How To Start Your Own Personal Blog In 3 Easy Steps

Let me guess:

Since you’ve moved away from home everyone is telling you to start a personal blog.

They want you to share your stories, views and ideas on what you’re doing.

And, if you’re here, you’re thinking that it might just be a damn good idea!

Well let me tell you – it is.

The choice to a personal blog was one of the best that I’ve ever made. It started as a way to keep in touch with people back home, and grew into so much more.

You’ll be able to connect with so many more people that you just couldn’t reach without the internet. And, there’s more good news…

Starting a personal blog couldn’t be simpler or cheaper; there are just three steps you need to follow! (Heck, if I can do it with my thick skull, you’ll have no problems).

In this article I’m going to show you exactly what you need to do to start a personal blog; so take the next 15 minutes to follow the three steps below and get started on your dream!

Step #1: Choosing Your Domain and Hosting

Your domain is where your blog lives on the internet. And, your hosting is what allows it stay online. If you want to imagine it a little like a business, your domain is the company and the hosting is the rented office space.

I recommend using Bluehost for this.

Not only are they the cheapest (I used to get ripped off at £15 a month before switching to them) you can also choose your domain and your hosting at the same time. Two birds with one stone, right?

Head to the Bluehost homepage and click the get started now button.

bluehost home page

You’ll be asked to create a new domain name or enter one you already have. This is the fun part!

The name Deutschified came to me after a lot of brainstorming. What I found worked really well is just to write down lots of different names and see what your gut draws you to.

It could be something to do with what your blog is about like Oh God My Wife Is German!. Or it can be less specific like the Dave’s Travel Corner.

There is also no guarantee that your name will be free, so be sure to have an alternative!

For best results choose a ‘.com’ if you want to appeal to people all over the world, or the ‘.co.uk’ or ‘.de’ equivalent for the country you live in!

choose domain nameYou may then be taken to a price screen that shows you all of the different pricing options. For your expat blog the basic package is all you’re going to need!

start expat blog

Just select your package and add privacy if you want to. (I didn’t do it at first and got four phone calls a day from Nigerian Princes offering me money).

bluehost packing information

You can choose any other extras you want, but you won’t really need them. There is always a free widget you can get later if it comes down to it.

How easy was that?

Now that’s set up, you’ll need to install WordPress. Which brings us squarely to the next step…

Step #2: Setting Up WordPress

WordPress is free and it’s the easiest blogging platform to use. In fact, most of the blogs you read – including this one – are hosted on it.

Once you’ve completed your Bluehost sign up process, you’ll need to go into your site’s dashboard. That screen looks like this:

bluehost dashboard

Go ahead and scroll down to the Website section and click the Install WordPress button.

set up wordpress

Choose the domain you want to install it on (that’ll be the one that you’ve just purchased for your new expat blog).

choose domain

And follow the steps filling out any personal information as you go. You’ll then be met with this screen that shows you your site installing.

installing

Grab yourself a cup of tea (or a beer) while you’re waiting and when you come back you should see a screen like this:

installed wordpress

Click the View Credentials button to make sure everything is in order. And you should be underway! All you have to do is log in to your site.

If you’re not sure how to do that, type your domain name followed by /wp-login/ or /wp-admin/ like in the examples below:

  • http://www.joesexpatblog.com/wp-login/
  • http://www.frankinfrance.fr/wp-admin/

And you’ll be able to use the login information you just created.

Take your time and have a look around the back end of the site. You’ll be able add new posts, new pages and images and type away content to your hearts content.

But you may find that your blog looks, well…a little bare and bland. It’s time to head on to the next step where you can give it your own special flare.

Step #3: Making Your Blog Look Good

This final step lets you take your blog from looking like a basic blog and giving it your own, special flare that says, “Hey, this is my damn blog!”.

The best way to make your new expat blog look good is by giving it a theme. These are pre-made themes that you can customise. Meaning that you don’t need any graphic design knowledge whatsoever to use them.

My personal favourite for this is Themeforest.

They have thousands of themes to choose from. You can get all singing, all dancing, video-playing themes. Or you can get basic text-on-the-screen themes.

Take some time to look around their site and find a theme that you like and purchase it! All you then have to do is follow some simple instructions to upload it to your site. Usually just by uploading a .zip file in the Appearance section of your blog.

And, well…that’s about all there is to it! This entire process can take you less than 15 minutes and you’ll find yourself connecting with readers in no time.

The rest is up to you.

And, if you have any questions about how you should star and expat blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me on:

jamesthinkthings[at]gmail[dot]com

P.S: Can I Send You An Email?

Once a week I send out an email to help you get the most out of Germany. That includes: learning the language, understanding the culture and making sure you make a smooth transition to life here.

You can join 100+ other smart expats by clicking the link right here.