I told him that starting a new blog or website of any niche is as simple as running your smartphone, and it doesn’t require any kind of technical skill, and you know what’s the best thing, anybody can launch it within minutes. He was shocked and asked me – How? I started telling him about the WordPress (the most popular CMS in the world used by over 60 million websites), and then I slowly explained about themes, hosting, SEO, affiliate marketing, and more.
You know what? The very next day, he launched his own blog with WordPress and thanked me, and also asked me to start a blog on WordPress where people like him can learn the process of creating a beautiful and successful blog.
Here HowdyWP comes into existence so that it can help you start your own blog. So, if you don’t know anything about how to start a new blog or website, just don’t worry. I’m here to guide you step by step, and by the end of this article, you will have all the knowledge needed to start a new blog
So, let’s begin.
Start A Blog or Website From Scratch
We can divide the process of starting a blog/website in 8 simple steps:
- Choose your niche (Blog topic)
- Choose your theme
- Register your domain name and selecting A hosting
- Installing WordPress and theme
- Setting up WordPress and installing all essential plugins
- Drive Traffic to Blog
- Writing and Publishing the first post
- Make money with your blog
Step 1. Choose Your Niche (Blog Topic)
Selecting the right niche (topic) is very important to become a successful blogger, so choose it wisely. Pick a topic that makes you feel excited, and you enjoy talking about it all the time.
If you like to visit new places, you can start a traveling blog where you can share your adventure of visiting different places. Similarly, you can start a smartphone blog, beauty blog, gaming blog, news blog, online education blog, or any blog/website of your choice.
The thing which is important here is your blog should be about something that you really enjoy doing. So choose your niche wisely as it’s going to be the foundation of your blog, and your success depends on it.
Step 2. Choose Your Theme
At this point, I hope you have made up your mind about your blog topic, and now it’s time to select your blog theme as per your blog requirement.
Selecting a beautiful theme for your blog is a very crucial part, as it’s going to decide the look and functionality of your WordPress website.
So before you start looking for a theme, you must decide your website layout and the functionality you want in your theme. The layout controls how things are going to display on your website, and functionality decides how your website is going to act.
Pick the pen and draw a rough layout of your website on paper and also make the list of all features you want in your blog. To get some idea, you can also visit the websites of a similar successful niche.
There are plenty of WordPress themes available on the internet, you can google it. Some are free, and some paid.
The theme I use in HowdyWp.com is a paid theme purchased from themeforest.net. I like ThemeForest because plenty of WordPress themes are available there for any kind of niche at a reasonable price (one-time purchase).
You can also check out the free themes available on the internet, and if you are happy with their look and functionality, you can use it on your website. So, it’s completely up to you that what type of theme you want to use for your blog free, or paid.
Keep the following things in your mind while selecting your theme
- Your theme must be responsive as it works well on the desktop as well as on smartphones.
- It has all the features and functionality you want
- Don’t choose a bloated theme as it may slow down your website performance. Bloated themes are heavily loaded with unwanted features that make your website slow.
- Check SEO and performance before purchasing a premium theme.
- If you are not on a tight budget, considering buying a premium theme. Free themes are poorly coded and not updated regularly while the premium theme offers more features, better security, clean coding, and regular updates.
- Test your theme thoroughly. Almost all premium themes offer a live demo so explorer your theme before buying it.
Step 3. Register Your Domain Name & Select A Hosting
While picking up a domain, keep the following things in your mind
- Keep it short and easy to remember
- Avoid numbers and hyphens
- Go for a.Com extension
- Include relevant keyword
We can understand it with an example like my domain name is HowdyWP.com. You can see, it follows all the above-mentioned rules.
You can use the various domain name generators to get the domain of your choice. They also provide the facility to check the availability of your domain.
Now it’s time to register your domain name, you can register it with any domain name registrar, but I preferred Godaddy as all my domain registered with them. Registering a domain will cost you around $10 for a year.
You can save this money as many hosting providers offer free domain registration for one year on purchasing a hosting plan.
So, What is hosting? – Whenever you hear the word hosting, it means you are purchasing a space (storage) on their server where all your website data (image, text, layout, or any type of data) is going to be stored. Servers are 24×7 up and stay connected to the internet, so whenever visitors land on your website, your server fetches them your website contents. I hope you have got some idea about hosting.
Now it’s time to select a hosting provider. We highly recommend the Bluehost hosting provider as they provide all the necessary features that we can expect from a good hosting provider at a reasonable price. It’s cheap and best for starting a blog.
Bluehost also provides free domain registration, so you can save up to $12 on the purchasing of hosting. Its total value for money.
They offer the following salient features:
- Free Domain Registration
- Free SSL Certificate
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Storage
- Easy to use Bluehost dashboard
- 1-Click WordPress Installation
- 24/7 Customer care support
- 30 Days Money Back Guarantee
Bluehost is also recommended by the creators of the WordPress for hosting.
Their Basic plan starts at $2.75/month, which is best for starting a single blog. If you are planning to host multiple blogs, you can go for the Plus plan at $4.95/month. We recommend the Choice Plus plan. See the comparison of all plans given below:
These are the discounted price of the plans, and available for a limited time only through us.Grab the Hosting at Special Price
For your convenience, we are providing a step-by-step guide to buy a hosting plan with Bluehost.
1. Head to Bluehost.com. It will take you to the page shown below. Now Click on “Get Started ”.
2. A Plan selection page will appear. Now select the Basic plan if you want to start a single blog or Plus plan for multiple blogs or any plan that suits your needs. I have used the Choice Plus plan of Bluehost as I have several small blogs. But you can go for the Basic Plan if you just want to run a single blog.
3. The Domain registration page will appear. As I have told you earlier, Bluehost provides a free domain name registration, so you can now register your new domain name here. If you are not ready yet, you can skip this step by clicking on “ I’ll Create my domain later”.
If you already have a domain registered with some other registrar, you can enter it under the section “Use a Domain you own”.
4. Create Your Account page will appear: Fill up your personal information to create an account.
Pay special attention to package extras and uncheck everything under it to save some money.
Now move to the Payment Information section, Here you can pay using a debit/credit card or you can click on more payment options to pay with PayPal.
At the end of the page accept their terms and conditions and click Submit.
Once your payment is successful, You will be prompted to create a password for your Bluehost account. Congratulations, you have successfully purchased the hosting.
For your better standing, we have also created a video on “How to Buy a Bluehost Hosting and Register a domain name”, embedded below.
Now you are ready to go. In the next step, we will see how to install WordPress on Bluehost.
Step 4. Installing WordPress And Theme
Before installing WordPress, Make sure your Domain Name servers are pointing to your website (host).
If your domain name is not registered with your hosting provider like mine registered with Godaddy, then we need to replace our domain Name DNS with our hosting’s DNS (Bluehost or any). This is necessary to make your site work.
If your domain is registered with godaddy, you can follow this short tutorial to change Domain Name server.
If your domain is registered with some other registrar (except godaddy), you can still change your domain name servers. Simply, by login into your domain account, and look for a DNS/Nameservers change the setting.
Note: When to change DNS – if your hosting provider and domain registrar is not the same. When Not to change DNS – if your hosting provider and domain registrar is the same.
Now we are ready to install WordPress on Bluehost.
Login to your Bluehost hosting account. During the first login, you may be asked for several things, skip all the steps to reach the Bluehost dashboard quickly. Once you reach there, you will get a screen like this.
Now click on My Sites, and then click on Create site. You will see a screen like this.
Here you need to enter your Site Name and Site Tagline. If you want, you can change these settings later on.
Now click on Advanced, and enter Email Address, WordPress Admin Username, and WordPress Admin Password. The email address that you are going to enter here, is going to be a password recovery email for WordPress admin, so enter it carefully.
Now click on Next.
Choose a Domain page will be displayed, here you need to choose your domain, and uncheck all plugins recommended under the section Helpful Free Plugins. And finally, click on the Next button.
You will be greeted with a message “ WordPress Installed successfully!”. That’s it, you have successfully installed the WordPress on your Bluehost hosting.
Now you can log in to your WordPress account, by simply clicking on the Login to WordPress.
Other hosting providers also allow you to install WordPress just by login into your hosting account or cPanel and look for the “Install WordPress” option. Click on it, and follow the on-screen instructions. That’s it.
At this point, I hope you have successfully installed the WordPress.
Now we are going to install a theme, and for this, we need to go to the WordPress dashboard. So, login into your WordPress account by following the link yourdomainname/WP-admin/ like mine is HowdyWP.com/wp-admin/.
You can also access your WordPress dashboard by simply login in to your hosting account.
As I have told you earlier that there are plenty of WordPress themes available for free, and you can use them by heading to Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme. Now you can browse and choose the theme you like from the WordPress repository, and click on Activate to use it on your website.
If you have purchased the premium theme, you will get a zip file of the theme, and you need to upload it to the WordPress dashboard, so follow these steps given below:
- Login to WordPress dashboard: yourdomainname/wp-admin/
- Go to Appearance > Themes
- Select Add New Theme and Click on Upload Theme
- Now choose Your Zip file of the theme by clicking choose a file option
- Now click on Install Now
- If all goes well, you will get the message “theme installed successfully”
- Now click on Activate
- And now you can visit your website to see how the new theme looks, by simply hovering over the Home icon and clicking on the visit site.
Recommended Reading: WordPress Dashboard Walk Through
Step 5. Set Up WordPress and Installing All Essential Plugins
At this point, I hope you have completed all the previous steps successfully.
Now it’s time to set up your WordPress for first-time use, so here we are going to change some default settings. We have written a dedicated article on “ 15 Essential Setting after installing WordPress” so go through it. It’s a must-read for any WordPress blogger.
Plugins are a great way to add additional features to your website. We have compiled a list of must-have plugins that are necessary for any newly launched website.
Here is a list of must have plugins
- Yoast SEO: Best search engine optimization plugin
- WP Rocket: Best caching plugin out there
- Akismet: Save you from a lot of trouble by blocking Spam comments on the site
- Contact Form 7: For the creation of contact form
- Smush: Compress images and improves website speed
There are many more plugins available for WordPress, and you can choose them as per your requirement. To get started with plugins, Checkout our article on “Best Useful Plugins for WordPress”.
Step 6. Drive Traffic To Blog
First thing first, the only thing which can get you ranked higher in google search results is your website’s content. Your content must be well written and cover the entire topic with each and every tiny detail.
Never ever copy the content of other websites it will harm your website ranking as Google will penalize your website for stealing content from others.
The best practice is to write an article, keep it simple, write your article in very simple language, and cover all aspects of the topic so the audience can read and understand it without any difficulty.
Now we are coming to the second part, which is also very important to get free traffic on your website. It’s called SEO (Search Engine Optimization), as the name suggests, SEO simply optimizes your website to rank higher in google search results to get free organic traffic.
SEO covers each and every aspect of a website like speed, key-words, meta-data, and so on. SEO is a very vast topic and it’s not possible to cover it in a single article. There are three main parts of SEO:
- On-Page SEO: It covers your content quality, Keywords research and optimization, Meta-tag, Headings, titles, SEO friendly, URL and so on.
- Technical-SEO: It covers Indexing, Crawlability, site load speed, Mobile-friendliness, Structured data, Security.
- Off-Page SEO: It focuses on High quality backlinks from other sites.
After publishing a post, sharing it on social media platforms also improves your site ranking and increase traffic. So you must create social media pages for your blog/website.
Step 7. Writing and Publishing The First Post
Writing and publishing are very easy in WordPress. Login in to your WordPress dashboard and head over to posts > Add New. A screen like this will be open:
Add the article title in the title box and after that move to “Start writing or type/ to choose a block” section. Here you can start writing your content. I prefer to write articles on my PC and then copy-paste it in the post editor.
On the right-hand side of the post editor, you have noticed a few options like categories, tags, featured image, and so on. Under the Categories, select the appropriate category for your post and under the featured image add the main image for your article. You can also add tags under the tags section.
Now click on Preview to see how your post will be displayed on the website. If everything is good, click on the Publish button. Congratulations, you have published your first post.
Step 8. Make Money With Your Blog
There are many ways by which you can make money with your blog.
Here is a list of some popular ways:
- Ad Networks like Google AdSense
- Affiliate marketing
- Direct Advertisements
- Sponsored posts
- Offer online paid services based on your skill
- Offer online courses
- Sell digital products like apps, themes, ebooks, images, music, etc.
I have written a detailed article on “How to Make Money with Blogging”. In this article, you will learn all the possible ways by which you can earn the money from blogging.
We have covered as much as possible to cover in a single article. If you still have some questions on how to start a blog, feel free to comment below. We will try our best to answer all your questions. Have a Happy Blogging!
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