How to Start a Self-Hosted Blog in 8 Minutes or Less

I’m gonna cut to the chase: You need a blog. The world is changing, 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.

The Short Guide to Launching a Self-Hosted Blog in 8 Minutes or Less

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.

We all have something to say. Blogs not only make that possible, they make it easy.

Jeff Goins

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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.

If you want to share this with someone, please do. Feel free to link to this post or embed the video on your website. You can find the screencast on YouTube and Vimeo.

5 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):

  1. 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 only $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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.)
  4. 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 Twenty Sixteen; it’s a simple, elegant theme.
  5. 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!

Jeff Goins Bluehost

 

Bonus: Bluehost is offering a super-promo sale for you as one of my readers. Prices are dropped to just $2.95/month for 12 months on the Basic Plan and $4.95/month for 12 months on the Plus Plan. Get your blog started now.

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:

  1. Transfer the domain registration to Bluehost.
  2. 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 $2.95/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.

Click here to get started with setting up your own self-hosted WordPress blog on Bluehost.

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.

261 thoughts on “How to Start a Self-Hosted Blog in 8 Minutes or Less

  1. Hi Jeff. I used you tips several months ago to start my blog, SoberAndUnashamed.com where I tell my story as a high functioning alcoholic fighting the shame of sobriety in an alcohol-soaked world. This blog – my “Coming Out” about addiction to friends and family – and getting involved in the recovery community has changed my life. Thanks for your part in that!

  2. I do have a self hosted blog on WordPress set up through them. I also have a blog through my publisher I’ve had for years but she has had so many problems I started this one separately. It includes my author pages as well. It’s a work in progress. I’m definitely still tweaking it. Here’s my page: margoleewilliamsbooks.com

  3. Hey Jeff and community! I took the Intentional Blog Course in 2016 and this
    helped me garner the courage to create a self-hosted blog.

    My site is http://purposemaven.com

    I blog about ways people can manage fear (e.g., achievemephobia, impostor phenomenon, etc) and circumstances that may fuel these fears (e.g. povety, oppression, self-doubt, etc.). I believe that potential (diamonds) is often buried under fear and circumstance (coal).

  4. I started my blog in April 2016 and 2 months later moved to self-hosted with Bluehost/WordPress using my name as the domain name through your advice. I became a Tribe Writer in September 2016 and have been publishing weekly ever since. I believe every person should live loved so I help people do soul care so that they can lived loved. https://www.daniellebernock.com/ Thank you for all you do Jeff. Many creatives write because of your encouragement and help.

  5. Hi Jeff and fellow bloggers. I write about “Knowing God and His Ways” at https://www.craigbrianlarson.com. I took Jeff’s “Intentional Blogging” course and found at extremely helpful and worth the investment. I recommend it. Check out my blog if you would like to learn more about walking with God in a daily personal relationship, not just knowing things about God. Knowing God is the ultimate experience!

  6. Hey, everyone! I have a blog through wordpress, but I’m not happy with how it’s set up. People don’t arrive to my blog, but to my landing page, where they get a free chapter for subscribing to my email list. It really needs some work. So I’m looking forward to learning more from this course.

  7. “Practicing in public” has become a new theme for me. I tend to be someone who doesn’t like to try something until she has “all” the information and is pretty sure she’ll succeed. Which means … I haven’t done much.
    But now I’m embracing this new attitude on my blog, http://www.themerrymomma.com, where I encourage moms to embrace their season of motherhood with joy and intention. And I can already feel it taking me to higher levels. I’m excited (and nervous!) for what’s to come!

  8. I have a self-hosted blog:janagond.com just created.My passions are: Rationalism.Humanism,and Indian Labour Law. I have so far failed to find out a profitable niche or sub-niche,if any, out of these passions,on which I may write blog posts. I aspire to be a professional blogger.English is my second language. I am not tech savvy. I am an Indian,a retiree residing in Bengaluru, India. I am a University graduate.

    My doubt is that I am not basically qualified to become a professional blogger.

  9. Jeff, I love your work.While I know it’s your business, it’s clear it’s also your passion. Thank you for helping the rest of us get the nudges we need.

    My blog is theescapeartists.us, a family travel blog we started late last year. After writing a bunch of blog posts with no where to post them, I finally just sat down and built a site one a weekend. I love and admire other bloggers work as well. So much creativity and knowledge out there. Congrats to all that have taken the step!

  10. I’ve been blogging for over a year now. I’m not writing a book. Although the thought has crossed my mind. I’m blogging about card-making which seems to be a highly saturated market. I’m not sure if this is a money making endeavor or something to take up my time in retirement. But I thought I’d learn more from you. My blog is http://www.marciakdesigns.com

  11. I’ve been blogging for three years now about mothering, parenting, and marriage: http://www.KirstenDSamuel.com. Also, I’ve published two books in the last year. Thanks, Jeff, for your books and your blog. I did participate in your 500 word challenge last month. Didn’t hit everything perfectly, but I’ve saved each email and am using the prompts again this month.

  12. Hey everyone! After years of helping others with marketing and setting up their blogs I finally started my own recently. I use a self-hosted WordPress site that is hosted on DreamHost. You can read about branding and marketing your business on my blog I call Orange.

  13. I have a WordPress blog hosted at Siteground.com. Find it at http://randybayne.com/blog/. Started as a general blog it has gone through a couple changes and is now focused on my photography and telling the stories behind some of my images. I stay away from the technical aspects except when they are part of the story. It’s really about why I make the images and encouraging other artist. I recently joined the Georgia Nature Photographer’s Association, so my newer images may begin reflecting that.

    Enjoy my blog and post comments. Thanks.

  14. I have a wordpress blog hosted by Bluehost.com. You can find it at http://www.alpha-omegasolutions.co. I primarily started it to share my struggles and let others know they are not alone; as I attempt to help people get out of debt and into the light. One problem, have to learn to blog more regularly. Love to see it go viral someday and turn a small profit.

  15. I started my blog http://sefchurchill.com 18 months ago and love blogging – about fantasy fiction and other things. I have about three regular readers as far as I can tell -would love more! My question is, how can I set up a mailing list with mailchimp or similar, without paying a fortune for a postal address? Mailboxes in the UK are expensive to rent and for obvious reasons I won’t use my real home address. Who’s solved this problem?

    Thanks! -Sef

  16. I have a wordpress blog. You can find it at onlifeandlemons.blog. I started blogging many years ago but basically have zero readership – except for a few friends. I’ve never tried to grow my readership, as that was never the goal, but now I’m trying to pitch a manuscript so I’m thinking I need to get on it!

  17. I started a wordpress blog several months ago, but am definitely having trouble getting subscribers. I only have 20. Need help with this. Check out my site at yourfellowtraveler.com.

  18. I’ve had a blog for over a year. Just recently switched it to a wordpress site via BlueHost. It was easy to set up and working well for now. Still trying to figure out some of the tech-y plug-in stuff!
    Turn2theSimple.com
    Daily Faith, Intentional Living, Abundant Joy

  19. I am starting my own blog this week. I am retiring from a non-profit that I started about 10 years ago. I have some experience with WordPress and am going to use my blog to promote personal Evangelism. I am registering my domain name of “Gotellone.com” this afternoon and will be posting tomorrow. Wish me luck.

  20. Thank you for your information! I look forward to seeing your future emails and posts. I started my own website using WordPress less than a year ago at https://brigittebrulz.com where I offer free coloring pages and activity ideas to go along with two children’s books I wrote (Jobs of a Preschooler and Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles). Have a wonderful day!

  21. Question
    Once you have your blog,how do people find you?
    Is it the tags you use?I’ve never done a blog and I’m totally new to this.

  22. I’ve had my blog, ckcole.blog, for a few months now. It’s mostly stories from my life dealing with race, irony, civil rights, things with a little twist that hopefully make you smile. No idea how to get a following, please advise!

  23. I have 3 blogs,
    Femininesexualenergy.wordpress.com
    Priestessofpassion.wordpress.com
    Empresssite.wordpress.com

    I found writing for different generations of women about where they’re at, what they are experiencing helps us understand what we as woman are feeling and why, giving opportunity for a new course of action to heal, succeed and thrive. It speaks to the path of Maiden Mother Crone, the life cycle of women, and the value of women in her later years who can embody and embrace all aspects of Maiden Mother Crone with confidence joy and pleasure.

  24. My blog is breakingthetablets.com I write about my journey of faith and how put a broken faith back together.

  25. I nervously hit publish on a brand new blog today. beautifullypotent.com It’s what Jeff would call an “art blog,” with short-and-sweet meditations on life.

    It looks as precarious as a newborn right now, but I intend to follow all of Jeff’s advice to come so this blog turns out to be as powerful as the Mary Oliver quote that inspired it: “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

  26. Have a blog. I tried to follow Michael Hyatt´s advise already a few years back. Unfortunately certain hosting companies don´t work in Germany. Thought I let you know. Check out my blog…sorry it is written in german. https://www.saskiavoss.com/. Love your work Jeff Goins

    Greeting from the Bavaria
    Saskia

  27. I love that I can say anything I want, about anything I want. I love that if I have something to say I have a constant outlet. I love that people can get something out of what I write. I just write about things I love; my “kisses”. If you wanna see what I write about you can go to http://www.kissplash.com , though it is not for the faint-hearted. I tend to talk about universal theories on strange phenomena, manifestation/vibrational energy and also dating. I use WordPress and I love it, though I hear lots of good things about Bluehost as well. Currently I have been writing a book about online dating, so content has slowed. Hopefully that will be out in a couple of weeks so I will be adding more to the site soon.

  28. I have a blog, only two months old! It is the effort of a long preparation period that ideas were evolving in my mind and so I made my blog https://gameofpaint.com where I talk about ideas, art and life as I try to stay true to me, to my art and to face reality….

  29. Hi, Jeff,
    Like you, I started blogging on the World Race and now that I’m back to life in the USA and my teaching job writing wasn’t a priority. I was missing it! This summer I began a new blog, https://www.teachmomrepeat.com in order to find that outlet once again and connect with other teachers and moms. I’ve also been teaching my Language Arts students how to blog through Edublogs.

  30. Heartprojectweb.blog
    Not only do I write on this blog, but I’ve invited other creative writers and artists of all kind to collaborate and share work here. Enjoy!

  31. I’ve had a blog for a long time, but just started consistently posting in October 2017. I’m writing about grief, purpose, and community over at: cassiealexandra.com.

  32. I’ve had a blog of my own for a while now, but I’ve only now started posting regularly. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty left-of-center, very opinionated blog that has little good to say about conservatism. But lefties might like it. It can be found here: http://bit.ly/The_Scott_Blog

  33. I’ve been slowly writing more and more on my blog, gradually working on turning it into a daily publication. Hopefully it will begin picking up more traffic, but I don’t know how to really get more people to see it..?
    http://www.codyschultz.com

    1. I really like Amy Porterfield’s podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy. She has really great strategies for growing your audience. Her business is geared toward people with online courses, but what she teaches about email list-building is really helpful! Check her out at amyporterfield.com

  34. Jeff, thanks so much for this post. Because of your advice and great info, I finally jumped off the cliff! Using WordPress.org and Bluehost, I have the framework up now and need to furnish the place. Will start with the theme you suggest here, also. So appreciate all the help you freely give all of us newbies. Your posts are easy to understand and implement.
    touchstonesandtails.com is the new blog and will be about pets & pet sitting for fun and profits.

  35. Jeff I finally did it (kind of) I made my website, a work in progress. I hope to find more screenwriters and help them develop the passion I have for writing for the screen. My local group is growing and I know this will be the start of something even more wonderful. Thank you so much for being that gentle voice who nudges me off the next cliff. Now I need to get blogging right? http://glasscityscreenwriters.com/

  36. I think this is awesome! I wasn’t able to register for the donthitpublish free account because for some reason it would not let me answer the questions. I will try later. This is exactly the type of help I need with my blog! My blog is
    http://www.momsmixedfamilyblender.com
    Thank you for everything!

  37. Juswingit.wordpress.com
    Life fell apart so I’ve been on hold for a few years and I have no internet so blogging is difficult. I lost my heart for it as well but perhaps one day…

    1. Checked out your blog and it looks great! Very refreshing and encouraging. I’m still working on my lead magnet myself. How did you go about creating “Joy Made Full”?

  38. Thank you for the information. I have been blogging for about four years now and realize I still have a lot to learn. I write to encourage Christian women at Myencourageyou.com.

  39. Hi. I set up my blog last year and it’s taken a while to get it to the form I wanted (largely because I didn’t have a clear idea in mind), but now I’m pretty happy with it. It’s https://frjameson.com/ and I use it to talk about my writing (both books I’ve published and the process) with weekly book reviews and occasional film reviews thrown in. Check it out if you have chance.

  40. I have a blog, numawokcreative.com! It took a while to get the ball rolling because I needed more clarity about its purpose, but now I’m up to stage 3 on the Writer’s Roadmap. Through my blog I’m exploring ways for writers to thrive and create stories that resonate by sharing my own writing journey. Thank you for all your help, Jeff, you’re truly an inspiration! I’ve learned so much from you and I’m slowly (and I mean slooowly, haha) but surely putting it into practice. 🙂

  41. I have a blog http://www.getfulfilledlife.com it is a life style personal development blog. I empower my subscribers to live a simple, productive and fulfilled life.

    I started in February 2016 and am slowly learning the ropes. Here in Africa blogging is not very popular but am hanging in there and hope to one day monitize my blog. Thank you for all the support you give us.

  42. Thank you for your tips! I just launched my blog in January 2018 about our family’s journey with autism at http://www.legosandlullabies.com. My mission is to 1) expand autism awareness, 2) encourage parents of special needs kids that they are NOT alone, and 3) empower them in their journey through sharing lessons learned woven with messages of hope and inspiration.

  43. I created my blog and have an email subscription option active at http://www.kylecrooke.com. Feel free to check it out and subscribe if you’re interested in free content related to personal development and leadership. My mission is to influence others to lead more purposeful, passionate, and persistent lives. God bless you all!

  44. Jeff, Another fine product, thank-you. My blog is Inquiry Of The Day (365) at http://www.iotd366.com. I post challenging personal development questions and write a 400 word post to position the reader to engage with the question more deeply. Would love any and all comments.

  45. Thanks for the wonderful advice and information. I find it all useful and the encouragement you provide motivating. My humble blog is at http://www.adrianspotter.com/, where I give insight on writing, creativity, and publishing endeavors, provide links to useful creative resources, and occasionally post info about my own writing endeavors…

  46. Hey Jeff, Thanks for all the great content you put out. I started my blog in response to one of your 500words/day challenges, and am currently reviving it after a year long gap. I followed your advice to avoid limiting the blog scope with a too-focused name, and am now appreciating the flexibility to expand the topics I write about, even though I have plenty more gardening posts to include :). It’s here: http://www.katvyce.wordpress.com

  47. I have just started with blogging to try to find “my voice.” My children have said repeatedly that I should write a book as I do have a knack for writing… but what to do? Use my humor, or try to figure out a positive way to show people how I have survived a multi-trauma life? Or both? At the moment you can find me at http://www.lifeoflealyn.com. I think soon I will be switching to the hosts you have mentioned, but I have many videos to watch. 🙂 If anyone wants to offer writing feedback, I have a contact me form there on the site.

  48. In a world with lots of words I’ve been practicing telling stories visually – using fine art and visual artist books to share my stories. I do use a few words to describe my art-making process on my blog at https://sueclancy.com/ I have self-hosted via WordPress and I’ve been enjoying it. I have recently upgraded my site so that I can release my visual artist books as downloadable ebooks. My artist books have been collected by professional libraries, universities, and museums but I have long wanted a way to make them more “democratically available” and my blog and website have been a good way to do that!

  49. I sure could have used this last month as I muddled my way through creating my first blog. If you have ever had an interest in what living off the grid in Alaska is like or commercial fishing. This might be the blog for you. Or just come for the pictures and art work. it wont disappoint. https://alittleoffgrid.wordpress.com/ Please take a look.

  50. When I started out, I did every webinar I could with Jeff and it paid off big time. I especially loved that I could choose to grow organically and try and adjust as I went along. The big thing for me has been to learn consistency with the least minimum posts and now that I have that cracked I have increased frequency.

    I have also made the transition towards full time writing and the tips learnt here have been very useful.

    Please take a look at https://kyesubire.com

  51. I started a blog last month about my journey with disability and things God is teaching me. http://www.faithfromthechair.wordpress.com
    It has been an endeavor I procrastinated because I didn’t know much about blogging. I’m glad that I drove passed that! What I love is how much my articles remind me of His faithfulness and what I’ve come through. I hope others get the same from the message.

  52. I started my blog after a writing conference a few years ago. It was essential in helping me stay focused on writing. I’ve been on an extended blogging break, and it affected my overall writing. I’d like to get back into both. My blog is about various levels of how abuse affects us, and exploring the journey of emotional recovery. It definitely affects us, but does not have to define us.

  53. Since Word Press is available as a web site address today, can’t you just log into Word Press and set up a blog, the way you can on Blogger?

  54. Thanks for this Jeff! I have a WordPress blog, in which I share some writing tips, fiction stories, my life, etc. Catch me at www,suzannebowditch.wordpress.com

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