One of the most frequently searched terms on Google for people looking to voice their opinions and share resources online is “How to Start a Blog on WordPress“. This equates to 49,000 searches in the USA every month. Now that’s something I didn’t expect to see. The simple fact is that blog platforms are easy to use, cheap, quick to install and readily available.
If you want to take blogging seriously and start making money online, it’s best to start off on the right foot. Plan out your blog project step by step and in a way that’s achievable. If your blog is going to be an ‘earning outlet’ for you, it needs to work 24/7 without fail. Treat it with the same respect you would treat your subscribers. Treat them as people first and not money generating users. Learn how to write a blog that makes a difference, not just a quick buck!
Making money from your blog should be a byproduct of good informative content that attracts the right kind of traffic. In order to genuinely make money online, the golden rule is to offer something of value to the user before you expect them to reciprocate with a positive action or completing a goal.
Hopefully this article will offer you many rich takeaways and will answer the question How to Start a Blog on WordPress.
What’s the Best Blogging Platform
The most popular platform with bloggers and with 25% of the entire web using it, is WordPress.org. This is a self-hosted downloadable option that includes a fantastic website management experience that will suit the less technical minded out there. Other blogging platforms include Blogger, Tumblir, Ghost, Squarespace, Wix and much more.
Web Income Tips is built on the WordPress.org platform. For ease and consistency, we will base this article ‘How to Start a Blog’ on WordPress as its usability is fantastic and the level of expertise needed to use it is minimal. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there for many reasons.
Image Source – Start Blogging Online
WordPress.Org – What’s the Lowdown on How to Start a Blog?
What’s the Price?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that downloading WordPress.org will cost you $0, nada! The software is absolutely free. There will be some outlay during the set-up process but we’ll cover that later on in the post and in more detail in a future WordPress hosting post.
Is Web Hosting included with WordPress?
Unfortunately not. Even though the software download is free, you will still have to assign it to a web server. 99% of hosting supports wordpress.org uploads and installs. We will address this in more detail later using one of our partners Bluehost as a sample walkthrough.
How to do a Domain Name Check?
To get your own custom domain name, for example, www.myblog.com, you will have to purchase it from a domain provider. Godaddy and Namecheap are very popular in the US and offer reasonable prices and deals. Be sure to choose a memorable name as this will be your platform to make money online!
Do I need to be a WordPress Ninja?
Absolutely not. This is a blog platform that ticks every box when it comes to Starting a Blog. Its a matter of suck it and see. Once you install WordPress and set it up the way you want it, you will be good to go. The installation and set-up process shouldn’t take more than 40 mins before you can start publishing.
Choosing a WordPress Theme
There are 1000s of themes (designs) to choose from within wordpress.org. Many are free to use and have enough functionality and features to provide you with a fast uncomplicated solution to a ready-to-go website or Blog. For those of you seriously committed to making money online, you may consider choosing a paid Theme.
The reason I’m telling you this is that extra function, plugins, flexibility and theme support can be acquired for $50 or so. It’s well worth it. This is my preferred option and you can find fantastic themes that come fully responsive (renders on all devices) at themeforest.
How to Start a Blog on WordPress.Org – The Pros
- Most popular platform has a huge support network.
- 1000’s of themes available for Blogs, Websites, ECommerce and more.
- 1000’s of Plugins available for free.
- Plenty of free learning resources available online.
How to Start a Blog on WordPress.Org – The Cons
- There is a learning curve attached to wordpress.org if you are a newbie to WordPress.
- It will take time to set up your Blog as you want it.
- Web Hosting is not included.
Choosing the Best Web Hosting Service Provider
There are many web hosting providers in the US. Not only do they cover the US market but many will cater for your region, for example, UK, Europe, South America, Asia etc. It is important to choose a web hosting company that will host your website in the same territory as your target audience. This is an important factor when setting out to make money online. I will explain the relevance of this in a future SEO blog post or an update on How to Start a Blog.
Namecheap and Bluehost are two of the most popular web hosting providers in the US and across the world. Again like wordpress.org and for the sake of this article How to Start a Blogon WordPress, we will use Bluehost as our sample.
Register your Domain Name on Bluehost
When finding information on how to start a blog, the first thing you need to do before starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost is to seriously think about the Domain Name you want to use. Make it memorable, to the point and make the name relative to what the blog’s topic is (if you can). Make your domain name choice an obvious one.
Don’t go for Newyorkdoggrooming.com if your core business centers around cat boarding :-). Joking aside, choose wisely and build an online community around your domain.
It’s a good idea at this stage to check out if your desired domain name is available for a username/page on your preferred Social Media channels. Consistency is vital online especially with brand recognition being so important across channels.
Hosting with Bluehost
Hosting your blog or website on Bluehost couldn’t be easier. Installing wordpress.org on Bluehost is a relatively painless procedure. At a reduced rate of just $3.95 per month, Bluehost will provide you with a full hosting and 24/7 support service. They even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the service.
There are 3 levels of subscription. Basic @ $3.95, Plus @ $5.95, Prime @ $5.95 (limited offer) or Go Pro @ $13.95 (limited offer). Bluehost are experts in running WordPress sites on their servers with a dedicated support team that understands the WordPress Content Management System.
WordPress users can get a free domain name on Bluehost if you sign up for 12 months or more. This will really simplify the process for you. Many bloggers at this stage opt for the 36-month hosting plan as it offers further savings and with the free domain name included, it’s win-win.
Do purchase at least 12 months up front as this gives you the peace of mind of not having to renew every month and no fear of your domain expiring.
Installing WordPress.org on Bluehost
Presuming you have purchased your domain name through Bluehost, this installation step is a giant leap towards your live Blog Launch date. If you have purchased your domain elsewhere, with Godaddy for example, they offer support on how to change nameservers for your domain.
Anyway, let’s look at the installation side of the process. It’s not very complicated and you don’t need to be a web developer or pay someone to do it for you. It’s a DIY install that you are well capable of doing. There are plenty of free resources online that can help. Bluehost also offers fantastic 24/7 support.
- Bluehost will prompt you during every step when starting your blog. Create a password, to begin with.
- It’s time to pick your Theme. Bluehost will suggest that you do so. To begin with, it might be a good idea to go with a free theme. When you become more familiar you can always change it. If you are confident navigating WordPress then I recommend you go for a theme that suits your topic (paid or free). I changed my themes many times over.
- It’s time to “Start Building”
- You will be presented with two options “Business” or “Personal”. This is totally your choice.
It’s now time to work on your brand spanking new WordPress blog/website. This is where the real fun begins. This is also where I suggest making a plan. It’s good to structure your blog in a way that’s easy to navigate (for users) and the important content can be found easily with clear Calls to Action signposting where you want your audience to go. This is something we will tackle in the future when we examine your website’s ‘User Experience’ (UX).
How to Start a Blog on WordPress – Love your WordPress Theme
Now that your blog installation is complete on Bluehost or whatever hosting service you have chosen, it’s time to familiarize yourself with your WordPress theme. Web Income Tips uses a paid theme called Avada. It’s a very popular theme because of the functionality, versatility and ease of use it provides. You can get many paid themes on themeforest.
Learn How To –
- Add new posts and pages. Edit old content easily.
- Add media (Pictures and Video).
- Use the many Widgets and powerful plugins.
- Create Sidebars.
- Create Image Sliders.
- Create simple or complex menu systems.
- Customize your settings, including fonts, colors, margins and so much more.
Once you’ve mastered your chosen theme, you’ll have no problem creating a beautifully aesthetic website or blog that represents you and your brand online. Enjoy the learning curve.
How to Start a Blog on WordPress – The 5 Step Checklist
After some consideration, choose your Blogging Platform wisely. We suggest WordPress.org.
Select and register a domain name and hosting. (make it one to remember).
Choose a Theme and design your blog. Go simple and device responsive.
Add Posts and Pages. Make sure your content is relevant to your audience and don’t forget to add value publishing quality content.
Start growing your blog. This is where the fun begins!
My Simple WordPress Blog Plan.
- Decide what’s important. What are the key pages? Pages should hold your really important content. If your blog or website focus on Dog Grooming then you might have 3 to 6 key pages, for example, About Us, Grooming Services, FAQs, Testimonials, Gallery, Contact etc. I think you get the picture. Structure is everything.
- Plan out the menu navigation system. The main pages or parent pages should have sub pages (child pages). For example, the parent page Dog Grooming could open up to sub pages such as – Brushing – Bathing – Nails – Blow Dry – Styling. This is important best practice for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Don’t worry, we’ll cover this again.
- Plan out your Blog Content – What topics will you talk about, what tone will you use, how often will you publish content? These are questions that are best answered from the beginning.
- What Social Media platforms will I use? Find out where your target audience hangs out. No point putting a huge effort into Linkedin if a tiny minority of your audience lives there. Follow your audience and build around them.
This is a suggested strategy only but it’s structured in a way that will make you think through the path you want your blog or website to take. Don’t be afraid to contact me regarding your website structure. I’d love to advise you and point you in the right direction.
I hope we have answered your How to Start a Blog questions and you are a little closer to setting up your dream blog. If your goal is to make money online from your blog, please subscribe to future posts that will help you along your journey to Making Money Online.