For many years, the term blogging was interpreted as an online form of a diary.
A place where someone was merely trying to express themselves.
However, this just isn’t the case anymore, so why start a blog with WordPress?
Over the last years, we’ve seen more and more huge brands implement blogs into their websites to provide more information and have a solid place where customers can interact with them.
It also becomes a very viable way for your site to rank on Google.
So Why Start A Blog With WordPress?
Nearly 75 million websites are using WordPress.
It is the most popular option when it comes to CMS. (Content Management System)
Best of all, It’s Free..
When you’re getting ready to start a blog with WordPress, a mistake that I made and I’ve seen others make is not knowing the difference between WP.ORG And WP.COM
The main difference between the 2 is WHO hosts your website and ultimately has full control over it.
What Is WordPress.Com
WordPress.com is a hosted service where you can set up a website or a blog that runs on WordPress.
It is beginner-friendly but is very limited as to the amount of control you’ll have over your blog.
- Ease of set up can have a blog up and ready to post within a matter of 5 minutes.
- It’s 100% free.
- You’ll be able to have a basic website and blog without paying anything, as well as getting a free WordPress hosted domain.
- No plugins, or additional uploads available
- No back-end code or file database access
- Your options as to customization are very limited, and can only use what they offer.
What is WordPress.Org
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own blog or website. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server.
- Full control, Upload your own plugins, and extend the functionality of your overall site.
- Access and the ability to fully customize the back-end code, database, and files of your website.
- Upload your own premium or custom themes to customize your website.
- You’re responsible to find your own hosting. Which is fairly cheap and can be acquired for around the same cost as a domain. And when signing up for hosting most companies will offer a free domain as well.
- There can be a bigger learning curve than if you decided to go with a WordPress hosted site. However, there are ways around this, by using drag and drop editors like Thrive Themes, and Elementor.
If you’re going to start a blog with WordPress. I wouldn’t go with any other option than WordPress.org
As it’ll give you full control of your entire site and it is yours whether you lose hosting or not.
Which has been known to happen, say you have an entire blog with a massive amount of content hosted by a platform that isn’t “self-hosted”
Well if that company ever has issues and for some reason loses your content, that’s it because technically you don’t “own” it.
Start A Blog With WordPress | Step By Step Guide
In this guide, I’m only going to be showing you how to set everything up through WordPress.org.
I’m am also going to be choosing Bluehost as my hosting plan.
As that is what I use and it would be quite difficult for me to show a guide on a platform that I’m not familiar with using.
Which are all very suitable options and might be better than Bluehost in some cases.
I’ve just been using Bluehost since I started blogging and prefer some of their features.
Very cost-efficient and you’ll also get a free domain upon signing up.
Most hosting options only cost around $3 Per Month so don’t let the price tag deter you from building a valuable asset online!
Step 1: Choosing A Domain Name
Now I know this part can seem like it isn’t that important, but I can assure you it really is..
You want to find a domain that is catchy, not very hard to pronounce, and something that is semi-relevant to what you’re planning on blogging about..
Some people don’t emphasize this as much as they should. It is really a good idea to take a couple of hours and write a list of potential domain names or words that you like.
Another reason that I like to do this first, especially when starting a new blog or website is that when you’re signing up through your hosting and they offer a free domain, you’re ready to go!
Keep in mind that once you chose a domain, it is forever and you cannot change it.
Step 2: Signing Up For BlueHost
Before you’re able to do anything, you’ll need a domain and hosting.
Bluehost will take care of both of those as they give you a free domain upon signing up.
This is why I mentioned above to have an idea of what domain you’re wanting, so that way the sign-up process can be seamless and you can be pumping out articles in no time!
I listed a few reasons why I personally think Bluehost is the best option for new bloggers!
- It’s affordable. You can host your website and have an online asset for less than a cup of coffee each month. The base plan starts at $2.95 Per Month and is more than sufficient if you only plan on having one website or blog.
- You get a Free Domain Upon Signing Up. This ties into it being affordable but you’ll get a year of hosting and a domain for under $40.
- You can easily install WordPress. Unlike other hosting platforms, installing WP through Bluehost is a breeze.
If you’ve chosen the basic plan within Bluehost it’ll cost you under $40 for the entire year to host your website.
That’s including your domain as well.
Which considering the cost of purchasing a domain alone is right around the same cost it would be a waste not to have a fully functional blog for the same price tag.
Keep in mind that if you’re planning on making more than one blog or website down the road, you’ll need to go with the upgraded version, as you can host multiple websites from one account which makes things a whole of a lot easier if you’re someone who’s building multiple or freelancing your services.
Getting started: Signing Up For Bluehost
Upon landing on their site, if you scroll down you’ll see their different pricing plans and what each one offers.
As I mentioned above if you’re only planning on doing a single website then the basic is more than enough.
If you want to start with one, you can always upgrade later when you’re ready to make another website/blog.
Next, you’ll be taken to a page that will prompt you to enter your desired domain name.
Be sure to fill out the box that is labeled “New Domain” as you’ll be getting one for free from Bluehost
As I talked about earlier in this article, hopefully, you’ve spent some time figuring out what one you wanted. If it’s available enter it into the box and move onto the next section.
If not, I would highly recommend finding another domain you like.
Bluehost will offer solutions with other endings such as: .Info, Biz or other things but I would only go with .COM.
Not that using a domain ending in one of the other options will hurt your results, but people are still wary about what links they click on or where they enter their information online.
So having something other than the usual could hurt your results when it comes to affiliate marketing or monetizing on your blog.
Upon doing so Click next to be taken to the following page:
On the final screen, you’ll be required to fill out billing details and contact information.
As you scroll down you’ll see a Package information section.
Here, you’ll be able to choose how many years you want to pay for hosting, as well as any add-ons that you’d like to purchase.
By default they will have a couple of upgrades selected, You can safely de-select all of them.
As we’ll be using a couple of different plugins through WordPress to do the same thing at no additional cost.
All in all, it should cost you around $35 for a year of hosting and your domain.
Once you’ve filled out all of the information, click Submit at the bottom to complete your purchase!
Step 3: Installing WordPress
The next thing to do is install the WordPress software into your hosting account.
Surprisingly if you want to start a blog with WordPress… You need WordPress.
It actually sounds more daunting than it actually is.
Bluehost makes this process seamless, and you can do it with the click of your mouse vs having to try to integrate a software together with any type of code or even having any tech skill.
If it’s your first time logging into BlueHost you should automatically be taken to a wizard that prompts you to go through the process of installing WordPress on your new site.
If for some reason you don’t see the setup wizard just head over to the “My Sites” section on the left side of the screen, then click the create site button to launch the setup wizard.
Then, you’ll be able to fill out some important details such as: Your site’s name and the username/password that you’ll use to manage your WordPress blog.
Once you’ve finished the install process, you can access your blog’s dashboard by going to YOURDOMAIN.COM/WP-ADMIN.
Step 4: Changing The Way Your Blog Looks | The Theme
Depending on what tutorial you watch.
The blog post you read or guide you’re following this is where it could potentially change depending on the source.
Most of them will end here, and say you’re ready to start writing posts and putting out content.
While yes, technically you’re at a point where you can start writing posts, if you’re looking to drive some serious traffic to your blog and have some good amount of success there is a few things that need to be done prior to writing a ton of articles.
How to Install A WordPress Theme
- Hover Over Appearance
- Select Themes
- Click The Add New Button
- If you chose a free theme at WordPress.org, search for the theme by name and click Install.
- f you purchased a premium theme, click the Upload Theme button and upload the ZIP file you should have received when you purchased the theme
After installing your theme, make sure to click the Activate button to make it active on your site.
The reason that I like to do this first is that it is a lot less frustrating if you mess something up and you don’t end up losing a bunch of content.
Plus it is a nice feeling once all of the minor stuff is squared away and you can really start focusing on writing quality content.
There are thousands of themes you could choose from.. Free and paid.
In my opinion, the route to go with is a paid theme.
And not just any paid theme.. The Acabado Theme by Income School Specifically..
I spent weeks tinkering around at the back end of my WordPress blog, trying to make it look exactly how I wanted.
The back end of WordPress can be tricky to navigate or getting it exactly how you’re wanting it, if you don’t know how to code.
But I’ve found that some of the themes and these page building software companies negatively affected the load time of the website.
Which is a crucial factor in 2020. The Acabado theme eliminated all of the issues I was having and some..
Plus in comparison to the cost of other themes, Theirs is not only cheaper.. But it performs better and you’re able to use it on as many websites as you want…
A lot of first-page ranking blogs are using this exact theme..
Step 5: Improving Functionality | Plugins
Plugins are amazing… Plain and simple.. They give you the ability to improve the functionality of your blog.
Not only for the reader but for you as well.
Which is why I see a lot of people go overboard with them..
They can be great, especially for people who’re just starting and any type of coding is foreign to them.
You can find a plugin to do just about anything could think of.
How To Install WordPress Plugins
- Go to Plugins → Add New
- If you chose a free plugin at WordPress.org, search for the plugin by name and click Install Now.
- If you purchased a premium plugin, click the Upload Plugin button and upload the ZIP file you should have received when you purchased the plugin.
Make sure to Activate the plugin after installing it.
You can always manage your existing plugins by going to the Plugins tab:
A rule of thumb I like to go by is: If the plugin doesn’t directly enhance the readers or my experience every time. Then I’m not going to use it.
Even having Plugins that are uploaded into the back end of your WP can affect your load time and the overall performance of your site even if you aren’t using them!
Plugins that you should use no matter what:
Shortpixel & Resize after upload – Compresses any image and can resize any image after uploading to your WordPress account. Images are the #1 cause of a slow website!
Pretty Links – Gives you the ability to cloak links throughout your entire website and use them throughout with ease. Great for affiliate links and monetization strategies because you can make external or affiliate links look like they’re coming from your own website.
Rank Math – A plugin that will help you structure your articles and your entire blog to greatly increase the chances of you ranking on Google.
Wordfence – A security plugin that will help make your blog more secure from cyber-attacks or people trying to get into it.
W3 Total Cache – Performance that will allow you to purge and cache your articles and website, keeping everything performing to the best of ability!
Scriptless Social Sharing – This plugin is an amazing plugin that allows you to put social share buttons on your articles. Everyone is on social media, your articles should be too!
Step 6: Post, Post, Post
Well, you’ve officially made it to the point where you can actually start writing content!
You can upload a post by:
- Hovering over Posts
- Then Clicking Add New
I decided to title this step Post X3 for the simple fact that, you’re now going to need to start pumping out quality content…
And a lot of it. I’ve seen it so many times…
Someone will start a blog with WordPress, write a few articles and be like this isn’t working and stop…
Having a blog is all about the long game…
And Google is like a snowball effect.
You’re going to see little to no traffic to your blog for quite some time.
But once you start to see organic traffic, it is just going to continue to grow and become bigger and bigger.
I wish I could give you a magic number of when you should be able to expect to start seeing traffic to your blog.
But this will vary greatly depending on what type of keywords your writing your articles about and what industry you’re in.
I know someone who is in the Make money online industry who didn’t start seeing traffic until he had 97 articles on his blog!
So just keep putting out that quality content!!!