Blogging for Dummies: How to Start a Blog in 2020

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If you're new to the blogosphere, then this blogging for dummies guide will help you bridge the gap. 

I recently had a call with my father who told me that a local firm was charging his partner over $20,000 to setup a website! My jaw honestly felt like it dropped to the floor and was quited shocked to hear this.

Needless to say, it gave me the idea to put together a little blogging guide for beginners wanting to start their first blog.

If you're serious, then put aside 10-15 minutes to read this post and definitely take action at the end.

Want to skip to a certain section? Simply use the table of contents below to head straight there.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I was also compensated to create this post, but all opinions are my own

blogging for dummies

Here is my Blogging for Dummies in 2020 Guide

In this guide I will cover the primary aspects of blogging by introducing you to the concept and show you how simple it is to start a blog.

You've come here because you have the intention of starting a blog, but just want a little guidance and advice from someone who has been doing it for years.

Well, let me hold your hand and show you the ropes in this blogging guide.

How Blogging Started

Blogging started back in 1994, back when the internet was becoming the next big thing.

It wasn't called blogs back then and most people just referred to it as a 'homepage' that contained personal information.

And it wasn't until 1997 that the term "weblog" emerged, pronounced web blog and later shortened to blog.

These blogs weren't very efficient and were often updated manually. You would have had to be a programmer with special skills to create your very own custom blog platform or website back then.

In August, 1999 emerged a free blogging platform called Blogger! This service essentially helped people establish weblogs with little programming knowledge and allowed them to journal anything of interest.

how blogging started

Why Do People Blog? 

There are literally millions of blogs in the world! But you've probably wondered, why do people blog?

One reason! To communicate with others who share a similar interest.

People create blogs for many reason such as;

  • Documenting their life;
  • Discussing hobbies or passions;
  • Sharing information; or
  • To make money!

What ever the reason, the people who blog are certainly passionate about their chosen topic of interest.

Blogging for Dummies - How Blogging Works?

Now that we've covered how blogging started and why do people blog, we can move onto how blogging works!

In a nutshell a blogger needs a reason to blog, whether it be hobbies or sharing information you'll definitely need a topic of interest.

Once you have your idea next you want to find a blogging platform so that you can publish your brilliant and inspiring writing.

There are many blog platforms available to use, however the most recommended and popular one is WordPress.

How to Start a Blog on WordPress?

As I've mentioned before, WordPress is the blogging platform which is kind of like your house.

The platform is where you will store all your blog posts. However just like a house, you need a piece of land to build it on.

This piece of land on the internet is called a host, web host to be exact. The host leases a piece of the internet so that you can build your blog on using WordPress.

My number one host that I use for my blog is called Bluehost.

I've been using Bluehost for a little over 2 years now and they've been great.

5 Reasons You Should Not Settle or Start a Free WordPress Blog

You may be thinking , "I could start a WordPress blog for free", and the answer is sure you can, however let me tell you this.

If you want to build a successful blog business then you need to be setup correctly for it. So starting a free blog, although great, won't have the same appeal to it as someone who wants to build a business.

What I'm trying to say is, you'll most likely come and go as you please and not take it seriously.

Let me tell you why this is not a good idea if you intend to run your blog as a business!

  • Free blogs appear less professional than a self-hosted blog. Imagine seeing www.yourblogname.blogspot.com, seems strange doesn't it?
  • You'll have less control over your blog than if you were self-hosted.
  • You have less control over your blog. For example, you won't be able to add plugins and widgets to expand the way your website looks and feel.
  • If you post tonnes of videos or photos then you'll be limited by how much you can upload.
  • Free platforms limit your advertising options which means you're limiting your blogs earning potential.

Now that we've cleared the misconception of a free blog and collated some answers to some questions you may have had! We can embark on starting a WordPress blog.

Firstly, we'll need a hosting provider! As I mentioned before this is a service that will allow us to rent a piece of space on the internet.

The one I like and use the most is Bluehost.

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Blogging for Dummies - What is Bluehost?

Bluehost is a web hosting company that allows you to purchase a domain (your website name) and also hosting space.

There are many web hosting companies out there and you may of heard of some of them such as Hostgator or GoDaddy.

However some of these are not suitable for beginners and installing WordPress can often leave you annoyed and frustrated.

Bluehost is great for beginners because of its one click install feature. Meaning that when you purchase hosting, you go straight onto setting up Bluehost and starting your blog within 5 minutes.

So let's start a WordPress blog on Bluehost today.

Use the Bluehost search bar below to see if your website name is available.

Here's Why You Should Be Using Bluehost to Host your WordPress Blog

There are tonnes of reasons why you'd want to sign up with Bluehost and use them for your WordPress Blog.

Here are my reasons why I think they are the top firm (among others) to choose.

  • One-Click WordPress install and setup;
  • Bluehost offers 24/7 technical support - so if you are up at 2 am scratching your head, just pick up the phone!
  • Bluehost is extremely affordable and they offer cheap web hosting. You can have a blog of your own and the only real expense you need to pay is the cheap blog hosting which starts at just $3.95 per month.
  • You get a FREE blog domain.
  • WordPress through Bluehost is FREE.
  • Bluehost offers a guarantee in case you determine that it is not for you. If you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.). You can always send me an email and I can help you out.
  • You will be self-hosted. If you want to monetize your blog, then you will want to be self-hosted.
  • You will appear much more professional to readers, companies, and so on if you are self-hosted on Bluehost than being on Blogspot.

How to Install WordPress on Bluehost Step by Step

Bluehost Webhosting

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A DOMAIN NAME AND CREATE A BLOG,  and continue the simple process outlined below. 

Choosing the domain name can be hard, Join the Free 7-Day Blog Challenge (sign up below) to learn how to pick out a domain name that sticks.

If you don't want to sign up then put some effort into thinking of a name because once you have one you cannot change it.

How To Start a Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it's easy - trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.


Bluehost Pricing Plans

If you are going to be very active on your blog and constantly posting you'll most likely want to have a name that can be remembered by folk, a brand is what you're trying to build.

Something strange, catchy or plays on words will stick well with people.

Once you click the link above you'll need to select a plan, I recommend choosing the $3.95 per plan.

Bluehost Pricing Plans

you have selected a plan, Bluehost will load the next screen and ask you for your domain name.

If you already have a domain then simply transfer it to Bluehost.

Bluehost Setup Domain

Blogging for Dummies - Bluehost Signup

The two final screens are the payment options and the payment information. 

You also want to deselect Sitelock Security and Codegaurd Basic, be sure to keep your domain private though. so that no pesky sales agents contact you.

Once you've done that Bluehost will ask for your payment information, go ahead and place your payment information in and pay for your selected plan.

Bluehost Account Info

Once you're happy, click next and head over to the payment screen where you'll be required to insert your card details and make the payment.

Bluehost Payment Info

Congratulations - You are Now the Proud Owner of a Blog!

How to Install WordPress on Bluehost Continued

The next few steps involve installing WordPress in a few simple clicks, you'd start by selecting your password.

Make your password is memorable (write it down somewhere if it's long and secure).

Bluehost Password

Bluehost WordPress Themes that are Free

After you select your password you want to go ahead and install WordPress and select one of the Bluehost free WordPress themes that you are given.

If you don't like any of these, don't worry you can purchase a theme that suits you when the time is right.

For now just select one of the recommended ones that will suit your blog.

Bluehost Themes

Once you've selected one of the default themes you'll be taken to a screen that says "start building" after that simply click launch your blog and that's it!

You've just created a self-hosted WordPress blog.

I run my blog with the Genesis Framework, their themes are highly professional looking and to top it off they provide great security for you and your users.

Recommended Post: 10 Best WordPress Themes for New Bloggers

How to Write Your First Blog Post WordPress

When you get into your dashboard, you'll see a lot of new things for the first time (like a baby opening their eyes)! 

​It's important not to feel overwhelmed at all!

If you look on the left side there is a list of menu items, find "Posts", however over it and select "Add New", just like in the image below.

Bluehost Tools

Once it has loaded you'll be presented with the screen in which you write your very first post : )

How to start a blog and make money

Enter your title where it says "Enter title here" and start blogging to your heart's content in the big white box below.

Pro Tip -----> Your first post should be an introduction to your readers, it should inform them about you.

A list of things to discuss can include:

  • Your story of how or why you started the blog, (this later becomes your about page);
  • Your future goals for the blog;
  • What you plan to provide for your ideal audience;

Take a look at My Story to be inspired in creating your very own introduction post that can later be used as your about me post as well (there's no need to re-write it)

How To Start a Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it's easy - trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.


How to Increase Blog Traffic for a New  WordPress Blog

Getting traffic can be one of the hardest things for a new blog (unless you have a pre-existing audience).

I'm very lucky to have stumbled across Pinterest Traffic Avalanche which is a Pinterest course that teaches you how to generate free traffic from Pinterest.

The course guided me in the right direction to start getting traffic from the first month.

When I started I was getting about 1 visitor less a day, however after implementing the strategies from the course. I'm slowly increasing my page views.

I've jumped up from 20 to 150 page views this month alone (that's a 750% Increase in traffic in one month) all from the free traffic methods I learnt from the course.

Recommended Article: How to drive serious traffic to your new blog.

Blogging for Dummies - How to Make Money Blogging on WordPress

This is probably the part you've been waiting for, huh?

It's the part that gets most of us excited, why?

Because we have dreams to have a blog that makes us money while we enjoy time from our family and ditch the 8-5 pm full-time job.

We all aspire to be our own boss and this is your queue to take action and start treating it like a business, so that you can fulfill your desire!

Head over to my post 8 Simple Ways to Monetize Your Blog and learn the most common ways to monetize your blog.

Conclusion

So there you have it, I've tried to cover most of the questions a lot of people will having when starting a blog.

However if there's something I'm missing , feel free to comment in the comments below.

I look forward to having you in my free blog course.

Important Resources

These are companies and courses/services I've personally vetted and recommend.

Marco B @ Bottom Line Cents

About the author

Marco is the founder of Bottom Line Cents, a blog about travel and personal finance. He primarily talks about ways to make money online with side income. He has paid off over $40,000 in student debt due to his side gigs and his thriving nature to succeed.

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