In this blog, I’ll go over the steps on how to start a blog using WordPress, and lay the foundations for your online business adventure. I’ll cover choosing a topic, selecting a blogging platform, setting up your blog, writing and publishing your first post, building an audience and monetizing your blog.
Starting a blog in 2023 can be a great way to share your interests, expertise, and creativity with the world. Whether you want to share your thoughts on a particular topic, showcase your work, or simply express yourself, a blog can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to do it.
So, if you are ready, let’s dive into the details.
To start a blog the steps needed to get going and create a starting point for your blogging business can be summarised as follows:
- Choose a topic to write about
- Select a domain name
- Select a hosting platform
- Select a blogging platform (Content Management System (CMS))
- Set up your blog
- Publish required pages
- Write and publish your first blog post
- Create an editorial calendar (a schedule for when and what posts to publish on your Blog)
- Begin to drive traffic and monetize your blog (Ads, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, User Forums Like Quora and Reddit to name a few)
So, Why Start a Blog?
There are many reasons to why you should start blogging and it isn’t just to make money online. A blog is an opportunity to share your unique perspective and voice on the topic or topics that matter to you.
It is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas and experiences, to build a trusted source of information, creativity, and inspiration.
People respond to genuine and original personal content, like describing how you have solved a problem you have, travel experiences, experiences with products you have used, services you have used, adventures, and hobbies, the list is virtually endless.
The best part, your blog can potentially even be monetized and provide you with a nice side income which in turn can be built out to full-time income through different methods.
The important thing to remember though is that you should not focus on money goals, but instead focus on the value you can provide for the people who discover your blog.
If they find that the content on your blog is a source of good quality information, they will return and also recommend your blog to others, more people will see your work, and they might click on ads they like on your website
Remember, creating a business through blogging will take some time as with a regular offline business. Do not expect to earn a lot of money in the first year or two. You are building a business of trust and authority and that takes time.
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Choose a Topic For Your New Blog
A topic for your website is usually called a niche. The first step in starting a blog is choosing a niche. The chosen niche will steer the direction of each article and review you publish on your site.
When you begin to monetize your blog, it is good practice to make sure that any ads and promotions are congruent with the niche your blog is serving.
When everything on your blog is in line with the intent of the blog and chosen niche, it will be much easier to gain credibility as a valuable source of information.
For example, if I were to write an article about baking a chocolate cake here on my own blog, it wouldn´t sense. Baking a cake has no relevance to blogging and creating an online business.
Choosing a topic consists of basically three steps:
- Identify your interests and expertise
- Research keywords and competition
- Identify your target audience
Your niche should be something that you’re interested in and passionate about. This will make it easier for you to write articles and engage with your target audience.
Your interest and passion for a niche will reflect in your writing. If you are interested in soccer, you should be able to write or talk about it forever, because it is your hobby.
This will give you credibility and make your content more readable and valuable to your readers than if you weren´t interested in soccer at all.
Having said that, you can of course choose a topic you don´t know anything about, but have an interest in learning. As you dive into the topic and learn about it you can share your journey while gaining knowledge and expertise. It is a great way to gain skills and knowledge about a new topic.
A great example of an entrepreneur that has done exactly that is Russell Brunson the founder and creator of ClickFunnels. He started from scratch and is now well-known as an entrepreneur and businessman.
Another example is my own efforts online. I am interested in coffee, how to make coffee, how to roast coffee, and how to enjoy coffee.
This includes all the awesome gadgets and technical equipment you need as well as all the “nice to have” gadgets to create that perfect cup of coffee.
I have published a blog about my interest in coffee where I share what I discover an what I learn about coffee.
The website is another interest I have, how to turn blogging into an online business. I knew very little about the topic when I started over two years ago.
Today I know much more, and based on that knowledge I decided to restart my blog and business as late as October 2022 to do it the right way around.
You can read about why I did it in this blog post.
The Three Steps Explained
In order to help you on your way, the three steps above can be broken into further details as follows:
- Identify your interests and expertise: What are you interested in and what do you know a lot about? This could be a hobby, a profession, or a personal experience. The more passionate and knowledgeable you are about a topic, the more likely you are to write engaging content.
- Research keywords and competition: Use Google Search Console, user forums like Quora and Reddit, Facebook Groups, Google Trends, Twitter Trends, Exploding Topics and likewise to find popular topics for your new blog website. You can also use a keyword research tool like Jaaxy, Ahrefs, Übersuggest, and KeywordsEverywhere to find popular topics and phrases related to your interests. This will help you determine the demand for your content and the level of competition in your niche.
- Identify your target audience: Who do you want to reach with your blog? The importance of Identifying your target audience and considering what topics and content they might be interested in is a crucial task for the success of your business.
It will be an ongoing task to further narrow your niche and help you create content that resonates with your audience and their needs.
Grab a notebook, or a blank sheet of paper, block off at least 60 minutes, and then just brain-dump your interests on the sheet of paper in front of you.
Then organize your brain dump, pick out topics that really resonate with your intention with your blog, do research in terms of popularity on the Internet, and start with the most promising topic for your new blog.
Once when you have done all this, you should have a good idea of the topic or niche you want to focus on for your blog.
The next step is to choose a blogging platform.
Choose a Blogging Platform
Choosing a blogging platform decides how easy it is for you to work on your website. This incorporates adjusting the look, how to make use of the functionality of the blog, how to integrate with an Autoresponder and how to make use of Google´s tools to get noticed in the search results (SERP´s) and lots more.
If you decide on a blogging platform that is difficult to use and doesn’t suit your needs, it will drain your interest in blogging and soon enough kill your business building.
Don´t hesitate to switch platforms to find one that is better for your needs. Most blogging platforms let you try for free.
What to consider choosing a blogging platform
There are several popular platforms to choose from, each with its own set of features and costs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a blogging platform:
- Features: What features does the platform offer? This may include templates and design options, SEO tools, social media integration, e-commerce capabilities, email management, and security features to name a few. Consider which features are important to you and your blog’s needs.
- Ease of use: Is the platform user-friendly and easy to navigate? Consider how comfortable you are with technology and whether the platform offers support and resources for beginners as well as more seasoned users.
- Customization: Can you easily customize the look and functionality of your blog to suit your needs and brand? Some platforms offer more customization options than others.
- Cost: How much does the platform cost, and what do you get for your money? Some platforms offer a basic version for free, while others require a paid subscription or one-time purchase. Are there any hidden costs or are all costs disclosed? How about billing options and price plans? Consider your budget and the value you get for your investment.
- Domain name: Does the platform offer free domains or do you have to purchase one separately? If you have to purchase a domain name, is it easy to do through the platform or do you have to go through a third party? A free domain can be a good way to start and then level up to a paid one you own yourself.
By considering these factors, it will be easier for you to choose a blogging platform that will meet your needs and helps you create a successful and professional-looking blog.
Popular Blogging Platforms
There are several popular blogging platforms to choose from, each with its own set of features, costs, and ways of use. Here is a list of some of the most popular platforms:
- WordPress.com: WordPress.com is a free, open-source platform that is highly customizable and offers a wide range of features. It is popular among bloggers due to its flexibility and a large number of themes and plugins available. However, it does require some technical knowledge to set up and maintain. There are paid plans available that offer additional features and support. One factor to consider is that on WordPress.com you will have the “wordpress.com” extension added to your blog’s URL.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a unique identifier used to locate a resource on the Internet, it is like your home address. It is also referred to as a web address.
WordPress.com is not the best solution in terms of attracting visitors to your blog. According to the experts in the field of blogging always recommend that you get a domain name you own yourself is a much better option like the one on this website temp-roysinonline.siterubix.com.
- Self-Hosted WordPress Blog: This is a blog where you do all the setup and installation yourself on your own server or on a rented server. It is not difficult, but it takes more time and you have to do all the maintenance, backup, and security tasks yourself.
A variation of a self-hosted WordPress blog is a managed WordPress blog. With this type of blog, you install your blog with just a click (1-click installation), and all the maintenance, backup ad security tasks are taken care of by your hosting provider.
One.com and Wealthy Affiliate are two examples of companies that offer managed WordPress websites.
- Squarespace: Squarespace is a paid platform that offers a range of templates and design options, as well as e-commerce capabilities. It is known for its sleek and professional design and is relatively easy to use, though it may be less customizable than some other platforms.
- Wix: Wix is another paid platform that offers a range of templates and design options, as well as e-commerce capabilities. It is known for its drag-and-drop editor and is relatively easy to use, though it may be less customizable than some other platforms.
- Blogger: Blogger is a free platform owned by Google that is easy to use and offers a range of templates and design options. It is not as customizable as some other platforms and may not have as many features, but it is a good option for those just starting out.
- Medium: Medium is a free platform that focuses on publishing and sharing articles and stories. It offers a range of design options and is known for its clean and minimalistic design.
It is relatively easy to use and does not require much technical knowledge, but it may not be as customizable as some other platforms.
- Substack: Substack is another platform similar to Medium with the same focus on publishing, and sharing articles and stories. Like Medium, Substack offers a free plan in addition to its paid plans.
Ultimately, the best platform for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Consider the features, cost, and ways of use of each platform to choose the one that is right for you.
My recommendation will always be a self-hosted managed WordPress Website.
Selecting A Website Hosting Provider
In order to install your blog you need to select a website hosting provider. The services they offer will dictate more or less which blogging platform (or CMS – Content Management System) you use.
A Content Management System can be described as the software that enables you to design how your blog will appear, and adjust the settings (security and other functionality) of your site to make it function as best as possible.
Wealthy Affiliate is my preferred hosting provider which I use myself for my websites.
What stands out with WA is that it is a central hub for most of your blogging and online business activities. You have one central hub to log into and manage your activities as well as learn how online business and online marketing are done.
It is a paid platform where you can buy domains, host your blog (self-hosted and managed WordPress, dedicated server), use a great keyword research tool, attend education, and engage in a thriving community of like-minded people.
It is easy to use, has excellent security features, excellent education, and a fast hosting service.
Further, you can manage your email through their platform as well.
Last but not least is WA support. I have seldom experienced the same quality of customer service anywhere else. I have always gotten any issues or problems solved quickly. Usually within minutes, at the most an hour or two.
If you want to take a closer look you can visit their site from this link which is my affiliate link.
One.com is a hosting provider I have used for more than ten years. I use it for my personal emails, but it is also currently hosting the website belonging to the karate club I am a member of. I am planning to move it to WA hosting due to the price and features.
Having said that, One.com is a good hosting provider. It offers all you can expect from a service provider but is a bit pricey.
Bluehost is a preferred and recommended hosting provider by many bloggers and marketers. It got all the features you will ever need depending on which price plan you choose.
If you’re a new blogger, its cheapest price plan is an attractive option, which you can buy for several years in one go.
Ana of TheSheApproch.com is one of the marketers that recommend Bluehost. Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com is another marketer that recommends their services.
Siteground is also a service that is recommended by many. The Powerful platform is recommended by WordPress.org and is currently trusted by the owners of over 2,800,000 domains (this is Siteground’s own words).
I do not know A2 Hosting well and cannot speak of them in terms of recommendation. However, they caught my attention via Miles Beckler of MilesBeckler.com. He uses the company for his business and recommends it in terms of price and features.
Miles Beckler himself is a recommended resource to check out for any questions related to online marketing and blogging. He has tons of free stuff on his blogs, also free high-quality courses for blogging, affiliate marketing, and e-mail marketing. It is worthwhile to check his blog out.
There are other hosting providers that are good, but that will be the topic of another blog post.
Setting up your blog
I have chosen a self-hosted, managed WordPress blog installation, hosted by Wealthy Affiliate as my preferred blogging platform. I like to have ownership of my own domain and it is important to my business in relation to branding, and WA offers a one-click WordPress installation.
However, you can use WordPress.com for free to get started and grow. It is a popular and powerful blogging platform that offers a range of features and customization options. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up your blog using WordPress.com:
- Sign up for a WordPress account: Go to WordPress.com and click on the “Start your website” button. Follow the prompts to create an account and choose a plan. There are various plans available, including a free option that includes ads.
- Choose a design: WordPress offers a range of themes, or designs, that you can choose from to give your blog a unique look and feel.
Browse through the available themes and choose one that you like. You can also customize your theme further by adding your own logo and color scheme.
- Configure your settings: WordPress has a range of settings that you can customize to suit your needs. This might include your permalink structure, your blog’s visibility, or your comment settings.
Take some time to explore the settings and configure them as needed.
- Write and publish your first post: Once you have your blog set up, it’s time to start writing and publishing your first post. The procedure for doing this is as follows;
Click on the “Add New” button in the Posts section of your WordPress dashboard to create a new post. Add a title, add your content, and add any relevant tags or categories. When you’re ready to publish, click the “Publish” button.
Also Read: How To Adjust WordPress Settings
By following these steps, you can set up a professional and functional blog using WordPress.com. Be sure to explore the other features and options available to fully customize your blog and make it your own.
How To Set Up a Self-hosted WordPress Blog
If you want full control over your blog and the customization options for your WordPress blog, you might consider setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog.
This means that you will host your blog on your own web server with a domain name you own rather than using WordPress.com.
The three first steps below are the steps that differ between a self-hosted WordPress blog and a blog set up on the WordPress.com platform:
- Purchase a domain name and hosting: The first step in setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog is to purchase a domain name and hosting. There are many options available, such as Bluehost or GoDaddy, that offer both domain registration and hosting services. Choose a domain name that is relevant to your blog and purchase a hosting plan that meets your needs.
- Install a database: In this step, you will need to install a SQL database for your blog. Without it you can´t install WordPress.
- Install WordPress: Once you have your domain name, chosen a web hosting service, and created a database for your blog, you can install WordPress manually on your server. Most hosting providers offer one-click installation of WordPress, which makes the process relatively simple.
The remaining steps are similar to setting up the blog with WordPress.com
Worth to mention is that setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog requires more technical knowledge and investment than using the WordPress.com platform, but it gives you more control and customization options.
It is also much easier to monetize as you have your own unique domain rather than a “wordpress.com” domain.
As mentioned previously I have my blog sites hosted with Wealthy Affiliate. They offer something managed WordPress hosting. This type of hosting is similar to self-hosted websites, the difference being in the server space which in this case is provided by the hosting company
By following these steps, you can set up a professional and functional self-hosted WordPress blog.
Write and Publish Your First Post
Writing and publishing your first post is a huge milestone when starting a blog. Here’s a short guide on how to do it:
- Plan and outline your post: Before you start writing, you need to outline your post. This includes brainstorming ideas, researching keywords, and what people are asking about your selected topic for the post. This will help you stay focused and organized as you write.
If you just “wing it” i.e. just start writing, it can take more time and the blog post might end up with a disorganized appearance.
- Write your post: Once you have done proper research and found a good keyword, you will have a clear idea of what you want to write about, it’s time to start writing.
Use a clear and engaging writing style, and include any relevant images or videos to break up the text and make your post more visually appealing.
Remember to break up the text into four-sentence paragraphs. It will make your blog post more readable than just throwing a huge chunk of text together.
- Edit and proofread your post: After you’ve finished writing, be sure to edit and proofread your post to catch any mistakes or typos. You might also consider having someone else read over your post to catch any errors you might have missed.
I am using Grammarly to help me with readability, grammar, and spelling. It is worth the time to invest in the program to get access to all of its features. But the free version is very good so no rush in spending money yet is needed.
- Choose a title and tags: A catchy and relevant title is essential for attracting readers to your post. Choose a title that accurately reflects the content of your post and that will grab the attention of your target audience. You can also add tags, or keywords, to your post to make it easier for readers to find your content.
Title, tags, and categories are a great way to stay organized and manage your content in WordPress.
- Publish and promote your post: When you’re ready to publish your post, click the “Publish” button on your blogging platform.
The next step is to promote your post through social media, email lists, or other channels to reach a wider audience.
A piece of good advice is to remember to be consistent in your posting schedule and to engage with your readers through comments and social media. By publishing consistently with at least one blog post per week, your chosen audience will know when to expect new content from you which is beneficial to be seen in the different search engine listings.
This will lay the foundation for building a loyal audience and establishing a strong presence online.
Build An Audience And Monetize Your Blog
Building an audience and monetizing a blog are important steps in turning your blog into a successful and sustainable business. Here are some tips on how to do it:
- Promote your blog: There are many ways to promote your blog and reach a wider audience. These might include social media, email lists, guest posting, or participating in online communities or forums related to your niche. The more people who see your blog, the more likely you are to attract readers and followers.
- Engage with your audience: Building an audience is not just about getting people to visit your blog, but also about engaging with them and building a community. Respond to comments, participate in discussions, and make an effort to connect with your readers. This will help you build a loyal following and encourage readers to return to your blog. You can create a Facebook group and nurture its members of it. They might buy from you if your FB group is active and provides good value for them.
- Build an email list: An email list is a valuable asset for any blogger. By collecting email addresses from your readers, you can send them updates about your blog and promote your content. You can also use your email list to directly promote products or services from others or that you have made yourself.
- Monetize your blog: There are many ways to monetize a blog. Some options include advertising, sponsored content, products or services, or affiliate marketing. It’s important to find a monetization strategy that fits your blog and your audience and to be transparent about any sponsored content or partnerships.
There are more ways to monetize a blog. Too many to describe here. Remember to be patient and consistent, as building an audience and monetizing a blog takes time and effort.
Some Final Words
This blog post has described how to start a WordPress-based website in general terms.
Nevertheless, Depending on the platform chosen, to start a blog, you’ll need to choose a topic, select a blogging platform, set up your blog, write and publish your first post, and build an audience and monetize your blog (if that is your intention).
By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can create a successful and professional-looking WordPress blog that meets your needs and connects with your target audience.
Remember to be patient and consistent. Building an audience and monetizing a blog takes both time and effort.
But with the right tools and strategies, you can turn your blog into a successful and fulfilling venture that allows you to share your voice and ideas with the world.
Time to get started with your first blog. Sign Up and try Wealthy Affiliate. I will follow you and guide you step-by-step during your journey.