Are you a handyman or handywoman? Why not share your DIY adventures online. Maybe even generate some extra passive income.
Starting your own DIY blog is a lot easier than you might think.
All you need to do is talk about what you are up to, what projects you are working on or even just use your blog to share online resources that you like to use and read.
I started this blog back in 2007 as a test to see what this whole blogging thing was about. There are times I write a lot and there are times I disappear completely for a while. I have been offered products to write reviews about and I have also made some passive income through Google and Amazon… not a lot, but a few dollars a week still helps pay some bills.
So if you’ve seen other sites that you like and thought that one day you would like to do something similar, just set a aside a few minutes and get started with the simple step by step instructions I will list below on “How to Start your own Blog in Under 10 minutes“.
What you need to get started
- A Credit Card (this will be cheap so don’t worry)
- A Domain Name or URL : is the address of your website. e.g. http://www.yoursite.com
- Website Hosting : is the home of your website. It’s basically a hard drive somewhere where your website files are stored.
- WordPress: This is the Content Management System that makes it super easy to manage your site.
- A Website Theme: this is the design of your site
Step 1: Register your Domain Name
Your Domain Name (URL) is how people find you on the web. Some people register their name as the Domain. e.g. “www.johndoe.com”. Or you can register an name that has some meaning to what your site will be about, just like I did “www.ozdiyhandyman.com.au” (The .au part is because this is an Australian domain registration).
Registering a domain name is easy and free, as the hosting company I use gives you a Free domain name when you sign up.
Step 2: Set Up a Hosting Account
Hosting is the home of your website/blog. It’s basically a big hard drive where all your website files are saved, and set up to be accessible to anyone who types in your domain name. Hosting is just renting space on the hard drive to store your files.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of hosting companies to choose from, but for ease of use, affordability and reliability, I recommend using the same hosting company I use for the Oz DIY Handyman site. That hosting company is Bluehost.
- Bluehost makes it easy to register your domain name.
- Bluehost make it easy to set up your hosting (and also have a simple WordPress install set up which you will read about in the next step).
- They have excellent customer service, that I have experienced myself here in Australia.
- Bluehost is very affordable. Hosting is only $3.95 per month, which includes a free domain name.
- Bluehost are a large company and have been around a long time
- Plus they are the Number 1 recommended hosting service by WordPress itself.
The above link will open up a new window so you can still access these instructions. Then click the green “get started now” button.
2. Choose your plan.
The $3.95 per month plan is plenty for now.
3. Choose a New Domain Name
Enter the domain name that you would like for your blog and click Next. Or if you already own a domain name that you would like to use enter that into the other section.
4. Sign Up and Place Your Order
Fill in all your Account information. This will all be pretty straight forward as you go along.
“Congratulations your purchase was successful” is what you will see next. Now it’s time to set up a Password. Click on the Create a Password link. In the Manage Your Password section, type in your password, or use the Password Generator to create a strong password for you. Make sure you select and copy this password. Then click the Create button.
5. Account Login
Add your login details and click the Submit button. You may now see other upgrade offers, but just decline and click through to the next section. You should now get a couple of pop-up windows. “Welcome to Bluehost” with 2 choices “I can do it” or “do it for me”. Click the “I can do it” button. Then “These might help” with a selection of links. Just click the “take me to cPanel” button.
You will now be in the cPanel section. By the way cPanel stands for “Control Panel”.
You have registered a Domain Name and set up Hosting. Now it’s time to install WordPress.
You have registered a Domain Name and set up Hosting. Now it’s time to install WordPress.
In the Website Builders section of cPanel, click the WordPress logo. you should now get a window that says:
“GIVE US A MINUTE! We are checking your sever requirements”.
After all the requirements have been checked, you will get a new Install Screen.
Simply click the Install button to proceed.
Now, you should get an error message where WordPress is just double checking that you haven’t loaded something on the server previously, which will be overwritten with this new WordPress installation.
“Oops. Looks like something already exists there. I understand that continuing will overwrite the files.” Select “Directory Exists! I understand that continuing will overwrite files.” This is a brand new set up so there is nothing to overwrite.
The next screen asks you to “Select which domain you would like to install to:“. Your domain should already be selected in the dropdown selector.
Click the Check Domain button to continue.
“Last Step, You’re almost there!” is the next window. You need to click the “I have read the terms and conditions…” checkbox. Don’t worry about the “Show advanced options” bit.
Click the Install Now button to begin installing all the WordPress files.
Next will be the “Install Processes” screen showing the installation status. Be patient at this point. This could take a few minutes.
When it has finished you will get the “Installation complete! You can access your new website using the following information:”
This is all the information you need to access your new website, and also the Admin back-end where you can start writing posts and making changes. Bluehost will email you all this info, but I usually take a screenshot of this window as a backup.
Now you can simply click on the “Site URL:” link to open up your new site in a new browser window.
What you see is not very impressive at this stage. By default WordPress installs a pretty basic theme just to get you started.
Now click on the “Login URL:” link to go to the Admin area that will give you access to the WordPress backend. Enter your login username and password, and select the “Remember me” checkbox to save you from having to enter your login details every time.
You should now find yourself in the backend “WordPress Dashboard”. This is where you get to control every aspect of your site, from writing articles, adding images and changing the design of your site.
Write Your First Blog Post
Now that you are in the WordPress Dashboard, let’s write a blog post.
In the menu on the left hand side click on “Posts“.
As you can see there is already 1 blog post that WordPress included called “Hello World!”.
You would have also seen this post when you first clicked on your Site URL link.
Now lets add another post. Click the “Add New” menu item. The “Add New Post” window shows.
Give your post a Title. Then add some text into the field below the Title area.
Now if you click the “Publish” button, the post will be saved and go live, meaning it will be visible on the site immediately.
Alternatively you can click the “Save Draft” button, which will save the post but not Publish it until you are ready for it to be visible on the site.
For this post just click “Publish” and go to the site and see your first post in all its glory.
Install a New WordPress Theme
As I’m sure you have noticed, the WordPress theme that was installed by default is pretty boring and ordinary.
If you go to the menu and select “Appearance“, you will see the “Themes” menu item appear. Click this to see all the installed themes that exist. You should see 3 themes, with the theme called “Twenty Fourteen” as the “Active” one. You can easily make any of these 3 Active and see the appearance of your site change.
I recommend getting a Premium WordPress theme from a site like “Themeforest“. They have a huge selection of quality themes to choose from. From my experience all the themes I have purchased have had amazing support to any questions that I have come across.
After purchasing a WordPress theme from Themeforest, simply go to your Themes menu item and click the “Add New” button at the top. Find your new theme that you downloaded onto your desktop, and import it. Once it is installed, make the new theme “Active” and start customizing the theme to your own style. The theme will come with it’s own set of instructions on how to customise it to your individual requirements.
The Next Steps
There is plenty still to do to get the site looking how you want it to.
You need to Add your Logo, customize some colors, add pages, add plugins to give your blog additional functionality.
If something in these steps is a bit unclear, just contact me in the comments below