HOW TO CREATE A BLOG WITH WORDPRESS 2018
An easy and fast guide, start your blog in about twenty minutes.
Want to know how to create a blog?
Fantastic. Let me guide you.
I have been creating blogs and websites for over 10 years.
Some for my own account, to generate some revenue through Google AdSense and other advertising platforms. Others for my clients, I am passionate about the development of websites.
But … I often feel bad about charging customers to create a blog. It’s not because I do not want to help them. It’s because I feel guilty … setting up a blog is just way too easy. Everyone can (and should) do it.
BUT A BLOG, WHY DO?
To make things easier, here’s a complete, step-by-step guide.
Unless you have already had a blog, it is preferable that you start with step 1. If you already have a domain name and a host, do not hesitate to go directly to step 2.
- How to install a blog: Find a domain name and a web host.
Choose a platform, Find a domain name and a host, install WordPress.
- Personalize your blog: Change the settings and find a theme to your taste.
The best things you need to create your blog after installing WordPress. Do not panic though, they do not take a lot of time.
- Have visitors and make your blog profitable.
Successfully launching your blog is not difficult, but it takes a lot of work. Here are some simple ways to attract visitors and make it profitable.
1. HOW TO INSTALL A BLOG (PUT IT ONLINE)
CHOOSE A PLATFORM: WORDPRESS
WordPress is the largest blog platform in the world.
This may seem biased, but there is a reason why it makes 91% of the blogs work around the world.
Our site topwebhostingoffer works under WordPress.
In the past, I used almost every tool from Tumblr to WordPress. Even if some have decent options, none of them arrive at the level of WordPress in terms of flexibility.
If you are serious about starting a blog, honestly, you will not find anything better than WordPress.
However, things are not so clear when it comes to choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
A) WordPress.com. Free but very limited and you will land in a subdomain.
If you only want to write, test the waters and do not really invest in your blog, choose the free version of WordPress.com. Just create a user and your blog will be in a subdomain like this example: www.yourblog.wordpress.com. Your choices will be very limited in terms of themes and plugins, but at least you will have something.
B) WordPress.org self-hosted. ~ 60 $ / year. Personal domain name and without limitation. Recommended.
If you want a real domain name (www.yourblog.com), have full control of your blog without being limited and make a little money, by the way, start with a self-hosted WordPress blog. I recommend this version.
FIND A HOST AND A DOMAIN NAME FOR YOUR BLOG: WWW.YOURBLOG.COM
Do you want to start a blog? Very good choice.
The first step to installing a self-hosted WordPress blog is to choose a domain name and hosting provider.
PS At the moment, it is not necessary to install/download WordPress. I will explain this point a little further.
1. DOMAIN NAME
The domain name is the web address of your blog (URL). For example, the address of this site is tutowordpress.com.
The best known domain names end in .com, .net, .fr (in France) and .org . If I were you, I will choose among those. Nowadays, there are also a lot of new generations of extensions, like .club, .pizza, .paris etc., However, to be honest, I usually avoid them.
The domains usually cost 10$/ year, but I will soon show you how to get one for free.
Think for a few minutes before choosing a domain name. Try to imagine a name that reflects what you are going to do with your blog. In a way, it should be:
- Easy to memorize
Unfortunately, most good domain names have already been taken for a long time, but I’m sure you’ll find something great.
Internet hosting is the server on which your blog will be stored (all files, images, and contents). Without a host, it is not possible to make it visible to other users.
So, if you have a domain name and no internet host, you will not be able to install your blog.
The good news is that accommodation is relatively cheap, usually around2.95 $ / month.
Where should I buy a domain name and a web host?
I usually recommend using Namecheap.
It is a hosting provider suitable for beginners and also has a one-click installation for WordPress (a great advantage that I would have liked to have when I started).
Oh, and they also offer a free domain. It’s a bit of a thorn in the foot than buying the domain and hosting in two different companies.
Whether you use HostPapa or not, make sure your hosting provider allows WordPress installation “in one click” (trust me, this will make your life a lot easier during the next steps).
Note: Whichever provider you choose, make sure that it offers the one-click installation of WordPress and that it meets the following requirements: PHP version 5.6 or higher, MySQL version 5.6 or higher, or MariaDB version 10.0 or higher
You should now have your own space on the web, including a domain name and a web host (or server).
The next thing to do is to install your WordPress blog. There are two ways to do this:
One-click installation (for beginners and to go faster)
Most known hosts, with a good reputation, include a one-click installation option for WordPress (and some other blog platforms as well).
Manual installation (for experienced users)
You may need to install WordPress yourself even if your hosting provider does not have the one-click installation option.
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult. However, this requires very specific steps (and trying to describe them all here would require another large article).
So, let me instead send you to an official document on WordPress.org. It contains everything you need to know about manual installation of WordPress.
Note: Whichever method you use to install WordPress, be sure to write down the username and password to access your dashboard later. We will use them in the next step.
WORDPRESS IS INSTALLED! LOGIN TO YOUR BLOG
At this point, you should now have an empty WordPress site installed. Start by entering your new web address to see what your WordPress site looks like. Here’s what you’ll probably see:
Then, log in to access your control panel, called the Dashboard by going to an address such as http://your-domain.com/wp-admin/. (You will use the same username and password as those chosen before).
After logging in, you will see the home page of your Dashboard. The navigation should be very intuitive after a few minutes of use, with your main options located on the side menu bar.
Now that you’re comfortable with all that, let’s dive into the design of your site.
PUBLISH YOUR FIRST ARTICLE “TEST”
This is where we start having fun!
After all, you are launching a new WordPress blog because you may want to publish something.
With WordPress, it’s simple.
To get started, go back to your WordPress Control Panel ( http://your-domain.com/wp-admin/ ) and click on Articles> Add to Sidebar.
You will see a very nice editing screen that should remind you Word or Pages for apple lovers:?
Let’s break down what we see here:
- 1 – Title: write here the title of your article.
- 2 – Content: this is where you put the body of your text. All of this space works like word or word processing software. You can also add images and other media to your article by clicking “Add Media”.
- 3 – Standard editing tools: used for bold, italic, lists, paragraphs and title styles. You can click on the option just to the left of the 3 on the screenshot to see the advanced options.
- 4 – Editing tools: this is where you will be able to put your article online; the main one being the big blue button “Publish”. You can also set a publication date to schedule the publication of your article, or save a draft for later editing.
- 5 – Additional optimization tools: allows to categorize the article, to add “tags” (labels) and the most interesting, to put an image to the front page (for this article, for example, it is the image that you see when you are on the homepage, with a small summary of the article).
When you have finished working on your post, click on “Publish”, then on the link “Preview” or “Preview changes” which will appear at the top of the page (to see your post directly on the site).
2. CUSTOMIZE YOUR BLOG (AND ITS SETTINGS)
CHOOSE A THEME: THE ONE THAT SUITS YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS.
Choosing the design of your new WordPress blog is the most fun and critical step.
Good news :
- You can do it entirely by yourself.
- You can use a FREE WordPress theme and your blog will look great!
Bad news :
- You can spend a LOT of time searching for the right theme.
So … what is a “WordPress Theme”? In simple terms:
The WordPress theme is responsible for the style, the design of your blog.
In other words, a WordPress theme is like repainting your car. This changes the appearance of the car but has little impact on its operation or performance (except for very large premium themes).
Fortunately for you, WordPress offers thousands of cool themes already optimized to match any brand, domain or industry. Here’s how you can easily find a theme and install it:
AND IF THE GIF IS NOT SUFFICIENT:
Go to the theme selection section of your WordPress control panel by clicking Appearance> Themes from the sidebar and then clicking on the “Add” button.
Once there, you can access the entire official WordPress library of free themes. Start by refining your options by filtering through “blog” or “blogging” in the search box on the right:
After a little reduction in your options, you will only have themes optimized for blogs.
Each of the listed topics has an overview associated with it so that you can see what it may look like after a little work. Just hover over one of the themes and click on the “preview” button that will appear.
You should take your time to browse these topics until you find one that you really like and that you want to use as your blog design.
When you have the perfect theme, simply click on “Install”, next to the “Preview” button mentioned above, or directly in the preview. Once the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” link that will appear.
Your new WordPress theme has been instantly installed and activated! Watch it live by going to the main address of your site.
If you’re struggling to find a free quality theme, you should think about investing in a paid theme. Check out ThemeForest or Elegant Themes. Pay for a theme has its benefits; you get support, updates, and generally better source code, which also means better SEO and better performance and fewer potential problems.
CREATE NEW PAGES FOR YOUR BLOG
Creating a new article in WordPress is pretty self-explanatory.
The same is true for creating a new page. However, there are some important features that each site should follow in order for visitors to have key details.
Good indispensable pages contain:
- Page About / Who am I? : This page tells the story behind your site – why you built it, who it is addressed to, and why the visitor will find it interesting. This is often your first opportunity to create a relationship with the visitor.
- Contact page: this is where the visitor can reach you directly, either by using a contact form on the page (I tell you more below) or by using another means (such as by posting a link to profiles your social media).
To create these two pages, go to Pages> Add from Dashboard. The interface you are going to see is exactly the same as the one you worked with when you created your first post. So all you have to do is write the text and add some images to make the page attractive. Then click on “Publish”.
INSTALL PLUGINS: MY RECOMMENDATIONS
WordPress bloggers love plugins. (Even more than the themes).
Basically, plugins add new features (or elements) to your WordPress site that otherwise would look old and boring. Here are some of the best plugins you should add immediately to your site:
- Contact Form 7 is the most popular contact form plugin. It displays an interactive form that your visitors can use to contact you without ever leaving the page. Once this plugin is installed, return from the dashboard to your Contact page and make sure to include the contact form you just created.
- WordPress backup plugin websites are always likely to encounter random problems or difficulties that occur from time to time. Making regular backups of your site will help ensure that you will always have a backup copy of your blog stored securely, just in case something goes wrong and you need to restore your data. UpdraftPlus is a great option because it merges with popular services like Dropbox (among others), putting the entire backup process into autopilot. Set it and forget it.
- Yoast SEO There are many SEO plugins. However, this one is one of the best, hands down. And for a good reason! Yoast SEO has a large number of built-in optimizations, analysis tools, and suggestions on how to make your WordPress blog more visible on search engines, increasing your ability to reach more people and attract more visitors.
To note – How to install a plugin? Simply go to Extensions> Add and enter the name of the plugin in the search bar. Then click on the “Install” button next to the plugin name, then, once installed, click on “Activate”.
Be careful though.
Do not worry too much by searching and installing new plugins on your WordPress blog. Remember that each plugin has the effect of decreasing a little bit the performance of your site. Moreover, all (especially the less popular and the least tested) are not completely sure. Also, remember to regularly delete all the plugins that you no longer use and to make the updates.
3. HOW TO MAKE YOUR BLOG PROFITABLE AND INCREASE TRAFFIC
SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR BLOG
Many people I know start a blog for a reason: to make money.
I do not want to scare you, but most people fail. In fact, 2% of bloggers manage to make enough money to leave their jobs.
To make things easier, let me explain a little bit. First of all, there are many ways to make money through your blog. To only cite a few :
- Google Adsense
- display advertising
- the sale of derivatives
- the services you could offer.
I will make a list a little more exhaustive later.
… but before you even think of making your blog profitable, you need appropriate content and a traffic plan in hand.
This brings me to step 2.
MAKE A PLAN FOR YOUR CONTENT AND START GENERATING TRAFFIC
Without proper content and traffic, you will not be able to make a lot of money. I started like you, without the slightest idea of how to generate traffic on my blog, until I started to experiment with different tactics that I read on forums.
Most were scams and asked to advance money, but I finally realized that we could have free traffic. Without paying a cent for that. TechCrunch or Jeuxvideo.com, for example, started this way in 2005.
All you need is:
- a content plan (ie the main subject of your blog).
- an action plan for social media.
- some basic knowledge of SEO (Traffic generated from Google).
CREATE A NEWSLETTER
Once you have started to regularly post content on your WordPress blog, hopefully, you should attract a stable reader base.
Initially, attracting visitors to your site is a tedious job, so you do not want to let these people leave forever once they have finished browsing.
Remember to add a subscription area to your newsletter on your site so that your new subscribers know when your next article will be published (in this way, they will not miss any of your future content). You can also use this mailing list to market your future products or your other offers.
For this, you need two elements:
- # 1: An account in an automatic messaging service (emailing). Popular solutions include MailChimp, GetResponse, or AWeber. It would be very cumbersome to review the implementation of each of them, but all of these services have very detailed tutorials to guide you through the integration process.
- # 2: A plugin to connect this email service to your WordPress blog. One of the best is Rapidology. It helps you quickly integrate most email services to your site and display a subscription form in different locations. For example, you can include a membership field by email in the sidebar, under your post, or even by a pop-up triggered by the actions of visitors.
In an Instal, starting a blog is simple :
- Get a domain name and a web host.
- Install the WordPress blog platform.
- Customize, set and design your blog (so be proud).
- Start publishing useful content for others.
- Use social media, forums, and SEO to increase your blog traffic.
Finally, do not forget to read our guide to customize your WordPress site.
If you have questions, concerns or ideas, do not hesitate to contact me or leave a comment!
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