How to Start a Blog with WordPress
What makes a good blog post?
Before you write a blog, make sure you know the answers to questions like, “Why would someone keep reading this entire blog post?” and “What makes our audience come back for more?”
To start, a good blog post is interesting and educational. Blogs should answer questions and help readers resolve a challenge they’re experiencing — and you have to do so in an interesting way.
It’s not enough just to answer someone’s questions — you also have to provide actionable steps while being engaging. For instance, your introduction should hook the reader and make them want to continue reading your post. Then, use examples to keep your readers interested in what you have to say.
Remember, a good blog post is interesting to read and provides educational content to audience members.
What is a blog anyway?
In short, a blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content, also known as blog posts. In popular culture we most often hear about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can start a successful blog on just about any topic imaginable.
Bloggers often write from a personal perspective that allows them to connect directly with their readers. In addition, most blogs also have a “comments” section where visitors can correspond with the blogger. Interacting with your visitors in the comments section helps to further the connection between the blogger and the reader.
This direct connection to the reader is one of the main benefits of starting a blog. This connection allows you to interact and share ideas with other like-minded people. It also allows you to build trust with your readers. Having the trust and loyalty of your readers also opens up the door to making money from your blog, which is something I discuss later in this guide.
The good news is that the internet is exploding with growth right now. More people than ever are online. This explosion in growth means more potential readers for your blog. In short, if you are thinking about starting a blog then there is no better time than right now.
Let’s start your blog!
Start a Blog in 6 Easy Steps
Starting a wordpress blog is a fun and rewarding experience. However, on the other hand it can also be portrayed as being as daunting as it is interesting. Often, people are very interested in starting their own blog but struggle to get to grips with how to go about starting one from scratch.
The purpose of this post is to provide you with the insight and guidelines into How To Start a WordPress Blog.
STEP 1 – WordPress as the chosen blogging platform
WordPress is a self hosted platform and is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) available. Millions of posts are created using this platform and it can be used for building many types of websites, ranging from a personal blog to business-level sites. The main advantage of WordPress is its user friendliness, easy to understand interface, as well as being completely customisable.
The WordPress software can be downloaded from wordpress.org.
STEP 2 – Choosing a Web Host
Once you have decided to use WordPress as your blogging platform, you will need to choose a web hosting company to host your site. Web hosting can be a very complicated and technical topic, and it’s what trips most new bloggers up in their initial steps.
My suggestion is to keep things simple and don’t get too obsessed about finding the best possible host and configuration.
You will see that thousands if not millions of bloggers out there start off with a platform like Bluehost. The reason is that this company has been in the industry for over twenty years and provides one of the most simple ways to starting a WordPress blog and keeping it running without any issues.
If you choose Bluehost, you don’t even need to download WordPress yourself, instead you can use their interface to get it installed, with the big advantage being that you can get started in 5 minutes without worrying about MySQL databases and editing any PHP files.
STEP 3 – Selecting a topic for your blog
OK, so you have decided to create your own blog. Now you must determine what your blog will be about. What topic best suits the need for creating this blog? There are many topics one can select. It is important to keep in mind that you don’t need to necessarily pick a topic which is seemingly the most popular, but you may also opt to select a topic which is interesting to you, enjoyable and one in which you are interested in learning further.
Keep in mind also that you need not be the expert in that field when you first start out! You need only have a keen interest and passion for the topic and ultimately learn as you go along.
One other important factor to keep in mind is that the blog topic chosen should not determine that your entire blog will be tied to that topic. Feel free to switch around a few topics or spread your topic into other areas of interest. Feel free to experiment and mix it up a bit. Ultimately, you will definitely find the topic, or topic, which will definitely be to your liking and best matches your interests or passion.
So we have so far determined that we want to start a blog, identified WordPress as our blogging platform and chosen our web host. We also identified our chosen topic of interest. Let’s move on to the next steps…
STEP 4 – Setting up your WordPress blog
In order to start your blog you need a host and a domain name.
The domain name is the main URL, or the address, for your website. Choose wisely as this is what will identify and distinguish your blog from others! The following are a number of tips when selecting your domain name:
- Keep the name simple and relevant to your blog
- Keep it as short as possible
- Make it easy to type and pronounce
- Avoid using number and symbols, like hyphens, as this can make it confusing and hard to find for your visitors
- Try to use words that can be easily picked up by search engines to improve your visibility on the web
We touched briefly on hosting earlier, and I hope you took the chance to get that set up right away. If you did, then great, you can skip to the next step.
If you’re still unsure, let’s talk a bit more about web hosting.
Every website needs web hosting in order to function. Without having a web host you would not be able to take your blog live on the web. The web host’s function is to store your files and data on their servers so that people visiting your website can access the content of your website using their web browsers.
There are a number of different web hosting options available. Below is a short list of hosts I’ve tried over the years and can recommend for beginner bloggers:
So if you want to compare and contrast, by all means, visit those hosts and take your pick. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
STEP 5 – Customizing your blog
So you have now taken your website live on the web! Next step is to start customizing your blog’s design to make it visually appealing, easy to navigate and attractive to your visitors.
WordPress gives you the ability to select amongst thousands of themes for your website. There are free themes and the premium themes which often provide more advanced features and functions for your website. Navigate through the library to select the theme which best suits the content of your blog. Keep in mind that when selecting a theme try to opt for a theme that is simple to use and offers a clear and clear design for your visitors to view and navigate through.
The following are a couple of good WordPress themes and page builders suitable for blogs. My favorite combinations are:
Plug ins are a function in WordPress that have the ability to improve the design and functionality of your blog. They are essentially add ons that you can install on your site that focus primarily on adding new features to your site. The type of plug in required depends on the type of blog you are writing and the type of extended function that you are after. Much like themes, there is a plethora of plug ins available to the community.
STEP 6 – Writing your first blog post
Congratulations! You have set up and customised your WordPress blog. Your next step it to start writing your first blog post!
To write your first blog post, click on the Posts menu in the left hand menu of your dashboard, then select Add New.
To begin with, start with choosing a title for your blog post. Posts are structured into various ‘blocks’ Each block you add can contain different types of content. For example, text, images, videos, headers, lists, etc. Proceed by writing your blog and inserting the different types of content as necessary for your blog.
You may notice that on the right hand side of your dashboard when writing a blog there is an option to assign ‘Categories and Tags’ to your blog posts.
Whilst writing your blog post you may choose to save the blog as a draft or to preview it as it will look on your website. Furthermore, when you have finished writing your blog you can click on the Publish button to make your post live on your website, either immediately or set it to go live on a certain date and time.
Once you have written and published your first post, set yourself a timeline as to when you would like to start publishing your next posts to your blog.
Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions about starting a new blog and I’ll be happy to help out.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that may provide me with a small commission at no cost to you.