Starting your very own blog is the best and easiest way to share your ideas and expertise with the world. If you think creating a blog from scratch sounds all too difficult and technical then you couldn't be more wrong. Because making a blog is a lot easier than you think. It really is!
This here is a step-by-step “watch over my shoulder” tutorial on how to start a blog from scratch using WordPress, with videos that are easy to follow and understand.
But if you get stuck, feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to help you out.
And if you want to, you can even use your blog to promote your small business or online shop, or you can even make money from it by blogging.
- What will you learn here?
You will learn how to create a WordPress blog from scratch (i.e. how to install, configure and customize WordPress).
- What do you need to start a blog?
You will need a computer and internet connection (duh!), and you need at least a couple of hours to get started.
- How much will it cost to create a WP blog?
Not much, you will only need to spend about $10 per month on a domain name and web hosting, that's it.
Are you ready? Then let's find out how to start a WordPress blog in 2020 from scratch:
How to start a blog from scratch with WordPress
1. Get a domain name & web hosting
First things first, before you can create your blog you need two things; a domain name and web hosting. These are the building blocks of your blog.
Both offer similar pricing
Both are recommended by WordPress.org. Bluehost and WordPress have worked together since 2005
Both have one-click WordPress installation which automagically takes care of the technical setup and configuration.
Both offer 24/7 support meaning there's always someone there to answer your questions plus their online support center includes WordPress guides, video tutorials and more.
Both offer 30-day money-back guarantee so you can get a refund if you decide you don’t want to have a blog after all.
Bluehost gives you a FREE DOMAIN NAME when you signup with them.
SiteGround gives you OUTSTANDING FEATURES when it comes to speed and security (FYI I'm using Siteground's GrowBig plan for this site).
2. WordPress overview & installation
In this video you will learn how to install WordPress on your hosting account using their simple and beginner friendly “1-click” WordPress installer.
If you need help with installing WordPress refer to this installation guide and walkthrough.
3. WordPress login & admin area
Congratulations on installing WordPress! Here in this video you will learn how to login to your WordPress administration area and use the important tools that are found there.
4. Creating pages in WordPress
In this video you yoll learn how to create pages (such as your homepage, contact page etc) for your WordPress blog.
5. Creating posts in WordPress
Here in this video you will learn how to create a posts for your WordPress blog. Posts are a bit different from pages as they are listed in reverse chronological order on your site and are ideal for diary-type content, like blog posts.
What's the difference between pages and posts in WordPress?
Posts and pages in WordPress may look very similar on the surface, both include a title and the main content area use the same content editor, but there are a few key differences:
Posts have a visible date and time stamp whereas pages do not
Posts are displayed in reverse chronological order on your website, from newest to oldest
Pages are left out of the main timeline of your blog
Posts can be organized using categories and tags
Pages can be organized in a hierarchal structure
Post are syndicated with RSS feeds, notifying subscribers when new posts are published
As a rule of thumb, any content that is “timeless” and not part of your blog is best suited to being published as a page. Content that is part of your blog or journal, and is more time-sensitive, is a better suited as a post.
Alright, let's move on.
6. Categories & tags in WordPress
In this video you will learn how to create categories and tags (for posts) for your WordPress blog.
7. Using WordPress plugins
Here in this video you will learn how to use plugins on your WordPress website. A plugin extends the functionality or adds a new feature (for example a contact form) to your WordPress blog.
What are the must-have WordPress plugins you should install?
Plugins help extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress blog. There are almost 50,000 free WordPress plugins you can use for your blog. But don't go crazy and install them all because having too many plugins installed will make your blog load slow. So you need to be picky, and install only the plugins that your blog really needs.
Aksimet is an anti-spam plugin that protects your blog against malicious content (this is an official WordPress plugin and it comes pre-installed).
Yoast is an SEO plugin that helps you search engine optimize your blog and help you configure your WordPress blog's SEO such as meta tags and XML sitemap generation, robots.txt file configuration, .htaccess file editing and lots more
WP Rocket is an premium caching plugin that helps make your WordPress site load fast. The great thing about WP Rocket is that it comes without complex plugin settings and it speeds up the load time of your website upon activating the plugin.
Imagify is an image compression plugin that optimizes images you upload by reducing file sizes without losing quality, so that your blog loads quickly
Social Warfare plugin helps you add stunning looking social bookmarking buttons on your blog.
Contact Form 7 is a contact form plugin you can use to create different types of contact forms.
Jetpack is an all-in-one plugin that gives your blog features like stats, related posts, search engine optimization, social sharing, protection, backups, speed, and email list management.
Let's move on.
8. Customizing WordPress themes
A WordPress theme (also called template) is a set of files that determine the look and feel of your WordPress powered blog. In this video you'll learn how to use WordPress themes to make a great first impression for your WordPress blog.
9. WordPress menus & widgets
In this video you'll learn how to change the appearance of your blog's content using the WordPress menu & widget features.
10. Creating & managing users
In this video you will learn how to create and manage user accounts on your WordPress blog.
Bonus: Blog promotion & security tips
Here you will learn how to promote, maintain and protect your WordPress blog with a few helpful tips.
What can you do to secure WordPress?
WordPress is secure-out-of-the-box there precautionary steps you can take to further harden your WordPress blog. Here are a few basic WordPress security tips:
Don't use “Admin” as your administrator/master username
Use strong passwords (long, with numbers, capital letters, and symbols)
Only download plugins and themes from known sources
Always complete core WordPress updates as soon they come out (fyi all SiteGround plans come with managed WordPress hosting, meaning they will do core updates and patches to WordPress for you – automatically)
5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog
From my own experience, I’ve found that most advice about how to monetize a blog is based on the premise that your blog is already pulling in thousands of visitors a day. But how true is that assumption? If you’re like me, you’re probably not getting thousands of visitors a day. But no worries, there are still plenty of ways to monetize your blog. These are five methods that will work for any blog.
Method 1: Sponsorships
Most people will tell you that running ads on your site – either banner ads or text ads that appear at the end of articles – is the best way to bring in revenue. While these ad programs are easy to set up, they also aren’t worth pursuing unless you have a lot of traffic. An easy alternative to pure advertising is sponsorships, in which local companies will pay you directly to put their names and logos on your website.
Method 2: E-books and premium content
If you’re willing to commit to creating a new piece of downloadable content – a case study, a whitepaper or Kindle ebook – every month, then you can set up a recurring revenue stream based on your blog. Here’s how it works: create a 25-page book, add it to Amazon, and charge anywhere from $1.99 to $3.99 per book. Best of all, this is completely passive income that actually helps to build your reputation.
Method 3: Courses and consulting
And once you’ve built up your reputation with e-books and other premium content, that’s when you can start selling high-dollar courses and consulting services. For example, say that you write a blog on health and fitness. Every day, you could give workout suggestions and post photos of yourself at the gym. That might open up the door to people hiring you as a personal fitness trainer, or for a gym to hire you as a teacher for a new fitness course.
Method 4: Affiliate marketing
I’ve seen plenty of people take their passion for a specific product and transform it into a very successful affiliate marketing business. For example, say that you enjoy writing about different tech gadgets and you’ve created a relatively popular gadget blog that people read to learn about the latest new product offerings. You’re already mentioning products, so why not get paid for doing that? If you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you can get paid everytime someone clicks on a product link on your blog and buys a product.
Method 5: Content marketing
I’ve saved my best suggestion for last. The very best way to monetize your blog is to make it the centerpiece of your content marketing efforts. Here’s how it works: you set up a blog and you update your blog on a regular basis with SEO in mind, it’s a great way to get the word out about all the different products for sale on your main website.
If you’re serious about monetizing your blog, these are all proven methods that work, no matter how big or small your traffic is each day. It may require a bit of work at the outset, but once you see how easy it is to make money as you sleep, you’ll be inspired to try out more and more of these strategies.
Next steps towards starting your own WordPress blog
Now that I have shown you exactly how to start a blog and how you can monetize it, and now it's all up to you. Because only you can make it happen and make your blog work!
If you want to share your ideas or expertise with the world or make money with a blog, then you should start right now.
Install a few WordPress plugins that extends the functionality of your blog.
Add the few important “must-have” pages like contact, about, privacy etc. pages. This how-to-start-a-blog guide shows you how to create these types of pages.
Go and write your very first blog post.
If you get stuck with anything, feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to help you out. You should also check out my list of WordPress resources and alternatively you can also use a website builder if you want to create a website easily and quickly.
Also let me know when your blog is up and running, because I would love to see your blog “live” and “in action” . A big thank-you and to Bluehost for their helpful video tutorials.