If you love traveling, If you want to share your travel stories and want to inspire others to travel, then getting your own travel blog is the best way to do it. Not only that you will enjoy sharing your experiences with the world, the blog can also provide you a steady income as it grows. I have already included that in my post on How to make Money while traveling.
I have been hosting my Blog with Bluehost and it has been a pretty smooth ride without any glitches. When I started off my blog I had to call the Bluehost Customer Care many times as I was not familiar with the whole website thing. I can tell you that you are in safe hands and they will provide you all the assistance you need to start off your website. So from my personal experience I would recommend Bluehost to anyone who wants to start their own blog.
Below are the step by step instructions to start your own blog.
Step 1 – Getting Started
Get to the Bluehost Home Page and click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button.
Step 2 – Pick your Plan
I have been using the Basic Plan for now. If you are new to the whole blogging thing, then I suggest you go with the Basic one and then upgrade later on based on your requirements.
Step 3 – Choose your domain name
Do your wordplay and have atleast 5-6 domain names for your blog in your mind. With many websites being created everyday, there is very little chance you might get to keep your first choice. Try to keep your domain name unique and in such a way that it reflects the purpose of your blog. I am a solo budget traveler so my domain name fits in perfectly (even though it was not my first choice).
Step 4 – Register and Pay
Provide the below details and pay the amount for the plan you chose. Once you are done with this, give yourself a pat on your back. You just bought your own space in the vast expanse of Internet.
Step 5 – Create a Bluehost Password
Create a strong password for your Bluehost account. The password must meet certain requirements. So make sure you note the password down as it may be needed for verification purpose.
Step 6 – Install WordPress
WordPress is the most popular and easiest tool you can use for managing your website. I have been using it for my blog and I am pretty comfortable with it. And it is FREE !!!
First login to Bluehost with the username and password you just created at http://my.bluehost.com.
This will take you to Control Panel or cpanel. This might look confusing at first, but all we need here is to get the WordPress installed, which you will find under Website Builders. Click on the the WordPress icon.
Then in the next page click on the green button ‘Start’.
Then provide your blog name and click on ‘Check Domain’
Click the “show advanced options” checkbox and enter an email address and password. This is the admin account for you blog, which is separate from the Bluehost account created above. You will use this email/password a lot.
Wait for the installation to complete. It might take a few minutes. Wait for it…….
and DONE !!! Your site is now Live and ready to roll.
Step 7 – Login to your WordPress Site
Now it is time to customize your wordpress site. For that you need to login to http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/. Enter the admin username and password which you had created.
This will take you to the dashboard, which is your base from where you operate.
Step 8 – Pick a Theme
Now it is time to choose a theme for your blog. There are many free themes out there. You can dig around the list to find what suits you best. You can also go for a paid theme if you need a premium feel for your blog. To choose a theme, select Appearance and Themes in the left side bar. Click Add New, select the theme you want to try out, then click Activate. You can try as many themes you want. I might have spent a whole day for this. The initial stage is the best to experiment. Later on switching to a new theme can be a headache as you might have to sort your pages all over again.
Step 9 – Publish your First Post
Ok newbie, time to announce your arrival to the blogging world. Publish your first post introducing your blog and yourself. You can go through my First Post to get an idea.
On the left sidebar select Posts and Add New.
Enter some title (“Welcome to my World!”), add some content and then click Publish. That’s it. Now you are officially part of the blogging world.
It might take time for you to get used to WordPress. You may want to install a few plugins to get started.
- Akismet – Akismet protects your blog from spam. It is critical!
- Sociable – makes it easy for your readers to share your content
- Updraft Plus – regular backups are really important! I do weekly backups to the free version of Dropbox.
- WP Super Cache – when your site hits the front page of Yahoo, this will help prevent your server from crashing.
- Yoast SEO – this provides guidance for search engine optimization. This will increase traffic from Google, etc…
- Google Analytics – The Industry Standard for checking for your Website Traffic.
- Jetpack by WordPress – Another tool I use for socail media sharing.
- Instagram Feed – For integrating your Instagram with your website.
- Loginizer – WordPress plugin which helps you fight against bruteforce attack by blocking login for the IP after it reaches maximum retries allowed. You can blacklist or whitelist IPs for login using Loginizer.
Well what are you waiting for. Now you know how to setup your own blog. Head over to Bluehost to get started.
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