Are you delaying creating a blog? We know it can look intimidating but you won’t believe how simple it is to create a WordPress blog. In this post, we will help you do this in 7 easy steps.
We, of course, won’t promise you that you will be able to do it in 15 minutes. It can take a little time especially if you are a beginner. And why not, creating masterpieces takes time.
The following 7 steps will not only help you create a WordPress blog but also run it in the best possible way:
- Different platform to use for a blog
- Buying a domain name and hosting
- All about WordPress themes
- WordPress plugins
- Creating pages and posts
- Tools for beginners
- Promote your blog
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1. Different platform to use for a blog
Yes, we know our article is called ‘create a WordPress blog’, but we still wanted to mention every other option that you can get. These aren’t some new names, you must be already aware of most of them.
If we broadly categorize them, there are 2 types of blogging platforms: Hosted and self-hosted. Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress.com are few famously known hosted platforms.
A hosted platform is free to use and you will get your domain name as a part of a subdomain. For eg: http://yoursitename.wordpress.com. These options are very tempting as there are no barriers to entry and zero financial cost involved. But if you are serious about blogging and wish to earn money, you should always go for a self-hosted platform.
Some of the differences between hosted and self-hosted platforms are:
1.1 Fewer customization options
You cannot give a unique look to your website in a hosted platform. You are given a pre-made template and all you can do is add your content. In self-hosted platform as you are the owner, you are free to do whatever you want. Use any theme and plugin you like.
1.2 Might look unprofessional
Since you cannot do much customization in a hosted platform it does lose the unique feel. Also, a lot of people doesn’t take free blogging platforms seriously. Self-Hosted platforms actually show how dedicated you are towards writing.
1.3 Money issues
Money is the biggest reason we recommend people to go for self-hosted platforms. You can place ads and affiliate links on your site and also add an eCommerce store to your blog someday. You cannot do any of these in a hosted platform.
1.4 You will be a product
Think about it, if you write on some other platform you are practically promoting their site. People might not even remember your name, they will remember the platform they read an article on.
1.5 No control
Did you know, free blogging platforms can shut your blog anytime, just like that, without any warning or consent. And worst of all, you wouldn’t even be able to recover your past content. This can be due to any minor problem of plagiarism etc. In a self-hosted platform, you will have control over your content and you can publish whatever you like(unless it’s something illegal of course).
The above points are few of the reasons why we recommend going for a WordPress.org. You will have to spend a little money but it will be worth it. We will tell you exactly how easy it is to buy a domain and hosting for your blog.
But before that, if you are still not convinced about using the self-hosted platform you can have a look at the following comparison guides:
2. Buying a domain name and hosting
Domain name is like your web site’s address and hosting is your website’s home. You will need both of these to create a WordPress blog.
To buy a domain name, you will have to register the name to an organization called ICANN through a domain registrar. You can get a domain name for around $3.
Unfortunately, buying a dream domain name is as difficult as choosing a username. You might have to make a few modifications here and there. Do keep the following things in mind before buying a domain name:
- Buy domain names that are easy to type
- Avoid slang terms
- Use correct spellings
- Try to stick with .com
- Avoid numbers, if possible
Once you have your domain name you will need a hosting provider. Similar to domain registrars, you will see many companies offering hosting services. Many hosting providers will claim simple WordPress installation but you will have to understand that it’s not all that your WordPress blog needs.
You need a host that guarantees high speed, powerful stack and security. As a beginner, these things might not look that relevant but ignoring these things can prove harmful in the long run. Also, don’t go for companies that offer many services, stick to your niche and go for hosting providers who specialize in WordPress hosting.
Breeze.io is one such platform which not only offers amazing speed and security but also allows you to scale your WordPress. And we understand that one of the reasons why beginners stay away from the self-hosted platform is because of the cost.
At Breeze.io, you can get different plans to suit your needs and budget. All you have to do is go to our home page and click on sign up.
On the next screen, choose your plan and account information. Once you have filled all the information you will receive an email confirmation. Click on the link in the confirmation email and you will be redirected to the login screen.
Enter the login credentials you filled in the account information and you will enter your Breeze.io dashboard. Click on “ADD +” on the top right corner to add a new site.
You can follow the articles in our knowledge base to understand your dashboard better.
How to install WordPress on Breeze.io dashboard
Once you have logged in your Breeze.io dashboard, click on the Manage button next to the name of the site you have added.
This is how your screen will look like:
You will get all your WordPress login details here. Copy the username and password and click on Open WP-Admin and enter the login credentials.
You will have your WordPress dashboard in no time. Once you have entered your WordPress site, it’s time to start customizing it.
3. All about WordPress themes
WordPress Themes are like pre-made templates. They give you a basic idea of how your website will look like. You can obviously make some changes using third-party apps. But most modern WordPress themes offer almost everything you will need for your website.
WordPress has thousands of both free and paid themes which can easily be downloaded through your dashboard. In the left sidebar go to Appearance > Themes > Add New. Most themes come with a free and paid version, so you can test them out before spending your money.
Make sure whichever theme you choose is responsive and mobile friendly. Also, your theme should represent you and your overall blogging niche.
If you find so many options confusing you can refer to the following articles:
4. All about WordPress plugins
Plugins add extra functionality to your WordPress site. WordPress will give you some basic features like you can add post and pages. But you will have to install an additional plugin to increase the features and functionality of your website.
Just like themes, you will get both free and paid plugins. Also, most free plugins offer a premium version with more features.
There are some of the plugins that are useful to only a niche audience. Then, there are some plugins that are must-have for every WordPress website.
We have compiled the best of every must-have plugin. Have a look at these:
- 10 WordPress Backup Plugins
- 15 WordPress Live Chat Plugins
- 9 WordPress Security Plugins
- 11 WordPress Migration Plugins
- 10 WordPress Caching plugins
- 5 WordPress Image Compression Plugins
- 10 Form Plugins for WordPress
5. Creating pages and posts
To create WordPress post just go to Post > Add New. Similarly, go to Pages > Add New to create WordPress pages. You can have as many posts as you want but when it comes to pages, you need some important ones. For most of these important pages, you will get a pre-made template with your theme. You can also see this post on 6 must have WordPress blog pages.
Coming back to adding a post, this is how the classic editor looks like:
The place with “Enter Title Here” is where you write your post heading. The main text of your blog goes on the white canvas. You can easily edit and align your text using the toolbar on the top. Adding pages is also very similar to this, you will get the same canvas.
This is the classic WordPress editor but now with the latest WordPress 5.0 update, this editor is going to change. WordPress Gutenberg editor will be replacing the classic editor soon. You can still use this classic editor through a plugin, but we highly recommend you to switch to Gutenberg.
This is how WordPress Gutenberg editor looks like:
You will have to use blocks to add paragraphs, title, images, and videos. You can get a complete WordPress Gutenberg Editor tutorial here: How to use WordPress Gutenberg Editor.
Also, do look into some of these tips before writing a WordPress post:
- Use catchy headlines.
- Avoid Plagiarism, unique content is appreciated by both search engines and audience.
- Add good quality images, you can use lossy compression.
- Add a lot of internal links.
- Use facts and quotes.
- Check for spelling and grammar before publishing any content.
All you have to do now is start writing! 🙂
6. Tools for beginners
There are a lot of things involved while you create a WordPress blog. Even though these steps are not so difficult but for beginners, they can sound a little confusing. You might need the help of certain tools to grow your WordPress blog.
Here are some of the must-have tools you need to use ASAP:
6.1 Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that will help you track your website users and visitors. This will help you in serving better content. You will have to add a tracking code which you will get once you sign up to a Google Analytics account.
To add the code to your WordPress manually simply go to Appearance > Editor in your WordPress dashboard. On the right side, you will see the themes file section click on “header.php” file.
Now paste your tracking code right before </head> tag in the Editor.
If you wish to add Google Analytics through a plugin, Google Tag Manager, or host it locally follow this post: Add Google Analytics to WordPress
Grammarly is a very useful tool for any content writer. This tool comes as a browser extension and is compatible with WordPress. It will underline every grammar and spelling mistake on your post. You can also type directly into the app to have an even better experience.
This tool comes in both free and premium versions. If you are just starting out with blogging, the free version will be more than enough for you.
You need images in your post and you should avoid using copyrighted images. Canva is one such website where you can easily create images for your blog and social media. It has a simple drag and drop editor which makes it easy to use.
You will get a variety of templates to choose from. Editing them is also very easy, you can add various elements and texts to make it look more interesting.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer will help you create beautiful headlines for your blog post. It will analyze your headline score based on the emotional impact, length, and the word balance.
We highly recommend using this tool as users tend to read the blog with appealing headlines. This tool will help you write more persuasive titles which will improve your CTR.
7. Promote your blog
Once you have your WordPress blog up and running, the next step is promotions.
Promoting your blog is mainly done for 2 reasons:
- Growing your audience
- Earn money from a blog
As a beginner, your first goal should be to grow an audience and later monetize your blog. You can follow the below steps to increase your viewers and then earn money through your blog.
7.1 Grow your audience
I. Basic SEO
SEO is the first step to any content marketing strategy. The content you churn out should be optimized for the Search Engine. It does seem a lot of work but you can also take help of an SEO plugin.
Some basic SEO rules include:
Keyword Research: First and the most important step is keyword research. Before you begin any article make sure to do an in-depth research about what keywords are trending. You can also do a competitors analysis to get an idea about which keywords are they ranking on.
Heading: The first thing any user sees is a heading. Most people will not even continue reading if the heading doesn’t catch their attention. You can use the headline analyzer tool mentioned above for better headings.
URLs: Keep the URL of the pages short and easy to read. Also, include your focus keyword in the URLs.
Alt Tags: You have to use high-quality and catchy images. But make sure you add alt tags to all your images. You can use your Focus keyword in the alt tags.
If you need more help with SEO, you can read these 6 WordPress SEO Tips for beginners.
II. Use Social media
Social Presence is very important in the modern world. Create social media profile/pages for your blog. You can share your blog post or even come up with a unique social media strategy to increase your followers.
Don’t be spammy, you shouldn’t post 10 links per day on your social channels. Optimize your posts to get more shares, engagement, and traffic. You can be creative and share infographics, catchy images, even memes are very trending these days. There are certain peak hours for every social media platform, you can do a research on these and try to schedule your posts accordingly.
Try to integrate social media with your WordPress blog. Add social media sharing buttons on every blog post like this:
III. Use Quora
There are many question and answers sites, Quora is one of the most popular one amongst them. You can create a profile on Quora to gain traffic on your website.
Although, there are certain rules for posting on Quora. Like you cannot just leave links in the answers, it will look spammy and there is very less chance for anyone to click on them.
Try to provide a valuable answer, helping people is the primary goal of Quora. You can leave a link to your blog at the end of the answer. This will actually improve the chances of users clicking on that link.
IV. Outreach and Guest Posting
Guest Posting: Guest Posting is nothing but writing a post for someone else’s website. In exchange for the content, they will give a link to your website. Find big websites in your niche which allow guest posting, since they have a huge audience the link they give will help you increase your blog traffic.
Try to do guest posting for big publications only. Also, make sure to have quality content to increase your click-through rate.
Outreach: Apart from guest posting, you also ask for links directly from a website in your niche. Many people actually agree to give backlinks if you have quality content on your blog. You can ask for links over emails. But don’t use the templated approach. Be unique and try to make these email sound personal and interesting.
7.2 Earn money from a blog
I. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the most popular way to earn money from a WordPress blog. In this type of marketing, you have to promote someone else’s product and in return, you will get a % of the profit. You can do affiliate marketing by linking or by recommending/reviewing someone’s product.
Have you seen famous bloggers reviewing products from their niche? That is affiliate marketing.
Once you have an audience, you can also review products in your blog. Most companies and website have their own affiliate program. You can become a part of this program directly through their website.
Some other sites that give an opportunity to sign up to an affiliate network are:
II. Google Adsense
Google Adsense is the easiest way to earn money from your blog. Once you sign up for Google Adsense, Google serves up ads on your website that are relevant to your audience. And if someone clicks on these ads or even views these ads you’ll get paid.
It is also very easy to get these ads, all you need to do is sign up for AdSense and then add the code to your site.
III. Membership content
If you don’t want to depend on ads and affiliates, you can earn money through your content solely. You can sell ebooks on your site or simply add some additional content to your blog and ask the user to pay a certain amount to view the content.
To make this strategy work you have to focus on the quality of content. If you are going to ask your audience to buy the piece of your content, it needs to be worth it.
It might take a little time to create a WordPress blog but it is in no way a difficult task. There are plenty of resources available online to help you through the process. Follow the steps mentioned above and you will have a blog running in no time. And once you have a WordPress blog you can consult this website launch checklist to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
If you need any other assistance feel free to reach out to us!