How to Start a WordPress Blog for Beginners
Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!). Plus, You can make money doing it!
Step 1: Decide what to blog about
Many bloggers write about what they are passionate about. I’m passionate about moms being able to stay home, raise their kids, and make money because it’s what I want and I believe my findings won’t only help me, but can help others too.
Unfortunately, every passion you have won’t make you money. Scrivs from Obstacle.co says the 7 top blog niches that gain the most traffic and make the most money are:
- How to Make Money
- Personal Finance
- Health and Fitness
- Beauty and Fashion
- Personal Development
You can certainly make money in other niches, but these are just the most popular.
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
You’ll want to really think about this because your domain name is so important. Make sure you consider the following when choosing a name:
- Easy to Pronounce & Spell
- Make it Short (I know, I know my domain name is a little long)
- Easy to remember
Check Namecheap to see if your desired name is available. This is the best (and cheapest) place I found to purchase my domain name, it’s all in the name “Name Cheap”.
Step 3: Get Hosting
Now that you know what your domain name will be, it’s time to get started! You’ll need to get web hosting. Why? Look at it like this; web hosting is like having a landlord. To live there (on the web) you have to pay rent but at a very low price.
Most bloggers start out using shared plan on Bluehost and then upgrade to SiteGround once they start getting more than 4,000 site visits per day.
SiteGround is great because of its
- Site Speed (They helped reduce my site speed by 10 seconds, that’s huge!)
- Affordable – Once your traffic grows you can easily move to their “GoGeek” plan like me and it is the most inexpensive plan compared to the other Hosting sites I found.
- The SSL Certificate is FREE! Google will begin to penalize websites that are unsecured if they do not have the “S” at the end of HTTP (the “S” indicates that it is secured).
Step 4: Find a Theme (aka Template)
Thanks to technology it’s even easier to create a website. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.
ThemeForest has many great themes for less than $40. I highly recommend checking out the them out.
Step 5: Install Your Theme
If you bought your domain name from Namecheap at this point you’ll need to direct your domain name server to SiteGround.
Once your theme is installed, the fun begins! You can start writing. Make sure you go ahead and install the SSL certificate right away! Reference the video above on how to do that.
Step 6: Change your Permalinks Settings – DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
Before you get started posting anything, go to your Settings -> Permalinks -> Choose “Post name” and then save the changes.
Note: When you write your posts, the permalink “Post Name” should be whatever keyword you are targeting if you are considering SEO.
Permalinks are permanent URLs for the pages on your site. They should never change, so it’s important to get it right before you start posting. Permalinks should not include dates because the search engines use words, not numbers to understand what your content is about.
Step 7: Set up your email
Instead of having @yahoo.com or @gmail.com use your domain name. You can do this in SiteGround’s cPanel under “Email”.
I highly recommend integrating your website email account with your Gmail account or whomever your email provider is for a better user experience. Here are the instructions if you have Gmail, I’ve always had to use their chat however to get it connected, you might have to do the same.
More Tips to Get You Going Before You Launch Your Blog:
- Keep it to yourself until after you launch. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how this will add value to what you’ve done. You will need others to bounce ideas off so create a small circle of positive minds and keep it small. You already have yourself that will give you doubts.
- Try and have at least 10-20 posts already on your site before you launch, you’ll want to look established.
- Check out Darren’s Step-by-Step Process on How to Write a Blog Post . If you master this formula then you’re set!
- Use your competition as a helpful guide for popular topic ideas, see the tools I use in my article on how to make money blogging.
- Chop your paragraphs up for readability, no one wants to read a big block of text. You shouldn’t have any more than 2-3 sentences before you need to make a break/return.
- After you post your article always read it again on mobile to see how it looks because most people use their phones to read articles.
- ALWAYS keep your readers top of mind when writing. I constantly ask myself, would my reader want to know this, would they really care about that? and I always ask myself at the end of the article did I fully answer the question or cover the topic I’m writing about. And your answer should always be Yes.
- Look for the best opportunities to monetize your site through affiliate marketing, ads, sponsorships, and the list goes on.
- When you add pictures to your website, make sure you save the file for whatever keywords you want people to find your content. I wish I’d known to do this earlier.
- Start a Facebook page and Pinterest page if it makes sense for your audience.
- Install Google Analytics to track the activity on your site.