Are you wondering how to start a blog? I’m glad you’re here!
In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to create your own blog, with no technical experience required.
I used to be a blogging newbie too and I had the same problems. When I started my blog way back in 2012, I knew less than nothing about blogging.
I assure you that this guide is simple, relatively straightforward, and definitely easy to understand.
Sound good? Then let’s hop into it.
11 Easy Steps For Starting A Blog
These are the steps on creating a blog. If you follow this guide exactly, you’ll have your own blog set up in just 30 minutes or less.
Table of Contents
Pick A Blog Name
The first thing you need to do is to pick a blog name.
And the first step to finding a good blog name is basing it in your niche.
If you’re not sure what to blog about, you can check this guide on how to choose the best blog niche.
A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential readers can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name.
Now that you’ve got a name picked out, it’s time to get your blog online.
This might sound hard or technical, but the steps below will walk you right through and make the process easy.
To get your blog up and running you need only three things: A domain name, blogging platform, and web hosting.
1. Domain name.
You can try using this domain name generator app to look for domain name ideas.
2. Blogging platform.
The biggest mistake beginners make when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform.
For 95% of users, it makes more sense to use WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress.
(Most people are getting confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I suggest you read our detailed review and comparison).
Why? Because it is FREE to use, you can install plugins, customize your site design, and most importantly make money from your site without any restrictions.
Related article: The Best Blogging Platforms In 2019 (Reviewed And Compared)
3. Web hosting.
A web hosting is a service where you can host or store all the files of your blog.
This service is responsible for delivering your content to the users. Therefore, the performance of your blog depends on what hosting service you choose.
The good news is that these three things typically come packaged together.
Typically, a domain name costs $14.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month. That’s a lot for beginners who are just starting out.
Moreover, there’s no best web hosting company. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
But for beginner bloggers, I recommend Bluehost.
Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our audience a FREE domain name and over 50% off on web hosting.
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies, started in 1996. Also, they are one of the best web hosting company and largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting.
Bluehost today powers over 2 million websites worldwide!
Note that the lowest price of over 50% discount is if you sign up for the longer contract term of 36 months (paid up front). I recommend that you go ahead and take advantage of this low pricing plan, and here’s why:
- You can cancel risk-free for 30 days. Bluehost offers a guarantee, and you can cancel your plan at any time during the first 30 days and get a full refund.
- Signing on for a longer plan represents a commitment you are making to your blog and yourself. Commit to making this a long-term deal that will reap you TONS of rewards over the next few years!
- It also ensures that they won’t raise the price of your hosting during that time.
NOTE: If you sign up with Bluehost using my referral link, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will add value to our readers.
Purchasing Web Hosting
Let’s go ahead and purchase your domain + hosting.
Open up Bluehost in a new window and follow along.
Click on the green Get Started Now button to get started.
In the next page, you’ll be asked to select a plan. Basic and Plus are the most popular, but I recommend Basic for new bloggers. Click “select” to choose your plan.
In the next page, you’ll be asked to enter the domain name of your website.
You will need to add your account information and finalize the package info to complete the process. I recommend going with the 36 month plan because that’s best value.
On this screen, you will see optional extras that you can purchase.
It’s entirely up to you whether or not you purchase these, but I generally don’t recommend purchasing them right away. You can always add them later on, if you decide that you need them.
Once completed, you will receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (CPanel).
This is where you manage everything from support, emails, among other things. But most importantly, this is where you install WordPress.
Go to the CPanel. Then you will see dozens of small icons for different services and features. Scroll down to the website section and click on the WordPress icon.
On the next screen, you will be asked to select your domain name. Choose your domain from the drop-down and then click Next.
The Quick-Install will start installing WordPress.
The marketplace will prompt you to browse WordPress themes, while WordPress is being installed. No need to do that right now, you can do it later in the WordPress administrator area.
Once WordPress is finished installing, you will see the success notice in the top header bar.
Click on the Installation Complete link, and it will take you to the screen with your WordPress login URL and password.
Congratulations, you have created your WordPress site! Make sure to save and remember your WordPress username and password.
Your WordPress login URL will look like this:
Replace ‘yourdomainname’ with your real domain name. Once you visit your WordPress login URL, it will look something like this:
Enter your credentials to visit the WordPress administrator area.
Now we’re ready to customize your site’s appearance and start blogging! Still with me?
Choose Your Theme
Choosing a theme for your blog is important. It should reflect what type of content you’ll be creating.
There are thousands of WordPress themes that you can install on your site. However, some of them are free, while others are paid.
You can always change your theme by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance » Themes.
Go ahead and click on the Add New button.
On the next screen, you will able to search from thousands of free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory.
When you have found the theme that you like, simply bring your mouse on it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. After that, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to activate the theme.
Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.
You are now then ready to create your first blog post!
Write Your First Blog Post
To write your first blog post, click on the Posts » Add New menu in your WordPress dashboard.
Once you’re done writing, go ahead and click on the Publish button on the right to publish your first blog post to the world.
On the posts screen, you will notice several other sections such as Categories and Tags. You can use these to organize your blog posts.
Add A Contact Form
Every website needs a contact form. It allows your users to contact you directly.
Since WordPress doesn’t come with a built-in contact form, you will need a WordPress form builder plugin to add a contact form on your site.
I recommend using the WPForms Lite plugin.
It is free version of the popular WPForms plugin, which is one of the best contact form plugins for WordPress.
You can install the plugin by going to Plugins » Add New page and typing WPForms in the search box. Upon activation, you need to head over to WPForms » Add New page to create your first form.
This will open the WPForms builder interface.
First, you need to enter a name for your contact form and then click on ‘Simple Contact Form’ template.
WPForms will now create a simple contact form for you with all the required fields. You can click on any field to change it, or add a new field from the left column.
Once you are done editing the form, click on the save button at the top right corner and then exit the form builder.
Creating Contact Page
You can now create a new page in WordPress by going to Pages » Add New and call it ‘Contact’.
On the edit screen, you will notice a new ‘Add Form’ button.
When you click on it, it will bring up a popup where you need to select the form you created earlier and then click on the add form button.
WPForms will now add the form shortcode into your page. You can now save and publish the page and visit it in your browser to see your contact form in action.
Set Up Google Analytics Tracking
Google Analytics helps you see how many people are visiting your blog, where they are coming from, and what are they doing on your website.
It is best to install Google Analytics when starting your blog, so you can see how much your blog has grown over time.
First, you need to visit Google Analytics website and sign in using your Gmail account.
Once you are logged in, you can go ahead and sign up for a free Google Analytics account.
You will be asked to provide your information and website URL. After that, you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code.
You can stop here because we will be using a plugin to automatically fetch and add this code to your blog.
Switch to your WordPress admin area to install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin.
It is the free version of the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, and it is the easiest way to add Google Analytics on your site.
Upon installing and activation, you need to visit Insights » Settings page to configure the plugin settings.
On the settings page, click on the ‘Authenticate with your Google account’ button to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site.
Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the setup. Once done, you will be able to see your website analytics report straight from your WordPress dashboard under the MonsterInsights tab.
Optimize Your Website For SEO
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to be found in search engines for particular keywords and phrases.
But, WordPress makes it insanely simple to optimize the technical aspects of your blog. The majority of your SEO efforts will be to create engaging content for real people.
You can get started by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO.
Search for “Yoast SEO” in the search bar and it will be the first result that comes up.
Now go ahead and install and activate the plugin.
You can access the plugin’s settings from the new SEO menu in the sidebar or by clicking the icon at the top.
The plugin comes with a quick configuration wizard to help you walk through the set up.
When you start blogging make sure you’re applying the best practices of WordPress SEO.
Also, here’s the list of other plugins and tools you can use to increase your organic traffic.
Make Money From Your Blog
Now that you’ve created your blog and customized it to your liking, you are probably wondering how can I actually make money from my blog?
There are actually a lot different ways to successfully monetize your blog. However there is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme.
As long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and effort, you’ll reap the reward. Remember, there are no shortcuts.
Here are some of the best ways to make money from your blog.
That’s it! You are now ready to showcase your works to other people.
Moreover, here are other plugins you shall install, to help you succeed.
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Recommended read: How To Setup An Email Subscription Feature To Your Blog