Is it really easy to start a blog in 2016 and make money online? Well, the answer is YES.
Blogging has come a long way and now a days many people are living a life by choosing blogging a full time career option. But is it so easy? Setting up a blog and start blogging is actually very simple.
But to make money from blogging is not at all an easy task. One will need huge knowledge, time to experiment and skills to write & convince 🙂
But I will not discuss about that in this article, rather I will share how to start a blog step by step guide. Set up a self hosted blog on WordPress platform and kick start your blogging career on 2016.
How to Start a Blog – the Step by Step Guide
If you are a beginner and looking for a complete step by step guide to start a blog, then I can help you with each and every detail from beginning to the end. I have prepared this article to include every detail I have learned from my blogging experience so far.
First of all, let’s check out what are the must have blogging resources which will be needed to start every new blog. Also listed are the recommended providers by WPBlogging360 which we are personally using for this blog.
These are the very basic blogging resources which you must need to start blogging professionally. You may point out why I have added the term ‘professionally’ here. To understand this, you must read the artcle written by Harsh Agarwal on How Professional Blogging is Different from Hobby Blogging.
Anyway, let’s come to the main part of the article where I will start explaining every single aspect & the step by step guide to create a blog starting from niche selection to publishing your first blog post. You can execute them step by step and at the end discover that your blog is fully functional 🙂
1. Choose a Niche for Your Blog
Choosing the right blogging niche is the first & foremost step in starting your blog. It is always better to choose a niche for your blog where you have/ want to attain highest degree of knowledge. So brainstorm & pick the one which you are most interested in.
But wait, do you want to earn money with your blog? Most of the people does & there is no harm if you can also earn some good money while sharing your knowledge & views on some topic. Many people start blogging as a hobby but after sometime they also want to make extra bucks.
There are many Pro bloggers who are enjoying a great lifestyle out of blogging. So try to find a blogging niche which will attract enough people but has less competition. Follow this blogging niche selection strategies to jumpstart your blogging journey.
2. Choose Your Preferred Blogging Platform
After finding your blogging niche, you’ll need to choose your blogging platform.
There are a lot of different blogging platforms like: WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Weebly etc. But, WordPress remains the best blogging platform to start a blog & make money from that. Over 72 million people are using WordPress including WPBlooging360 🙂 This site & most of our other blogs are built with WordPress platform. The reson behind is:
- WordPress is really very easy to install & set up.
- It is the most secure platform till date.
- With continuous updating, you will always remain with a sound software.
Free blogging platforms have their own drawbacks like:
- The first & the very basic reason is, the web address of your blog will be too long and it is far from looking catchy (e.g. yourblog.blogspot.org / yourname.weebly.com).
- You will not be able to advertise on most of the free blogging platforms. And I think this is a very big reason as it will be harder to make money from blogging.
- The free blogging platform may also shut you down for any reason, as they are actually controlling your content.
Not convinced yet, then read the article 7 reasons why you should avoid free blog hosting and free blogging platform.
3. Register a Domain Name & Decide your hosting Plan
Domain name is your personal blog address & brand name that you are going to create over the period of time. Your domain name will be like www.YourBlog.com. The cost of a domain name is usually between $10 – $15/year.
We personally use & recommend GoDaddy for your domain name needs. You will get some really good discounts if you buy a domain from GoDaddy & it is also proven that domain with a good & reputed provider tends to rank good in the search engines. You can also go for the Godaddy monthly billing plan.
Check your Domain Name (Don’t compromise without a .com domain)
Web hosting is the home for your blog, all its post, pages & other contents. It is like a computer hard drive which stores all your content.
There are hundreds of different web hosting providers with some variations in price. But Before deciding on your hosting plan, read the beginners guide to Web Hosting to understand your hosting needs.
Now the question is which hosting company to choose? We would say BlueHost.
BlueHost is the best hosting providers for WordPress which is very user friendly & comes with great performance & support.
You may also go with other web hosting provider as long as it offers raging fast speed & reliable service along with unlimited storage & bandwidth. These are the reasons which actually makes BlueHost the best web hosting for beginners. Decide now to avoid problems later on.
Click Here to get a special $3.49/month rate on BlueHost (Use this link to get a Free Domain Name with your hosting plan)
Now click on “get started” & Select your hosting plan. As a beginner, the starter plan is best for you, as you can always upgrade on the bigger plans later on. Choose your hosting package and options whether you want to go for a 12 months, 24 months or 36 months package. Higher the duration, your savings would be more.
Type your preferred domain name & check for its availability or choose from a list of similar domain names in case your preferred one is unavailable. In case you already have a domain, then provide the details while choosing your hosting plan.
4. Setting up a blog on WordPress
It is very easy to install WordPress on your blog. BlueHost also provides a one click installation service to make it much easier. To install WordPress, you need to login to your account control panel first. Everything except your username can be changed later on. So keep a note of your username and password somewhere.
I have already shared the complete guide on how to SetUp a WordPress Blog on BlueHost. Follow this step by step guide to install WordPress with much ease.
Having trouble installing your blog? Get free WordPress SetUp service here.
Know your WordPress Dashboard
This is not among the Main Steps in this guide, but it is for you to understand your WordPress dashboard to get used to with it quickly.
Let’s check out few of the very important terms in your WordPress dashboard.
- Dashboard – It gives you the overall view of your recent activity like how many posts, comments, pages are there.
- Posts – It is where you need to click while you add a new blog post or edit an existing one.
- Pages – Here you can add a new permanent page like About Us or the Services you want to provide through you blog. Also you can manage the pages you’ve already created here.
- Media – It is the library of all the pictures, videos, and audio files you have uploaded to your blog.
- Plugins – Click this to install a new plugin.
- Comments – Here you can see the comments awaiting your approval & can manage them.
- Appearance – This is the place where you can edit your blog’s design & also install new themes and layouts.
- Settings – In this space, you can change your site’s title, tagline, make it more SEO ready & manage other important settings of your blog.
5. Customize your WordPress blog design
To understand how to customize WordPress blog design, first of all you need to know what is a theme. Themes are the design templates used by WordPress which actually decides how your blog will look like. Personalizing your blog’s design is as simple as installing a new theme on your blog. But remember to have a custom blog theme which will suit your blog’s niche.
You can find many professionally designed free themes in your WordPress control panel. But if you don’t want to settle down with a free theme & want to see more premium features then head over to StudioPress, as you can find a lot of great features with their wholly customizable, SEO friendly & fully responsive themes.
As a beginner it is more than enough for you to go with the StudioPress Genesis Framework only. To place a mark to the world you definitely need a professionally designed theme which will not let you down. With Genesis you will get many free themes to choose from. I have couple of blogs where I am using StudioPress Genesis without any premium child theme.
In case you have budget & planning to provide blog designing service, then you can also check out the Pro Plus all-theme pack where you will get all of their 42 premium child themes & every theme they make in future at a one time payment. Check out StudioPress Pro Plus All Theme Pack.
Also remember to install the essential plugins before going to the next step. Plugins are the most important blogging resources that can add many required features to your blog like: adding contact forms & newsletter sign-up forms, reducing spam comments, optimizing your blog for SEO & many more.
To understand what plugins can actually do for you, we will be sharing an article on Must have plugins for your WordPress blog soon.
6. Writing your first Blog Posts and publish it
So you have successfully installed WordPress & have got a fully working personalized blog on your own domain name. No doubt, you have done a lot to come up to so far 🙂
The next step, would be to write your first blog post and publish it to the world.
You can log in to your blog by visiting www.yourblog.com/wp-admin and providing your credentials you have given with BlueHost or any other hosting company you opt for.
Writing a blog post is as easy as writing it in Microsoft word. Log in to your blog’s admin area & click on Add New Post. Write about your preferred topic & add images wherever required. But before you publish the hit button on your blog post, follow this 11 point beginners’ checklist.
Congratulations! So you have followed the steps from 1 to 6 & your first blog post is published now! Also remember to share it in the social networking sites to get the much required exposure. We will cover a separate topic on that & share the same soon.
7. Other Useful blogging resources
These are some of the best blogging tools & resources that will help you to boost your blog & blogging career. All of them are feature packed & valued for the amount you might pay for them. Read the artcle on Must-Use Tools For Running Your WordPress Blog Like A Pro by Fabrizio Van Marciano where he has explained very nicely about the top 19 blogging resources every beginner must have.
Do you think these guide is effective to set up your first blog? I believe this is more than enough as I am able to follow them and now documented them all here. This is not the end, as we will regularly update our blog with everyday life blogging experiences & learning.
But remember, blogging needs huge dedication, knowledge and time before you make money. People who started blogging with a purpose of making money mostly fail and quit blogging due to frustration. Only those who are able to put their heart & soul behind blogging are able to make millions from their blogging career.
I hope I am very much clear with my points and intentions. It’s your turn now, let us know why you have started blogging? Are you able to follow our step by step guide to start a blog? Share your experiences of starting your first blog here.
I’m Manidipa, co-founder of WPBlogging360 and interested about Blogging, SEO, Content Marketing, WordPress. If you like my efforts, then follow me on social media or subscribe to our newsletter for regular helpful guides. Thanks for sharing this article with your friends as “Sharing is Caring” 🙂