Have you been toying with the idea of starting a blog for months or even years and don’t know where to start? Well, this post is for you.
Here’s the best part: Building a WordPress blog is not as difficult as most people think.
But first, why is blogging important?
Writing valuable and persuasive content and publishing it on your site generates website traffic that may, in turn, drive leads.
It also amplifies brand awareness, as you can use the blogging platform to share relevant information regarding your company and its products or services. Besides, blogging helps Google index more pages on your website.
Ready to learn how you can set up a WordPress blog easily?
1. Sign Up for a Domain Name
First, visit a reputable domain registrar online and choose a domain name. While choosing a domain for your blog, note the following:
- Stick with .com. Why? Well, Dot-com is the most reliable and established domain extension. It’s the most memorable, too (including to non-techies).
- Incorporate keywords in the domain name search, if possible, to help rank higher on Google.
- Keep the domain short (within 15 characters) so users can easily remember it.
- Omit hyphens in the domain name to avoid typos when users search for it.
- Make it easy to spell and pronounce.
- Keep it brandable and unique.
- Don’t include double letters in the domain to reduce the chances of lost traffic through typos.
- Pick a flexible name so you can expand on your topics later. For example, mypetfoods.com is better than mypuptreats.com.
2. Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Providers
There are thousands of hosting services online, but not all of them are good for your business. As a rule of thumb, avoid any provider that offers free hosting. Why? Nothing is for free.
That said, you should consider a hosting service that:
- Guarantees at least 99% uptime.
- Offers fast server loading speeds.
- Provides reliable customer support.
- It’s WordPress-friendly.
After purchasing the domain and hosting, the next step is to:
3. Install WordPress
There are many website builders you can set up a blog on, but most bloggers prefer WordPress primarily because it’s ideal for digital marketing and one of the must-have tools for professional writers.
At first, setting up WordPress may sound intimidating, but it’s one of the most straightforward steps of setting up a blog, once you create a workflow that is easy to follow.
Most web hosting companies like Bluehost offer an intuitive, one-click WordPress installation that you can complete in about five minutes to get your new blog online.
After finishing the installation process, visit your new WordPress blog’s dashboard by typing yourdomain.com/wp-admin in your browser.
4. Select a WordPress Theme
Most new bloggers spend a lot of time searching for the perfect WordPress theme for their blog. Well, let me make this easy for you: a theme isn’t that central when you’re just starting.
Instead, you should focus solely on creating content and putting it online for the world to see. Don’t obsess over the site’s design until you start driving a sizable amount of traffic to let you know whether the design is good or not.
So, what theme should you go with? Well, by default, your site comes with a default yearly WordPress theme. Each year, WordPress releases a new theme that is suitable for bloggers. The most recent one is Twenty Twenty-Two.
Later, you’ll want to install a theme with features that suit your growing blog. How do you make the switch?
- If you prefer a free WordPress theme, search it by name and click install.
- If you have a premium theme, go to Appearance >> Themes >> Add New.
Click on the button to start uploading a theme, select the theme zip file you received during the purchase and upload it. Next, install and activate your theme.
5. Customizing the WordPress Theme
WordPress features a theme customizer that you can use to tweak your site’s appearance. This feature is intuitive and lets you make changes to your pages without touching any code.
Access it by navigating to Appearance >> Customize.
Depending on your theme, the left slider may show different options. But in general, you should:
- Use the options in the left pane to make changes.
- See a preview of the changes made in real-time on the right.
- Click Save and Publish to make the changes live.
6. Install the Relevant Plugins
Adding themes is the first time-consuming exercise for new bloggers, and adding plugins takes second place. You can easily spend hours installing and removing plugins before creating your first blog post.
Here’s the thing: You don’t need tons of plugins to get started blogging on WordPress. But I would recommend you get started with the following free plugins to get your blog up.
- Akismet to fight spam comments
- AddThis for social sharing
- Yoast for on-page SEO optimization
- GA Google Analytics to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your site.
- VaultPress for creating and maintaining site backups.
You can install each of these plugins by going to Plugins >> Add New. From here, search for a new plugin by typing it in the search box or click upload to get it from your device after downloading the plugin elsewhere.
After installing the plugin, you’ll see an option to activate it. Most plugins have a pretty straightforward setup process.
7. Publish Your First Blog Post
By now, your blog is ready for content publication. Before creating your first post, you should first:
Delete the Sample Post and Page
Go to the pages in the sidebar of your blog. You’ll see a sample page(s) that you can delete; hover over the page and select the Trash button.
Similarly, go to Posts >> All Posts and trash the “Hello World” sample post.
Right now, don’t rush into creating new pages. You might come back to create the contact, about page, and other pages using a suitable WordPress page builder.
Our current focus is to get your blog up and running, and this requires nothing except posts.
Create the First Post
In the sidebar, navigate to Posts >> Add New, and you’ll see a screen like this one:
- Here are essential pointers to do before publishing your first post:
- Create a clear, concise, and catchy title. Consider including a keyword in it, too.
- Write content in the text editor. You don’t have to write directly in the WordPress editor; you can use MS Word or Google Docs to create content before pasting it in WordPress.
- Add a customized featured image using drag and drop photo editors like Canva and others. Additionally, add tags and categories to the posts.
- Click publish
Making a WordPress blog is that easy! While you can do several things to optimize the content and improve your site’s appearance, it’s best to get started with the basics first and focus on the fine print later.
Later on, you can add more plugins, optimize the pages, or create a logo. In the meantime, write informative content for your audience and publish it.