The Short Guide to Launching a Self-Hosted Blog in 8 Minutes or Less [Screencast]
I’m gonna cut to the chase: You need a blog. The world is changing and moving on without you, and it’s time you had a platform of your own to share your message. The best and easiest way to launch a self-hosted blog is with WordPress.
There are over 60 million blogs on WordPress, one of several platforms that helps you to publish online. This number, according to one source, represents only 43% of all blogs, making the total somewhere around 160 million blogs. (I recently heard this number could be as high as 300 million).
These blogs are viewed by an audience of over 400 million people each month — and that’s only one place people are connecting online.
Incredible, isn’t it? You’d be hard pressed to argue there’s not a tremendous opportunity here. But are you taking advantage of it? It’s never been easier to connect with an audience and get your message heard… but are you engaging in the conversation?
The opportunity you don’t want to miss
Forget for a second all the technological hurdles and learning curves you think are associated with blogging, and imagine for a moment: If you had the chance to share a message with the world, what would you say? And what would happen if people actually listened?
We all have something to say. Blogs not only make that possible, they make it easy. All you have to do is act. It’s time to dive in and figure out what it takes to get your message heard, to see your cause spread.
What happens if you don’t do this? Well, nothing. You keep getting what you’ve always gotten, which probably means:
- No more attention
- No more trust
- No more permission
You stay invisible, and your message remains irrelevant. If that’s okay with you, keep doing what you’re doing. But if not, it’s time for a change.
For years, I dreamed of having a personally-branded website I could have control over. But once I started getting bogged down by the technical aspects of blogging, I froze. Then I’d stall and eventually give up.
But you don’t have to do that.
Setting up a self-hosted blog sounds technical but is, in fact, easy to do. And yes, I think it’s worth investing a little money into having full control over your website. I’m going to show you exactly what you need to do (if you already have a blog set up like this, feel free to share this post with a friend).
Launch a self-hosted blog in less than 8 minutes
In this eight-minute video, I share what I wish someone would’ve told me years ago when I started blogging. It would have saved me a lot of time and pain. And I would’ve been able to start sharing my message sooner. I hope it does just that for you or someone you know.
In this free tutorial, I share my affiliate link to Bluehost, a company I highly recommend that makes the whole process very easy. If you click the link and buy, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. Please know I only recommend products I use and love, and offering affiliate links is one way I am able to keep this blog going.
Five steps to launching a blog
If you prefer reading text versus viewing a video, here are the quick steps you can take (however, the video shows you everything you need to do):
- Get a host. A web host is where your website “lives.” You own it, but you pay a small fee to keep it online (kind of like paying property taxes to the government). I recommend Bluehost for less than $3.49/month (a special rate for my readers). It’s one of the most popular web hosts on the Internet and offers excellent, 24/7 customer service.
- Register a domain. You can get a domain name (e.g. goinswriter.com) through your hosting company. I recommend doing it this way, so you can keep everything streamlined. With Bluehost, this service is free with a hosting plan (as opposed to paying extra through a service like Godaddy.com). If you’ve already registered a domain through another service and need to host it, you’ll either have to transfer your domain registration or point your name servers to the host (here’s a video on how to do that).
- Install WordPress. Blogging requires software, and the best that I’ve found is WordPress. It’s easy, quick, and best of all, free. You can set up WordPress through your host (Bluehost does this for you for free). Otherwise, you have to go through WordPress.org to download the software and then upload it to a host. (Note: Using WordPress.org is different from signing up for a free blog at WordPress.com. This infographic explains how.)
- Get a theme. When you start using WordPress, you get access to a bunch of beautiful blog designs (called “themes”), many of which are free. For those just getting started, I recommend Platform; it’s a simple, elegant theme. I used it for the first year of my blog, before upgrading to a custom theme.
- Log in and start blogging. The URL for your dashboard (which redirects to the login page if you’re not logged in) is yourblogname.com/wp-admin/. Once logged in, click “Posts” on the left-hand sand, and then select “Add New.” Write a title and create some content for your new blog, and you’re off to the races!
And that’s it; now you’re blogging. Which is where the hard, but good, work of writing begins. If you’re ready to jump into this world of blogging, click the image below to get started with Bluehost.
See you on the other side!
What if you have already have a domain name?
If you already have a domain registered with another service like Godaddy.com, but need a place to host it, you have two choices:
- Transfer the domain registration to Bluehost.
- Change the name servers on your domain to point to your new host.
This video will show you how to do that:
For more on getting started with a blog, check out: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Own Blog.
If you’re ready to get started blogging with Bluehost, you can use my affiliate link to get a little extra off the normal $5.99 price (only $3.49/month). They’re a top recommended host by WordPress and have great customer service. I’ve worked with them before and been very pleased with the service.
Do you have your own self-hosted blog? If you do, what do you love about it? If not, what questions do you have? Share in the comments.