How to Start a Blog: The untold guide + hidden secret
First of all Congratulations for your first blog, I'm so happy for you (Don't forget to share an experience of your first blog). I created this guide is especially for you & for all of those beginner's who want to start their own blog but have no idea about how to start a blog. Just read this step by step tutorials and make your own blog in few minutes. No special skills required!
This guide will teach you everything: Where to start, how to start, What to do after making a blog?. If you feel any confusion and get any problem in starting a blog then just Contact me. I'll help you.
WHAT YOU'LL GET IN THIS BLOG SETUP GUIDE
Guide that will teach you everything from starting to end.
How to choose a domain name, tips & where to get a free domain name.
Which web host is best for you + a special discount for your first blog.
9 SIMPLE STEPS FOR HOW TO START A BLOG
#1 Choose a best blogging platform.
#2 Choose a domain name & host.
#3 Setup & Installation Process.
#4 Select design & layout ( Special Design Theme).
#5 List of necessary plugins on blog + How to install.
#6 Change default WordPress setting.
#7 Necessary pages + how to write first blog post.
STEP#1 CHOOSE A BEST BLOGGING PLATFORM
Mostly people do the biggest mistake when they choose their blogging platform. Either they choose a free platform where they can't do anything except writing or sometimes they choose a paid platform where they have to pay a high amount for running their blog.
But you have to avoid all of these mistakes. You have to choose a platform where you can do anything for building a powerful blog.
There was a time when you need to hire a web developer for building a website.but that was true before 10 years. Not now.
Now, There're lots of CMS ( Content Management System) platform on which you can start your own blog with in few minutes without any third party help.
And I think that's the biggest reason that you should know about the platform. Because by choosing a wrong platform, you'll waste your time, work and also your money.
TYPE OF BLOGGING PLATFORMS
Basically, you can start your blog by using three type of platform: FREE, Freemium ( free + premium), self-hosted. Here I'll discuss everything about these platforms and about my personal recommendation for you.
Free Blogging Platform:
A platform like Blogger.com and tumblr.com comes in the free platform. you don't need to pay anything for starting a blog on these platforms. But as you know that free things always comes with lots of limitation.
- Price: $0 + Free hosting. No charges for hosting service.
- Your website name will be like this: your_site_name.blogspot.com OR your_site_name.tumblr.com. These type of names is not so good for a professional website. You can also use your own custom domain name. But for this, you have to purchase a domain name from another domain registrar.
- You have to compromise with your website design & specially with speed.
- You can not add some external functionality into your website.
If you really want to do blogging and you're serious about your blog then stay away from these free platforms. I don't recommend these free platforms.
Freemium (Free + Premium) blogging platform:
In this type of platforms, you'll get some option in free ( you can create your blog in free), but to enhance the functionality you have to pay. Freemium platform is also same as the free platform. These type of platforms also comes with lots of drawbacks. Freemium platform: Squarespace, WordPress.com ( Different from WordPress.org)
- Cost is high in comparison to self-hosted blog around $9/month.
- Website speed issues in the free version. You have to pay for increasing the performance.
- Lack of customization option in free version.
- To run a website, no special skills needed. But best for the big business website.
So, Why you'll pay more for fewer options, if there is the best option available with more customization and flexibility.
Self-hosted Platform (WordPress.org)
The self-hosted platform comes with lots of functionality and customization. In the self-hosted platform, no other platform can be better than WordPress.org. WordPress is the most popular platform in the world. Almost 30% website is running on WordPress.
So, if you really want to start blogging then I would recommend self-hosted platform and that is WordPress.org. No any second choice from my side.
By choosing WordPress you don't need any third party help, no need to hire any web developer. You can build your own website/blog by your own hand without any technical knowledge.
WHY I'M USING WORDPRESS AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE WORDPRESS
Currently, there is no other website builder platform who can compete with WordPress. But more importantly:
#1 It's totally Free & Easy to use:
WordPress is free of cost. You don't need to pay anything for running a website on WordPress. You simply need a domain name ( A name for your business or business website) & and one server.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking about that if I have to pay for domain & server then how WordPress is free?
Actually, WordPress is just a script file that you have to install on your server. And there are no fees for installing WordPress. After purchasing a server & domain, You'll get an inbuilt option in cPanel for installing WordPress script file.
There is no matter, either your business is small or big, WordPress remains always free.
For installing WordPress you don't need to do something extra. You can easily install this script file on your server within one click.
Don't be confused, I'll discuss whole WordPress installation process in step 3.
#2 Strong Community & Support:
No one can beat the support community of WordPress. There are lots of people who are standing there for your help. As a normal WordPress user, you can ask your queries, your problems can ask for support and for anything in the WordPress support forum.
#3 Multi-language & Secure:
No matter, In which country you're living. WordPress is always available for you in your local language. Yeah, WordPress support multi-languages.
If you're searching for some secure platform who can protect your business then WordPress may be the best solution for you out of all content management system.
Nothing is fully secure in this universe but WordPress always try to provide the better secure platform. There are other several factors which can make your blog secure and powerful. For ex. - Never use nulled theme & plugins on your blog, Use some good quality of WordPress security plugin ( they will add some more configuration in your blog), Use good hosting service, Strong Password and much more. So, it is up to you that how much you want to make your website/blog secure.
Security is always is in your hand. Either you break it or maintain it.
#4 Timely Updated:
Well, the updating process is another one important thing for any business growth. No matter which type of product you're using for your business but you should consider their updating factor. How many times they update their product and what are the factors in which they update their product and system.
And, If you are using WordPress for your business platform then no need to worry about Updating factor. Because WordPress always remain updated with time. They always perform small & big update time to time either it is related to security, Performance, functionality or anything else.
There is no need to check your theme or plugin is up to date or not. WordPress will give you a notification about the update.
#5 Multi User & Lots of designs, Plugins:
If you want to make your business website as a multi-user site Or you want to add more persons to your business- who can control your website, manage your website, can do something into your website then there is a great functionality for you.
Yes, WordPress support multi-user. You can add some people and can give the different role to each one. Like: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber.
If you're using WordPress then there is no need to worry about the design of your website. Because in WordPress, there are lots of pre-built templates that you can use on your website. You can easily find out those template in WordPress theme directory. And all of these themes are free to use. No cost for using on the website.
One feature of WordPress that I love most is that you can enhance the functionality of your website by using plugins. Either you want to use social plugins, security plugins, management plugins, SEO plugins, Cache plugins or anything else you can use any type of plugins that you want to use. And all of these plugins of WordPress directory are free to use.
#6 Flexibility in Hosting Provider:
You can change your hosting provider anytime, anywhere without any downtime or without any problem. Either your current hosting provider is not capable to handle your traffic or you are getting so much downtime. But in WordPress, there is no such limitation. Change your host anytime when you want.
So, What's My Final Word About Blogging Platform
This blog is also running on WordPress & not only this blog my previous every website/blog was running on WordPress. So, my personal recommendation is that you should choose WordPress. You'll never regret your decision.
STEP #2 CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME & HOST
For starting a blog you need only two things:
- Domain Name ( Name of your business, website/blog).
- Hosting ( Location or service to host your website/blog).
You have to pay very few penny for both domain & hosting around $3.95/month ($7.95/month). A Big discount + FREE DOMAIN!.
Yes, You'll get a free domain on purchasing any hosting plan from Bluehost. So, What's my Recommendation?
For registering both domain name & hosting I recommend Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the best hosting provider for starting a new website/blog.
Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate link which means if you purchase something through my link, I'll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you even you get a special discount on your hosting package.
Before you go to Bluehost and register your domain name, read some tips below, These tips will help you in deciding your domain name.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PERFECT DOMAIN NAME
#1 Memorable & short: Your domain name should be memorable for your customer. Always try to register a short domain name. For ex: car.com, music.com, news.com. I know that registering a single word domain name is very hard because either they are expensive or they are already sold. Then in this condition try to use some catchy word with mixing.
#2: Never use Numbers & hyphens: Avoid any use of numbers & hyphens in your domain name. By using these things, you'll decrease the readability of your domain name.
#3 Domain extension: Today, you can book a domain name of any extension like .biz, .club, .xyz, .com, .net, .org, .me, .info and many more. For ex:
- For business type website, choose .com extension. but if your business is local then you can choose particular country extension like .au (Australia), .cn (China), .in (India).
- If you want to run any personal website then you can choose a .me extension. but keep in mind only for personal because if you're thinking to run a business website with your name then go for .com.
#4 Use business name: Try to use your business name in the domain name. It'll clearly represent your business, increase the readability and also affect the SEO of your website.
Now, You have a Website platform (WordPress.org), Hosting provider (Bluehost.com). For registering your domain name and hosting follow next step.
STEP #3 COMPLETE PROCESS: HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS ON BLUEHOST
For starting a WordPress website, I'm dividing a whole process into 4 simple steps so that process becomes easy and friendly for you.
#1 Choose a hosting plan.
#2 Register a domain name.
#3 Install WordPress on Your Server.
Let's take the first step towards your success:
CHOOSE A HOSTING PLAN
For starting the process, firstly go to Bluehost.com
Now, Click on Get Started Now Button.
Bluehost knows their customer needs. So they have everything in their bag. Before you choose any plan let me introduce you their plans.
- Starter (basic): If you are planning to host a single blog or website then choose starter plan. The numbers of the domain are restricted to 1. All other benefits are restricted.
- Plus: But If you want to host two or three domain at the maximum then you can choose the business plan. The only number of a domain are restricted all other benefits are unlimited.
- Business Pro: But if you are planning to host blogs of your multiple clients, then you choose this option. You can host your multiple blogs on a single server. This will lead you towards great benefits.
For your first website, I want to recommend you their starter plan. Because you don't need to invest big money in the starting. On successfully choosing your plan, Bluehost will ask you:
Do you have already registered your domain name or you want to buy a new domain?
If you do not have any registered domain then select I want to buy a new domain name option as in the image below AND if you have already a domain name then just type your domain name and start the process.
REGISTER A NEW DOMAIN NAME
Enter your domain name idea and just check it out for the availability of your name by clicking on next button. For the better domain name, follow above given tips.
After selecting your domain name successfully, click on next button.
Now just fill out all the contact details and payment information. Make sure you use your real details so that you can verify your account after purchasing hosting.
As you can see below, that same screen has some extra optional plan. It is up to you whether or not you purchase there, but I would generally recommend you the WHOIS privacy. Uncheck all other options.
Better to choose starter plan for 3 years (Not necessary). It'll save your lots of money.
You are almost done.
Fill out your payment details and click on next button.
On next page set your password for an account. Please choose a strong password ( For strong password: use character, number, special characters combination).
Now, You just need to configure your newly purchased Bluehost server for WordPress.
Let's take next step.
INSTALL WORDPRESS ON BLUEHOST SERVER
Simply go to Bluehost.com. Login to your account with your domain name and password. Make sure you're logging into "hosting" not in "webmail".
On successful authentication, You'll see a control panel like this.
Controller panel is a portal from where you can control your hosting. This cPanel is the central control system of management of self-hosting. This is the engine of your hosting and has a dozen of different icons that link.Each icon refers to some service or features that are available on your hosting account.
At first, it will seem a litter overwhelming but don’t worry, this icon is not for your confusion. But these are for yourself- service and support.
Here I'm going to show you how to install WordPress on Bluehost by yourself, You have the option to call Bluehost to do it for you. But I'll suggest you do it yourself. Because it's your own website. It will make you more confident.
Out of given various icons, choose WordPress icon.
This is the amazing new software that lets you install WordPress on your host in just a few click.
Now, the next screen has a few option but is actually really simple.
Enter your domain name and choose a directory ( where you want to store WordPress Installation).
Leave directory blank. And click on next button.
On Next page, It will ask you to choose WordPress admin username and password. This will be required for login into WordPress portal.
Choose the option to create a database automatically. Because WordPress need a database to store your blog data.
Fill out the option making sure you use a complex username & password(not admin as username and password) AND enter your admin email address where Bluehost will send login information.
Now, click on next button.
And you are done.
Once it has finished crunching the installation, it will give you a confirmation screening showing you unique WordPress login URL that will look like this.
Open your login URL (http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin). This will take you to WordPress login page.
Now, enter your username & password for login. You'll see a WordPress dashboard like this:
Hip Hip Hurry! Your First Blog Is Ready To Use
Now, come to the next part where I'll give you the guide that what you should do after installing a WordPress. Let's start with design of a website.
STEP #4 SELECT DESIGN & LAYOUT FOR YOUR BLOG
Decide how you want to show your blog, what type of design you want to use? It totally depends on your blog type. Like if you're building a portfolio type blog then you should choose some portfolio theme and if you're building a news type blog then you should choose some magazine type theme. Now, follow the below-given steps for installing a brand new theme on your blog.
Install Free Themes:
For installing a theme, find appearance option in the left panel and click on Themes option.
Here, you can see your currently installed theme and some other free themes. For installing a new theme, just search by their name or their type. You can also use filter option for narrowing down your search.
After searching, click on install button and activate that theme. Just simple.
NOTE: Before using any free theme, just check some other user review what they are saying about that theme and then use.
Install Premium Theme:
If you don't like any free design then you can purchase your theme from any third party theme provider as I'm using on my blog (Focus blog).
There are lots of theme providers but as I said, you have to choose them according to your requirement. If you're building a niche blog or authority blog then you can choose to Thrive theme or genesis theme. They are best for the niche based blog. But if you are starting a viral stories website/news website then you can choose your theme from Themeforest. Themeforest is actually a marketplace of themes and plugins. You can choose anyone. After purchasing your theme, just follow the steps: Appearance > Themes > add new > upload Theme > click on choose theme > upload theme from your computer > Install theme > Activate theme.
IMPORTANT: Changing any theme will not affect on your posts/pages. You can change theme any number of times.
NOTE: Before changing anything on your blog, the very first step that you should do is to put your website in maintenance mode. by doing this you can hide your back-end work from the public. That means no one can see that what you're doing on your blog. Every person who'll come on your website will see a simple coming soon page/maintenance page with a subscription box.
Yes, you can say that if nobody knows about my website then what's the benefits? For this, I can only say nobody wants to release their business idea/plan before launching. So, I strongly recommend to put your website in maintenance mode.
And for this I want to recommend my favorite plugin "igniteUP" and it's free. You can install this plugin through your WordPress dashboard. For installing this or any other plugin follow below given steps:
SETUP #5 HOW TO INSTALL PLUGINS + NECESSARY PLUGIN
You can enhance the functionality of your website/blog by using plugins. Currently, WordPress has over 45000 plugins. This is huge. Follow the below-given steps for installing your plugins.
Step 1: Login to your WordPress dashboard (if you're not login).
Step 2: In the left panel, find Plugins. Now, click on Add new plugin.
Step 3: Search for any plugin name in the search field, Now click on install and after installing click on activate button.
Step 4: If you have any premium plugin as I'm using Thrive content builder (for designing posts/pages) then use upload button rather than to search.
Essential Plugins On WordPress blog:
Akismet: Protect your blog from spammers. For installing this plugin, follow the given instruction in the plugin.
Jetpack: Collection of several plugins features. Jetpack will protect your blog admin page from hackers, will improve your blog speed, will make your website mobile friendly.
Yoast SEO: This is a must have plugin for each blog. This plugin will improve your blog structure and help you to write search engine friendly content.
Broken link checker: This plugin will check the broken link (Internal link & External link) on your website. So, You must use this plugin.
EWWW Image Optimizer: Best Image optimization plugin. You can use this plugin for increasing blog performance.
Pretty Link Pro: Best plugin for the affiliate marketer. You can cloak your affiliate link by using this plugin.
Anti-Spam: Best plugin to protect your blog from spammers. No setting required for using this plugin.
STEP #6 CHANGE DEFAULT WORDPRESS SETTING
For changing the default setting, go to setting option - given in left side panel.
#1 General Setting: In a general setting, you can change your website title and tagline, email address, new user role and time format.
choose title & tagline according to your business. ADVICE: Your tagline should match with your business plan.
IMPORTANT: Please don't do the same mistake as mostly people do on their first website. UNCHECK the "anyone can register" option and save the setting.
#2 Writing setting: In writing section, you can change your default category, format.
#3 Reading setting: In reading setting, you can set how many post you want to show on your blog page, want to show full text or expert.
IMPORTANT: Never check last option "search engine visibility". By doing this, Search engine will stop to crawl and indexing your website
#4 Comment Setting: In discussion setting, you can enable/disable comment on a new post, You can also stop receiving comment on an older post, can set default avatar for those who comment on your website.
#5 Permalink setting: Most important setting. Here you can change your post/page URL setting. Just select "second last option" post name (my recommended).
IMPORTANT: Never use number and any code system in URL because by doing this search engine will find difficulty to know about your post & it'll affect your ranking also.
#6 Profile setting: In profile setting, you can change your nick name ( what name you want to show), Your social setting, can upload your profile photo (use gravatar), can change your password.
#7 User: If your blog has multiple authors then you can add those by using this option. Here, You have to add your author name, email address, can generate a password. An author only can write a blog post nothing more than that.
#8 Menu: For adding a menu to your blog follow the steps: Appearance > Menu > Create menu > Select items from left option > Assign to the primary menu or secondary menu or footer menu > save. Just simple.
STEP #7 NECESSARY PAGES + HOW TO WRITE A FIRST BLOG POST
There is no limitation on a number of pages. You can write any number of pages as you want. but there are some necessary pages that you should write for your website.
#1 About: This is one of the most important page for a website/blog. You should write this page and try to explain everything in your about page that who you are, why you're starting your blog, what's your main mission/vision behind blog & what your customer will get if they join your blog.
#2 Contact: This is also a crucial page. Because, every person who wants to contact you, either they want to send some feedback and want to do some business with you , they will use this page.
#4 Affiliate Disclaimer: If you're monetizing your website through affiliate marketing then you should inform your user about that. In affiliate disclaimer, you have to write about how you're earning money through user interaction. What you'll get if they buy some product/service through your link.
HOW TO WRITE FIRST POST/PAGE
I can understand your excitement level. You want to write your first post/page and want to publish. So, let's start step by step process for writing a first blog post:
Step 1: Firstly go to posts option in the left panel and click on add new post.
Step 2: Now you'll see a WordPress editor where you can write your post content, post title and can add images and everything related to your post. Just like that.
Step 3: Write a beautiful title for your post and generate URL ( you can change your post URL according to your requirement).
Step 4: For adding images to your post/pages click on add media option and upload your images ( Use title and ALT text for your image - because the search engine will use ALT text for understanding about your image).
Step 5: After writing and editing your post, hit publish button. and you're done. Your first post is now live. You can see your first post by going to your website.
The same process will apply for writing a page. But for that, you have to go pages section in the left panel and click on add new pages. After that follow the same process. JUST SIMPLE
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR FIRST WEBSITE, NOW IT'S READY TO LAUNCH
Now, you know that how to start a blog, how to install themes/plugins, how to write a blog post/pages. You can follow these same steps for your every blog.
At last, I want something from you. After successfully launching your website/blog, please send me your website name, URL and your feedback in the comment. I'll show your website name on my page. These things will help me to run this blog for you. For this, you can use my contact page.
P.S: If you think that my guide was useful for you and can also help lots of other beginner's then just share this with your friends and followers.