How to start a blog with WordPress

How to start a blog with WordPress

Are you thinking of starting a blog? WordPress is an excellent platform to get started with.

It’s surprisingly simple to create a WordPress blog. That’s why we say you can do it in under 15 minutes. Knowing what you need to do and how you can do it is more important, so we have decided to create a guide on how to start a WordPress blog without any technical knowledge.

Here, we will show you every single step you need to take to start a blog along with screenshots and beginner-friendly instructions. 

Requirements to start a new blog

  • Register your blog domain (give your blog a name)
  • Get a website hosting for your blog 
  • Select a blogging platform 
  • Select one of the best WordPress blog theme 
  • Blog installation: install and configure WordPress, theme and required plugins
  • Blog creation: create must-have pages and your first blog post
  • Blog optimization: optimize SEO, speed, content for better visibility of your blog
  • Blog tracking: start tracking visitors, reach, impression, conversion, performance and more
  • Blog promotion: promote your blog
  • Blog monetization: make money with your blog

Step 1: Register your blog domain (give your blog a name)

Domain – Domain is like your blog’s permanent address. Domains is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. GoDaddy, NameCheap, HostGator, Domain.com, BlueHost, etc are some of the popular domain registrars. To register your blog domain you have two options. Either you can separately register a domain from any domain registrar and buy hosting from another. OR you can register a domain and buy hosting from the same service provider. 

In this article, we are going to register a domain and buy hosting from same service provider i.e BlueHost.

Step 2: Get a website hosting for your blog

Hosting – Hosting is the engine that powers your site. It allows each individual and organizations to post a website or web page onto the Internet.

There are four major types of hosting namely:

  1.  Shared WordPress hosting: Shared WordPress hosting is just a type of hosting plan where your site “shares” resources with other sites on the same server. It is cost-effective and quick to get set up.
  2.  Virtual Private Servers (VPS): Virtual Private Servers is like having your very own virtual machine without a support team. This hosting is not affected by other clients on the server.
  3. WordPress Dedicated Server hosting: With dedicated WordPress hosting, you get an entire server to yourself. You completely have control over the server. It comes with a high level of performance and reliability.
  4. Managed WordPress hosting: Managed WordPress hosting is a set of added services and performance tweaks that sits on top of regular hosting. With this hosting, your website is updated automatically and backed up regularly.

Managed WordPress hosting plan by BlueHost offers all in one marketing center and dashboard, includes SEO, email marketing and social media tools, and is well optimized for fast loading speed. This is all perfect for starting a successful blogging website. Therefore, I chose BlueHost’s Managed WP Hosting. 

Here are other great things about Bluehost:

  • It’s affordable
  • Full security suite and features
  • Official WordPress integration
  • Free domain name when you sign up
  • You can easily install WordPress
  • Beginner Friendly
  • Plenty of Apps and eCommerce plugins support

To get started, Open up Bluehost in a new window and on the header menu click on WordPress >>WP Pro. 

When you land to the Managed WordPress Hosting Plan page, there you will see “Choose Plan” button, click on it. 

Then, you will see different plan comparisons with features, choose a suitable plan for your blogging website. 

Here we choose Build Plan.

Hosting Plan

After you select, it will direct you to a page where you have to set up your domain. 

Register Domain

On the final screen, you’ll need to enter basic account and billing details at the top:

Account InformationAfter that, you’ll see a Package Information section at the bottom where you need to add your account information and finalize the package info to complete the process. You will see the optional extras that you can purchase. It’s up to you whether or not you purchase these, but we generally don’t recommend purchasing them right away.

Package Information

Now that you’ve filled in all of the information, you need to click SUBMIT at the bottom to complete your purchase.

Step 3: Select a blogging platform – here we will go with WordPress

There are numbers of popular blogging platforms. And, here we are exploring the best blogging platforms for newcomers who want to get a blog up and running.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Constant Contact Website Builder
  3. Gator
  4. WordPress.com
  5. Blogger
  6. Tumblr
  7. Medium
  8. Squarespace
  9. Wix
  10. Ghost

We believe that WordPress.org stands out among all other blogging sites because it is simple, easy to use, affordable, and the most flexible of all available blogging platforms.

Here are the reasons why to choose WordPress

WordPress is undoubtedly the world’s most popular blogging software. It was started in 2003, WordPress now powers more than 30% of all websites on the internet.

  • It is an open-source free blogging platform that allows you to build your website or blog within minutes. 
  • It gives you control over every aspect of your website.
  • With wordpress.org, you can grow your blog and add extra features like forums, online store, and paid membership which makes WordPress the best blogging platform to make money.
  • Thousands of free themes are available for WordPress that allows you to create a beautiful website that stands out from the crowd.
  • Also, you can get access to more than 54,000 free plugins which are like apps for your WordPress blog that allow you to add features like contact forms, galleries, etc.
  • It comes with a good number of great SEO plugins for additional features.
  • You can easily create SEO friendly URLs, categories, and tags for your posts.

Here, we will first create the WordPress blogging site in local host, do all the needful configuration and transfer it to live only once everything is ready.

To install WordPress on your computer, first, you need to have a local web server application. In PC, XAMPP or WAMP are mostly used. Let’s begin it with XAMPP.

XAMPP: XAMPP is an open-source, multi-platform web server software subsystem that stands for Cross-Platform (X), Apache(A), MariaDB(M), PHP(P) and Perl(P). It is a simple and intuitive Apache for creating a local webserver. 

To install xampp you should simply go to search engine eg. Google and search for  “Download XAMPP” or directly download XAMPP from Apache friends website.

When your XAMPP is downloaded, just follow the screen instructions and run the installation program. And, you will get to XAMPP Setup Wizard that will guide up for installation. Click the next button.

Now, you have to select the components of the software that you want to install. Essential components to run a local server like Apache and PHP are automatically installed so we can’t select them. Mark the components which you want to install. As we are going to run WordPress, check-in MySQL and phpMyAdmin and uncheck the remaining.

After selecting the folder where you want to install XAMPP. You can place it in any existing folder or create a new one. 

You would ask to install Bitnami for WordPress. And, now your XAMPP is ready to go.

When you are done with your XAMPP installation, lastly it will ask if you want to start the control panel now? Tick the box and click on the finish button. After that, the Control Panel opens and will look as shown in the image below.

Control Panel

To check if the webserver is working well:

  • Open a web browser
  • Type http://localhost/

To check if the database server is working well:

  • Open a web browser
  • Type: http://localhost/PhpMyAdmin/

Everything is good? That’s great!

Now, let’s switch to – WordPress installation.

Firstly, you need to download the latest WordPress version from WordPress.org and unzip the downloaded WordPress in any folder. You can rename unzipped folder – give any name you like.

Copy that folder and go to the XAMPP folder. Open the” htdocs” folder and paste the copied folder in it.

Creating Folder

Now, create your MySQL Database. After that, it will direct you to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/

Click on databases and create the database.

Click the create button, your database is created.

Once your database is created, now you’re ready to install WordPress.

  • Open your browser
  • Type name of the folder in which you put downloaded WordPress files after http://localhost/ so it should look like: http://localhost/wptest/
  • Select your language
  • Click to submit button
  • Click on Run Install button
  • Fill an installation form
  • Click on Install WordPress button

After installation, you will receive a success message.

Now, you can go with the WordPress backend dashboard by clicking on the Login Button.

Simply, enter the username and password that you have set and enjoyed WordPress.

Migrate it to live site

Here are the steps to Migrate it to live site

  • Login to your hosting cPanel 
  • Create a database
  • Export your local database
  • Import the database file to the database created in your server via cPanel (PHPMyAdmin)
  • Now upload the files to your server via FTP or cPanel.
  • Open the wp-config.php file in the root directory and configure the database details
  • Open your Database and search for options table and then in the first and second row, there is site URL and home URL where you will find the local site URL and replace those values with your live site URL.

Step 4: Select one of the best WordPress blog theme

When you go to choose a WordPress theme, you’ll have an option to pick between free and premium themes. There’s no huge difference between the two, but definitely premium themes have more detailed designs and features.

The best place to search for free themes is the official WordPress Repository

Some good options are to find premium themes:

ThemeForest: It’s a huge directory for premium themes.

StudioPress: It is the most popular mobile-responsive themes and design framework for WordPress. 

Step 5: Blog installation: install and configure WordPress, theme and required plugins

Once you’ve got a theme that you love, WordPress makes it easy to add that theme to your site. 

Here’s how:

  • Click Appearance
  • Select Themes
  • Click the Add New button

How to install WordPress theme

  • If you chose a free theme at WordPress.org, you just need to search for the theme by name and click Install.
  • If you want to purchase a premium theme, click the Upload Theme button and upload the ZIP file you should have received when you purchased the theme.

Installing WordPress theme

After installing your theme, you need to click the Activate button to make it active on your site.

Customize your WordPress Blog theme

To further customize your theme, you can use the WordPress Customizer that lets you make certain tweaks to your theme without needing to know code.

To do so, you can go to Appearance → Customize:

How to customize theme

A different set of options appears in the left sidebar. But in general, you can:

  • Modify the theme by using the options on the left
  • See a real-time preview on the website preview on the right
  • Make your changes live by clicking Save & Publish
  • Site icon or logo, in the ‘Site Identity’ tab

Set of option in right sidebar

If you need a more detailed guide, here is a full post on how to use the WordPress Customizer.

Required WordPress Themes for Blogging

When it comes to appearances, plugins are more focused on helping you add functionality to your blog.

When you first create a WordPress blog, you pretty much only have the ability to write blog posts and create pages but plugins let you add more advanced functionality like:

  • Contact forms
  • Social network buttons
  • Backups
  • Improved SEO

Thinking of a feature, there’s probably a plugin for it because the WordPress community offers over 50,000 free plugins and thousands of premium plugins.

Where to find the best WP plugins?

Same as themes, you can find both free and premium plugins. 

Similar to the themes, the best place to look for free plugins is at the official WordPress.org plugin directory.

The simple way to search Google for something like “best X plugin” and buy from a well-known developer. Most of the free plugins listed at WordPress.org also offer premium versions with more features.

Must-have WordPress plugins to start Blogging website

There are numbers of plugins that are only good for specific uses, there are some must-have WordPress plugins that all sites, including blogs, can benefit from. 

Some of our suggestions:

  • Updraft Plus WordPress Backup Plugin
  • Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights
  • WP Super Cache
  • Yoast SEO
  • Wordfence Security
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • Social Media Share Buttons & Analytics
  • WPForms

Installation of WordPress plugins

Here’s the quick version about how to install WordPress Plugins.

  • Click Plugins → Add New

How to install plugin

  • If you chose a free plugin at WordPress.org, search for the plugin by name and click Install Now.
  • If you choose a premium plugin, click the Upload Plugin button and upload the ZIP file you should have received when you purchased the plugin.

Plugin Installation

After installing it, make sure to Activate the plugin.

Also, you can always manage your existing plugins by going to the Plugins tab:

Plugins tab

After installing the theme and all other plugins required, now you are just a step away to live your first blog post.

Step 6: Blog creation: create must-have pages and your first blog post

If this is your first blogging website, you might wonder what are the most important pages that you must have on your blog? Pages allow you to add information about your blog without affecting your regular blog post schedule. 

  • Must have pages

  1. About Page

It is a must-have page for almost all websites on the internet. This page can be named “About Us” or “About Me” depending on whether you have a business blog or a single-author personal blog. This page lets tell users about people behind the website, its purpose, mission, values, and what users should expect to find on your blog. 

  1. Contact Page

The contact page allows users to quickly and easily send you a message or learn how to connect with you without leaving a public comment on your blog. Adding a contact form makes it easy for users to contact you. 

  1.   Privacy Policy Page

It basically informs users about the data you collect on your website as well as how you and other third parties may use this data. Mostly, if you are using Google Ad Sense then you are required to add a privacy policy page to your website.

  1. Start Here Page

When your blog starts getting older, you will have a lot more content to showcase on your front-page, which leave new users a bit confused about how they can make the most out of your blog. And, this is where a Start Here page comes in handy.

The main purpose of this page is to introduce new users to your most useful content.

  1. Archives Page

WordPress automatically creates a date, category, and tag-based archives. The information is scattered across different pages and may not allow your users to get a bird’s eye view of your most valuable content, this is where a custom archives page comes in. 

This page can be used to display your popular posts, compact archives, top categories, tags, and more.

  • Your first blog post

Now, let’s watch over just how easy it is to write a blog post on your new website.

After you log in to your blog’s WordPress dashboard, you should see a screen like this:

First Blog Post

  • Click Posts
  • Click Add New

How to write a blog

It launches the WordPress Editor that lets you write your blog posts using a really intuitive block system.

To add text, all you need to do is just click and type. For other content – like an image or an embedded YouTube video, you can add new “blocks”. 

Add blocks

From here you can add, edit and style all the contents for your blog. After everything is done, just hit the “Publish” button on the top right sidebar. 

And congratulations, you just lived your first blog post. 

What next after creating Blog?

Step 7: Blog optimization

Having a knowledge of how to optimize your content and increase your website speed, you can provide a better user experience for your visitors and increase your chances of ranking higher in the search engines.

  • Code Optimization: Code Optimization is any method of modifying code to improve code quality and efficiency.
  • Speed: Speed refers to how fast your website loads when someone manually types in the URL or clicks on a link that directs them to your site. It’s been shown that users who can search faster are happier. So, evaluating your site speed is a must. 
  • SEO Optimized:  It is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website. If you believe marketing is an investment in your business, then you must invest in search engine optimization regularly to ensure you stay visible.
  • Installing High-Quality SEO Plugins: Among all Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO Pack are quality SEO plugins that help you optimize your content. It helps search engines to understand the context of the page. 

Step 8: Blog tracking

Blog tracking means measuring the performance of your blog on a different basis.

Google Analytics Tracking Code: The Analytics tracking code is a snippet of JavaScript that collects and sends data to Analytics from a website. It may be directly added directly to the HTML of each page on your site, or indirectly using a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager.

  • SERP ranking (search engine results page): SERP stands for search engine results page. Your ranking is where you show up when someone searches for something relevant to you. 
  • Returning visitors: You will always have first-time visitors. In order to increase your traffic, you certainly want new people coming to your site all the time. Email is mostly returning visitors since they are people who came and subscribed.
  • Social sharing: When visitors see that an article is being shared a lot, they assume that the content is very valuable. It’s a strong indicator that they should read it. So, the social share is an important blog tracker.

Step 9: Blog promotion: promote your blog

Creating great content is often not enough. You must know how to promote that great content, too.   

If the promotion is not done in the right way, you’re going to end up wasting a lot of the hard work that goes into the content of your awesome web site.

Here, we are going to tell you how to effectively promote your blog.

    • Build your email list: Building your email list is the best way to turn organic traffic into engaged readers who constantly see the stuff you’re publishing and keep coming back to your blog. 
    • Send emails to launch your new posts: Sending an email to your list let your subscribers know you published something new. It gives us a nice launching point at CoSchedule to amplify social sharing from our most loyal audience, which helps us increase pageviews from the very beginning. 
    • Send an email newsletter: Sending an email newsletter is a great way to remind your subscribers to check out your content.
    • Facebook: Facebook is undoubtedly the largest social networking website. Most of the online businesses are running completely on referral traffic from Facebook, so we can’t ignore the importance of Facebook for the promotion of our blogs.
    • Guest Blogging: Guest Blogging help you drive targeted traffic and build SEO backlinks. It has become one of the best ways to generate backlinks to your blog.

Step 10: Blog monetization – make money with your blog

The main thing a lot of WordPress users struggle with is how to monetize their blog. While there are dozens of ways to monetize your blog, there really are 10 core methods that will help you earn a healthy income from your efforts.

  • Pay Per Click Advertising:  It’s easy for you to guess from the name how you monetize your blog from this method. With this method, you get paid for every click a visitor makes on these ads. You need to sign up to a provider and they give you a code for you to place on your site. After that, the provider will send contextual ads to your site that are relevant to the content of your website. PPC ads vary in profitability depending on the amount of traffic your website gets. To earn a lot of money from them you will need a lot of traffic.
  • Text Link Ads: Text Link Ads allows you to place text-based ads within the text of your articles. For a hint, if you are writing an article about a certain software, you can place text-link ads within your posts that would refer your viewers to that particular product. It’s quite good as it offers a non-intrusive way to monetize your blog that won’t put off your readers.
  • In-text Ads:  This method is quite similar to the above text link ads. ‘In-text ads’ are adverts that are placed inside your text content such as articles or blog posts. Here, you can sign up to an In-text advertising provider that will place sponsored links within your text.
  • Advertising Widgets: Advertising Widgets is relatively new on the scene. It easily placed onto a website without any hassle, which displays a mixture of PPC, text link ads and affiliate programs.
  • Advertising Space: By using this method, you can monetize your blog by selling space on your website for advertisers to display a banner. It allows you to cut out the middleman and charge what you want for other people to advertise on your site.
  • Affiliate Marketing: This method is the best way to monetize your blog if it is done in the right way. You can get a commission with every sale that resulted from your recommendation, with this type of marketing. 
  • Product Reviews: Using this method, you can write detailed reviews about products and publish them on your site. It is better to review products that are related to your website, as you are catering to your target audience. 
  • Pop-ups/Lightboxes: Pop-ups is also a good way to monetize your blog. If it is executed in the right way, they work amazingly. 
  • Write Tutorials & Guides: Writing tutorials and guides can not only establish you as an authority in your niche but also can make you earn some money as well. There are many people who would want to learn what you already know. So, why not write a tutorial about it and then sell it on your website.
  • Email Marketing: Email Marketing is the most important thing you should do while running your blog or website. This is the best strategies to monetize your blog or website. With email marketing, you can sell your product, can promote other product (affiliate marketing) and can get your readers to feedback whenever you want. 

Here’s the list of email marketing software. 

  • MailChimp
  • Aweber
  • After Offers

Conclusion

And that’s it! We hope that your initial blog set up is now finished and ready to go, and all that should have been easy.

If you get stuck or have any questions for us about how to create a blog, leave a comment below. We’ll help you out with any problems.

Enjoy your new blog!

Also, Check out,

99 Best Free WordPress Blog Themes 2019

99 Best Free WooCommerce Themes 2019

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