Have you always wanted to learn how to start a blog and create one all by yourself?
Just like you, I have always wanted to create and start a blog I’ll own, I used to be a blogging newbie, I went through the same problems every newbie is going through when it comes to starting and creating a blog.
Back in 2007 when I started in the online world, I knew nothing about blogging nor how to start a blog, I can remember everything was just so complex and confusing.
Now I know a lot about blogging and how to start a blog from scratch. Just a month ago, I have helped 2 businesses to create and start a blog for their business and they’re doing pretty well.
This makes me consider myself someone you could listen to when it comes to learning how to start a blog. I’m not some sort of Guru, but I certainly do know some stuffs.
I created this post to give you a fast, foolproof guide to help you learn how to start a blog all by yourself, without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials. I also want to help you avoid all the expensive mistakes that most people do.
If you’re still contemplating about creating a blog, I talked about 5 insightful reasons to create a blog today and I’m sure you’ll find it reasonable.
This well researched do-it-yourself guide is about 3,300 words, but it’ll be simple, relatively easy, and definitely easy to understand.
For Offline Use, I have created the ebook of this post to help you learn how to start a blog. Download it here. (This guide has all the resources in this post in it).
Are you ready to learn how to start a blog?
Important Things You should know
- Blogging is something you can do part-time or as a side hustle (business). As you build this business and invest more time in it, you’ll learn so much.
- You should know that a blog is just like a small office, a shop, warehouse or kiosk where people can visit you online and check out what service you’re rendering or product you’re selling.
- This means the office or shop has to be paid for like rent (Note: I’m not the one you’ll pay). The good news is this rent is less expensive when compared to a traditional office/shop rent
- So, Blogs and blogging require little investment on your part. Trust me, this very little investment is worth it.
How to Start a Blog In 6 Easy Steps.
As you’ll see in this practical guide, you’ll learn how to create a blog all by yourself in 6 steps as follows
How Much Will Creating & Starting a Blog Cost You?
I’m sure you don’t want something that’s too expensive so I researched out the cheapest hosting service providers that will enable you create your first blog.
It will cost you a total of $20.75 (N7,681) to get your blog up and running in the first year using the services and tools I recommend.
The two important things you need and the total cost:
- Domain name: $10.86 (4,021 Naira)
- 1 year web hosting service: $9.88 (3,660 Naira)
Note: you’re not paying me, you’ll pay the service providers. You’ll get to see the break down in the 6 steps below.
Don’t you think it’s high time we started? Let’s take it one step after the other.
STEP 1: Choose Your Web Hosting Provider
Web hosting service providers help you house your blog or website. They’re like Landlords online; you pay them rent to keep your blog LIVE and accessible to anyone.
There are hundreds of different web hosting providers like hostgator, bluehost, ipage, godaddy, Namecheap They all offer you 2 vital services among others (domain registration + hosting) at similar price.
With My experience so far, I recommend Namecheap.com. It’s probably the cheapest. Your domain name & 1 year hosting costs just $20.75 (N7,681) for the first 1 year. So it’s so great for beginners.
With that little investment, you’ll get your new blog LIVE and running.
Why I recommend NameCheap
Both help to house your website or blog so that people can visit. But one is cheaper than the other and that’s Namecheap.com.
As a beginner on your quest to learning how to start a blog, Namecheap gets a little from your pocket and gives you great customer support whenever you need them.
- For both Domain registration & 1 year hosting Bluehost would have cost you $60 and more (N22,200 or more) with the current dollar rate
- For both Domain registration & 1 year hosting Namecheap would cost you just $20.75 (N 7,681) with the current dollar rate when writing this content.
By placing an order for the 2 services at Namecheap.com at N 7,681 you can get your blog up and running. (Remember I told you there’s a little investment you’ll have to make)
So you see why I recommend Namecheap
This may come to your mind; “can’t I get a FREE web hosting service providers?”
There are ENOUGH free web hosting service providers BUT, DON’T EVER use free web hosting services. In other words don’t go for free hosting.
Let me explain…..
Free Hosting VS Self-Hosting
Have you ever stumbled upon any blog or website like www.thewebsitename.wordpress.com? Or www.thewesitename.blogspot.com Or www.thewebsitename.website?
Those types of website are FREELY hosted and managed by WordPress, Blogger etc. themselves. That’s free hosting; they have total control over it, you don’t.
Like I’ve experienced in some free hosted blogs, your blog can be deleted at any time. So, you SHOULDN’T use free hosting.
When you see a website with a ‘.com’ immediately after the website name e.g www.oasdom.com, or www.thewebsitename.com the website is self-hosted. You have FULL control over it.
Summary of points here:
Free Hosting: You’ll find website names like these:
- sitename.wordpress.com e.g www.animalfarm.worpress.com
- sitename.website e.g www.freecallsagain.website
- website.blospot.com e.g www.okesteve.blogspot.com
Self-Hosting: You’ll find website names like these:
- sitename.com e.g www.oasdom.com , www.facebook.com, www.nairaland.com
My advice: Go for self-hosting (.com) and don’t go for free hosting (.thirdpartyname).
One Important thing is: You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it much harder to ever make money from blogging.
Namecheap provides both free hosting and self-hosting service, but with the explanation above, we’ll go with their self-hosting (i.e you pay for it). More on it in step 3.
Now let’s move to the next step.
STEP 2: Choosing Your Blogging Platform
If you’re going to know how to start a blog, it is crucial that you understand this part. I guess you’ll need to pay more attention here.
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform is the software or service that you use to publish your content onto the internet in the form of a blog. A blog platform is a specific form of a content management system.
There are many blogging platforms to choose from. You can make use of WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger any other. For me, WordPress is the best.
Why you should use WordPress Blogging Platform
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. It is probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.
Reason to Use WordPress
- WordPress and its countless features are 100% FREE for everyone to use
- Over 75 million blogs and websites use WordPress as their blogging platform
- Super easy to set-up
- WordPress comes with tons of free themes and layouts (they are countless)
- There’s a support forum for every WordPress user if they get stuck
- There are over 30 translations of WordPress
- WordPress is most popular with Business websites
As you can see from the above points, WordPress is your best bet especially if you’re just starting out. But, there’s something you need to know: There are 2 WordPress systems.
The 2 WordPress Systems
- .org and;
You’re wondering what the difference is right? That’s why I’ll need you to pay more attention here.
WordPress.org is your best bet here. It allows you to have full control of your blog. It allows you to have .com at the end of your blog name, helping your blog name stand out with a credible tone (.com)
WordPress.com is a free hosting system. Remember in STEP 1 that you can’t go for free hosting. Serious bloggers don’t use WordPress.com as it ends your blog name with .wordpress.com
Why You Shouldn’t Use WordPress.com WordPress.org has enough advantages. WordPress.com is Free and has limitations.
Now you see why I have emphasized on ignoring free hosting and embracing self-hosting.
It’s not just WordPress.com, (dot) blogspot.com too is free. Instead of going for a long www.websitename.blogspot.com or .wordpress.com your blog name should be (dot) com.
Now that you’ve known which blogging platform to use – WordPress (.org to be specific), the next thing is to go Register your domain name on your web hosting service provider – Namecheap.com
** This guide is a part of our free blogging email course. Sign up to get notified when it’s out. CLICK HERE
STEP 3: Register Your Domain Name
Your domain name is your personal blog address. For example Facebook’s domain is www.facebook.com and the Domain of Oasdom is www.oasdom.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.Yourblogname.com.
It starts with Signing up
Go to www.namecheap.com to create an account now.
Click on Sign Up at the top left corner of your web browser
Next you’ll have a form to fill. Make sure you remember the details you use here.
Click the red button Create Account and Continue and you’ll be taken to your dashboard.
Next you’ll want to get your domain address i.e your website name i.e yourblogname.com
You’ll have to pay for this quick so that someone else doesn’t get that blog name you so much love.
So go get your domain name now It’s just $10. 87 (meaning N4,021 or there about with the current dollar rate in Nigeria as at the time of writing this).
In your dashboard just click on Register a domain now just below your dashboard
Clicking that will help you check whether the website/blog name you have in mind is still available.
If you are yet to pick a domain name for your blog business, Read this 12 quick steps to choosing your business domain name
Note: It took a while to put this post together, I’ll really appreciate it if you consider giving this content a share on facebook or twitter. Thanks a lot.
Click the search button
For example let’s use: The400lovingdogs.com and see if it’s available.
Good. At the time of creating this course the domain is available, so if your intended domain is available, you’ll see it written and if not you’ll see unavailable which means you’ll have to try other names.
You may spend some time before you actually get one anyway.
After you find a blog name that’s satisfactory then you can add to cart clicking on the CART button as shown in the image. It means you want to purchase it before it’s taken.
Immediately you’ve clicked the cart button, you’ll find what you’ve added to cart in a box. Click the view cart. (Seems funny that you’ll be buying a name for your blog right? It’s inescapable).
This is going to cost you just $10.87 (N4,021 or there about).
I must be very honest with you. If you choose to go with what I recommend – Namecheap, Please note that Namecheap will pay me a small commission for REFERRING you to them if you buy and use their hosting service Following any of the namecheap links on this post. This comes at no extra cost to you. They pay me from what you pay them.
So I’ll really appreciate it if you purchase a hosting plan through any namecheap link on this page. Sounds fair enough? Good & thanks.
You can Click Confirm Order to make an order for this to immediately secure your domain name before it gets used by another person.
Clicking the confirm order will direct you to the payment page where you’ll fill your address, phone number, zip code etc.
Next, you’ll be directed to a page where you fill your credit card details (Gt Master card, Firstbank, or any master card). Fill this page and continue to make payment.
Quick article: How to make payments online with you credit card
After your order has been made, you now own the domain name you just paid for and you’ll renew it every 12 months.
You’ll get details in your email and that’s it for getting your domain name.
STEP 4: Get a Webhosting Hosting Plan
In the first step we have decided to use Namecheap.com as your web hosting service provider.
Namecheap will help you house your newly purchased domain online so that people can visit your blog and see what you have to offer.
This comes with a small price of $9.88 as compared to bluehost which cost about $59.4 to over $100 for the first year.
$9.88 is just N3,660 or there about (with the current dollar rate as at the time of creating this tutorial). When you purchase this from Namecheap your blog will be LIVE.
It’s simple, just login to your Namecheap account and go to the Hosting tab then click Shared Hosting
On the next page you’ll pick the $9.88 for 1 year option.
On the next page, you’ll select domain options… You’ll go with “Use domain I own with Namecheap” Since you just got a domain name from Namecheap, you’ll click that option.
The next page shows you “your domain name” which you’re ready to host e.g “the400loving dogs.com” I used as an example, then you click Continue.
This takes you to the payment page just like you’ve seen. You enter your card details and you make payment.
In maximum of 15 minutes, your blog/website domain name should be LIVE.
On your web or phone browser, type your newly purchased domain i.e www.yournewlypurchased&hostedblogname.com and you’ll be LIVE, but what you’ll see will make little or no sense, that’s why you need to install WordPress and design your blog – the penultimate step.
STEP 5: Install WordPress On Your Web Host
The fifth step to create a blog is to install WordPress on your web host. At this point, after you’ve purchased your hosting package and a domain name, you’ll have access to something called the cPanel.
The cPanel is one power room of your hosting with different icons that link to all the different features available in your hosting account.
Installing WordPress on Namecheap Webhost
To Install WordPress on your Namecheap hosting service you need to follow 6 simple steps.
Login to your cPanel
When you sign up for a hosting plan with Namecheap, you’re going to get an email from them basically as a getting started guide.
In the welcome guide, scroll down to “cPanel Access” and you should see two different links that you can click to access your cPanel URL as well as a username and password that you can use to login.
You can also access your cPanel page by typing www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel on your web browser and you’ll land on this page below.
2. Find Softaculous Apps Installer & Click it
Once you log in to your cPanel, scroll down past all of the different icons until you find the section labeled “Softaculous Apps Installer”, then click on it.
After that, Find and click the WordPress icon, which you see in the Softaculous Apps installer section. (In the picture below, WordPress icon comes first, so click on it).
3. Click the Install button
When you click on the WordPress icon, you’ll be brought to the installation page. so click the install button as seen in the image below.
4. Fill in your blog information
After clicking on the install button, you’ll be taken to another page where you’ll fill in your blog details. Follow my lead:
Also fill in your WP ADMIN login details and PASSWORD. DON’T FORGET THIS, this is what you’ll use to access your WordPress area.
5. Scroll down to click “install” one more time
After filling the form above and putting in your blog information, scroll down to click the install button and in few seconds, a dialogue box will let you know that WordPress has been installed.
6. Login to your WordPress dashboard
Now you should be able to login to your admin area www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin
And that’s it! the 6 steps to install WordPress on your Namecheap hosting. The final step on your quest to learn how to start a blog is to design your blog.
I must say this: If you’ve come this far in learning how to start a blog and creating one all by yourself, you’ve really tried. Let’s touch the last step.
STEP 6: Design Your Blog
This is the final step where you add a styled design to your blog. So, you need a theme.
A theme changes the design of your website, often including its layout. Changing your theme changes how your site looks on the front-end, i.e. what a visitor sees when they browse to your site on the web.
There are thousands of free WordPress themes in the WordPress.org Theme Directory, though many WordPress sites use custom themes.
How to Start a Blog: Installing a Theme + Video
All you need to do is: Watch this video or Follow the instructions in the text instructions below the video.
Login to your WordPress admin page or dashboard.
On your web browser type: www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin
Once in your admin area, Find ‘Appearances’ in the left sidebar of your dashboard, then you click on ‘themes’.
On the next screen, you’ll see several themes are already installed. You can activate any one of the three.
If you don’t like those, click the “Add New” button at the top, or the great big “Add New” square to start searching for a theme.
As you’re searching for the theme you could possibly use from thousands of available themes, you can preview each of them and see what your blog/website will look like.
When you’ve found a theme you like, you’ll find a tab called ‘Install themes’. Click it. Once the theme has been installed, all that’s left to do is click “Activate” on the next screen:
Once activated, the look and feel of your new blog will change to the style of theme and you’re good to go.
For a Start Use any of these 3 Stylish Free WordPress Themes
Since you’re just creating a blog, I picked 3 simple but elegant free WordPress themes that you may find appealing and easy to use.
Follow the link that comes with each to preview and download.
- Poisedon Theme: Preview | Download
- Point Theme: Preview | Download
- Sparkling Theme: Preview | Download
You can also check out 15 Free WordPress Themes to Professionally Style Your blog (I recommend you use these when you’ve known your way around WordPress dashboard, posts, pages etc.)
After buying a premium theme or downloading from the 3 free themes that I recommend (Note: Your download will usually be in a ZIP file)
Go to ‘Appearance’ in the left side of your dashboard, click on ‘themes’, then ‘add new theme’ just like the above procedure, then click the blue ‘Upload theme‘ at the top.
Click ‘Choose file‘ to select the theme you just downloaded enclosed in a ZIP file, from the folder you downloaded to.
Choose the file then click the ‘Install‘ button next to it (This will take some few seconds)
After you’ve installed, click the ‘Activate‘ button. With this, your website/blog will have a new look.
So if you start getting tired of your current blog theme, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.
Now head on to your web browser in a new tab and type www.yoursitename.com and you’ll see that your website or blog has a new face and that’s what visitors will see when they visit your blog.
Now that you’ve learned how to start a blog, all you need to do is to start adding important pages, posts and other contents to your blog or website.
And that’s it! If you’ve read this far, you’ll agree with me that creating a blog is truly technical but understanding what, how and why things are done sets you on the right path.
Note: It took a while to put this post together, I’ll really appreciate it if you consider giving this content a share on facebook or twitter. Thanks a lot.
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