In this step by step guide, I will be showing you how to build your own blog on WordPress and how to build a website on Bluehost. I would look at is as your BlueHost WordPress tutorial.
If you haven't really thought about what you want to blog about, check out this article.
You will require a hosting package that allows you to install and host WordPress, as well as being able to potentially manage a decent amount of traffic.
I would recommend looking into BlueHost as their hosting is relatively cheap, and can handle decent volumes of traffic and content on your blog.
They do also offer a WordPress hosting package, that comes pre-installed with WordPress and includes SSL and hosting.
I would also recommend reading the 'Deserts' section that shows you plugins that I would recommend installing that help with things like SEO and List Building and adding pretty links to your website.
This whole process should take around 30 - 40 minutes, depending on what you have looked at already, and what you need to sign up for.
So, with this method, we will be starting your blog from scratch, but never fear, a lot of the processes can be automated these days or set up with a click of a button.
Firstly, you will need to go to your chosen hosting provider, again if you use BlueHost you can get it pre-installed.
For this guide I will be using their set up.
Firstly, you will still need to look for a domain/URL - I recommend looking into either NameCheap or 123REG - They both offer domains names for fantastic prices, and it's worth looking into both to see who currently has the best deal on!
After you have sorted out your domain, you need to head on over to BlueHost. You now have two options, either use WordPress specific hosting,or standard shared hosting, it's your choice!
But I would go for option B for now
From here, they give you 4 different options, you will only need to choose the WP Standard (not it does say starts from $19.99 - this is if you buy 1 year of hosting up front), as you can see from the image below, it provides 100million visitors, and includes 1 domain and a free SSL certificate (great for e-commerce!). They do also give you a 30-day money back offer, so if you change your mind, cancel and they give you your money back, always nice.
Here we will be using the 'shared hosting' package, which essentially means your website will be hosted on a server that houses other websites. The downside to this is that other websites that get flagged for spam or illicit things can negatively impact on your own, but this is a small risk.
You have 3 options to choose from when going with the hosted package, I would recommend using the prime option as it offers unlimited mailboxes and you have no cap on the bandwidth you can use.
It's always worth checking if there are any BlueHost coupon codes that are currently active. As they do run promotions throughout the year (as you can see in the image above) and you can sometimes get a nice BlueHost discount.
Once you have selected your plan, you will be given the option of either using a domain you already own or you can grab a free one from BlueHost.
You will then be shown the checkout page, you can see that if you tie yourself in for longer, they give you a better deal on your monthly price (a bit cheeky in my eyes...).
So again decide if you want to for a monthly billing option, all the way up to 36months in advance.
Once inside you will now be shown your BlueHost dashboard, from here you can head off too the different areas that you may need to reach.
Depending on which option you went for, WordPress will either be installed already, or you will need to do a quick set up.
Shared Hosting - WordPress is Installed
If you have gone with this option, then there is little, to nothing to do.
The WordPress scripts will be ready and waiting for you!
You can skip to the Main course now and I will show you how to get started with WordPress!
You will get an email telling you the email / password that has been set up for the account + the URL to get to the admin section. Keep these safe, and remember to change them later.
Other Hosting - WordPress may need to be installed
For some of the other hosting packages, you will need to use the install scripts to get WordPress up and running.
I will now show you how to install WordPress on bluehost manually.
First, head over to the Install Scripts tab found on your BlueHost panel.
From here, navigate to the WordPress script, it should have a huge W icon.
This will start your WordPress script wizard.
Step 1. You will need to choose where you want WordPress to be installed. I suggest you place it on the standard domain, rather than a subdomain (unless you already have something on that domain!)
Step 2. You need to set yourself up a user name and password. Pretty simple stuff really, but you will need to make sure you are setting a good, solid password! None of this Password123 stuff.
You also want to make sure the 'Automatically create new database' is checked. Again, unless you already have WordPress or a Database set up.
Step 3. Read the terms and conditions, and then click Install Now.
Step 4. Sit back, relax, make yourself a brew and wait for the email to come through telling you it's all been sorted.
The Main Course
Now, here comes the fun part.
You have WordPress installed on your BlueHost hosting account, awesome!
You will receive an email with
- Password (this MAY be ** out depending on the above option)
- Sire URL
- Admin Site URL (usually example.com/admin or similar)
Simply sign into your new WordPress website with all the details provided and voila your website is ready to go.
The WordPress Overview
This is where you will spend a lot of your time (and you may be familiar with it if you have done a WordPress website before, seriously they all look the same).
From here, we are going to go find a theme and get you set up.
Choosing & Installing A Theme
Select the 'Appearances Tab' and then choose Themes.
You have the ability to upload your own, or go searching on the WordPress database .
One option is to look into ThemeForest (they offer free and premium themes) but for now, I would just find one that suits you via the 'add new' and search functionality.
You will find hundreds, and hundreds of them, so have a scroll through and start selecting and previewing ones that take your fancy.
You do want to keep in mind the primary function of your site.
If you are aiming for reviews or informative articles, then use something like GatePress or GeneratePress.
Once you have found one that you like, just click Install.
You will be shown an install screen and either a success or failure, the only time they fail will be if you have found one on the web and it's got a corrupt file zip file or it's incomplete. It does happen, so just be ready!
Now you have installed it, you will want to activate it, so go ahead.
Brilliant, you have a new theme set up and ready to be customised to your liking.
Depending on theme you have chosen you will most likely see the customise button on the Theme Tab.
For this particular theme, you are required to have a few extra plugins to help you on your way.
If you do choose ones, you will find all the recommended plugins at the top of the page. Just click on each one, and decide if you want them.
You can also get to the 'Plugins' section by choosing the little Plug icon.
I would recommend looking at getting a few basic plugins.
- Yoast SEO - Great for telling you how your articles are looking within SEO formats (keyword density, how easy it is to read, etc)
- Pretty Links - Great for making links to other websites or content nicer to see
- Sumo - If you have't read the review, I would suggest having a look. I will go more into it below
- WP Super Cache - Great for caching your website and generally making it a little quicker.
- Thrive Architect - If you truly want to make your website into a Drag & Drop builder, then I recommend checking these guys out. You can read the review here.
Creating Your First Post With WordPress
Now that you have your theme installed, and your plugins sorted, it's time to create your first article.
You really want to take your time with this. You need to think how you want your website to flow, and how it should be laid out.
To create your first article, you will want to create a new 'Post'
You will be taken to the post creation screen, from here you can start to create your new article.
It works a lot like a standard Word document program, and you simply type in article into the box provided. You can add images, links, headers and more, as you see fit.
If you are after awesome images, I would recommend looking into PixaBay they offer both royalty free and pay for images. A lot of the images you see on TheOnlineStudent come from this site because they are of such high quality.
Once you are happy with your article, either click Publish and it will go live, or choose save as draft and come back to it later.
Pro Tip - You can use the categories section to help keep your website flowing cleanly and separating out each section.
For example, all my reviews are within the review Category, with some having a few sub categories. It helps a little with SEO, as Google recognises where you have chosen to place things.
So, you have everything set up. That's brilliant.
But, you can always add more!
If you are wanting to let people know about new articles, keep them informed of new developments or even provide them with some content that isn't necessarily on your website, you should think about building an email list.
One of the apps I like to use is called Sumo it's an easy to install Plugin that allows you to have tools much like you see on this website, including an email catcher popup and an email newsletter bar.
All of which allows you to start building up a newsletter list.
Firstly, you want to head to Sumo and sign up for their free service. Doing so is quick, easy and painless. Add your website, but don't worry about attaching it just yet, we will do that via the WordPress app.
To get the plugin, you need to head on over to your WordPress admin panel and select the 'Plugins' option as mentioned before.
Select, 'New' and search for Sumo - You will find the SumoMe app made by the guys at SumoMe.
Once you have installed the Sumo plugin, you need to activate. Simply click 'Activate' and WordPress will do the rest.
Now you will see a Sumo icon appear on the left-hand bar, click that and open the dashboard.
Once here, you will be taken to the Sumo in-house WordPress dashboard.
Now it's time to activate Sumo with your account.
Simply open the app up, and you will be shown an activation screen. Simply login with the details you created before and it will sync to your website.
Now you are all signed up and activated, it is time to take a look around.
With the standard plugin, you get access too the social sharing tools, some of their basic email building list forms and their contact me forms.
Sidenote: You can also check out the store, and look at upgrading to their Sumo Plans. These plans give you access to more features such as your own branding, more templates for your forms, better targeting for and A/B testing ability. They start from $24 a month, but I would only recommend it once you have started to earn from your blog!
Setting Up The Sumo List Builder
It's now time to create your first email capture form. I recommend using the standard collect email and 'Pop Up' form.
From here you can start to decide how you want it to display, different themes (if you have pro) and where the collected emails go.
I would recommend using Aweber as your email provider, as they allow you to create nice follow up campaigns, and they also allow you to send Affiliate Links (including Amazon).
Now, once you have chosen your email provider, simply turn on the connection, and wait for the subscribers to appear!
Every new person who signs up with now appear in your Aweber account and can be emailed as you wish.
The after-dinner mint
Well, you have made it this far, so congratulations.
You have created a blog in about, 30minutes (or so).
Thrive Architect allows you to turn your pages into quick and easy to use Drag & Drop builders, and you can simply drag elements onto your pages with ease.
If you want to look into turning your website into a lead generating magnet, then I would recommend looking into Thrive Leads. It costs $67 as a one off cost, but could really start to generate you cash from the leads it captures.
And for those who want the full package (which is seriously recommended) I would look at Thrive Themes Membership package. You get access too all of their products including Architect & Leads, for just $19 a month, which is nearly the price of some Themes (if you broke it down per year) AND nearly half the price of something like Sumo, if you decided to use their Blogger package.
That's it. You have succesfully created your own blog on WordPress and created a blog on BlueHost.
The same steps can be used above if you are trying to set up your own DropShipping store, via AliDropShip or if you are wanting to use BlueHost for WooCommerce.
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!