Having over eight years (8yrs) of experience in blogging, I have personally started and sold four (4) different blogs over the years. Blogging for me has become a lifestyle and I don't feel too good when I don't have a platform to share my knowledge.
Yes! social media is present to help us do that, but you do not own your content on social media (your account can be blocked, hacked, or even removed from the system and you can't do anything about it), there's limited control on your plate.
When you have a blog of your own, you are in total control of your content online.
In this article, I will show you a detailed guide on how to start a blog easily today without any form of stress. All you need to do is follow me step by step as I show you exactly how to start a blog for yourself or for your business.
To begin, I'll like to point out some of the few things you will definitely need other to achieve this task.
What do you need to start a blog?
There are three things you need to create a WordPress blog:
1. A domain name (a domain name is your name as a blog or business, i.e. the name of your blog. e.g. nwaezedavid.com is a domain name)
2. A Reliable web hosting (this is the house for your website to live in)
3. Your complete focus and attention for just 30 minutes.
Yes, you read it right. You can start a blog from scratch in less than 30 minutes, and I'm about to walk you through the whole process, step by step from start to finish.
How To Start A Blog – Step By Step Guide
In this blogging tutorial, we will cover the following:
- How to Register a Custom Domain Name for Free
- How to Choose the Best Web Hosting
- How to Install and Setup WordPress Blog
- How to Change Your Blog Design Template
- How to Write Your First Blog Post
- How to Customize WordPress Blog with Plugins
- How to Add a Contact Form
- How to Setup Google Analytics Tracking
- How to Optimize Your Website for SEO
- How to Make Money From Your Blog
- Resources to Learn and Master WordPress
Ready? Let's get started.
Step 1. Setup ( Domain & Hosting Plan Setup)
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully you're here, so you won't be making that mistake. 95% of users use self-hosted WordPress. Why?
This is because it is open source meaning 100% free to use, you can install plugins, customize your blog design, and most importantly make money from your blog without any restrictions.
WordPress is also the number one website platform used by all successful blogs. To put in perspective, 42% of all websites on the internet use WordPress!
Now you might be wondering why WordPress is free. What's the catch? There's no catch. It's free because you have to do the setup and host it yourself. In other words, you need a domain name and web hosting.
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is simply your name or your business name in form of a URL, that is with a .com or .net, etc. For instance, nwaezedavid.com is a domain name belonging to me. When you give birth to a child, you give them a name right? yeah, in the way, you give your new blog a name.
What Is Web Hosting?
A Web host is a house where your domain will live in. For a domain to be visible on the internet, it needs a web host to protect it and equip it with the necessary tools to be successful on the internet.
A new domain costs around $14.99 per year, and a web hosting plan should cost around $7.99/month for beginners; Which may be a lot of money for beginners.
To get a free domain and a 60% off web hosting discount, all you need to do is click the button below and claim your offer!
With that being said, Let's go ahead and purchase your domain + hosting.
Open the Bluehost Website in a new window and follow my step-by-step guide.
When you get to the page, click on the blue Host Your Site button as shown in the image below to get started.
On the next screen, select a hosting plan and proceed to the next step (I recommend you select the ‘Choice Plus‘ plan as shown in the image below).
After that, you will be asked to enter the domain name for your website.
Enter the domain name you want to use for your new blog and click on next. If you already have a domain name from another registrar, you can point your DNS to Bluehost or transfer it to Bluehost.
But Remember; you can only get the free domain when you create a new domain using the first box as shown in the image below.
After you have selected your domain name and created your account, you will notice that your domain name is free, plus other add-ons that will be given to you for free as well.
All these tools and add-ons by default should cost you some extra money, but you are getting them for free because of our partnership with Bluehost.
Complete your payment and proceed to your dashboard. You will receive an email with your Cpanel login details; once you login to your dashboard, you will be able to manage your domain and hosting settings with ease.
Step 2. Install WordPress
After creating your account with Bluehost, they will automatically install WordPress for you for free. When this is done, all you need is to login to your Bluehost dashboard and then click the Login to WordPress button to get started with your WordPress website.
You can also login to WordPress manual by visiting your domain URL and adding ‘/wp-admin to the end of the URL (e.g. ‘yoursite.com/wp-admin‘). Once you login to your WordPress admin dashboard, it's now time to design and customize your blog to look very professional and then start blogging.
Step 3. Selecting Your WordPress Theme
A theme will help you design your website or blog in a very professional way. Read more about the Top 10 Best WordPress Themes For Business Websites and Blogs.
The first time you install WordPress, it will something like the image below and this default theme may not be so appealing to you, don't worry, in a few minutes from now we are going to redesign the whole website with a more professional theme.
To change your theme to a more professional one, go to your WordPress dashboard and from the menu tabs, click on Appearance » Themes » Add New.
Go ahead and add a new theme and customize it to your taste.
For a step-by-step guide on how to get a professional theme and design your website in a more professional way, read this post: Detailed Guide On How To Design A Professional Website and Blog For Your Business; you will learn how to do just that step by step.
Step 4. Create Your First Blog Post
Now that you have created your blog and have designed it in a professional way, it's time for you to write your first blog post and publish it to the world.
To get started with this, click on Posts » Add New in your WordPress dashboard to begin. (see image for illustrations)
An editor will be open for you to start writing your content; when you are done, click on publish to make the post live on the internet.
Step 5. Plugins & Customizations
Congratulations on your first blog post. Now, it's time to take it a step further into the business by adding some useful add-ons or plugins to help you grow your website faster and better.
You need first to understand what a plugin is and how it can improve your website or blog.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress plugin is simply an external tool or software that is integrated into your website to help add some specific features to your blog to help improve the functionality of your blog or website.
With that being said, let me show you how to use plugins to improve your website features.
1. Contact Form [How to Create a Contact Form in WordPress]
A contact form is very important for every website; it will allow users to contact you if need be. We recommend using the WPForms plugin because of its flexibility and lightweight nature.
To install a plugin, go to your WordPress dashboard menu and click on Plugins » Add New and then search for the name of the plugin you want to install. When you have seen the plugin you want to install, click on the install button and activate it after the installation is completed.
When you are done installing the contact form plugin; From your WordPress dashboard menu, navigate to WPForms » Add New page to create a new form.
The process is very easy; all you need to do is follow the instructions on your screen and you will be done in no time.
2. Google Analytics [How to Setup Google Analytics Tracking]
It is important that you know how many users are visiting your blog or website daily and also how they are interacting with your website. The Google Analytics plugin is what will help you to get this information. Normally, I do recommend you use the Google Sitekit plugin.
The first thing you need to do is visit the Google Analytics website and sign in using your Gmail account, then create an analytics account. With the Google Sitekit plugin, you will be able to do this automatically from your WordPress dashboard.
How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for SEO
One mistake most beginners do make when starting their blog or website is not optimizing their site for search engines.
There are so many tools that can help you grow your website SEO and increase your traffic daily and I'll list my top two recommended plugins you need to use today to get the best results faster.
Recommended SEO Plugin for Your Blog or Website:
The AIOSEO plugin has a setup wizard that is designed to assist you with the setup even if you are a complete beginner, it's very easy to use.
More WordPress Plugins and Customizations
There are so many WordPress plugins available today, but you will need a guide to installing the right ones. I have categorically listed some of the important plugins you can use on your website or blog, to give you the best results.
Visit any of them you are interested in, and create an account with them to start using them on your blog.
- Backup – We recommend you use the UpdraftPlus plugin to ensure you don't lose important files when something mistakenly goes wrong. It is currently the best WordPress backup plugin.
- Security – The Sucuri Security plugin has both the free and paid version, but as a beginner, the free version should serve you well until you are ready to go premium.
- Performance – To ensure that your site is fast and scores high when tested with GTmetrix and Google Pagespeed test page, We recommend using either the LiteSpeed Cache plugin, WPRocket, or the WP Super Cache plugin, to help speed up WordPress with Caching.
- Design & Customization – This is very useful for Websites that require a lot of page designs to engage with customers, like affiliate marketing or perhaps an online service that will allow users to enter their details to buy or engage. We do recommend using either Elementor or SeedProd page builder to achieve this.
- Traffic & Subscribers – Traffic is the bedrock of every successful online business or blog; It is strongly recommended that you use push notifications by PushEngage to drive unlimited traffic to your website or blog easily. This particular plugin will let you connect with visitors again after they leave your website; Keep bringing them back.
- Email Marketing – When it comes to email marketing, HubSpot is always the #1 email marketing service when compared to others. That's not all, you can also use plugins like OptinMonster to get more email subscribers, and also use the RafflePress plugin to create an unlimited number of high-converting popups, scroll boxes, and call to action.
- Advertising – When It Comes to Advertising, the most recommended plugin used by top brands is the AdvandsAds Plugin. I strongly recommend it, even google AdSense recommends them. Alternatively, you can use AdSanity or Ad Inserter plugin.
Step 6. Making Money From Your Blog
You are now at the juicy part of the fruit 🙂 It is time to make money with your blog and nothing can stop you from making money right now if you followed me from the beginning up till this point.
I made mentioned the important things you must put in place in other to maximize your blogging potential in my previous post on Understanding Blogging For Beginners, you should read it later.
Top 3 Ways To Monetize Your Blog
There are so many ways to make money with your blog, but I'll be showing you the top 3 ways to make money blogging. Here are some of the best ways to make money from your blog, actually the top 3 ways to monetize a blog.
1. Using Ad Networks [e.g. Google AdSense, Ezoic, Media.net, etc.]
There are so many ad networks out there but Google's absence is by far the biggest of them all and that is what I'll be talking about here.
Once you are ready to monetize your blog, just visit the Google AdSense homepage and create a new account using your email address and then connect your blog using the AdSense code generated from your AdSense dashboard, and the AdSense team will review your blog and prove you if you do qualify.
For easier integration, I'll recommend you install the Advanced Ads plugin and use it to connect to your AdSense account so that you will not have to add the codes manually; the plugin will do it for you automatically. Google AdSense itself also recommends them.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Monetizing your blog with Affiliate marketing is super brilliant only if you know how to do it right. Check my previous post on how to Make Money Online and Grow Your Business With Shareasale, you will understand what this is all about.
Now, for a more detailed guide on how to do affiliate marketing on your blog or website like a pro, I have explained everything in a more comprehensive manner so that even a beginner can follow suit and implement the lessons and get positive results.
To read out those affiliate marketing tutorials, check my other post on Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing Explained – Detailed A – Z Introduction.
3. Sponsored Posts and Direct Advertising
I must say that this method is not really for beginners, because for someone to start paying you for a sponsored post or direct ad placement, you will need to be visible first and gain some level of authority in your niche.
READ ALSO: 7 Adsense Alternatives To Monetize Your Blog
As a blogger, you can sell advert space on your blog and provide a means to contact you through the contact form plugin as I showed you earlier. Interested advertisers will contact you and negotiate a price for their ad to be placed on your blog. You can use the AdvancedAds Plugin to automate the whole process.
Note: Most advertisers prefer to pay for such ads through PayPal or Stripe, so make sure to read my other article on How To Open A Verified USA PayPal Business Account 2022 (Available Worldwide) if you do not have a Paypal account that can send and receive payment. Also, read How To Open A Stripe Business Account | Fast and Easy Stripe Verified Account to learn how to open a verified stripe account for your business.
Bonus Method: You can make your blog a premium blog with membership subscription services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I create a blog without WordPress?
Yes, you can do that, there other blogging platforms which you can use if you do not want to use WordPress. Although, WordPress is by far the very best of them all.
Can I build a blog without hosting?
No, it is not possible to build a blog without hosting. Web hosting is the main thing that helps bring your blog to life; it is where all your website files and database are stored and accessed from.
How do I come up with a good blog name for my site?
You have to think of a name that is related to the type of business you want to build or a name that explains your business easily. That will help you decide on the best name for your site.
What is the best blogging niche?
Choosing the right niche for your blog is what makes it easier for you to create engaging content and make more money online. We strongly advise you choose a niche you have knowledge in.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
This article on the Best WordPress Hosting should give you a clue on how much a WordPress website should cost you and also how to get a free domain.
Can I create a blog without my parents knowing about it?
Yes, you can. You can easily make your WordPress blog private and hide it from the internet.
Can I start a WordPress blog and make money with Google Adsense?
Yes, you can definitely use your WordPress blog to earn money from Google AdSense, as long as your blog meets up with their AdSense policy.
How can I create a blog and remain anonymous?
When you buy a domain, you will have the option of hiding your identity, just select it and your identity will be hidden and private to only you. Read more about it here…
How do I add a podcast to my WordPress blog?
You can easily do that by following the step-by-step instructions here…
Can I build a blog in my own language?
WordPress is completely translated into more than 56 languages and is also, partially translated into dozens of other languages; so Yes, you can definitely blog in your own language.
How do I create a blog in multiple languages?
You can easily do that with the help of plugins as described here…
Can I design a blog with no coding skills?
That is exactly what this post is all about; click here to see full details…
Can I add a photography gallery to my blog?
Yes, you can do that easily, WordPress comes with a built-in gallery feature that makes it easy for you to add photo galleries to your blog posts.
How can I create a professional email address for my blog?
If you're serious about your blog, then we highly recommend that you create a professional business email address (it's free). You can easily do that from your Bluehost Cpanel.
All successful bloggers use professional email addresses to stand out and make better partnership deals to grow their blogs.
Can I switch blogging platforms later?
Oftentimes, beginners do make the mistake of choosing the wrong platform like Medium, Tumblr, Blogger, and others to start their blog when they can own their own platform and control their growth.
But, the good news is that you can easily switch from any of these platforms back to WordPress:
From Medium to WordPress
From Blogger to WordPress
From WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Where do I find photos for my blog?
Now that you have learned how to start a blog by yourself when writing blog post contents, it's important to not use copyrighted images on your blog as this can harm you.
We do recommend you use platforms like pixabay and the rest to get royalty-free stock photos for your blog, videos, and social media.
How Do I Accept Sponsored posts on my Blog?
To accept sponsored posts on your blog, you will need to set up an advertising page on your blog and provide a means of accepting these posts and also getting paid; or You can use the AdvancedAds Plugin to automate the whole process.
What is the Easiest Way of Accepting Direct Advertisements on my Blog?
The easiest way to accept direct ads on your blog is through the AdvancedAds Plugin; just register and install it on your blog and it will automate the whole advertising process.
It is my belief that this post has benefited you in so many ways, and you can now start your own blog without any stress or confusion. If you have any questions or contributions, please feel free to comment below and I'll do my best to respond ASAP. Have a nice life!
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