Raelyn Tan: Blogging & Digital Marketing Strategist

Blogging For Beginners: How to Start a Blog in 20 Minutes

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This is part 1 of 4 of the Blogging For Beginners series.
1. How to Start a Blog – Blogging For Beginners

2. Can’t Decide What’s The Best Blogging Platform to Use? Answers here.
3. 11 Things To Do Immediately After You Start a New Blog
4. 11 Blogging Plugins You Need to Rock Your Blog 

Hello! Perhaps you’ve thought of starting a blog for awhile. It’s time to stop procrastinating and just go ahead to do it.

How to start a website in 20 minutes to make money blogging, using self-hosted WordPress. This is a step by step tutorial for beginners to start a blog business for profit.

Pin me and let’s be BFFs, yo!

 Things You’ll Need Beforehand:

  • An open mind to embrace some basic techy stuff to get your website live
  • Some $ for hosting
  • Your desired URL for your blog (make sure the URL is available first using whois.net)

You’re at the beginning of an amazing blogging journey, and I’m really glad to be able to accompany you from the start. Do not worry about not knowing where to start or what to do. This beginner’s blogging guide was written with you in mind.

Even the most successful blogger on planet Earth started with 0 views from square 1, right?

The 5 Key Steps to Get Your Blog Up

  • Get hosting
  • Get a domain name
  • Install WordPress
  • Write your first post
  • Install a theme

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How to start a blog in under 20 minutes
  • The best and most affordable host you should use
  • Where to get a free domain name (URL)
  • How to set up WordPress on your self-hosted blog for the first time

Steps 1 & 2: Get Hosting & Domain Name

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Hosting is server space on the internet where your website is at. Basically, if you’ve a house, it’s sort of like the land your house is on.

When I first started, I was confused by the tons of choices available. Should I go for company XYZ? Or company ABC? Picking the right hosting company is a pain in the ass.

Some of you may wonder if you should just opt for Wix or Blogspot (or something similar that’s free). You should always self-host and own your own blog. By that, I mean owning your own servers and URL. Do not be reliant on other people. You don’t want your blog to disappear overnight. Own your personal assets. 

The different kinds of hosting available

There are different types of hosting available.

Shared hosting is when you share your server with other websites.

VPS hosting is when you share your server with other websites, but a portion of the available resources are reserved for you.

Dedicated hosting is when the server only has your website. You can google if you’re really interested in the nitty-gritty technicalities.

When you’re small, shared hosting is more than enough for you. You can always upgrade to dedicated hosting when your website is bigger.

My Recommended Hosting Provider: SiteGround

(Update: I’ve since edited this post to recommend SiteGround. I was previously using Hostgator, but as the years went by support deteriorated, and I cannot by my best conscience recommend anything owned by EIG (Hostgator, Bluehost, a small orange etc) anymore.

Here’s the guide I wished I had when I first started. You’ll be up and ready in no time. But first..

Why SiteGround and not other hosting providers?

I’ve been using Hostgator (owned by the same company that owns Bluehost) for 3 years, and quite honestly I’ve never had any big issues with them. They were affordable, and I was happy. However, their support, to put it real bluntly, sucked.

I still remember, there was once, I waited for their support for so long that I fell asleep on my desk and woke up the next morning!

As someone who teaches people how to build blogs, I’m in a ton of communities where bloggers hang out in. Facebook groups? A few hundred. Google + communities? At least 100 of them. Pinterest group boards? Maybe about 50. And as we all know, one question we hear over and over again is “What’s the best host to use?”

I’ve heard lots of people praising SiteGround to the heavens – and one thing that was repeated again and again was how good their support was. That got me real curious, and I decided to do more research.

When my agreement with Hostgator ended, I decided to take the leap. And let me tell you…

Hostgator was good. SiteGround is much better.

SiteGround is also pretty affordable, if not one of the most affordable hosting solutions out there that’s of good quality. It costs about $3.95 a month, similar to Bluehost & Hostgator.

Check out SiteGround here. (aff link)

If you use my affiliate link, feel free to email me at raelyn[at]raelyntan.com if you’ve any questions about signing up to SiteGround and how to do it.

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5 reasons why you should choose SiteGround, off the top of my head:

  • It is not owned by EIG. EIG is a company that has acquired many popular hosting companies, and many have said that these once amazing companies have been turned into incompetent companies.
  • Social proof: It’s one of the most popular (if not the most popular) and common hosting provider used by tons of bloggers.
  • Support is super fast and great, and not staffed by a bunch of tech idiots!
  • 1-click WordPress Installation is perfect for beginners
  • 30-day money back guarantee – no risk!

Of course, there are naysayers saying that SiteGround isn’t good and stuff, but I’ve never had ANY issues with my hosting, and you’ll realize that these naysayers are few and far between.

Of course there are no service providers who are flawless, and of course, there are people that are pissed off, but SiteGround is one of the better ones with a good track record.

There’s a 30-day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work out for you anyway, so there’s no risk whatsoever! Aka: if you sign up and regret for some reason, just cancel and they’ll give you all your money back. They won’t refund you the $ for the domain name though, but you’ll still need that anyway, regardless of which host you use.

Don’t hesitate anymore, start your blog here.

Let’s Get Started

Go over to SiteGround‘s home page, and click on web hosting.

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Pick the package that’s most suitable for you – if you’re just starting out, it’ll be the “Startup” plan, but if you’ve more than one blog, you’ll need the “Growbig” plan (which is the one I’m using right now)

If you’re starting out from scratch with only one website, then StartUp would be the plan for you.

The plan I use is the Grow Big plan – I recommend getting the GrowBig for multiple websites, priority tech support, free SSL certificate and 2x as much webspace.

Choose the plan more suitable for your needs.

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Select, “get a new hosting account,” and then “register your domain.” Write your desired blog URL here.
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You’ll then be asked to input your contact information to register a new account.

Select your plan, server location and how long you want to purchase your package for.

The best server location you can have would be the one that’s closest to where the majority of your blog readers are located. For instance, about ~75% of my visitors are from the USA; hence I would select “Chicago, USA” as my preferred server location.

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For extra services, I did not pick any.

If you’re uncomfortable with sharing your personal information online, go ahead and pick domain privacy, or use a PO box address. Bare in mind that if someone really wants to find your personal information they will do so privacy or no privacy. Also, you shouldn’t be using your real address anywhere on the net. Email and telephone numbers are things that are readily available on your blog anyway.

The hack alert monitoring will let you know when your site has been hacked. This is a nifty feature provided by SiteGround. Do note that there are other ways that you can monitor your website’s security via other plugins like WordFence, and you can also do regular backups for your website as well!

Next, input your payment information, and you’re just about done.

You’ll then be sent a welcome email and asked to proceed to the customer area.

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Step 3: Install WordPress

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Proceed to the customer area and set up your website. There’ll be a pop-up asking you to install WordPress. Click on “Get WordPress Pre-Installed On This Account” and follow the account setup assistant.

Alternatively, you can select “My Account” > “Access My Cpanel” > Under Preinstallers, click on WordPress. That’s your 1-click installation process.

Once you’ve completed the installation process…

Access Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your WordPress admin dashboard is the backend of your WordPress website. You can access it at www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (just replace “yourdomain” with your URL) and input your credentials.

When in doubt, feel free to ask SiteGround’s support. They’ll guide you there.

Step 4: Write your first post and just publish it

Do you know that many web owners never get around to even publishing their first post?

Consequently, 99.99% of these blogs die and fizzle out. Writing your first post gets you in the groove and dramatically increases your chance of following through with your blog instead of leaving it to rot.

You want that, right?

This is something I recommend to all my clients – get your first post out there ASAP. It increases your chance of success SO much.

It doesn’t even have to be a long post! A simple introductory post, along with what users can expect from your website is more than enough for a first post.

Step 5: Find a Suitable Theme

A theme dictates the overall look and design of your website.

Here are your options:

  • Free ones from the WordPress marketplace
  • Plenty of websites that sell really nice designs like themeforest.net
  • Hire a website designer and get real professional from the get-go.
  • My website kit provided at Kickstart Your Blog, it will get you an amazing looking site at a good price using the premium Divi theme.

For me, I did up my own by purchasing my own website theme.

Blogging For Beginners In a Nutshell:

  • Get hosting at SiteGround
  • Have a domain name registered
  • Install WordPress
  • Write your first post
  • Find a nice theme

Andddd you’re good and ready to go! 🙂 I hope this has helped. It’s a little technical and may be hard to digest for some of you, but you only need to set it up once, and you’re good for a few years! Depending on what you choose, choosing THE a website theme/ getting THE website design may take awhile, but do not be discouraged.

xx Raelyn 🙂

Another pin:

Blogging For Beginners: How to start a website in 20 minutes to make money blogging, using self-hosted WordPress. This is a 4-part series for beginner bloggers to start a blog business for profit.

Pin if you think this post is useful for beginner bloggers! 🙂

Proceed to part 2 of the series, Can’t Decide What’s The Best Blogging Platform to Use? Answers here.

This is part 1 of 4 of the Blogging For Beginners series.
1. How to Start a Blog – Blogging For Beginners
2. Can’t Decide What’s The Best Blogging Platform to Use? Answers here.
3. 11 Things To Do Immediately After You Start a New Blog
4. 11 Blogging Plugins You Need to Rock Your Blog 

If you liked this post, please share this?

Seriously. It helps a lot with the growth of this blog.

I know most people don’t share because they feel that us bloggers don’t need their “tiny” social share. But here’s the truth…

I built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time, and will continue to do so. So thank you so much for your support, my reader.

Some great suggestions:
Pin it! (I even made a pretty pin for ya!)
Share it to your favorite blog + biz Facebook group
Tweet it!
Stumble it!

It won’t take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right here. 🙂

Thank you!

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Yay! I’ve just switched comments on. Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

Hey there! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Thank you!

Raelyn Tan

Hey, It’s probably due to your theme, it’s not mobile friendly. Change your theme or get a developer to make it mobile friendly. 🙂

Hi Raelyn! Awesome post, really useful!

Have you heard about Rawpixel? You’ve probably seen our images all over the place. We’re the leading stock photo contributor in the world.

We’ve just launched our website where we give away the best free design resources out there. We’d be stoked if you could add us to this list.

Check us out on http://www.rawpixel.com. Looking forward to you joining our community of creatives.

BE INSPIRED. BE RAW.

Nica

Raelyn Tan

Hi Nica, I’ll check that out – thanks!

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this to a friend who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I discovered it for him… lol. Thanks veryyy much for sharing this price worthy info.

Raelyn Tan

Hey Wayne, thanks for sharing this with your friend and I’m glad you found this useful!

Ash

Hi,

Superb article. I have recently created a article same like your blog about how to start blog. It’s good for beginner who wants to start blog. They need to follow every single step to start blog successfully.
Blogging is the good idea to start and earn money online. Very interesting post thanks mate.

Cheers

Raelyn Tan

Hey Ash, thank you for your kind words! Yes, I went to your site and saw your article. I look forward to seeing you around more in my community!

Thank you so much for your blog!!!! It has been the most user-friendly information I could find. For a non-tech type, it seemed overwhelming, but have created my blog and feel like I can begin to enjoy the process. Thank you!

Deborah

Thank you for your kind words, Deborah!

I just started a blog today and still have so much to learn. Thank you!

You’re welcome, Nicole!

Working on developing my site now and I must say Raelyn your blogging content is excellent! I look forward to your newsletter. Oh! and hey I sent the tweet.

Hey Everett, thanks for your kind words. 🙂 I really appreciate it!

bruce

Thank you for the information.

But i am kind of an introvert. That is why I am not really sure what to blog about. That is, my biggest problem for me in doing a blog. Any suggestion?

Hey Bruce! What has being an introvert got to do with not being sure what to blog about? Do you have any interests?

Hollie

I am a complete and total newby to this, and am wondering why i need both hosting and wordpress, can’t i do everything on wordpress?

Read part 2 of this series, Hollie. 🙂

Denise

Great blog! Thx for the info🙂

Thanks Denise, I really appreciate your kind words! 🙂

Thanks for this post! I had purchased my domain via siteground and didn’t know how to install WordPress–you made it so easy 🙂

Awesome! 🙂

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