Want to start a blog? I’ve got you covered.
About two years ago, my best friend & fashion blogger, Erica of Fashionlush, and I were having coffee & talking shop. We were both eating/sleeping/breathing blogging… but wanted to take it a step further. Erica’s a coder & I love branding — we wanted to bring everything together sort of?
So we created a little something called blog-doo.
& the blog making magic began. We offer various design packages to either help start you from scratch or give your existing blog a magical makeover. If you’re interested in working with us to get your blog up & running, you can learn more about the process here. If you have any questions — please feel free to reach out!
If you’re more of the DIY type… you’re in the right place! Today’s post will help all of you DIY-ers get on the road to blogging in the big leagues. Read on for a simple step-by-step guide to help get you started.
If, down the road you want to up your blogging game, blog-doo will still be here to help!
Ok so let’s get down & dirty with the first steps to getting your blog up & running. Erica & I wrote down everything you need to know below!
PART I: THE IDEA
At this point, you probably have a name chosen, but take it a step further & formulate a plan. What are your top-level categories, lower-level categories, target audience, etc.
Nailing down these details with a small business plan will help you get an idea of how you want your blog to look, what you will be blogging about, & your audience.
PART II: WORDPRESS.COM VS. WORDPRESS.ORG
First of all, let’s talk WordPress. WordPress is your CMS ( content management system ). It’s where you will go to write posts and manage your content.
There are many content management systems out there (Blogger, Squarespace, WIX, etc.), but we are all about WordPress for those wanting to blog professionally.
There are two different WordPress sites to choose from: WordPress.com & WordPress.org. We ONLY recommend .org as it gives you more control over your site & has great features to give you the ability to evolve in the future.
WordPress.org seems scary to some because you gotta do some tech-y stuff all by yourself, but really, once I break it down for you, it will be a breeze.
PART III: DOMAIN & HOSTING
1. Choose a domain name: If you’re just starting out, we recommend you keep things as simple as possible and take advantage of the free domain name with Bluehost ( which is where you will be getting your hosting ). First, be sure to check if your domain name is available. If it’s not, try adding “blog” to the end, or go back to the drawing board.
2. Choose hosting: If you think of it like a house, your domain name is the land you are on, the hosting is the framework of the house, & WordPress is the furniture. So for the framework, you want something reliable & trustworthy. If your site goes down, you want a hosting company who can be on call at all hours to help figure out the issue. At blog-doo, we always recommend Bluehost as they offer a combo of great pricing, speed, & amazing support. LOVE THIS HOST.
PART IV: HOW TO SET UP HOSTING & WORDPRESS
1. Head over to Bluehost & when you get to the site, hit that big green “GET STARTED” button. Easy enough.
2. Next, you will come to a page that asks you to choose your package. You’ll see three options – if you’re a beginner blogger, the ‘PLUS’ package is perfect. Hit select.
3. Sign up now! You will see two options: a “new domain” box and a “I already have a domain” box. If you bought your domain elsewhere, you would use the latter option. If you want to register through Bluehost to keep all your stuff in one place, register your new domain — which Bluehost offers you for free.
4. Next, it will take you through the typical checkout information. First, it will ask for your account info, then it will ask you for your package info, which is where you will choose your account plan & add-ons ( check whichever ones you want – but typically we just recommend domain privacy! ). Then, it will ask you for your billing info. Easy enough.
5. You’re almost there! Set up your password & log in to your new hosting account. YES!
6. Once you’re logged in, you will find your dashboard. The first thing we are gonna do is get WordPress installed! This is where things get kinda intimidating but trust me, follow these steps & photos and you’ll see, it’s very straightforward:
» in the dashboard, locate the icon that says “install wordpress” & click on that.
» next, it will take you to an install page where you will simply click the big green ‘start’ button.
» the next window will provide you with a drop down to choose the domain you are working with. If you only have one domain, you will only have one easy choice!
» lastly, you will be asked to name your blog & set up your login information.
** I RECOMMEND this hosting company if you’re starting out. Be specific when it comes to hosting.
7. OK, you’re all signed up. Now, head over to your email inbox & find a welcome letter that includes your login + a link to your WordPress dashboard (i.e. www.yoursite.com/wp-admin). Click this URL to be taken to your WordPress login page ( bookmark this link – you will visit it everyday! ). Log in & there you have it – your shiny new WordPress dashboard!
PART V: DESIGN!
Ok, so you’ve got the bare bones of the blog set up, & you can definitely start blogging ( getting content up before launch is a great idea ), but you will need to figure out a design.
There are a few options here:
You can find a theme you like & buy it – there are tons of themes on Etsy & you can also search for themes on Pinterest. These themes are templates that you can customize with your logo & colors. This works for some people if they are just starting out, but if you are looking for a more original design…. that’s where a blog design company, like blog-doo, will come into play.
This may not be something you want to do right away as you’re feeling out the whole blogging thing, but down the road, a professional & original blog design is definitely the way to go. Whenever you’re ready – feel free to contact blog-doo & mention you read this post for a 10% off discount.
ALSO– blog-doo will be launching an eBook shortly that will cover EVERYTHING you need to know about starting a blog, including ( but not limited to: branding basics, Google Analytics, case studies from brands, & SO MUCH MORE! ). We have been working on this eBook for months & we promise it will be a real game changer in your blogging career. If you want to know when the eBook is live, sign up for our newsletter ON THIS POST at the bottom!
For more info, scope blog-doo. Happy weekend!