By Jermaine Pleas – The Last Guide You Will Ever Need to Read About Starting a Blog. Made for Beginners
Once you learn How to Start a Blog on WordPress, the truth is, you can be wildly successful, wealthy and rich starting a blog. Believe it or not, the process is much more easier if you had one because you can use it to connect and convey your message with your targeted audience on a much larger scale at a very fast pace. To get to this point it takes time, but the process is well worth the work & wait after you’ve put everything you have inside, into the project. Some people have no ambitions to launch one for the sake of earning a living at home. Some people use it as a pet peeve to skew away some leisure time for a few while the majority of the online community desires to do so for fulfilling their most hidden desires.
I can teach you how to start a blog no matter if its a designer, fashion, cooking or car blog the basic principles remain the same, just get started with the standards first. It looks overwhelming at the beginning, however, after you’ve established a blog to call your own, the weight is lifted, that weight is being lifted as we speak.
Fret not, I created this guide so that it’s user-friendly for the average beginner mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or child. Later in this guide, I’ll show you how to publish readable content that your visitors will devour, including extraordinary ways you can obtain traffic instantly after preparing the blog.
DO NOT allow these tutorials to overwhelm you, simply take a break and come back to finish preparing your blog by taking each step one at a time, don’t rush…..please. Believe me, it took me a while to complete these tutorials for my readers. Its well worth it, soon, you’ll be able to do this with your eyes closed…now, open your eyes and look to the future to move ahead. If you already have a blog setup, go here, to observe my method for attracting attention, traffic, and sales to my blog. Now, let’s do this!
From The Beginning to The End – Step by Step Guide to Launching Your Blog
A free blog from WordPress.com or Blogger.com is okay, however, you don’t have total control over whether that content will stay or go on a deep technical standpoint. You don’t want to be at risk of losing so much content over a blogging company that no longer host sub-domains on their online property. The big best decision you’ll make is to host your own self-hosted domain with a reputable company. Choose a package that agrees with your budget.
Step 1. Choose a Hosting Package Plan
Hosting is where all your domains are hosted. Each domain you register has a its own management system for storing static html files. Without them, your website’s text, images, or video cannot be seen publicly. For instance, my plan is under a shared hosting account, meaning bandwidth is spread equally throughout the network under certain circumstances, but a set of space is packaged exclusively for you to host your personal set of domains. The internet is littered with thousands of hosting companies looking to do business with you right now, so, we are not short of hosting companies as they are born everyday. So, which one is the best? Currently, I host all of my domains through Bluehost.com. Bluehost has several package plans for you to choose from. You have a line of choices for different prices. The more you pay the more features you obtain depending on your budget. 8 years ago, I registered for hosting at the PLUS $8.95/monthly plan and it still is the best choice I made to date. It’s time to figure out which plan better suits your budget and needs, click here.
Step 2. Register a Domain Name
One of the most important parts to starting a blog is registering a good domain name. The best strategy when trying to figure out what it should be called, remember to remain very original to what the website will be about. Initiate keyword research around your main subject then pick a domain name that closely relates to the key phrase. For instance, Katie desires to tell the world about her love for designing “shoe strings”, so she decides to create a blog for her newly found passion share with the world. Obviously, the keywords she want to surround her domain name are, “shoe strings”. To keep everything in perspective she’d use her name inside the domain encase with her chosen keywords, hence, “katieshoestrings.com” sounds great. A huge part of the internet community would rather use their own name as they enjoy using their blog for a variety of subjects on several categories. Under the 1st box, “new domain”, you can move forward after confirming your choice.
Hint: Use semrush.com to search relative keyword phrases mixed within your niche.
Fill out the form to complete the purchase at $8.95 for 12 months or you can get an inexpensive deal, such as, the $6.95 account plan for 24 months. This all rides on how much you are willing to spend on hosting versus your budget. After completion, you will receive a confirmation email of your domain & hosting plan purchase with your username and instructions to create password to access your control panel that is filled with tools for building on your blog.
Step 3. Assign Your Domain through Domain Manager
Your website isn’t live just yet, you must assign the domain first so that it can be publicly reachable. Once you have successfully logged in your details properly the website will redirect you to the control panel. You need to edit a few details in order for your website to go live…..follow these instructions carefully after reaching the control panel pictured here on figure A.
- First, scroll down until you have reached a tab called, “domain manager”, then click on it.
- Next, scroll down and you’ll see your website that you have registered on the left side in the box, it says either unassigned or primary (if it says “primary” on the right side of your domain name, go back to your control panel by clicking on the description name ,”hosting”, to move on to the next step on this page so that we can install WordPress). If the link says unassigned then click on that link in order to assign it.
- Third, notice the title that says “Assign Domain”, underneath it you’d see a message with the domain checked by bullet saying “Use a domain that is already associated with your account”, scroll all the way down and click on the submit button that says, “assign this domain”, it will take a minute or two for action to process.
- Okay, now you are redirected back the area where the domain was listed “unassigned”, it should now say, “Addon”, if you can confirm this action then click on the tab that says “Hosting” on the top left corner of this page, it should take you back to the control panel so that we can move on to the next step.
Step 4. Install WordPress Blogging Software
As we explained before in this guide, WordPress is probably the most famous piece of software for web developers to use when building a website because of the tools, features, and functionality that makes it so universal to use. Huge brands has plugged into WordPress software and so many are jumping on board everyday. As you are reading this, over 80 million website blogging installations has been done using WordPress software. Let’s begin:
- On the control panel as you see on figure b above, scroll down until you find the tab that says, “Install WordPress”, click the tab.
- Now, press the green “Install” button.
- Okay, you will be interfaced with a drop down menu, choose the “non WWW” or “WWW” extension to to be present on your domain. It really doesn’t matter too much, if you are concerned with your domain structure then pick out the one that better fits your taste. Afterwards press, “Check Domain”.
- You will be presented with this message, “We noticed the domain you are installing is not set up yet with your hosting provider. We can still install this, then once your domain is set up you will be able to see your installation.” You will have two boxes bellow with an option to check and change information:
Show advanced options (check this box if you desire to change settings before you enter the vicinity of your blog such as, the Site Name or Title, Username, and Password). Important: The “admin password” must have a mixture of 15 to 20 characters with lower and uppercase for security measures. Usually, this would have already been automatically setup for you at this point. Copy and paste it somewhere a place safe so that you won’t forget those details.
I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2 (check this box to agree and proceed to the next step). Press “Install Now”. You’ll notice that the text will switch to, “Loading…..”…..
- The text message encased in white characters in front of an orange background will have the statement, “Your Install is Complete”. Now press, “View Credentials”.
- Scroll down, inside the under the vanilla box residing in a blueish-gray box on the far right, the text phrase that states “Action”, underneath it has a link that says, “View”, press that link immediately.
- Now, if you scroll down a bit, two links will appear: One that points directly to your website URL (www.xyz.com) and the other pointing towards the log in section that leads to your dashboard Admin URL (www.xyz.com/wp-admin), Username and Password. Copy both username and password down if you have not earlier. Click on the Admin URL link and it should take you to the Admin Login area. The bottom is an image description of the Admin Login section that should appear after clicking on the link, Figure C. Use your username and password to get inside your website, to the dashboard section.
Step 5. Download Your Plugins
How to Navigate WordPress for Plugins
- Go to your Dashboard, on the left side you find that a long black bar exist with many options to choose from. Scroll down until you find the tab that says “Plugins”, hover over it until you see a list appear next to the tab.
- Click on the tab that says, “Add New”. Search each plugin listed one at a time below until you have found the correct one and press, “Install Now”.
- Afterwards, press the link, “Activate Now”. The following plugins are necessary and primary for managing a blog.
- Akismet – The crew from Automattic provides you with an excellent way to protect your blog from spam comments and saves you plenty of time from deleting it manually. The algorithm does all the talking for you and all you do is continue blogging without a care in the world. In order to use this you need a wordpress.com account in order to signup for the API key, but first you must press the “Activate” link. After retrieving your API key by copying it go back to the“plugins” section of your blog, press “Settings”, then paste the API key in the input field, then hit the “save” button. That’s it! I highly recommend this plugin. Created by Automattic .
- All In One SEO Plugin – Everybody wants readers and organic traffic coming into their website, this is what this plugin helps you achieve. By improving the title and description you’d have a greater chance of not only visibility, relativity, or rankings within search but greater chances of receiving more visitors through clicks depending on your enticing eyeball drawing title and descriptions you create. There are several other benefits, check them out in the plugin section of your dashboard. Created by Michael Torbert.
- All In One Favicon – As I said before earlier in this guide I am not a fan of over the top design for blogging, but personalization is whole new story. Adding an icon gives a different feel to the blog, saying you are the owner…kind of like idolize branding in a way. Having a logo sets you apart from the rest of pack. As you see the small diagram at the bottom of this description. I’ll give you details on the free software I used to create this miniature icon and my header image later on in this series. Favicons work! Created by Arne Franken.
- Scrolling Social Sharebar – When visitor come to your blog and find your content intriguing they are more likely going to wanna share it. The scrolling social sharebar insures that they don’t forget as it scrolls along with the reader with social media buttons embedded in the vertical rectangular bar prompting your readers to share your content immediately. Once the reader “likes” your content is shared over several social media channels insuring others will see what you’ve published content as well. I strongly recommend this tool for all blogger looking to get more eyeballs on your content! I have one on my blog as you can see it scrolls along with you as you read through my post. Created by Sudipto Pratap Mahato.
- Lightbox Pop – Light box pop is a great tool once combined with a capture lead page. For instance, say if you are gaining visitors for a certain target keyword placement in your industry through search media or streaming media there is a chance that visitor may want to keep in touch with you and that is where lightbox come in play with. You see, once a visitor visits your blog a popup box with a darkened background appears giving causing you to focus clearly on the center of the screen. Check out the quick example at the bottom. Awesome plugin for focusing your towards something totally relevant but different upon arriving at your blog. Created by xyzscripts.com
- Google XML Sitemap – Very important plugin, it insures the Googlebots for Google, Yahoo, and Bing are visiting your newly created pages and are being indexed within the search queries more frequently. Without it your content would be found a lot less frequently. I highly suggest downloading it to your blog. Arne Brachhold
- W3 Total Cache – Another very important plugin you need to apply to your blog. It keeps the user experience a lot more liking to them when visiting your blog. The plugin improves your page speed’s load time. I highly recommend using especially for keeping your rankings decent in search due to the fact it is a major factor when ranking for your industry in search. Created by Frederick Townes
- WP Hide Post – A wonderful plugin for keeping the most important page you want visible on the front page of your blog. This plugin works well depending on the use of it. Do you wish to hide all post or a few from cluttering up your home space? Either way it works wonders when you want your readers to focus on a certain post on your blog. The visibility controls work for tags, categories, and even archives. Created by Robert Mahfoud
Step 5. Install Free WordPress Theme Design
You’ve installed your blogging software and added the best plugins for supreme functionality to your blog, now its time to spice it up a bit with a little style and its all free. Web designers have developed some really beautiful themes under several categories. You may want to change it up with premium themes as you consistently advance in the world of blogging, until then, you can choose from the hundreds of thousands available within the WordPress database. Follow the steps below on navigating through the themes so that you can discover the one you want:
- Located on your front dashboard, hover over the tab “Appearance”, a black popup box will appear on the right side displaying a set of options, click on “Themes”.
- Now, click on the gray button with blue characters on the top that says, “Add New”.
- In the corner of the next page you’ll see the phrase “Add Themes”, on the right side you’ll see a button that says, “Browse”. Click on it!
- You have several options within the white bar listed in this format of the themes section:
“Featured” – A featured theme is mostly important and prominent among the Wordress community because the developer has paid for it to receive more exposure.
“Popular” – Under the category ‘popular’, the themes have been downloaded tens of thousands of times throughout the community. Usually, the default WordPress theme is championed popular, you currently looking at one now.
“Latest” – Under category ‘latest’, are the most current WordPress themes submitted by the web developer.
“Favorites” – Under the category ‘favorites’, you’d notice a high quality amount of likes through the star system. Themes in this category are star favorites within the WordPress Community.
“Premium” – Under the tab ‘premium’, webmasters will find special themes that harbors special functionality, style, effects, ect. These themes are created by web developers who run companies that focus on web design, these themes cost you money, but well worth it if you want extra gems added to your website. Purchase a theme and get everything you need!
- After discovering the theme you want representing your content, hover over the miniature picture screen that depicts the theme you want and press the blue button that says, “Install”.
- On the next page to the top left corner, you’ll find a phrase that says, “Installing Theme”, below you’ll see a link that say, “Activate”, press it. Your theme is officially uploaded in your files (Remember, your website won’t be live to the public until you have published your first piece of content and confirmed to allow it to go public, though, you have the option to switch your blog live without publishing content, until then, you must be logged in to view your blog). Input your website’s URL in the browser to check out your awesome looking website!
“Feature Filter” – Under the tab ‘feature filter’, you can use the check boxes that applies to colors, layout, features, and the subject, then, press the button, ‘Apply Filters’. You now have the ability to specify and sort through your search for themes that better fits the feeling or description you are seeking for your blog. There’s tens of thousands of free themes available in WordPress database, one inside may satisfy you at best.
Step 6. Add & Publish Your Content
If you have made it this far, great, you are truly dedicated to learning how to start a blog. Last, but not least, the text-editor for creating and publishing content to your blog. Content is the icing on the cake, it is what make blogging notable among businesses or hobbyist. Content isn’t exclusive to text. Images, video, and sound plays a huge role in content creation. I will label the most import functions that makes publishing content a reality. What you are currently viewing at this instant (with a mixture of bold phrase emphasizing, web links, italicization, bullet-list, and images) are the main parts of content creation.
This blog, although not perfect, is a good example of a published article with over 3,000 words typed. Maybe you already posses outstanding skills that rival any professional journalist on major news websites, either way, I’m going to describe each area of function you will be using to publish a WordPress post, its extremely easy. If you observe figure E, above the input text box, you’d notice two optional modes sitting on the right corner:
Visual & Text
Visual – The mode called, “Visual”, if you click on the tab, displays an enriched formatted idea of how your content is be displayed and established as if was already published and can be viewed by everyone. You can create a full article in this mode. Want to add different styles to your text or phrases? Simply highlight a portion of a phrase, then press, “B” for bold, “I” for Italicize, or try out the bullet or number list. Visual mode is for the less savvy web programmer and an easy way for getting things done quicker rather than being bothered with code.
Text – The mode called, “Text”, allows the web publisher to type every single detailed piece of content in plain text or edit HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) or CSS (Cascading Stylesheet) in standard format. This mode is specially preserved for web developers, however, its nothing difficult to learn. Remember, both, “Visual and Text” modes can be switched back and forth simultaneously in real-time.
Want to learn exactly what is HTML and how it woks so that you can create simple code from scratch, click here. If you desire to learn more on how CSS work and the style effects, everything is in place. Go ahead and click here to learn how do develop your own styles from scratch.
Functions for Managing Content
- Post – Ready to establish a post for content? How about edit? The “post” tab points towards 4 different options for you to initiate. First, if you desire to review or edit article content, click on, “All Post” which displays each post made from the latest on top, to the earliest which is displayed along the bottom in which you can edit, quick, send to trash for deletion, or view. The option, “Add New” gives you the ability to add an brand new article or post. The option, “Categories” allows you to add categories to place your articles under, keeping them relevant to each subject matter. The option, “Tags” gives you the chance to add tags that may be related to future content, similar to categories, you can simply tag the content relevant to other pieces of content in your database.
- Media – The media tab contains images that were uploaded from your computer > web server > root domain > index > image files. All of your images are stored and accessible through your media tab on the black black to your far left. You have two options: Library, which holds the entire list of images you have uploaded to the server, and “Add New”, for adding more images from your computer. By observing figure E, the “Add Media” tab allows you to add images immediately to your content (those images are also stored in your media library).
- Comments – The “Comments” tab is for managing comments that are wanted or unwanted in which you can approve, delete or mark as spam. Once your blog becomes popular, its very possible that you would accumulate over 500 comments, 80% are spam. For many years, bloggers have suffered an onslaught of comment spam. To automate and manage all spam activity that goes into your blog’s comment query, activate the plugin known as, “Akismet”, this will ultimately save you time of deleting spam. You need an coded key to identify your blog and activate such feature. Visit and register with wordpress.com to obtain a free key.
- Change Permalinks Link Structure – You operate a blog now. Every page from now on will have a link structure extended after the main domain, the index, “/”. It’s important for identifying through human eyes and relative connection with search engine indexing. On the black vertical bar on dashboard, go to “settings”. On the black popup box, click on “Permalinks”. Third, click on the option, “Post Name” for /sample-post/, which will highlight the element /%postname%/ inside the next line within the input box next to it where it says, “custom structure”, click on that bullet point that says, “custom structure”, then click, “save changes”.
- WordPress Posting Toolbar Editor – In order to use the toolbar editor correctly, you must highlight a piece of text or phrase — — then click on an element to emphasize some sort of importance in the article you are creating. For instance, as you are typing up an article, throughout the content, you may want to place emphasis on certain suggestions or important points you’ve made on the article. Throughout this article you, have noticed that I’ve used bold, italicization, number & bullet-list, quotations, and links to point out important facts or website resources manifested through links for relational purposes. Below are the elements inside the toolbar, remember, you must highlight text in order to use the elements properly. Usually, the background of text will appear sky blue for indicating that you’ve highlighted an text or phrase.
NOTE: To highlight text or phrases, Place the mouse pointer on the top of your chosen text or phrase. Hold the left key on your mouse attached to the laptop or the mouse attached to the cord on the desktop computer down firmly. As you are holding down the key, run it across the text or phrase until you clearly see a blue background appear behind the text or phrase. If you hover over each element contained in the toolbar it will display what it is, therefore, give you an idea of what it does. Now, select an element you desire to use by clicking on it from your toolbar editor after highlighting.
Figure F. Toolbar
Add New Post Instructions:
- On the dashboard section within the black vertical sidebar sitting on the far left, take your mouse and hover over the tab that says, “Post”.
- Click on the link, “Add New”.
- Now, you’ll see a bar displaying the message, “Enter title here”. If you have an ideal title for your topic, go ahead and type it in the provided section.
- I could do a whole post on permalinks, anyhow, it generates a nice link for a post or page. Once you’ve created a post, “Title”, for your topic, a link beneath the box is instantly generated. Here is an example of a Permalink:
- Okay, you are ready to start adding content. Begin writing as many paragraphs you want covering your story, guide, or any content you wish to share with the world in the text section.
- Proof read the entire post to make sure no errors exist (use spellchecker by viewing the built in software, a special through WordPress. If a word is spelled wrong it will be displayed by an red underline). Very well, you have completed your article? Press the button on the top right blue button that say, “Publish”. If you wish to save your work and come back to finish it at a later date, press, “Save as Draft”.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this guide that has a word count of over 4,500 words. I will be updating it more as I come across more ideas and useful resources to share on this post. Until then, get your blog published so it can reach people who are interested in your prized discussions. Don’t wait tomorrow to get one launched, get one done today. Thanks and see you at the next post.