Starting a WordPress blog is a fun way to express yourself and share your thoughts and experiences with your online community, or it could be an effective marketing tool for your business. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to start a blog, all you need to know is that it has never been easier to set up than it is today.
This has led to an online explosion of blogs on every topic under the sun. The good thing about it is that it gives bloggers a way to benchmark their creations against other bloggers with similar interests.
On the other hand, standing out from the crowd is going to take a fair amount of work from you if you’re going to do it right. In this article, you’ll learn:
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting
- Plan Your Blog
- Decide on a Structure, WordPress Theme and Layout
- Do Your Research
- Tag and Categorize Inside the WordPress Dashboard
- Make Some Time for Your Blog
- Before You Launch, Stockpile Some Content
- Sharing is Caring
- Be Original
- Get Tech-Savvy With Google Search Console
- Monetize by Affiliate Marketing
- Don’t Give Up
How to Start a WordPress Blog
We’ll look at the essential things to consider in order to get yourself set up and start making blog posts.
How Do I Make My First Blog Post on WORDPRESS?
The majority of people think that to start a WordPress blog, all they have to do is write a blog post. Not that this is necessarily untrue, but there are certain steps that need to be done before getting to that point. Let’s start from the beginning.
1. Domain Name
You probably already know what a domain name is, but if not, it’s your web address on the internet. In this case, your domain name is going to be your blog name. You need to think of something that stands out from the crowd because there are countless people starting a WordPress blog or who already have one.
When you think of a domain name, you need to register your domain. Besides the domain name, you need to decide if it will be .com .xyz .online etc. There are several types of domains you can choose from and some have a different price than others. Large companies use .com because they are global and serve everyone.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get it, just check if the name you want to use will be available.
It’s a cheap price, and you can still get a free domain name if you host your website with the same company you register with.
2. Web Hosting
Once you’ve thought of a domain name, it’s time to think about what kind of web hosting service you’re going to use to host your website. There are numerous web hosting plans out there, but your best fit would be a company that offers hosting plans that fit perfectly for anyone who wants to start a blog on WordPress. One type of hosting plan worth considering is managed WordPress hosting because you can focus only on what matters, blogging. Everything else is going to be taken care of by the company’s support.
Now, you must be wondering, I have my domain name and my blog hosting set, so it’s time for me to make my first blog post on WordPress, right? Nope. Hold your horses!
It’s time for you to plan everything else. Read on!
3. Plan Your Blog
This is the fun part of starting a WordPress blog – your imagination can run wild.
Before you launch a WordPress blog, you might have an idea of what your blog will be about.
If you have your blog name mapped out and ready to go, think about how often you plan on updating it, and how your publication calendar will look.
Are you the type of person that has to publish on a schedule, or do you find yourself releasing your updates in fits of creativity, and then lay dormant for a while? If you haven’t already thought about this aspect of your blog, it’s important to figure it out, as your readers need to know when to expect new content from you.
The next part of your planning should involve finances. What is your budget? Are you looking to have your blog made professionally, or will you take the DIY route? This is probably the biggest decision that you will make in the early stages of your blog’s creation, and it’s one that will affect how you develop the platform going forward.
Most people opt to go with the DIY approach these days, but there are also a lot of affordable providers out there that can whip up a website for you if you don’t want to deal with it yourself.
If you’re serious about it, consider a website hosting service from a serious company, as we mentioned in the beginning. There are companies that have plans, especially for WordPress hosting, where you don’t have to waste your time having to take care of the site, just think about blog content and blog post ideas.
Something to keep in mind – installing WordPress is easy, so if you choose regular website hosting instead of WordPress hosting and you don’t know how to install WordPress, don’t worry, it’s very simple and fast.
4. Decide on a Structure, WordPress Theme and Layout
By this point, you must already have your website hosted on a WordPress hosting service and already know what your blog posts are going to be about, so the next big decision that you need to make is how you plan on structuring your blog. The WordPress dashboard is straightforward to use, so don’t worry.
This includes the graphical and photographic layout if you decide to use pictures to enhance your website. If you’re pursuing a blog to share your art in any form, then choosing a layout with pictures and photos is a great way to get your work out there.
The default WordPress website page layouts address these matters by giving you four different options to choose from when creating your blog’s homepage. This will determine your page’s look and the content you decide to share.
The first option sets the layout as a list of your latest posts. This is the best option for writers who publish stories or any content with a lot of text. It makes it easier for your readers to navigate your posts when they’re laid out in a list.
If your work involves featured images, try using the grid layout, as this shows thumbnails of each picture and is an eye-catching way of displaying your media.
The other two options are geared towards online stores and a standard welcome page found at an online retailer or business.
When selecting a WordPress theme, you’re spoiled for choice because there are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. You can choose almost any colour and configuration, making the possibilities endless.
The availability of free WordPress plugins is one of the reasons that WordPress is so popular. It makes for exciting and simple web design, simultaneously speeding up the process and simplifying it.
And if you have budget to spare, WordPress has a ton of premium themes and premium WordPress plugins that you can also check.
5. Do Your Research
You might already be an expert in the subject matter of your blog, or you might be using the blogging platform to learn more about a topic while sharing your findings with other people. Both approaches can work, depending on the style and objective of your blog.
But if you want your blog to succeed, you’ll need to learn as much as possible about blogging basics. This includes important things like keywords and SEO, as well as how they can affect your blog’s ranking. Feel free to read about SEO tips because they will help your blog with the search engine websites.
You can follow Google Analytics to check if your SEO tactics are working, which pages are accessed most, etc. With these numbers, you can know which content types work best, helping you think about similar topics.
You’ll also want to learn as many WordPress tips and tricks as possible while researching your blog idea, which will make you a far more proficient WordPress blogger. All of this is necessary to understand better how to put your blog together and get it noticed by the right people.
Next, check out the other similar blogs on the same topic. This can help to point you in the right direction if you’re struggling to pin down an elegant theme or overall mission for your blog. Not only does this serve as a source of inspiration, but it can also help you understand how popular a blog like yours has the potential to become.
This doesn’t mean you must copy a successful blog to find popularity and success. Quite the contrary. It’s just a way for you to see how the different elements of a blog can come together to create a fantastic online resource for your users.
Sign up for a few other newsletters and find out what is popular with the communities of each blog, and see if it’s in line with what you are doing yourself. All that remains for you to do is to tie up all of this information with your blog’s SEO and Google Analytics, and you could be on to a winning formula. All it takes is some research and a few good ideas.
6. Tag and Categorize Inside the WordPress Dashboard
If you already know everything about classifications on WordPress websites, you can probably skip this part. All you need to know for everybody else is that Categories and Tags make it much easier to find specific topics or phrases on your blog.
This isn’t the same as keywords, which search engines use to rank your blog in their search results. Instead, a tag is just an indicator that lets people know that the article or blog you posted is on a specific topic.
The main thing to remember is that your tags must be relevant to the content that you post; otherwise, you will confuse your readers.
The categories you set up for your blog don’t have to be too complicated. Aim to have 8 to 10 of them if you don’t want to start cluttering your site’s layout.
7. Make Some Time for Your Blog
Starting anything new can be daunting at first, but once you have a few blog posts under your belt and the whole concept of blogging has become normal, you need to start thinking about discipline.
Using your blog as a creative outlet is great, but as you probably already know, waiting for inspiration to hit can be unreliable, especially if you’re trying to get content out to your readers regularly.
Some bloggers categorize their posts and release actual content whenever it is ready. However, they will still update the blog with other information, such as interesting happenings and events as they unfold. A blog that hasn’t been updated in a while makes people lose interest, so always ensure that you never leave your blog unattended for more than a day or two, if possible.
For those who need more structure, think about setting up daily reminders in your phone’s calendar or a similar online equivalent. There are plenty of free online calendars, so choose your favourite one and think about setting up a publication schedule.
Remember that you’ll always have distractions that seem more important than your blog updates, so discipline is crucial if you keep your fans returning for more of your stellar content.
8. Before You Launch, Stockpile Some Content
Nobody wants to visit an empty website, and search results will omit sites that don’t have any real content. So, to remedy this, you’ll need to get some content ready before your launch, even if it’s only one or two blog posts.
The more content you have on launch day, the more likely you will attract visitors to your blog and show them what you can do. New users are far more likely to come back to a populated blog than an empty one, so be sure to have as much content up and online as possible when you launch your website.
However, uploading content on launch day is only half of the battle. You also need to keep your website updated and fresh, so you’ll need to keep writing, posting pictures, and updating your blog as often as possible.
Remember, people love daily updates, even if they’re just small bits of information. Social media plugins are a great way to keep your blog updated, especially if you use Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to check in often and monitor your traffic, as this can show you what your readers like.
Also, quantity is not quality, so make sure your content is a good read for the users because people become loyal to something they like, and quality content generates access to your site, and search engines love it.
9. Sharing is Caring
As your blog becomes more popular, you’ll find other similar sites that share a few common interests with you and your users. If you’re connected with like-minded bloggers on social media, share their content with your followers and your own.
You don’t have to overdo it with the sharing, but other blogs need to see that you’re actively engaging with people that follow the same interests as them, making them more receptive to your platform. And who knows, maybe they’ll start sharing your content among their followers, especially if it’s well-written and researched.
10. Be Original
Your audience expects a lot from you; the content you produce must be fun to read, entertaining at the same time, or valuable in some tangible way. If you’re writing a personal blog, make sure that you put across all the points that you’re trying to make in a genuine and sincere manner that reflects who you are.
Readers are often quick to dump a blog if they feel that the person they are following isn’t taking them seriously, so keep that in mind. The same principles apply even if you’re posting videos and pictures and not just writing, so be sure to keep things original, and don’t be afraid to be yourself.
11. Get Tech-Savvy With Google Search Console
We mentioned here that we need to learn more about SEO and how keywords can help your blog get noticed more often, but what other tools does Google offer other than Google Analytics? The good news is that there are actually a lot of different Google solutions for bloggers to use that will help them to rank much better in search results, which equals more site visitors.
A well-known tool from Google is called Google Search Console, previously known as Webmaster Tools. It works by measuring your site’s search traffic and performance while fixing common issues that are making your blog show up in fewer searches.
It also optimizes your content and shows you how visitors are finding your blog. Google Search Console is a powerful tool that will alert you of any issues that may have gone unnoticed when you first launched your blog, and you can then fix the problems yourself. The best part? It’s free!
12. Monetize by Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an online advertising strategy that relies on the help of affiliates who are in charge of brand promotion. You must be thinking: how can I take advantage of this by being a blogger? Simple!
Affiliate marketing works like this: a company launches a product on the internet and it needs people to promote that product. To help with publicity and boost sales, this company has affiliates who can advertise the product on social media and in various other ways, like a blog.
So if you follow the tips on this blog, and put your heart and willpower into making it work, you can become an affiliate and earn a commission from the products you promote within your blog.
13. Don’t Give Up!
Remember to be patient and to persevere, especially in the beginning. It’s not unusual for a new blog to get very little attention when it first launches, and there are a few reasons for this.
Don’t be disheartened if your stats are not ticking over as fast as you would like, it just takes time. Remember to apply WordPress SEO best practice techniques to your page if you find that you are still not getting traffic after a few weeks because the chances are strong that a few tweaks to your SEO game will push things along nicely.
There is a balancing act that you need to perform in order to successfully run your own WordPress blog. On the one hand, you need to be creative and productive, uploading updates and content as much as possible.
On the other hand, you also need to be your own promoter and advertiser, getting the word out to as many people as possible. It’s not an easy thing to do, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you are finding it difficult to strike a balance between the two. It all comes with a bit of practice and a lot of determination.
There are no limits to what you can do with an online blog, regardless of whether you are looking to turn it into a business or to pursue blogging as a hobby. This was an article about how to start a WordPress blog, have you started your own blog already or is it still just an idea you’re considering? Tell us all about it!