Helleu friends!

Back in 2011, I was obsessed with reading mommy blogs. I was single, in the “casually alcoholic” phase of my early twenties, and working full-time in a job I was busting my ass at, and would quit only one year later.

Even though I had nothing in common with the women, man, did I ever respect their craft. Every post hooked me, from the pictures of their sticky-faced children, to their PicMonkey’d outfit collages and Pinterest inspo posts. I didn’t even know I was clicking on affiliate links!! Or what an affiliate link WAS!

I very badly wanted to be a blogger, but I found myself waffling: what would I talk about? I didn’t have kids, and, at the time, I was couch-surfing in the middle of a very bad break-up. There was nothing for me to flatlay. Hell, as a Canadian, I didn’t even have Target. (RIP, sweet prince.)

When I finally – FINALLY – decided to bite the bullet and launch what was my then blog, Modernette, in 2012, I thought, “Fuck. Why did I wait so long??!”

Starting a blog is not scary. I promise.

Yes, you will learn a lot. You will need to figure things out. You’ll break stuff, and panic, and swear. But it will be YOURS. You will grow your blog, from day one, and you will reap the rewards – whether creative or monetary – as they come.

So let’s do it.

I called this a “no bullshit” guide, because I trimmed a lot of the “later days” fat out.

For example, I don’t believe that you need to choose a niche on day one. I know that’s a controversial statement, but let me tell you why I advocate for niche-less beginners:

You will find your niche as you go.

That’s it. Yes, you do need to have an understanding about the type of content you want to create, and a general idea of the type of person you’re going to market to. What I don’t want you to do is overthink.

Every single blogger you read went through a beginner’s growth phase. I GUARANTEE IT. You will not see success right out of the gate. It will take you some time to cultivate your platform and find your coven. And that’s exactly what you need to do to be successful long-term.

What we’re going to do today, is concentrate on creating your platform the right way, from hosting, to WordPress, to best WordPress SEO practicers for beginners. At this point, this is where you should be spending your time. Worry about your niche later.

First: Register for a Google Drive or Dropbox account

Why: Being organized from day one is going to save you so much time later. A lot of files and documents go into the backend of blogging, all of which you’ll want to be able to a) easily access and b) have backed up in case of a harddrive crash.

How: Sign up for a Google Drive or a Dropbox account. While both platforms are extremely comparable, you’ll get more free storage space with Google Drive.

Once you’ve signed up for an account and set-up the automatic back up tool on your computer, you’ll want to create a few folders. Here’s how I have mine set up:

Start a Blog: The No Bulls#!t Guide for Beginners | To The Wild Co | Start a blog with these easy tips and strategies that won't kill your vibe or your bank account.

BUT you can do whatever works best for you! I would recommend having different folders for your branding, content, and internal documents, and then tweaking and moving files around as needed. Always keep back-up files of your writing, WordPress (we’ll get to that later), and graphic elements.

No-bullshit tip: Keep an individual folder for each project you work on – ebooks, challenges, email series, etc. It makes finding specific files easy as pie.

Second: Choose your domain name and social media accounts

Why: Your domain name (yourblog.com) is how your visitors will find you, and registering your social media accounts is a good practice, even if you don’t plan on using those platforms to promote.

How: Thoughtfully!! This was, without a doubt, the hardest part of the blog creation process for me.

For the most part, you’ll be looking at one of three options: yourname.com, yourbrand.com, or yourbusinessname.com. If you have no idea where to start, I recommend grabbing a piece of paper and a pen, and brainstorming a list of words that appeal to you. I use Thesaurus.com a lot a lot when naming new projects.

Once you’ve got some words down, start mix and matching. Join words with “and”, “&” and “+”. Add “Co.”, “The”, and “Blog” to the beginning and end, if you want. Use Nameboy and Dot-o-mator if you get stuck.

Now that you’ve got some domain options, search for them in a domain lookup tool to make sure they’re available. If your .com has already been taken, check out other options like .co – but stay away from .net and .org, as they’re a little dated.

After choosing your domain name, use a tool like Namechk to make sure your username is available across all platforms. At the very least, you want identical usernames across Pinterest, Facebook Pages, Twitter, and Instagram.

No-bullshit tip: Make sure you do a quick search for your chosen blog name before moving onto the next step! You wanna make sure there are no other same-or-similar sounding websites that will compete with you in Google Search listings in the future.

Third: Register with your hosting provider

Why: Your hosting provider will rent you the space you need to display your content online.

How: First, you’ll need to identify the hosting provider you like best. My favorite is SiteGround. I’ve been with these guys since November 2016, and I can’t say enough great things about them. To read more about my experiences with my previous hosting providers – including Bluehost – check this post out.

To read what my thoughts are after a year+ of service, check my SiteGround review post out.

Here are the questions I wanted answers to before signing up with SiteGround:

Q: How much does SiteGround cost?

It depends on the plan you choose, but generally, plans start around $40/year for your first year, and move up from there with the larger plans. To get my affiliate discount, use this link.

Q: What can I expect from SiteGround customer support?

Everything. I’m not even exaggerating. I have emailed the SiteGround customer support team at 2AM PST, and received a response and resolution to my problem within the hour. SiteGround offers chat, email, and phone support.

Q: I see a lot of bloggers recommending Bluehost. What’s up with that?

Bluehost used to be great. I used Bluehost – happily – for a number of years. In 2011, Bluehost was acquired by EIG. EIG has a very bad reputation of ruining all of the small webhosts it acquires, and its Bluehost deal was no different. If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend this post.

Ready to sign up with SiteGround? Awesome! It’ll take 2 steps:

Start a Blog: The No Bulls#!t Guide for Beginners | To The Wild Co | Start a blog with these easy tips and strategies that won't kill your vibe or your bank account | Register for SiteGround Hosting Step-by-Step Guide

First, you need to choose the “Get a new hosting account” and “Register a New Domain” options. Enter your brand new domain name into the field underneath, and then scroll down a little bit to choose your plan.

SiteGround has three plan options: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. I recommend starting with StartUp, and then moving to GrowBig once your traffic increases. Tip: StartUp only allows for one domain, so if you have immediate plans for a second blog, GrowBig will work better for you.

Start a Blog: The No Bulls#!t Guide for Beginners | To The Wild Co | Start a blog with these easy tips and strategies that won't kill your vibe or your bank account | Register for SiteGround Hosting Step-by-Step Guide

The second (and last) thing you’ll need to do is provide your payment details, and either opt into or out of SiteGround’s extra features. Using this link, you’ll save 60% off your first year of hosting. From there, you can also add SiteGround’s Domain Privacy feature, or their SG Site Scanner.

I always opt into the Domain Privacy feature, because it keeps your domain registration information (so, your name and billing address) unlisted. If you don’t get Domain Privacy – and this is with any host, not just SiteGround – anyone can look up your details with a DNS lookup tool. I’ve never opted into SiteGround’s SG Site Scanner, because I use an alternate WordPress plugin for security.

No-bullshit tip: You don’t need the fanciest SiteGround hosting plan right out of the gate. When I first signed up with SiteGround, I went with their StartUp shared hosting plan. I didn’t upgrade to the next level (GrowBig) for over a year!

Fourth: Install WordPress in one click with SiteGround

Why: WordPress is the platform you’ll use to build your site, and publish your content.

How: We’ll use the SiteGround auto-installer to get WordPress up and running on your domain. First thing you’ll need to do is log into your SiteGround User Area. Once you’re in your user area, you’ll click your My Account tab, and then the red Go to CPanel button directly below it:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

After getting into your CPanel, scroll down to the Autoinstallers section and click the WordPress option:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

You’ll find a little blurb about what WordPress is at the top of the next screen, and an Install Now link directly under it. Click on Install Now. This will be the “hardest part” but once you get going, it’s really not difficult at all!

Here’s what the installation page will look like:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

This page looks like a LOT, but here’s how it breaks down:

Choose Protocol: https
Choose Domain: Select your .com address (if you have more than one)
In Directory: If you want your blog to be accessible at yourdomain.com, leave blank. If you want your blog to be accessible at yourdomain.com/blog, enter “blog” or whichever word you’d like to use.

Site Name: Your blog’s name
Site Description: A short description of your content – you can change this later!
Enable Multisite: Leave unchecked unless you know what you’re doing

Admin Username: Your email address or preferred username
Admin Password: Your chosen password
Admin Email: Your alternate email address (preferably one not associated with your domain)

Choose Language: Your language
Select Plugins: Leave both unchecked
Choose a Theme to Install: None

Advanced Options: Leave as-is

That’s it! Now click the Install button. The Autoinstaller will do its thing:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

And leave you with a page that includes your WordPress login information:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

You’ll also receive a copy of your login info via email, to the address entered during the auto-installation process. I recommend bookmarking your /wp-admin address at this point, just to make it really easy to find and access!

Go ahead and click your /wp-admin link, and you’ll be taken to your new WordPress install!!:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

That’s it! You’re ready to go. From here, you can install some WordPress plugins, find yourself a theme that suits your brand best (I really, 100% recommend Divi – it’s how I build all my blogs and landing pages!) and start writing your first post.

Did you enjoy this post? Please pin using the images below!:

Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks
Start a Blog: The No Bull Guide | Install WordPress Using SiteGround with 3 Clicks

My major business goal for 2018 is to cut down on the number of opt-ins and email buy-ins I’m offering. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted and entirely OVER having to “sell” my email address just for one spreadsheet or .pdf file.

Want to read more blogging related content from me? AWESOME. I can help you with that! Add your name and email to the list below, and I’ll send you a quick note when I have something new, and blog-y to share with you.

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