The Ultimate Guide To Blogging: How to Start a Blog [4000 Words Guide]
Thinking to start a new blog?
For someone who is new to the blogging world, starting a new blog might prove to be a little challenging.
But I will guide you through all the steps you need to go through in order to successfully start your own blog.
Creating your own blog would take a little while, may be around 20 Mintues. So grab yourself a Coffee or Bear and let’s get stuck in to it. If you get stuck send me an email and I will do my best.
In this article where we will cover how to start a blog from very scratch, will be doing everything step-by-step to get a good start.
STEPS TO START A NEW BLOG:
- Choose your blogging platform and which is best for blogging?
- Registering an appropriate domain for blog
- Knowing about Hosting and Buying one for your blog
- Customizing and Setting up Your Blog
- Write posts and add pages
- Other Resources
Step 1: Getting Started – Choose your Blogging Platform (WordPress)
A blogging platform refers to the service which you will use to publish your content on the internet in the form of a blog.
There are many platforms available out there, each one of them having its own pros and cons. The first step would be to choose a platform that meets all your needs.
Among the most popular platforms is WordPress.
WordPress covers about a quarter of all blogs and websites on the internet, showing just how much it is preferred by many.
Perhaps it may be due to its simplicity and ease of use which as a beginner, is exactly what you would want.
Features of WordPress,
- Make any website quickly
- You don’t need to be an internet expert to use it
- You can create a website without any knowledge of Coding
- Supports Plugins, You can do everything you could imagine on your site with WordPress
- Open Source; WordPress is an Open Source Project, which means you download, edit and use it for free.
- Many Active Users and Helpers, WordPress has a great community build around them, Who are ready to answer your question.
- Free Themes, WordPress have a vast repository of Great Themes, which could give your blog a perfect look.
- Free Plugins, WordPress also have a huge repository of plugins which could make your blog fully features as you Imagined.
- Wait! There are still so many countless Features which I have not listed
Finding a domain name and web hosting provider
Now to the exciting part! To set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain name, you’ll need two things:
What is a Domain Name?
A Domain is a URL where a website rests. It can be either in the subdomain or a sub-directories or a domain name. Domains are used in place of ugly looking IP Address because It can easily differentiate between the website and easy to remember if chosen wisely.
For example, www.wordpress.org is a domain name.
What is Website Hosting Provider?
Of Course! You need a place which could store your Website Data Safely, and some great people who can help you with the trouble you will face. Web Hosting Providers have many Servers with runs 24×7. Most of the Providers also gives 99.99% or 99.9% Uptime Guarantee.
Where should I purchase my domain name and hosting?
Hosting a Website or a blog means making a website available to the public worldwide. While purchasing a web hosting space for your blog there are certain features you need to keep in mind so that you get the best out of price paid.
- Disk Space: The Amount of Storage space provided to you by your web hosting provider to store your files and everything.
- Bandwidth: The amount of the data that a website can transfer over a period of time or in short, It determines the speed of your website.
- Uptime: The percentage of time that a hosting server stays up or running. 99.99% uptime would mean that your website my go down only for about 8 hours in a year.
- Customer services: This is one of the basic and most essential features that one should look for while selecting hosting service.
There are also many Web hosting services available on the internet, but with lots of limitations and issues like Down Time Errors, Low Bandwidth, Bad Customer supports though.
Personally, I recommend Bluehost Web hosting for any newbie blogger or professional ones to get started with a new blog. For Both Domain & Hosting.
We have an offer for our readers, get 50% off and a domain free. Click here to avail this offer.
One of the Most Famous and Trustable Website Hostin Provider is Bluehost.
Step 1: Choose a Host
1. Go to www.Bluehost.com and then click “Get Started”.
Bluehost offers mind-blowing features for a little amount of money. They also offer 30-days money back guarantee. You enjoy full features of Bluehost and get your money back anytime during the 30 days from activation date if you faced any trouble or didn’t like their service.
Step 2: Select a Plan
Once you have chosen Bluehost as your hosting company, you should then choose the appropriate plan that suits your needs. The plan that you purchase should reflect the needs you for your blog.
Step 3: Choose a Domain
This is your web address. You may choose to enter a new or an existing domain depending on whether you previously had one or not.
How to choose a Domain Name?
Most Bloggers scratch their head with choosing the domain name, they keep on asking someone else to suggest them one. I hope after reading this guide, You would be able to choose one yourself.
What you should expect from your Domain Name?
Domain Name have two primary motives
- Easy to Remember
- Reflect you
While Choosing a Domain name, You should bear these things in your mind:-
- It Should be Easy to remember – Can you remember the domain names likes 8212guildofterspizasd.online? Possibly not, but even if you think you can, can you remember this for a long time? The Domain name you choose should be easy to remember as well as hard to forget.
- Related to your Blog – Domain Name should not reflect what your site is not. There are many favorite websites exits whose domain name is not at all related to them. But, I would recommend you to choose one which does.
- Short – Keep it Short
- Simple – Keep it simple because usage of hard and complex words can make it look evil.
- Pronounceable – It would be best if the domain could be pronounced easily. For ex, you can easily read domain name google.com as compared to 7792unfoldsamp.net.
What to do?
Here are some todos before finalizing a domain name:
- Try not to use or Remove Hyphens(-)
- Check for Copyright issues
- Try to use .com domain other than any other domain name such as .org or .net
Step 4: Enter Account Details
You should then enter your account details after choosing the domain name.
At this step, it is important to use a working email that you can easily access for this is where the login details will be sent.
At the same time, you should provide billing information to Bluehost so that the login details are sent to your email. Only after payment is when you will receive the login details.
Bluehost offers some great add-ons that you would able to add in package information section. You can also change your hosting plan (go for 36 months to get lowest price) here if you want to.
Step 5: Install WordPress
Once you have received your login details, you should access the cpanel and click on Install WordPress icon.
Afterward, you should start the WordPress install process.
You will then be given login credentials to use when accessing WordPress.
Step 3: How To Use Your Blog
Logging In and Check Out Your New Blog
Once the installation completes, you’ll get an email with the login information and also included an “Admin URL”.
To log in to your blog, click the admin URL. If you forget this URL, it’s simply www.yourblog.com/wp-admin (where “your blog” is your domain name).
Adding/Writing Blog Posts and Pages
This is the final and most important part when it comes to blogging. Once you are done with all the techy processes of setting up your own blog, you need to start working on the content that you will publish. There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding what kind of content to come up with. A few of the basic rules include;
Admin panel and go to Posts -> Add New.
On this page, you will see the WordPress posts editor. The most important parts of this page are:
- Post Title – enter the title of your post in this field
- Post Content – you can use the WordPress WYSIWYG editor to add the actual content of your post. Note that it has two tabs – Visual (use the editor to format your text) and Text (add your HTML code directly).
Once you enter the content of your first WordPress post, you need to Publish it. Publishing brings your post to your actual website.
That’s it! You Just created your first post.
Adding Images into Post
Step 1) Click the Add Media button.
Step 2) Click the Select Files button.
Step 3) Locate the image on your computer, and click Open.
Step 4) Pick an alignment (center, left, right) or leave it as None.
Step 5) Click the Insert into post button.
<h2>Fancy accordion</h2>[su_accordion] [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler title” class=”my-custom-spoiler”]
Headlines and titles
Always ensure that your articles have eye-catching headlines or titles. It is the first thing that your readers will see and use to decide whether the content is worth reading or not.
If coming up with great content that meets all these specifications is a bit of a challenge to you, not to worry. You can hire professional freelancers to do it for you. All you will need to do is give instructions of exactly what you want and they will do it for you. Examples of where you can get these freelancers is on sites such as HireWriters and writer.
This is one of the most important factors to consider. Whatever you post on your blog must always be original and fresh content. Plagiarism is a major offence that might lead to great consequences such as being penalized by search engines. Plagiarism will make you rank low on the search engines and thus, reduce the number of visitors that you get.
The only thing that will keep a visitor on your page for longer is an informative content. You must give your readers a reason to stay on your site, refer others to it and keep coming back for more all the time. Providing relevant and interesting information on your blog should do the trick.
The content must also be relevant to your blog. Don’t simply just write to fill in a number of words. Make sure the content has high readability and is relevant to the topic involved. In other words, if a user performs a search for a specific keyword or phrase and ends up on your site, the user should be able to get all the information he was looking for.[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]
Choosing Good Theme for UI of blog
Now that once you are done with installing WordPress on your Host, here is the first important to get started with your new WordPress Site. The Visual Appearance (UI Looks) of your WordPress Blog is controlled by the Themes. There are thousands of WordPress Themes available for you to choose from. With so many choices, it can be a little confusing for a newbie blogger to choose with which to start.
Once Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, Many WordPress themes come with lots of colours, complex layouts, flashy animation etc.
So You need to look after a theme that has a design layout that helps you support your goal and best fits the Niche too.
For e.g. Many Technology bloggers not only go with the Tech Look Themes but also prefer News/Magazine Themes to distribute articles in a mannered way. Here is a List which can be followed while choosing a theme for your blog.
- Make sure the Theme best fits your Topic of blog (Niche)
- Look for the theme which is 100% Responsive
- Gives support to Multiple browsers without leaving anything behind
- Supports wide range of WordPress Plugins so that later it doesn’t become an issue
- If you targeting multiple countries, see if the theme is Multilingual or Not
- Many Modern Themes are coming with their inbuilt Page Builder which decrease the Time Wastage to manage the UI of Blog. Like Genesis Framework.
- SEO Friendly
- Have Good Rating and Reviews over WordPress Marketplace.
You can spend the little time on WordPress Marketplace to find some good free WordPress Theme and below are some of the Theme Provider Sites you can try for best-Paid Themes with good support.
After you have found your desired template to use for your Blog, installation is a very easy process.
- First, download the .zip file of the WordPress Theme file to your computer.
- After that Login to your WordPress Admin Area and go to Appearance > Themes
- On the Top of the themes page, find and click on the Add New button.
- This will take you to the new page where you can also find many free Themes from the WordPress which can be installed directly with a single click. But since you have got your Dish ready, you need to click on the upload theme link at the top most.
- Now all you got to do is upload the downloaded .zip theme file and click on the Install Now button and It’s Done
1. Now in the Dashboard, click on Appearance > Themes.
2. Now once you on the Themes Page. Click on the Add New button at the top most area.
3. One the screen where you will be able to see many options like Featured Themes, Popular Themes and Latest Uploads. But The best way to choose a Theme for the first time is to use the Feature Filter option to filter certain things which might help you to get the best out of tons of others. PS: For Tech Bloggers, Whitman is suggested as a good Magazine theme for News/Technology. Alright so give it a search after filtering the things out.
4. Based on your search, you will see a single theme or a list of themes that met your criteria. For the Tutorial Purpose, Here I searched for the theme named Slipstream .So once when you find the most appropriate theme that you want to install, simply bring your mouse on top of the Preview image. This will reveal certain options in front of a screen like the install button, preview button, and details button. Go ahead and click on the install button without thinking much. 😉
Installing Essential Plugins for Smooth Operations
Well, Basically Plugin allow you to add new features to WordPress such as add a Carousel, Gallery, slideshow etc. Like Themes, There are also thousands of Free as well as Paid WordPress Plugins available to use for your new blog.
What is a Plugin for WordPress?
Plugins, on the other hand, are used to give your website certain features, functions, and Capability such as WooCommerce Plugin for making your website e-commerce.
WordPress also have a Plugin Repository where thousands of Cool Plugins are waiting to be installed.
Where to get Plugins from?
There are several useful plugins in WordPress Repository. You can choose the one you like or shop for premium plugins.
How to install a Plugin?
Installing a Plugin in your WordPress Blog is quite similar to Installing the Theme.
First, you need to Login to the dashboard of the WordPress Admin area.
1. Now in the Site Dashboard, Click on Plugins > Add New.
2. You will now get a page similar like one shown in the screenshot below. Here you will get tons of Plugins recommendations which are very high rated and good, you may try them if of are any use otherwise stick to what you looking for. In the search bar, type the name of the plugin like for tutorial purpose, searching for Floating Social Bar plugin.
3. From the results, choose the one which you think is best for you. (You can decide the best by reading the reviews, popularity, ratings etc.) After that all you got to click is Install Now button.
WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. After this, you will see the success message with a link to activate the plugin or return to plugin installer. As any plugin can be installed on the WordPress Site but won’t work until it is triggered to be activated.
Here below is the list of some of the most essential Plugins which a newbie blogger should definitely take a look and may also install for good smooth operation of the Blog.
Jetpack Plugin by Automattic
Jetpack is the one plugin which may be is one of the most useful and essential plugin which every single blog should have. Jetpack, Automattic’s Meta plugin adds 30+ Amazing features to your WordPress blog. Although, Jetpack is quite heavier that the WordPress core itself, it comes in a 7mb zipped (22.4mb expanded on disk). The whole plugin has got 12+ millions of download. Apart from everything, It’s Free!
Akismet is a Plugin which comes in-built with WordPress Core, although if you have removed this Plugin by-mistake may be then you can redownload the same from the marketplace easily for free. Akismet is one of the most popular WordPress Plugin which helps you control spam and useful fake comments on your Blog. It’s very helpful reducing of throwing away backlinks to waste and irrelevant sites.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
Every single blogger who is blogging or starting up must have heard a thing or two about SEO. WordPress is extremely well-coded which is why many call it SEO Friendly. But genuinely the real SEO benefit comes from the WordPress Plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast. This single bundle of plugin is an ultimate solution for the for the SEO on your blog. It has tons of cool features that none other offers.
- Post Title and Meta Description meta box to change this for every post
- Google Search Results Snippet Previews.
- Focus Keyword and Keyword Density checking.
- RSS Footer/Header Configuration.
- XML (images,videos,posts) and XML News Sitemaps.
- .htaccess and robot.txt editor.
And a lot of other features are included in the free version only. You can later upgrade to the Premium version if needed to avail many other features too like Video tutorials and a Redirect Manager.
Once you will start using WordPress, sometimes you might feel that your site is loading a bit slower? Or it’s not getting that much fast loaded that it used to do last month? Or you just found out that your Site Loading time is very slow like 6secs.
Aside from having a good web hosting and well-coded plugins, you have to sure that you’re also using a proper caching Plugin to deliver the site to the front-users very fast.
W3 Total Cache is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimizer plugin available in the market. It helps a lot to improve your server performance, reducing the download times and also provides support to integrate CDN (Content Delivery Network).
There are many different options available in W3 Total Cache like Page Cache, Browser Cache, Database Caching, CDN Integration etc. The Plugin is available for free in the marketplace and also if needed you can avail some more features of W3 Total Cache by upgrading it to a Premium Version.
The Plugin is available for free in the marketplace and also if needed you can avail some more features of W3 Total Cache by upgrading it to a Premium Version.
Google Analytics is a very famous service provided by the Google itself for the Webmasters and Site Owners to keep a track of their site’s Traffic Data, Real Time Count and a lot of other things. Google Analytics also provides support to WordPress in the form of a Plugin that can be used to keep an eye on the Traffic easily through your Dashboard only without switching to Analytics Site again and again. It’s very efficient and gives you access to quick as well as Total Stats in the Dashboard.
Best Blogging Resources and Useful Tools
After all the basic setup and everything, there are many things still left which you need to learn day-by-day in order to be next successful blogger, many people use to search about best blogging resources and essential blogging tools which might be useful. Below is a list of such Resources and Tools which can result useful for many newbie bloggers.
- Sucuri: Sucuri is a Service that monitors the integrity of your blog and detects any malware issues. The site also offers a free scanner which checks for the malware, blacklisting statuses and out-of-date Plugins or Themes. It also provides a Backup service.
- bbPress: bbPress is a forum built software built and made by the WordPress itself. It helps you to create your own small Forum site where you can control everything from Threads, Topics, and many things. Like WP, bbPress can be customized by installing custom templates and plugins.
- SlideShare: SlideShare is a website that makes sharing presentations easy. It lets you upload any of your PowerPoint, Openoffice and Keynote Files, which you can then share publicly or with Groups. Slides can be embedded on your blog easily.
- AdSense: Google Ad Network – one of the most used monetization strategies for the bloggers and also the reliable method of making money online with your blog through Monetization.
- MailChimp: MailChimp is an email/newsletter management tool which is very reliable with some of the great features and the most popular service among the Bloggers who bring traffic through Mails.
- WPBeginner: WPBeginner is a WordPress blog which offers tons of article about blogging with WordPress and contains a whole set of articles to start blogging from scratch with WordPress. They also do have useful services and Coupons for WP Products. Also, owns one of the most famous WordPress Plugin – OptinMonster.
- Optin Monster:Optin Monster is a very helpful WordPress Premium Plugin which can help you grow your email list by converting the visitors into Subscribers. Its famous Drab & Drop Builder allows you to create visually stunning Optin forms that are optimized for, good conversion rates.
All these above very some good and helpful resources which can help you to blog easily and with more efficiency
Final Words on Starting your own blog
As Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading the information and news, starting a blog is not a big thing than maintaining it and taking it to a next level.
There are literally millions of blogs online and thousands of newbie bloggers working day and night very hard to get a success with the blog just like you and me! If you treat a blog like a business, like the most others, it’s not going to be easy.
You got to be consistent and diligent on your own. Good Content is King which can decide 50% whether you will get good traffic or not.
For making money with blogging, Visitors is not enough.
You actually can need to build the trust at your initial and then monetize the blog with some services like either AdSense or Affiliate Marketing like Amazon Affiliation.
Remember – 500 Subscribers is always better than the 1000 onetime visitors.
I’m more than confident that your initial blog setup should have been started by this time.
Cheers! Enjoy your New Blog and let me know in the comments below about your new blog and if you have any query or doubts, put them in the comments.
Keep Blogging. Happy Blogging ..!!