Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. When you enroll through an affiliate link, this site receives a commission at no additional cost to you.
UPDATE February 7, 2017: I can no longer recommend HostGator as a hosting platform for blogs with a moderate amount of traffic, plugins, and who don’t want to be shut down with no warning. I am currently hosted by Flywheel (and not HostGator as I’ve talked about before). Read this post to find out why I do not recommend HostGator.
When I first started my website, I had no idea that it would turn into a blog. At all. I just thought it would be a place where my offerings lived and where people could get to know me.
Slowly, I started writing articles on simple things, concepts, and ideas – my view of the world as I knew it in that moment. It gave me a space to organize the things I was learning and it provided a space for other people to access this information too.
Then, it turned into something more than just helping people. Blogging and writing became therapeutic to me. It allowed me to release viewpoints and feelings about the world, no longer trapped inside of them, and helping others, too.
My blog has healed me, helped others, and guides others to my business, offerings, and website.
Through the power of google and social media, my blog is the single biggest source of clients, customers, and business. Most people that become customers and clients in some fashion did so after reading an article, or several.
And after about 1.5-2 years of blogging, this website became a full-time job and business.
Why Start a Blog?
Most people start a blog because they intend for it to become a business at some point. Blogging can bring you income through ads, products, or services that you sell. (I talk more about this in this class.) Blogging can become a flexible, full-time, work at home business where you set your own schedule and don’t have to leave your house to go to work.
If you already have a business, a blog can grow your business exponentially and reach many more clients you may not otherwise have reached. It builds trust with your audience, your readers, and puts you in an expert level position on a certain realm of knowledge.
Aside from the business benefits, writing is healing. It releases energy and emotions from you and helps you sort out and understand what you’re experiencing. Writing heals you – and the more you blog and write, the more you’ll come to see this benefit.
As I blogged, I became a better writer AND I used it as experience to channel and deliver the messages I was getting from Spirit to a larger platform (I never told anyone I was doing that -ha!).
Your message is needed.
But what if you don’t feel like an expert?
Don’t worry, I didn’t either. You are an expert in your view of the world, with your unique set of experiences. You have something to educate on, a medicine to share, and a message to spread. My message and voice are not the same as yours, and we won’t connect with the same audiences. What you have to share, even if you think it’s exactly the same message as someone else or not unique enough, will resonate with someone where the other voice did not.
Your voice is needed now. Your medicine is needed now.
Your light can spread faster when your ideas and writings are search engine friendly with a blog, pinnable, and shareable on social media.
In this post, we’re going to bring it back to basics and I’ll share with you the step by step process for starting a WordPress blog, the best blogging platform, from the very beginning.
Let’s get started.
How to Start a Blog
1. Choose a Domain Name
First things first, you’re going to need a name and location of your website. This is the domain name or the URL. This can be whatever you want it to be, so long as it’s not already taken by someone else!
You can check to see what domains are available using HostGator’s Domain Registration tool.
Search for a domain name you like and see if it’s available.
BUT, before you go ahead and checkout, you’ll also need something called a web host.
A domain name is the name and URL of your site. But with just a domain name, there’s not actually any website yet. Just the name of one. To get an actual website, you’ll need something called web hosting.
2. Get a Web Host
A web host is a place where your website is hosted and where it lives. Where you put all the content, publish all the blogs, and do all the backend work. This is the actual website, while the domain name is JUST the URL.
HostGator is a web host that supports a platform called WordPress. WordPress, at this time, is the best platform for blogging (something I wish I knew when I started!). The most customization comes from having something called a Self Hosted WordPress Site. This means that you install WordPress on a web hosting platform and have complete control over the backend.
HostGator has affordable plans for web hosting that are perfect for starting your blog. You can view these on their shared hosting plans page here.
AND, you can get your domain registration and web hosting from them – making is super easy having everything all in one place.
HostGator’s most popular hosting plan is the Baby Plan because it allows for unlimited domains. This means you can purchase multiple URLs and have them all tied to the same site, which gives you the flexibility to have many arms to your website or even to change your URL later down the line. I personally own 3 URLs that are connected to my website – so having the option for more is ALWAYS good to have on hand.
One of the biggest pluses with HostGator is that it comes with unlimited email addresses, meaning, you don’t have to pay for a separate service to have email addresses that match your website. They also have website building features and give you GoogleAdwords credit (YES!) when you sign up!
Select a plan, click the bright yellow Get Started Now! Button to add the hosting package to your cart.
Then, you’re taken to a screen that looks like this:
Here, enter the domain name that you found using the Domain Registration tool. If you already own a domain, just click “I Already Own This Domain” and head to the next step.
If you’re registering a new domain, you’ll be asked if you want Domain Privacy Protection. For my domains, I prefer to pay extra to keep the registration details private. Otherwise, someone can look up your domain registration and get your name, email, address, and phone number. YIKES! If you like privacy, make sure you keep Domain Privacy Protection checked. This privacy protection hides YOUR information and replaces it with HostGator’s, so you can keep your privacy.
Add your features, fill out your billing info, and set up your HostGator Account
Then, you’re ready to checkout!
When you reach this step, make sure to enter coupon code “SPSHNov25”. If you go to HostGator by clicking my affiliate link here and entering this code at checkout, you’ll receive an extra 25% off.
Finally, click that you agree to the Terms and Conditions, then the big yellow Checkout Now! button.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of your very own website.
You’re ready to get started with building your blog! The next step is installing WordPress.
3. Installing WordPress
Like we talked about, WordPress is by far the best platform for blogging. They have endless plugins, features, and opportunities for customization, and their code is much easier to work with when you do choose to monetize your blog.
You can follow along with this video, or follow the steps I outline below:
After you completed your purchase, you should have received an email from HostGator with your cPanel username and password. cPanel is the portal you’ll use to manage your web hosting. The cPanel link is unique to you, so be sure to bookmark it for future reference.
Log into cPanel and click on the Quick Install icon.
From there, you’ll see an option to Install WordPress for free.
Click the Install WordPress button and then complete the form accordingly.
A progress bar at the top of the page will let you know when installation is complete. Once complete, you will be able to start working on your WordPress site. Check your email for your WordPress username and password as well as a link to your WordPress dashboard.
And you’re done. There are TONS of WordPress tutorials and resources out there – free ones!
All that’s left for you to do is to keep building, growing, and WRITING. Write, write, write, and write some more. Put yourself out there, let your unique voice be heard, and your tribe will find you. When you’re ready to monetize, check out my video class on that subject!
HostGator’s support team has been more than kind to me – and extremely responsive! Any time I have emailed, I have received a response very quickly. A HUGE bonus with HostGator is that they offer 24/7 support. Support like that is priceless if you’re like me and you’re building your empire late at night and in the wee hours of the morning.
When You sign up for hosting with HostGator By Clicking My Affiliate Link Here and entering code “SPSHNov25” at checkout, You’ll Receive An Extra 25% Off.
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Need help setting up your new WordPress Site? Check out this FREE 5 Day Challenge by WP+BFF for building a WP site!