Your Complete Guide to Starting a Blog.

*When I decided to write a post on starting a blog I had no clue it would be so long. This post took me hours on hours to write and edit, and it’s over 3000 words – it is very detailed and it talks about what to do after starting a blog, too. So don’t let the length scare you, it is very thorough and walks you through nearly everything you would need to know about starting a blog!

It’s no secret that I’ve fallen in love with blogging – otherwise why would I be here right now? Starting a blog has given me a plethora of new skills, a wonderful and supportive circle of friends, and a hobby that is super fun and also profitable! The two questions I always get when I tell people about Mostly Morgan are “why, and how?”  I have already answered the why here, but now I want to tell all of you how you can make a self hosted wordpress blog just like I have!

Isn’t starting a blog hard?

Nope, not at all! You don’t even need to know how to code, all you need to know is how to work a computer! I promise, I am going to walk you through the process step by step and if you have any questions at all, no matter how small, you can email me. I will do my very best to get back to you within 24 hours!

If you have an extra half hour then you can set up a blog today. I am going to  try to make the process as easy as possible for you all. Before I do that, I am going to explain a few things regarding why I chose (and why I think you should) a self hosted blog as opposed to a .wordpress or .blogspot!

HOW-TO-START-A-BLOG

Why self-hosted?

If you look on the url bar, you’ll see that you are on www.mostlymorgan.com, there is no .blogspot or .wordpress in the url. When I decided that starting a blog was something I wanted to do, I definitely considered a free option, because lets face it, I am a cheap college student. Ultimately I decided to bite the bullet and invest in my own domain name and hosting. But why? Let me explain:

  • When you host through a free site like blogger, they have full rights to your content. That’s right, when you hit publish on your post ran on a free platform, you are forfeiting the rights to your work.
  • I wanted to be taken seriously. Sure there are plenty of great bloggers who don’t own their domains, but they had to work a lot harder to establish themselves as a serious blogger.
  • I didn’t want to make the switch.  Apparently it is a pain in the booty to switch your free blog over to a self hosted wordpress blog and I would rather pay for a self hosted blog from the get go rather than pay for both my self hosted blog and a professional to transfer my blog.
  • I am serious about blogging. For any other hobby I am serious about there would surely be some sort of start up fee, I didn’t see why blogging should be any different.

WHY SELF-HOSTED- (1)

  • A small chunk of time (30 minutes, or so) to set everything up
  • Very basic computer knowledge (as in how to move your cursor, click, and type – seriously, it’s that simple.)
  • A credit or debit card. Yes, there is an investment, but I promise you, it is well worth it! (And by taking my blog seriously and posting regularly I have already made my investment back plus some!) And you can too, I promise!

 

Let’s do this!

Please note: If you choose to use the hosting company that I recommend (and have used since the very beginning!) and click the link provided, then I will receive a small commission. This does not impact the price that you pay in any way, it only gives me a bit of a kickback for referring a great new blogger (YOU!!). Plus, you can use my coupon code MOSTLYMORGANBLOG and save 25%. If you feel uncomfortable using my link or coupon code, feel free to bypass it and go directly to hostgator (or whatever site you want to host on!), no hurt feelings, friend. 

Step One – Hosting:

Of course, when starting a blog this is the point where you can go to a free site like blogger, but like I’ve mentioned before I think all serious bloggers should have a self hosted domain. But do what you have to do, if a domain isn’t in the budget then by all means have a .blogspot blog because I would hate for you to be missing out on the fun!

I am going to tell you right now – the number of hosting sites out there is enough to make your head spin. They range in price and services. Personally I was looking for something cheap that would cover all of my bases. I didn’t want to be paying for a bunch of features that I wouldn’t need.

I decided to host with hostgator because they have unlimited disk and bandwidth space, they have great 24/7 tech support, and it is incredibly affordable. Plus, while my blogging friends are often complaining of downtime – so far I’ve never been down as far as I know!

If you choose hostgator, be sure to use coupon code “MOSTLYMORGANBLOG” so you can save 25%

Now it is time to got to the hostgator website and begin the process of bringing your blog to life! As soon as you get there you’ll see a big yellow button that says “View Web Hosting Plans” Click it. Now you will be presented with three choices, I recommend going with the cheapest plan as if you’re just starting out you will not need anything bigger than that and even as you grow it’s not likely that you ever will need anything fancier.

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

Now it’s time for you to register your domain. This is the part you need to think long and hard about. You are building a brand around this domain and you are pretty much “stuck” with it. So keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t add numbers in your domain. Mostlymorgan.com is so much classier than mostlymorgan573.com!
  • Don’t limit yourself. If you want to write a lifestyle blog that touches on a lot of different subjects, then you might not want to call your blog “allthingsponies.com”  people will only expect to see posts about horses so they won’t even click your blog when they are looking for other content that you may very well provide. On the other hand if you want to blog about horses and horses only, then “allthingsponies.com” would be a great name!
  • If all else fails, use your name. If your first and last name are taken, then try throwing in your middle name. Using your name is classic and timeless and won’t go out of style unlike a lot of blog name trends.

Once you’ve got that taken care of enter it into the space provided and choose .com (unless you prefer something different, but I highly recommend sticking with .com)

Now just go through the rest of the prompts on the page – choose hatchling, choose hosting length (I recommend to commit to at least one year), choose a username and security pin, and fill out your billing information.

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

When it comes to add-ons, they are entirely up to you. I prefer to live dangerously so I didn’t buy any but again, it’s up to the person. I use free plugins to perform the services they provide, so I feel like I am set without them.

Now they are going to ask if you have a coupon code – and lucky duck, you do! Type in “MOSTLYMORGANBLOG” so you can receive your discount!

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

MOSTLYMORGAN was my old code. You can still use it, but you’ll save more using “MOSTLYMORGANBLOG”

Now all that is left to do for this step is hitting “Create your account!”

The Fun Part!

Now it is time to install wordpress and start actually creating that beautiful blog of yours! If you chose to use hostgator then this step will be easy-peasy! Hostgator has the ability to do a quick install for a ton of different programs and of course, wordpress is one of them!

Check your email, your log-in information for your control panel should be there. You are going to want to go to your control panel by either typing in yourbrandnewdomain.com/cpanel of course you will replace that with your actual domain or clicking the link within your email.

From here installing wordpress is easy. Just click the Quick Install button under Software/Services and then you will want to select wordpress on the next screen.

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

Now just fill out your information and choose whether or not to allow auto-updates. Personally I didn’t, as I like to feel in control, but in the image below I left it checked, as this one is entirely up to the blogger.

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

 

Edit (1/12/15): This summer I helped a friend set up his blog, and it took around an hour and a half for his account to be set up. Seven months ago when I started my blog it was up right away, but after looking into it, it usually takes a few hours – sometimes up to 48, so be patient!

WHY SELF-HOSTED- (5)

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

This is what my WordPress looks like (though I whited out the recently published and comments so that I can point you to what I would like for you to focus on – the sidebar) There is a lot to wordpress, but you’ll find that is actually really simple.

Posts: This is where you will go to add new posts or edit old ones. We will get to that later in this guide, but for now let me explain the ins and outs a little further.

Media: Here is where all of the pictures, videos, and other files you have uploaded to your blog are located. If I’m being honest, I upload mine directly from the post editor (which I’ll show you how to do) so I have never used this.

Pages: Here is where you will be able to add things to your navigation bar: You’ll want an about me and contact me for sure. I also have added my ‘bucket list’  and some of my more popular post subjects.

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

Comments: Here is where you’ll go to check all of your comments!

Appearance: Here is where you’ll spend the most time in the very beginning deciding how you want your blog to look. You can pick out themes and mess around with widgits and your navigation bar.

Plug-ins: Plug-ins are another fun and very important part of your site. They add cool features like better commenting interfaces and added security

Users: This is your blog, so the only user will be you.

Subscribers: When people sign up to subscribe by email on your blog you can manage them there.

Tools: Right now, you won’t need this. I have never needed this, it only has import and export options.

Settings: Here you will find all of the general settings that you can tweak around with. Things like permalink structure and commenting settings.

WHY SELF-HOSTED- (6)

Theme

Now it is time to set everything up. I would first recommend going to appearance and finding a theme that you really like. At this point don’t buy a theme. You are going to want to wait until you are absolutely sure that blogging is something you are willing to stick with and commit to before investing in themes and designs. As soon as you find a theme, you will want to hit install and then activate. Once you do that your theme should be up!

Add Pages and Posts

Now is where we get to add content to your blog! First I want to you go to Pages>add new and create your about me page. Yes, these are terribly awkward to write but they are an evil necessity. I love reading blogger’s about me pages, it makes me feel like I can connect to the blogger.

Once that is taken care of you can think about other pages to add: contact me is almost necessary,  my very favorite posts to read are bucket list posts so I highly recommend one of those, and also add tabs about what you wish to blog about.

You also are going to want to publish your first post(s). Now what you write about is up to you. You can do an introduction to you, your blog, or anything else for that matter.

The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting your own blog. Everything you need to know from buying a domain to setting up wordpress! Pin now, read later!

The sidebar on your post editor is where you will be able to customise the look of your content. Here you can add media as I talked about earlier. Bold, italicize, strike-through, format into list, and quote your text. You can add a horizontal line under a chunk of text, edit the justification, add links, insert a read more option, change the text size, underline, justify, adjust the color and paste. You can delete formatting, add special characters adjust indentation, undo and redo.

It just takes some time toying around with the editor to get used to it, but it really is great and pretty straight forward.

Plugins and Widgits

One reason so many people choose to use wordpress is because it’s vast array of plugins and widgits allow you to customize your site to no end. There is a plugin or widgit out there for everything.

An important thing to note is that you need to strike a balance: it’s important to have these installed, but you don’t want too many as they will slow your blog down if there are a ton.

Here is what I recommend:

Disqus or CommentLuv: You can’t go wrong with either of these. Personally I use Disqus, but CommentLuv works just as well. I only chose Disqus because I think it looks better, but that could just be me being a snob.

Limit Log-in Attempts: This is going to help prevent people from breaking into your blog, it’s an absolute necessity if you ask me.

BJ Lazy Load: If you are going to have a lot of pictures (like on this post!) this plugin will make the images load only as the use scrolls down which will speed up your site by a ton.

WordPress SEO: This is going to give you the tools you need to work on search engine optimization, meaning your posts will be more likely to be seen on the front pages of google if you utilize this tool.

WP Super Cache: This will speed up your site and cache all of the content on your blog so that you can feel more secure!

Pin It Button for Pinterest: When you hover over images in my posts you will see a “pin it” button pop up in the upper left hand corner. Right now I get about 85% of my views from pinterest, so I want to make it as easy as possible for people to pin my content!

You will probably find more plugins that you want, but these are just the basics. Feel free to explore and find plugins that will benefit your blog!

You are also going to want to add and adjust the widgits on your site. You can find your widgits by hovering over appearance and then clicking widgits when the extra options pop up.

Categories, Recent Posts, and Meta are already going to be activated. I would drag Categories and Meta to inactive, as they are both unnecessary at this point. As you add content you may choose to reactivate categories.

Some Widgits that I recommend:

About Me: Yes, we already have an about me page, but this works really well to offer a quick summary, and you can add a “see more” button at the bottom of your about me excerpt that will take readers to your full page.

Social Media: This is where links to your facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. will show up. A huge part of blogging is networking, and showing your readers where they can find you is super important! Many themes come with this as an available widgit, butif yours doesn’t you can add a plugin that will create a widgit for you

Subscribe: You will want a subscription plugin (I don’t like mine and I’m in the market for a new one, which is why I don’t have one to recommend) and then you’ll be able to add a little subscribe button on your sidebar to build up your list.

And there you have it!

Hey, look at you! You are officially a blogger. You’ve got a self hosted wordpress blog with a great theme and all of the necessary plugins and widgits! Now it’s up to you to make sure that you post regularly, create pinnable images (I suggest PicMonkey or Canva if you’re looking for great, free software,) and network with other bloggers.

And remember, if you have any questions at all feel free to reach out to me! I would be more than happy to help you with anything – be it setting it up, brainstorming post ideas, or networking!

I hope this post helped you guys, and if it did I would be so happy if you could take a moment to share it using one of the social media buttons at the top!

Once you’ve got your blog set up, leave a comment down below so I can check it out! I am so excited to see what you all come up with!

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  • This was really helpful! I started my blog a while ago, but I actually downloaded some of your recommended plugins and widgets… I really like the “About Me” sidebar plugin!
    http://www.sweetlysally.com

    • Woohoo! I am so happy it helped you! And I am off to stalk your blog now 🙂 I love the name!

  • wow! That’s really comprehensive and helpful for a newbie blogger!

    • Thank you Roshni! I am glad that you found it helpful!

  • Kayla Rivoli

    I have a blogspot right now and I’ve only been blogging for under a month but I really like it and want to continue & hopefully make money from blogging! Is there a widget for ads that you have to add? How do you start making money off your site?
    Also, do you recommend making the switch now or do you think I should wait? My only concern is not blogging much when I go back to school and wasting my money on hosting.
    Sorry for all the questions but your post was really good so it seems like you’d be able to help lol.

    • I am so glad that you like blogging, it’s great, huh? 🙂 What is your blog? I would absolutely love to check it out!!

      Making money is tricky! I use google adsense, which has a plug-in (though I use code, as I like to have more control) but I am pretty sure because blogger is through google so you can implement adsense whenever you want, whereas with self-hosted you have to be established enough to get accepted into the program.

      Another way to make money is through sponsored posts, which are sort of dangerous because you need to retain your credibility. I have done two sponsored posts and I am writing one more, but I have turned down around ten because I didn’t think they fit my blog nor would they help my readers. As of now blogging is just a hobby for me, so I haven’t contacted any companies, rather they have contacted me. But as school starts back up and I buckle down I may start pursuing companies that I am interested in working with.

      If you want to take blogging seriously I would absolutely suggest you make the switch as soon as possible, because I’ve had a few friends who have switched after blogging for years with a ton of posts and some did it themselves and lost a lot of old posts, and others have paid people to do it for them which makes it even more expensive than the hosting alone. Personally I was able to make back my investment, but that certainly isn’t the case for everybody. It is a risk but I honestly believe that if you post regularly and create pinnable images you will get enough traffic to make your investment back through ads.

      As for going back to school, I always used blogging as a reward – if I read two chapters then I would work on a post for half an hour. I love blogging so using it as motivation accomplished two things: I forced myself to study, and I was able to create new content. I am actually working on a post on how to blog with your busy schedule!

      Like I said, let me know what your blog is so I can check it out, and I am working on creating a blogging community for college aged bloggers so if you are interested in joining that let me know 🙂

      • Kayla Rivoli

        Thank you so much for answering all my questions!
        My blog is kaylacandidly.blogspot.com!

        I tried to set up Adsense and it told me that my blog wasn’t eligible…. So I’m not sure what’s going on with that lol.
        And yeah the more I thought about it last night the more I realized that I should switch my blog ASAP before I establish a following or anything and then have to change my URL. That’d stink.

        Do you know of any other good blog posts for beginner bloggers? Did you read any when you started or did you learn as you went? I’m kinda doing both right now but I would really like to start learning more about like copyright and writing disclaimers and things like that. I wouldn’t want to get into any sort of trouble while blogging lol. Is your blog name copyrighted or anything? Lol like I said I don’t really know how stuff like that works.

        And I would LOVE to join the blogging community! If you like my blog, of course haha. I understand if I’m not experienced enough yet!

        Also hope I’m not über creepy bc I followed you on Instagram last night haha I just really can see us being friends and I love the fact that we’re in the same major and we both love blogging about close to the same things!

        • Ok I might have been wrong about not needing to be approved if you were on blogspot. I was ineligible the first time I applied for adsense, but after growing my blog a little bit more I reapplied and was approved. So I would just keep at it and try again in a month or so!

          And yeah, the switch isn’t fun, or so I’ve heard! Although some bloggers do get lucky and have no problems at all with it! It just depends.

          I have a blogging board on pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/MorgieTimm/blogging/) and there are a ton of pins with blog tips there, so Pinterest would be the first place I would look if I were you! I mostly learned as I went in the beginning, but now I am obsessive about reading blogging articles because I am trying to take it more seriously so I can grow.

          I have one disclaimer at the very bottom of my blog, a bloggy friend actually wrote it for me. I really need to start looking into that as well! One thing you have to be super careful of is the pictures you use! If you don’t take them yourself make sure you are allowed to use them, and there have been bloggers who have gotten in trouble for taking pictures of artwork and not crediting. It gets dangerous so I am super careful with my pictures!

          And the community will be for bloggers of all levels of experience! You are more than welcome to join 🙂 I am going to make it once I get back to school!

          And that is not creepy at all! I followed you back 🙂 And we do have so much in common! I am sure we will become great friends!

          • So idk if you saw, but I bought my own domain! I’ve been just using Blogger as my host for now, I don’t really like WordPress that much I don’t know why.. 🙁 It was confusing for me… I guess there were too many options!
            I’m going to follow you on Pinterest now thank you for giving me the link to your board! I can’t wait to start reading. I’ve also found a lot of posts from Bonjour, Blogger very, very helpful idk if you’ve heard of her!

            I’m still waiting to be eligible for Adsense… hopefully I can apply soon! Fingers crossed.

          • Kayla, that is so exciting!! Good for you 🙂 WordPress definitely is tricky but after mastering it I love it! I don’t have much experience with blogger but your blog looks great! I will look her up, thank you for the tip!

            I went and liked your facebook, I will share your page on my Mostly Morgan facebook and hopefully you’ll get some new ‘likes’!

            And they are tricky – some bloggers have no problem and others take months to get accepted! I hope that you are eligible soon!

  • Thank you so much for posting this! You inspired me to finally commit to starting my own blog 🙂 This is seriously one of the best start up posts I’ve ever read, it was very easy to follow and made setting up the actual blog a breeze!

    buckeyebliss.com

    • Oh my gosh! That is so exciting 🙂 I am so glad I was able to help you! I love the look of your blog so far, and I can’t wait to follow it! If you add a subscribe option, let me know and I would be honored to be your first subscriber!

      • Thank you! I added one 🙂 I’m still a little new to this. And that would mean so much, thanks again!

        • I understand! Learning the ropes is the hardest part so if you ever need any help just let me know, you can shoot me an email at any time! I am honestly so excited that you started blogging! I am officially subscribed and I absolutely cannot wait to start seeing the wonderful content you put out!

          • Thank you, thank you! I am also subscribed to yours and I’ve read a lot of your posts. I’ve loved all of the ones I’ve seen and I can’t wait to read more 🙂

          • You’re so nice, Colleen! Thank you 🙂 Blogging is so much fun, and it’s more fun when you have blogger friends I am so eager to see what you post! 🙂

  • Hey Morgan, could I ask how you edit your pictures and make those Pinterest worthy images? Also, how did you grow your blog audience so quickly??

    InternationalistDiary.blogspot.com

    • I use Canva! It is a (mostly!) free photo editing website and there are all sort of cool templates to use! I’ve never needed to pay for anything, though you can buy stock images through Canva.

      And growing my audience was a combination of consistency and luck. But mostly luck. Most of my traffic comes from pinterest so it is just a matter of creating images that will be pinned. And the important part is to create content often enough that people will come back and check for more. If I only post every two weeks (which I have been guilty of on occasion) people will be less likely to check back. But social media is great for growing an audience, a lot of people have a ton of luck with twitter, too! But I’m not very good at Twitter, haha.

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  • kelsie

    This is awesome! Thanks for this, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for some time now but had no idea how or where to start.

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  • Great information for someone just starting out or switching to WordPress. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    Have a beautiful week 🙂

  • thanks for sharing something to think about because I am using a free blog at the moment.

    • Thank you! And no problem with a free blog at all – making the switch can be scary!

  • Samantha

    This was very lovely. I’ve been toying with the idea for starting a blog for a while, and my friend and i created one since she lives in Australia and I live in the US so we can keep in touch, but this post inspired me to create my own. It’s still not up yet though, which is a bummer because I want to start posting things! When it comes up, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Samantha! And that is incredible! What a great way for you two to stay in touch 🙂 I cannot wait to see your new blog, I will be eagerly waiting! If you ever need any help with anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask!

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  • Jess

    I found your blog when I was looking for college tips and a packing list. Ever since then I’ve been keeping up with your blog. Yesterday I was so inspired by your blog that I decided to start my own! I know it still needs work but I got my first follower today and it was so exciting. I hope to keep up with it but I just wanted to say thank you(: Also how do you get your pins so popular? I posted a couple but so far nothing has happened. I’m trying to be patient but I’m just so excited! Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks again!

    My blog is: https://jessbeingjess.wordpress.com/

    • Sorry I missed this! But first of all – congrats on starting a blog! I hope that you absolutely love it! I know that I do! And Pinterest just takes a lot of persistance. Be active and repin your pins to group boards to help them gain traction!

  • Rebecca Tulloch

    Thank you for the post! I spent the better part of 7 hours yesterday buying hosting, framework, and a theme and trying to put it together and there is a lot I need to learn to make this blog happen as beautifully as it is in my head! This post of yours will help me to do that and possibly save me another headache haha!

    • Oh my gosh, that sounds like a nightmare, but I’m sure that your blog is going to look absolutely fantastic when it’s all put together! I am glad to hear that I (potentially!) saved you a headache!

  • Rachel Collins

    Thank you very much for this post! You have inspired me to start my blog rachelptreasures.blogspot.com. I love your blog!

  • Bailey Garey

    Morgan-
    I have been scouring the web hoping to find a post exactly like this! I am so grateful you took the time to write all of this out because it has been incredibly helpful! Of course, after reading this post I began to read the rest of your blog and fell in love with it! You have inspired me to start my own blog and give my voice a chance to be heard! I am so thrilled to begin this journey and see where it takes me! I appreciate your willingness to reach out and help others and your authenticity in doing so! Much love, and hope you’ll check out my blog once I get it up and running:)

  • Madisen Archibald

    Hi Morgan,
    This post really makes me want to start this process this very minute! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a few months now since I’m entering my freshman year of college and I have a few things I’d like to write about. I’m just wondering how much overall you spent on starting your blog. I know the hostgator package is around $4 a month, but did you have to pay additional fees to make your domain? I’m currently saving all that I can and don’t want to end up spending a lot on starting this right now. Thanks for reading, I hope to share my blog link with you soon!

  • Roojii

    I really love reading your blog. It has been super helpful on more than one topic. So, I was thinking of making a blog. But, I can’t find the link to the hosting site you talked about in the beginning. Thanks for all your time and effort!

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  • Brittany

    I really enjoyed this post! I have read other “How to Start a Blog” posts in the past but none of them were quite like this! It was clear and descriptive which is exactly what I needed in order to get my blog started! After reading your other posts as well it really inspired me to kickstart my blog. I also have to say I really love how available you have made yourself if anyone has any questions or is requesting help… that’s amazing and it feels great to know that if I need some guidance, you’d be there! Thank you! 🙂

    – Britt @ http://www.bubblybritt.com

  • Miranda

    I’m so glad I found this post I’ve just started a blog but have realized it’s better to go to self hosting soon rather than later. I was wondering if you opted out of the domain privacy protection add on? Or if you have ever gone back and added any of the add ons now. Thanks!

    • I did opt out and haven’t had any problems yet! People have super varying opinions on this though, so definitely do your research!

    • The hosting company I signed up with don’t even offer privacy protection since it’s not permitted (not sure if it’s a new thing or just where I’m at, but it’s to avoid scam sites). I didn’t like the idea of my info being out there (especially my home address) but I like scammers even let so I get the point of making it more difficult for them to hide. And if you have a business or are serious about blogging, it does make it seem more trustworthy if you don’t hide your information 😉

  • Blossom Onunekwu

    Great info!definitely going to get the pin-it widget and the disquis one. Everything looks so much cooler with disquis. I literally made a disquis account just because of you lol. Thanks for sharing your beautiful brain!

    • Yes! I love disqus! It’s such a great platform and it really is so much more professional looking!

  • DeeDee

    Just started my blog using this! Thanks for all the advice 🙂 https://westcoastblondeblog.wordpress.com/

  • Thank you for this wonderful post. I read this over the summer and was inspired to start my blog. I officially launched my blog in August, and I have loved every moment of it! The journey has taught me so much about myself, and I am so grateful for your inspiring post as it has gotten me to where I am today. 🙂

  • Sarah Jane

    Hi Morgan! First of all, I want to say thank you for the very helpful and detailed post, I’ve been reading many like it lately as I hope to start a blog this year, but this is definitely the most helpful and informative post on the subject that I’ve managed to find!
    Secondly, I was just wondering if you know whether or not the hosting site you recommended accepts prepaid credit cards? I don’t have a credit card but would really like to have my own domain, so I was hoping I’d be able to use a prepaid visa or MasterCard instead. However, if it’s a monthly transaction, I’m not sure if a prepaid card will be accepted. Any information you could give me would be very much appreciated!

  • Tom

    Thank you for your advice Morgan! My friend and I recently started our blog, twohighlife.wordpress.com and we love the having the wordpress at the end, but we are planning on switching over in a few months. How hard is it really to switch from wordpress to your own hosting?

    • No problem, Tom! And your site looks really fantastic! The theme is great!

      I don’t have experience with it myself, but a lot of friends have said it’s tricky! There are people you can hire, or there are some great guides if you’re more of a DIY person!

  • Regan Bohuslav

    hi! thank you so much for this blog post. It was so helpful! How do you get your “pin it” button to be cute! the only plug-ins i saw to download aren’t cute haha!

    • Hi Regan! You’re very welcome 🙂 My ‘pin-it’ button is a widgit that came with my theme from Pipdig! You can also look for buttons on etsy!

  • Janice Longoria

    Hi, Morgan! Your articles about setting up a blog are sure helpful. I am in the very beginning stages of planning a blog, and I’m so glad I found your posts! PS–I’m another Pinterest contact.

    • Thank you so much, Janice! I am so happy to hear that! And that is fantastic, you are going to LOVE blogging! Let me know when you’re live!

  • Thank you so much for these tips! I’m in the midst of creating and running of blog, and right now I’m using blogger but I’m thinking about hosting my own website! Since I just started out, still deciding if this is the way to go. Hahah, blogging is hard work! xx

    McKenzie
    http://kenziebeauty.blogspot.com

    • You are very welcome! And that is so exciting! And that’s a great way to test the waters! Blogging isn’t for everyone (despite how much I try to convince people it is!) so before you make the commitment it’s great you can use blogger!

      And it definitely is hard work, but it’s rewarding work!

  • Amy Jones

    Really great tips and advice. Thanks for being so open and sharing this!

    • Thank you so much! And absolutely! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

  • kaitlyn

    what about buying a domain name from go daddy and then buying a beautiful theme from pip dig or somewhere? i use blogger

    • I will always recommend going with a self-hosted WordPress site, but I do know that a lot of people have success on the Blogger platform. I prefer WordPress because of the flexibility, plug-ins, and ownership, but with that said it is not entirely necessary. The most important thing is that you own your domain, so buying your domain from GoDaddy is awesome!

      • kaitlyn

        okay thank you so much for your input. i really appreciate it <3

  • Willia Garnett1

    Serviceable article ! Talking of which , if one requires to combine two PDF files , my business found piece here http://goo.gl/KttQM3

  • Marina Barham

    I found this post a few months ago and used it to create my blog! Thank you so so much, I have been loving the blogger community and creating content has been so much fun! Thank you for all your tips! I probably wouldn’t be blogging without you! xx

    -Marina
    shesdoingwhat.com

  • Twenty & Talentless

    Thank you so much for this post, it helped me so much! The amount of detail was so helpful to get my head around starting a blog and where to start. My blog wouldn’t be up and running without your tips and advice!

    – Abbie (Twenty & Talentless)

  • I’ve read this post religiously (and stalked your blog too, oops) for the past couple of weeks before finally taking the plunge and starting my own blog. Thank you so much for all the advice and for making everything so much easier. I would probably still be sitting around still wishing I could run a blog instead of actually going ahead and doing it if it weren’t for you!

  • ms. Lang

    Thanks for the post,I just started my blog last week and I hope I am on the right path. Since this is my first attempt I went with wordpress.com because I didn’t want to much hassle. Does anyone know I can upgrade to wordpress.org or host myself once I get more followers etc while keeping my curent original blog name and stats?

  • Eighteen Advice

    THAT POST IS AMAZING!

    I followed all your steps and I still have to read that post every now and then to remind myself some things. Finally I’ve created my own website and I’m really excited!

    And I am obsessed with your blogs now! This is my blog btw 🙂 http://eighteenadvice.com/index.php/2016/09/20/lemme-introduce-myself/

  • Tracey Jarvis

    What a great post!! I decided last night to start a blog and spent the evening trying to set it up but by bedtime I was almost regretting it! It was overwhelming reading all the tips and to do lists. I have to say though after reading this post I am feeling revitalized and eager to get my blog up and running so a big Thank you to you!!!

  • Rachel

    Hi Morgan!
    You said that sometimes it can take up to 48 hours for the blog to be set up. I did the quick install, and got an email with a link, but when I click it, it says the DNS address can not be found. Does this mean that it ahsn’t been set up yet, adn I just need to wait a bit?

  • Genevieve

    This post is amazing and inspired me to take the plunge. I still have so many questions though and will definitely be in touch with you soon Morgan. Thanks.

  • jenn

    Thank you for this post!! I started a blog last night, and today I already feel more confident after reading your post!! 🙂

  • Miki Mihaela

    Hi Morgan! Can I ask you when did you first started to blog. And when did you start to actual get an income from blogging? Thanks

  • Jivi

    Hi Morgan,

    I just wanted to leave you a little note of gratitude – your blog has helped me so much in daring to make the step of starting a blog. You continually inspire me to embrace the more techy side of blogging, and no one manages to explain them quite as simply as you just did. So thank you!