How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2020: A Step-by-Step Guide

You started reading this article because you are interested in launching a blog. You probably have a few ideas in mind, but you are unsure about the steps required to create a blog.

The internet is full of guides teaching you how to create a blog, but most of them are so long that you give up on your dream. Don’t give up! Starting a blog has never been as easy as it’s in 2020.

We are entirely aware that lengthy guides simply suck your energy and enthusiasm, so we put a lot of thought into creating a simple, comprehensive, and actionable step-by-step guide to starting a blog. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start working on your brand-new blog!

Pick Your Niche and Blog Name

Before delving into the technical aspects of creating a blog, you should have a complete idea of the topic you want to blog about. Lots of wannabee bloggers create cool sites, write a few blog posts, and give up because they run out of ideas. Don’t fall into this trap.

The niche for your blog is your first decision. Ideally, the niche should be your hobby or a topic you are deeply interested in. For instance, you can launch a blog about JavaScript if you are a senior full-stack programmer. Readers will appreciate your expertise, and some of them will become repeat visitors.

Another option is to choose a topic you want to learn more about and are prepared to invest a lot of time in. For example, if you are a junior JavaScript programmer, then you can create a blog for complete newbies and let them know that you understand their problems. The blog posts should highlight beginners’ mistakes, their pain points, and solutions for common issues.

Write down a few potential blog post titles. These aren’t necessarily the titles of the articles you will publish, but the list will confirm that you have ideas for blog posts. Practically, you’ll show yourself that you have the potential to blog for many months.

Once you’ve decided which niche to blog about, you have to select a domain name. It should be related to your niche to help people remember it. The more attractive the name is, the better for your blog. Lean Domain Search, Name Boy, and Namemesh are a few domain name generators that will give you suggestions.

Don’t rush to select the blog domain name. It’s how people will refer to your blog, so it’s a big factor in your site’s success. It’s something you can’t change without seriously hurting your brand recognition.

Monetization Strategy

Generating income from your blog is often ignored in the early stages of blogging. Newbies focus too much on blog setup and content creation, but the monetization strategy is equally important. You can’t afford to spend a few hours a day on your blog without making some money from it.

Indeed, it’s nearly impossible to make money from your blog in the first months, but a blog should generate income after a year. Save time and resources by thinking in advance. Outline a monetization strategy before writing your first posts. This strategy should have clear, complete answers to the following questions:

  • Is your niche appealing?
  • Can you create a strong community around your blog?
  • How will you generate money (e.g., affiliate marketing, selling digital products, offering consultation and services)?
WordPress.org

Blogging Platform

At this stage, you have a clear idea about your blog niche and name, and you have a strategy for generating income from your blog. The next step is choosing the blogging platform.

Most bloggers—both experts and amateurs—choose WordPress. There are many alternatives to WordPress, but their market share is relatively small.

WordPress has a few noteworthy advantages:

  • It’s free, secure, and open source. Lots of developers bring their contributions to the platform, so WordPress is constantly improving.
  • It’s powerful and reliable. WordPress is far from perfect, but it’s reliable and a good choice for any kind of project.
  • The WordPress community is awesome. You’ll find local WordPress meetups and WordCamps where people discuss current issues and future challenges. Users share their opinions through blog posts, and many engage in forums to help each other solve issues.
  • There are countless themes and plugins. WordPress fits any kind of project, but themes and plugins are responsible for fleshing out the sites. Luckily, there are plenty of themes and plugins to customize your site.

Under these circumstances, choosing WordPress for your blog makes sense. In fact, WordPress was initially developed for blogs but eventually developed into a complex content management system.

Hosting Provider

WordPress Hosting

Finding the proper hosting provider is a huge responsibility because it relies on dozens of factors. The site’s purpose, budget, and predicted income are the most important factors.

The hosting provider is responsible for site security and performance. A bad host will simply ruin your business.

There are multiple types of hosting, but here are the most common:

  • Shared. Your site will share a server with other sites. It’s the cheapest solution, but it means limited performance.
  • Dedicated. Your site doesn’t share resources with other sites. It’s a costly alternative, but it ensures high performance.
  • Cloud. It’s the newest alternative, and it provides high performance at affordable prices.

Luckily, there are many top-class hosting companies, so you have lots of options. The real struggle is the multitude of solutions. Each project is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

In our humble opinion, Kinsta is the best hosting company. Its pricing plans aren’t for tight budgets, but you get value for your money. Kinsta allows you to select the data centers to store your site’s files in the cloud. The impressive performance, enhanced security, professional support, and staging environments are just a few advantages of Kinsta.

SiteGround is a hosting provider that doesn’t compromise performance for affordable pricing. It’s one of the three hosting companies recommended by WordPress, so you have enough reasons to consider SiteGround for your WordPress-powered site.

A2 Hosting, iPage, and Namecheap are other hosting companies we believe are good enough to satisfy your requirements.

Choose the Proper Theme

Choose a WordPress theme

The theme is nothing more than the site’s layout. There are themes optimized for portfolios, blogs, online stores, businesses, and many other purposes. Finding the proper theme for your site requires a lot of time, so we have put together a few suggestions to save you time.

The WordPress theme directory is the biggest source of free themes. There you will find a huge array of solutions, from blogging themes to e-commerce themes. Some people believe that free themes will be buggy or poorly coded. Indeed, some of the themes in the WordPress repository lack the extended functionality of a premium theme, but qualified people review each theme before it is made available in the directory.

Elegant Themes is a premium theme seller that impresses with its flagship theme, Divi. Extra is another massively used theme from the same agency. You’ll have to buy a subscription to get access to Divi and other themes and plugins, but the cost is a real bargain compared to the value you get.

Theme Isle sells good-looking and super-fast WordPress themes. Neve and Hestia are its best-selling themes. You can’t go wrong by creating your site with them.

Template Monster and Templatic are two other major theme sellers that regularly release top-notch themes. We might be biased, but we put a lot of thought into creating our awesome themes, so check out our collection of themes. For instance, Gutenshop is how we imagine the perfect online shop: simple, attractive, and focused on an unparalleled user experience. Magazinely is a theme fit for magazine news that allows you to add plenty of content on the home page without annoying your readers. Foodie Blog is a suggestive name for this theme; use it if you are interested in launching a blog in the food niche.

Install Plugins

Install WordPress plugins

While the theme is responsible for the layout design, plugins are responsible for enhancing functionality. There are plugins that allow you to create an online store, deliver complex magazine news, start a forum, or run a membership site. Other plugins cache your site files, optimize images, clean the database, or create site backups. In plain English, you need a few plugins to enhance your site.

The WordPress repository stores 55,000 plugins, so you have plenty of solutions at hand. Just like with themes, there are many premium paid plugins. For instance, WP Rocket is a premium WordPress plugin that improves site performance. It’s one of the most frequently installed plugins for this job. Perfmatters is also a serious contender.

Handling large amounts of data is cumbersome, so we created a plugin to help you stylize tables, Superb Tables. Social Share & Follow Buttons is another in-house creation that is useful for social media distribution.

Briefly, an astronomical amount of plugins is available to complement your site. Finding the proper plugin is not easy, so feel free to contact us when you are in doubt. We would be glad to engage with you.

Customize Everything

By now, you have decided on your niche and domain name and installed a theme and a few plugins. Now, you have to customize the theme to meet your needs and configure the plugins. This activity may take only a few hours for more experienced users, while the less trained ones will need more time. Of course, it depends on the degree of personalization you want.

Create a Content Strategy

You will feel accomplished when your new blog looks how you expected it to look. You’ve customized the theme and configured the plugins, and now you are ready to write your first post!

This isn’t the end of the journey. You have to come up with useful, valuable, search-friendly, and user-friendly pieces of content. And that’s not enough! Every reputable blog needs an actionable plan to promote each post. In other words, you need a content strategy.

A content strategy is a document that presents the following:

  • Content format. Choose to create either short or long blog posts and decide on the other types of content you will publish, such as infographics, videos, or quizzes.
  • Publishing frequency. You can relax as long as you have a few posts in your queue. Pay attention to publish regularly.
  • Traffic expectations. Many bloggers set themselves monthly goals. In this way, they set high expectations and are super motivated to meet the challenge. Your content strategy should include milestones and monthly goals. Make sure that you set realistic expectations.
  • Sources of traffic. Nowadays, organic traffic is still king, but paid advertising and social media are remarkable sources of traffic. Your content strategy should include a plan to leverage social media, paid advertising, and other sources of traffic.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Finally, your blog is up and running! Launching a good-looking blog is not rocket science, but it’s not simple either. Your post quality and promotion efforts make the difference between a low-traffic and heavily visited blog.

Over to You

Unfortunately, no matter how detailed a guide to creating a blog is, you will still face a few issues. Don’t hesitate to ask for our help. We are happy to engage with our readers.

At some point, you may be tempted to give up on your blog. These moments are watershed moments, and you have to work through them. Be honest with yourself before launching a blog: are you committed enough to such a tremendous amount of work? If you are still interested, go back to the introduction and follow all the steps.


Starting A WordPress Blog F.A.Q

How to start a WordPress Blog

Are you thinking about starting a WordPress blog? We have tried to create a simple beginners guide for newcomers to WordPress CMS, which will hopefully help you create your first WordPress blog. With this how to start a WordPress Blog guide, you should be able to start your own blog in less
than an hour. After reading this guide you’ll know what blogging actually is as well as having a step-by-step guideline to start a WordPress blog. Starting a blog is not a big deal nowadays, but maintaining it is very important. You may start a blog, but if you cannot maintain your blog’s content then all your hard work will be of no use at all.

“How much money do I need to start a blog?” This is the question we get the most from new bloggers. Although blogging is completely free, you still need to invest some amount while starting. You have to pay for SSL, domain and hosting – that’s all.

In the present world where technology has upgraded so much and is embedded in the human ecosystem, starting a blog is not a big deal. It’s as easy as boiling water. Even if you are a non-techie, you can build your own blog from scratch without much effort. In this guide we’ll take you through some very simple steps with almost no coding and
complicated methods to start your first blog post in less than an hour or two.

Do I need a Checklist?

Before you begin, there are a few things you need to prepare. These are the basic requirements for starting a blog. They are:

  1. Domain Name
  2. Hosting
  3. Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  4. Blogging Platform
Bluehost WordPress Domain
  1. Domain Name: Domain name is the identity of your blog. It is the name from which you’ll be identified in this galaxy of networks. It is the name from which your viewers will search for you over thousands of other blogs. Choosing an appropriate domain name is highly recommended. One should not choose a difficult or a long domain name.
    You can find and buy your domain name at the same companies that deliver your hosting. There are thousands of hosting companies. Most of the hosting companies are very good, but you get what you pay for. A great hosting company that has all the necessary tools for a professional blog is Kinsta which has fair prices but is in the expensive group of hosting companies. If you are looking for cheaper hosting, to begin with, try Siteground or Bluehost. Both are great WordPress hosting companies with more affordable hosting solutions and both hosting companies have great support.
  2. Hosting: Hosting is the place where you will keep your blog so that it will be available 24 hours a day – 365 days a year. Hosting is available in different specs and varieties. You can choose or even customize the package according to your requirements.
  3. SSL: It is the security protocol used for establishing encrypted links between web servers (your blog) and the clients’ browsers. SSL ensures that the data transmitted between your blog from the web server is encrypted and your blog remains safe from attackers.
  4. Blogging Platform: There are tons of blogging platforms available for free today. Wix, Tumblr, Squarespace, Drupal etc are some of the most used blogging platforms, but the most popular blogging platform is WordPress. WordPress is the handiest tool for blogging. WordPress is currently powering more than 90% of blogs and the number is increasing daily.
    In this guide, you will use WordPress as your blogging platform.

Why Use WordPress?

WordPress is currently the most popular blogging platform. It is open source and free. Although it is freely available, you can build your blog from simple to advanced. A simple blog or an enterprise website, WordPress fits any form. You might consider choosing Wix too as your blogging platform.
There are two types of WordPress available, WordPress.com & WordPress.org. Both of these offer the same tools for building a perfect website and a powerful CMS (Content Management System) that provides its users with an easy interface to build a blog. However, being identical, both of these platforms still share some differences. Knowing these differences will help you choose the better platform.

The major difference between the two WordPress platforms is that WordPress.com provides hosting for a fee, while WordPress.org demands that you find your own Domain and hosting provider such as Kinsta, Siteground or Bluehost. We have already talked about the hosting – so this
is a crucial thing that you should consider before starting a blog. Therefore, choosing between these two platforms really depends upon the type of control you want over your blog, its design, and management.
In Self-hosting one has full access to all the files and codes of the site and you can easily deploy your site in any way you want. With its own domain name, a self-hosted site is hosted by one of the web-hosting providers who provide space on a server. If you are using a self-hosted site then you are free to make changes to your site files either by totally changing it or adding new features.
Similarly a hosted site only uses a portion of web space that is being provided by a hosting company. In hosted sites, there won’t be any technical issues or site maintenance issues.

What’s the difference between WordPress.org & WordPress.com?

FeaturesWordPress.orgWordPress.com
ThemesSupports both free and premium themes from any source.Huge collection of free themes. Need to pay for adding themes from outside.
PluginsPlugins can be installed from any source.Huge collection of pre built plugin features. Plugins can’t be installed.
Domain NamesCustom domain names have to be purchased with their own identity.Domain name comes with extension
“.wordpress.com” with your domain.

WordPress.com takes care of everything from site maintenance to technical issues. Whereas, WordPress.org is freely available to its users – everything after that depends on the users themselves. Therefore choosing between these two platforms depends on the usability and intention of your blog. Choose wisely.

Hosting & Domain Names

Now after you have prepared your checklist and have already chosen your platform, it’s now time to get your hosting and domain name. These are as essential as water and food for a living thing. When choosing hosting and domain name, we suggest Kinsta, Bluehost and Siteground. These hosting companies are technically mature companies for hosting and domain names and they also offer a variety of discounts that you can get from different affiliate links. Additionally, these hosting companies provide awesome support and an easy to use interface, which makes them more popular among new bloggers.

Follow below steps to setup your hosting and domain name (we have used Siteground as an example, but the steps are very similar on the other WordPress hosting platforms):

  1. Visit the Siteground site. siteground.com
  2. Choose the type of hosting you want by clicking “Get Started” from the homepage. Here we are going for WordPress hosting.
  3. Now choose an appropriate plan by clicking “Get Plan”.
  4. On the next screen, you’ll be asked for domain details. If you’ve already purchased a domain name you can simply go for the “I already have a Domain” option and fill the domain name in the space provided. Otherwise, choose “Register a New Domain” if you need a domain name. After you fill the required domain name click on “PROCEED”.

Now, in this section you’ll be asked to fill out your personal details and billing details for the new account that you are going to create. Fill the details accordingly and you are all set to start your new blog.

At this stage, your hosting and domain are ready. You have completed 50% of your journey towards setting up your new blog.

How Do I Set up WordPress?

After you are done setting up your hosting and domain name, it’s time to set up your WordPress engine. It’ll be done smoothly with the friendly interface of Siteground. After completing the
account creation you’ll ask to set up a new website.

Click on Start a new website option and choose WordPress from the software to install section and click Confirm.
Now, the WordPress setup part will start and you’ll be asked for security i.e username and password for your blog. After you provide a username and strong password click Complete Setup to complete your installation.
Congrats, your WordPress is installed and ready for use. All you need to do is get familiar with the new interface and start posting your blog post.

How Do I Use My WordPress Dashboard?

You have now installed WordPress on your website. Now it’s time to use it to start posting to your blog. For that you have to login into your freshly created WordPress using your username and password. You can do this by going to a url like www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

After login you will see the dashboard of WordPress. This is your command center and control panel. Using this dashboard you can customize your site according to your needs. Let’s get familiar with the WordPress dashboard.

  • Posts: This is the section from where you create your posts. You can view your published posts and even create categories for your posts.
  • Media: This section is used to upload images, videos, gifs, pdfs etc to your site.
  • Pages: Pages are similar to posts. This section is used to create new pages.
  • Comments: Comment section is used to control everything related to the comments that interact in your blogs. Being an admin of your site, you can approve or delete your visitors’ comments. This section is mainly used to protect your blog from offensive comments from visitors.
  • Appearance: This section of WordPress is used to change the view of your blog. You can change themes or layout from this section. You can give a new look and feel to your blog from this section.
  • Plugins: Plugin section is used to give your blog new features and functions. Lots of themes provide some required minimal functions, but if you need some extra features that are not provided by the theme itself, then you can add it to your blog using plugins. There are plugins available for almost everything like contact forms, maps, SEO tools etc.
  • Users: Using this section you can create more than one user to control your blog dashboard according to their role. Users can be administrators, editors, authors, contributors or subscribers. All of them have different roles and they will be given privileges according to their roles.
  • Tools: Tools section provides extra handy tools in which you can customize your blog site.
  • Settings: You can use the settings section to change the various settings of your WordPress such as email, description, permalinks, time and timezone etc.

Themes are the best part of the WordPress platform. You can easily change the complete look and feel of your blog without changing the content. There are a variety of free and premium themes available in the WordPress marketplace. The difference between free and premium themes is
based on the features, functions and support. You have to be very careful while choosing the right theme for your blog. Themes should be lightweight, responsive, SEO optimized and match your blog category.

Some of the popular free blogging themes are Deft, Gist, and Blog way etc. Besides these there are thousands of themes available. You can see a preview of the theme before using it.

To add a theme, you need to:

  1. Go to the Appearance section in your dashboard.
  2. Click on Themes.
  3. Click on the Add New tab.
  4. Now, you can search for the appropriate theme and click on Install.
  5. After successfully installing a theme, click on Activate to activate and use the theme.
How Do I Publish A Blog Post?

How Do I Publish A Blog Post?

This is the main section of your blog. You will do this every day to publish your blog posts. The steps below will guide you to create and publish your first blog post.

  1. Click on Post in the sidebar of your dashboard and then click Add New.
  2. On the title section give an appropriate title to your post.
  3. Below the title section, there is a body section. This is a big space in the middle for you to write your post body. Using the “ +” sign, you can add more sections in your body for paragraphs, images, galleries, headings and many more.
  4. You can even add media (videos, images, etc.) to your post.
  5. It is also possible to save your post as a draft to come back to it later.
  6. You can also preview your post by clicking the Preview button—this will open it in a new
    tab.
  7. After completing the writing of your post you can now Publish your post whenever you’re
    ready.
  8. You can even give your post a featured image. Depending on your theme layout and design will be displayed on your post.

Wasn’t that simple? Yes, you have just created a blog very easily and published your first post. You can create as many posts you want and publish them in your blog.

What do I do with my blog?

Now you have successfully created your blog and even published it. But there are still a few things you should take care of. Only this is not enough to make your blog popular. Listed below are some key recommended actions you should follow:

  1. Read more about- and practice more using WordPress. WordPress is vast and it’ll provide various features which you should know to make your blog more efficient.
  2. Share your blog link and post links everywhere. It’s like marketing your blog. It will help you generate more traffic. At the initial stage you should promote your blog more.
  3. Follow SEO rules while writing blog posts. This will help you get your blog to a nice ranking.
  4. Use Adsense and affiliate networks in your blog so that you can earn money from your own blog. Blogs have proved to be a nice source of income. But before doing this, you must be familiar with the proper guidelines and conditions of affiliation programs to avoid being suspended.

What is a Blog?

A blog is simply a website like any other sites available on the World Wide Web. In a blog, you can post and record your views, comments, reviews or even share experience and information regularly. In olden days, when the internet was new, people used their web site to write diaries or logs. Today, where the internet has become everybody’s “friend”, blogging is much more about writing personal views, records etc. online, it is termed as “Web log” or commonly called “ Blog ”.

The process of maintaining and updating a blog is called “ Blogging”, and a person who does blogging is known as a “ Blogger”. The Blogger can be a single person or even a team and is responsible for the resourceful content in the blog. They are the key person of WordPress every blog. There are varieties of different blogging sites available today like Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress. This guide is based on the most popular of the blogging sites WordPress and we try to guide you through every process of starting a blog using the WordPress platform.

Why are blogs popular?

People use blogs for expressing their emotions, share knowledge and even provide general information. A blog is one of the best ways to share your experience with other people. Readers can get information about almost any item by going through the right people and company blogs.
Blogs of different actors, politicians and even IT personnel are very popular. People regularly visit their blogs to get information, views and know their experience. Some people even write blogs anonymously to share their personal problems and difficulties without disclosing their identity. In this type of blog readers often comment back their suggestions to the blogger and try to counsel them.

There are blogs, which are very popular, and lots of people visit them daily. This means lots of traffic is being generated in the blog, and the blogger easily converts this traffic into money by showing advertisements to readers. A well-read blog can earn you a lot of money and all you need to do is to sign-up with one of the online ad programs like Google AdSense, and place it in your blog. After that, Google will start posting ads into your blog, and if lots of people visit your blog and click on those ads on your blog, you will be getting money transferred into your ad account automatically.

Hence, blogs are the best platform to share your views & knowledge, get popular and maybe to earn good money at the same time.

Why Start a Blog?

If you have built up a habit of blogging then you will be benefited in different ways. Below are some of the key benefits that you’ll achieve if you blog daily:

  • Presence: Writing a blog regularly will make you available to the world. A Blog can help you to show your presence in your community and it will give a positive message to readers that you are there when needed.
  • Creativity: When you start creating ideas for writing a blog you’ll surely feel that new ideas are blooming. Creativity multiplies itself. New creations come up and your mind is always filled with ideas. This means you are regularly working out with your brain and your creativeness sharpens every moment. Thus, your creativity will gradually rise to make you the most creative creature.
  • Traffic: If your blog is appropriate and you have a unique style of writing then people will visit your blog. More visitors means more traffic and can ultimately lead to more money.
  • Community: Being an active blogger will directly connect you to a cool community. You’ll be able to know what is happening in the community and be involved in it. You’ll be connected to your readers and other bloggers. The most important payoff is that the content you produced will help someone else to solve their problem or will be inspired directly.
  • Learn: Learning is a cycle, it never stops. You not only share your knowledge to educate others, but you’ll be learning more things by yourself first. Although when you start a blog to teach others, you have to learn it first. Similarly, you’ll also be learning new skills like online marketing, SEO, email marketing to make your blog more productive and efficient.

Besides this, there are a lot more benefits of blogging. You’ll be an expert in your field, you’ll gain more technical knowledge, you’ll improve your writing skills and a lot more.

Wrapping Up

This guide is for complete beginners who don’t know much about blogs and blogging. Starting a blog in this century is not a big deal at all. You don’t even need a huge investment to do this. After going through this guide you can easily create your own blog within an hour. Blogs can even be a nice source of income for you, if you follow the proper guidelines and rules. Make sure you choose the right category for writing. Happy blogging.

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