Do you wished a platform to share your feelings and information with the world ? A means to express creative thoughts by writing. Blogging can fulfill all these aspirations. How to start a blog? This must be coming to your mind. As you have no technical knowledge. I had this same feeling when I started blogging. I started blogging the hard way. Wished there was a website like this to guide me when I started blogging.
Since you are new in this blogging community, you need a guidance to help you be on the right ground. And make no errors. With my personal experience, you will find it very easy to create a blog. You don’t have to be a computer specialist to make a blog. With my guidance you will make a perfect blog and make money from it. Follow my free easy beginner’s step-by-step guide.
Benefits of Blogging: What Can You Achieve By Blogging ?
Since you are entering the blog arena. What wonders blogging can do in your life? People blog for various reasons. Knowing these benefits of blogging will motivate you further. Below are some of the important ones.
- Earn money : Blogging requires few dollars to operate.It can become your full time profession. Bloggers around the world are making lot of money by writing. If you are willing to work hard then sky is the limit
- Business Promotion: If you want to market and publicize your business , blogging is an amazing platform. You will get a huge online customer base for your products.
- Be a Writer: Writing your thoughts and information, will make you an expert writer.
- Sharing Information : You can share your perspective, ideas to the whole world by blogging.
- Unlimited Freedom : A blog and can operated from any part of the world. Write when you like and enjoy unlimited happiness. No more 9am – 5pm work routine.
How To Start A Blog Step-By-Step
- Decide A Topic For Blogging
- Choose A Right Blogging Platform
- Choose Webhost
- Install WordPress
- Enhance Blog Design & Start Using
Step 1. Decide A Topic for Blogging
Blogging should be a means of enjoyment. You need to decide on the topic for blogging. Points you need to know for topic selection.
- A topic can be your area of interest. Something you would love to talk with other people. A genuine interest will make you feel writing on that topic again and again. Blogging will never turn into boredom.
- Your hobby can be the topic of blogging. What you like doing in free time. Say exercising? playing guitar? Discussing about these topics in blog.
- Niche can be the topic of blogging. Rather than writing on a general topic. Focusing on one particular area under that general topic. Electronics is a general topic. Headphones under it can be your niche
- If you want a blog to promote your business/product/service. Then you need a topic concentrating on your business.
- In case you have entered blogging only for the sake of money. Then the topic should be where people spend huge amount of money. For example people spend lot on technology, health, fashion, beauty, gadgets etc. You can blog on any one of the topics in which you are comfortable to write.
The whole core of topic selection comes to one thing- What are you passionate for ? Then only you would enjoy writing in your blog.
Step 2. Choose A Right Blogging Platform
You need a right blogging platform where you can create blog easily and requires no coding. Easy to customize as your blog grows bigger.
There are plenty of blogging platforms available. You can create your blog on WordPress, Blogger, Tumbler, Wix, Joomla etc. Out of all these, WordPress is NO.1 used platform. It is preferred all over the world
There are over 74 million WordPress websites all over the world. Over 59% CMS market share. It is the choice of 52% top bloggers. My blog which you are seeing right now is made on WordPress. Why it is so widely used
- WordPress is free to install, modify and use. You can create any type of blog or website.
- Setting up a blog on WordPress is very easy.
- There are huge number of free resources available in WordPress – themes, layouts, plugins etc. These resources are not freely available on many other blogging platforms.
- A WordPress blog is highly customizable. You can change themes, add unlimited features & functions by using plugins.
- Easy to manage a WordPress blog. You can update themes, plugins, WordPress software with one click
- WordPress is safe and secure from internet threats.
Now WordPress is your choice after reading. There are 2 options in WordPress platform
- WordPress.com – This is a free platform to start your blog. You don’t have to buy hosting service or the domain name. It has limited availability of free resources in terms of plugins, themes etc
- WordPress.org – This the favorite choice of professional bloggers. Over 90% blogs around the world are running on WordPress.org. You can have any domain extension – .com, net, org etc to domain name. It has huge directory of freely available resources- Plugins, themes & many add-ons. You install a free WordPress software on a paid web hosting to run your blog. A web hosting is a service which stores all your blog content (files,images, videos etc) and makes your blog visible to everyone on internet. I am using this platform to run my blogs. WordPress.org is my recommendation for starting a blog.
Why I recommend WordPress.org To Create A Blog ?
A self hosted WordPress.org blog has many advantages versus a freely hosted WordPress blog at WordPress.com or having a blog at other free platforms like Blogger, Wix etc. Below are some important ones.
- You cannot make money from a blog hosted on free platforms.As you are not allowed to put various ads and affiliate programs.
- Limited blog customization options at free platforms.You cannot add new functions as the blog grows. Visitor experience is bad as you don’t have a complete control on blog design due to these limits. You will be never be taken seriously by companies who want to advertise their products on your website.
- The speed of blog at free platforms is slow due to limited bandwith
- There is a limit of 3GB space for photos/videos in your free blogging platforms.That is very less in blog creation
A a self hosted WordPress blog has no such limitations. You can put various ads and affiliate programs with ease.Thus making money is easy. There are over 45000 Free Plugins & 6200 Free Themes available at WordPress.org directory. More & More themes as well as plugins are added everyday. By using these plugins & themes, you create a professional looking blog. Adding new functions like forums, subscriptions etc are so simple & easy. No other limitations like speed & space. As more bandwidth and storage space can be added when you need.
It is a big NOOOO to such free platforms. The right approach is to create a Self Hosted WordPress.org blog
Now follow my simple steps as how to create a blog in WordPress .
Step 3: Select A Web Hosting Service
Looking for a reliable as well as cheap hosting for wordpress, Bluehost is highly recommended. It is officially recommended by wordpress.org. These following reasons will make you agree as why you should host a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
- It is the choice of over 2 million websites around the world.Respected Blogging sites like problogger.com and smartpassiveincome.com use this webhosting.
- Bluehost has a easy and simple to use interface. Cpanel is user friendly. Easy to install a wordpress blog with just one click
- It is no 1 in website uptime that is 99.99%. Your website is online round the clock
- Get a FREE domain name. When signing with Bluehost you get free domain.
- 24X7 Technical support of Bluehost is excellent. Ready to help you for all your queries.
- You get a free SSL Certificate. This make your website secure from threats and attacks.
- The best part is a self hosted professional blog by using Bluehost. Monetizing becomes easy.
- Bluehost offers 30 day money back guarantee. Incase you are not happy with service or change your mind.
- Get a cheap top class webhosting for $3.95 per month. This is nothing when you earn thousands of dollar from your self hosted blog
Now follow these Step By Step Instructions to have a blog of your dreams. These steps will teach you as to how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost. (Below are my referral links. Nothing additional cost is charged, if you buy a a hosting plan from them. I earn a small commission in return)
Step 2 : On Clicking Bluehost , It will Take You To This Window
Step 3: Click Get Started Now Button
It will take you to the plan selection page. Below is the screenshot of that page
There are 3 plan options – Basic, Plus and Prime. All three plans have a FREE included domain. I recommend you should use the basic plan to start WordPress blog. This plan hosts single website. When in future you want to launch more WordPress websites you can upgrade to plus plan. This gives you the option of unlimited website hosting. Bluehost is simply amazing because of this unlimited factor.
Step 4 : Register your domain name
On clicking select under the plan, it will take you to the domain registration page. This is where you get your FREE domain.
Domain is the name which people will type in the browser and visit your blog. Now you will we wondering what name shall I select. What name extension should one select. Shall I select .com , .net, .org or anything else. I recommend you should select .com extension. As this is the most popular used extension.
This process is little frustrating as simple names you think might already have been taken. I choose my blog name because I am a design graduate and I wanted to write about making good impressive WordPress blogs. So thus came the name designstip
The easy way to find the name is by thinking of the topic for which you are making the blog. Example if you want to make a blog on Fashion. You can use Latestfashion.com, Hifashion.com, TopFashion.com, Fashionquest.com.
Try modifying the name till what is available for registration
- What words are related to fashion – Style, Trend, Vogue, Fashion
- Words that can be added with main topic – Craze, Love, Idea, Top
- Other words you can try adding to main topic – My , Expert, Unique, Fun,
- Try adding or removing a letter to the word. For word Trend you can add “z” , ” Y”, “s” . You get a new word Trendz, Trendy, Trends or anything creative you like.
When your selected name is available, clicking next will take you to Account Setup & Package Information Page
Step 5 : Set Up Your Account & Select the Package
Here you will fill personal details for account set up. Fill the package information to complete the whole process. We recommend that you select 36 month account plan . As this plan offers best value for the money.
The package extras are optional. It is your decision whether you want to purchase or not. We generally do not recommend to purchase them now. As you can buy later if you think you need them.
After completing the details of this page, you will receive email regarding your created account. It will give details of cpanel login information. Here you can control every aspect of website administration- email account creation, backups, support and much more. The most important part is your WordPress installation.
Step 5 : Install WordPress
Now you will learn how to set up WordPress by using Bluehost cpanel. Login by using login details as provided in email.
Now you are inside Cpanel. You will find lot of icons for various features & services. Scroll down to Website section. Click Install WordPress Icon
You will be taken to Bluehost marketplace page. Click Get started Now button
On clicking this button you go to domain selection page. Where you choose the domain from the dropdown and click next
You will now reach installation setting page. Enter your site name , user name and password. The user name and password are your admin login details. Check all the text boxes and click install.
QuickInstall initializes WordPress installation. The marketplace will prompt you to browse themes while the installation is going on.
No need to install themes. As themes can be easily installed later on. There are plenty of freely available themes. We will tell you how to install theme in next step
After WordPress installation is complete. You will get a installation complete notice above the header.
Click Installation complete link “here”. It will take you to WordPress login details. The login address, user name and password.
WordPress installation is complete. Congrats you have done it. It was not a difficult thing.
Your WordPress login URL is http://yourblog.com/wp-admin . It looks like this
Now fill username and password. Ticking remember me is optional. If you tick mark this, you won’t have to fill your username and password again for few days. It will allow direct access to WordPress admin panel.
Click Log In after filling the details to enter your website dashboard. This is where you customize WordPress, write posts, install themes, plugins and lot’s more.
Step 6 : Selecting & Installing WordPress Theme
Themes are like clothes to body. You look dashing by wearing stylish clothes. Same goes for themes it makes your blog look exciting. Type your blog address (www.yourblog.com) in the browser to see the initial look of your blog. It looks like this
You will find the look bland.
Let us customize the look of your blog. Make it look cool and exciting. Your journey in the blogging world would be full of fun
There are lot of WordPress themes available. Paid as well as free ones. Since you have just joined the blogging world, you should experiment with free themes first.
In the WordPress dashboard. Click Appearance on left hand side . Then click Themes.
Click Add new button on top.
You will move to next screen. It will show you amazing list of freely available themes from wordpress.org themes directory. The themes can be sorted on the basis of featured, popular, latest, favorites and featured filter. Using Featured Filter guides you in blog theme selection as per your topic, features & layout. This will sort themes based on your requirement.
When you move the cursor over any theme. It will show three clickable buttons – 1) Details & Preview, 2) Install, 3)Preview. On clicking first button details & preview it shows themes details and live preview of the theme. On clicking preview it shows how your blog looks in this theme. If you like theme click install. The theme gets installed and now install button changes into activate button. Only when you click activate, your current theme changes into this new theme. You can always customize this new theme by clicking customize under appearance on the left hand side menu
You will be confused to see so many themes. As there are 6200 freely available themes. Which theme I should select. My advice to you is to go for a clean & crisp looking theme. A clean theme ensures good visual presentation to your blog visitor.
Once you have selected & installed the theme, you are ready for the next step. Writing first blog post
Step 7 : Creating & Publishing First Blog Post
This step will add lot of excitement. You will create your first blog post. To create post you click Posts>>Add New at left side bar.
It opens text editor for you to write your post. Like any editor it has text editing and formatting tools. Text color change, insert links, alignment, underline, bold etc. You can add photos & videos by clicking add media button. You upload image/video and insert in the post. The top bar under add new post is to write the title of the post.
On the right side you can categorize your post by adding categories. Add tags that enables great searching in your blog. Add featured image to show on homepage and category listing.
After you have finished writing. You click Publish button on the right hand side to publish your new post. This posts goes for indexing in search engine.
You have written your first post and is now seen in your blog homepage. Welcome to the world of blogging.
Step 8 : Plugins Installation & Customization
WordPress plugins are like apps of smartphone. It adds additional function or extends existing functions to our blogs. There are 55000+ free plugins available at WordPress directory. There is a plugin for any task you want to complete in your website. This makes self hosted WordPress blogs look so amazing. Tremendous customization.
These software bits by facilitating various tasks & adding new features makes our blog more visitor /admin friendly. Thus making money from blogs becomes easy.
You must be wondering what type of plugins I should install and how should I install.
Let us first discuss how to install WordPress plugins.
Click Plugins>>Add New on the left hand side bar.
WordPress.org shows various plugins in your dashboard window. Plugins are sorted on the basis of clickable horizontal menu at top- Featured, Popular, Recommended & Favorites. Featured shows a plugins as highlighted by WordPress.org. Popular shows you a list of highly installed plugins. Clicking Recommended shows you plugins based on your already installed plugins. Favorites shows a list of your marked favorite plugins.
You can search the plugins by typing it’s name, author or tag in the search bar. Then press enter. The plugins are displayed. Each displayed plugin has clickable link – Install now & More Details. Clicking More Details shows plugin description. On clicking Install Now the plugin gets installed in your blog. Install Now button changes to Activate. Only on clicking Activate the plugin starts functioning on your blog.
You have learn’t how to install plugins. Now you will be wondering what plugins I should install since you are a beginner.
Here is my list of recommended plugins in the following steps from Step 9 – Step 11
Step 9 : Optimizing Your Blog For Search Engine Traffic – By Using Yoast SEO Plugin
Optimizing your blog for search engine is a very important exercise. Your articles are searched by keywords and phrases. If you follow SEO principles in your blog it will lead to good amount of traffic. High traffic to to your blog is a billion dollar. Installing Yoast SEO plugin will optimize your blog. It makes SEO look so simple. Just install & activate the way I have told you.
Click SEO>>General on left hand side menu of your wordpress dashboard. Click Open Configuration Wizard Again. Now set up by visiting this Yoast SEO Configuration Wizard link. After you have completed setup, you need to visit Yoast SEO User Guide to learn how to use it.
Step 10 : Prevent Spamming In Comments – By Using Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin
Step 11 : Other Important Plugins To Install
WP Super Cache – Enhances the speed of WordPress website
UpdraftPlus – Creates a back up of your website in case something goes wrong.
Convertkit – Great email marketing tool for sending Emails & Newsletters to your blog readers
How to start a blog in WordPress ? This have been answered. Now you have completed blog design and you are ready in blogging world