1. Decide on the name for your blog. This is an important step because many people, from your readers, to those you meet at events will likely remember your blog’s name even more than your name, so make it count. Your blog needs to have a name that is recognizable and also defines what you will be blogging about. For instance, will you blog about food, or parenting, or fashion? What topics will you cover? A few good examples of blogs with names that explain what they cover and are memorable are Problogger, BrowneyedBaker, Pioneer Woman.
Also, you will use the same name to set up your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram accounts.
2. Register a Domain Name
There are many domain registrars where you can register your domain name. To make it easy you can register your domain name and setup hosting at the same company so you only get one bill a year (or monthly). A domain name is the website name or url people will use to find you, such as sarahbakes.com or momadventures.com. When you go to register a domain name you may have to try a handful of domain names before you find one you like that is available as millions have already been registered. You can go to BlueHost.com to register your domain or pick another registrar you have used before.
3. Setup hosting for your blog. While you can create a blog for free without a domain name or paying for housing your blog, I recommend you actually set up your blog with a domain name (approximately $15/year) and host your blog/website so that you can easily make any necessary changes to your site or pay someone to do so once the need arises. Hosting your website only costs about $36-45/year or $3-6/month so it is very affordable.
Some of our blogs are at Rackspace but the cost per month there is over $100, we did this because our primary site has so much content and a good number of users. For many of our small websites and sites we have set up for clients we have used Bluehost.com for several years.
Two of the free blogging platforms are wordpress.com, and blogger.com. While these are excellent blogging platforms, because they are free you are limited to what changes you can make to your blog, such as changing the theme or colorations (some changes are allowed but not others), types of ads you can offer, and less recognizable url (such as myblog.wordpress.com instead of myblog.com if you register your own domain name and host your blog).
If you plan to setup ads on sponsorships on your website or ever make money from your blog, I recommend starting out with a blog you can control all aspects of it. In that case I would use the full version of WordPress.org that allows you to have a full install of wordpress where you host your website with wordpress for a small fee.
4. Setup WordPress for your blog.
In order to be able to change the look of your website, add new features, and easily keep the content backed up I recommend WordPress. WordPress is one of many different content management systems which is just jargon for a website that allows you to manage your website easily without ruining the look. Basically, all of your posts or articles go into a database you can easily export or import to, and then there is the design side of managing your website. You can easily change the look by changing a theme (design) and adding plugin (mini features) to your website.
Nowadays most hosting providers have a 1 click install for WordPress, which means even if you have no technical experience you can set up WordPress. I will walk you through how to do this in the next post step by step.
5. Pick a WordPress Theme
There are thousands and thousands of WordPress.org themes. From thousands of free ones to professional themes that cost from $25 to $100 to purchase. Or you can pay a designer to customize your wordpress theme and the cost will vary based on what you need and the designer charges.
To pick a free theme you will login into the backend of your website (into WordPress) – this is where you will add content to your website (text and photos) for pages and posts and edit the design of your website/blog. And once in the backend (called the Dashboard) click onto Appearance and then themes. Once there search for themes. Find one you like and then click install.
If you want to look at other themes that are more custom and professional go to: ThemeForest.net to view hundreds of wordpress themes you can purchase and install.
Things to consider before picking a theme- does the theme allow you to customize colors, add a header, and change the layout of the pages without technical knowledge? Does the theme have social icons as part of the theme? How do the photos appear? Do you like the way they show up or size?
Note: We have affiliate accounts with Bluehost and Envato so if someone signs up for Bluehost or Envato from our website we will get credit.