If you are reading this and thinking "heeeyyyyy, this isn't a delicious or scrumptious vegan recipe!", then never fear, more recipes are coming right after this. If, however, you are thinking "I wonder how easy it would be to start my own blog?", then this is the post for you!
Every now and then I get a question from a reader, wondering how they can start their own blog, so I designed this simple guide with step by step instructions and pictures to have you up and blogging in less than 15 minutes! It's so quick and easy to get started, IF you know what you are doing.
I WISH I had this guide when I started my blog, because I promise you I made every single mistake a blogger can make. I started on the wrong platforms, I had to move all of this data from one place to the next, point information in several different directions, and have deleted my entire site by accident, more than once. Take it from me, unless you are super savvy coder, (I am so jealous of your savvy-ness), then this is the guide you will want to follow. Whether you are starting a food blog, or any other kind of blog, the steps are the same. Step by step, easy peasy, screen shots all the way, here we go, start your engines....
Please note, this page contains affiliate links. So if you click and then purchase something, I will get a commission at no cost to you. This helps support the work I do on It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken. All of the products I personally use (unless indicated) and recommend because they are great tools and have helped me create It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken.
Get a Bluehost account
What is Bluehost you ask? (Maybe you didn't but lets you pretend you did). Bluehost is basically a service that will rent you space on the internet for your blog to hang out. It's great because you can share space with other bloggers so it isn't as expensive. Think of it like having roommates, except they are roommates that you never see. Then if your blog out-grows the roommates you can always move out and upgrade to a single apartment, or maybe even a house! Either way, you need a place for your blog to live, so lets get that started.
1. To get a Bluehost account click here.
Then click the Get Started Now button.
2. Next you need to choose a plan. As you are just starting out, I recommend getting the Starter plan (obvious, isn't it?).
3. Now the most difficult/most fun part, choose your domain name! What would you like your domain to be called? Mine is itdoesnttastelikechicken.com. Yours can be whatever your heart desires! (As long as it isn't taken). It took me some thinking to come up with mine, once you have an idea, enter it in the box and see if it is available. If it is, hooray! Move onto the next step, if not, try again until you come up with a domain name that you like and is available.
4. Then you will need to fill in your account information, first name, last name, etc.
Below that you will find this Package Information section. Make sure that the Starter plan is selected. The next options are up to you, but I chose Domain Privacy and Site Backup Pro as add ons.
Domain Privacy mean that you are hiding your address and phone number from being easily looked up by anyone interested, (always a good thing in my mind).
Your site is automatically backed up to some degree with Bluehost (yay!) but I like the extra options Site Backup Pro gives me. I have used it more than once to fix mistakes I made to code along the way. If you are unsure you can always add it on later.
5. At the bottom of the page enter your billing information and we're on to the next page.
Congratulations! Cue the marching ban, you officially own your domain, it's all yours and no one else can take it, muhahaha. Pat yourself on the back, shake your booty, and when you are done celebrating, come back to Install WordPress.
WordPress is an amazingly awesome FREE tool that lets you work on your blog behind the scenes. This is what I use to create posts, edit the look of my site, answer comments, and just about every single thing I do on It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken. It's very easy to use and to install. So lets get installing.
1. Once you signed up with Bluehost, you will be presented with a page full of lots of icons. Look for a section called "website" or "website builders" then find and click the Install WordPress button.
2. Let's go with the do it yourself option, (trust me it sooo easy), so click Install.
3. Then click Check Domain.
4. Then check the terms and conditions box and click Install Now.
You've installed WordPress! See it was that easy.
5. Let's login to your brand shiny new WordPress site. Click the View Credentials button at the top right of the screen, and below it will show you your URL, the Admin URL, your Username, and your Password. Save this information. You can change your username and password later if you like. Click the link to take you to your Admin URL. You will want to bookmark this link, as this is where you will need to go anytime you want to post something or change anything on your blog.
6. Once you click the Admin URL, you will be brought to this login box. Enter the Username and Password you were provided and log in to WordPress.
Welcome to the behind the scenes look at your blog. Ooo, ahhh. You officially have a blog! Yay! Only problem is that it isn't very pretty yet. So let's dress it up.
Step 3. Design your blog.
You will need to install a theme. A theme sets up an overall layout and style of your site. When you are choosing a theme, keep in mind that what is shown are previews, you will be adding your own imagery and text, and can change colours or any details you like later on. So focus on the overall flow of the theme, where the buttons are, the fonts, the layout, etc. to make your decision.
Free WordPress themes: WordPress has tons of free themes that you can find right here. I started my blog with a free theme that I don't even remember what it was called anymore, because it was oh so long ago. It wasn't long before I upgraded to a premium theme.
If you want to go very fancy pants (and I definitely like fancy pants), you can get a paid theme. On It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, I use the Genesis Framework.
Once I installed that, I purchased Foodie Pro Theme. This is whats called a child theme, because it uses Genesis Framework as a base, and then it adds all of these great styles and options on top of that, which are perfect for a food blogger. Now, I'm not going to lie, it's not cheap, but I lurve it, so that was a-ok for me. There are lots of great child themes that use Genesis Framework as a base, so feel free to browse WordPress themes here.
Find your own theme. There are a ton of sites that sell themes for WordPress. A great place to find some unique themes is on Etsy. Some of the themes are just too cute for words (but cute enough for blogs)! They range greatly in price, so you can find something that suits your budget.
Here are a few cute ones I found that are specifically for food blogging. (If you want to start a different kind of blog, you can go to Etsy, and search "WordPress Themes" to browse all sorts of pretty themes).
Click any of the pictures below to take you directly to the theme shown.
Note: I haven't tried any of these themes myself.
Every theme has different directions to install it and set it up, so make sure your read the directions carefully.
That's it! Done! Finto! Now let your personality shine and start blogging your heart away.
Please share your blogs in the comments, I would love to see them all.