Free Step by Step Guide to Starting a Blog! I made this free blogging tutorial 2 years ago when I started my second blog – 101partyideas.com. I took advantage of the Black Friday deal to save on web hosting and blog themes. It’s available again this year, up to today – Cyber Monday. If you want to start a blog, set it up today even if you don’t intend to start writing until January just so you can lock in the price.
I print-screened every step I took so I hope you will find this tutorial helpful – even my daughter may be able to start a blog with this guide. Some of the images will still show the price from 2 years ago, it went up from a few cents to a dollar. I don’t have the time to edit as the Cyber Monday deal will end in 12 hours, I want you guys to take advantage of it.
Blogging is very rewarding! I have been blogging since 2012 and I cannot imagine myself doing anything else in the future. I get to be my own boss and work around my kids’ schedules. Not only do I get to write about what I’m passionate about, but my family gets to experience so many things that we wouldn’t even get to do if we don’t have this blog and the best part, it makes money even when I’m asleep or on a vacation.
I’ve been blogging for the past 6 years on top of being a stay at home mom. As a family, we’ve been invited to travel for free multiple times, attend family fun events, visit theme parks, dine at restaurants, and test out many family-friendly products. I’ve also been able to collaborate with brands that I love and so much more. The list of blogging perks goes on. But whether you want to start a blog to make money or just as a hobby or both, this Free Step by Step Guide to Starting a Blog Tutorial is for you.
Should I Start a Blog?
If you have an idea, a topic, a passion, a hobby, an experience, or a project you wish to share. Put it all on a blog! You will not only be able to help other people with what you know, but you will also learn more as you explore your passion and you can earn an income while doing it.
disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.
Ready to turn your hobby into a career? Follow these Free Step by Step Guide to Starting a Blog:
What you Need to Start a Blog:
- Domain Name Idea – Your Website’s Name on the Internet (example: www.AnyTots.com)
If you have already bought a domain name before and have not used it to start a blog, that’s fine! I’ll guide you in setting it up. I have over 10 other domain names as well. I bought them before anyone else can buy them. Hehe. If you’re just trying to come up with a name right now, try to stick to 15 characters if you want to have the same twitter name (twitter name is limited to 15 characters). Cost: $15.95/year.
- Hosting – Where your website will live on the internet. (Siteground.com)
It’s important to have the right hosting. If you get the wrong one, you risk having downtime &/or bad customer service when your site is down. Cost: as low as $11.95/month. Part of Cyber Monday Deal, it’s only $2.98/month.
Siteground was recommended by a lot of bloggers when I was trying to move my blog from blogger to wordpress.org. It’s also a recommended hosting of choice by WordPress.org themselves. They have a really fast support team.
Whenever I call, it was never like those cable companies where you hear unending prompts of “press 1 for this, press 2 for that” and when you finally get the right number, they tell you there’s a 15-minute wait for the next representative. I hate that! So I’m happy that Siteground is nothing like that. I even called right now just to check again. They just ask you to press 3 options: sales, technical support, and billing and already moves you to a representative to talk to. Hallelujah! They also have a live chat feature, I have yet to use it though, I prefer hearing my questions answered.
- Blogging Platform – The foundation of your blog (WordPress.org)
WordPress.org is what we use. It is free, it just needs hosting as mentioned above.
Other blogging platforms like blogger.com is a free platform + free hosting but it is frustrating because you cannot customize it so much (we came from there and moved AnyTots.com this year because it is limited and frustrating). WordPress.COM is also a free platform + free hosting but you CANNOT make money from it, it has restrictions too. Again, WordPress.ORG is what you need! It’s an easy 1 click install with a Siteground hosting, just trying to explain in case you’re confused by the difference.
- Blog Theme – The design or look of your blog. There are free and there are premium themes. I used a premium theme.
My favorite blog themes are from Restored316 (take their quiz to figure which one works best for you). AnyTots.com is currently using Divine Theme by Restored316 while 101partyideas.com is using Captivating Theme also by Restored316. Note that you will need the Genesis Framework for every theme by Restored316. Once you buy the theme, you will be guided through it. I would suggest buying your theme separately through Restored316 rather than from Genesis Framework so if the theme has any updates, you will get it.
You can also save on Blog Themes today by using code r316cm19 (case sensitive) at checkout to get 25% off any of the themes fromRestored316.
You can also check StudioPress – Themes for more blog themes.
Free Step by Step Guide to Starting a Blog
1. Visit Siteground.com
2. Click “Hosting”
3. Click “WordPress Hosting”
4. Choose a Plan depending on how many visitors you think you’ll get monthly, you can start with the $11.95/month plan which is discounted right now for $2.98 and upgrade as you grow.
5. Type in the Domain Name (example: www.myblog.com) that you want to use or input a Domain Name you previously bought elsewhere then click “PROCEED”.
Try to stick to a .com extension (example: anytots.com versus anytots.org) and just choose another name if it’s not available.
If you already have a domain name you previously bought from another company, don’t worry, you just have to call them to transfer it over to Siteground once you finish setting up your hosting. Don’t forget to mark the “I already have a Domain” checkbox for that. See below.
6. Input your payment information.
7. Choose your services:
For the “Data Center”, choose the one that’s closest to your location.
For the “Period”, choose 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. The rate will be the same monthly for any of the 3 plans but after your term is over, the monthly hosting goes back to the regular price so the longer you choose, the more you save in the end. I honestly didn’t know how long I’ll be blogging in the beginning. But here I am, 6 years into it and I want to have another 2 blogs.
If you get your web hosting while the 75% off deal is on. For the first year, your hosting is only $2.98/month or $35.76 a year.
CYBER MONDAY DEAL
SAMPLE FOR STARTUP PLAN, 12 MONTHS LOCK IN, WITH DOMAIN NAME, PRIVACY & SCANNER.
Note: the prices below still reflect 2 years ago, it just went up a few cents to a dollar this year.
The Domain Privacy & SG Site Scanner is optional but I do suggest getting them to protect your information and to protect your site. I once bought a domain name without paying for the domain privacy and I kept getting junk mail associated with that account so do get the domain privacy.
8. Click “Proceed to Customer Area”.
Your account was successfully created pops up after you’ve paid for your hosting. Click the “Proceed to Customer Area”.
9. Website Setup Wizard. Choose an option and Click “Proceed”. In our case it’s the first one – “Get WordPress preinstalled”.
10. Account Setup Assistant. Fill in your Login Details (this is for WordPress already and not Siteground) and choose a Blog Design Template (blog theme) then click “SUBMIT” on the bottom.
We can change your theme after setting up so just choose any for now. There are tons of blog themes available, from free to premium.
11. Congratulations! You’ve set up your hosting! After clicking “SUBMIT” on step 10 – you will see the screen below then just click the “SITEGROUND” logo on the upper left.
12. Login to Siteground and Click “Go to Admin Panel”
If you have a domain name you bought elsewhere (GoDaddy for example) prior to purchasing a hosting today, you just have to call SiteGround so they can e-mail you the NameServers that you needed to input on GoDaddy to point your domain name to your new site. After calling Siteground and getting the e-mail. Call GoDaddy or wherever you purchase your domain from and they will guide you. After the NameServers have been put in. You may need to wait a few hours to 24hours for this to take effect. I did this today with no problem.
For those who bought the domain from Siteground while getting the hosting, go to step 13 after clicking “go to admin panel”.
13. WordPress.org dashboard. This is now the dashboard that you’ll see everytime you wish to design your blog and create a post.
To customize your theme:
- 13a – click “Appearance”
- 13b – click “Themes”
- 13c – click “Customize on the theme you wish to use or
- 13d – click “Add New Theme” to pick a new theme
14. To see your blog, click the “My Blog” in the top left corner then click “Visit My Site” below it. Or you can just type the url. For example – https://101partyideas.com which is my second blog.
How the Blog looks like with the Captivating theme. They don’t look exactly like the demo samples from Restored316 because I have already customized them to my liking. You can start shopping for BLOG themes.
Note that you will need the Genesis Framework for every theme by Restored316. Once you buy the theme, you will be guided through it.
IMPORTANT: Every time you wish to visit your WordPress blog dashboard to create a new post and do anything with your blog. Just type in the URL: https://yourblogsname.com/wp-admin/ and it will lead you to this where you put in your login and password and it will bring you to your dashboard.
That’s it! Hope you found this Step by Step Guide to Starting a Blog useful. I will have a complete Step By Step Guide to Blogging eCourse soon that will help you learn everything about blogging because I know for a newbie blogger, you don’t even know what you need or what you need to learn. Most importantly, the part about How to Make Money Blogging, so visit us again!