How To Start A Blog – Tips for a Beginner

Today, you will learn all about easily creating a blog on your own. Blogging is what changed my life and allowed me to make thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love. Plus, you can start a money-making blog for just a few dollars a month! Below, I have included discounted pricing…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

How To Start A Blog - Tips for a Beginner

Today, you will learn all about easily creating a blog on your own. Blogging is what changed my life and allowed me to make thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love. Plus, you can start a money-making blog for just a few dollars a month! Below, I have included discounted pricing that I personally negotiated with Bluehost so that all of you can start a blog for cheap. You will also receive a free blog domain through my link too. Act quick though because I’m not sure how long these low prices will last! 

Blogging has been one of the best things ever for me. As you can tell from my business income reports, I now make over $70,000 a month from my blogging-related services. I earned over $300,000 in 2015 through blogging and I am expecting to double my income in 2016.

I am able to work from home, I can travel whenever I want, I have a flexible schedule and more. I am absolutely loving life and I can’t believe how much my life has improved in just the past few years.

Anyone can make money with a blog, and I was able to make the money back that I paid for blog hosting very quickly. It is well worth it to pay for blog hosting and I’m sure you will be able to make your money back quickly as well.

First, you will need to head on over to Bluehost to do any of this. There are many web hosting companies out there, but Bluehost is honestly one of the best. There is a reason why many bloggers choose Bluehost for their web hosting needs.

If you plan on starting a blog on Bluehost and you are interested in learning how to start a blog on WordPress, continue below. Remember, if you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email and I can help you out. That’s what I’m here for so don’t be afraid to send me an email.

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1. Register your domain name.

Click here to start the process.

The very first thing you will need to do when starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost is to think about what you want your domain name to be. This can be tough, and I would give some serious thought to this.

I don’t even remember how I came up with my blog name. It’s a long one though and at times I regret it. Trying to spell out my blog name to people who don’t know about it can get frustrating because they don’t know if I’m saying “cents” or “sense!”

You can get your domain directly through Bluehost and make the whole process very easy. If you do this, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. This makes it well worth it to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as you will be saving a good amount of money this way. You also get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, so the free domain just makes it even better. If you decide to get the free domain, just continue to the next step as you can buy your hosting and get the free domain all in one step.

bluehost-plans
The “Basic” package is most likely all you will need.

bluehost-pricing

2. Buy hosting for your blog.

Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is very easy. First, we will talk about the costs of blogging:

  • To receive the cheapest price to start a blog, then choosing the “Basic” plan is really all you need. It’s only $2.75 per month through my link (due upfront in full) if you sign up for 36 months. If you sign up for a 24 month plan, then the price is $3.95 per month. If you sign up for a 12 month plan, then the price is $4.95 per month. $4.95 is still extremely affordable and it’s a great plan to choose (especially since you get a free domain at this price still!). If you are unsure about blogging, I would sign up for the 12 month plan as this is still a great price and very affordable for one year of blogging. If you purchase a 12 month plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is still a great price. Plus, you still receive the free domain name when you sign up for 12 months or more which saves you money.
  • The Basic plan is all you really need for now, so skip the Plus and Business Pro plans as they are more expensive. You can always change it later to a different plan if you want to (and just pay the difference), so there is no need to sign up for extra that you do not need.
  • The other item you may want to pay for when it comes to blogging is Domain Privacy Protection, which is only $0.99 per month. This is so that your contact information stays safe.
  • Other than the above, you do not need the other items that Bluehost sells, so I would uncheck any of the extras that are listed.
  • Remember, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer blog hosting plan.

I want to reiterate why you should purchase at least a 12 month hosting plan. Month-to-month is less effective, and I highly recommend signing up for a minimum of 12 months for many reasons. By signing up for a minimum of 12 months, you will receive a free domain name, lower pricing, and you won’t have to deal with an expired website after each month. For example, if hosting is not renewed or if the card expires, then your website is down and you risk losing business (visitors/traffic) when you pay on a month-to-month basis. It’s also exceptionally more expensive to pay month-by-month rather than in one lump sum. The more years you sign up for, the less you pay.

Blog hosting will most likely cost you around $59 a year on average, or $99 for 3 years, which is a great deal! If you purchase a 12 month plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is a great price.

When you are ready to create your blog, follow the steps below to buy hosting for your blog.

  1. Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
  2. Click on the package you are interested in.
  3. Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name here.
  4. Enter your personal and payment information.
  5. Next you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure it’s secure as this information is very important.

3. Connect your domain and your hosting.

Note: You can skip this section (Section 3) if you buy your domain directly through Bluehost.

If you buy your domain through Go Daddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names. Below is a snippet:

“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.

If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”

How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:

  1. Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
  2. Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
  3. Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
  4. Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.

You will then need to add the domain you bought (such as through GoDaddy) as an addon domain to your Bluehost web hosting. You can do this by clicking on “Domains” when logged into your Bluehost web hosting account and then clicking on “assign.” Follow the steps and it is very easy!

6 -cPanel

4. Install WordPress.

Okay, this is probably the step that all of you have been waiting for. If you want to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost then continue reading.

This part isn’t hard at all. Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog and it is FREE.

  • When you are in your cPanel (you will receive a link to this in your welcome email from Bluehost), find and click on the image that says “One Click Install.”.
  • Then, click on the WordPress icon on the next page located under “Blogs.”
  • Click on the “Start” button. This will begin the installation.
  • Once in the installation process, you will have to decide which domain you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu to the domain you plan on using.
  • Now, you will see “Advanced Options.” This is where you choose your username and password for your WordPress website. You should choose something secure. Don’t use “Admin” as your username. For my website, I receive many hackers each and every day and that is the number one username they use to try to hack my website. Instead, create a username that is a combination of different letters, numbers, and anything else you can use. You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
  • Click “Install Now.”
  • Remember to save your username and password.

WOOHOO! You now have a WordPress blog. You will have to work on the design and producing high-quality content, of course. Good luck!

If you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email and I can help you out. That’s what I’m here for so don’t be afraid to send me an email.

 

Some general tips for how to navigate WordPress:

  • To sign into your WordPress account, you will want to save the WordPress login information that you receive in a separate email. You will receive this email after you complete the steps in #4 above. This email will include your WordPress login URL (your URL is separate from everyone else’s and it’s the only way you can access your WordPress account), your username, and your password. You want to keep this email safe.
  • You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side when you are logged in. If you want to add a page, simply click on “Page.”
  • If you want to add an image, click on “Media” on the left-hand side.
  • You can go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets” in order to add items to your sidebar, footer, and so on.
  • If you are looking for a way to send newsletters or emails to your readers, I recommend AWeber.
  • If you are looking into the actual design of your blog, Genesis seems to always be the most popular. Genesis is used on my blog, and I highly recommend it. Or, there are free themes through WordPress you can use too. Just go to “Appearance” on the left-hand side when you are logged into your WordPress website and click on “Themes,” then activate whichever one you are interested in testing out. By doing this, you can start designing your website easily! Another option would be to buy a premade blog design, such as through Beautiful Dawn Designs. She provides great premade designs for just $39 and this is probably the easiest and quickest design option.
  • EDIT July, 2016: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger (even if you’re a new blogger!), then you NEED this course.

Here are more blogging-related posts you should take a look at:

Do you have a blog? Share your blogging mistakes as well! Hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost.


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Mel

    Hi, after reading much of your posts and weeks of research and deep thinking, I’ve finally decided to dive in and start my own blog, but since I’m so new to it, I want to spend as little as I have to at first until I get things going. I’ve signed up for the starter bluehost package, but now I’m trying to pick a theme that doesn’t cost me a small fortune. I can’t seem to find anything decent looking that doesn’t cost $39+. So I guess my question is, are there cheaper but decent looking options out there to get me started or is it really worth spending the $39 or more to get something nicer looking? Thank you for this post especially, to get me motivated to really do this! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hello!

      Congrats on starting a blog. I recommend checking out Weaver. It’s free!

  2. MARIJA

    Hi there! I just wanted to say thank you, this post was very helpful when I was contemplating starting my blog. I just went live and still need to figure out ways to put the word out, but anyway, thanks a million.

    Marija
    hokuspokuscreativus. com

  3. Congrats on starting a blog!

  4. Emily

    Hello! What do you think about Wix? Is this an effective format to start a blog with the hopes of making money? Thank you!

    1. Sorry, I don’t know anything about Wix. I highly recommend WordPress though.

  5. Vivian

    You say that the domain name is free for 1 year, when it comes time to re-up on Bluehost is there an additional fee to keep the domain name?

    1. After one year, you do have to pay for the domain name. I think it’s around $15 for the annual renewal.

  6. Ellen

    Thanks for the information. I did two postings on Blog.com and now I can’t get back on to my page. They’re even gone on FB and I don’t have copies. That’s so frustrating. I’m ready for WordPress, but nervous about the process. Your info will help!

  7. I just wanted to say, that it was reading your blog that encouraged me to start mine! I even used your link ๐Ÿ™‚ And, just wanted to stop by and say thank you for being so inspiring and so helpful.

  8. jennifer

    You have to purchase two years to be able to get the discounted price with your link?

    1. It’s 3 years to get the $3.49 price. If you purchase one year, you still get discounted pricing. I recommend starting with one year to see if you like it and then going from there.

  9. Charlotte

    Michelle,
    I just recently decided I wanted to start blogging. I am a very detail oriented person who likes to research it all before starting. After reading this post I feel much more confident and ready to start blogging. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. Welcome! You can always email me if you have any questions as well.

      1. I’ve always heard good things about it ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Can you resend your email? I’m not sure if I received it.

        1. I haven’t received it yet. What email are you sending it to?

  10. Jennifer

    Hi Michelle,

    I followed all the steps to start my own blog and i did it through bluehost and wordpress. I also purchased a blog template and downloaded it but how do i install it to start designing my blog? I am in a tough situation can you help me because i want my baking blog to be successful and as profitable as yours.

    1. Hey Jennifer! Where did you purchase the blog template from? Usually they have instructions on how exactly to upload it. Do you know if they have that set of instructions or if you can contact a person at the specific company?

  11. Jonathan

    For a while. I was looking for something like this. I bookmarked your page, and am sure to visit over and over again. Meanwhile, keep rocking.

  12. Morgan

    I am interesting in starting a blog and stumbled across this post on Pinterest. I would like to start blogging right away but don’t have the extra cash to spend on Bluehost right now. I thought about starting my blog on wordpress anyway and then once I save the money buy my name on Bluehost – is this something that can be even be done? And easily? Or have I got all of this confused? ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate your advice on this! Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Well, this is a tutorial for Bluehost so that is why I talked about it in the post ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. April

    Hello Michelle,

    Thank you so much for this awesome post! It was very helpful. I followed your suggestions and those of another blogger. I feel pretty motivated to try out blogging after reading these posts! I already started on the website. I am stuck on the theme though. I didn’t go with the Genesis theme. I purchased one through WordPress and I included the installation price. It amounted to $108. It showed in my Paypal account, so I went to find it in my WordPress purchases. I found it, clicked on “install” and a pop up shows telling me the options and prices for installation. I thought it would automatically be installed or something. I sent a message to MOJO marketplace to help me out. But is there anything you can help me with?

    New blogger

    1. I don’t work for Bluehost or Mojo Marketplace, so I’m not sure if I could be of any help. I’ve never bought a theme through them either so I’m not sure what the next step would be. I would hear what they have to say ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. April

        Thanks for the fast reply. I got a reply from them too. I think I’m too excited and forgot that these can take some time. Everything is so new!

  15. Kiersten Stahl

    This was incredibly helpful, Michelle!
    Thanks so much!

  16. LeAnne

    Starting out as a new blogger, your posts are always so helpful!

  17. Great post! I am in the process of launching my blog however I have encountered difficulties after I purchased a premium theme. Installing it and making the design looking like the actual theme is very difficult and time consuming. Do you have any tips for that?

    1. If you have trouble with designing the blog on your own, I recommend either purchasing a remade blog design or hiring someone to do the work for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Memoona

    I loved this!!! So many great tips! I do want to start a blogging but I’m not sure what’s stopping me… 8 thi k because I feel like everyone is writing about the same stuff I am so who will read mine… If that makes any sense… But i keep thinking about starting, hopefully soon!

  19. What exactly is bluehost?

    And will it link with my wordpress that I already have?

  20. Lisa Brenner

    Hey Michelle!
    I started a blog after reading this. Thank you so much for all your advice, it helped so much!
    Do you have any advice for brand new bloggers getting traffic to their blog? I begun with posting my first post to pinterest, but I am not having luck getting people to read yet.

    FYI- I’ve wanted to start a blog just to talk about my life as a Special Education teacher, so I’m doing it for fun, I just wanted to know how you got so many people to read your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

      1. Lisa Brenner

        Thank you!

  21. Vicki Pearce

    After 5 months of reading, reading and more reading I am still hesitant to take the first step towards blogging. Every day I find something else to follow up. Affiliates, e books, monetization, image tags, pinterest links, long tails, perma links and auto-mated scheduling are” all listed in my “further research required” box! Today I realised I need a separate business email. Can you really start blogging in “10 easy steps” ?

    1. Andy

      It just never end, does it? There’s always more to learn. ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Pat

    Ok, here goes. Not sure if all these comments are real.Will try asking a question. I set a blog. Or website this weekend. Money was taken fast. Got a theme down, but stuck now on step by step procedures on twenty sixteen. Trying to add pics? When you press publish, is the blog/site live on internet?

    1. Why would you think that the comments aren’t real?

      You can add pictures by pressing the “add media” button or something similar when you are in a blog post.

      In general, yes, when you press publish, the blog post should be live on the internet.

  23. Heather Boodhram

    I am so truly grateful to have found your website. I have recently started happinessinfectious.com thanks to your success. LOL. I feel like I am overthinking the first steps, as that is what I tend to do.

    My dilemma is, I am having a hard time trying to figure out what kind of content I can continually add to keep the theme of my site and still be helpful to people; Hence the “I might be overthinking things” feeling.

    I am planning to purchase your Affiliate Marketing course, we have had a rough couple of years financially, but things have taken a turn for the better, FINALLY! That being said, if you have any advice, I am all ears.

    Again, thank you for everything you do and pouring your heart and soul into your site for all of us to enjoy and learn.

  24. Hi Michelle,

    First things first. Thank you for your inspiring blog. I’ve been subscribed and read most of your stuff more than a year now, You did encouraged me. In fact I used your reference to create my own raisingthreekids.com blog. So Thank you so much for your inspiration.
    I have a question: How did you first advertise when you started your blog? how it kicked off? I have an intimidating start. it’s kind of demotivating. I tried poorly to advertise in Pinterest and Facebook but barely finish a week of advertising since didn’t see much happening. What can I do? What is your advise for me? Hope you will answer me