How To Set Up A Blog

Blogging has become a popular way of sharing adventures, tips, guides and a host of interesting articles written quite often by people who want to share their personal story or have lots of experience on a particular topic or are just very passionate about the area they are blogging about. My biggest tip about starting a blog would be to choose an topic that you have a real interest in as this will make writing blog posts much more enjoyable, naturally more informative and you will be able to add your personal experiences to help others, making your blogs of even more interest to readers.

OK, so lets go through the steps of setting up a blog.

The First Step – Picking A Name For Your Blog

Obviously this will very much depend on what your blog is going to be about and as I mentioned choosing something you are passionate about or experienced in will make writing blog post so much easier and enjoyable. When you’ve decided on the topic of your blog, choosing a name is the first step. Try and choose a name that is based around your blog topic, how I like to think of it is that it says what its about. As an example, our blog is about our experiences as pet sitters travelling the world, so we called our blog thetravellingpetsitters. Simple really! So have a think about it.

A good name can also help with Search Engine Optimisation (this is how you get found in google, yahoo and the other search engines people use) don’t worry we’ll cover this in SIMPLE terms in another post once you have set up your blog.

Once you’ve thought of a name you now have to see if you can get a domain name close to your name if choice. In our case we wanted thetravellingpetsitters and luckily the .com was available. This useful name checker below can tell you whether the name you are interested in is available. It might take a little bit of time and often the name you want will already be taken, so you may need to compromise a little with your name choice!

The Second Step – Getting your blog online

So you’ve picked your blog name and chosen your domain name, so lets get going on the next step which is to get your blog online so your blog posts can be read across the world! 
You will need two things to get your blog online – hosting and software. 

Luckily these two things come hand in hand now days and one of the most popular hosting companies is Bluehost as you can easily set up your blog name and use WordPress to build your blog. I use this company for the following reasons.

  1. Easy to register your blog name
  2. Simple installation of the WordPress software to build your blog
  3. Bluehost has been recommend by WordPress since 2005 and currently hosts in excess of 2 million blogs and websites
  4. 24/7 customer service and web chat help desk

Here’s how to get set up

1.)  Click here to open the Bluehost website and benefit from the special offer for new customers and then click “get started now”.

2.)  Select a plan that suits your requirements, for new bloggers the “Basic Plan” should be more than adequate.

3.) In the “Create a new domain” box type in the domain name that you have chosen from earlier when you were thinking about choosing a name for your blog in Step One and click next.

4.)  Create your account by completing the details requested on the sign up page along with your billing information.

Create a login password for your account so you are able to sign in and out from any device to make updates to your blog. You will then be asked to choose a theme for your blog, you can easily change the theme at anytime, so don’t worry about choosing one that isn’t quite right for you in the long run.

Once you choose your theme, WordPress will install and your blog software will be ready for you to use. When you see the message “All Done!” click on the “Start Building” button to log in to your account.

The Third Step – Building Your Blog

OK so you are all ready to start sharing your stories with the world! Start by logging into your account. To do this type in your browser (your blog name plus wp-admin) so it should look something like this This should bring up the login screen as in the image below. Your login name and password will be in the email that was sent to you from BlueHost.

Once you have logged in your dashboard page will open, which is were you can build pages and make any changes to your blog. If you take a look on the left hand side you will see a list of various folders called posts, pages, media etc. Now if you scroll down to “Appearance” and click on “Themes”, you can change the theme that you chose when signing up earlier, if you are happy with the theme you already have then just leave it as it is.

OK, now that you’ve decided on your theme, lets start to building a blog post. If you scroll down the left hand side again and click on “Posts”.

You will see that there is already a post listed called “Hello World!” This a default post that comes with all new blogs, we don’t need this one, so to delete it just hover over the name and click “Trash” which is located just under the name.

To create your first post, simply click “Add New” under the Posts section.

You have now opened up the editor page, so type the title of the blog post at the top of the page and some content in the main text section as shown below.

If you would like to add an image to your blog post (You can see that this blog I have written and you are reading has a mix of text and images), simply click the “Add Media” button and click the “Select Files” button to upload images from your computer.

Once you have uploaded an you can resize it should you need to by simply clicking on the “Edit Image” button (this is located on the right hand side in the section labelled “Attachment Details”). When you have the image ready just click on the “insert into post” button in the bottom right hand corner.

Finally, while you are working on your blog post its always a good idea to click “Save Draft” while you are going along, I’ve had times when I’ve been working on a piece and all of a sudden something happens and I haven’t saved my work and I lose it all.

When you have finished your blog, click the “Publish” button and your blog will be live for everyone to see.

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