How to start your own blog

Are you looking to start your own blog or website. We often has the misconception that starting a site involves lots of programming and technical knowledge. It is if you are looking for a fancy looking website. But if you are looking to set up a simple website like mine, it can easily be set up with less than USD85 per year on your own.

Anyone can start a blog- even you! Once you have your own blog, you have the freedom to share and write anything you want. I was never a fan of blogging but ever since I started in January 2017, I am glad I took the initiative to launch it. Really! There are many reasons why you should start a blog. 

Free Hosting or Self Hosting?

What is the first thing that comes in mind when you see you this? Free hosting seems like an obvious choice. Who doesn’t like free stuff? But I would never recommend free hosting. If you are already planning to start a blog, go for self hosting. Reason being free hosting is not actually free.

There are tons of restrictions when it comes to free hosting. The first obvious one is you do not own any of your content and you have to obey the terms set up by the host. Secondly, when it comes to blogging, you would ultimately want to monetize your blog. Free hosting will restrict you when it comes to monetizing. You work your your butt off and you don’t own the content? Yes! It’s free remember.

Lastly, which website would you most likely trust more. Interestinglyawesome.com or Interestinglyawesome.wordpress.com? A self hosted will allow you to have a professional looking domain name without the host name at the back. So if you are planning to start a blog.

Get a self-hosted WordPress blog! 

In this post, I will be showing you how you can set up your own site or blog at the lowest cost possible. It is really cheap!

There are several platform that you can choose from but I would prefer to use wordpress on my site as it is one of the most preferred platform for blogs. In case you are confused, you can actually free host and self host on wordpress. In this guide, I will be guide you in creating a self hosted wordpress site. To set up your site, there are a few things you need to do.

  1. Get a personal domain
  2. Get a hosting plan
  3. Installing WordPress on your website

Step 1: Choosing the name of your domain

A domain is basically your website address. In my case, my domain would be interestinglyawesome.com. It will serve as your site identity so it is important to get a domain which relates to your site. Here are some tips to be mindful of.

  • Try to not get complicated domain name. The idea is to get a domain which can be easily remembered. Having a mixture of numbers and letters in your domain can be pretty complex and people might not able to remember the name. Ilovetotravel.com would be much better than Ilove2travel.com.
  • Get a domain name that allows your site to grow accordingly. A domain like travelat24yearsold.com would be restrictive as you age. You would probably regret getting the name when you reach 26 years old and etc.

The idea is to get a domain which links to your site purpose. Get something which is clear and allow you to expand as it grows. The biggest mistake I did with my site is getting a domain which is too general. People might not be clear on what this site is all about. But the upside would be I can make it into anything I want. So, be wise when you brainstorm your domain name.

Step 2: Setting up your domain and hosting

Now that you have gotten the name of your blog. To get your blog online and all ready, you will need to purchase a hosting plan. I would advised you to get a domain and hosting from the same provider so you can solve any technical issues with one point of contact. There are lots of companies like GoDaddy, Blue host and hostgator. I had tried using hostgator and I would recommend using this if you are looking to set up your own hosting account. Get 40% of the total hosting plan and domain at cost of USD4.99 when you use my link. Coupon code: INTERESTING60

Their rates are affordable ranging between $3.95 and $5.95 per month. They also offer a 45 day money-back guarantee with live chat customer service to talk you through your tech problems.

Now that you have gotten your blog name and understand the various platform. Head over to part 1 to set things up on hostgator.com.

Part 1: Go to hostgator.com and click on ‘web hosting‘.

Part 2: Choose your preferred hosting plan.

If you do not know which to choose, go for the cheapest one but bear in mind that the hatchling plan only allow 1 domain.

Part 3: Choose your domain name.

Key in your domain name to check on the domain availability. Be sure to choose  ‘.com’ domain.

Part 4: Choose your hosting package based on your budget and your needs.

Depending on your personal preference, you may choose to pay monthly or yearly from 1 year to 3 year. But you will pay way lesser if you decide to pay a 1 year to 3 years in advance. Paying 1 year will be the best option for beginner but it still depends on your own personal preference.

Part 5: Fill in your details for billing purposes.

You can opt to pay via paypal or credit card. When you scroll further down, you will have the choice to opt for add ons. You can choose to remove all the add-ons as it is not essential for beginners. But again, that is completely up to you.

Once you have decided on your preference, review your order on the checkout cart and click checkout now.

Part 6: Right after your payment is processed, you will see the following. An email with all your details will also be sent over to you.

There you go. You have officially gotten your very own domain with a hosting set up. They might take a while to process. Feel free to talk to the customer service should there be any problem. If everything goes smoothly, let’s move on to step 3 to set up WordPress on your site.

Step 3: Installing WordPress on your website

There are several platforms you can used on your website from blogspot, blogger and etc. but WordPress is highly recommended. It is a FREE software that allows you to publish articles, set your theme and many more feature that make it look like an actual site. Most successful blogger use WordPress.

Here is a quick guide in installing WordPress in your site.

Part 1: Log in to your hostgator control panel using the link sent to you through the email.

It will look like the screenshot below.

Part 2:  Look for the icon captioned “Get Started With WordPress Today” with the logo of a white W. 

Once you click on it, click on the Install WordPress button.

Part 3: A page like the one below will appear which will prompt you to fill up the following details. It should be very simple to follow along. Once you are done, click on ‘Install WordPress’.

Part 4: WordPress will be set up on your site once you click on install.

An email will be sent to you with all your credentials and details for your own reference.

Guess what! You are done with installing wordpress onto your site. You are good to go.

Step 4: Logging in to your site

You have fully set up and install WordPress onto your site. I will not go into small tiny details on how to create each post as it can be easily explored. But I will have a quick run through on WordPress to help you install a quick free theme to help you get things running.

Part 1: Go to www.domain.com/wp-admin.

The domain is the domain name you have created. In the case of my site. My WordPress log in would be www.interestinglyawesome.com/wp-admin. A page like the one below will appear. Key in your username and password with the details emailed to you earlier.

Part 2: Installing a theme onto your site.

You will be directed to your dashboard similar to the one below which will be your main WordPress navigator. Every single edits, posts creation and any other updates can be done here. Now hover over to the button ‘appearance’ and click on themes.

At the theme page, search for a them that would interest you. The cool thing about this is there is vast of choices to choose from. You can even preview the theme. Browse through the entire list and install once you find a suitable one by clicking on ‘Activate’.

You can click onto your site to see how your new site look like by typing in your domain name.

Your site is now up and running. There are still lots more to set up but in general, your blog is ready. Here is a quick checklist on things will be essential.

  • Contact me page
  • About you page
  • Installing plugin to link your social media account

I hope the tutorial is helpful. If you already decide to set up using hostgator, would appreciate if you use my referral link so I would get a small credit from it. Let me know if you have further queries and I will try my best to help you get your site set up.

If this guide helped you out, please pin and share it.