Updated January 2021.
Today you’ll learn how to easily start a self-hosted WordPress blog. Starting a blog has changed my life and lets me make thousands of dollars each month doing what I love. I’m so excited you want to learn how to start a personal blog too. The best part is you can start a profitable blog for just a few dollars per month!
There’s a TON of information available online on how to start a blog, which can get pretty overwhelming. That’s why I put together this easy step-by-step guide. Today you’ll walk away knowing how to start a money-making blog the right way — no tech experience required!
Whether you’re brand new to the blogging world (like I was when I first started) or you already have a blog that you’d like to improve, this guide was created to help you successfully launch a blog in minutes.
In just a few simple steps and with the click of a button, you’ll have your own blog ready to go!
If you’re ready to get started, click here to grab your blog hosting which also includes a FREE domain name.
Please note I started my blog with Bluehost and recommend them. If you make a purchase through one of my links (at no additional cost to you), I will receive a commission, which helps keep this website up and running. I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement. If you have any questions about starting a blog, please email me at [email protected]
How to start a blog in 2021
There has never been a better time to start a blog and the best part is – your blog can be about anything you want! Today I’m going to show you how to set up your blog in just four easy steps. This is the same way I set up my blog.
Step 1: Choose the right self-hosted blog platform
Step 2: Choose your web hosting package
Step 3: Register your domain name
Step 4: Install WordPress.org
*Please note that your domain name and WordPress.org installation is FREE with the purchase of any Bluehost web hosting package.
Starting a blog can help you…
✓ Earn passive income
✓ Great way to make money from home
✓ You’ll inspire others
✓ It’s affordable and requires no prior tech-knowledge
✓ You’ll build a community
✓ You’ll gain confidence
✓ You’ll get to connect with brands / people you admire
✓ Escape the 9-5 lifestyle (find freedom doing what you love)
✓ You’ll boost your creativity, and more!
By getting started today, you can create these life-changing opportunities for yourself too!
Starting a blog was one of the best decisions of my life. I started my blog as a hobby and now I earn a full-time income from blogging. (I earn between $8,000 – $12,000+ per month from blogging).
Blogging has allowed me to work from home, have a flexible schedule, travel anytime I want, and more. Just a few years ago, I was unhappy at a dead-end job and now I’m my own boss! It’s amazing how much my life has improved and I feel so blessed.
Who should start a blog?
I believe everyone should start a blog. We all have a story to share or the desire to spread awareness about an important cause.
One of the common misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be an expert on a topic or have an interesting life. This is so NOT true!
Your blog can be about anything you want it to be – it’s a spot on the internet that you can call your own. Plus, anyone can make money blogging. I’m not special or talented. I’ve never heard of WordPress before I started my blog. I learned absolutely everything from scratch.
If I can do it, you can too!
Being passionate about a topic will help you prevail as a blogger and be successful. If you enjoy what you’re writing about, your passion with shine through and you’ll naturally create valuable content. Your readers will be coming back for more!
If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I created a free 5-day email course to help you start a blog and make it successful. It also shares how beginners bloggers make money. Sign up below!
Step 1: Choose the Right Self-Hosted Blog Platform
When starting a blog, you have the option to use a free or self-hosted platform. I know free sounds appealing, but there are so many reasons why starting a free blog is a BAD idea.
Reasons to avoid using a free platform:
- It’s almost impossible to make money from a free blog
- Many free platforms put distracting ads on your blog
- The URL doesn’t look professional (for example, wanderlustdiaries.blogpost.com)
- You do not own your blog or the content on your website (this means your free website could shut down overnight for no reason)
- Free platforms offer no support and limited design options
If you want to make money from your blog, freelance or turn your blog into a business someday, then paying for your hosting (such as through Bluehost) is a MUST. It’s super cheap and easy to get started. And you can run your own advertisements, affiliate links or product sales with a blog using Bluehost.
It’s difficult to make money from free blogging websites. Plus, many advertisers don’t view them as professional, compared to self-hosted blogs. This is why I always recommend Bluehost to anyone who wants to start their own blog.
Reasons why you should use Bluehost:
✓ It’s easy to use – anyone can create a self-hosted WordPress blog with this tutorial
✓ You get a FREE domain name
✓ #1 recommended web hosting company by WordPress.org
✓ Bluehost offers 24/7 support via live chat, email, or phone
✓ FREE WordPress.org installation
✓ Bluehost is the best affordable paid hosting for beginners. You can start your own blog for as low as $2.95 per month. This is an exclusive price for Mint Notion readers.
✓ You will own your blog and be self-hosted. If you ever want to monetize your blog, you must be self-hosted.
✓ Bluehost offers a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you have any questions throughout this process, just send me an email and I’m happy to help you out.
SPECIAL OFFER: There’s a NEW lower price on blog hosting for Mint Notion readers. Now you can start your own blog for as low as $2.95 per month (due upfront in full) when you sign up through this link. Plus, you’ll get a FREE domain name! That’s over 50% off the regular monthly rate!
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but Bluehost is one of the best. It’s one of the top web hosting companies of 2021. It’s also super easy and affordable to start your own blog with them.
PRO TIP: Most professional bloggers recommend and use Bluehost for their website as this creates the right technical foundation for a successful blog. It’s simple and easy to use.
Hosting is the #1 factor in website uptime and Bluehost is the #1 recommended host by WordPress. Uptime is an excellent measure of how good a hosting provider is at keeping their system up and running. Bluehost has a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Why uptime is important – If you’re website is down, users can’t access it. This is why uptime should be one of your top priorities when choosing a web host.
Over 2 million websites are already powered by Bluehost and it’s a favorite among many new bloggers because it’s user-friendly. With just the click of a button, you can easily install WordPress and get your site up and running within minutes.
Getting the most bang for my buck is one of the key factors when choosing a web host and Bluehost is affordable yet powerful. They even offer 24/7 support from their trained experts, including guides and video tutorials.
As you can see, there are many benefits of using Bluehost to start your blog. Thanks to their 30 day money-back guarantee, there’s very little risk of starting a blog through Bluehost, and a lot of potential to make money blogging.
Do you have a WordPress.com blog?
If you’re currently using WordPress.com, you can easily transfer your blog to a new self-hosted site with Bluehost. When you purchase a web hosting package through Bluehost, one of their experts will move your website to Bluehost for FREE. You can learn more here.
PRO TIP: By getting started today, you’ll already be ahead of the crowd. Your future self will thank you for starting your blog today.
Step 2: Choose Your Web Hosting Package
You can click the Get Started Now button at Bluehost to get started.
I recommend choosing the Basic starter package as that’s really all you need. It’s a great deal at 50% off the regular price! It’s $2.95 per month USD or as little as $3.92 per month Canadian dollars.
Step 3: Register Your Domain Name
I suggest putting some thought into the name you choose. It doesn’t have to be long or super catchy. A short and simple domain name is usually the best choice.
I know it’s easy to overthink your domain name, but remember the value of your blog is in the content you share. There are many successful blogs today that have silly names. Even my blog name is not perfect (Mint Notion), but I like it and it works for me.
PRO TIP: I recommend registering your name through Bluehost because it keeps everything streamlined. You’ll also get a FREE domain name if you purchase a 12 month (or longer) blog hosting plan (a $15.99 value).
You can get your domain directly through Bluehost for FREE when you sign up for at least 12 months worth of web hosting. Paying up front for at least 12 months of hosting will save you a lot of money in the long run.
To get the best value, I recommend purchasing a 36-month plan (paid in full). This is what I did when I started my blog. It’s the cheapest option and great for beginners.
If you want to get a free domain name, follow the instructions below which will let you to purchase your hosting and get the free domain name all in one step.
Once you’ve chosen your free domain name, the next step is simply to fill out your contact details and payment information.
You can uncheck any of the extra add-ons, as this will only increase the cost of starting your blog. I recommend choosing Codeguard Basic. This makes daily backups of your website.
Prices are listed in Canadian dollars in this photos, but if you live in the USA, you’ll pay in US currency.
Note: If you’re registering a free domain name, you can skip the next part and head straight to Step 4 to install WordPress.
Already have a paid domain name?
If you already have a domain name that you bought from a website like GoDaddy, you’ll need to connect it to your web hosting account. It’s easy to connect your domain name to Bluehost, just choose the second option on the page instead of registering a new domain name.
Follow these instructions to connect your GoDaddy domain to Bluehost.
How to modify, add or delete name servers (DNS) for your domain(s):
- Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
- From the Domain Name drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list, select Manage Domains.
- Using the checkboxes, select the domain name you wish to modify and then click Set Name Servers.
- 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 select the domain name you bought (such as through GoDaddy) as an Add On Domain through your Bluehost cpanel. Click on Domain Manager, then select “Assign a Domain to Your cPanel Account”. Follow these steps and it is very easy!
Step 4: Install WordPress.org
Now that you’ve purchased your Bluehost hosting package and chosen your domain name, the final step is to Install WordPress.
Bluehost makes it easy to create a WordPress blog and it’s FREE. If you get stuck on any step, you can always send me an email at [email protected] or open Live Chat on Bluehost.
How To Install WordPress.org
1. After you created a password for your account, Bluehost will show you what you need to do in order to set up your blog
2. Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. You can choose any theme here, just pick one that inspires you. You can always change it later so it’s not a big deal. There are lots of free options too, so if you prefer to skip this step, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click “skip this step”.
3. After you select a theme, click on “Start Building”.
4. The next screen will ask what kind of site you would like to set up: “Business” or “Personal” — it’s really up to you. Or you can click on “I don’t need help”.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT!
Now you can log into your WordPress dashboard and start blogging — this is the part I know you’ve been waiting for! The URL for your dashboard should be: yourblogname.com/wp-admin/
If you want to upload a different WordPress theme, you’ll need to click “Appearance” from the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard, then select “Themes”.
If you’re not ready to pay for a theme, that’s okay. There are lots of free WordPress themes available here. I used a free theme in the beginning, then switched to a paid theme when I got serious about blogging. The only downside of using a free theme is that it comes with limited features and it can be hard to customize. My favorite free WordPress theme is Olsen Light. You can get Olsen Light here.
If you want to choose a paid WordPress theme,I recommend going with a Genesis theme for your new site. Genesis has built-in SEO and a ton of other great plugins that make it easy to change the look and feel of your blog.
I once read that if you’re building a house, WordPress would be the foundation and Genesis Framework is the steel frame. Then your house is finished with a roof, drywall, paint and decor — which is your design. When using Genesis, this is called your Genesis Child Theme. Since I’ve made the switch to Genesis for Mint Notion, I can’t imagine having a blog that wasn’t built on the Genesis Framework.
Once your site runs on the Genesis Framework, you can choose from a variety of Genesis Child Themes, which is the design of your blog. Here are a few of my favorite Genesis WordPress themes:
Foodie Pro is sleek with a minimal design that packs a punch with its features. It’s the most flexible Genesis theme, which makes it a popular choice with top bloggers.
Darling is a modern theme that follows the trends of top bloggers. It has a simple, minimal design that will make your content look amazing.
Here are some helpful posts to help kick-start your blogging journey:
Growing Your Blog Traffic:
- What NOT to do when starting a blog: 10 Rookie Mistakes
- 6 actionable tips to increase your blog traffic
- Increase your Pinterest audience by over 1,200% in just 3 months
- Blog Traffic Report – February 2017
- Blog Traffic Report – March 2017
Growing Your Email List:
Making Money From Blogging:
- Why your blog isn’t making money (and how to fix it)
- How to choose a profitable blog niche
- How to make money blogging for beginners
- How to earn passive income from your blog using Pinterest
- September Blog Income Report – $1,274
- October Blog Income Report – $2,300
- 3 ways to increase your affiliate earnings
Blogging Resources & Tools:
Still have questions? CLICK HERE for a list of FAQs about starting your own blog!
If you have any questions about starting a self-hosted WordPress blog, please leave me a comment or send me an email at [email protected]. I’m more than happy to help you, that’s what I’m here for!
If you know someone that wants to start a blog or website, please share this tutorial with them!