I often get asked how to successfully start a blog, so I wanted to give a step-by-step guide on how to start WordPress blog. WordPress is my favorite blogging application. It can be complex at first but after you start learning and using it, it becomes very easy. I know this will be a great tool for many people wanting to get into blogging, but aren’t quite sure the steps to do so. When I first began blogging, nearly a year ago, I had no idea what I was doing or even if the way I was going about it was correct. However, I did tons of research and learned from many trial-and-error mistakes, finally learning the most affordable and most efficient way to get started blogging.
How to Start A WordPress Blog: A Step-By-Step Guide
1. Choose Your Niche
If you’ve been researching blogging for a while now you are probably sick of hearing the word niche. Though I will tell you, it is the MOST important step before you create and publish your blog. With so many people in the blogging business, it is important to identify a topic you are extremely passionate about. Though travel is a “niche”, it is VERY broad, you will never be found by simply writing about general travel. More specific topics would be: Italian Travel, Luxury Travel, Introvert Travel, Female Solo Travel, the list goes on and on- these are surefire ways to build an audience fast, as well as easily be found on the web.
2. Hosting Your Website/ Creating Your .com
This is a very important step, as choosing your domain name can ultimately make or break you in the long run. Choosing a name which is short and memorable, but will help you stand out among all the others in your niche is very important. You want a name that is easy to spell and also easy to remember, as when you tell people you would like them to easily be able to access it and return to it time and time again without any problem. Choosing a name like “Alice in Asia” is great, but what happens when you want to talk about other places you’ve traveled other than Asia?
There are many websites which offer hosting. My favorite is Bluehost, as it is extremely affordable and easy to navigate. Bluehost offers 24/7 live chat support and also makes it very easy to Install WordPress with a “one click” button (WordPress is an application which helps you build your website). When you arrive to the Bluehost webpage and are ready to begin the process of starting a blog, click the “Get Started Now” button to easily, well, get started.
(A lot of beginning bloggers make the mistake of hosting their website on “free” hosting websites I.E. Blogger, Tumblr, Weebly, Wix, etc, though this may be a great way to learn to write content, practice, and of course you don’t have to pay anything, you have to keep in mind- free hosting sites, publish your content on their platform- meaning you do not own it, they do.)
When purchasing a 12 month plan with Bluehost, the domain is free for the first year. Bluehost is what “hosts” your website on the web, allowing people to view your website. If you would like to move forward, having your free domain with Bluehost for the first year, simply type your chosen domain name in the box and see if it is available.
After getting started, you will be directed to a sign up now page, this is where you can make the decision of getting your domain name/.com through Bluehost (1 year free domain) or using another site to purchase your domain and transferring it over. I used Bluehost to purchase my domain, I think it is the best option.
There are many additional add on options, though as a beginner you do not need to worry about any of these add on’s.
Some tips when purchasing your domain are:
-Try to avoid hyphens- its harder for people to remember
-Research the name you choose and make sure no other bloggers have similar names
-Try to avoid overused words in your niche
-Keep it short, sweet, and professional
-Choose a .com name, not only is it easy for people to remember but it will ultimately drive more traffic to your site
-Check social media profiles and make sure it’s not already taken there
After setting up Bluehost you will be directed to your C-panel-anytime you login to Bluehost from this point on you will also be directed to your C-panel. Bluehost offers an easy “one-click” option for installing WordPress.Wordpress is the best blogging and website management system out there, and with your purchase of Bluehost, WordPress is absolutely free. This is a very easy step, and Bluehost will walk you through the entire installation process. Though if you need help, Bluehost offers links to videos as well as the 24/7 live chat support.
To access WordPress (after installation) type www.your-domain-name.com/wp-login.php or www.yourdomain.com/admin
After entering your username and password you will be directed to your WordPress dashboard, this is where you will access anything and everything about your Website from this point on.
5. Install a Theme
Themes are what make your blog customizable, any blog you’ve ever seen has a theme. There are many free theme templates offered by WordPress, or you can pay for your theme. I do recommend trying out some of the free options and fully understanding how each theme is customizable- to a certain degree, every theme is different, and each theme can vary on its capabilities, before making the decision of purchasing one. I’ve used many free themes that I actually preferred over ones purchased. It’s important to play around with WordPress, and really get to know it and your dashboard, making it easier to navigate through and begin customizing your website. If you have trouble installing your theme, no worries, YouTube offers thousands and thousands of blogging videos on everything to do with WordPress.
6. Install Plugins
Here is a list of essential plugins for every beginning blogger
–WordPress SEO by Yoast — An all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress.
–Akismet — The best way to prevent your blog from comment SPAM.
-Google XML Sitemaps — Creates sitemaps which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
–Google Analytics by MonsterInsights — This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog so you can track your visitors.
–Jetpack — Is a mega-plugin that has all kind of features- the most known is boosting your performance
Your website has been created.
When I first started my blog I spent hours and hours customizing it to my liking, you will go through many themes before you finally find one you like, and you will also spend a lot of your time watching YouTube videos of how to better understand WordPress as it can be very complex. Do not let this bring you down though, as I’ve said before I knew nothing about WordPress before starting my blog and now I can easily navigate it and change content daily. Blogging has to be considered a job, and you must spend time on it in order for it to grow and profit from it.
Check out my post How Bloggers Make Money Blogging, if you’d like to learn more about earning money through your blog or my favorite affiliate marketing sites.
If you have any other question on blogging or starting your own Blog please drop me a comment,