How to Start a WordPress Blog – A step by step tutorial
How to Start a WordPress Blog – A step by step tutorial
1.Choose your blogging platform
As you have decided to take the first step to be a blogger its very important for you to choose a blogging platform. There are several blogging platforms available like wix, weebly, tumbler, blogger etc.
But there is one more platform that really stands out from this queue and the name is “WordPress”.
This is one of the most user friendly platform that is perfect for people who never created website before.
Why recommending WordPress:
- Its free of cost( you just need a web hosting and domain name)
- Have more than 5000 free and paid themes to add an essence to your website design.
- Have a super helpful support forum.
- More than 45000 plugins to run your blogs more smoothly and conveniently.
91% of all blogs are running on wordpress and also 62% of the top 100 company blogs use this.
Why you SHOULDN’T create a blog on a free platform
There is a scope that you can use free platforms for blogging. But it has very limited functionalities, It will add a dull impression to your website and the address will not be professional (yourblogname.wordpress.com) which reduces your credibility.
There are also some serious disadvantageous that you should keep in mind:
- No Control: Your blogs are being hosted on another website (wordpress.com, tumbler, blogger). If you ever violate their terms and conditions ( even by accident) they may shut down your blog at any time.
- No Personalization: You can’t use all the free plugins or themes. As a matter of fact you don’t have the permission to use custom themes that really make your blogs stand out.
- Restriction: You have only 3gb of free space which is not enough for your blogs, videos and images.
If you are really serious about blogging then don’t create a free blog. Later migrating to a better option from a free blogging platform can be very time consuming and tricky.
So start creating self hosted wordpress blogs where you will be able to choose your own domain name. Which will add a professional impression in your blogs.
2. Choose a domain name
You need to choose your domain which will add an extra professional essence to your blogs. So the domain name is important :
- It’s the first impression to your website visitors.
- Influence your rankings in search engines.
- Illustrates your brand
Keep this things on your mind and choose a domain name, but don’t think too much. If you come up with something in five-ten minutes just give it a go as we can change it later. THere are some things you should keep in mind before you choose your domain name:
- Choose brandable over comprehensive: Brandable domain names are unique and stands out from the competition, while a comprehensive domain name is usually stuffed with keywords and unmemorable. (For example: www.andyspearl.com is more brandable than www.pearlscatteringblogs.com) .
- Keep it short: A research of Gaebler.com, a entrepreneurs magazine that shows the top 100 websites has 6 characters on their domain name.
- Easy to write and pronounce: Your domain name should be easy enough to be grinding on the tips of your fingers and tips of your tongue without any problem.
3. Register with web host and install WordPress :
4. Customizing and Choosing a blog theme
After installation when you are in the dashboard you can start customizing your blogs. Let me give you a demonstration of the admin panel of WordPress :
- Dashboard: The page that shows up when you login.
- Posts: You can create & publish new blogs and view & edit the old ones.
- Media: Here you will find the videos, images, pdf’s etc you uploaded
- Pages: Here you can create and publish new pages and view and edit the old ones.
- Comments: You will find everything related comment here. Like all the comments, pending comments, approved comments as well as spam and trash comments.
- Appearance: Here you can give a new look to your blog. Customize themes, logos etc.
- Plugins: You can add/remove plugin from here which will add new functionality to your blog.
- Users: You can add users to your site if you create content with others and view profiles.
- Tools: You will get some additional tools here to publish your post.
- Settings: you can edit your blog’s settings here.
Now pick a free theme for your blog. Changing your blog theme is a fun step.
- You can do it on your own
- There are a lot of free themes that so you can pick one that will make your blog look great
- You can edit it later. ( But don’t do it often so that your readers can keep up)
- But you may have to spend a long time to find a theme that suits your blog
- A wordpress theme is responsible for how your blog looks, so it’s an important step.
While choosing your WordPress theme you should keep some facts in mind:
- Simplicity: Unclear themes makes it hard for the visitors to navigate your blog.
- Responsiveness : The theme should be device friendly so that its layout can fit every devices.
- Speed: Although themes don’t slow down your site. Still test a theme’s speed using Pingdom website speed. Enter the url of themes demo and observe how much time it takes to load. If it takes more than three seconds to load, then you should choose a different theme.
- Easy to Personalise: It should be easy to personalise your theme. Otherwise you will go through a hard time when you want to change something. There are themes that will provide you easy personalisation options.
- SEO readiness: A theme does not play a vital role in search engines. But still try to install the theme that has “SEO ready” or “SEO optimized” in their description.
- Security : Normally themes does not create issues regarding security. But still it’s good to check some reviews before installing one.
To install a theme go to Appearance tab click on themes. Then click on Add New Theme. You will find a lot of themes over there.
5. Adding posts and pages
To add posts and pages Go back to your admin panel Click on “Posts >> Add New” (Pages>> Add New) from the left side bar.
You will see a friendly editor screen which may remind you of microsoft word or pages in mac.
Let’s give you a walkthrough of the editor page:
- Title Area : Here you will write the title of your post.
- Content Area: Here the body of your post goes. The whole area works just like MS word or Pages. You can also add images and other media to your post by clicking the Add Media button.
- Standard Editing Tools: There are some options like paragraph, bold, italic, bulleted lists, numbered lists etc.
- Publishing Tools: The big blue Publish button in white icon lets you publish your post for showing the world. You can also set a publication date to schedule your post in the future or save the post as draft for more editing.
- Additional fine tuning Tools: Update your blog post and categorize it.
There are some things you should keep in mind:
Additional links to your post: You should add some links when you want to prove your claims.
At that time use the Paper click like button located at the right of the Align Right item.
From there add the URL you want to link to.
Now click on the settings icon on the right( the wheel looking item above, in the right side of the arrow.
Check the “Open link in a new tab” because you don’t want people to leave your site. This is very important.
Adding Images to your posts: You can add images to your posts by clicking on “ Add Menu”.
This should show up. Here you can select the files you would like to upload and also view previously uploaded files from the “Media Library” at the right of ‘Upload Files” section.
If you upload an image, you can change its size and placement.
To add a featured image (the image that will be at the top of your post and in the thumbnails of your article), scroll to the right sidebar of your blog menu. You’ll see an option titled “Set featured image”. Click that, then go through the same uploading process to add in a featured image here.
Adding Videos from YouTube: You can add YouTube videos to your post to spice up your posts. It was not easy before but after some updates its easy to add videos in WordPress.All you have to do is copy the YouTube video URL into the content area. Make sure that the URL is on its own line and not clickable. When you publish the post, the video will appear.
Creating the slug: Slug is the URL of your post. You should make it clear and concise. This will make easier for your visitors to share it on the social media, and overall it will just look better.
You can find the slug underneath the post title. It will say “Permalink: http://yourdomainname.com/post_title”
Sometimes, the title of your blog post will make the perfect slug. But usually, it will be too long, and you should change it, so that it’s no longer than 2-4 words.
Here are some tips for optimizing your WordPress slugs:
- Target SEO keywords. Try to think what people would type to Google when they search for the information you share in the post.These are known SEO keywords.
- Avoid duplicates (make sure it’s not the same as another slug on your website).
- Don’t change the slug after publishing the post (unless you absolutely have to) as this will result in lost traffic.
Adding Headings: Headings help your contents to get a structure and make it easier for the visitors to read. Consider adding headings for each of your main points.
To add a heading, scroll up to “ Paragraphs” drop down menu. Select the heading you want to use. Always Remember that Heading 1 is used for the posts title, so use the smaller headings with larger numbers inside the post.
Publish Your Post (or Page):
If you’re done working with your post, click the publish button and then the “View Post” link thats going to appear at the top of the page ( You will see your post live on the site).
Congratulations you just posted your first blog. Before you share it with others (which is the next step), lets add a simple tracking system to your site, so you will see exactly how many people you have reached.
6. Get Traffic and Monetize your blog
A blog is never complete without any compelling content. At first find out the topics your blogs will focus on. Then come with 10-12 ideas for new posts. Make these posts a combination of informations and entertainment.You’ll also want to err on the side of creating evergreen content (content that doesn’t become dated/is always relevant) versus news/current affairs content (which becomes dated and irrelevant). Evergreen content will continue to generate traffic overtime, while other content will run its course and become irrelevant.
Here are some tips to create strong blog content that your draw your audience’s interest:
- Create a lead generating content marketing Strategy
- Build up a reading habit in you, to embody how great writers write.
- Your contents should consist of eye catching headings,short paragraphs and high quality media files.
- Create contents that solve the problems of your audience.