How to Start a Blog
The Beginner's Guide to Creating a Blog in 2020
So, you want to start your own blogging website…!!
I must say if you are planning to start your own blog then you are a creative person with meaningful thoughts and imagination in your mind.
How the heck do you get started?
There is so many info available on the internet and everyone is suggesting different things.
Whom should you listen to?
From where you should start?
Ahhhhh, Damm, it’s too confusing better if I quit! (because of the dilemma you might think of quitting).
No, wait, just hold on.
It’s a common issue even I had the same questions (when I was a newbie). I was in a dilemma. I was totally confused about where should I start.
But look at me now I have successfully established my website and it’s doing pretty well.
And I am making huge money from my blogs.
Be with me I will help you in setting up your blog today itself.
Blogging is the best way to share your idea and content with the world and you might have some common questions (stated below) in your mind regarding the blog.
Can I start a blogging website by myself?
Of course, you can make your own blogging website without spending money on the web developer.
CMS platform Like WordPress has been introduced and it is widely used for creating a website.
You can also use the same platform for creating your own wonderful blogging website. Just follow the below steps to get your blog started today.
How much time will it take to start a blog?
Well, it won’t take much time.
Follow these instructions it will take less than 30 minutes to run a blog.
Lastly, it’s completely up to you how much time you are giving to it.
Creating quality content will take more time.
If you want your potential reader to read your post it’s a good idea to spend more time creating a quality blog post rather than writing some junks.
Is blogging FREE?
“Yes”, you can start blogging at free of cost if you want to.
I assume you are familiar with the domain name (www.YourBlogAddress.com) and web hosting.
If you want to start a blog at free of cost you can sign up with companies who provide both of these (domain name and web hosting) absolutely free.
The catch is, those websites will not belong to you, it will be the property of the company through which you have created your blogging website.
And the worst part you will not be allowed to monetize your site.
If you are serious about blogging, you’ll have to spend a few dollars to get a domain name and web hosting.
And that is perfectly fine.
What do you say? You can even monetize your website to earn a good amount of money.
A domain name will cost you around $10-$15 per year (but you can get it free – more about this later) and web hosting usually cost you around $4-$18 per month or more.
Although the host I use cost me $2.95/month (which is highly recommended).
In a nutshell, it cost less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Can I make money through blogging?
You can monetize your blog and start making money through it.
Some successful bloggers are making a huge amount of money more than $60k/month.
There are endless ways to earn money from your blog. The sky is the limit.
It’s totally up to you how do you want to monetize your blog.
You can learn more about monetizing your blog here: 11 Legit ways to monetize a blog.
I hope you have got an overall idea of blogging! So, without further ado, let’s get started…!!
There are seven main steps to start a blog
0. Choose your Niche
Before you learn how to start a successful blog, you must first find your niche. In simple language a niche is a topic that you are going to write on your blog.
Suppose you want to start a food blog which specifically teach people to make varieties of soup, then “soup” will be your niche. Here you can share tips on making different types and flavor of soup with your visitors.
To become a successful blogger, you will have to choose the right niche and work on attaining the highest form of knowledge within that topic.
So choose the niche that you are passionate about most interested in.
Recommended Reading: How to choose profitable niche in 2020
1. Choose your blogging platform
There are several platforms to choose from.
However, WordPress is the best blogging platform to start with and it’s ruling the blogging industry (Data of previous year).
As you can see WordPress is the most popular CMS platform for building a website and is an ideal option for someone who is going to start a blog for the very first time.
What makes WordPress so popular:
1 Easy to install: Almost every host provider has a one-click installation option which makes WordPress popular.
You don’t need any coding experience for it, the installation will be done with a simple click.
2. It is totally Free with a large number of themes and plugins: The Best part of WordPress is, it’s free and is very easy to use and install.
You will get so many different themes and layouts as per your website requirement.
Either you want to make a business website, a blog or a social networking site, you will get all the options absolutely free.
With “Plugins” you will be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image gallery and so on.
3. Responsive design: What does it mean for a site being responsive?
It will adjust its layout as per the devices (like mobile phones or tablets) we use, no need to hire a web developer for that.
Why you shouldn’t create a blog on a free platform (not buying your own domain name and hosting)
As we have discussed earlier, you can create a blog at free of cost.
But there will be limited functionality and those websites will not belongs to you.
Even the web address will look something similar to “www.YourBlogAddress.blogspot.com”, which detract your credibility.
Not only this there are some other flaws in free option:
• No Control: Since, your blog is being hosted on/ through another website (tumbler.com, blogspot.com, wix.com) there will be no control of yours.
If you violate their terms and condition in any manners (even accidentally), they can shut down your blog right away.
And there will be no chance to retrieve it back. All your hard work will vanish.
• No Customization: Because of free hosting you will not be able to customize your website as per your need.
You can’t even use all free plugins. You have to rely on the themes and plugins provided by your free hosting website.
• Limited space: You will get only 1GB – 2GB of space for your post including images and videos – that’s just not enough.
• Can’t monetize: Yeah you read it right, they won’t allow you to monetize your blog.
In short, don’t create a free blog, especially if you’re serious about blogging.
Instead, create a self-hosted WordPress blog where you don’t have any limitations.
2. Choose a domain name (Website name)
A domain name is the URL one types into a browser’s address bar to visit a particular website.
You can literally choose or register any available domain name.
But before you choose, you will have to be sure what kind of blog you are going to make.
Getting the right name is really important so, I will suggest you few things while choosing it.
1. Short and Memorable – Try to choose your domain name short and memorable.
People forget easily, the shorter name works better when it comes to remembrance and are easy to type.
2. Catchy – It will be great if domain name rolls off the tongue.
3. Business website – If you are making a website for your business purpose it would be best to choose a domain name which matches your company profile.
For example YourCompanyname.com
If you have decided the name and 100% sure then give it a go or else spare your 5 minutes in a complete guide on domain tips.
Because it’s really important.
Domain name defines your brand and affects your ranking in search engine.
People usually do mistakes. Don’t be one of them.
Because sometimes the combination of domain names leads to the dirty meaning. So, I would suggest you check your domain name carefully before registering.
3. Sign up with a web host and register your domain name
What is web hosting and why do I need it?
Web Hosting is a place (server) where all the files and data (the content of your site) of a website is stored.
On your computer its hard-drive, where you keep your important files or documents so that you can easily access all of them when you need it.
This is exactly what a server is.
It is a computer which keeps all your files and is capable of performing operations on them. So, your viewers can see the content of your website from their devices whenever they want.
There is a good and bad hosting company who owns the server.
Choosing the best and reliable hosting company is one of the most important factors for creating a blog.
Bad host provider causes so many issues, the most common issues are:
- Slow site
- Security issue
- Hidden charges
- Worst customer support
Luckily, we have Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting company who is hosting millions of website on their server.
Why is it recommended?
1. They are providing services since 2003 – indicates the reliability
2. They have one-click WordPress installation – perfect for beginners (even for webmasters).
3. 30 days money back guarantee – no need to worry.
4. Superior customer support – 24/7 live chat/ phone support.
5. Best part you will get a free domain name (usually cost $15/ year) and host at only $2.95/ month if you sign up through my referral link.
Of course, you are not bound to go with Bluehost.
You are free to choose any suitable host provider for your WordPress website.
Let’s go ahead and get your domain and hosting.
First thing first open Bluehost website in a new window and follow me.
On the home page, you need to click on the “get started now” button.
Upon clicking you will be landed on hosting plan page. There you will get three options:
- Choice Plus
I suggest you choose the “basic” plan its perfect for a new blogger.
When you will start getting millions of visitors then switch to a higher plan (You can downgrade or upgrade it anytime).
Next, you will get the option to choose a new domain name.
If you already owned a domain name (i.e already registered somewhere else), then put it in the right box stating “Use a domain you own” and click on next.
Lastly, you will have to provide the account information.
Fill all the details then move to the next section.
In “Package information” choose the account plan.
Higher you choose the better price you get.
In order to get the best value, I recommend you to go with 36 months.
Uncheck all the add-on option, you really don’t need them.
Scroll down and made the payment.
If you want to pay with PayPal click on “more payment option“.
Once completed you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to login to your cPanel.
A place from where you will manage your account settings and install WordPress.
4. Install and configure WordPress
So far so good.
Now we will see how to install WordPress.
As I have mention earlier Bluehost has made things really easy and with one click you will install WordPress without any issue.
To do so:
1) Login to your Bluehost control panel (cPanel) with the details which has been sent to your registered email address.
2) On cPanel you will see dozens of icons ignore all of them and click on the “Install WordPress” icon followed by “Get started button“.
3) On the next page, you will be asked to choose your domain name.
From the drop-down section choose the URL of your domain name and click “Next”.
4) After that enter your website name and create username & password (we will use this while login to our WP site).
Tick all the checkboxes and hit the “install” button.
WordPress installation will begin and it will take a couple of minutes.
No need to do anything here wait until the installation is finished. Upon completion, you will get a success notice at top of the page.
Congratulations you have created your WordPress website on your own. Cheers…!!
Now we will customize the site appearance and start writing the article on it.
5. Login to WordPress admin panel for customization
At this stage when you visit your blog it will look similar to below screenshot.
To configure your blog you need to login to the back-end of your WordPress to access the dashboard.
From here you can start customizing your blog as per your requirement.
- To login type http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin (Replace yoursitename.com with your actual domain name).
- Enter your username and password you previously entered while installing the WordPress and you will be redirected to the WordPress dashboard, which looks like below screen.
The dashboard might confuse you and you will feel a bit overwhelmed.
But don’t worry, I have promised to get your blog up and running. I will guide you throughout the dashboard.
First of all,
You need to choose a perfect theme for your blog.
How to install a Theme in WordPress?
On the sidebar of your dashboard, hover the cursor on “Appearance” and from the drop-down, click on “Themes” followed by “Add new“.
You will be redirected to the Theme section where you can choose any theme as per your blog niche or pick something you love.
However, consider a few things while choosing it:
Simplicity: It will be great if you choose simple themes which would be easy to navigate, better to avoid some fancy one.
Responsive design: A significant number of web traffic is generated from smarts phones and tablets. Make sure the theme you are choosing is mobile friendly.
Browsers compatibility: Some developers only design their theme for certain browsers. So check it wisely.
SEO Friendly: Always go for the theme which is SEO optimized because it plays a crucial role in the overall SEO ranking factor.
Comment below which theme you have chosen. I will suggest going with Astra it’s the best theme that loads fast and helps you in on page SEO optimization.
If you need any help don’t hesitate to contact me.
Once you find your desired theme, just click on “Install” followed by the “Activate” button.
To check the preview of your blog, hover your mouse to the top left corner of your dashboard where you see your site name.
From the drop-down, you will get an option to visit the site, click right button of the mouse and open it in a new tab or window to view your site.
Later on, you can change your Theme if you want.
It won’t delete your previous post, pages, and content so, not to worry if you want to give your site a new look.
6. Add Posts and Pages
It’s very simple to add a new page (like About us, services, contact us whatever you want) or post on your WordPress website.
Check for the “Pages” option in the sidebar of your dashboard and then click on “Add New”.
Once you will click on “Add new” one page will open which looks very similar to the Microsoft Word, where you can add title, text, images, tables, charts and much more.
Ok, let’s break down (1-5) for better understanding.
1) Title Area: Write the title of your page.
2) Content Area: Here you can write the content of your page. You can also insert images and videos into your content. Just click on “Add Media button” to insert them.
3) Tools: By using the tools section you can add heading and subheading. You will also get an option to change the font color or alignments of your content.
4) Publishing Area: After completion of the newly created page, you can either publish it or preview it from this area.
5) Additional tools: In this section, you will get so many options. Check them wisely.
However, if you want to make your blog more attractive with animation and eye catching designs you can install easy to use Elementor Page Builder.
How to add Menus to WordPress?
Menus are the most important layout of any blog, it helps your visitor to navigate your site and its content smoothly.
There is no point in creating a blog if your visitor will not be able to find the content of your blog easily.
Bad menus can lead your visitors to leave your website so, be careful while creating a menu for your blog.
Basically, the primary menu consists of pages like “About”, “Blog”, “Service”, and “Contact”.
The number of menus and their placement depends on the WordPress theme you have selected.
How can I add pages to the menu?
To add a newly created page to the menu (navigation bar) follow the below steps.
1) On the sidebar of the dashboard click on “Appearance” and select “Menu”.
2) Locate the page you have created and add to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then hit on the “Add to menu” button.
For reference check the below screenshot.
How can I add post to the blog and categorize it?
Just like adding the page you can add a blog post on your website.
Search for “Post” in the sidebar and click on “Add new”.
A visual editor which is very similar to the normal text editor will open where you can add text, images, lists, videos, alignment, and hyperlinks.
You can also categorize your post, to do so:
1) Create a new category by going to “Posts” >> “Categories”.
2) Once you have finished writing your blog you can add to the desired category (from section number 5).
7. Get traffic and monetize your blog
Congratulations! You have successfully created your blogging website. Now its time to work on certain things to get more traffic to your site.
To get traffic:
- Start writing a compelling post. A post which is rich in content definitely gets traffic.
- Share your post on a social media platform.
- Embedded your post with eye-catching images.
- Start building links (it’s an SEO strategy).
- Dominate with Quora.
And to make thing easier I have made an ultimate comprehensive guide for SEO.
Keep it in mind.
More Traffic = More Money
There are numerous ways through which you can monetize your blog. But remember always choose the legit ways.
Most popular ones are:
- Affiliate marketing
- Google Adsense
- Premium content
- Sell Ad space
Once you set up your blog start thinking of monetizing it and to know more about monetization check out my article on 11 proven ways to monetize a WordPress website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I update Website Title and Tagline?
This is a very common question which comes to mind. Can I change my blog name (Title) and its tagline?
Trust me guys it is very simple and you can change your blog title and tagline at any time.
In order to update or change your blog title and tagline, you have to go to “Settings” and have to select “General”, where you will see an option to update or change your website title and tagline.
Once you have made the changes, click on ” Save changes” button.
How can I disable comments for post and pages?
Have you ever noticed that on some website you will not be able to post any comments?
It is because the site owner has disabled the comment feature on their websites.
To disable comment feature on your post or page follow the below steps.
1) In text editor at the top right corner, you will see“Screen Option”. Once you click on this some options will appear.
2) You have to click on “Discussion”, then a new section will appear below the text editor, where you have to uncheck “Allow comments”.
So, that on that particular post/ page no one will be able to comment.
3) To disable comment on every new page or post by default, go to “Settings >> Discussion” and uncheck
How to edit sidebar?
Almost every WordPress themes have a sidebar on the right side, however, in some cases, it will be on the left side.
Actually, the sidebar is very useful, it helps in navigation.
To customize sidebar (technically known as “widget”) one can follow the below steps:
1. Go to “Appearance” followed by “Widgets” in the sidebar of WordPress Dashboard.
2. From there you can drag and drop available widgets to the different boxes of your sidebar, you can also completely remove the item you don’t want.
How to install a Plugin on WordPress?
Plugins give additional features to WordPress themes to expand or increase its capability which doesn’t come built-in.
You can use plugins to add almost every feature to your blog.
Just like installing themes, plugins are also very simple to install.
- Go to the sidebar of the dashboard
- Click on “Plugins” followed by “Add new” and start searching for the plugins you need.
- Once you find the plugin of your choice, click on install and it will be ready to use.
However, before installing any plugins, I would suggest you read this article carefully. Things you must know before installing WordPress plugins.
That’s all you will need to start your blog. Quick review.
- Go to Bluehost and set up your CMS
- Choose the best suitable theme
- Add Pages and Post
- Start sharing your content on the social platform
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