An easy tutorial on how you can start your own blog in less than 60 minutes.
If you have been thinking of starting a blog but didn’t know what to do first, here’s all you need in order to create your first and best one.
Blogging is one of the most common internet activities (and even jobs) taken up worldwide. If you are active on social platforms, you definitely know how fancy it is to be a blogger nowadays. Despite the fact that back in 2010, the concept of blogging just started to spread its wings and become a thing to look for, nowadays you can find information on how to start a blog anywhere – from fashion to cybersecurity websites, teaching platforms to travel.
Blogging gets even easier as there’s no need of technical background to get it going – neither coding nor web design. Tutorials are all over the Internet, starting with technical stuff and leading you towards every single practical step to help you set up your blog in less than half an hour.
Regardless of how appealing it is, there are a lot of blunders which can turn the allegedly effortless process into a real headache. And that’s exactly why we are here – to help you learn how to start a blog with 100% chances of success. These being said, in case you are looking forward to knowing more concerning the subject, make sure to stick with us and keep an eye onto the following lines.
Table of Contents
Why should you start a blog?
When you have a passion, one of the best things to do is to share what you hide in there with the outer world. What you receive in return is called appreciation – the feeling of being useful and admired by others, all in one. As time goes by, most of us would like to teach others how they do what they are best at, this being a prevailing consideration of becoming a blogger. With it, you can get in touch with people from all over the world who share the same passions, receiving feedback and interacting with various cultures in just a blink of an eye.
A blog can be a great launching ramp not only for meeting international people, but also for setting up a possible business or even a full time job as a blogger. But that’s not the only purpose you should start a blog – there are loads from which to choose, such as:
• Enhancement of writing skills – like in any other domain, a schedule consistent in daily writing is ought to provide a better outcome, from week to week;
• Possibility of obtaining a reliable passive income – you can make great money out of your daily passion;
• Improvement of your resume – interviewers are always excited to see what hobbies a candidate has. Your chances of getting hired increase drastically if you run a blog that has high traffic;
• Sharing is caring – the more you know and share with the others, the more will come back to you;
• Increase your social network – in a useful way, with people who are part of the business;
• Keep your options open – a blog might be a door that leads to unexpected benefits.
The entire process of building up a blog is built on step-by-step technical characteristics, whereas the appealing of it is purely artistic. To make it work, you would need to choose between building a blog yourself from scratch or using one provided by the free blogging platforms. For those of you going for the first choice, a blog also requires a domain name and a web hosting company. All of these (and many other useful information) are provided into the following lines.
What is a free blog?
By default, a blog is an online diary used to upload anything from text to photos, GIFs, videos and even important documents worth to be shared with the outer world. You can start a blog having various functions, either personal or professional. Once you make it live, anyone will be able to access the content by following the personalised links (as soon as the website is made publicly available).
The cost of blogging varies, from zero dollars to $60 or more, depending on how much you’d like to invest into it. If all the information is bright new to you and you wish to dip a toe into blogging (to see how it goes), a free blog might be the ideal choice – it requires zero costs and provides you with the opportunity of seeing if blogging suits you.
Some of the most popular platforms for creating free blogs are:
• www.tumblr.com etc.
In contrast to a self-hosted blog, there are some important characteristics of a free one ought to be mentioned:
• Good for the beginnings – a blog created on a platform that provides services for free is great just to get a glimpse of how things should be done. Trial and error is never as good as when no loss is involved;
• Little to none content authority – once you upload your content on a free blog, it pertains to the platform – which means it is no longer yours, but theirs. This is one of the conditions stipulated within the list of Terms of Service accepted by all the bloggers who are using free platforms for blogging;
• Limitations – since the blog is not entirely yours, but rather rented for free, it can be deleted, removed, cancelled or banned at any time if any condition within the Terms of Service is violated. In just one minute, your whole work (and business) could be sent to trash. In addition, all of the ads located on your blog pages are theirs, so there’s definitely no passive income (generated by ads) entering your bank account pretty soon;
• Premium / unlimited plans – most of the free blogging platforms are great as long as you don’t see the premium or unlimited plans ads. Once you do so, it might become a bit overwhelming to see them everywhere.
Regardless of these rather disturbing concerns, a free blog is a step-by-step tutorial useful enough for the moment you decide to start making real money out of it. On the other hand, a passive income can be generated not only on a self-hosted blog. Once the blog traffic starts to increase, various agencies provide sponsored posts to be published on blogs with high traffic – and yours might just hit the jackpot, even though it’s created on a free platform.
Furthermore, bloggers that sign up on free platforms are part of a big community, depending on the chosen provider. Whether talking about WordPress, Blogspot, Tumblr or any else found in the wild, all of them come with pre-built templates and plugins that make blogging easier than every before.
And let’s admit it – it is okay to fail as long as you don’t have to pay for it. When knowing almost nothing about blogging (how to submit a post, how to choose and set up the plugins or how to manage comments), the best way not to feel bad about the choice of starting a blog is to go for the free opportunity. Starting from this point on, the idea of making bad investments is far from being put into practice. Since you did not pay anything in advance, there is no possibility of failing whatsoever – and a powerful blog is created with experience, as days go by and posts start to be published.
What is a self-hosted blog?
If you are ready to kickoff your business and proceed with your first investment, you should definitely have your own blog – with no strings attached. It requires nothing but a slight amount of money, time and inspiration to build it up from head to toe.
A self-hosted blog has various benefits that sustain your business from the very beginning, such as:
• Full content authority – compared to a hosted blog (one provided for free) where the content pertains to the platform, now all the lines are yours. If used anywhere on the Internet, lawsuits can be invoked for copyright or royalty.
• Wider range of templates and plugins – some of the most renowned blogs and websites have drastically changed their appearance throughout time. From bright colors to monochromatic tones, impressive numbers of tabs to few plugins, everything turned upside down – but in a great manner. When you own your blog and pay for it, you can choose from a wider range of templates and plugins the ones that suit your content best.
• No limitations – say goodbye to Terms of Service, tricky conditions or unexpected requirements to keep your online blog up and running. With a self-hosted blog, you have full control over the entire content.
• Professional appearance – image is extremely important and empowers the place of your business within the (cyber) world. Statistically speaking, a blog that is represented in a plain and simple method has more chances of being visited and revisited as time goes by – since it is way easier to be remembered. Compared to a hosted blog, where the name of it is followed by the name of the platform, a self-hosted one looks both professional and appealing.
Without further ado, simple is the new sexy, and that’s exactly what a self-hosted blog comes with. Despite the default templates and plugins provided by the blogging platforms, which are quite tricky and rather disturbing for visitors (but impossible to get rid of because of Terms of Service and blogging platform’s General Policy), there’s a lot more freedom when you decide to take yourself the risks.
On the other hand, the blog content is pretty important and can become even more precious as the generated traffic increases and money start to come. Sponsored posts, products and services offered, paid ads and affiliate marketing, these are just a bunch of modalities ought to help you obtain a nice passive income.
The identity of the blog is an important aspect to take into consideration if you want your readers to come back again and again. It is definitely built using the ideal mix of colors, shapes, gadgets and utilities, in a way that your brand is brightly reflected. And these changes can be done only by using a self-hosted blog.
What is a domain? Or a web hosting?
There is a clear difference between a domain and a web hosting. Yet, when it comes to blogging, both of them are useful and important – but only in the case of a self-host blog, since this is the infrastructure behind the nice looking appearance.
1. Information about domains:
• In order to get to the content provided, visitors need to know how to reach you. Once they know you domain, this step is ready to be fulfilled. Basically, a domain is the name of the blog written in the URL bar. With it, anyone can reach your blog (or website) in just a blink of an eye.
• Technically speaking, the domain is the human translation of the IP address, worldwide known as a bunch of numbers that represent a computer. To get to you, visitors won’t remember numbers, yet they do great with words – which means that making the connection is not at all hard.
2. Information about web hosting
• Besides having a domain name, another important tool for your blog is web hosting. From a technical point of view, this is the place where all the files from your website can be found and stored. Whenever your domain name is accessed, the website’s files are reached from the web hosting and sent to the visitors;
• Any of the web hosting companies found worldwide are specialized in providing the best services, extremely accurate and right on time.
3. How is the domain name linked to web hosting?
When deciding to build a blog from scratch, both the domain name and the web hosting are need. And the link is as follows – a domain name is basically the number of the room where your visitors should go, whereas the web hosting is everything that can be found inside – from the bed to the kitchen, library with books and many other stuff. Opening a self-host blog one with another would be basically impossible.
Still, things are extremely easier and relaxed when you already have a plan concerning the choice of your domain name and web hosting. Since one of the main points of a profitable online business (that starts with a blog) is to gain visitors, a simple and short domain name would definitely do the trick. Statistically speaking, people are better at remembering small little words compared to big and complex phrases.
By using the services provided by a web hosting company, all the web files will be stored on one of their servers and accessed fast, quick and easy, through a single click. So, when anyone writes into the URL search bar your domain name, they are automatically accessing the files found on the servers of your web hosting company. These being said, this is exactly how the two concepts are linked together.
What is the best web hosting plan?
With all the fuss that blogging generated throughout the last 10 years, the number of web hosting companies started to flourish. There is almost no country in the world not having at least one of them. Yet, the offers are different, as well as the prices they come with.
When wondering what the best web hosting plan would be, take into account the following characteristics:
• Price – even though a small price is appealing, web hosting services are overall not that pricy ($3 per month is a nice catch);
• SSL certificate – one of the most important accessories your blog could ever own. A SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is used to create a secure connection which, in turn, improves the level of trust between a server and a browser. Also, it is a nice touch for keeping up the professional look of your blog;
• Live support – living and doing business in the online world is far from being easy. With malware campaigns starting from any spot, your blog could someday be in the range of targeted attacks. Still, a web hosting company always available through live support is a bliss – and only then will you realise that. That is why the best web hosting plan includes it from the very beginning;
Even though it might be more expensive, a web hosting plan that is worth it has all the above mentioned characteristics. Most of the companies provide bloggers with a full package, at attractive prices. Also, a long subscription comes in handy for people who wish to be more organized than ever.
Without it, setting up a blog would not be possible. This is the main reason why after choosing a domain name (and buying it), the next logical, natural and simple step is to get a web hosting plan.
One of the best web hosting plans is being brought up by BlueHost. Due to its useful characteristics, anyone can take it up without a burden. But before we head towards a step-by-step guide, here is some important and useful information to help you get going:
• Price – each price varies, from $3,59 to $12,69 per month. The basic package (one starting with $3,59 per month) provides you with a website, 50 GB storage, a free of charge SSL certificate, together with an included domain, 5 parked domains and up to 25 sub domains. Next on the list is the plus package (starting from $5,41 per month) which comes with unlimited websites, storage, bandwidth, domains, parked domains, sub domains and by default, a free SSL certificate. Moreover, it features the option of spam experts and Office 365 Mailbox free of charge for 30 days. The choice plus (just $5,41 per month) has two additional aspects, such as domain privacy (and protection) and site backup. Last but not least, there is also the pro package which can be yours for only $12,69 per month. It has a dedicated IP, comes with a high performance and has two spam experts in comparsion to what the plus package choice comes with;
• Features – any BlueHost package provides the client with a SSL certificate which is a highly required condition for a legal website. In addition, the domain name is free of charge for a period of one year;
• Support – any problem a client might interfere with is easily solved as we speak, due to the fact that the support is ongoing 24/7.
BlueHost is known to have more than 2 million hosted websites. Apart from other available options found online these days, it features the possibility of receiving your money in no longer than 30 days (if not satisfied). The SSL certificate comes within any package, yet it costs by default $60 if bought alone.
Choosing the best web hosting plan is definitely easier with BlueHost, since all it takes are some clicks to make it work as expected. In less than 10 minutes you will have your website all set up.
Get web hosting and register your domain name.
BlueHost makes it easy for you to set up your blog, from various perspectives. Not only does it require effort, but it is also quite time-consuming especially if you have no previous experience in building a website.
As discussed previously, WordPress goes hand in hand with a reliable hosting service – in short, you need to make your choice among various hosting providers in order to use the platform. And BlueHost seems to offer just the right points, such as:
• Great customer support, able to provide you with any answer in the shortest period of time;
• Affordable price, starting at $2,75 for the basic plan;
• A percentage of 99% related to server uptime;
• The domain name comes with the package, for free;
• Short but nice appearance of your blog, which makes it look more professional.
Once the main reasons why anyone should choose BlueHost are conveyed, it’s time to see how exactly you can set up BlueHost on your website:
Step 2: Look around the four website packages that BlueHost comes with and decide upon their features which ones fit your website’s needs. There is basic (starting at $3.59 per month), plus ($5,41 per month), choice plus ($5,41 per month) and pro ($12,69 per month). Since all of these offers are provided for a 36-month period of time, billing will be calculated on a 3-year basis. It means that the price for each package will be multiplied with 36. Even so, for 3 years you won’t have to bother with choosing or paying for hosting, since this covers 36 months. After choosing your plan, click ‘Select’.
Step 3: Decide upon your domain name. Regardless how tricky this might be, starting from now your domain name will basically be your own business card. By this, people will be able to reach you and see what you have to offer in a blink of an eye.
This is the main reason why the domain name has to be rather catchy and not that long, in order to be easily remembered.
With BlueHost, you can either create a brand new domain or use the one you might already have to connect with it (DNS). The following steps relate to the process of creating a new domain, from scratch.
After filling in the text box below new domain, scroll among the website’s endings possibilities (.com, .net, .me and more). We highly recommend .com, since the level of trust for it is higher than for its counterparts. Now, click ‘Next’.
Step 4: Insert the required details into the account information and package information box. Your first and last name and (optional) business name are needed, as well as additional data related to your home and email address.
Further, you need to decide among the account plan and hosting service. Beware that the price is for 36 months, so don’t be scared if it seems too much at first. Here you’ll also see the total cost you have to pay, together with the available add-ons which you can include.
The SiteLock Security option is widely used to hide the personal information that is related to your site, which means that anyone who looks up for the owner of the website, will get as a result the contact information linked to BlueHost.
Step 5: Decide among the payment options and insert your personal information to do the checkout. After adding all the required data, don’t forget to check the Terms and Policy box and click ‘Submit’.
How to install WordPress
There are two ways in which you can install WordPress on your website. The first one requires a single click, whereas the second one is known as being manual.
As expected, we recommend the first method, since it is quick and extremely easy. To do so, here is everything you need to know:
1. WordPress, Drupal or Joomla can be set up on a website with a single click
The vast majority of available web hosts have the option of installing WordPress with just a single click. This one is integrated within the dashboard and makes it extremely easy to get the benefits of being a WordPress user – and requires no effort at all to be installed.
Within the Bluehost account, you should look into the control panel and spot the 1-click-installation. The same principle also applies for other web hosting companies, regardless of their names. In a glimpse, here’s what you need to know:
Step 1: Using your credentials, log in right into the hosting account;
Step 2: Find the control panel and click on it;
Step 3: Hover over the 1-click-installation button and click on it;
Step 4: Look for the WordPress icon and click on it;
Step 5: Decide upon the domain on which your website will be installed;
Step 6: Press the button which says Install Now and you are good to go. The other details related to accessing your WordPress website will get to you pretty soon.
2. Manual Installation
There are people who wish to get a closer look into their own WordPress installation on their websites. There’s nothing wrong with it, just the fact that it requires special attention to details. The same principle applies to the web hosting companies who don’t actually feature the 1-click-installation button. In case you’re in either one of the categories, here’s what you need to know in order to quickly set up everything from head to toe!
Step 1: Go to WordPress official page http://wordpress.org/download, wait for it to download and save it on your computer;
Step 2: Right-click on the saved file and unzip it to a new folder that is recommended to be created on desktop (or any other place where you can get pretty easy);
Step 3: Open the unzip folder and look for the file named wp-config-sample.php. Rename it to wp-config.php after doing a right-click on it and hit Rename;
Step 4: Use Notepad or Dreamweaver to look into the wp-config.php and add the following lines with the required data:
• define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’); – [your own database name, usually obtained from the hosting support];
• define(‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’); – [the username of your hosting];
• define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’); – [the password of your hosting].
Right after you added all the required information, click Save.
Step 5: Make sure you have FileZilla installed on your computer. In case you don’t, look for it online and download it immediately. By this way, you will be further able to log into the hosting FTP – remember that the FTP address generally looks like ftp.yourdomain.com and the credentials (username and password) are not different from the ones used to host registration.
Step 6: Look up for an index file and in case you spot it, delete it quick. Next, get all of the files found within your WordPress folder and upload them directly to the FTP server. The process gets easier if you use the drag-and-drop option from FileZilla.
Step 7: The last but not least step in here is following this URL: yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php and see how it goes.
Finding the best wordpress theme
Setting up the domain name and hosting services is enough to launch a website, but there’s something more required to add sparkle to your blog. Every product or service needs a story to be told in order to be sold, and a theme can help you get going – or at least, make everything look rather professional.
By default, WordPress comes with a basic theme which is installed on you website. It is called Twenty Fifteen and comes in a plain and simple format, which does not actually fit some specific requirements of all website designs and niches. That’s why you can rather look for a different theme to install on your WordPress website. The following lines will guide you through:
How to Find a Free Theme
Step 1: Go to your WordPress Dashboard. To do so, type your web address in the URL box of your search engine followed by /wp-login/. It should look something like http://www.thisisawebsite.com/wp-login/. Next, add your personal credentials (username and password) and click ‘Log In’.
Right after you did that, you’ll stumble upon your own WordPress dashboard where you can make all the desired changes. From functions, plugins, tools and special settings, everything can be controlled from here. One hour spent on your WordPress dashboard is enough to turn you into a WordPress pro in just a blink of an eye. The following lines will come in handy to show you how to find a theme that is either free or premium.
Step 2: Take a look at the free themes. Since they are worldwide renowned due to their great features (color themes, design and style of a website, page layouts, stylistic details, responsive design, widget locations and many more), themes are useful enough to help you set up the front end styling.
Step 3: To search among over the thousands of free available WordPress themes, you have to click on the ‘Appearance’ section which can be found on the left side of the dashboard.
Step 4: Next, from the sections that pops-up automatically choose ‘Themes’. From here on, you’ll be able to see all of the free themes provided by WordPress – but not before following the next part.
Step 5: Further, look for the ‘Add New’ button and click on it. Only now will you be able to scroll through the entire free WordPress themes gallery. To make your search easier, spot the available filters and make use of them – most popular, featured and latest themes are just some of which you can take into consideration.
Step 6: Identify the ‘Feature Filter’ and make your selection even more specific by deciding among the colors, layouts, features and subject. From here on, the WordPress online world is yours to handle.
How to Install a Free WordPress Theme
Step 1: Make your choice among the great number of WordPress themes that are available nowadays on the market. Thus, after being on the ‘Themes’ subsection found in the ‘Appearance’ section, choose your theme and click on it. You can always use the search box within the WordPress dashboard to find a theme that you already know about.
Step 2: Make a click on the ‘Install’ option and further, ‘Activate’. It is as simple as that. However, WordPress makes it possible for users to see how their website would look like with a new theme before actually officially deciding upon it, so choosing ‘Live Preview’ would not hurt your website whatsoever. This might come in handy right before making the right and final choice.
How to Find a Premium Theme
Aside the free and plain WordPress themes, there are also the premium ones known for their professional appearance, high number of features and incredible design. Not only do they improve the overall aspect, but they also provide various benefits, like: reliable code base, customer support 24/7 and better functionality.
However, some of them are close to a web design software, due to the fact that it makes it possible for a user to build the theme from scratch, having all the features a WordPress user requires. By this way, you get a complete functionality and great flexibility in the making.
As a recommendation, Theme Forest has numerous premium themes ready to be tried out and used further for a complete magic. However, both MyThemeShop and Compete Themes make the best choice for premium themes which have great support, an impeccable code quality and nonetheless, all-time updates pared with amazing improvements. Let’s exactly see how you can get it on your website.
How to Install a Premium WordPress Theme – [The Easiest Method]
Before heading towards the guideline on how to install your premium theme, it’s important to learn how to find it. By using your favourite search engine tool, you can meet some of the greatest on the market. As soon as you find one that meets your needs and requirements, press download and wait for the zip file to reach your computer. Further:
Step 1: Insert your credentials into WordPress and get to your WordPress dashboard.
Step 2: Look for the ‘Appearance’ section and go further to the ‘Themes’ subsection.
Step 3: Click on the Add New button and follow the next steps.
Step 4: Search for the Upload Theme button and upload the zip file that has been previously downloaded onto your computer.
Step 5: Find the Install Now button on the right and click it.
Step 6: If you aim to see a quick preview of how your website looks like on the premium theme, find the Live Preview button and click it.
Step 7: Wait for the success message and click Activate to make the theme work as expected.
How to install a premium WordPress Theme – through FTP
Installing a premium WordPress theme through FTP is one of the hardest and most technical manner in which one can actually make a theme change. Even though it might look hard at the beginning, experience has it – the second time you follow the process will definitely go as smooth as possible.
FTP, also known File Transfer Protocol, is the standard network protocol commonly used to make file transfers from one client and a server through a computer network. In our explanations, FTP is used to upload the files that are shared between a computer and a website’s server.
As expected, we can find nowadays on the market various FTP clients whose advantages come in hand. One of the most used and rather popular is FileZilla, due to its easy usage and friendly interface. Still, let’s better see how it’s done:
Step 1: Get in the known of your FTP server credentials
In order to use a premium theme on your WordPress website and you wish to use FTP, its credentials are utterly important to get you going. You can either login into the web hosting account you own (and look for the desired information) or send a mail to your web hosting company which should have exactly what you look for, specifically the FTP server access details. To help you get them faster, remember to ask for:
• The FTP server URL;
• Your FTP username;
• Your FTM password.
Step 2: Using the FTP application/program
As mentioned above, FileZilla makes a great choice in FTP applications. It is both easy and free-of-charge, not to mention released under the GPL.
Step 3: Get your theme ready to be uploaded on the server
Before uploading the premium WordPress theme on the server, it’s important to unzip the file.
Step 4: Install the theme on your server
4.1. Use your FTP credentials (FTP server URL, FTP username and FTP password) to login right onto your server;
4.2. Insert the following path /wp-content/themes/;
4.3. Add the unzipped theme (which has previously been a zip file) which should be now a folder to the wp-content/themes/ folder. You can use the drag-and-drop technique if you are using FileZIlla;
4.4. Wait until the installation process is finished. It should take a couple of minutes.
4.5. Find your theme in the wp-content/themes/themename folder that should be up on the server. The themename should be your actual theme name.
Step 5: Get back to your WordPress website’s dashboard
Look for the Appearance section and find the Themes page. Here you should see the new theme that has just been uploaded through FTP.
Step 6: Activate your premium WordPress theme
Hover over the new theme on your WordPress admin and click the Activate link to make it work.
Aside the technical part totally required when setting up a blog, the functional side is seen in the ease with which the blog can be visited. A clean and minimalistic style has been seen to attract more visitors who decide to spend more time scrolling down on websites. On the same note, the first impression is done by what we see, and as a visitor, we enjoy to see something nice. Photos, videos, nice writing or a great combination of colors, these are just a few from which we can choose. Still, what would a blog be without an artistic side?
A blog has to be, above everything, functional. When being visited, it should be both easy to access and catchy, so that visitors don’t get bored during the process. Overall, the most important characteristic is to be intuitive – which means that visitors should feel what the next click on the blog should be, right away.
But this is where we will get at the end of the following paragraphs. If ever wondered how to start a blog, now you get a detailed tutorial on how to make a blog appealing, interesting and what are the tricks most of the successful website use in order to generate high traffic.
Yet, remember that there are limitations to the free blogs, so it is highly recommended to apply the tips and tricks on a self-hosted blog as soon as you decide to build one from scratch. The result will simply amaze you.
Image sells – make your blog appealing
Nothing gets the eye better, faster and quicker than a great shot. And nothing delights the ear more than a touchy story. When the two are combined, a mixed of feelings and emotions is created inside the reader’s mind, making him spend more time than ever on your blog.
Until we get to the writing part, we need to discuss about image. After setting up the blog with all of its technical requirements, it is time to insert come colors to it. The vast majority of the free blogs come with some pre-installed plugins which are nice and clean, but sometimes useless – or better off. As for the self-hosted blogs, the wide variety of plugins from which you can choose (to either insert or remove) is hugely enough to be completely excited of the final result. But that’s not all – the following tips and tricks can make your blog bloom:
• Themes – you can either create one from scratch or decide among over 6,000 available to day. Since blogs are built on different purposes, targeting different population segments, the best thing is to choose the category that suits your needs best and scroll down to the one you feel most appealing – as being the answer to all of your questions;
• Layouts – is another important characteristic, since it implies the way the content is being shown – with or without photos, with or without a slide show, a mix of text and photos or any way looks better to you;
• Colors – now that is the trickiest of them all. Nowadays, colors are known to rule the branding side of some of the biggest businesses in the world, and only because they have a powerful impact. According to neuro-studies, people associate colors with feelings and memories, as well as cultural approaches. This is why you must be aware of your target before making the blog available, since foreigners might interpret the interface a bit different from what you would actually had in mind from the very beginning. Still, if the choice is made in a professional way, your blog is on an ascending traffic path.
After being carefully chosen and mixed together in a delightful manner, all of these characteristics are ought to create the interface of your blog. That’s the first welcoming of your visitors, so be sure to make it as appealing as possible. If they liked it, they will definitely come back for more inspiration and accurate content which, nowadays, seems rather hard to find on the wide Internet.
Organise your blog’s content
Once you finish with both the technical stuff behind the blog and the way it looks, it’s time to set up the content. By default, every single text on your blog will have something with “Hello World” on it – and that is the sign we need to know where to modify.
Besides the writing per se, there are some other aspects also important to change, such as:
• Style – some of the most common ones are Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman, but if you are feeling lucky you can also go for something more interesting. Remember though it has to match with the tone and general aspect of your blog;
• Visual flair – as touchy as writing gets, a photo says more than 1000 words in just a glimpse. This is why your blog needs some visual flair with colors, feelings and impact;
When combined, these two hot topics will improve the overall image of your blog while contributing to your visitors’ decision of coming back.
Create your first blog post
Now that’s when the artistic side of the blog owner comes in. Writing, as well as photographing are two of the most useful methods of sharing emotions within blogs. To do so, each blog is created with pages, and each page has a number of blog posts.
This is a method of organising and setting up the best method of reading, since we would not be able to understand nothing if all the text was inserted with no spaces in between.
Usually, the first blog post covers the reason behind you decided to open up a blog – as well as your life story until now. This is a general method of sharing with your visitors some parts of you, and technically it is extremely easy to be done.
When deciding to create your first blog post, the above mentioned message “Hello World!” will pop up again. Just remove it and select the one you’ve been working at, together with the title in a separate side. Apart from that, you get the following options:
• Featured image – each and every single one of your blog posts should have a featured image. It is generally used to represent the idea of the post, in such a way that people could understand almost everything only by looking at it;
• Scheduled posts – are extremely useful, especially if you do not get to access the blog daily but wish to keep it always up to date with new posts. By filling in the time and date, the blog posts will appear when you want them, regardless of the place you are at.
• Headings – they are great to be used in writing, since different headings are known to generate a powerful impact on the reader – as well as to highlight some of the most important things when publishing a post.
• Hyperlinks – definitely a way to go for people who are into affiliate marketing. A hyperlink is a term (or even a phrase) that is linked with a different page, that once clicked on it will redirect a visitor to the linked one.
How to create a blog post in a WordPress website
By default, the posts published on a WordPress website are different from those that are seen on a blog. This is due to the fact that, in most of the cases, a blog is a section (also known as a page) within the website.
Thus, a blog post will be displayed within the blog section and usually does not make it to the front page. However, a website post is displayed directly on the landing page and is visible in plain sight.
Since we already know how to create a post on a WordPress website, it’s time to also see how to create a post for a blog. In case you aim to find more concerning the topic, keep an eye onto our step-by-step walkthrough on first, how to create a blog on a website:
Step 1: Insert your website credentials to your WordPress /wp-login/ path to reach the dashboard.
Step 2: Look for the Pages button and click on Add New.
Step 3: Create a new page by searching for a specific name within the text box that is located on the top. By this way, the newly created page (i.e. Blog) will be soon available to be accessed using the shortcut /blog/.
Step 4: Don’t write nothing on the text box that is found below the ‘Enter title here’ box, since there’s no content to be displayed in there yet.
Step 5: Hit Publish. Thus, you get a blank page that is named Blog and can be accessed by http://thisisawebsite.com/blog.
Step 6: Configure your website’s settings in order to assign the page as your Blog. To do so, go to Settings and then Reading.
Step 7: Wait for the Reading Settings to open up and select the page you have just created (i.e. Blog) right from the Posts Page list. It should look like a drop-down menu.
Step 8: Look for the Most section and find the Blog Pages Show, where you have to add the number of posts that you wish to be displayed within the Posts text box. By this way, you will always control how many posts will be displayed when the page is being accessed. This is a great way to lower the bounce rate of your website – the less posts per page, the better.
Step 9: Don’t forget to save your changes by pressing the Save Changes button.
However, creating the blog page is the initial step, but developing specific blog posts is a different one. Even so, you can create a blog post by following the same steps as in creating a normal post in WordPress, mentioned earlier. It’s as easy as that.
By following all the steps up until here, you can definitely say that your first post has just been successfully published!
Don’t forget about the plugins
Nothing will ever provide your blog with more functionality apart from plugins. Due to the fact that they are free of charge but extremely powerful, you will start to enjoy them in just a blink of an eye. Still, as amazing as they are, beware of overpopulating your blog with plugins – the visitors should come back to your blog (and spent some great time there) for other various reasons, such as content, photos and general feeling.
Even so, we cannot leave plugins aside. With over 10,000 found only on the WordPress libraries, your choice is ought to take some time. Here is all you need to know about setting them up on your blog:
1. Find the place where the plugin libraries are stored – some of them are strategically hidden, but once you get to their place, the rest of the process will go smooth;
2. Choose those that suit your needs – again, as appealing as they are, having more plugins than blog posts is not a great strategic move. Remember to stick to your needs, since they will provide the passive income on the long run;
3. Hit INSTALL – a plugin is easy to get, since after choosing one you just have to click the Install button;
4. Look up for the Contact tab – this is the place where you can start organizing all of the installed plugins.
Due to the fact that they are 100% free but definitely useful, plugins are cute enough to reach your first page. In addition, they are used to increase the functionality of it and to link further options.
Most Used WordPress Plugins
After setting up your own WordPress website, it’s time to find the right plugins to help it get going. In case you don’t know which the best ones are, find a list of them down below:
1. Yoast SEO
With up to 50 million active installations until today, Yoast SEO is one of the most popular (if not the most popular one) WordPress plugins found through the most websites. There’s no wonder why, actually, due to the fact that it improves the overall SEO score from both the articles and the pages. Moreover, it provides you with the possibility of setting special features, such as the main keyword, SEO title, slug, meta description and various others, such as alt attributes and even tips on readability.
– getting closer to the impressive number of active installations held by Yoast SEO, Akismet is a tool specially designed to block spam comments in an automatic way. Moreover, it has bee developed by Automattic and feels like a great relief against malicious content and promotional links. Still, Akismet doesn’t stop in here – it also looks into the contact form submissions and blocks any information that is not relevant to you. If you run a business, you should absolutely own this one.
Get a plugin that is good at everything and make your website your own home. With Jetpack, you get everything from site analytics to downtime monitoring, automated social media posting, login security, multiple WordPress themes, lazy image loading, CDN and malware scanning, as well as other aspects you would be more than excited to take advantage of. Moreover, Jetpack is also part of Automattic – which is, indeed, a great thing to remember. When it comes to payment, there are four available plans, one of them being free whereas the rest of them request different sums of money to be paid.
4. Contact Form 7
Turns the responsibility of having a WordPress website into a real bliss. Basically, this plugin is created to generate efficient contact forms in a blink of an eye. With it, you can get in touch with possible clients and visitors, which will definitely increase your business range. From a technical point of view, Contact Form 7 is considered as a complete plugin – since it offers an increased functionality developed by Takayuki Miyoshi. You will love it. And requires zero dollars to be paid for, as well as an effortless configuration procedure.
5. Wordfence Security
Take a deep breath and join the wide and safe side of WordPress with a security plugin, known as Wordfence Security. Its main purpose is to maintain your website safe, by setting up a firewall in order to keep away malicious content and traffic. Moreover, it features a malware scanner specially designed to turn down any external attempts against your site. You can spot its usefulness from the first moment you decide to login into the system.
Wordfence Security lets you know each time there’s something bad going on by sending an alert. By this way, you will always know when a vulnerability issue happens.
6. All in One SEO Pack
Being Yoast SEO’s best brother, All in One SEO Pack is a nice WordPress plugin configured to help you use the best SEO skills in a blink of an eye. Believe it or not, it works for both beginners and advanced users, providing great XMP sitemap, Google AMP support and Google Analytics. In addition, once you get it, you will also obtain SEO integration for e-commerce sites – which is a nice feature to help you get going.
Create the online shop of your dreams starting as a WordPress website with WooCommerce. Since it is a flexible and rather interesting plugin, it provides you with the possibility of selling your products through the web in a blink of an eye – and even attract more customers than ever before. Still, keep in mind that WooCommerce is best used by business owners and can be easily customized upon your best requirements. Trust us, selling online was never easier.
8. Google Analytics for WordPress
Help your WordPress website get the money it deserves using the Google Analytics for WordPress. This plugin is used by the vast majority of the websites which wish to make money quite fast. The reason behind it actually works is because it creates a great connection between Google Analytics and your own WordPress website. Moreover, everything can be seen live within the dashboard, since the plugin leaves all the important data and information in there. If it were for us, this would’ve been the first plugin to install whatsoever.
9. WordPress Importer
Send content and files from one website to the other in the easiest and most compact method ever developed using WordPress Importer. This amazing plugin is perfectly set up to take everything from one place to the other in a blink of an eye and makes the perfect choice for people who own more than one website. It works also flawlessly for WordPress website owners who need it only every once and a while, and there’s no reason why – it provides the outcome expected just the same.
10. WP Super Cache
Starting a blog that is totally worth it requires special attention and great plugins. WP Super Cache is definitely one of them, due to the fact that it makes sure your website’s load time is up to date and meets your visitors’ expectations. In order to run properly, it generates static HTML files which are further saved for a faster and easier loading period of time. You get to decide among Expert, Simple and WP-Cache methods of caching the one that suits you best. In order to use it, WP Super Cache has to be installed upon your website.
Personalise your blog with an email account
A respectful business always has contact details written on business cards, personal website or anywhere it can be seen. When it comes to a blog, a personalized email account is a nice touch of professionalism. Both visitors and possible business affiliates can get in touch with you through an email address, but it is required to be a domain-based one.
This means that you would need something like firstname.lastname@example.org to be used within the main communication mecanisms.
The vast majority of the web hosting companies usually include in the web host package the possbility of creating the email account for you. It costs nothing more but has to be requested from the company if they do not offer it by default. Before doing it, remember to:
• Choose an intuitive and easy custom email address – preferably with ‘office’, ‘home’ or anything you think would be suitable for you personalized email address;
• Not wait until it is too late – in some cases, you might add a personal email address as a point of contact and forget to go for a personalized one. Once you do it, this will be the main email address used in doing business.
• Insert it into the ABOUT page – this is a useful trick, since the ABOUT page should include details about the scope and the purpose of the blog, as well as some contact details to help visitors get in touch with you whenever they wish to. This is easy, fun, and looks totally professional from miles away.
Using a personalized email address will take the blog further, to a new level of presenting itself and what it has to share with the world, as well as giving a sneak peek into the main values of it – among which you may highlight professionalism.
Show up on the first Google’s searches
One of the main blogging satisfactions is to show up on the first pages on Google. Because of the high overload of blogs, websites and information on so many domains, it is rather hard these days to make the cover of the first results on Google. Still, no one said it would be impossible.
Believe it or not, some of the best websites (with the highest traffic) around the world are actually using some marketing and SEO techniques to help them keep the rank. Here are some to help you get started:
1. Content is great, but quality is even better – to make it on Google first searches, your blog needs qualitative content. In order to get to it, check your grammar and spelling twice before making the post live. By this way, no errors will get through your getting on the first page;
2. Always go for original – Google doesn’t enjoy copied texts or ideas that are being put with almost the same words. If you want your blog to be innovative and appealing to visitors, it requires something new, fresh and juicy. Without these elements, it might be hard to make it to the top;
3. Add suitable images – that can translate the written ideas fast to your visitors, but catchy enough to make them stay on your blog;
4. Insert keywords – this is a useful tip Google uses in order to rank its first results when a certain keyword is being searched. With Google Analytics, you can generate the right keyword to use based on the general idea of your post. Once you get it, remember not to use it for too many – or too few – times, but rather in a balanced and useful manner.
There is nothing more overwhelming and purely satisfying than seeing your blog making the first Google page(s). As expected, this will generate a higher traffic with new visitors and higher passive income sums to play with.
If you are still wondering if starting a blog is worth it or not, compare the costs and get a glimpse of the implications. With 0$ to 60$ per year, you can set up a blog with templates, plugins, match of colors and a personalized email in less than a day. Yet, you can keep your professionalism high better with a blog that pertains only to you and not to a free platform, especially if you are ready to give it a try.