Start a Blog

How to Start a Blog with WordPress

How to Start a Blog with WordPress in 2020 – The Complete Guide for Beginners

Do you Want to share your thoughts with the world? Are you looking for a way to generate passive income? Then, Start a carrier with blogging. Blogging is one of the best ways to earn money online. But, it might not easy as you think just creating a blog website, publishing posts, and earn money. there’s so much more than that. So I have created this post to give you a complete guide on how to start a blog with WordPress.

Also read –
Best Blogging Platforms to create a Blog
How to create a free blog on blogger

Requirements to start a blog with WordPress

To start a blog, first of all, you need to decide on a blog niche. when you finally decided blog niche, you need to register a domain and purchase web hosting to start working on a blog.

Why WordPress

First of all please note that we are talking about WordPress.org which is self-hosted WordPress. Many people think that WordPress is just a blogging platform but it’s not. WordPress is more than blogging it’s a robust content management system (CMS). WordPress is flexible enough to create different types of websites such as Business Website, Online Store, Question & Answer Website, Business Directory, Religious Websites, Portfolio Websites, Online Communities, Coupon Website, Photography Websites, School or College Websites, and more.

WordPress is Free, you can download, install, use, and modify it as per your needs. But, you need a domain name and web hosting to use it.
You don’t need to learn to code to design or adding features to your website, There are thousands of WordPress themes and plugins available to give a stunning look to your website and add features to your website.
WordPress is SEO Friendly that is why WordPress website rank higher on a search engine. Also, there are SEO plugins available that help your site make it more SEO-friendly.

How to choose a Right Niche for Your Blog

First, Consider your interest. Pick a topic that you love to know more about and you love to share. Do research on the topic you interested in and find how profitable it is. Some of the Popular blogging niches are Health and Fitness, Business and Marketing, Dating & Relationships, Lifestyle, Finance, Beauty & Fashion, DIY / Home Decor, Travel, and, Technology. You can search with Google Trends to see how many people are searching for it. Once you chose a proper niche, now it’s time to go to the next step buy domain and web hosting.

How to Choose a Domain Name

It is very important to choose the right domain name for your blog. Your domain name is an address on the internet of your blog. Find a domain that is short, easy to remember, and related to your blog’s niche. Avoid using a hyphen(-) to your domain name. Consider Popular Top-Level Domains such as .com .net .org. Use domain generator tools like NameBoy for Clever Ideas. When registering a domain name check twice you not making any spelling mistake.

A web hosting account

Before you sign up for web hosting you need to know a little about web hosting and web hosting companies. Web hosting is where your files, database, images, etc are stored.
Here is my recommendation of some of the best hosting companies for WordPress.

  1. SiteGround
  2. Start from $3.95/month

  3. Bluehost
  4. Start from $2.95/month + Free domain for first Year

  5. HostGator
  6. Start from $2.75/month + Free domain for first Year

  7. Dreamhost
  8. Start from $2.59/month + Free domain for first Year

  9. Hostinger
  10. Start from $0.99/month

Read more about 10 Best WordPress Hosting Services

Get a Domain name & Web hosting

Once you finalize the domain name, it’s time to register a domain name and get a web hosting.

Install WordPress on Siteground cPanel

Install WordPress on Siteground New Interface

If you have newly created account on sisteground, whach video: how to install WordPress on Siteground new interface.

Install WordPress on Siteground Old account cPanel

sg-wp
From the siteground, cPanel find WordPress Installer under WordPress tools as you see in the screenshot, then click on it

sg-install
In the next screen, you will see the WordPress details as in the above screenshot, just click on Install

Now you will see the WordPress setup screen as below screenshots
install-wp-steps
install-wp-steps2
Follow the steps to install WordPress
1) Choose the latest version of the WordPress
2) Select http or https (select https if you have already installed SSL to your domain)
3) Select your domain where you want to install WordPress
4) Write your blog name here (you can also change it from WordPress settings after installation)
5) Write a single line description about your blog (you can also change it from WordPress settings after installation)
6) Admin username: this will be used to login to WordPress and will not be changed after installation. But, you really need to change after installation of WordPress there are plugins available to do this. Also, Don’t use “admin” or “webmaster” or “blog name” as username, it is not recommended for security.
7) Admin password: It should be strong and don’t use the same password as I used in the screenshot.
8) Admin email: Use admin email you can use your webmail email if you have created or your Gmail email. (you can also change it from WordPress settings after installation)
9) Select language for your WordPress admin (you can also change it from WordPress settings after installation)
10) There are 3 plugins I skipped but if you want you can select them
1) Limit login attempts for login page security
2) Classic editor: if you want to use WordPress classic editor instead of the new block editor
3) WordPress starter: to easily setup WordPress settings
11) Click on the “Install” button
When the installation process will be done, you will see the screen like below
wp-installed

Install a Theme on WordPress

Now, WordPress is installed and you are logged in to WP admin, Navigation to Appearance >> themes. Here you can see the is a default WordPress theme is installed, the theme is good, but if you want a different design and feel for your site, you need to find and install another theme from the official theme directory of WordPress.

How to Find Best Theme For Your Blog

A good theme should have some qualities such as:
1) Simple & Responsive Design: The theme should be responsive on all devices such as Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, and especially mobile-friendly.
2) Speed Optimized: No one likes a slow website, your blog should have good speed as google also like speedy sites.
3) Niche-Specific Features: Almost all free and paid themes provide a demo, you can check the theme is niche-specific or not in the theme demo.
4) Easily Customizable: The theme should have options to customize layout, colors, text, etc.
5) Browser Independent: There are lots of browsers are used by people now a day, your theme should be compatible with all browsers or at least most popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.
6) Frequent Updates: Find a theme that frequently updates and compatible with the latest versions of WordPress and Plugins.

Recommended Themes

30+ Best Free Themes WordPress Directory
What wordpress theme themes would you recommend for me to create a new website in english
Setting up your WordPress Theme (Astra theme) (nutritionist template)

Install Theme

From Wp-admin Go to Appearance >> Themes, here you can search theme from the WordPress themes directory or upload if you have purchased a theme and have theme files on your PC.
Here is How to install and activate wordpress theme

Setting up your WordPress Theme

After the theme is installed and activated, let,s setting up theme design and import demo content.
Here I installed WP Astra theme one of the best WordPress themes, you can get it from here Get WP Astra

Import Demo Content

If you dont want to import demo you can skip this step and continue to Customize Theme Options
Now, go to Appearance >> Astra Options and click on “Install Importer Plugin”
install-astra

Then, select a page builder, I choose Elementor
choose-elementor

On the next screen, you can see the theme demos you can choose whichever best for your blog niche, (Here I choose “Nutritionist”)
nutritionist-demo

Now, Click on the “Import Complete Site” Button
import-demo

Confirm import by clicking the “Import” button. it will take a few minutes to import the required plugins and demo content.

You can see the screenshot of my homepage (Click on image view large size)
demo wasimsama.com

Customize theme options

Go Appearance >> Astra Options
Here you can add or change your Blog Logo, Set Colors (Text color, Theme color, Link/Link hover color, Heading color), Customize Fonts size and styles, Header Options, Blog Layouts, Footer Settings, Sidebar Options. You can also active extra plugins of Astra.
Astra-options

WordPress Settings and Customizations

How to Create Static Front Page and Blog Page in WordPress

If you didn’t import demo content, you need to manually create pages such as homepage blog, about, contact, etc and other settings.
By default, the WordPress sows the latest posts on your front page, if you want to set a homepage and different blog page, follow the steps below

First, Go to Pages add a new page called “Home” (We can add content to this page later)
Create-homepage-wordpress

Then, create another page called “Blog”

Now, Go Settings >> Reading and Select “A static page” and choose a page “Home” you created, and in Post page dropdown, choose a blog page that you created.
You can also set how many posts you want to display on the Blog page, also if you want to display Full post or Summary.
If you don’t want the search engine to index your blog As your blog is new and has no content, you can check the “Search engine visibility” option to Discourage search engines from indexing your blog. Don’t forget to uncheck it later when your blog is complete and has content published.
settings-reading

Setup Permalink Structure

To choose SEO friendly permalink structure, go to Settings » Permalinks.
Don’t Choose “Plain” permalink as it creates numeric URL like ?p=123, choose “Post name” that generates permalink from your page/post title, or if you wish you can choose custom permalink with Category and Post name (for e.g. /%category%/%postname%/)
Permalink-structure

Change Blog Title and Tagline

If you want to change your Blog title and/or Tagline Go to Settings >> General
Here you can change your blog Title, Tagline, Blog URL, Admin Email Address, Site Language, Timezone, Date & Time Format, etc.
Settings-general

Add widgets to sidebar and footer

WordPress Widgets are used to add features to the Sidebar and Footer such as displaying recent posts, social share buttons, search box, popular comments, email signup box, etc.
To add widgets to the sidebar and footer, Go to Appearance >> Widget, you can drag and drop widget where you want to display it
Widgets

Setup Menus

The navigation menu is a quick link to important pages of your site.
To add or edit the menu, go to Appearance >> Menus.
Then, click “create a new menu” to create a new menu. Then, add the pages to the menu and select the “Display location” where you want to display it.
WordPress-Menus

Plugins

Plugins help you to add some extra features to your website that WordPress core doesn’t provide. With the use of Plugins, you can add features to your sites such as contact form, SEO, Security, and much more.

Install Plugins

From Wp admin Go to Plugins >> Add New, here you can search the plugin from the WordPress plugins directory or upload if you have purchased a plugin and have its files on your PC.
Here is How to install and activate WordPress Plugins

Recommended Plugins for your blog

Here is the list of must-use free Plugins for your blog by category, you can choose one from each category.

Security Plugins

Wordfence Security
iThemes Security
All In One WP Security & Firewall
Sucuri Security
Shield Security

Backup Plugins

UpdraftPlus
Duplicator

SEO Plugins

RankMath
Yoast SEO

Cache Plugins to Improve Speed Performance

W3 Total Cache
WP Fastest Cache
WP Super Cache

Contact Form Plugin

Contact Form by WPForms
Contact Form 7

Page Builder Plugins

Elementor Website Builder
Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Social Sharing Plugins

AddToAny Share Buttons
WordPress Social Sharing Plugin
Social Icons Widget & Block

Email List Building Plugin

Mailchimp for WordPress
Optin Forms

Create Necessary Pages

Once you completed the installation and setup of the plugins, your blog is ready to publish posts and pages. Now, Create necessary pages, such as the About us page, Privacy Policy page, and Disclaimer page.

Writing Your First Blog Post

Go to your post editor by clicking Posts >> Add New to create your first blog post.

First, You will need to add a title to your post and start writing content in your post editor.
To upload images to your blog, you can use the Add Media button to upload your images and videos. Alternatively, you can drag and drop your images into the text editor from your computer.

Writing Your First Blog Post

Adding Categories and Tags
Here’s how to add categories and tags with Classic Editor:
In your post editor screen, scroll down to the categories meta box on the right side. You can click Add New Category or simply choose from the existing categories. As they’re hierarchical, you can have as many as subcategories for each one.
Similarly, using the Tags meta box, you can create new tags or choose from the existing tags.

Adding a Featured Image
The Featured Image will be the thumbnail of your post and it is the visual representation of the post. So, Add a stunning image related to your blog post. It will also display on social media when your posts are shared.

Once you are done writing, go ahead and click on the Publish button on the top-right corner of the screen to make your blog post publicly available.

Tips for writing a Blog

Research well before writing a post
Post Consistently
Write, for your Readers
Listen to your Reader
Write Quality Articles
Choose your Topic Smartly
Write Unique Content, Never Copy
Title and Keywords: Write a good title that tells about your content
Internal Linking: Link to your other articles.

SEO for your Blog

Search console: submit your blog to google search console, bing webmaster, and other search engines.
Integrate your blog with Google Analytics
On-page SEO
Do Keyword Research for your topic
Write unique & quality content
Write Long content at least 600 words
Optimize Title tag
Meta Description: wite a meta description of your content.
URL structure: Optimize URL structure it can be li this wasimsama.com/how-to-start-a-blog-with-wordpress-complete-guide/ not wasimsama.com/page-id-2020 or wasimsama.com/123+456-678
Images with ‘alt’ tag: add images with ‘alt’ tag
Heading tags: Add heading tags h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6. Add only 1 H1 tag and it should be a blog post title.
Internal linking: add other blog post links of your blog to the post.
External linking: add other website links to your post.

Off-page SEO
Link Building:
Get backlinks by
Guest post: write a guest post on other related blogs
Blog directory: submit your blog to web directories.
Blog commenting: comment on your niche blogs.

Making Money From Your Blog

1. Advertising: You can run advertising on the blog to earn money. Google AdSense is the Best Ad Network for bloggers to earn money, google is CPM and CPC Ad Network that means you can earn money when your visitors see Ads on your blog and also when they click on the ad. Also, You can run direct ads from advertisers, many bloggers do direct advertising, just create a page where advertisers can contact you show an Ad on your blog.

2. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is one of the best and easy ways to earn money from your blog. Find your blog-related products and services, signup for their affiliate program and promote their products/services on your blog using special tracking links, and then you will earn a commission whenever someone buys after clicking your link.

3. Sponsored post: Add advertiser’s post on your blog that promotes their product or service and get paid. Sponsored post on your blog is also a great way to make money online.

4. Digital products: You can sell your blog niche related Ebooks, online courses, apps, software, etc.

5. Services: If you are a Web/App developer, Designer, Writer, Photographer, SEO expert, or similar then you can make money by offering your service on your blog.

6. Donation: You can ask your visitors to donate Through a Donate button. There are many plugins available to add a donation button to your blog.

Also Read
Avoid Accidental Publishing in WordPress
How to Change Sender Name and Email Address in Outgoing WordPress Email

Questions and Answers
Why it’s important to convert website to WordPress?
How do I start a blog without even paying a single rupee?
What is a blog? Where do you write a blog? What do you write in a blog? Why?
How do I install WordPress?

Wasim

Wasim Sama is a passionate blogger and experienced web developer.

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