Well, you’re planning to start a WordPress blog; you made the right choice to go with WordPress.
Let me tell you why.
Many beginners find it challenging to start a blog; the truth is – it’s easy to create a fully-functional WordPress blog in 20 minutes.
You don’t need to be pro or a coding ninja to start a WordPress blog. The WordPress platform is simple, flexible, and easy to get started with. While the platform is easy to get started on, it’s essential to know how to do it the right way.
That’s the sole purpose of this guide – The Definitive Guide To Starting a WordPress Blog.
In this guide, we have featured a step-by-step walk-through to help you create a WordPress blog with ease. What’s more, we have created this guide for beginners, and each step is well explained, followed by helpful screenshots.
This guide has only five steps you need to follow to create a fully-functional blog without any hassles.
So let’s dive in.
The Initial Step: WordPress.com vs. WordPres.org
What’s the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Due to the popularity of WordPress, many newbies get confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
The fact is, these are two different platforms, but many beginners often unknowingly choose the wrong blogging platform.
We highly recommend clearing up the most likely questions you might have before choosing the right one and starting your online venture.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com: the Key Difference
WordPress.org – It’s the powerful content management system (CMS) you have heard about. This platform is open-source and 100% free to use.
And our blog, WPCity, is powered with WordPress.org.
With WordPress.org, you can host your website, and that’s why it’s known as the self-hosted platform. To get started, all you need to have is a domain and web hosting, which is covered later in this guide.
WordPress.com – WordPress.com is more of a website builder and hosting platform created by the founders of WordPress.
WordPress.com even allows you to create your own blog for FREE, but it has certain limitations.
If you’re planning to start your blog, scale your business, and make real money out of it, then don’t go with the WordPress.com FREE plan.
Why? It has certain limitations, such as limited space, required ads on your website, a domain that isn’t branded, inability to sell ads on your site, you can’t use plugins, and so on.
That’s why we don’t recommend the WordPress.com FREE plan unless you’re starting a hobby blog and not treating the blog as a business.
Even if you choose the paid plans, those also have certain limitations as well. If you want to have detailed insights into this comparison, you can check it here.
Which One Do We Recommend?
As we have mentioned above, the critical difference is that we recommend getting started with WordPress.org, aka real WordPress, which powers over 75 million websites.
Now, if you have made your choice to get started with WordPress.org, we have a step by step walkthrough to set up a complete WordPress blog from scratch.
The Five-step Guide to Create a WordPress Blog in 2021
The breakdown of exact steps to create a WordPress blog:
- Step #1: Get A Domain & WordPress Hosting
- Step #2: Install WordPress & Configure Basic Settings
- Step #3: Install A WordPress Theme & Customize
- Step #4: Install The Must-Have Plugins
- Step #5: Create Your First Blog Post
Note: The steps mentioned above are straightforward; you don’t need to have a technical background or expertise in creating websites. Moreover, you don’t have to write a single line of code to get your website up and running.
What else we’ve included in this definitive guide: The to-do list immediately after creating a blog.
Additionally, we have also included faqs to help you clear up all the blogging myths and doubts right away.
If you’re all set, let’s get started.
Step 1: Get a Domain & WordPress Hosting
The very first step is to find a domain name for your WordPress blog. If you don’t know what a domain name is, it’s the name of your blog/website that people type in the search engine to access your website. For example, our domain name is WPcity.com; yours will be something different.
Pick a domain name that reflects your brand. Let’s say you’re into the cooking niche; you might start a website with a domain such as tomcookingtips.com.
Be specific and careful before choosing a domain name, because it’s your brand name, and if you come up with one that’s catchy and easy to read and remember, the better it will be for you in the long run. You can read this guide to come up with a good domain name..
P.S.: Don’t get lost; once you have a domain name selected, it’s time to find a fast, reliable, and affordable WordPress hosting provider.
Choosing a Reliable & Affordable Web Hosting Provider
Before starting your WordPress blog, you need a web hosting provider to host your blog/website.
Basically, a Web Hosting provider assigns space to your website on the web server in order to store your files.
Finding a reliable web hosting provider is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are literally thousands of web hosting providers claiming to be the best. As per our experience with many of them, most of them aren’t worth the hype.
Our golden advice is to avoid a hosting provider claiming to provide free web hosting, because nothing comes for free.
We at WPCity use WPEngine managed WordPress hosting because it’s fast, reliable, and provides tons of value, including premium themes and plugins. The basic managed WordPress hosting plan starts at $25/month, which is perfect for beginners.
On the other hand, SiteGround is also a top contender in managed WordPress hosting. The thing about SiteGround is it’s affordable and easy to use – no FUSS!
The basic plan starts at $3.95/Month, which is quite affordable, and from our experience, we would like to say that SiteGround managed WordPress hosting is fast, reliable, and affordable.
We think for a beginner, investing $3.95/Month isn’t that hard, so we recommend getting started with SiteGround. The best part is that SiteGround comes with FREE WordPress installation and other perks.
Domain Registration & Purchasing Hosting
Step #1: Choose a Plan
The first step is to choose a plan. Visit: https://www.siteground.com/wordpress-hosting.htm, and then choose a plan and click on ‘Get Plan.’
Step #2: Register Your Domain Name
In this step, you need to register your domain name. In the previous step, you selected your domain name. Now, it’s time to register it and host it with Siteground.
Enter the domain name in the box that you have chosen for your blog and click on proceed. If the domain name is available, you need to redirect to the next step.
If somehow the domain name you entered is already taken, choose a different domain name and try again.
Note: Siteground domain registration costs $15.95/year, and you need to renew the domain yearly.
Step #3: Review & Complete Your Purchase
In this step, you need to review and complete your purchase. You’ll see a welcome page where you need to carefully enter all the information asked for.
Here, you need to enter your email address, set a new password for the hosting, add payment details, and so on.
Don’t worry; all your data and information is safe and secure with SiteGround; the payment process is 100% safe and secure.
In Extra Services, you have the option to choose some other extra add-ons, such as Domain Privacy and SG Site Scanner.
We highly recommend you don’t choose these; all these are add-ons and will cost you some extra bucks. Make sure you uncheck the add-ons that you don’t want to include.
Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll see the order total. Review the information once, check the terms and conditions of SiteGroud, and then click on ‘Pay Now.’
If you have followed these steps, you have now successfully registered your domain and hosting with SiteGround.
Let’s move to the next step.
Step 2: Install WordPress & Configure Settings
In this step, we need to install WordPress and tweak some basic configuration settings.
The best part about SiteGround, the managed WordPress hosting that comes with free WordPress installation, is that you can ask customer support to do the installation for you.
Additionally, we’ll walk you through the complete WordPress installation, following the exact steps given below.
To install WordPress, log in to your SiteGround account; once you purchase the package, you’ll receive the login credentials to log in to your SiteGround account.
Once you log into the SiteGround dashboard, you’re going to see a menu called ‘Set up Your Website“, and there will be three options:
- Start a New Website
- Transfer a Website
- Don’t need to help now.
From the following options, choose ‘Start a New Website’ and then choose the preferred software you want to install. There are various options to choose from, such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Drupal, and Weebly.
In this case, we’ll choose WordPress; then, you need to enter and create your WordPress login details. Enter your email, set a username and a long and secure password, then click on ‘Confirm.’
The next step holds a section where you need to choose the Enhancements you’d like to add to your account. Once you have finished the complete setup, you need to review the setup once and then click on the ‘Complete Setup’ button.
You’ll see a message ‘Your Hosting Account is Ready To Use,’ and you can click on ‘Proceed to Customer Area’ to access the dashboard.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress! You can visit your website’s front page and explore the WordPress dashboard.
Note: From your hosting account, you should pull out the login information of your blog. From the hosting site, you should copy your login URL, username, and password to access your WordPress site.
As of now, we have successfully installed WordPress. Now, it’s time to configure some settings on your WordPress dashboard.
Configuring WordPress Settings
So, in this section, you need to configure some pretty basic settings to get up and running quickly in the right way. This configuration is divided into different settings and configuration options, follow them accordingly.
To configure these settings, you need to log in to your WordPress using the login credentials you have created in the previous step.
General settings hold all the important settings and configuration options of your website. Let’s start configuring from scratch.
First of all, you need to enter your site title; you should put a catchy three to four word title that defines your blog.
Let say you want to create a cooking blog, you could give it a title such as Tom’s Cooking Blog. Next, you also need to use a tag line where you explain what your blog is all about.
The Tagline is the reason why you created this blog in the first place; you should describe what your blog is all about.
It’s best to be focused on branding aspects and to try to be professional while creating titles.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to click on ‘Save Changes‘ to make all settings live.
Don’t worry, you can also change the Site Title and Tagline any time in the future, so just give it a title and Tagline for now.
Also, don’t touch any other options for now.
The Writing Settings options enable you to configure Default Post Category, Post Format, and other basic setting options.
This section isn’t that critical; you can skip it for now and configure it later whenever you want.
The Reading section enables you to configure homepage display options, how many blog pages you want to show, and other setting options.
One more thing, if you are not understanding the settings options, leave it for now and come back later to configure it. It’s not that essential of a step; you can configure it in the future.
However, if you have made any changes, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.
The Discussion WordPress Settings options are totally related to the comment section of your blog. Here in this setting options, you can enable/disable discussions, aka comments on your blog.
WordPress has a where all comments require your approval before getting added to a post. It has a robust Comment Moderation option to choose; also, you can allow/disallow adding links within the comments.
Also, you can display avatars for users who drop comments on your blog. There are a lot of options you can play with.
Choose the ones you want and then click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.
The Media WordPress Settings options have all the settings regarding the images and media you upload to your WordPress media gallery. You can set the sizes of images to determine the maximum dimensions in pixels, which can be used by adding images to the Media Library.
You can choose the Thumbnails size, Medium size, and Large Size. You can also enable the Uploading Files option, which easily organizes the images you upload on a yearly and monthly basis.
Once you are done configuring, click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.
The Permalinks WordPress Settings is one of the most important options to configure. You need to be extra careful before configuring; please follow the walkthrough given below.
Let me shed some light on Permalinks: Permalinks are the links that show up on the address bar when a user accesses any page on your WordPress website. To be more specific, it’s the URL of your posts and pages.
By default, the Common Setting is unchecked, and only Post Name is enabled by default.
Here, you need to include only the post name on the Custom Structure module, and don’t include other tags. Even for WPCity, we use the same permalink structure.
Moreover, all the successful WordPress powered blogs use the same URL structure, as it helps you get an edge on search engine optimization.
Setting Author Bio
Basically, the Author Bio is the section that includes the about section and the writer’s profile, aka a user profile.
To set up the user profile, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard >> Users >> Add New. Once you click on it, you will see many blank fields that you need to fill, such as the username, name, biographical info, email address, profile pictures, and others.
Bonus Tip: Before configuring the author bio, we suggest you set up your Gravatar using the same email you used for your WordPress login. On the Gravatar site, it’s quite easy to create a profile and update other details on your profile.
Pro-tip: use a high-quality, focused headshot with a confident face wearing a simple 🙂
As of now, we are half-way done with configuring the blog. The next parts include some pretty important steps, which you should follow carefully.
Step 3: Install WordPress Theme & Customize
In this step, we need to give your WordPress blog a responsive look, so here we’re going to choose a theme and customize it to make it look stunning.
In this step, you need to have a WordPress theme; you can use paid as well as free themes. One more thing, don’t waste your time looking for the best WordPress theme because there are thousands of themes out there.
However, if you want to explore some of the best WordPress themes, we have compiled a hand-picked list of the best WordPress themes.
Also, by default, from the WordPress repository, you can find many free themes to use on your blog. All you need to do is navigate to WordPress Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New at the top of the page.
WordPress has many amazing themes in this repository; you can also make a search box and find many themes based on various categories, layout options, and so on.
You can now use a reliable FREE theme called Astra, which is a fast, responsive, and lightweight theme.
The best part is that Astra is fully-optimized for WordPress to provide you a clean and smooth design with blazing fast loading times.
Let me walk you through the complete steps to install and configure the Astra theme.
Step #1: Install Astra Theme
First of all, you need to install the Astra theme; you need to navigate to Appearance >> Themes >> Add New and then do a search for Astra and click on the Install button, followed by the Activate button.
You can also check out our guide on How to Install a WordPress Theme.
Additionally, you can click on the ‘Preview’ button to check how the theme looks on your WordPress blog.
Once you install and activate your theme, you need to customize it to give it the desired look. The customization options include various design aspects, such as blog header/footer, logo, colors, typography, and so on.
Step #2: Customizing the Astra Theme
If you want to create a stunning and fully-fledged website/blog on the go, you can choose from various WordPress Page Builder plugins.
Let’s start customizing the Astra theme here.
To customize it, you need to navigate to Appearance >> Customize >> Global. Here you can change the typography, colors, and buttons. You go on each sub-menu and configure it the way you want, like choosing the typography, colors, and other things.
In this section, we’re going to configure your website’s header section and add a Header Image, Favicon, and other important aspects.
Let me explain what a Header Image and Favicon are:
Header Image: A header image is the logo of your website/blog; it’s the logo which you put at the top of your website.
Favicon: A favicon is a small, iconic image that represents your website/blog. In simpler words, the small graphic you see on every tab when you open any website is the Favicon.
First of all, you need to create a header image or logo for your blog. You can create a logo with Canva. Moreover, you can hire someone from a freelance site such as Fiverr to make one for you.
Once you have a Header Image, navigate to Appearance >> Customize >> Header >> Site Identity. Then you need to upload the Header Image that you have on your pc or mac. Just upload it, and choose the logo width; you can customize the logo size using these options.
For adding the Favicon, you can find the Favicon section below the Site Logo; choose the Favicon and then upload it immediately.
Below that, you can also choose the Site Title and Site Tagline, as mentioned above in step two.
Further, if you want to customize other aspects, such as creating pages, creating a menu, a category, etc, you should check out this in-depth guide on elementor to design different pages of your WordPress blog.
Let’s move to another significant step of adding more robust functionality to your WordPress blog.
Step 4: Installing the Must-have Plugins
As of now, you have customized your theme and designed your WordPress blog; now it’s time to add various functionality to your blog.
WordPress themes are for appearance and design for your blog, whereas the plugin is focused on adding more robust functionality to your blog. With the help of plugins, you can add various functionalities, such as contact forms, newsletter subscription forms, social share buttons, author bio box, backup, SEO, and so on.
In order to add these functionalities to your blog, you need to make use of plugins. The plugins are easy to use: you install them, make some tweaks, and you’re all set to go – without writing a single line of code.
Where to Look for WordPress Themes?
There are tons of free and premium WordPress plugins; moreover, the WordPress community has more than 50,000 free plugins.
Just like the theme, you can find free plugins from the official WordPress.org plugin directory. For the premium themes, you can type in the brand name on google, then check the plugin site from there.
Moreover, when a plugin has a premium version, the WordPress.org directory will have a link to the premium version of the plugin.
The Must-have WordPress Plugins for Your Blog
The truth is that WordPress is self-sufficient and well-equipped out of the box with tons of features and functionality. However, you can make use of some plugins that we strongly recommend you install and incorporate on your blog to get the most out of it.
So here’s the list of Must-have Plugins (FREE):
Akismet – for Comment & Form Spam Protection
Once you have a blog running, comment spammers will come around, and it can be a huge problem later on. However, spam protection plugins like Akismet can help you fight the comment spam and deploy contact from protection.
The plugin is simple to use, install, and activate. Select a ‘strictness’ level, set it, and go. A visitor on your blog can drop a comment, and the Akismet plugin will run through each and every comment and Akismet will tell you if the comment is spam.
The best part is that the Akismet plugin automatically scans your blog’s comments, and it removes all the suspicious comments right to the spam folder. You can download the Akismet plugin here.
UpdraftPlus – WordPress Backup Plugins
It’s essential to create a backup of your WordPress website/blog regularly. The thing is, you’ll have a real problem if something bad happens to your website, such as a hacking attempt, other malicious acts, or possible technical issues. For this, you need a backup plugin, and the UpdraftPlugin is the perfect backup WordPress plugin.
The UpdraftPlugin simplifies WordPress backups and the recovery as well. The plugin is the most popular backup WordPress plugin. The plugin even enables you to schedule the backup of your WordPress site, which will complete the process at a specified time.
You can back up your files and database backups into the cloud and restore the reserve with a single click. The plugin enables you to create manual or scheduled backups. You can download the Updraft plugin here.
AddThis – Adding Social Sharing Buttons
Adding social share buttons to your WordPress posts and pages is one of the most important aspects of your blog’s success. If you want people to share your blog posts on social media platforms, this plugin makes it possible.
The AddThis plugin enables you to add a social sharing button to your WordPress posts and pages with ease. Using the social shares buttons you add, visitors on your blog can share your posts and pages on all major social media channels.
The social media buttons include more than 200 social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Reddit, Instagram, and so on.
The plugin makes it super easy to add social buttons, and you can customize the look of the button to match the look of your WordPress blog. Also, the buttons you add are fully responsive to all screen sizes. You can download the AddThis plugin here.
Yoast SEO – The #1 WordPress SEO Plugin
You probably know what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, if not, at least you have heard the term before.
Since its inception back in 2008, Yoast SEO has helped millions of WordPress websites to rank higher in search engine results and get free organic traffic. Yoast SEO plugin helps you with Search Engine Optimization.
The Yoast SEO plugin takes care of every aspect of your WordPress SEO. With this plugin, you can optimize your posts and pages both for search engines and visitors.
The Yoast SEO plugin helps you with various SEO aspects, such as meta titles, meta description, schema implementation, XML sitemaps, and so on. Don’t worry, you might not be familiar with these terms, but you can use Yoast SEO and its in-depth guide to configure all these on your own.
You can also check out this guide to install and configure the Yoast SEO plugin.
Jetpack – Essential Security & Performance for WordPress
Jetpack is the must-have WordPress plugin every blog/website should have. The Jetpack plugin helps you with WordPress security, performance, and site management. The plugin guards your WordPress website against brute attacks, unauthorized logins, and other malicious activities.
Jetpack is free to use; the included protection is more than enough if you’re just getting started. Over time, if your requirements go up, you can upgrade to a premium plan.
Overall, Jetpack is a power-packed solution for your WordPress blog; you can’t miss the chance to make use of such a powerful plugin. The best part is that the plugin is free to use, and you can download the Jetpack plugin here..
MonsterInsights – Adding Google Analytics
MonsterInsights is a robust and free Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. The plugin enables you to integrate your WordPress blog with Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides you detailed insights into your blog’s visitors, aka traffic, so that you can get to know user’s geolocation, time on your blog, browser used, bounce rate, and so on. Based on these data, you can make better marketing decisions.
The plugin connects your WordPress blog with Google Analytics, so you can make better decisions to grow your blog. The plugin also adds a Google Analytics dashboard on your WordPress dashboard, which shows detailed insights about your blog’s traffic.
WPForms – Adding Stunning Forms
WPForms is one of the best WordPress form plugins with over 3 million installs. The plugin empowers you to add any kind of form to your WordPress blog.
You can set up a variety of forms, including contact forms, feedback forms, payment forms, and many other kinds of forms in just minutes. The best part is that all the forms you create with WPForms are fully responsive on all devices, especially mobile devices.
The forms you create are also fully optimized for web and performance to help you with SEO and getting more sales and conversions. You can download the WPForms plugin here.
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
Now that you have a list of must-have plugins for your WordPress site, time to install them. Here we’ll walk through the complete WordPress plugin installation.
Method #1: Installing Free Plugins Form WordPress Dashboard
To install a plugin, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins >> Add New. If you want to install a freemium plugin from the WordPress.org directory, search for the plugin with the plugin’s name in the search bar.
Once you find the plugin you’re looking for, simply click on the Install button after installation to activate it right away.
Method #2: Installing Premium Plugins (Upload Plugins)
This method is for you if you have the downloaded .zip file of the plugin. To install a downloaded plugin, log in to your WordPress dashboard, then navigate to Plugins >> Add New >> Upload Plugins.
Now you need to select the .zip file of the plugin from your pc or mac and then click on the ‘Install’ button. It will take a minute or two to install the plugin; once the plugin is installed, you need to activate it right away.
In conclusion, these are the two ways through which you can install the plugin on your WordPress blog.
Step 5: Create Your First Blog Posts & Start Blogging
So, you have created your WordPress blog, customized your theme, and installed the must-have plugins. Now it’s time to create and publish excellent content to your WordPress blog and get traffic and sales rolling in.
One word of caution, blogging isn’t an overnight success; you need to burn the midnight oil and light the lamp, making strategies and executing them properly to take your blog a step closer to success.
The first thing we’re going to do is delete the sample pages and posts on your WordPress blog. For deleting the default sample pages, you need to navigate to WordPress Dashboard >> Pages >> All Pages. You’re now able to see the sample page; just hover your mouse below the title ‘Sample Page’ and then click on ‘Trash’ to delete it.
To delete the default sample post, you can follow the same steps and navigate WordPress Dashboard >> Posts >> All Posts. Once you’re there, just choose the default WordPress sample post and click on trash to delete it.
As of now, we have trashed all the default sample posts and pages. It’s time to create your first blog post and publish it.
Creating Your First Blog Post
Creating blog posts with WordPress is pretty simple and straightforward. To create your first blog, log in to your WordPress dashboard, then navigate to Posts >> Add New. Here you will see a block-based editor, a so-called Gutenberg editor, where you can add content to your first blog post. Don’t forget to add a title to your first blog post.
A few months back, WordPress launched the Gutenberg editor, aka the block-based kind, which replaces the classic editor. The block-based editor lets you add content and media in blocks, which helps you craft stunning and engaging content.
To get familiar with the WordPress Gutenberg Editor, you can check out the WordPress Gutenberg Guide.
Note: Also, if you find the Gutenberg editor a bit too complex, you can install the Disable Gutenberg plugin to easily disable the Gutenberg editor and bring back the classic WordPress editor.
Understanding Other Basics of Creating a Blog Post
In addition to adding content, WordPress enables you to add media, such as images, gifs,and videos to your posts. It also allows you to categorize your blog posts, add tags, add a featured image, and so on.
Adding a Catchy Title: The most crucial part of your blog post, always strive to add a short, crisp, and eye-catching title. You can learn here how to create a perfect blog post title..
Adding media & featured images:
WordPress enables you to add media to your posts and pages; you can drag and drop the media file you want to add to your blog post. Also, WordPress enables you to add featured images to give it a more interesting look.
You can add a featured image from the right side of the WordPress meta box named ‘Featured Images‘ and then upload and add the image.
Adding categories & tags:
WordPress enables you to categorize your blog posts in various categories relevant to your blog niche. Let’s say you have a cooking blog: you can create multiple categories, such as cooking tips, vegan recipes, etc. You can create a WordPress category based on the niche you have chosen to blog about.
Once you’re done adding content to the post, media and all, click on the ‘Preview’ button to check how it looks. If everything looks fine, you can click on the ‘Publish’ button to make your first blog post available on your blog.
One valuable piece of advice: Initially, your blog posts don’t need to be perfect; over time, as you learn and grow, you’ll improve. The key is to get started, and keep the wheel rolling; there’s a long way you need to go. 🙂
Let’s move to one of the most important sections of this definitive guide to starting a WordPress blog.
The 5 Item to-do List Immediately After Creating Your Blog
Once you buy hosting, set up a blog, and publish your first post, your mind goes blank – What to do next?
This is the to-do list that we followed when creating WPCity, and it helped us a lot, as it made for a smoother workflow. So we thought, why don’t we share it with you to help you and take you one step closer to making your blog successful?
Additionally, we have also featured a section where we have covered legit ways to monetize your WordPress site.
So here goes the list:
1. Set Up Google Analytics & Google Search Console
The very first step is to set up the Google Analytics & Google Search Console for your WordPress blog. Let’s me shed some light on these two terms:
Google Analytics: Google Analytics enables you to measure your marketing efforts and customers. With GA, you can have better insights into your customers; it provides you free tools to analyze data for your business, all in one place.
Now the issue is how to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site. Earlier, we mentioned a plugin named MinsterInsights, which enables you to connect your blog with Google Analytics. Also, you can follow this step by step by guide to connect your site with Google Analytics..
Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google, which helps improve your performance on Google Search. The Search Console tools and reports help you measure your websites’ search traffic, performance, fi issues, and it makes your website shine on the search engine.
Setting up a Google Search Account for your blog isn’t rocket science; you can easily create a search console account. To generate the Search Console account for your blog, follow the official step by step guide by Google.
So this is how you set up both Google Analytics and Google Search Console for your WordPress blog.
2. Submit the Sitemap
After you create your blog, it’s time to set up your Google sitemap and submit for indexing. Once you submit your sitemap to Google, it will crawl your WordPress website and help you be visible on the search engine.
If you want to know more about sitemap, check out the in-depth guide to sitemaps here. The best part is that you can create a sitemap of your WordPress blog using the Yoast SEO plugin without writing a single line of code. The sitemap you create with Yoast SEO will look something like https://sample.com/sitemap_index.sml.
You can create a sitemap for your blog using the Yoast SEO Plugin. Once you create the sitemap, you need to index it on various search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Again, you can check the Yoast guide on how to submit your sitemap for indexing.
3. Create Social Media Profiles
Social media is the key to more exposure and traffic for your blog. What’s more, you can use a social media profile to grow and promote your blog on social media with ease. If a blog has been established with a proper social media profile, it creates a positive impact on visitors to your blog.
The key is to create professional social media profiles for your WordPress blog. There are many popular social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc. We recommend you at least set up the social media profiles for the above mentioned social media platforms.
Also, be consistent in using the same social media handle, name, and description for each social media channel, if possible.
And don’t forget to create a catchy description to standardize the sections.
Pro Tip: You can also add social media share buttons to your WordPress posts and pages so that visitors can easily share your posts and pages.
4. Brainstorm Topic Ideas & Schedule You Content Calendar
Most of the time, newbies, after creating and publishing the first blog post, have no clue what to publish next. This is the most common mistake a beginner makes; you need to have at least 5-10 topics in advance because you need momentum to get started.
It wouldn’t be possible for you to write an occasional post and attract visitors; you’ve got to produce content regularly and with proper keyword research.
One important thing is that you don’t need to create and publish ten posts a day; instead, you should invest your time in topic research, make the content valuable for the reader, and put out new and updated information regularly.
Once you have jotted down everything, review once and hit that publish button. Almost 4.4 million blog posts are published every day, and not all of them get to the top of the search engines.
You need to prefer quality over quantity, and you also need to find topic ideas to write about. There are many tools, such as BuzzSumo and HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, which are the best free places to start.
Our favorite is HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, which helps you find relevant topic ideas in different niches with ease. Once you have 10-20 topics, you can create and schedule your content calendar.
5. Create an About & Contact Page
As of now, you have designed pretty much everything on your WordPress blog, and it’s time to create an about us & contact page for your WordPres blog.
It’s easy and straightforward to create an about us page for your blog; you can follow this step by step guide to creating your About page. You can include why you created the blog and what you plan to do with the blog you have created. Also, try to add a professional headshot to the about us page.
The contact us page is the must-have page every WordPress website/blog should have. Creating a contact us page is secure; also, you need to include your social media profiles, the official email of your blog, and other relevant contact info on your WordPress blog.
To create a compelling contact us page, follow this step by step guide to create a contact us page from scratch.
In conclusion, this is how you create a compelling WordPress About & Contact Us page.
As of now, if you have followed the steps mentioned above, you’ll have a fully-functional WordPress blog.
FAQs Related to Starting a WordPress Blog
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Self-hosted WordPress Blog?
It depends on the kind of hosting you choose to get started, although the WordPress CMS platform is free to use. The benefit of getting started with a WordPress blog is it’s cost-effective, as you only need to purchase a domain name and pay for hosting for a year upfront.
The managed WordPress hosting costs around $3 to $30 per month, depending on the web hosting provider.
Additionally, when it comes to themes, there are tons of free themes to get started; however, if you plan to get started with a premium theme, it could cost you around $30 to $50.
Also, there are free as well as paid plugins; for almost every kind of functionality, the free plugins are available, and you can make use of those. For a newbie, there is no need to get started with a paid plugin.
When we sum up all the costs, it would cost around $100 per year for affordable and managed WordPress hosting providers such as SiteGround, whose plan starts at $3.95/month. Now you have an overview of the budget you need to have to get started with a WordPress blog.
How Easy is It to Make a WordPress Site?
As mentioned earlier, starting a WordPress blog/website isn’t rocket science.
Over 24% of websites on the web are powered by WordPress, so you might have an idea of how popular it is. The WordPress CMS is so popular as it is free, flexible, and easy to use, and comes with tons of plugins to add much robust functionality.
Whether you’re a pro or beginner, getting started with WordPres is quick and easy; if you want to learn more, check out our guide to creating a self-hosted blog.
How Many Views Help You Make Money on a WordPress Blog?
It depends on what kind of traffic you’re getting and how you’re converting it on your blog. More precisely, it all depends on your blogging niche, the quality of the traffic, and how you monetize it. There are a variety of monetization tactics, such as running ads on your blog, promoting affiliate-based products, generating leads, and so on.
It doesn’t matter if you get 100,000-page views a month; if the traffic isn’t relevant to your niche, you’re not going to convert them and make money. It’s essential to get relevant traffic to your niche.
For example, let’s say you have a WordPress blog; you can promote affiliate products, such as premium WordPress themes and plugins, review particular affiliate based products, do paid product promotions, and so on.
How Do I Get More Visitors to My Blog?
Getting visitors aka traffic to your blog isn’t that easy. The first question every beginner has is how to get traffic to my blog. The answer is it’s not an overnight task. It depends on the niche you’re in, the keyword you’re targeting, and how well you’re optimizing your posts to perform on the search engines.
The best way to generate more free traffic to your blog is to use search engine optimization (SEO). There are various tasks included in SEO to help you get traffic from the search engine, such as keyword research, content research, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.
Even if you do all these, there won’t be any guarantee you rank #1 on Google, as Google puts users before anything. Therefore, you must be creating relevant content for helping users and solving the search intent of users, and then most probably you’re going to start getting traffic to your blog.
However, you can check this extensive list of ways to generate traffic to your newly started WordPress blog.
How Many Posts Should I Publish in a Week?
As mentioned earlier in this guide, focus quality over quantity. Almost 4.4 million blog posts are published every day, and 98% of them get lost in search engine oblivion.
Also, it all depends on what goals you have for your WordPress blog. Let’s say you have a goal to get organic traffic from searches; in this case, you need to create unique and relevant content; most importantly, you should create content that stands apart from your competitors.
To sum it up, you can generate topic ideas in the ways mentioned earlier, and then create a content calendar based on that. Once you have a content calendar schedule, you’ll have a better idea of how often you should publish.
Pro Tip: Don’t rush, always create content to help users, and not for the search engine; if you’re able to solve the search intent of a visitor and a visitor stays longer on your page, you are for sure going to get more traffic and exposure on the search engine.
Conclusion: How to Get Started With a WordPress Blog
Everything seems hard until it’s achieved, and it’s the same with starting a WordPress blog. After following the step-by-step walk-through, you should be able to create a fully-functional blog from scratch. We’re sure after creating your first WordPress blog, it will give you confidence that you can do more.
The important thing to remember is that blogging isn’t an overnight success; you need to put in real work to succeed in your blog and generate money through it.
And from the very first day, you need to treat your blog like a business and make strategies and implement them. Over time, when you play around, you’ll know what to incorporate in your blogs, how to get traffic, how to monetize, and so on. Also, you should start learning about SEO and how to bring free organic traffic from major search engines.
For now, get going with the workflow we’ve laid out and apply the tips we have shared in this guide.
We hope you found our definitive guide to creating a WordPress blog helpfully.
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