How to Start a WordPress Blog for Less Than $20
This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.
You’re probably like I was a few years ago, wondering how it’s even possible to make money blogging. I used to think the same thing, but now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I figured it’s time to share my best tips on how to start a WordPress blog of your own.
There are literally thousands of comprehensive tutorials online that break down blogging. I’m going to keep things really simple for you. There are really four easy steps to get started as a blogger.
1. Decide on a Blog Niche
My own blog domain, Resting Niche Face, should tell you that blog niches matter. Deciding on a blog niche is one of the most important steps in how to start a WordPress blog. Grab a pen and piece of paper and make a list of all of the things you’re super passionate about.
Be 100% real with yourself. It’s just you and your thoughts in the room, so no judgment. For example, if you’re a school teacher but you’re experiencing complete burnout from teaching kids all day, you might not want to blog about kids or teaching. Maybe your passion is crafting or home decor.
Don’t worry about what people will think (especially haters). You can blog anonymously, or you can put yourself out there. When I first started my blog, Perfection Hangover, I was terrified of sharing blog posts with my friends and family out of fear of judgment.
Do you see why I went with the domain name Perfection Hangover? I over-analyze and perfect things to death!
Narrow down your list and decide what your main site concept will be. This will be your niche.
Related: How Do Blogs Make Money?
Blog Niche Ideas
- DIY/Refinishing Furniture
- Home Decor
- Thrifty or Frugal Living
- Personal Finance
- Debt Freedom
- TV Talk, such as The Bachelorette (a blog name idea would be BacheloretteTalk.com)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Animal Blogs (the more specific, the better)
- Physician Blogs
- RV Living
- Cricut Tips
- Etsy Shop
- Shopify Dropshipping
- Amazon FBA
- Basket Weaving
- Bar Exam Test Prep
- Food Blog (think “gluten-free recipes”)
- Diabetic Blog
- Cancer Survivor Blog
- Parenting/Mom/Dad Blog
- Homeschool Blog
- Party Ideas Blog
- Party Planning
- Wedding Blog
- Health and Fitness Blog
- Personal Training
- Foreign Languages
- Potty Training Blog
- Music Blog
There are literally thousands of different blog niche ideas. Just pick something that you could talk about forever! Something you’re passionate about will always be a good topic.
2. Choose your Domain Name
Your domain name, also known as your URL, is what is followed by .com, .net, etc. You want to go for a blog name with a .com availability. This is almost always better for search engine optimization, and it’s also easier for people to remember.
My favorite free tool for researching available domains based on your main site keyword or concept is NameMesh. You can type in your word(s) and it’ll give you suggestions based on your keyword.
Don’t get hung up on this step if you can’t figure out exactly what your domain name should be. If you are absolutely stuck, choose your name. I chose melissablevins.com my first go-around. Trust me. As a recovering perfectionist, sometimes you’ve just gotta choose something. You can always change it later.
In fact, I just migrated my site from melissablevins.com to perfectionhangover.com. I hired Grayson Bell at iMarkInteractive to take care of it, and it was completed within 48 hours without missing a beat!
3. Sign up for Hosting
Now you’ll need to choose your hosting provider. This is the company that’ll provide the server for your blog. There are two different companies I recommend for different reasons.
Bluehost Hosting –
Bluehost is the company I started with. They are one of the most affordable hosting companies, and you can sign up for less than a cup of coffee (just $3.95/month). The catch is, to get the special pricing, you’ve got to sign up for 3 years of hosting in advance.
This isn’t really a big deal at all, but some people are on a tight budget and don’t have $150 to get started blogging. If you do, however, this is the more affordable route, and for your first three years, you won’t have to update or upgrade to another host.
Bluehost is offering a 16th Birthday Sale on July 15-16, 2019, and you can get special pricing of 3 years of hosting for just $2.65/month for 36 months. That’s just $95 for 3 years of hosting!
Don’t have $100 or $150 to start? Sign up at BigScoots for hosting for just $7.95.
BigScoots is my current hosting provider. Once my hosting expired with Bluehost, I decided to move to BigScoots. Why? Because all of the big, established bloggers are using BigScoots. Since moving over, my site is a smidge faster. BigScoots has tons of options for hosting, but what I love about them is the flexibility of their plans.
You can pay for hosting month to month, and although a bit more expensive, this is less of a hit upfront financially when you’re just starting out. The 105cc plan costs just $7.95 per month, so you can literally start your blog right now for less than $20 if you go this route.
Just be sure to click “Managed Web Hosting” from the top menu and then choose “Shared”. You can then pick the 105cc plan (plenty for a newbie blogger to get started and grow).
Note: You’ll see the price being $5.95 until you click on it (and it goes up to $7.95). $5.95 is the price if you pay for 3 years in advance. Month-to-month hosting is $2 per month more expensive.
Once you’ve signed up for hosting, you’ll have to log into your domain provider (likely GoDaddy) and Manage DNS to change the nameservers to that of your host. For example, BigScoots’ nameservers are ns1.bigscoots.com and ns2.bigscoots.com.
4. How to Start a WordPress Blog – Download WordPress, Duh 😉
Okay, this is pretty obvious. But step 4 is to download WordPress from your cPanel in either BigScoots or Bluehost. You’ll log in to your cPanel and scroll down until you get to the Softaculous Apps Installer under “Software”.
Set up a username and password for WordPress, and then you’ll type in your url followed by /wp-admin to login.
5. Choose a Theme
Now, how do you make your site pretty and personalized? You have to choose a theme! In the WordPress dashboard, you can find basic, free themes, but I recommend something a bit more personalized and professional. Make sure to choose a responsive theme that’s optimized for mobile.
This will make your site load faster and keep readers on your articles longer, resulting in more income and the potential of them sharing or visiting another one of your pages.
You’re Officially a Blogger!
That’s it! You’ve learned how to start a WordPress blog! You’re on your way to writing killer content that attracts an audience so that you can start making money through blogging. Whether you choose to start a hobby blog or turn it into a full-time blogging empire, the process for starting is the same. Let go of perfection and just get started!
Want to stay up to date and learn my exact blogging tips and tricks? Subscribe to my newsletter! I share everything I’ve learned about blogging along the way so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did! Next up: How do Blogs Make Money?