In this blog post, I’ll give you exact instructions on how to create a blog on WordPress. If you follow the instructions your blog will be live in about 30-60 minutes. Do you require coding knowledge? Is it expensive? The answer to all these questions is no, setting up a blog is easy, simple, and doesn’t require a lot of money.
I’ve to warn you – it’s not free as many people seem to think. There’s no such thing as free lunch in this world. Creating a blog costs you around $12 a month(You can get a free trial period on Hosting). My guidance is free though, but I will display ads on my content. You will still have to pay for your domain, theme, and hosting. Maybe you can find a theme that is free, so you can save on that, but I rather choose paid one since it might have security issues.
- Estimate Expenses:
I’ll show you every single step in the process to start your blog using self-hosted WordPress. Don’t try to use WordPress.com you will just end up disappointed. They will be available to display ads on your blog against your will, you won’t technically own it, etc. So stick to the guidelines and create a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.
This guide will contain a lot of screenshots and beginner-friendly instructions. If you’re worried that it requires some technical knowledge and skills – don’t worry, it’s not true, you can do it without being technical. Without further ado let’s get to it.
Why Should I Start A Blog?
Whether you own a business, are passionate about a subject, or just like talking about what’s on your mind, a blog is a perfect place to express yourself. And, I’m of the belief that anything that you’re passionate about can also be monetized so you make some cash on the side too.
No matter what your goal is, in this day and age, having a blog is beneficial in numerous other ways other than just fiscal gain. For example, you can create a long-lasting digital footprint of yourself that ensures individuals who look you up to gain accurate information about you.
Besides that, having a blog is seemingly cathartic. It has a tad bit of tranquility that we’ve not seen other writing mediums have. Plus, with the right amount of traffic – a good blog in any niche can garner good profits in any niche.
So, if you are someone who is tired from their 9-5 job, and really want to change the trajectory of your life by talking about your passion; a blog is a perfect way to get started.
Can I Make Money Using Blogs?
Yes, you absolutely can! Besides just my experience of selling blogs, there are multiple ways you can monetize your content. A blog is just like a startup, it has a lot of potential. And, if you put in the right amount of effort, the growth is seemingly exponential in nature.
For instance, let’s say you get 100 visitors to your blog every day. Not a lot, right? Well, imagine that they share your blog with their friends because they really liked a particular article. Eventually, the butterfly effect will lead to your blog skyrocketing in success.
And, that’s not even the only way your blog can take off. From good SEO optimization to just writing content, you are always rewarded for your hard work whether it be in terms of financial compensation or an increase in viewership.
So, in essence, any blog, no matter what niche, has the potential to generate some serious revenue given that you put your mind to it.
What do you need to start a blog?
If you want to create a blog on self-hosted WordPress, here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
- Signup for Web Hosting
- Pick a Domain Name
- Install WordPress
- Install a Theme
- Start Writing Your First Blog Post
Doesn’t sound that hard now, does it? None of these steps requires in-depth technical knowledge.
Once your blog is live you’ll probably want to publish your first blog post and show it to your friend, family, colleagues, etc. In order to help you achieve that goal, I’ll show you how to do that exactly
I’ll show you how to:
- Write and publish your first WordPress blog post.
- Change how your Blog looks – theme.
- Add important plugins that will improve your results and make your life a little easier
If this may seem overwhelming – don’t worry. If you can log into your email and use your Facebook account, then you will be able to start a blog. Not kidding, it’s that simple. It’s more about discipline than knowledge.
My Niche Blog Results
I have created and sold numerous sites and I don’t want to share every single site I own with you, but I want to share something. Let’s talk about some numbers. I’m going to share my organic traffic for my blog.
It takes time to build a blog until you start receiving traffic. It won’t happen overnight.
Have you heard of the compound effect? The compound effect is the strategy of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions. That’s pretty much how blogging works. You won’t get success just in one day, you work and write each day/week/month and your results will grow.
As you can see my blog grows month by month and it takes time to get some decent traffic.
I’m a lazy blogger I write a few blog posts per month in overall and I started to receive some decent traffic only in the last couple of weeks, the work you do today will pay off later. You don’t have to wait, necessarily 3-months to receive traffic. If you can create a schedule where you publish a blog post every single day I can guarantee you that you will get a crazy amount of traffic in no time.
If you can provide quality content, and quantity Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and other search engines will value that and give you traffic.
Why should you trust me?
I’ve created numerous blogs and I’ve also sold a couple. I sold my last blog for $115000. It’s documented and you can verify it. I mostly focus on niche blogs. I find a niche, category I like I do my research keywords I find a domain and I start writing and growing it month over month and that’s something I would like to share in this article.
Step 1 – Set up your blog
In this step I’m going to go through all of the first three original steps above – How to signup for web hosting, how to get a domain and how to install WordPress on it. I’ll show you how to get all three done at once.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you do not need any technical expertise to start a blog. Before we get started, I’ll briefly explain exactly what each requirement does and why you need it in the first place.
A blogging software/platform puts all of your ideas and words into a blog form. You also need a hosting provider so you can make your blog/website live. So you know which blogging platform we’re using – WordPress and we’re going to use Cloudways as hosting in this guide(I’ve tried multiple hosting providers and Cloudways by far is my favorite) It’s faster, more reliable and it also has customer support in case something goes wrong. You can also pay monthly, other hosting providers charge you yearly.
Blogging software is used to publish, post and draft your articles. In essence, you won’t have to delve into technical coding jargon in order to get started. We’re huge fans of WordPress. It is completely free, does not require a lot of setup, and is quite easy to pick up and learn.
Most websites that run blogs on them use WordPress as their primary platform. Personally speaking, I’ve had great success with running blogs on the platform and the ease of use combined with the personality turns it into a no-brainer.
Your domain name should be iconic, relevant, and catchy. Doing some research depending on your niche will go a long way in deciding what you want to pick up. A domain name is the first step to branding your site.
So, don’t rush it – let the perfect name come to you. Take a look at other relevant sites for some inspiration. Personally, I’ve always used the environment around me for inspiration. You never know what’ll come to you after a quick morning jog!
A hosting provider can make or break your website. Picking the wrong provider can lead to expensive costs, unexpected downtimes, and a shoddy experience with customer support. Luckily for you – I’ve tried my hand at almost every major hosting provider trying to figure out which one’s the best.
After a lot of trial and error, I can safely say that Cloudways remains the best hosting provider simply because of its reliability and its prowess with customer support. While you don’t run into much trouble – if you do, it’ll be resolved quite quickly. Plus, their monthly and yearly payment plans allow for a lot more flexibility compared to other providers.
A blogging software/platform puts all of your ideas and words into a blog form. You also need a hosting provider so you can make your blog/website live. So you know which blogging platform we’re using – WordPress and we’re going to use Cloudways as hosting in this guide(I’ve tried multiple hosting providers and Cloudways by far is my favorite)
Go to Cloudways and press “Start Free” they will give you a free 3-day trial period
Enter your name, email, and password, fill out the blanks accordingly, agree to the terms and let’s move on.
This is something that could happen(not necessarily). You can skip this part if you got the next part. You have to do exactly what the notification says – send an email from the email you signed up for. I just sent “Hi, I was asked to reach out to activate my account.” They responded within minutes and asked for my ID, Twitter account, Facebook account, and phone number to verify my identity. Once I did that they verified my account within minutes. 5-10 minutes total.
Once it’s done you will be able to activate your account.
Press on Activate Account and let’s move to the next steps.
- Make sure you select WordPress in the left corner(the version might change with time, pick the newest one available)
- Name your app – this will be your website name, you can call it whatever, and no one else will see it I suggest using your domain name, so everything is organized
- Name your server – pick whatever name you want
- Name your project – I just leave it as is
- I recommend using DigitalOcean servers
- Server size – 2GB is more than enough if you are just starting out
- Location – I recommend picking a location that is the closest to your target audience. If you’re planning to target U.S San Francisco is a good option. If you’re planning to target Europe perhaps London is a good option for you.
When everything is filled out and you’re happy press – Launch Now
It might take a few minutes for Cloudways to set up your servers.
Switch the toggle button to Application and you should see the app you created a minute ago(again, it might take a couple of minutes to show up)
Success. Your hosting is set up and WordPress is installed. Let’s move on and let’s connect your Domain and let’s install a theme.
Step 2 – Connect Your Domain
So when you will click on your App(Domain name) this section will open. This is where you will be able to find your login details, passwords, and other information, but let’s take one step at a time.
Now it’s time to connect your domain, if you haven’t purchased one, it’s time to do so. I recommend using GoDaddy. It’s where I keep most of my domains, I’m used to it and I’ve never had any issues with them, but of course, you can use whichever domain broker you wish.
Domain Management > Primary Domain Name > Save Changes
Let’s go to Access Details > Public IP
We need to copy the Public IP and go to GoDaddy or whichever Domain host you chose.
Let’s move to the GoDaddy site now and let’s finish the Domain integration, so we can begin working on our site/blog
By now you should have already purchased a domain. In the top right corner, you can click on your name and My Products
All your domains should show up here if you have multiple. We need to press on DNS(domain name servers)
Right where the arrow shows you you need to paste Public IP from CloudWays which you copied a few steps ago.
Data: Public IP(from CloudWays)
set TTL to 600 seconds.
You’re done. It might take a few minutes to a few hours, but your domain is set. Now let’s get to the fun part and let’s set up your blog with a theme.
Step 3 – Set up your WordPress & Theme
Let’s log in to your WordPress first.
Go back to CloudWays > Access Details > Admin Panel > URL (click on it) > Copy Password
you will be redirected to your blog login page, enter your username and password (both can be found on CloudWays)
you can change your password, and login details whenever. You will always be able to find them on your CloudWays account as well.
Welcome to the WordPress Dashboard. Once you’ve opened WordPress, you’ll see your Dashboard. The black column on the left is a good indicator you’re in WordPress. You will be able to edit all the details on your site in this dashboard. You’ll spend a lot of time here, editing your theme, your site, and a lot of writing.
These are the Themes I can suggest but it’s up to you which one you choose, I suggest doing a little research and finding one that you’re really happy with.
If you don’t like these ones check out the Themeforest site and find a one you like and make sure the theme is compatible with WordPress
Once you find the perfect theme you love for your new blog, you can activate it from either the Live Preview (just click “Activate the Theme”) or from the main search area by clicking the “Activate” button.
As soon as the theme is activated, it will be installed on your site. You’re now ready to start posting viral content and generating raving fans.
If you pick a theme and decided, after all, it’s not for you, you can ask for a refund, I know it’s really difficult to find the perfect one.
Step 4 – Set up Plugins
These are the plugins I want you to have
- WP Rocket (it will make your website load significantly faster) It will cost you $49 per year
- SEO Yoast (so you can add your own meta titles and meta descriptions and edit URL slugs)
- Contact Form 7 (so people can get in touch with you)
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer (it will optimize the images you add to your articles and make your site a bit faster)
You can start without these plugins, but I would recommend getting at least the free ones. You can easily make a great blog and generate traffic without them.
Create an identity for your WordPress site
The most important things are done, but you still have a couple more things to take care of and just take your blog to the next level.
You can create a free logo just by adding your domain name & niche your site is in. After you pick your favorite logo they will send you an email with the logo, favicon, header for Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Edit your site’s title and tagline. In order to do that Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Site identity
A lot of customization happens on the theme level, so it’s hard to give out tips since there’s a huge chance we have different themes.
You can play around and adjust anything you want on the site, add menus add pages, and relevant information and basically customize the site so it’s perfect in your eyes.
Here’s a quick list of some branding tips I tend to follow when creating a new blog. It helps give the website a sense of direction and leads to a more streamlined process:
- Choose A Color Scheme: Before you go about branding, pick out colors that you like and that resonate with your niche and brand. For instance, picking out an aggressive neon color for a gaming website or a chic lavender for a makeup site.
- Have Social Media Profiles: After you are done creating your site, snag up relevant usernames on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Then, create social media pages on each of these websites and try to keep them active with engaging content. You never know the backlinks you might end up getting!
- Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment: Branding and marketing is all about thinking out of the box. If you have an idea that you feel might work, don’t be afraid to try it out! After all, where’s the fun if you stick to a plan?
Congratulations your blog is done.
Like I said…it wasn’t that hard, right? Give yourself a quick clap for a minute. Unfortunately, it’s just the beginning. Time to create content, so glue your ass to a chair and start writing one blog post after another.
If you had some issues and got stuck somewhere, feel free to reach out via email or social media. If you guys enjoyed the post, share & subscribe. Comments are always welcome, so drop me a line below.
Also, my site is monetized with affiliate links, so if you use any of the services I recommended there’s a chance I might receive a small commission for that. Shameless affiliate links.
Frequently asked questions when you’re starting out with blog and WordPress. I figured one of you might have these questions as well, so I’ll just give a quick summary. If you’ve any other specific questions in mind, drop me a line in the comments or reach out to me on social media.
How to backup WordPress site
Backing up your WordPress blog or website is essential. If something for some reason goes wrong you can get your site back up and running in minutes. You can never be too careful.
How to back up your database
- Download a plugin called UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. Activate it.
- Configure your plugin setting. Set up your schedule for daily/weekly backups. Depends on how much your content is changing on a daily basis, if you write one blog post a month then it’s enough to schedule your backups weekly.
- Connect your WordPress with DropBox or any other cloud storage service so your backups are safe in a cloud.
How much does a blog cost?
The method I’m describing is budget-friendly. It will cost you around $12-15 a month. I’ve used this budget for years. As your blog will grow you’ll start buying premium plugins, and tools just to improve your blogging, but since you’re just starting out you should be fine with $12 a month. Think about it…it’s less than your gym membership, it’s almost the same price as a meal at McDonald’s. Unless like a meal and a gym membership this is an investment and has the potential to bring in thousands of dollars for you, it all really depends on you.
1 thought on “How To Start a Blog on WordPress – Step by Step Guide”
This was great. I created a blog from scratch in under 40 minutes. Honestly, I thought creating a blog is a pain in the ass. Just followed your guidelines and it was a piece of cake. Cheers mate!