An Easy Way to Start a WordPress Blog
I don’t consider the topics I write “advanced” but as it turns out, I need to reach back to the fundamentals once in awhile. Apparently, there is so much info on the web on SEO and making money, a lot of basics get lost — like actually creating a blog!
Look, I get it; the money isn’t there for bloggers to write about how to start a blog site. People starting a blog typically aren’t the ones who would be clicking on ads or spending any money really.
Regardless of whether or not it will actually make me any money, I do feel I owe it to my audience to post a step-by-step process on creating a blog from scratch.
Step 1: Decide on a topic
This is your most important decision. If you are planning on creating a blog just to post your random thoughts, then you will always be your only audience.
“Experts” will tell you to find a niche that’s not saturated but my suggestion is to find a niche that you are passionate about, regardless of how popular it is.
Your knowledge on the subject matter is secondary because you can actually post while you gain the knowledge or document the learning experience.
If you must, find a micro-niche. For example, there are many blogs on being a father already so instead, your blog will be about being a single dad, being a stay-at-home dad, or being a dad who home schools his kids. You get the idea, right?
Remember, fresh content is the lifeline for any blog. If you’re not passionate about the topic, then you’ll lose interest fast — especially since readers and money from your blog won’t be coming for a while.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
If you are planning on using blogger or any other free full service blogging platforms, then you can just stop reading here. On the other hand, if you want your blog to grow and make some money in the process, you will need your own domain name.
This way, your blog will be xyz.com instead of xyz.blogspot.com. Your blog will be easier to remember but more importantly, you have shown to the world that you are committed to this blog. Your own domain name will cost you less than $10 a year so there’s no reason not to do this.
Need help on picking a domain name? Come up with a short list since it’s likely that your first choice is already gone.
I personally use Godaddy but you can use a number of sites to register it. I’ve had nothing but great things to say about Godaddy for domain registration so if you’re going to head over there anyway, register your domain with Godaddy, best recommended by me.
Step 3: Secure a host
After you purchased your domain name, it’s time to find a home for it. This “home” is called hosting and this will cost you about $80 a year. Since you are using WordPress, you will want a hosting provider that supports it.
Before you ask, I also use Godaddy to host all of my lovely blogs. There are many other good companies out there but I haven’t had a bad day with Godaddy yet so there’s no reason for me not to stick with them.
The cost is comparable to everyone else and I know what I’m getting from a customer service standpoint, which is one of the best in the industry.
Again, if you’re going to use Godaddy, sign up for Godaddy hosting. As an alternative, although I have not used Bluehost, some of my peers have raved about how happy they are there.
Whether you choose Godaddy, Bluehost, or another WordPress supported hosting provider, you’ll be all ready to go for the next step.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Actual Godaddy screen cap for installing WordPress.
The big reason why I recommend WordPress supported companies is because of how easy it is to install WordPress.
If you are not technical like most bloggers today, you probably don’t want to mess around reading requirements, setting up a database, downloading WordPress files and unzipping them into your folders, and running the install file.
Alternatively, if you signed up for Godaddy, for instance, you can go to your Hosting Control Center and literally click a button to do all of the aforementioned things for you.
You can even choose Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting where you Word Press come preinstalled & there are many other benefits of getting this hosting.
If you need help navigating through the site or have questions along the way, you could simply call Godaddy 24/7 and a customer service rep will walk you through step-by-step. By the way, installing WordPress is free.
Step 5: Add a theme
Even though you don’t have to have a new theme to start posting, I wouldn’t want anyone to see my new site with a default theme. A theme is basically the overall look and feel for your site.
It may also provide you with additional administrative tools. Although many themes are free, usually the better looking and more fully-featured themes will cost you a few dollars (usually $40-$80 for a single theme).
There are so many choices out there that it can be overwhelming. Just look at the blogs that you like and scroll down to the footer to see what they are using.
In the beginning, experiment with free themes so you get the hang of using WordPress. You may find that a free theme is perfect for your needs.
If you decide you’d like to pay for a theme, one that is clean, looks great, easy to use, has good support and optimized for search engines, one option is the one that I currently use.
Genesis themes is a great choice in my opinion. Pretty amazing stuff!
Step 6: Start posting
Now that you have your building blocks laid out, it’s time to populate your blog with real meat. It will seem pretty easy to fill your new blog site with content at first. Don’t let that fool you! Most bloggers fall of the face of the earth pretty fast.
If you followed all the steps so far, you’ve put yourself into a pretty good position. Look at some of these tips on how to be in the top 10% of bloggers who can survive six months. You’ll find that the first tip is to set a goal on posting frequency and stick to it no matter what. That’s easier said than done.
What to do next
There you have it. You have your own WordPress blog for less than $100! I know you’re proud of yourself but don’t relax too much though. Your work isn’t done, in fact, it’s just beginning!
Although there is a lot to do, below are the first few areas you should start learning about.
Search engine optimization for Your Blog
Google ads for your page