A Free Professional Guide On How to Get Started Blogging On Your Own Site Faster
If you are thinking: I want to start a blog website, but how can I get started on blogging? This guide has been written specifically for you.
If you are looking for a guide on how to start a blog website for profit or even how to start a blog on your website, this is the perfect guide for you. You will learn everything you need to know in this guide about how to successfully start a blog without hiring a website designer.
Want to skip the introduction? Click here to jump to our tables of content.
I have made this step by step guide easy to follow and also written it in very basic terms to help you get started blogging easily and fast without so much hassle.
Starting up a blog site can be overwhelming and if you do not have the technical skills, dealing with domains, hosting, plugins, and themes can be tiresome but this guide will help you go through the process faster.
I have helped people like you build and start blogging websites for over 13 years and also assissted site owners manage their WordPress websites.
If you are looking for the best person to teach you how to start a blogging website, guess what? Your search has come to an end.
I will show you how to start a blog site for free: from guiding you on where to start your own blog, setting up the blog to getting the best WordPress blogging themes, securing the site, and publishing your first post.
This quite a lengthy guide but by the end of it, you will have aquired everything you need to build a successful blog website.
Enough with the introdution. Let’s get started creating a blog using WordPress.
NB: If you want to start a blog on an existing website (add a blog to your existing website), leave a comment and I will get back to you.
Otherwise, lets continue with our tutorial on how to create your own blog from scratch:
How Do You Start a Blog? Quick Links For You
To jump to each section, click on each section link below.
By the end of this guide, you will be fully equipped with all the information you need in starting a successful blog. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for tips and free ebooks on securing, speeding, and optimizing your new site.
1. The Basics of How and Where To Start a Blog On Your Own
Before we get into detail on how to build a blog using WordPress, I think we should address one or two most common issues when it comes to starting online blogs.
We get questions in our support service like: ‘I want to write a blog where do I start?‘ and ‘where can I start my own blog and make money?‘ all the time.
How and where do you start a blog? Like I have said above, I will show you how to create and set up a blog in wordpress. On the question of ‘where’, I will show you how to select a WordPress hosting service that will host your blog files, database, and images online.
Which is the best software to start a blogging site on? WordPress! WordPress is the best blogging software for both starters and seasoned bloggers. Note that over 29% of internet websites are built on WordPress. I will show you how to build your own blog site using WordPress.
What Do I Need To Start a Blog? To to build your own blog website, you need first to identify what you want to blog about, get a domain name, and a hosting package from the recommended WordPress hosting services.
For this guide, we are going to host our blog using Bluehost. Why?
They are one of the oldest WordPress hosting service that offer affordable prices and superior support.
If you get hosting service from Bluehost using this link, you will get a Free Domain name and Free Setup in addition to low cost of their packages and advanced support.
What Should You Start a Blog About? If you don’t know what start a blog about, you should checkout the following guides (They will open in a new tab):
Guide 1: Deciding What Should My Blog Be About
Guide 1: Best Tips and Advice For New Bloggers
Alternativelly, click here to get these guides directly to you email.
Now that I have answered most of your question, lets get down on how to start a successful blog. The next step is buying a great domain name for the blog that you want to start.
2. Choosing Hosting Service and Domain Name
This is where we will now start talking serious stuff that will help you start a successful blog – This includes setting up and building a powerful blogging site successfully.
As pointed above, you will need a great domain name for your blog.Luckily for you, you don’t have to worry about how to buy one as when you choose Bluehost as your hosting service, you will get one for free. All you have to think of is a great domain name.
If you have a domain name already, I will show you how to transfer it to your hosting service below. Click here to set up blog hosting.
Tips in Selecting a Great Domain Name When Starting a New Blog:
Find a unique domain name: Do not hyphenate other existing brand names for the sake of getting A tiny amount of traffic. This is a wrong approach to starting a successful blogging site. If the ideas for a blog domain name run out , you can use your name. That is if privacy is not an issue with you. Example: firstandlastname.com or combine your name with another word e.g annaherbal.com. Be creative! Please note that building a blog website that will make good money requires you to be creative.
Pick a blog domain that tells more about your site: Select a blog domain name that highlights what you will be blogging about. For example if you are starting a fashion blog, go for a domain like- inspiredfashion.com (this is an example).
Make the right choice between TLD or ccTLD: I know I have just lost you. These two terms mean Top level domain (TLD) and country code top level domain (ccTLD). If you are targeting the global audience or audience in United States, give priority a domain name ending with .com otherwise, use the country specific TLDs like .co.uk when targeting audience from a specific locations like the United Kingdom.
For starters, you can use a notebook to write down all the ideas and then use the form below find out if the domain is available.
Now that you have a few suggestions, get started finding a domain name for blog that you will create.
Note – Do not buy the domain at this time, we will show you how to get one for free in the next step. (Why should you spend $12 when you can actually get a Free domain for your blog?).
Read the next step on getting hosting:
Setting Up Blog Hosting Service
Website hosting is a service that helps you store your blog files so that your blog can be accessible through your domain. You will need to buy a hosting plan before you can get started bulding a blog on WordPress.
Below are the steps that you need to follow. I have included images to make it easy for you to set up a blog hosting package appropriately.
Step 1. On the first page, click on get started button as shown below.
Step 2. Selecting a hosting package to get started.
Note that I have selected the ‘plus’ as this is efficient when starting off. You can upgrade your plan when you start getting more traffic to your blog.
Step 3. Registering or Transfering a Domain Name:
Use the left-hand side box to register for a new domain name. If you have an existing domain that you would like to use, use the box on the right side and follow the instructions.
Step 4. Register For An Account With The Provider:
The next step requires you to fill in your details for you to sign up for an account.
This is crucial as they will use these details to personalize your account.
Step 4. Select Plant Term and Addons:
Note that will be able to select a hosting plan for 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, 48 months, or 60 months. This is a good thing in the sense that you can pay for hosting from one year to 5 years and you can now focus on other expenses. For illustration purposes, we have selected 12 Month plan.
Note that the longer the duration, the cheaper the monthly amount will be.
Step 4. Finalize By Adding a Credit card and Accepting The Terms:
This is the final step in getting a hosting plan! After this step,we will be set up WordPress and starting the actual blogging. As shown below, fill in the credit card details, read and accept the terms. Click the submit button to process your account. You will be able to login to your new account immediately.
3. Installing and Setting Up WordPress
By this time, you have a blog domain and a hosting package and you are ready to install and set up your blog on WordPress.
After clicking on the submit button above, you will be directed to page where you will set up a theme for your site.
Check your email for a welcome email from Bluehost and follow the instructions provided. If you are stuck, use their live chat to ask for help. They will guide you for free.
After this, you can relax as most of the technical bits of setting up a blog are nearly complete. To install wordpress on your new hosting package, I have included some images and steps below to guide you. Click here for Bluehost guide on installing wordpress.
On the themes screen, click on the ‘Skip’ link and add a theme later. I will show you how to select a good theme for your new blog.
After skipping the Bluehost themes option, you will be redirected to a page as shown below:
Select ‘Business‘ button – It doesn’t matter whether you are starting a blog as a business or as an individual.
On the next page, your blog is ready for the first post but I recommend that you make some customizations before you start blogging seriously.
Congratulations! You are now a proud owner of a WordPress blog and it is just a matter of time before you start making money blogging.
We will now find a great theme for the blog that you have just created.
4. Start Designing Your WordPress Blog
Now that you have your WordPress blog set up, we will go ahead and customize the look and feel of your website. I recommend that you take your time to learn wordpress.
Our guide on the best way of learning WordPress fast (in 4 days) will come in handy.
Note that learning to use any software the first time is challenging but you should know that most prominet bloggers started like you and forged their way to blogging success. You should not give up.
I hope that you will stick around and build a successful blog. Guess what! Our WordPress technical support at Smart WP Fix will give you all the support you need if you ever get stuck.
Shall we get started on selecting the wordpress theme for our new blog?
To do this, WordPress offers two choices when building a blog: Selecting a free wordpress theme from the WordPress repository or buying a ready made theme for your blog. I will show you how to get started with both options below.
Note: There are many guides out there on how to start a blog on your own that recommend the use of Genesis themes for people setting up a blog for the first time. Genesis WordPress themes are great but they a bit technical.If you have the time, you can use one to build a blog as the framework is great. I will therefore recommend it as the 3rd option.
So, use Genesis theme if you are willing to put in some time to learn how it works. If you get stuck, there are paid WordPress set up services you can get help from.
1. Using Free WordPress Themes To Set up a Blog
Worpdpress offers a repository of free themes to help you get started with blogging. When starting blogging on a limited budget or when you just want to learn how to set up a blog before you embark on building a blogging site that can make you money, free blog themes will work for you.
To select a free blog theme, click here to go to the WordPress repository.
Note that in as much that there are free themes, if you can spare $50 t0 $100 for a clean paid theme for your blog, that will be awesome.
Why should I pay for a blogging theme instead of using a free one? Great question! Free blogging website themes are great to get started but they lack in features. Loosely speaking, paid blogging themes have more features and can be customized to fit your blog more easily than most free themes.
To get started with a free blog theme, Go to your WordPress Admin area -> Appearance ->Themes. You will find some preinstalled theme for you by default.
If you want to use a different free theme, while on the themes page, click on add new button and browse the available themes.
2. Using a Paid Theme To Build a Blogging Website Fast:
Paying for a theme is a great way to get started with blogging as it will save you a lot of time;the time that you could be using to blog.
For beginners, I have 3 recommendations for you. These are the themes that have worked perfectly for other bloggers.
1. Divi By Elegant Themes
Divi theme builder is a popular theme building tool that will help come up with a unique design. For only around $89, you will get access to many plugins and themes that you can use for your new blog.
I have personally used Divi to create many blogs and websites for budget conscious clients. I recommend theme for you as it is highly customizable. This is the best drag and drop theme builders for WordPress that can help you get started blogging fast.
2. Avada Theme:
Avada Theme will only cost you around $60 but it is worth it. It is easily customizable and can be used for a wide range of blogs.
3. Genesis Themes Framework
Genesis themes are the most widely used themes by bloggers and people who are building business websites on WordPress.
As indicated above, you will need to spare some time to learn about the framework. After this, you can build a powerful and fast loading WordPress theme using this framework. Most successful bloggers will tell you to use Genesis themes.
Another advantage of Genesis themes is that they have a wide range of themes to choose from. They have themes for everyone.
I hope by now you have been able to get a theme for your blog and ready to go to the next step on creating the basic pages that every blog should have.
5. Writing Basic Pages of Your Blogging Site
May be you are wondering why you should include static pages while building a blog. Even if you are interested in blogging alone, you need to create some basic pages for your blog site. I will explain why you need them below.
These pages include: About, Work With Me, Contact, Tools and Resources
Use this page to talk about yourself and give readers a reason to follow you and even care about your blog. This is the page that sells you as a brand. Be sure to ‘brag’ about your experiences here – After all, this is your blog. Make the ‘About’ page as personal as possible.
This page shows the authenticity of your blog. Give an avenue for your audience to contact you. Keep the contact page as simple as possible. You can use free plugins like: Contact Form 7 plugin to create a simple contact form. Do not display your email here to prevent spam.
Work With Me:
This page can be renamed to ‘Hire Me’. You will showcase your services here in case your readers are interested in hiring you. Keep your services simple and be clear about what you are offering.
Tools and Resources (Blueprint):
This is a page where you will include all the tools that you recommend. You can add affiliate links for paid tools that you have used and tested while starting and running your wordpress blog. This is one of the money making pages if done right.
Those are the key pages that you need to build and run a blog. We will now install the necessary plugins.
6. Install The Basic Plugins For Your Site
When starting a blog, you need to have the right plugins installed. Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress core. Think about plugins as enhancements to your blog.
For beginners, do not install unnecessary plugins as these might slow down your new blog.
Here are some of the free plugins you need to get started with blogging:
WP Super Cache: This is a Caching plugin that will help you make your WordPress faster. You will also use this plugin to setup CDN (content delivery network). You will learn that both your site visitors and Google loves fast blogs.
Yoast SEO: This is the best wordpress plugin for SEO. You will need Yoast SEO to optimize your blog posts and site pages to get more organic traffic.
Better Click-to-Tweet: This will help you increase number of twitter shares.
Contact Form 7: This plugin will be helpful in creating a cute contact form where users can contact you directly.
WP Google Analytics: This plugin will track visitors coming to your blog site. You need these insights to understand your visitors and to make money from your blog.
These are basically all the free plugins you need to when starting a blog. In the next step, I will go over other two plugins you need: Security Plugin and Backup plugins.
If you are serious about starting a blog that will make money, you need the the right set of plugins.
7. Get the Right Security and Backup Plugins
I have choosen to focus on these two plugins in a separate topic as WordPress security is critical. Something that other bloggers won’t tell you.
You can choose to ignore this step and buy a WordPress blog maintenace plan instead.
You need to install the appropriate security measures right from the start. I bet you don’t want to start fighting off hackers and other bad guys even before you make some money out of your blog.
Note: If you want to deal with backups and Wp Security, we offer maintenace plans that includes managed backups and managed security services. Click here to find out about our WordPress maintenance services – We will maintain your website, while you do what you do best – blogging.
With the option above, you will get the backup and security plugins for free (Over 297 Value plugins)
1. Get a Backup Plugin Installed:
Many new bloggers will overlook this important plugin just because they are getting started but it is better to keep backups right from the start. There are a number of free plugins that will do this for you, but most of them have limited functionalities.
A good plugin will cost you anything from $69. That is a is a small amount as compared to the trouble you would go through if something happened and your site got messed up.
Popular Wordspress blog backups are: Backupbuddy by iThemes and BlogVault for backup.
You have to act now or if you wish, wait until that crash happens and you lose everything. There is nothing frustrating than having a crashed or broken blog that you don’t have an idea on how to fix.
2. Get a Security Plugin:
If you are new to WordPress, you should note that keeping your site secure will be your primary role as the webmaster.
You wordpress website needs to be always secure and as your blogs grows, the need for security plugins becomes more.
For security: iThemes Security Pro plugin and Wordfence. You can also checkout Sucuri security plans.
Take your time read more on: How to Secure WordPress Website and Keep Hackers Away
Now we are done with all the technical bits on building a blogging website you are ready to post your first blog after setting up a way to build an email list (this will come in handy in making money from your blog)
8. Configure an Email List Building Plugin
You can’t be done setting up a blog without having configured a email marketing service.
What is this? When running a blog, you need to collect emails (subscribers) from your audience so that you can use an email marketing service of your choice to notify them of your new posts. You will use this list to make money out of your blog.
Even if you are starting a blog for other reasons, you need to pay your blogging expenses! It doesn’t make sense to pay these bills from your pocket.
NB: For blogging success, make sure you start collecting emails from day one. Email subscribers are the most valuable blogging asset ever!
Ninja Pop-ups WordPress Plugin: This will cost you $25 and you will get over 70 premade layouts. All you have to do it to install the plugin on your blog and choose a design or even design your own layout using a drag and drop layout builder.
Email Marketing: You have the option to choose between GetResponse and ConvertKit. If you are looking to compare a number of these services, we have done a comprehensive review of email marketing services.
If you are done setting up this, now you are ready to write your first blog post.
9. Start Some Serious Blogging
This is the fun part. Now that you have a full blog setup, customized, and with all the plugins you need ready, it is time to start writing.
You will need high quality content for you to succeed in blogging. In the initial stages of starting a blogging website, you need to create high amount of relevant content. This can be overwhelming! A great strategy would to group the topics and write lengthy articles. Make sure your articles are 2000+ words for authority.
Here are some of the pointers in creating content for your blog:
Come up with a content strategy: You need to plan what you write in advance. I recommend that you create a simple editorial calender. This can be on your notebook or you can use excel for that.
Write articles that actually help your readers solve problems: For example, this post is helping you learn how to start a blog successfully.
Learn to write content that sells: To make some money out of your blog, you must learn the art of writing lead generating content.
Promote your blog: You need to constantly promote your articles on social media for more visibility. Also, make sure you share your content on Google Plus for SEO.
Be Patient and Consistent: Building a successful a blog requires patience and consistent learning.
A Simple tip: Learn from successful bloggers. Find blogs in your niche and try to reverse engineer what they have done.
10. Ask For Help If You Get Stuck
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck. Whether it is something technical or something related to blogging, the blogging community will come in handy.
Do not be afraid to invest in an ebook or a guide. You have to spend some money to make money!
Technical Help While Blogging
At Smart WP Fix, we can keep your blogging site healthy in all aspects while you focus on blogging and making money out of your blog.
Some of our services include: Affordable blog maintenance plans, Managing your site backups, and Security monitoring. Imagine having never again to worry about your website?
This is the end of our step by step guide in starting a successful blogging website. Now it is up to you to work hard and make it a success. Just to summarize this guide in 6 simple steps:
- 1. Identify a Niche (Something you can make money out of)
- 2. Get quality hosting from Bluehost (You will get a Free Domain)
- 3. Find a great theme for your new blog (Look and feel matters)
- 4. Install necessary plugins
- 5. Content Writing + Building an Email List
- 6. Keep Learning and ask for help when you get stuck
All the best in building a blogging website. Talk to our wordpress experts if you get stuck along the way. Share your thoughts on the comment section below.
Cheers – With Love,
Vivien W. – A Smart WP Fixer,
“I Help Passionate People Set up Blogs “