Without any prior knowledge you can start a blog in about 5 minutes.
I’m not kidding.
Starting a blog is seriously that simple.
We’ve built hundreds of blogs for clients, and quite a few for ourselves. So the steps to start a blog are second nature.
But don’t worry you don’t even need to be able to spell HTML to start blogging.
I would say you can be up and running during the next commercial break, but who watches live TV anymore? Seriously, anyone?
I need a better example…
How about this?
You can start a blog while your favorite tattooed barista prepares your fancy cup of coffee.
Seriously, try it. Order a pour over of that Ethiopian Yirgacheffe she’s been telling you about. And when she asks your name say “Blogger”. Then, laptop in hand, grab a seat.
Alright, sitting down and connected to Wifi? Sweet.
Now let’s do this!
NOTE: This guide to starting a blog contains some affiliate links. If you purchase through one of the links we’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
Step by Step Overview
- Order your coffee. When they ask your name say “Blogger”.
- Purchase your hosting & domain name.
- Install WordPress.
- Select your theme (aka design your site).
- Install a couple plugins (aka the bells and whistles).
- “Blogger!” Did you hear that? Go grab your coffee, you’re all finished!
Starting a Blog Starts Here
We’ll skip Step 1 since you’ve already ordered that snazzy cup of coffee.
Sign Up For Hosting & Domain Name
When starting a blog the first thing you need is web hosting. This is provided by a web host. The host that we use for ourselves and all of our clients is Bluehost.
Click here to purchase your hosting and domain name from Bluehost.
Click get started now then select your package. I recommend the plus package since it gives you the freedom to start another blog in the future.
But the starter package will save you a few bucks.
Select the starter or plus package.
Oh and one thing to note. You will be paying for an entire year, not just your first month. I know this is sometimes confusing since the monthly prices are listed, but so there’s no surprise $4.95/mo will be billed at $59.40/year at checkout.
Which, by the way, is an absolute steal. When I purchased my first domain name back in 2004 (js9design.com), the name alone was $35/year. And I still had to pay for overpriced, low quality hosting! My how far we’ve come.
Choose your domain name.
Don’t get caught up at this stage. A domain name can feel very permanent, but what’s the important part?
Starting your blog.
You’re ready to start blogging so let’s make that happen. You can always change your domain name in the future.
The best time to start blogging was yesterday. The second best time is right now.
Without execution, ideas have no value. I’ve always considered myself an idea guy. Yet I have hundreds of unused ideas simply sitting in text docs. They’re worthless.
Marla likes to remind me that I had the idea for a DVD vending machine (RedBox) 2 years before it existed.
Did I do anything with that idea? Of course not.
Could it have been a highly profitable endeavor? Who knows? It was only an idea. So, no value.
So all this just to say, since you’re ready to start a blog today, let’s start a blog today.
If you’re having trouble thinking of that perfect domain name let’s just start with yourname.com. Or yourname.net. Or yourname.org, or .co. You get the idea.
Enter your billing information.
There are a few available addons, but none of them are very important. Domain Privacy is nice since it hides your personal contact information from the public record. But I’ll leave that to you.
We don’t purchase Domain Privacy, but we also register all domains to our PO Box so, in a sense, we have our own privacy setup.
Congrats! You’ve already nearly started your blog!
Next you’ll simply select your password. I recommend using the Password Generator to ensure you’re using a strong one.
Generate your password.
And that’s it! You’re already done with your hosting and domain name.
Next up let’s install your blogging software.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
“But you said I didn’t even have to spell HTML. WTF is this about installing something?!”
Trust me when I say installing WordPress is as simple as clicking a few buttons. Nothing more.
Click ‘I can do it’.
I promise you installing WordPress is simple. There’s no need to pay additional money to have this done for you.
Close the guide and click ‘website’.
Click ‘Install now’ in the WordPress section.
Click ‘Check Domain’.
Accept the terms and conditions and click ‘Install Now’.
And that’s it! WordPress is installed.
I promised it was easy :)
All you’ll want to do is set aside your login credentials.
Click ‘View Credentials’ and keep this tab open for future reference.
Install the Foodie Theme
The Foodie Theme has been the most popular Genesis Theme month after month. You won’t be disappointed. And once you start your blog I’m certain you’ll start to notice how many others use the theme as well.
Click here to purchase Genesis and the Foodie theme.
Download both the Genesis Framework and your Child Theme.
Return to your Bluehost window and click the Admin URL to sign into your blog.
Once you’re signed in you’ll see some notifications. I personally like to keep blogs lean and mean. But the tradeoff for using the super simple install is that unnecessary themes and plugins are installed.
OPTIONAL: I recommend clicking first on Appearance > Themes and deleting all of the pre-installed themes.
Now we’re ready to install Genesis and your Genesis child theme.
Click Appearance > Themes. Then click Add New and upload your Genesis Framework zip file.
You’ll find your Genesis zip file in your Downloads folder or wherever you previously downloaded this file.
It’s important that you install Genesis first, but do not click the Activate link.
Click Add New, upload your child theme zip file, and click Activate.
And that’s it! Your blog now has a snazzy design.
To finish configuring the Foodie Theme just hop on back to StudioPress and click Theme Setup.
Add Some Bells and Whistles (Install Plugins)
We’re already at the final step! Can you believe it?
Well let’s not dwell on that and start this blog!
OPTIONAL: I recommend clicking on Plugins and deleting all of the pre-installed plugins because, again, I prefer things to be lean and mean. But it’s completely your call!
There are just a handful of plugins that I think should be installed on every blog.
I would go into each of these, but the descriptions provided are very straightforward so I think the benefits are pretty clear.
Click Plugins > Add New and install Akismet, Google Analytics by Yoast, Jetpack by WordPress.com, and WordPress SEO
If you purchased the Foodie Theme the setup will walk you through installing a recipe plugin. But if you decided to go with a different theme just be sure to install the EasyRecipe plugin.
Finally, you’ll want to configure these plugins to your liking, but we are done!
That’s it! I promised it would be simple. Whatcha think?
Easier than anticipated?
I sure hope so.
And how’s that coffee of yours? Now that you’ve started a blog is this not the best cup of coffee you’ve had in a long time?
I hope you’re pumped. I hope you enjoyed starting your new blog. I know starting anything, let alone starting a blog, can feel daunting. But it’s my hope that this simple how to start guide has put you at ease.
So the next step is very simple.
As my friend Josh says, sit in the chair.
It’s time to sit down and start the process of actually blogging. Start sharing your recipes. Start writing your thoughts onto this new digital page.
Whether you consider yourself a food blogger, a journalist, an essayist, no matter the title you have to sit in the chair and start writing.
It’s a long process, I know. I don’t consider myself a writer by any stretch of the imagination. But the more I practice the better I get. And that’s all I can hope for.
So sit in the chair. Start writing.
Oh and now that you’ve started your blog reach out on Twitter. We can’t wait to see your new digital home!
Start a Blog Step by Step Video
If you’d like a bit more here’s a video we produced with our friend Josh of The Minimalists.