Step 1 – Choose Your Blogging Platform
WordPress is the go-to platform for bloggers. Why? Because it’s free, easy to use, simple to customize and designed with bloggers in mind.
Why Do People Use & Recommend WordPress?
- It’s free for anyone to use (you just need a cheap webhost & domain name)
- It’s super easy to use even if you never built a blog before
- They have over 5,000 free themes to choose from to make your blog look awesome
- Over 91% of all blogs are running WordPress.
Why You Shouldn’t Create A Blog On A Free Platform
People don’t know the difference between starting a self-hosted blog and using free blogging websites.
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make, is using a free blogging platform when they are just getting started. Everyone wants to learn how to start a blog for free thinking they will become a famous author and make a stack of money.
But if you do this, you will seriously limit your potential success as a blogger.
All of the major free blogging platforms like Blogspot, Medium or Tumblr suffer from the same serious flaws-
- No Control – You have zero control over your blog. Tumblr/BlogSpot or whoever can choose to shutdown your blog and delete it at any time.
- Lack Of Customization – You can’t use any of the thousands of free WordPress themes and plugins and are limited to very basic templates.
- Limits – You are limited on how many images and videos you can upload or how many people visit your blog.
- No Custom Domain Name – You will get stuck using an ugly domain name like http://yourblog.blogspot.com rather than just yourblog.com.
- No One Will Take You Seriously – And the most important of all, is if you use a free platform it makes you look like an inexperienced beginner and no one will take you seriously.
If you are serious about learning how to start a blog and make money with it – Then do things the right way the first time! The choice is yours.
Step 2 – Choose Your Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is one of the most important steps of starting a blog.
If you don’t know what a domain name is, well it is the address of your blog
Before you choose a domain name you need to choose a topic for your blog.
If you’re not sure what to blog about here are a few suggestions-
- Write a list of 3 things you are good at
- Write a list of 3 things you are interested in or enjoy
- Write a list of 3 things you want to learn about
That quick 5 minute exercise will give you more than enough ideas for topics for your blog. Just choose from your menu of ideas.
Write content about things you are passionate and knowledgeable about. You’ll be able to create hundreds of posts that your audience find engaging and they will subscribe to hear more.
Once you have a topic for your blog you need to choose a good domain name.
If you are going to blog about a specific topic then you should try and incorporate that into the domain name. Or you could just use your name as your domain name.
Check If Your Domain Name Is Available…
Step 3 – Setup Web Hosting & WordPress
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is what keeps your blog “online” and stores all of your blogs files, images and content. If you don’t have a web host then no one would be able to see your blog!
A good web host means that your blog will be available to every single person in the world, every single second of every single day.
Avoid Bad Web Hosting Companies!
There are both good and bad hosting companies & choosing a host is an important part of starting a blog.
Many cheap hosts overload their servers which means your blog will be slow, which means updating it will take longer and it will take longer for your visitors to load it.
That is usually backed with terrible support so when you do have a problem, you’re on your own.
On the next page, you need to enter the domain name you decided on earlier.
Enter your domain in the Domain Search box in the centre.
That you typed in the domain right and there are no pesky typos
Now you just need to confirm all of the details of your order and enter you billing information.
You can skip over all of the Website Essentials upsells on the package information page.
There is no need to buy any of the extra things they offer you.
Just skip over all of this and click Checkout.
Once you have filled out that form you’ll then need to wait for iPage to send you the login information.
Sometimes they may ask for extra details for verification so just go through that process with them until you find yourself back at the dashboard.
- You just need to click on WordPress.
You’ll then be asked to select the domain that you want to install WordPress on.
Here you just need to pick the domain that you chose earlier.
Here you’ll also need to give your site a ‘Title’ provide username and password credentials.
These will be used to login to WordPress when it is installed.
When you’re done providing credentials, click on ‘Next’ and let the setup process take place.
Click on your domain to be taken to the WordPress admin login area for your new blog!
More often than not, you’ll be able to login to WordPress by entering ‘/wp-admin’ after your URL-
yourdomain.com/wp-admin When you visit the WordPress Admin URL, you should then see a screen. It is on this screen that you need to enter in your login credentials that you either created, or were given earlier.
And that’s pretty much it!You have installed WordPress and it is ready to go!
Step 4 – Customising Your Blog
Now WordPress is installed, it’s time to customize your new blog to your liking. The first thing to do is find and install a theme that you like.
The design of your blog plays a huge role in the success of your blog because it’s the body language of your blog.
How To Choose A Great WordPress Theme
- Simple & clutter free – The simpler it is to read and navigate your site, the better!
- Mobile responsive – Your blog needs to look great on mobile as well, this is non-negotiable.
- Optimized for speed – Your blog needs to load quickly to keep visitors engaged
- SEO ready – It should be built with search engine optimisation in mind
- Easy to customize – Ideally you can change the layout or colours in a couple of clicks
- Built in shortcodes – This makes it easy to style your blog posts and give them some “pop”
The great news is there are thousands of free WordPress themes that you can choose from. While they might not have all of the best features and support, they are free.
To find a WordPress do that just go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
From here you can browse through the featured, popular and latest themes to your heart’s content.
Just mouse over any that you like to get a live preview or to install and activate one.
Once you have done that you can go to Appearance > Customize to tweak things like colors & fonts easily-
Just keep tweaking things until you are happy!
If you are serious about your blog then you might want to invest in a pro WordPress theme that will help you to stand out from the crowd & save a lot of the headache that you often find with free themes (like things not working properly/zero support).
Step 5 – Writing Your First Blog Post
Now comes the fun part, it is time to start writing your first post!
First of all login to your WordPress admin dashboard (yourdomain.com/wp-admin) and then go to Posts > Add New.
You will be presented with a screen like this-
Let me explain exactly what you are seeing here-
- Title Area: This is where you write the title of your blog post
- Add Media: This is where you can upload images/gifs/videos
- Content Area: This is where you write the main content of your post with text formatting tools above
- Publishing: This is where you control if your post is published and live to the world or you can choose to schedule it in advanced.
- Other: Choose or create a relevant category for your post or upload a featured image. If you don’t know what tags are then don’t worry about them.
Feel free to write anything you want for your first blog post as you get used to the WordPress system and learn to use it’s features.
Once it is done, just click on the blue Publish button and voila!
You have just written and published your very first blog post!
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