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How To Start a Blog – A Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide

You might be wondering how to start a blog & make money with it.

I recommend focusing on starting it first. Then, once you’ve started creating valuable content you can move into monetizing it for profit.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Two ways you should avoid when starting your blog
  • The one valid way to start a blog

how to start a blog

At the end of this process, I’ll give you the opportunity to find out about the 3 main tools I’ve used for the past 10+ years to make money online.

There are 3 ways to start a blog:

  1. Use a free service like Blogger or WordPress.com
  2. Use a blogging system
  3. Host it at an authentic hosting company & attach the “real” WordPress to it

In this post I’ll teach you how to do #3.

The reasons?

  1. Using a free service is the worst thing you can do
  2. In the past I championed a well-known blogging system. I no longer do since you lose control, it’s not compatible with many WordPress plugins & it can hold you hostage if you ever want to move your domain elsewhere.

Why a Free Platform is a Bad Idea

Beware of free platforms like WordPress.com, blogspot, Blogger, Weebly, etc. I won’t spend much time here as it should be obvious that to build a business you must “own” your space.

I’ll let the incredible Michael Hyatt explain it this way:

“You wouldn’t build a house on a rented lot, right?”

Unfortunately, most of what you do online is “rented”. For example, all your social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, etc are rented entities.

If you ever do something (even mistakenly) that goes against their terms of service they can (and have to many folks over the years) shut down your account.

So, the way I look at it is that my blog is my cherished place that I “own” online. If you’re like me and thinking long-term for your business endeavors, then I encourage you to avoid renting your blog space.

How To Start a Blog (Self Hosted)

You will first go to Bluehost by clicking here and clicking on the green Get Started Now button:

start a bluehost blog

Then, select your plan. If you know for a fact that you’ll only use one domain name, then you can go with the Starter package. However, if you think you many need more than one domain over time then I suggest going with the Plus package:

select your bluehost hosting plan

Enter your domain name of choice on the next page in the “new domain” section and click “next”:

enter your desired domain name

Then, enter your basic information:

enter bluehost account info

Then, choose the monthly plan you want to use. I would recommend adding in the Privacy Protection so you don’t receive unwanted mailings or emails from SEO companies, etc.

select your bluehost plan

Next, enter your billing info:

enter your bluehost credit card information

You’ll receive a confirmation email from Bluehost with your login info. Go ahead and return to Bluehost so you can click on the Login button at the top right:

click Login to enter your new bluehost account

Enter your login info:

enter your bluehost username and password

Inside your Bluehost account, click on “Install WordPress”:

click wordpress from bluehost account page

On the next page, click the “Install” button:

click wordpress install button

Choose your domain name that you’ll be installing your WordPress blog to:

select your new bluehost domain

From there, follow Bluehost’s instructions to choose a WordPress username and password. Bluehost will give you the WordPress url where you’ll always login to blog from and make changes to your blog. Be sure to bookmark that url so you can always find it.

That’s it! Your self-hosted blog is set up and you can begin your blogging journey!

Not So Fast! No, That’s Not IT…You Have More To Do:

Don’t worry:

You have more to do but it’s pretty simple.

Let me address an important point…Yes, all this stuff is simple, but it’s not necessarily EASY.

All of us become confused and overwhelmed when it comes to blogging, Internet marketing, etc. These feelings will NEVER completely go away.

Why?

Because there is always something new to learn. So, if you think you just buy your hosting (which you did above) and magically money will roll in…

…well…

…there’s more to it than that.

In order to become successful with blogging and making money online, you must commit to fighting through the feelings of confusion, getting overwhelmed, and even the occasional frustration of wanting to throw your computer out the window.

Ready? OK, let’s take the next step.

Below, I’ve provided you tutorials from Bluehost on how to proceed from here. There’s really no point in going through the videos below unless you’ve already set up everything I outlined above.

It’s now time to go to work, so make sure you have your Bluehost account set up so the below videos can take you by the hand and lead you into action/results.

How To Start a Blog Tutorial #1: How To Install WordPress

Tutorial #2: How to Login into Bluehost and WordPress Dashboard

Tutorial #3: How To Create Pages in WordPress

Tutorial #4: How To Create Posts in WordPress

Tutorial #5: How To Create WordPress Categories and Tags

Tutorial #6: How To Install Plugins on WordPress

Tutorial #7: How To Customize a Theme in WordPress

Tutorial #8: How To Create a Navigation Menu in WordPress

Tutorial #9: How To Create Users Profiles in WordPress

How To Start a Blog Tutorial #10: How To Market Your WordPress Website


Was this blog post about how to start a blog helpful in setting up your self hosted blog? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ll start blogging about below in the comments.

If you did find value today, I’d greatly appreciate it if you share it with your friends! You can use the social share buttons at the left (if on a desktop/laptop) or at the bottom (if on your phone).  

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Netty Estes

    Wow Matt! This is one of the very best posts I have seen regarding ‘how to start a blog’. You have managed to display the images so that it is easy peasy to follow and sign up with a blog host. The comparisons you have done are so informative. Well Done!! I love the Kalatu blog platform and would recommend it to everyone!. Thanks for sharing Matt and I am going to be sharing on Linkedin and Twitter. Netty
    and Sam Estes

    • Matt Zavadil

      Thanks Netty! I’m happy to see it’s clear and concise. Yes, Kalatu is easy to use and just plain works out of the gate, huh? Thanks for sharing the post too.

  • This is a great post Matt. I agree with Netty it is one of the best comparisons I have read. I use Kalatu and I have a self hosted WordPress blog. I must confess I have not blogged on it for a while but you have inspired me to do so. I love Kalatu as I am no techie. I did set up my own wp blog but I still hate the idea of the upgrades and maintenance so I pay someone to do it. Thank you for such an amazing post Matt.

    • Matt Zavadil

      Happy I inspired you to break out the “old” blog 🙂 Yes, that is one thing with your own hosted blog…the maintenance, etc that you must do.

  • Outreach Today

    Matt this is one of the most definitive informational articles I have read about developing and implementing a Blog. I concur that KALATU Word Press made easy it the best platform for blogging. I appreciate the visual content and the strategies to implement. Thank you

    • Matt Zavadil

      Much appreciated…Thank you for your kind words.

  • Rach Wood

    Hi matt this is great. I have kalatu and also bluehost with wordpress. How do I use my bluehost domain name and link it to my kalatu site?

    • Matt Zavadil

      Hi Rach, inside your Kalatu back office you can watch the tutorial on domain name mapping. or, if you just want to point a domain inside your Bluehost over to Kalatu, you can use the domain forwarding option inside your bluehost account.