How to Start a Blog using WordPress in 2020

So, you want to start a blog, huh? That’s a great idea.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to learn how build a blog then you’ve come at the right place.

I’ve been blogging for over 5+ years and I’m here to show you the simple way to get started.

Before you start building your blog, just pause for a moment to know what blog is anyways and why is it necessary to build a blog?

What is a blog?

 “A blog is a channel where you share your thoughts. Think of it as a public journal, diary, or even book. You can share personal thoughts, quick updates, or even educate others on what you learned”, says Neil Patel.

A blog is a kind of a website where content is displayed in a reverse chronological order and content in the blog is referred to as blog posts.

Blogs can be either run by an individual or small group of people to present information in a conversational style.

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A blog post

Why you should start a blog?

When I started my blog few years back, it changed my entire life. With the rise of social media, blogging has become a new way to influence people. For those of you who haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon, this may be the right time as blogging offers many attractions.

But the truth is that every blogger has their own motivation to start a blog and your level of success depends on why and what you’re blogging for.  There’re many reasons why you should start a blog right now.

How to start a blog in 9 steps?

Here’re the steps to start a blog:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Pick a name for your blog
  3. Choose a blogging platform
  4. Choose a domain and a hosting provider
  5. Install WordPress
  6. Pick a WordPress theme for your blog
  7. Install plugins
  8. Design your blog
  9. Write your first blog post

Step 1: Choose a niche

Before you get start with blogging, the first step is to choose a niche for your blog. Your blog’s niche is the general topic area that you’ll be focusing your content around. There’re various topics that you can choose to start a blog, like travel, food, lifestyle, fashion, finance, and technology. Choosing a blog niche depends upon your interests and the expertise.

To know more on how to choose a perfect blog niche, read my blog post.

Step 2: Pick a name for your blog

Next, you need to pick a name of your blog. It is very critical to get the correct blog name as this is what your readers will see it first like yourblogname.com.

There’re various things you will need to keep in mind while choosing a blog name. These are as follows:

  • A Blog name should be short because it will be easier for the users to remember and type as well.
  • It should be catchy so that it can easily describe what you do.
  • The blog name should represent your brand so you need to ensure that it isn’t memorable for the wrong reasons.
  • It includes right or combination of keywords. This is optional but it may be good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Therefore, before you decide to register the blog name, you need to decide on what kind of website you’re creating. Also, you need to ask who the website is for and what you want to offer, and then choose a perfect blog name that matches with your requirement.

You can either choose your own name for the name of your blog or ideally it should represent the topic for which you’re writing about like thefiscaldiet.com

Step 3: Choose a blogging platform

To choose a blogging platform, you need to first decide whether you need to set up a blog for free or you want a self-hosted blog.

If you want to start a blog for free then you can sign up any free blogging platforms, such as blogspot, wordpress, and tumblr.

However, if you’re serious in blogging then I would really recommend that the free blogging platform is not the way to go.

I would strictly recommend picking WordPress as a blogging platform because of the following reasons:

  • It is super easy to setup and it is free to use.
  • WordPress comes along with tonnes of themes both free and paid that allow you to build your blog or website easily.
  • It provides great support in case you’re stuck at something while working on WordPress.
  • Also, it provides a great way for people to comment on your blog.

Most recent statistics show that WordPress which is a free (open-source) blog platform is the commonly used blogging platform in 2020.

blogging platforms usage
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Data from: https://trends.builtwith.com/cms/blog/traffic/Entire-Internet

Step 4: Choose a domain and a web host

Once you have chosen a name for your blog, it’s time to register it so that no one else uses it. Buying a domain name is very easy as you just need to contact the domain name registrar, such as namecheap, godaddy, siteground, and hostinger. I would recommend you to use Siteground to register your domain name and hosting.

To register a domain name and hosting plan, perform the following steps:

1. Choose a hosting plan

SiteGround provides you with the following three plans with great discounts:

  • The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are starting now.
  • The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves website speed.
  • The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like more server resources and GIT integration.
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I would recommend you to go with the GrowBig plan as it offers you to build multiple websites that can be useful later on.

2. Choose a domain name

You can choose to buy a new domain, or sign up with an existing domain. Siteground offers a wide range of domain extensions at awesome prices.

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3. Review and complete your order

Finally, you need to review and complete the order to purchase your domain name and host based on the hosting plan you choose. Being able to get the low price for the one year period is a fact that increases conversions greatly in comparison to other providers where the lowest monthly price applies only for the longest period.

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Step 5: Install WordPress

Once you’ve got the domain name and chosen your preferred hosting package, it’s time to install WordPress. Depending on your hosting provider, you can perform the following types of installations of WordPress:

  • Manual: This type of installation involves two steps where you need to first download WordPress on your computer. Then, you need to re-upload it to your hosting provider.
  • One-click: This option provides hassle-free installation where you can download and install WordPress automatically via your hosting provider. Most hosting providers, such as Bluehost and Siteground offers one-click WordPress installs.

Here are the steps you should follow for one-click installation:

1. Log in to your web hosting account

2. Go to the Control Panel and look for the WordPress or Website icon

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3. Click Install WordPress button and then choose Quick Install link to automatically install WordPress in your web host.

4. Log in to Your WordPress Dashboard using the log in credentials. If you’re not sure how to type in: https://yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursite” with your domain).

Your WordPress dashboard will appear like this.

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Step 6: Pick a WordPress theme for your blog

Once you’ve successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you’ll view only a basic website. The design of the website doesn’t look very professional. You may want to change the appearance and look and feel of the website to make it look better.

You can do this using a WordPress theme, which is a design template that tells WordPress how your website will appear.

There are various professionally designed themes available in WordPress that you can download and use it for free, such as JustFreeThemes, ThemeForest, ThemeIsle, and aThemes.

You can also purchase a premium WordPress theme to extend the functionality of the free themes as the free themes may have some limitations.

To install and activate a theme,

1. Go to Appearance > Themes from your WordPress Dashboard, and then click on Add New button.

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2. Search the name of theme in the text field that you want to install. You’ll view the themes displayed in the list below the search field.

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3. Click on the desired theme, and then click on the Install button to install it.

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4. Next, click on the Activate button that will immediately appear once the theme is installed.

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Now, you’ll see your new theme appearing on your website.

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You can also install the theme by downloading .zip file of your desired theme. Then, you need to upload the file and then activate the theme.

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Step 7: Install plugins

A plugin is an extension that is built to extend the standard functionality of your site by adding some much-needed features. Also, it adds features and functions to your website that may not come as built-in without any knowledge of coding.

There are various plugins available depending upon the action you need to perform, such as Yoast SEO, WP Forms, and Google Analytics for WordPress.

You can either download a plugin from an external website if you know the plugin’s name or search directly in WordPress.

To install directly from WordPress, perform the following steps:

1. Go to the WordPress Dashboard, and then click Plugins à Add New.

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2. Type the name of the plugin or any keyword for which you require a plugin in the Search field.

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3.  All the related plugins will appear at the bottom. Select the desired plugin and then click Install.

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4. Once the plugin is installed, click Activate to activate the plugin.

Step 8: Design your blog

Depending on the WordPress theme you’ve selected, you can customize the theme to design your blog according to your liking. This is done via Appearance > Customize option. This displays the WordPress Customizer.

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WordPress Customizer consists of various sections that you can customize based on the theme you select but the most common ones are mentioned below:

  • Site Identity: This section allows you to customize the title of your blog, and also add a logo image and site icon.
  • Colors: This section allows you to adjust the colors used throughout the design of your blog.
  • Header: This section sets the heading text or graphic on your blog.
  • Background: This section enables you to set the background image in your blog.
  • Menus: This section enables you to add any menus in your blog.

Step 9: Add posts/pages to your blog

Now the fun part begins where it’s time to add content to your site.

If you don’t have any content in your website, it will be dull and boring and it won’t get any traffic, and in turn may not be able to generate any leads.

Therefore, you need to produce content that genuinely offers value to your visitors based on your niche or your expertise. You will need to focus on quality content if you want to help your visitors through your website.

You can add content based on two main categories.

1. Pages

Pages are static that allows you to divide your website into required number of sections to present the content in an orderly manner. You can add various pages to your site depending on your requirements. Each page has a specific purpose on your site.

To add a new page, go to Pages > Add New on the left-hand menu.

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You can create the following standard pages in your site:

  • Home: This is displayed by default and is usually the front page of your website.
  • About Us: This page tells the entire story of your business and why you’ve started your business.
  • Product or Services: Often, you’ll also include the Product or a Services page or both to add the products or services your offer in your business.
  • Contact Us: This page allows your visitors to biew the contact information so that they can contact you for any requirements. You can also integrate a form via plugins where they can enter their information so that you can contact them later.

2. Posts

A post is an entry that is listed in a chronological order either on a home page or in a dedicated blog section.

To add a new post, go to Posts > Add New from the left hand side of the window.

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Wrap up

Congratulations! You’re now ready to launch your blog.

Wasn’t it so easy?

Keep in mind that every blog you create in WordPress is different and it depends a lot on the niche you choose for your blog.

You can always change your WordPress theme or every purchase a premium theme if you’ve no budget constraints.

So, what’re you waiting for? Go ahead and start your blog now using these steps and let me know how you like in the comments below.

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