WordPress is an excellent platform for blogging. It's free, relatively easy to set up and you can customize it in all kinds of ways. The right type of WordPress blog can make you money as an online blogger.
Setting up a WordPress blog involves several small steps, but the instructions in this guide should make it straightforward. The steps below will take you from signing up for a hosting account to having a blog with one live post, all in about 15 minutes.
If you’re ready to get your blogging journey started, it’s time to set up your own WordPress blog. Let's get right into it.
Steps to installing WordPress on your blog
The following are the steps you need to go through to get your blog in order.
Decide which web hosting provider to sign up with
The first thing you need to do is sign up for a web hosting account. This will be where your blog lives on the internet.
There are lots of different hosting companies out there, so if one doesn't work out, it shouldn't be too difficult to switch later on. With that said, making the right choice from the beginning will save time and money later on down the line.
Bluehost is one of the most popular providers to host a blog. They're inexpensive, reliable, and offer good customer service. For this tutorial, we’ll be going through their website and showing the steps needed to set up your blog.
However, you can use any of the multitudes of online hosting providers to accomplish the same thing.
Bluehost has a dedicated WordPress website builder that makes it easy to set up your own blog. On their main page, you can compare their plans to ensure that you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Choose your domain name
At this point, you will be able to create a new domain name or use a domain name that you already own.Choosing the right domain name for your WordPress blog will ensure that people can easily remember your website address and access it when they want to.
The pros of choosing a brand new domain include:
The pros of choosing an existing domain include:
Depending on your situation, make your choice between the above options.
Fill in the necessary information
After that, you'll need to put in your account information. Fill in the correct fields in the online form and you’ll be ready for the next step.
Choose your package and put in your payment information
Choose the duration of your hosting plan. The most basic package available will work for this tutorial, but if you'd like more features, privacy, or tools you can upgrade later on.
Note that you don't necessarily need the advanced functions offered by the hosting provider in order to get started.
Finally, put in your payment information and you'll be ready for the next step.
After you've submitted your payment details, you'll be able to create your account username and password and then log in to your brand new hosting account.
Define your website name and tagline
Once you're in, you'll be able to give your site a name and a tagline.
A site tagline is the one line that sums up your blog's mission or purpose. For example, "Making life better for women" is an appropriate tagline for a blog that offers advice on fashion, beauty, and everything else related to this niche.
Next, WordPress will be installed on your newly set up hosting.
The process is super simple and within minutes, you will have a live blog - all without needing any technical knowledge.
Install your first free plugin
Next, you'll start designing your website, installing plugins and themes. WordPress plugins can do many things but for this tutorial, you'll be installing one that will help with the visuals of your WordPress blog.
This plugin is called Astra Sites and will give you access to 300+ ready-to-use templates for your WordPress site. You can then apply any of these to your blog and installation will happen in an instant.
There is no need for you to code anything or take any further steps if you don't want to. These themes are some of the best-looking ones that you can get out of the box.
You can also filter whether you want a free or a premium theme. Once you've decided on the theme that you like, just click the import button and you're done.
Adding content to your WordPress powered blog
Now that your blog is set up, it's time to start adding content.
Begin with an introduction to yourself and let people know what topics you will be writing about. Posting regularly is important for readers who want to find out more about their favorite writers or bloggers. You can also check out this guide to learn more about creating viral content when you start a blog.
To create a new post on WordPress, go to the left-hand side menu on your screen, click “Posts” and then choose "Add New".
Once you do, you'll be able to fill in the appropriate information based on the type of post that you want to create.
You also have some settings on the right (numbers 4 and 5 above) that allow you to set the visibility of your post, adjust the format, define the categories and tags, etc.
Once you've filled in the information, just click publish and your post will be live. You can edit it later on if you want to add more content or fix any typos that might have occurred.
Other important factors to know when you start a WordPress blog
WordPress offers two types of hosted blogging services: WordPress hosting on their own site and a self-hosted blog. Self-hosted blogs offer more flexibility, but they also have a monthly hosting fee associated with them - as we've seen above.
A lot of the most popular websites run on self-hosted WordPress blogs so it's easy to see why people may choose this as their blogging platform of choice.
The WordPress dashboard
The first thing you'll see when you log into your blog is the dashboard, which contains all of the information regarding what's happening with your blog.
A WordPress-powered website is organized into configurable sections that are displayed in the menu on the left-hand side of your dashboard.
These options give you quick access to important information about your blog.
WordPress themes - which one should you go for?
Both premium themes and free themes are available for WordPress users who want a site that looks unique and special.
WordPress themes are often found on wordpress.org. You can also find custom-built themes from companies or developers, but you'll have to pay for these.
A free theme will do just fine if you're looking for a simple blog that acts as an online diary.
Premium themes are designed to enhance your ability to do more with your blog. For example, doing SEO for your website involves the need for more flexibility and customizability when running a blog. In this case, premium themes are more suitable for professional bloggers who want their sites to look good and perform at the highest level.
When it comes to the default WordPress theme, it is called " twenty twenty-one". It's a simple, clean theme that has served many bloggers just fine.
Free and premium themes are usually compatible with the latest version of WordPress, but if you're changing your theme, make sure that the new design is also compatible with the version of WordPress that you're using.
A blog page and creating your first blog post
A blog page usually has the following sections:
It’s important to be familiar with this interface so you take the right action depending on the situation.
Starting your first blog post is easy. Just click the "Add New" button under “Posts”.
After that, it's just about adding the right content to your blog. Everything you write on your blog is saved automatically, so if you want to go back later and make changes, you also can see past versions and revert back if needed.
If you’re looking for blog post ideas, you can also search your competitors’ blogs to see what’s currently trending and model the type of content being created. Check out our post on choosing a niche for your blog to learn more about the topics that you can write about.
When you install a WordPress blog and subsequently want to install WordPress plugins, you'll be able to find this option in the left-hand menu of your dashboard under “Plugins”. Some plugins will be compatible with your current WordPress theme, whereas other plugins may not be.
Free plugins are the best way to expand your blog's features without having to worry about the cost.
Here are some of the best free plugins you can download:
Qualities of successful bloggers
Let’s finally have a look at the qualities that most successful bloggers have in common. These qualities will help you keep doing when going gets tough and ensure that you accomplish your blogging goals.
Successful bloggers know what they want from their blog
Knowing what you want from your blog is a great start. Ask yourself these questions:
It's important that your expectations line up with what WordPress can offer, otherwise, disappointment will follow.You could also consider using different blogging platforms such as Wix if all you want is a place where you can post your thoughts and images without worrying about SEO or monetization. In this case, knowing what type of blogger you are (or don't want to be) is more important than knowing how the platform works.
They have a complete personal commitment to their project
Blogging is a lot of work. To be successful, you'll need to commit yourself to post regularly and consistently.
It's about engaging with your readers, getting involved in the wider community, and being prepared for negative feedback from people who disagree with what you have said. This is all part of being an active blogger.
They write well
As a writer or editor, it can seem like blogging is a quick way to get content out into the world but in reality, there's a lot more that goes into it than typing up a few sentences. These days websites are vying for our attention every second of the day so if you want your blog post to stand out from the, make sure it looks great as well as is easy to read.
They have passion
As mentioned, blogging is a lot of work and if you don't believe in what you're doing or why you're doing it, then chances are your blog will fail. Without passion for your topic and your audience, writing content won't be fun for you, and reading (and engaging) won’t be fun for your audience.
Passion is also contagious; it's likely that by providing high-quality content regularly, other people (including readers and brands) will get interested in what you're doing.
Time management skills
Bloggers need to be able to manage their time well. Whether you outsource your blogging, work on it during your lunch break or fit it around the kids, you'll find that successful bloggers are focused and know where their priorities lie. Blogging can take over both your life and your business if you let it but if you're committed then it doesn't have to end up this way.
They believe in themselves and their blog
Finally, having a degree of self-belief goes a long way when running a blog. You'll need this belief when the going gets tough and things around going according to plan.
When it’s time to generate ideas at 3 A.M. (since that’s the only time when the house is quiet), explaining why one more day makes a whole difference if you miss a post, and putting up with negative comments from others who don't understand what blogging really is, believing in what you’re doing is key.
The good news is that the blogging community is full of great support, ideas, and advice but if you want to be successful then don't expect anyone else to do your work for you. Blogging success doesn't come overnight so stay patient and focused whilst building up your blog.
Having a successful blog takes time, effort, commitment, and lots of hard work. As with any business that starts small, the most important thing is believing in what you are doing.
Setting up your WordPress blog is the very first step to getting your own piece of internet real estate online and in this tutorial, we've taken you through that process step by step.
Now that your blog is live, it's a good idea to consider other ways you can start promoting yourself and your new blog since marketing is the next step in your journey.