply.
WordPress.com is not a self-hosted site. This means that WordPress owns your domain name as well as your hosting.
This makes it difficult to monetize your site and becomes very expensive when you are ready to grow your blog.
The only pro to wordpress.com is that it is free but again if you’re blogging for more than just a hobby or plan to be this isn’t the route you want to take.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted site.
This means you own the domain name and you set up hosting with a different site like SiteGround but don’t worry, we’ll go over all that!
Basically, if you want to blog for your business, monetize your blog and have more control over your blog, wordpress.org is for you!
When thinking of a self-hosted site like WordPress.org where you need to purchase a host and domain, think about your host as the land and your domain as your house.
You, the person that lives in the house is the content of your blog which lives in your domain/home for this example.
You pay a hosting company for the land and a home which allows you to do whatever you want within your domain.
You can make money, you can change anything and everything, you have full control! Just as you do with a home you own.
When it comes to WordPress.com it’s like renting an apartment.
Your landlord owns the building, your landlord can tell you what you can and cannot do and you are not given as much freedom.
Choose and Register your Domain Name
Your domain name is the name of your blog so you really want a domain name that fits your brand and your blog.
The biggest thing to remember when picking a domain name is to try and avoid a name that looks or sounds similar to another domain.
This can be confusing to your audience and it’s just a good idea to choose something different than what’s already out there.
Keys to remember
- Choose a .com domain name. While other sites may use .co or even .net and do well, it’s just easier for you and your audience to remember and find a .com website.
- Avoid numbers or symbols in your domain name. Again, numbers and symbols are hard to remember and can make your domain look muddy.
- Make sure your domain matches the feel of your blog. If you write about home decor, your domain could be decorgenius.com or homedecorfinds.com.
- When in doubt, use your name as your domain name.
Once you’ve chosen your desired domain name it’s time to register it. This usually costs about $10-$15 a year.
While you can register your domain with your hosting company, for added security, I’d recommend registering your domain with a separate company like Hover.com.
Setting up your Hosting with SiteGround
My preferred hosting site is SiteGround for many different reasons but basically, SiteGround is the most reliable, has the best customer service and has great site speed.
SiteGround is the only hosting company I trust both of my blogs with and the only hosting I recommend to anyone looking to start a blog.
If you’d like to follow along and set up your hosting, head over to SiteGround.com and click see plans.
Pick a Hosting Plan
SiteGround has three hosting plan options that you can choose from. It’s up to you which one you think will work best for your business and blog but as a beginner with only one blog domain, I do recommend the “Start-Up” plan.
You can always upgrade if needed but this plan works great when you’re just starting out and it’s less than $4 a month! That’s less than my Netflix subscription!
Once you’ve chosen the plan that works best for you, click get started. Becuase you’ve already chosen your domain name and have it registered, click the “I already have a domain” and type it in.
Click “Proceed”. You will then be asked to input all of your billing information and such. Check to make sure you have the correct hosting clicked and that you have hosting for a year (this is the best deal).
It asks you if you want the SG Site Scanner. This is not something I personally use but it’s up to you, again, do your research and find what works best for you and your blog.
Once you have picked out a domain name for your blog that is available, go through the rest of the form and fill it out.
You can purchase the domain and hosting for up to three years if you choose or one year at a minimum.
Once you pay, you officially have hosting and a domain for your blog for an entire year!!
The scary part is over and you are now ready to install WordPress! Don’t worry, I’ll break this all down step-by-step but if you’d prefer, SiteGround will actually do it for you! Uh yeah, they’re pretty amazing!
To have a SiteGround representative set up WordPress for you, click on “support” at the top, scroll down to the bottom and click “request assistance from our team.”
They will then ask you to tell them what you need help with and they will get you started right away!
Once SiteGround has installed WordPress for you, just use the log in information they give you, log into your site and get familiar with it.
>> If you want to learn how to install WordPress yourself, follow along with the instructions below.
How to Install WordPress on SiteGround
Step One: Click on the “My Accounts” tab at the top of the page. Next Click on the bright red button that says “Go to Cpanel”.
Step Two: Once inside your cPanel, scroll down to autoinstallers and click on the WordPress icon. Next click on install at the top of the page.
Step Three: Once you click install, they take to another page that asks you a whole bunch of questions about your blog and domain. Let’s go through it one step at a time!
Software Set up
Choose protocol: Select https://
Choose Domain: Click the domain that you just made for your blog.
In Directory: Leave this part blank.
Site Name: This is the name of your WordPress site. You can easily change this at any time. I usually just write my domain name for this section.
Site Description: This is the tagline of your blog, what you do, what your blog is about. Again, this can easily be changed at any time within WordPress.
Enable Multisite: Leave this unchecked. You do not want this enabled.
Admin username: Make this something you remember, this is what you will use to log into your WordPress account.
Admin password: Again, make this a password you can remember. It will be used to log into WordPress.
Admin email: Enter the email address you use for your blog.
Choose Language: Choose the language you want your WordPress blog installed in.
Limit Login Attempts: This can be useful to boost security on your WordPress site.
Contact form: Leave unchecked.
Choose Theme: I left this blank but if you want, you can choose a theme here or in WordPress when you log into it. Your choice.
Once this is all filled out to your liking, click Install!
TADA, you officially have a WordPress site for your blog! To log into your WordPress site, go to yourblogname.com/wp-admin.
You can explore, install a blog theme and get a feel for your brand new blog!
If your domain is registered with Hover.com, you will need to do an extra step to point your domain name to your SiteGround hosting.
I know this sounds complicated but I promise it’s not! You can read Hover’s tutorial on this.
You can also ask SiteGround for help and they’ll help you do this as well!
How to Migrate your current WordPress blog to SiteGround
What if you already have a WordPress blog that you want to easily migrate to SiteGround? Luckily, SiteGround has just released an even easier way to do this!
You can now install the brand new SiteGround Migrator plugin to any wordpress.org site and simply migrate multiple blogs to SiteGround for FREE! Heck yes!
If you have one blog or multiple blogs you’d like to move over to SiteGround hosting you can get the full tutorial here.
Now that you officially have your hosting and domain set up, it’s time to explore your new WordPress site. This is the fun part!
You can find a tutorial on how to use and set up your WordPress site here.
>> Don’t forget to pin for later