How To Start A Blog In 2020
Do you want to know how to start a blog? If Yes then you are at the right place because In this definitive guide, we will explain how to create a blog on WordPress.
What do you need to create a WordPress blog?
There are two things you need to have to create a WordPress blog:
- A domain name idea (this will be the name of your blog, for example, b-fast.it)
- A web hosting account (this is where your website lives on the internet)
Only with these two things can you start a blog from scratch, and we will walk you through the whole process, step by step.
In this tutorial, we will cover:
- How to register a domain name
- How to choose the best web hosting
- How to install WordPress
- How to change the theme
- How to write your first blog post
- How to customize WordPress with plugins
- How to add a contact form
- How to set up Google Analytics tracking
- How to optimize your website for SEO
- How to make money from your blog
- Resources for learning and mastering WordPress
Ready? Let’s begin.
- WordPress how to get started: choosing hosting and domain
The biggest mistake beginners make when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully you are here, so you will not make this mistake.
For 95% of users, it makes more sense to use WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress. Because? Since it’s free, you can install plugins, customize your site design, and, most importantly, make money from your site without restrictions.
Now, you’ve probably heard that WordPress is free. Are you wondering why it’s free? What’s the catch?
There is no trick. It’s free because you have to install and host it yourself.
In other words, you need a domain name and web hosting.
A domain name is what people type to log into your website. It is the address of your website on the Internet. Think google.com or b-fast.it
Web hosting is where your website lives. It is the home of your website on the internet. Every website needs web hosting.
Let’s go ahead and buy your domain + hosting.
For the following guide, we will use one of the best hostings in Italian for WordPress: SiteGround.
- Create a blog in WordPress: install WordPress with SiteGround
Once registered on SiteGround, you will be greeted by a welcome popup on the first login. You will be asked if you want to set up your website now.
You need to select ‘ Start a new website ‘ and then click on WordPress.
The installation wizard will now ask for your WordPress installation details. You must provide an email address, admin username, and password for your new WordPress site.
Click on the ” Confirm ” button to continue.
On the next screen, you will see the details of your selection. You can also select additional website enhancements, but we’ll skip them for now, you can add them later if needed.
Go ahead and click the “ Complete Setup ” button. The installer will now install WordPress for you in the background, and you will see a success message when finished.
You can now click on the “ Proceed to Customer Area ” button. From here, you will find your new website in the “ My Accounts “ tab.
You can click on “ Go to Admin Panel ” to access the WordPress admin area.
Congratulations! You have successfully installed WordPress on your new SiteGround account.
The WordPress login URL will look like this:
Click the WordPress login link to log into your dashboard.
We are now ready to customize the look of your site and start blogging.
- Create a blog in WordPress: select the theme.
To create a blog in WordPress, you will need a theme. The visual appearance of your WordPress blog is controlled by the themes. When you first visit your blog, it will look like this:
This is not very attractive to most people.
Customizing the look of your blog is, by far, one of the most exciting and rewarding parts in the journey of creating your WordPress blog.
There are thousands of predefined WordPress themes that you can install on your site. Some of them are free, while others are paid.
You can change your theme by logging into your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance »Themes.
Go ahead and click on the Add new button.
On the next screen, you will be able to search over 5600 free WordPress themes in the official WordPress.org theme directory. You can sort by popular, latest, featured, and other feature filters (e.g., industry, layout, etc.).
You can move your mouse over a theme, and you will see a Preview button. Clicking will open the preview of the theme, where you can see how it would look on your website.
The best advice for selecting the perfect WordPress theme is to look for simplicity in design. It helps you keep things clean and clear by offering an excellent experience to your users.
When you have found the theme you like, simply hover over it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. Next, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to activate the theme.
Once the theme is installed, you can customize it by going to Appearance> Customize from the WordPress dashboard (i.e., the menu from where you can manage your WordPress).
If you need help selecting a theme, refer to our guide on choosing the perfect WordPress theme.
After selecting the WordPress theme, you are now ready to create your first blog post.
- Create a blog in WordPress: the creation of the first post article
To write your first blog post, click on the Articles menu (Posts) »Add New (Add New) in your WordPress dashboard.
You will see an editor area where you can write your first blog post.
Once you’re done writing, go ahead and click the Publish button on the right to publish your first post on your WordPress blog.
On the posts screen, you will notice several other sections, such as Categories and Tags. You can use them to organize your blog posts. We have an excellent report on the difference between categories and tags, which we highly recommend reading.
To use all the features in the posts screen, you should read our article on how to add a new post in WordPress.
Often beginners are confused between the posts and the pages menu in the WordPress dashboard. That’s why we’ve written a comprehensive guide on the difference between posts and pages in WordPress.
- Creating a blog in WordPress: plugins and customizations
After writing your first blog post, you will probably want to start by adding other common elements to your website like contact forms, image galleries, sliders, etc.
To add all these additional features, you need to use plug-ins.
WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to add new features to your website.
There are over 55,000 WordPress plugins available in the free WordPress plugin directory alone. This means that, whatever you want to accomplish, there is a plugin for it.
We have a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
That said, let’s look at how to use plugins to add some essential functionality to your WordPress blog.
How to create a contact form in WordPress
Every website needs a contact form. It allows your users to contact you directly. WordPress doesn’t come with a built-in contact form; you will need a form builder plugin for WordPress to add a contact form on your site.
You can use the WPForms Lite plugin. It is the free version of the popular WPForms plugin, which is among the best contact form plugins for WordPress.
You can install the plugin by going to Plugins »Add New and typing WPForms in the search box. Next, you need to click on “ Install ” and then “ Activate. “ After activation, you need to go to WPForms »Add New to create your first form.
This will open the WPForms builder interface.
First, you need to enter a name for the contact form and click on the “ Simple Contact Form ” template.
WPForms will now create a simple contact form with all required fields. You can click on any field to edit it or add a new field from the left column.
Once you are done editing the form, click the Save button in the upper right corner, then exit the form builder.
You can create a new page in WordPress by going to Pages »Add New and calling it” Contacts. ” In the page edit screen, you need to insert the WPForms block in the editor.
Next, select the previously created form from the drop-down menu, and WPForms will load a live preview of the form into the editor.
You can now save and publish the page and visit it in your browser to see your contact form in action.
As an alternative to WPForms, you can use the free Contact Form 7 plugin to consult our guide on how to use it to create a form on your website.
How to set up Google Analytics tracking
Google Analytics helps you see how many people visit your blog, where they are from, and what they are doing on your website.
It is recommended that you install Google Analytics when you start your blog, so you can see how much your blog has grown over time.
First, you need to visit the Google Analytics website and sign in using your Gmail account.
Once logged in, you can go ahead and sign up for a free Google Analytics account.
You will be asked to provide your information and website URL. Next, you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code.
You can stop here because we will use a plugin to retrieve and add this code to your blog automatically.
Go to the WordPress admin area to install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. You will find the free version by searching for it in the WordPress plugins by going to Plugins> Add New and looking for it in the plugin search bar. It’s the free version of the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It’s the easiest way to add Google Analytics to your site.
Upon activation, you need to visit the Insights »Settings page to configure the plug-in settings.
On the settings page, click the “ Authenticate with your Google account ” button to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Once this is done, you will be able to see your website analytics report directly from your WordPress dashboard in the MonsterInsights tab.
For detailed instructions, see our article on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.
How to optimize your WordPress blog for SEO
Most beginners don’t optimize for SEO when building a blog. SEO or search engine optimization helps users find your blog in search engines. If you want more traffic, it’s crucial to optimize SEO right from the start when you start building your blog in WordPress.
To get started, you must first install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. It is the complete WordPress SEO plugin that will help you optimize your blog.
Upon activation, you will see a new menu item labeled ‘ SEO. ‘ Clicking on it takes you to the plugin settings page.
The plug-in comes with a quick setup wizard to help you perform the installation. You can also follow the instructions in our Yoast SEO guide for manual setup.
We recommend that you follow our complete step-by-step WordPress SEO guide to set up your blog’s SEO.
Other WordPress plugins and customizations
There are many other WordPress plugins you can install. Often beginners find the search for the plugins they need a little overwhelming.
Here is our expert selection of the best WordPress plugins you should check out.
- Backup -UpdraftPlus is one of the best backup plugins for WordPress. You need to create regular backups of your website in case something goes wrong.
- Security – All In One WP Security & Firewall is one of the best WordPress security plugins. We have a comprehensive WordPress security guide that will help you keep your blog secure.
- Performance: We recommend using WP Super Cache to speed up WordPress. For more information on this topic, see our article on WordPress speed and performance with detailed instructions.
Do you need more advice? Check out our articles on plugins.
- Create a blog in WordPress: How to make money
Now that you have created your blog and customized it to your liking, you are probably wondering how you can make money from your blog.
There are many different ways to monetize a blog successfully. However, there is no get-rich-quick scheme.
Don’t be fooled by sites that promise you will make much money quickly because they are all fake.
Unlike other “make money online” articles, we have created the most comprehensive guide for making money from your blog using WordPress.
This is a 4000+ word guide that anyone who wants to make money with their blog should read.
As long as you are willing to put in hard work and effort, you will get the reward. Remember, there are no shortcuts.
Here are some of the best ways to make money from your blog.
- Google AdSense
Many bloggers make money by showing ads on their blogs. If you create a blog with monetization in mind, Google AdSense is the best way to do it.
It is the largest advertising platform for bloggers and publishers. As an intermediary between you and the advertiser, Google allows advertisers to bid on keywords that match your content. This allows you to get the best possible ad rates.
For more details, see our article on how to add Google AdSense to your WordPress blog successfully.
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the second most commonly used monetization strategy among bloggers. You recommend products and services to your readers, and when they make a purchase, you get a referral fee.
The key to affiliate marketing is to recommend high-quality products and services that you already use and trust.
We have a complete guide to affiliate marketing that will help you get started.
- Online shop
Many bloggers make money by selling things directly from their blog. These could be physical products, digital downloads like ebooks, artwork, music, and more. Some bloggers even offer consulting services.
We recommend using WooCommerce because it is the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is also the most used eCommerce platform in the world.
For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to create an online store using WordPress easily.
That’s not all you can do with your WordPress blog. You can create WordPress blogs specifically for reviews, fashion blogging, food blogging with recipes, and more. Each of these types of blogs offers you unique opportunities to make money.
- Mastering WordPress
To expand your knowledge of WordPress, take a look at all our other guides that you find on the site, and learn how to master WordPress even better.
Frequently asked questions
Can I create a blog without WordPress?
Yes, there are many other blogging platforms available. We’ve compared them all, and WordPress is by far the best solution on the market for creating a blog with complete ownership and freedom.
Can I create a blog without hosting?
No, it’s not possible. Web hosting is where your website files are stored. All websites require web hosting.
Can I start a WordPress blog and make money with Google Adsense?
Yes, you can use your WordPress blog to earn money from Google AdSense. We have a step by step guide on how to add Google AdSense in WordPress.
How do I create a multilingual blog?
Do you want to start a blog in German, Spanish, or several languages? it’s simple, you can find different plugins you can use that plugin for multilingual, the most popular is the WPML plugin.
As you can see, starting a blog is a quick and easy process. Moving forward, make sure you blog consistently, publishing new, interesting, and unique content on a regular basis. You should also look to grow a following on social media — promote your content to your social audience and encourage them to read and share your blog articles. Then, once your blog begins to see a high amount of regular traffic, you can begin to monetise it. Good luck!
Any questions on how to start a blog? If so, please ask away in the comments below.