If you’re wondering how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost in 2022, look no further. This step-by-step tutorial will help you save money as you start your blog.
I first started using Bluehost back in 2015 for my travel blog. Now I make five figures a month blogging!
Back then, I didn’t know how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost and kind of just winged it.
I paid extra for things I didn’t need and definitely don’t want you to make the same mistakes as me.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost the right way without spending extra on things you don’t need. You’ll also learn how you can save money in the future as well.
To skip right down to the tutorial on how to start a blog on Bluehost, click here.
Otherwise keep reading to learn about:
- my journey with blogging,
- best type of blog to make money,
- the best blogging platform,
- the best hosting service for new bloggers,
- and finally the tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
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My Journey Blogging
Believe it or not, I used to be a Certified Public Accountant!
I grew up as an orphan on welfare and picked a career in accounting since it pretty much guaranteed me to pay back my school loans, would allow me to afford three healthy meals a day, get health insurance and travel.
After five years of school, hours studying for my 15-hour CPA exam and just a few years in corporate, I had to quit because I got a chronic illness, which made it too hard for me to even sit at my desk for 8+ hours a day.
I was actually glued to my couch for 6-8 hours a day because I was in too much pain to do anything. Back then I couldn’t even walk for more than 5 minutes without getting nerve pain shooting through my body.
I was also going to the doctors or some type of therapist 2-3x a week so I needed to figure out a job that would (1) allow me to make money from my couch and (2) give me flexibility to focus on my health.
That’s when I discovered blogging!
Blogging has given me everything I wanted and more.
I built my blog out of sickness but with the flexibility, I’ve not only been able to heal. I’ve been able to travel the world through my blog.
I’ve been paid by tourism boards like Discover Los Angeles, Champagne Tourism and Aruba Tourism to fly out to these cities/countries to promote them on my blog. I’ve also worked with brands like Nike, H&R Block, Sheraton Grand and more for my blog.
I now make five figures a month blogging but it wasn’t easy to get here. There is a specific way to start your blog, which will allow you to make money.
In the next section, I will explain the type of blog you need to start if you want your blog to make money.
Best Type of Blog to Make Money
There are two types of blogs you can start: a self hosted one or a non-self hosted one.
The best type of blog to start if you want to make money is a self hosted blog.
What is a self hosted blog?
A self hosted blog is a blog that exists on its own server.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds though. Most people pay a third-party company for space to host their blog, which is exactly what I’ll be showing you how to do below by starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
Here’s an analogy for it:
- Your blog is the house that you own and are building, and of course, your house needs to be built on land.
- That piece of land in the blogging world is a hosting company’s server.
- Your blog is built on, or rather, stored on a hosting company’s server. The server gives your blog space to exist on the internet. That way, anyone can access it through their computer, phone and tablet.
So in the blogging world, you would first sign up with a hosting company to have access to their server where, with a one-click method provided by the hosting company, you can build your blog that you own.
Benefits of Self Hosted Blog
Because you own your self hosted blog, you have full access to all your website files and the server they’re stored on.
You can do whatever you want with these files and build your site from the ground up exactly to your liking.
This is like owning your own home. You have the total freedom to customize your home exactly the way you want.
A self hosted blog gives you complete ownership of your blog.
Best of all, you can make money from a self hosted blog!
With a non-self hosted blog, which is usually on free sites like Tumblr or Blogger, the site itself owns your blog. You don’t.
You have to adhere to the site’s policies, which can impact what you post, and you have no control over what happens to your blog in the long run.
You also do not have access to the back end of your blog, which is often needed if you want to make ad revenue or affiliate income.
You are not the owner of your blog, which really limits money making ability even with brands.
In short, you’ll want to get a self hosted blog if you want to make money from your blog.
Best Blogging Platform to Use
The best platform for blogging and making websites in general is WordPress.
Let the stats speak for itself. About 65% of websites with identifiable content management systems are built with WordPress and with good reason.
WordPress is also the industry standard for bloggers because it’s:
- easy to use,
- totally customizable to your liking,
- easy to grow as your blog grows,
- safe and secure,
- and most importantly, great for SEO.
You don’t have to worry about this until after you get your blog set up with the tutorial below, but so you have a head start (a lot of new bloggers don’t even think about SEO until their 2nd or 3rd year of blogging)…
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of optimizing your site so that it can be found through search engines like Google.
Having a search engine optimized blog is probably the most important factor for making money with your blog. That’s because about 60-75% of website traffic come from search engines (not social media, email or other methods).
As a result, we want to capture YOUR blog’s readers from where they are hanging out the most– search engines!
WordPress is the best blogging platform to ensure that your blog is search engine optimized and that you’ll get readers right from search engines like Google.
Good to Know: There are two version of WordPress: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is the self hosted version and WordPress.com is the non-self hosted version. As we learned above, we want the self hosted version.
You’ll learn below how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost in one easy click!
Where to Host Your WordPress Blog
Now that you know which blogging platform you’ll be using for your blog, you’ll need someplace to host it on, or in other words, you need someplace for your blog to exist on the internet.
That’s where third-party hosting server companies like Bluehost come in.
Bluehost is one of the largest website hosting providers where you can build your WordPress blog in one click, and it’s where I personally built my first travel blog on in 2015!
Why choose Bluehost?
I’ve had two sites on Bluehost: my photography portfolio back in 2009 and my first travel blog back in 2015. Bluehost has been the solid foundation for getting my blogging business off the ground and booming.
Here are the reasons why I chose Bluehost for my first travel blog.
The biggest benefit of Bluehost is that it’s really easy to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost. It really takes only one click.
Bluehost is actually recommended by WordPress!
The second biggest benefit of Bluehost is the cost.
There are three main reasons why affordability is key in the beginning months of your blog:
- If you are slow to start up your blog, you won’t feel like you’re wasting money because Bluehost is so affordable.
- Without the pressure of time and money, you can focus on getting your blog up and running properly.
- If you’re like me when I was first starting a blog, you’re trying to save money and want to be smart about where to invest it. You may want to invest in plugins or a theme so hosting is an area you can save money on.
The third biggest benefit of Bluehost is the 24/7 service.
Starting a blog can be overwhelming, but if you’re like me when I was first starting out, you’ll be using the 24/7 service like it was meant to be used– 24/7.
Since I like to work at night, I’ve called Bluehost many times past 11PM and have gotten my issues resolved in one call.
Downside of Bluehost
I’ve heard of bloggers complain about Bluehost’s service. I’ve always found them to be helpful and the key difference is that I call vs. use their chat service.
I’ve used their chat service and found that calling them (even though I hate calling customer service) is the best way to get the fastest help. You have one person’s undivided attention and can quickly talk about the problem. Their chat service is a bit slower but still good if you’re ok with the lag in response.
It probably helps that I am a bit tech savvy, which helped them understand my problem clearly too. But whether you are tech savvy or not though, they are the hosting company for over 2 million websites, and from experience, can help you through any of your problems. I called them A LOT when I was first starting out. That’s what they’re there for.
Alright! Now that the why and how of WordPress and Bluehost, let’s get into the exact steps of how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
How to Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost the Money Saving Way
Want to save money when starting your blog? I’m going to show you how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost the money saving way.
It basically involves deselecting extra options you don’t need so you can save money and ignoring one of their free offers. Yes, IGNORING one of their free offers, which sounds counterintuitive, but it’ll actually save you money in the future.
Let’s get into this tutorial, which outlines exactly how to start self hosted blog with WordPress on Bluehost while also saving money!
(1) Register for a Domain Name the Money Saving Way
If you don’t know what your domain name is yet, don’t worry! Skip below to learn how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost with or without a domain name.
Bluehost advertises a free domain name when you sign up for their hosting plan, but in the long run, their free domain name ends up costing you more than if you sign up with a domain name through my method.
My method of registering for a domain name takes a few extra steps to sync it to your Bluehost blog but will save you money in the long run and keep your information private without an extra cost.
Getting a domain name with Bluehost is free for the first year BUT Privacy Protection is an extra $12/year for the 1st year and then $15/year for the 2nd year and on.
That means next year, when you have to pay for your domain name with the hosting service because only the first year is free, you will be paying $18 for the domain name AND $15 for the Privacy Protection.
That’s $12 for the first year and $33 total for every year after the first year.
Method #1 to Save Money On Your Domain Name
Buying a domain name with my recommendation is only $8.98/1st year and $13.98/2nd year and on AND it includes Privacy Protection FOR FREE.
That’s only $8.98 for the first year and $13.98 every year after the first year.
Here’s the breakdown
Hosting Plan’s “Free” Domain Name
Year 1 – Domain Name $0 + Privacy Protection $11.88 = $11.88
Year 2 – Domain Name $17.99 + Privacy Protection $15 = $32.99
Year 3 – Domain Name $17.99 + Privacy Protection $15 = $32.99
My Money Saving Recommendation
Year 1 – Domain Name $8.98 + Privacy Protection $0 = $8.88
Year 2 – Domain Name $13.98 + Privacy Protection $0 = $13.98
Year 3 – Domain Name $13.98 + Privacy Protection $0 = $13.98
As you can see, in the long run, getting a domain name beforehand saves money because it includes the very important Privacy Protection for free.
Keep reading for another way to save even more money on your domain name.
Method #2 to Save Money On Your Domain Name
Update March 2022: I don’t think this hack by Lexi one of my students, works anymore 🙁 You can try it but it seems that it gives you the regular renewal rate.
Namecheap used to renew at $10.88 in year two and on, but now it renews at $13.98/year. She found a hack to keep the $8.98/year pricing.
To get your domain name for $8.98/year for the next five years, you can bulk pay for the domain name for five years at once, which is $44.40.
This of course includes privacy protection, and not to get too detailed into search engine optimization (SEO) right now, but some people speculate that the longer you have a domain name, the better it looks to Google and can help with SEO.
Let’s talk about Privacy Protection next and then I will show you how to actually buy your domain name.
Why You Need Privacy Protection
Privacy Protection protects your information and prevents spam.
Basically, when anyone signs up for a website, the public can see information such as name, address and phone number used to sign up for the site.
With Privacy Protection, your contact info won’t be available to the public.
It’s a must-have in my book!
Buying Your Domain Name the Money Saving Way
Now that you know why I am having you buy your domain name beforehand instead of grabbing the free offer by the hosting company I use, let’s sign up for your domain name the right way with Namecheap. See important instructions below.
- Go to NameCheap (click the link here) and type in domain name you decided on.
- Add it to the Cart and go to it.
- Make sure WhoisGuard is enabled!!! This is the Privacy Protection you need. See screenshot above.
- Then hit Confirm Order and follow through the instructions to pay for your domain name.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of your domain name.
Next step is to learn how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
(2) Sign Up to Bluehost the Money Saving Way
1. Click here to get the $3.45/month Bluehost deal.
Select ‘Get Started Now’.
By the way, if you didn’t know, there is a 30-day money back guarantee! If you decide not to go through with blogging within a month, you can get your money back without questions asked.
2. Choose the Basic plan.
You don’t need much more as a beginner blogger.
3. Type in the domain name you got from Namecheap.
If you didn’t get a domain name yet, you can always click “I’ll create my domain later”.
But when you do, make sure to save money in the long-run by NOT opting for Bluehost’s free domain name offer (see above for why Bluehost’s free domain name cost you more money in the future).
4. Fill out account information + uncheck all the boxes.
After you fill out your personal information, uncheck all the package extras. You don’t need them.
This is where you can save money!
5. Set up a WordPress blog on your Bluehost hosting account.
Now that you have a Bluehost account, its website will guide you on how to finish up setting up your account and create a WordPress blog with these easy steps.
Create a password for your Bluehost account.
Login to your Bluehost account with your domain name and password.
If you don’t see the following screenshots as your next steps, it may be because your domain name needs to be connected to your Bluehost account. See directions below.
Pick any theme that is free because this is not important right now. Getting your site started and writing SEO content is the focus.
Follow through these check marks to work through your brand new WordPress blog.
(3) Connect your domain name to your Bluehost account.
Since you bought your domain name at NameCheap to save money, we now need to create a connection between NameCheap, where your domain name is, and Bluehost, where your hosted blog is.
1. Sign into your NameCheap account.
2. Select Domain List from the left sidebar and click the Manage button next to your domain in the list. Then find the Nameservers section and select Custom DNS from the drop-down menu.
3. After that, enter Bluehost’s nameservers one by one in each line:
4. When the nameservers are entered, press the green checkmark to save changes.
Now go to www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin and login with your username and password that you setup via Bluehost.
You should be able to login right away, but sometimes, it takes about 24-48 hours for your domain name to properly connect to Bluehost.
If you feel like it’s taking awhile, call Bluehost to ask them what’s going on. They can usually push it along in minutes.
You should probably call them anyways to make sure your SSL certificate is activated!
Free Help Starting Your WordPress Blog
Need even more help starting your WordPress blog? Join my free Facebook group and ask questions in there!
- TikTok for blogging + social tips @sarah.chetrit
- Facebook Group to ask me anything Blog and Make Money
- Instagram for travel, blogging and Korean food @sarchetrit
Until next time,