So you are ready for business? I’m about to rock your socks and make you happy… oh yeah, baby! You are about to learn step-by-step how to build your first WordPress website. By the end of this guide, you should have a blog up and running, and looking Godly sleek like hell.
How To Start A WordPress Blog [Video Guide]
What Is a WordPress Blog?
A blog is nothing more than a website. The only main difference is a blog should have a constant supply of weekly or daily fresh content, like how-to, tips&tricks posts about a particular niche. On the contrary, business websites usually promote their services or products and may have a couple of other pages. Thus, this type of site doesn’t provide much content.
Although, in the past, the difference between a blog and a business website used to be more apparent. Nowadays, the majority of business websites have a separate section where they have a blog providing guides and advice about their services, products, or other related information. A blog is a great way to connect with your audience. Besides, by providing more content, you can attract more people into your website from search engines, namely Google.
I suggest for you to build a blog around a specific sub-niche rather than going too broad. For instance, if you created a “weight loss” blog, you would struggle to outrank other more reputable websites. Although, in a smaller niche such as Paleo diet, Keto Diet, South Beach diet, Atkins diet, etc.
As you may imagine, fewer websites are talking about the Atkins diet rather than something as broad as weight loss. Furthermore, you can either build a blog around something you enjoy or about a niche you find profitable.
I also suggest for you to write content about a niche you can monetize later down the road. Not all niches are profitable, like comedy and entertainment. I mean, what products are you going to promote on a “52 Of The Funniest Two-Line Jokes Ever” post? Not easy, right!
Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your precious time producing content that is extremely hard to monetize.
Besides, you don’t exactly need to write all your content. You can always hire writers to write posts for you. In my case, I still write a fair amount of articles for jordanalexo.com, but I also have writers helping me. Anyway, this means you can build a blog about anything under the sun since you can hire specialized writers. An excellent place for you to look for writers is in Upwork.
Why Should You Start a WordPress Blog?
Some people start a blog as a hobby because they enjoy writing content, etc. In my case and I guess for most others, I see a blog as a great way to make money online for the next years to come. A blog in an evergreen niche like “make money online” may earn big bucks until the owner decides to quit, or the Internet ends, or the world shatters apart after an asteroid collision.
Often new blogs may take more than 6 to 8 months to begin receiving visitors from the search engines. So prepare yourself to work non-stop during this period, while only seeing about 10 visitors per day for several months. I like to warn newbies about this because usually, many of them give up before giving their blog enough time.
3 Best Ways To Make Money With A WordPress Blog?
- Affiliate products: You may promote products belonging to someone else throughout your blog posts. You can find these products on retailer websites, such as Clickbank, Jvzoo, etc. Once you choose an affiliate product, you receive a link, which later you promote in your blog. Whenever someone clicks on your link and purchases the product, you earn a commission.
- Your products or services: If you are an expert in your niche, you can produce your products or services and promote them to your audience. It may take effort and time, but it is one of the most profitable ways to make money online.
- Google Adsense: You can join Google’s advertisement program. As a result, you may advertise their banners on your blog. You may either earn a small amount of money each time someone sees or clicks on these ads. Although I don’t suggest, you use this last method. You need to have thousands of visitors per day to make a fair amount of money.
I also suggest you have a YouTube channel for your blog. This way, you can provide content for people who enjoy reading and to those who prefer to watch videos. I’m not saying this is a must-have, but this helps you to build an audience more quickly. Plus, you can promote your videos inside of your blog posts. You are giving your visitors a choice between watching or reading your content.
How To Drive Traffic To Your WordPress Blog?
I’m not going much in-depth about this, because this would require a complete guide. But I will provide a few overall ideas, so you may later research more information. The primary way to get visitors to your blog is from the search engines. You want to write posts about content people are searching in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. I focus most of my efforts on receiving traffic (visitors) from Google since their platform receives 87% of all worldwide searches.
For example, you have a Paleo diet blog, and you could write a post about “Paleo Diet Pros and Cons.” If you did a great job by providing valuable content, then your post could appear listed in the results. Whenever someone searched for this search term, they could potentially find your web-page.
This web-page, “Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons – New Medical,” appears as one of the first results whenever someone searches for “Paleo diet cons and pros.” Often most people click on the first visible results. Therefore, this website receives most of these visitors. Now you could have a web-page ranking here too. Whenever someone searched for this term, they would find and enter your website and read your post.
Just imagine having hundreds of posts ranking for multiple search terms, you would probably receive thousands of visitors each day. In a very simplistic way, this is how websites get most of their visitors. Of course, you could also attract people from other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, etc…. but you should think about the search engine as a long term objective.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most popular blog builder platforms in the market. This open-source software allows you to easily manage and build a website without having any coding or technical knowledge. In the past, you would need to spend months learning to code to make a crappy looking website. But fortunately, nowadays, we have WordPress to save our ass!
Often newbies sooner or later discover WordPress.com where they can make a free blog and think, “- Jordan… said I had to pay for a blog. Yeah, right!”
Yes, you can indeed make a free blog there. But there is a big fluffy, but here… all your content is stored in WordPress servers. Meaning, they own your ass and may delete your blog without further notice. Do you want to put all your hard work and business in their hands? Hmm… I guess not! Besides, you get an ugly domain name similar to “www.wordpress.mysitename.com,” doesn’t sound professional, nor ring bells and whistles.
Thus, I suggest you get a web host provider and domain name. I will explain this more in detail later in this guide.
How Much It Cost To Have A WordPress Blog?
You have two costs associated with owning a website; this includes a web-host provider and domain name.
1) Web Host Provider: is the company, which will provide the necessary servers (computers) where you can install your website data. Furthermore, they connect your website to the Internet giving everyone worldwide access to it. The web host I recommend is WPX Hosting.
One of the essential aspects nowadays is how long a website takes to open up on someone’s computer or mobile screen. Most visitors will usually wait for 2 to 3 seconds before throwing in the towel. You have cheaper web-hosts in the market, but they provide slow load times. As a result, your visitors take forever to open your blog, and many will simply leave without ever reading your content and, more importantly, purchasing your products or services.
WPX Hosting monthly fee is only $24.99 per month with their monthly plan. If you choose to pay a whole year, then this cost is reduced to just $20.83 monthly. You get two months completely free.
2) Domain Name: is the name of your website, for example, Youtube.com, Google.com, Jordanalexo.com, Amazon.com
I suggest obtaining your domain name separately from your web host provider. In case something terrible happens with your web host provider, your domain is safe somewhere else. I get most of my domain names from Namecheap.com. This only costs $10 yearly.
** Drum roll*** Owning a website costs about $26 per month.
1 – How To Get a Domain Name?
Go to namecheap.com and follow the steps shown below…
Write the name you would like for your website in the search domain box and press the search button. On the next page, I suggest you choose .com. This extension is the most common one online, making it easier for your visitors to remember the name of your blog. Also, .com are associated with commercial websites on the contrary to .org, which are for non-profit organizations. Afterward, add to cart and pay for your domain name.
2 – How to Get a WPX Hosting Account?
First, head over to their website here and follow the next steps to set up an account. Also, make sure to use the coupon code JA5 to get a 5% discount on your monthly planning. Go to their pricing page…
You can either choose between the monthly or yearly planning. I suggest the annual plan because you get nearly two months of discount. Also, select the Business package; mainly, all these packages provide similar options; their only difference is the number of websites, storage, and bandwidth size. For beginners, the business package lets you have up to 5 sites.
If later on, you want to have more websites in your WPX Hosting account, then simply upgrade to the Professional or Elite package. If you would like to learn more details, just read my WPX Hosting review.
Anyway, just choose the first package and hosting in the US. Of course, if your business resides in Australia or the UK, then you select one of those. On the last page, fill the required billing information. Once set up the account, you will receive an e-mail with the necessary details to log in to your account.
3 – How To Connect Your Domain Name To Your WordPress Website?
Login in to your Namecheap account and in the dashboard area, you should see your domain name listed. Go to the manage.
You want to go to the name server section. Here you want to add WPX Hosting name servers, as this will connect your domain name to their servers.
For you to obtain your web hostname servers, just enter into your WPX Hosting account and click on “manage services.”
On the next page, scroll down until you see Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2. Just copy the name of each server and paste them into your Namecheap account.
Once done, simply save this data and are good to continue.
4 – How To Add Your Domain And Install WordPress
In WPX hosting, access manage websites. Afterward, “Add New Website,” a window opens, there write your domain name and check the box saying, “Install WordPress,” and press, “Create Website.” After a few minutes, you will have WordPress installed on your website. Furthermore, make sure to save your login details, which appear in the notification window.
My website below looks like garbage, and yours certainly, too. We need to remove a few of the rough edges to make our website shine like adding a new WordPress design and images.
5 – How To Create a Webmail For Your WordPress Blog?
You should get webmail for your blog. Later, you may receive messages from your visitors into your inbox or other related site e-mails. Go to the e-mail boxes section and press, “Add an e-mail box” in the WPX Hosting dashboard.
In the opening window, select your website from the listing. Choose a name for your e-mail address, and I like to keep unlimited space for my inbox. This way, I won’t stop receiving e-mails once my inbox is full.
Furthermore, generate a password and save these details. You will later need this password to login to your webmail account.
6- How To Login Into Your WordPress Dashboard Area?
Now head over to your ugly website, once you are there, check the URL in the search box in your browser. Just write the following extension /wp-admin; this will give you access to the login area of your website. Here you can log in and go to your blog dashboard.
In the login page, add your username and password.
I recommend you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the WordPress dashboard. However, I am going to explain each section briefly.
Media: all the images, videos, and files upload into your blog will be saved here.
Pages: For all the static content in your blog
Comments: Allows you to moderate all the comments left on your posts
Appearance: You may fully customize the looks of your website here. For instance, add a new website design, logo, menu, etc.
Plugins: Plugins provide extensive functionality to your blog with a simple click of a button, such as turning your website into an eCommerce store, adding contact forms, visitor analytics, social media sharing buttons, and a lot more. One of the most powerful features of WordPress, as you can do all of this without needing to write a single line of coding.
Users: Here, you may change your username and password details, and also add new users to your blog. For instance, you may give someone access exclusively to your post section so that they may write content for you.
Settings: You can change the title, tagline, and time zone, date, and much more.
7 – How To Customize Your WordPress Website
At this point, you should have your WordPress blog up and running, but still, it looks rubbish. Now it’s time to make this shine, and the easiest way is to install a new WordPress design or theme.
On the next page, you will see all the themes currently installed on your blog. These designs are the ones added with your WordPress installation. The great thing about WordPress is you can easily alter the look of your website by merely selecting the theme you want and pressing activate.
After I press to activate and refresh my website, this is how it looks like…
But now let’s say, you don’t like any of those designs and you prefer something more sophisticated, what can you do? Just click on “Add New” and access the thousands of freely available designs in the WordPress gallery.
Now choose between the thousands upon thousands of designs. You can also make a preview before you install one. Once you decide, press the install button and activate that theme on your blog. Afterward, refresh your blog and voilá!
Depending on the design you chose, you can further customize your site, such as your banner, logo, color, different font family, change the size of your font, etc… by selecting the customize option.
I suggest for you to check each option individually in the customize page. I can’t provide exact instructions about this, because each theme has different options. Some themes allow you to fully customize everything in your blog, while others only a few basic options.
8 -How To Install Your First WordPress Plugin?
I am going to explain how you can install your first WordPress plugin. The plugin I suggest is the classic editor. I don’t know about you, but I hate the current post&page editor. I prefer the old one WordPress used to have in the past. I find it far easier for you to write your content. You may choose to install this plugin or another one, perhaps one to add a contact form into your website, such as “Contact Form 7”.
Once you go to the plugin section, you may see all the ones currently installed on your blog. These plugins come with your installation. You should read the description of each one of them, and remove any plugin you find useless.
Just press the add new button to search for a particular plugin you want for your blog.
You may see all the featured WordPress plugins, including “Contact Form 7”, which you may want to install. Also, you will find other popular plugins.
Anyway, just search for the classic editor and install and active it on your site. This plugin truly makes your life a lot easier!
Just to show you the difference between how the post&page text editor looks before and after.
Before Installing Classic Editor
I have a hard time writing in their new text editor. I guess most people also share the same experience.
After Installing Classic Editor
Now it looks similar to Microsoft Word, and you can easily view all the formatting tools.
So this is the power of plugins, you can instantly add new functions to your blog in a blink of an eye.
9 – How To Write Your First WordPress Blog Post?
Okay, now that your blog is probably looking better, it’s time for you to write your first blog post. I remember when I was learning how to code a new language, one of the first programs we always did was how to show on our computer screen, “Hello world!”
I feel it’s the same thing here. Once you start a blog, the first thing you simply got to do is to write something. It’s the first step in the right direction. So for you to do this, under the post section select, add new.
The first thing you want to add is an enticing headline should be the main subject of your post. If you still don’t know what to write about, then don’t worry! The main idea is for you to write anything so you can get used to the WordPress text editor. I suggest you watch the video below for a more straightforward explanation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How To Start A WordPress Blog For Free?
R: I briefly explained throughout this guide. However, you can start a WordPress blog for free by heading to WordPress.com and signing up for an account. Although, I only suggest this option if you aren’t planning to build a business. Instead, you want to have a blog as a hobby. The problem with a free WordPress blog is all of your content gets stored in their servers. In other words, all your work belongs to them, and they may do whatever they find suitable. In case they don’t like something about your content, they may delete your blog without further notice.
Besides, they provide a terrible looking domain name. If you are serious about making money online, then definitely get a web-host provider and domain name. In this manner, you protect your blog from such problems.
2) What Are Are The Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs?
R: I can’t provide an ideal list of plugins for your blog because this depends on what you are planning to do. However, there are a few plugins I highly suggest because they help to improve the performance of your website. Besides, they are entirely free; this includes:
- WP Fastest Cache: This plugin helps you improve the load time of your website.
- Elementor: Provides a drag and drop system, so you may easily change the appearance of your web-pages.
- Rank Math SEO: Adds search engine optimization options to your blog, making it easier for you to receive traffic from Google, Bing, etc.
So now you have a good idea about how you can work with WordPress. I know initially learning all of this may seem scary, but just stay frosty! The more time you spend playing around with WordPress, the more proficient you become until one day you are a true master.
I also suggest you learn more about search engine optimization (SEO). At the moment, I don’t have a guide about this, but I am planning on making one. Furthermore, learning and building a YouTube channel never hurts!
If you have any questions or advice, then feel free to leave it in the comment section right below. Thanks for reading!