How to Start a Blog Effectively in 7 Easy Steps (Guide for Beginners)

So you’ve finally decided that you want to start your blog. Congratulations! You have made a great decision to start following your passion and we wish you all the best for that.

We have written this post especially for you because we know that starting your very first blog is an amazing experience, yet it is a little intimidating. There is just so much information on the Internet about blogging, how to start a blog, Earn money online and everyone is telling you to do different things.

We have been through these tough stages and we wished someone was there to guide us into becoming a blogger. So, after years of blogging, we just want to help out bloggers like you with no BS, step-by-step approach to starting your WordPress blog effectively.

If you are looking for a free step-by-step guide on how to start a blog that is simple, real, and thorough, you are in the right place. All that you need is basic computer skills, a passion for sharing your knowledge & experiences with the world, and some dedication.

In this in-depth article on How to Start a Blog from scratch, we will:

Teach you all the steps required to successfully start your blog
Provide links to free tools and resources
Address most common blogging challenges

If you follow this article, you should be able to start your blog from scratch within an hour’s worth of effort. This tutorial is going to be simple, easy to understand, without jargon, and beginner-friendly.

So, let’s get started.

What is blogging?

Before we dive into the steps for blogging, it is important to clear out any misinformation that you might have about blogging. There might have been tons of definitions of blogging that you have read over the Internet. But, blogging is a simple process of writing about things that you like, are passionate about, or know.

A blog is simply a website that is regularly updated with content known as blog posts. A blog post is mostly articles in text format supported by images, videos, and links. This page that you are reading is a blog post that is a part of the blog that you are on.

Now that you know what a blog is, the meaning of blogging is self-evident.

Blogging is simply creating content to be posted on a blog.

Why should you create a blog?

At its core, blogging is about sharing your knowledge and experiences with the world. But why go through a lot of trouble creating a blog and posting regular content on it?

Get Additional Income

The most common reason for starting a blog is to make passive income online from home. Whether you are a student, a housewife, a full-time employee, a business owner, or an entrepreneur, Freelancer, blogging has the potential to create passive income streams for you.

By spending a few months on your niche-specific blog, you can start building revenue streams that generate income for you even when you sleep.

Sharing your thoughts

The reason why many people start blogging is to just share their thoughts and opinions. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone has something useful that they can share with the world.

These people usually start a blog to share their knowledge or stories that have the potential to delight the readers.

Increasing Credibility

When one starts writing about a particular topic in a niche, their credibility starts to increase. Over some time, they start getting established as a person who knows about a topic and people go to for advice.

Eventually, they learn more and share more, and in no time, they find themselves becoming a subject matter expert.

Building a Community

Everyone has their struggles and set of challenges. However, you probably aren’t the first or the only person who is going through something similar.

Blogging, by its very nature, is interactive. When you share a blog post, people can start commenting on that post. This is a great way for like-minded people to connect, share their opinions, and build connections.

There are tons of reasons why you should blog and why you might want to start a blog. Nonetheless, this in-depth tutorial is going to help you start your first WordPress blog in 7 easy steps.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!


How to Start a Blog in 2020 From Scratch [Beginners Guide]

Step 1: Choose a Niche For Your Blog

So, you want to be a blogger huh? 

What are you going to be writing about? “Anything”, you say. 

Let me just stop you right there!

Writing about everything is writing about nothing. If you don’t choose your niche correctly, you are going to fail miserably in your blogging career.

A niche is simply a topic. Choosing a niche for your blog is the very first step AND the most important step.

The reason is that you can’t just write about everything on your blog.

This is a recipe for disaster.

Every blog attracts a certain kind of audience that is looking for a specific type of content on a given topic.

For example, if you are reading this blog to get a solution to your question of how to start a blog, you are likely to read other posts i.e Beginner blogging mistakes, how to become a successful blogger, how to earn money through blogging, blogging deals, etc in blogging niche blog with similar content. You are less likely to read a blog post on this blog if it said – “Top 5 Beginner Poker Strategies”.

Here are some examples of Evergreen niche’s

  • Blogging
  • Health And Fitness
  • Fashion
  • Cooking
  • Sports
  • Relationship
  • Technology

So, choose a niche that is popular and is likely to attract a lot of visitors. Your niche will help you define your target audience.

For your niche, you can either follow your passion, you can choose what people are looking for, you can choose the most popular topic, or you can choose the most profitable topic.

The choice is yours, but the thing to keep in mind is that you need to define your niche and your target audience very clearly even before starting to blog.

Best blogging platforms

Along similar lines of choosing a nice is to select a blogging platform.

The blog sites are going to be the platform that you interact with any time you want to do something on your blog.

There are many blogging platforms available on the web, but it is important to choose the one that works best for you. Here are some famous blogging platforms: –

1. WordPress

By far the most famous blogging platform that is loved by bloggers all over the world is WordPress. Almost 10 billion blog posts are published all over the world on WordPress.

It is loved by bloggers around the globe as it offers the greatest advantages amongst other blogging platforms.

In this article, we will be learning how to set up a custom blog using WordPress.

2. Blogger

Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms that are free to use and very Google-friendly from the get-go. It doesn’t offer a great deal of flexibility, but it is easy to set up and work with.

Blogger is also a robust blogging platform as it is a product by Google.

3. Medium

If you don’t want to spend any time customizing the look and feel of your site and want a great user experience, then Medium might be the right choice for you.

The medium allows you to simply start sharing your content and not worry about the technical side and also help you find an audience quickly.

You won’t have a self-hosted blog with Medium. Instead, you would be posting content on their site instead of your own.


Step 2: Choose a Good Domain For Your Blog

The very first impression that a user will have of your blog comes from your Domain name – The URL of your blog. This domain name is how your audience would find you.

Domain and Hosting are the two technical things and one of the first topics that confuse a new blogger. Your domain name is the address on the internet that anyone can enter in their browser and open. For example, Facebook’s domain is facebook.com.

Make sure that you choose a domain name that best describes the content that the audience can expect on your blog. Let’s have a look at some tips to select a good domain name for your new blog.

How to choose a domain name

There are a few pointers that you should keep in mind before choosing a domain. These will not only help you generate more traffic but will also make it easier for your audience to remember your blog. Your domain should be: –

  1. Easy to Type
  2. Short
  3. Memorable
  4. Not contain numbers or hyphens
  5. Brandable
  6. Having your Keyword

These aren’t “rules” that you should follow. Instead, these are just guidelines that would be beneficial to your blog.

Best Domain name generator

Sometimes, it becomes hard to think of suitable domain names that you like. To help you in your ultimate quest for a decent domain name that is bought by someone, there are domain name generators that you can use. Here are some of the domain name generators: –

  1. Name Mesh
  2. Domain Wheel
  3. Instant Domain Search

There are tons of generators available online and just searching for “Domain Name Generator” would yield tons of results. Just find one that you like, enter a few keywords/ ideas that represent your blog, and browse through a long list of domain names.

Now that you have chosen a domain name, it is time to register your domain name before anyone to get started with your blog.

Best Domain Registrars

Just like Domain Name Generators, there are many domain registration sites from where you can purchase your domain name. A domain registrar would reserve a domain name for you so that no one else can use it.

Some of the most famous and reliable domain name registrars are: –

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Bluehost
  3. Namecheap
  4. Google Domains
  5. Hostgator
  6. Wix
  7. BigRock

and many more. However, the most reliable ones that bloggers trust are Google and GoDaddy. 

After finding the domain name that you love the most, go to a domain registrar’s site and purchase that particular domain.

Purchasing a domain name is very inexpensive and should cost you only a few dollars for a year of subscription.

Now that you have your domain name ready, it is time to host your blog.


Step 3: Find a Good Web Hosting Provider

Congratulations! You have successfully got your first web address and you are now one step closer to having your blog up and running.

The next step in this process is having a place online to store all your files, folders, images, etc.

A blog host is a company that stores all the files required for your blog. The hosting provider then delivers your content to the user when they search for your blog post. Therefore, it is important to have a hosting provider that has a good uptime and good speed so that your content is delivered to your audience without delays.

The performance and functionality of your site depend greatly on your blog hosting provider.

The hosting company has to make sure your site is available 24/7 to your readers and it also keeps your files safe and secure. Hence, you should choose a good hosting provider. Here is how you can choose the best web hosting service provider for your blog.

How to choose the best web hosting

You should choose a web hosting provider in India that is secure, reliable, and affordable. Some of the factors that you should consider before choosing a hosting provider are:

  1. Ease of Setup
  2. Customer Service
  3. Pricing
  4. Uptime
  5. Ease of Upgrade
  6. Server Proximity

Based on your audience, budget, and requirements, the hosting server that you choose can vary drastically.

If the bulk of your audience is from India, but you select a hosting provider who has their server in the United States, you will experience some speed difference when compared to an Indian server. 

Proximity is just one factor among many other factors. Therefore, it is always advisable to go through the reviews of a few hosting service providers to make the right decision.

Recommended Web Hosting Provider

There are tons of web hosting companies and lots of different hosting plans and packages to choose from. Among a host of web hosting providers (pun intended), some of the ones that I recommend are: –

  1. A2Hosting

Why A2Hosting Is Good Fit For Your Blog?

  • Unlimited free business email
  • Free SSL and CDN
  • Free one site migration by experts
  • WordPress Auto-updates
  • SSD Drives to enhance High-speed performance
  • Reliable uptime
  • 24/7 support on all hosting plans
  • A2 Site Accelerator (TurboCache, OPcache/APC, Memcache)
  • and many more…

How To Purchase A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting offers various types of hosting like Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, VPS hosting, RESSLER hosting, and Dedicated hosting.

I highly recommend you go with Shared hosting, “TURBO BOOST” that comes with some amazing features that will help you to manage your WordPress blog smoothly.

A2hosting plans and pricing

TurboBoost plan offers more amazing features like Unlimited NVMe Storage, Free & Easy Site Migration, Free Automatic Backups, and stagging site.

But if you are on a low budget and just want to start your first WordPress blog for now, then going with DRIVE or STARTUP Plan will be good.

This web hosting provider have multiple servers in multiple locations making them reliable, fast, and secure.

They have been in the industry for a very long time and offer numerous pocket-friendly packages as well.


Step 4: Set Up Your WordPress Blog

Phew! One more step is done, only a few more to go. Hang on tight, you are done through some of the hardest steps.

Now, it is just about reaping the rewards. 

You have your domain name ready and your hosting too.

If you have taken domain and hosting from separate services, you will have to point the “nameservers” of your domain to the hosting provider. Don’t worry, this just sounds technical, but it is very simple. It might take a while (Up to 48 hours) for your DNS to be updated.

Just go to the settings section of your domain provider and make sure that your domain provider knows where you are hosting your files. 

i.e – If you purchased a domain from Godday then login to your godaddy account, Click on DNS

How to Start a Blog Effectively in 7 Easy Steps (Guide for Beginners) 1

Now Click on- Change DNS-

How to Start a Blog Effectively in 7 Easy Steps (Guide for Beginners) 2

Once you have redirected your domain to point to the hosting server, anyone on the internet can enter your domain name and open your site.

Now, let’s get you started with setting up WordPress on your hosting. When you log in to your hosting account, you will have access to the Control Panel commonly known as “cPanel”.

First Login to you hosting client area:-

hosting client area

Now Click on Cpanel Login

In your control panel, you will find an easy software install option usually named “Softaculous”, but the name or location would depend on individual hosting providers. 

Just search for WordPress in the installer and this would open up the setup menu. Just give your website a name, description, and an admin password.

Click install and WordPress would be installed on your site in a few minutes.

softaculous a2hosting

Once the process completes, you would get a notification.

Once WordPress is set up, you can finally have a look at your website. Go ahead, enter your domain, and look at the beautiful website that you have been waiting for so long.

Go ahead, try it out!

Doesn’t it feel good to have your very own website?


Step 5: Choose an Attention-Grabbing WordPress Theme For Your Blog

Oops! Your website opened up, but might not look as beautiful as you had expected it to be. This is because you have just installed the default WordPress theme for now. To make your blog look beautiful and according to your choice, let’s install a theme that looks beautiful and grabs the reader’s attention.

A WordPress theme allows you to select a design for your blog without coding or design knowledge. In other words, a good theme helps you to craft your dream website without going through the hassle of learning a bunch of new technologies.

There are two ways to set the theme of your blog. You can either search for a theme on WordPress, or you can download a theme from the Internet and upload it on WordPress. But how are you going to “upload to WordPress?”. I am glad you asked.

Once your website is live, you can open www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin to open up the admin panel of your website. From here, you can make changes to your website directly instead of having to open your domain or hosting provider.

WordPress-Login

From this point onwards, you will mostly be interacting with WordPress from the wp-admin URL.

Just enter your username and password that you created while installing WordPress and you will get access to your WordPress Dashboard.

To search or upload a theme, you can navigate to “Appearance -> Themes” from the WordPress Dashboard menu on the left.

You can search for a new theme from the WordPress repository by entering a theme name or keyword. If you don’t want to search from the repository, you can do a Google Search and scan through thousands of beautiful WordPress themes (free and paid) and download the one that you love the most.

After installing a theme via the search option or uploading it, you can activate the theme.

Best SEO-friendly WordPress theme

Well, there are many WordPress theme providers in the market but to make your search for a good theme easier, we have selected 2 of the best themes for you that are SEO-friendly as well as the fastest WordPress theme,

  1. GeneratePress
  2. Astra
  3. Mythemeshop
  4. HappyThemes
  5. StudioPress
  6. ThriveThemes

These themes allow easy customization of font, color, and the entire look-and-feel of the website. Both of these offer lightweight themes that don’t slow down your website. You can select from a variety of templates and customize them according to your needs.

After you are done finding the best theme and spending some time customizing it, you can move to the next step.


Step 6: Install Some Essential Plugins to WordPress Blog

You can skip this step if you just want to get your blog up and running. But, if you want to add more features to your site and attract more readers, you would want to complete this step.

After installing WordPress, you can create web pages and blog posts easily from the side menu. WordPress ships with the most common features in-built in the sidebar, but you can add even more features to your site using plugins.

To add a plugin to your WordPress blog, navigate to the “Plugins -> Add New” section from your Dashboard. Use the search bar to search for plugins, and then you can simply click on “Install Now” to add it to your website. After you have installed it, you will have to activate the plugin to add it to your blog. After adding the plugin to your site, you can extend the blog’s functionalities.

From years of experience, we have gathered a list of the most basic and most essential plugins that are a must-have from your blog: –

  1. SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO or Rankmath SEO plugin
  2. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights – To get insights on your content
  3. Cache Plugins – WPRocket, W3
  4. Akismet – For security
  5. Backup Plugins – UpdraftPlus, backup buddy – For regular backups
  6. Security Plugins – Wordfence, Sucuri Security, iThemes Security
  7. WPForms – To capture leads
  8. ShortPixel Image Optimizer:
  9. Table of Content plus
  10. Social Snap

You can add as many plugins as you wish to extend your blog’s functionality. But make sure that you don’t add plugins that conflict with each other, and you don’t add too many plugins. Adding too many plugins would make your site slower.


Step 7: Write and Publish Your First Blog Post (Make It Live)

All of this hard work just so that you can start adding content to your blog. Pat yourself on the back if you have stuck so far. It is time now to post your content for the world to see.

Without wasting any more time, go to Posts -> Add New to start writing your first post. Give the post a suitable title and add the body of the post. You can add images, videos, links to external sites, PDFs, PPTs, basically anything that you want to add to your post.

You can edit a few settings such as the URL slug of the post, some SEO stuff, but who wants to do that, right? We know you just want to publish your first post. So, just click on Publish and ……….

Your first post is LIVE! Time to give yourself a treat because you are now a proud owner of a self-hosted blog that you created from scratch.

You can now share your blog link with your friends, family, followers, etc. and they can read your content on the web. You can then start adding pages to your blog, such as:

  1. About Me
  2. Privacy Policy
  3. My Services / Products

etc. Happy Blogging!


Bonus: Some Ways to Make Money From Your Blog

After you start regularly posting to your blog, you will start attracting visitors to your blog. Once that happens, you can start monetizing your content. There are tons of ways to earn money from your blog, but we will look at the top 3 ways: –

1. Adsense

By far the easiest and the most used method of earning from your blog is to register for AdSense. It is an ad delivery network owned by Google that shows Ads on your blog and you get paid per thousand impressions of an ad.

All you have to do is create an account on AdSense and you will get a snippet that you can add to your website. Then, just edit your website and add this bit of code to the place where you want to show ads and you will start getting paid for showing ads on your blog.

The amount of money you earn would depend on your site’s keywords, your visitors, your location, and many other factors.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Another lucrative source of income from a blog is Affiliate Marketing. If there is a product or service that you like, or use regularly, you can get paid to recommend it to your readers. Products and services often provide affiliate links that you can add to your website. Your readers can then click on the link to buy that product or service.

When someone makes a purchase using your link, you get a part of the sales as a commission. The amount you get as the commission would depend on the affiliate program that you join.

Affiliate marketing is another passive income source from your blog. So, you will be able to generate income even while you sleep.

3. Sponsored Posts

When a blog starts to attract a lot of visitors and starts ranking on Google, other brands and businesses often reach out to the blog owner for promotions.

These brands would pay a decent amount of compensation to post about their brand/business.


Conclusion

Starting a blog from scratch seems very intimidating and sometimes very frustrating too. I am sure that if you have stuck this far, you have gained the necessary knowledge about how to start a blog, how you set up your WordPress blog, and customize it.

We wish you all the best in your blogging journey and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

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