Introduction: How To Set Up a Blog in WordPress
We take a look at how to create a WordPress blog and see if it’s still as easy as it has been from the beginning.
With a reputation for being one of the easiest blogging platforms to get one’s work published online, it isn’t surprising that WordPress remains a firm favorite among those with little to no knowledge of coding.
Today’s feature will discuss the basics of starting a WordPress blog (WordPress.com and WordPress.org). How do you make your blog more visually appealing? What are the dos and donts in monetizing your blog?
Let's dig in!
How to Start a WordPress Blog – Why Create One?
There are several reasons why anyone would want to write a blog. Before we get into the technical aspect of how to create a WordPress blog, let’s consider the different motivations that drive people to write, post, and create.
Your reasons for starting a blog may include:
You want to share your passions with others. We feel this is the best motivation how to create a WordPress blog. It helps you reach out to those with similar interests who can start by reading your work and, possibly, opt to reach out and / or collaborate with you in the future;
You want to help others by sharing your advocacy. How to start a WordPress blog that allows you to speak on certain causes through your site. In doing so, you are able to establish a network for assistance and relevant action;
You want to establish an online business – and that actually works if WordPress is your main choice for a blogging platform thanks to plugins like WooCommerce. In doing so, you can create a working online storefront with the value-added service of offering an informative blog that's related to your core business. Also, even if you don't really want to start a storefront, you can easily monetize your content for those willing to subscribe for premium content;
How to create a WordPress blog and establish yourself as an expert? You can boost your credibility in the online community by becoming a relevant authority regarding topics that are aligned with your interests and capabilities; and
How to start a WordPress blog and improve your employability? Improve the chances of getting employed for the job you want by honing the necessary skills for your dream job and, virtually, putting your shingle out there to be noticed by potential employers. In the case of writers – whether they're aspiring authors, poets, or journalists – blogging helps sharpen their skills in self-expression, grammar, and editing.
Does any of this sound like you? Then you're on the right path. Knowing what your primary goal of setting up a blog will inform the many choices you make later on.
How to Start a Free WordPress Blog
We'll begin with our recommended blogging platform: WordPress.com.
Let’s make one thing clear here on your way to learn how to create a WordPress blog. WordPress.com offers a 14-day trial period. After that, you'll have to pay for a subscription.
That said, getting started with WordPress.com is practically a piece of cake – and the procedure is split into two parts. These are as follows:
Step 1: Setting Up a WordPress.com Account
- Access the main page for WordPress.com and select Start Your Website;
- Sign up for a free account for the platform using a valid email address that has never been previously used to get a WordPress account.
- Otherwise, you will need to get a new email address to use for blog creation and maintenance. Also, for those with Google Accounts or Apple IDs, you can take a shortcut and select either Continue with Google or Continue with Apple;
- In the second text box displayed, enter your username of choice. Keep in mind that this should be as unique as your email address and also needs to reflect the theme and content of your blog;
- For security purposes, enter a strong password that is hard to guess or hack. For those prone to forgetting details, it pays to store the password in a secure password management app; and finally
- Once you've filled in all the relevant boxes, select Create Your Account.
Be sure to read their terms of service before you open a new account.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Blog
- Enter your blog information, first by entering your blog name in the first text box. As with your username, it should reflect your personality and the content you intend to post on your blog, making it unique and potentially engaging;
- In the section How Comfortable Are You With Creating a Website, select your level of expertise in the scale that ranges from 1 (novice) to 5 (expert;)
- Select Continue when you're done; and finally
- Choose a blog address, essentially a subdomain appended with the *.home.blog suffix;
- Select the free option, then click Start with Free on the following page to generate your new blog.
Some Points to Remember
You need to consider some key points about how to create a WordPress blog. This will help you increase appeal, functionality, and profitability!
- Once you've created your blog, make it a point to confirm your email address by responding to the email generated and sent to your inbox by the platform.
- Open the message and choose “Click Here to Confirm Now.” A welcome email will be sent to your inbox along with a set of Getting Started pointers recommended by the platform; and
- Take the time to orient yourself with the use of the WordPress.com dashboard.
- This is where you'll do everything from management to file uploading to blog writing and posting. It's also where you'll find a selection of plugins and customization options to augment your blog's aesthetic and/or functionality.
- That said, try out the different tools at your disposal, find those that work to your advantage, and use them to make the necessary improvements to your blog.
How to Create a Blog Using WordPress org
Now we move on to the other WordPress platform – the free version. Here are tips on how to create a WordPress blog through a CMS. I do!
We've mentioned that creating a blog using WordPress.com is a relatively easy operation to do. However, using the CMS .org version entails a few preliminary steps. Here are tips so you can hunker down to how to make a blog on WordPress.org and getting your first post out there.
How to create a WordPress blog using the .org platform? Here are the steps:
- Purchase a WordPress hosting plan from a reputable platform to ensure that your site is secure, easily accessible, and loads quickly – after all, what turns many people off from reading through blogs is that it takes a while for some sites to load. Also, make it a point to look for platforms that offer WordPress compatibility or include an installation of the WordPress engine when you sign up with them. The following shows a comparison table for the best hosting companies.
Ranking Hosting Company Our View 1 WPX Hosting Best for Managed Wordpress Hosting 2 SiteGround Best for Customer Support *Wordpress.org Recommended! 3 Kinsta Best for Uptime 4 A2 Hosting Best for Reliability 5 GreenGeeks Best Budget Friendly *Eco-Friendly Hosting 6 Bluehost Best for Beginners *Wordpress.org Recommended! 7 Nexcess Best for small & medium eCommerce enterprises built in WooCommerce or Magento 8 LiquidWeb Best for medium and large eCommerce enterprises 9 Scala Hosting Best for VPS or Dedicated Hosting 10 Digital Ocean Best for Cloud Hosting (Advanced Users)
- Choose a domain to serve as your blog's permanent address, as a custom domain improves your SEO, making you easier to find online and it certainly differentiates you from the competition;
- If WordPress isn't included in your hosting package, download the software from the official WordPress site and install it into your desktop; and finally –
- As with the steps for the WordPress blog outlined above in the previous section, set up your WordPress account and prepare your blog for creation and publication.
Writing Posts with WordPress.org
Let's tackle how to create a WordPress.org blog and fill it up with great written content! Here are the steps:
- Hover your cursor over Posts;
- Click Add New;
- When the platform launches the WordPress Editor, simply click the work area to get started. Given that it's a block-based editor, this is about as easy as working on a document in your word processing software of choice, so this should be easy enough;
- Customize the look and feel of your blog;
- Enhance the functionality of your blog by installing plugins and /or third-party applications; and
- Publish your blog.
Changing the Look and Feel of Your WordPress Blog
So, how to make a blog in WordPress more aesthetically pleasing? Or, how to start a WordPress blog that carries your own brand and identity?
There are a couple of ways by which you can select a WordPress theme that captures your personal aesthetic. First of all, numerous free themes already come with the territory. WordPress has a ready theme directory that offers a lot of options. Indeed, some themes have premium variations that may be in keeping with your sense of style.
But how to create a WordPress blog that is truly unique and bespoke? You look for premium themes outside the WordPress platform. This is an option you seriously need to look into. Some of the sites you can consider for the purpose include the following:
- ThemeForest which has one of the most extensive range of themes and templates available for WordPress users;
- ThemeIsle which has an excellent set of choices;
- TemplateMonster which offers themes that have the dual benefit of improving the functionality of your WordPress blog;
- WooCommerce’s home page for great ideas and themes for ecommerce-centric blogs and storefronts; and
- The Divi Marketplace for a whole range of options for both standard blogs and blogs that are geared towards monetization.
Once you’ve chosen a theme/template for your blog, you will need to install it into the user interface. The process is as follows:
- Hover your cursor over Appearance in the Dashboard;
- Select Themes;
- Click Add New;
- For themes downloaded from WordPress.org, search for the theme by name and click Install;
- For themes purchased offsite, click Upload Theme and upload the ZIP file you downloaded when you bought the theme from your site of choice;
- Once the theme has been installed, click Activate for it to be the active template for your blog.
Customizing Your WordPress Blog
How to create a WordPress blog that doesn't look standard and cookie-cutter? You can use the in-platform tool WordPress Customizer to make changes to your theme/template. It enables you to tweak the theme without having to play with the HTML behind your site.
Here's how to create a WordPress blog using this tool:
- Access the Customizer by selecting Appearance, then Customize;
- You may then make changes using the options listed in the left sidebar;
- You may preview the results as you work in the sidebar on the right; and
- Once you're satisfied with the results, make the changes live by clicking Save & Publish.
Improving Functionality Through Plugins and Widgets
So, how to make a WordPress blog that's super-functional?
Especially for blogs which are meant to be grown over time or are intended to complement an ecommerce site, adding functionality makes your blog more enticing and more engaging for readers.
Plugins may include everything from contact forms and SEO improvement, to social media connectivity and automated backups to ensure the security and integrity of your blog. As of last count, WordPress offers more than 50,000 plugins for free, several which were created by members of its user community.
Likewise, you need to choose premium plugins and widgets developed by tech experts and leading names in the industry, but they will cost you.
Installing Your WordPress Themes and Plugins
Once you've selected the plugins you want to use on your blog, you will need to install and activate them. The process is as follows:
- Go to the Plugins menu and select Add New;
- For free plugins downloaded via WordPress.org, search for the plugin by name and click Install Now;
- For plugins downloaded from a third-party/premium site, click Upload Plugin;
- Upload the ZIP file you received on purchase;
- Click Activate so the plugin starts working live on your blog.
Any and all plugins can be managed through the Plugins tab of the WordPress dashboard.
Monetizing Your Blog
Another important thing to learn on how to create a WordPress blog is monetization!
What's great about owning a WordPress blog is that you can earn money AND do something passionately. So how to make a blog in WordPress and earn money? You can monetize your blog with these few additional steps to take once you’ve installed and activated the relevant plugins for your blog.
Ensure that your plugins include SEO tools that will make your blog easier to find and access through major search engines. These may include the following options:
- Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console to stay abreast with your blog’s metrics, specifically the average number of site visits you get in a day, the demographics of your audience, and which pages or posts on the blog are getting the most traffic;
- If you’re planning to do online marketing, have your mailing list set up and ready. Tools like Mailchimp are compatible with WordPress and are a great help in this respect;
- Find a blogging cadence that works for you – by that, you need to determine how frequently you’ll be posting on your blog. This is critical as, remember: content is king and keeping your target audience engaged and interested will prove a boon in the long term;
- Build your audience. This will take time, but you know that slow and steady wins the race so be sure to keep a steady pace in terms of development;
- How to make a blog in WordPress and earn? Introduce monetization measures such as the following:
- Infoproducts like ebooks and webinars;
Ranking Webinar Platform Our View 1 Demio Best for marketing & lead generation and best overall. 2 LiveStorm Best budget option 3 BigMarker Highly interactive and best runner up. 4 ClickMeeting Best for education features. 5 GetResponse Webinars Best when also integrating email marketing. 6 WebinarNinja Best all-in-one solution. 7 GoToWebinar Best for ease of use. 8 WebinarJam Best for friendly budgets. 9 EasyWebinar Best for user-friendly. 10 EverWebinar Good for small & medium businesses.
- Affiliate programs where you partner will well-known brands for a cut of earnings; and
- Freelancing and consulting services;
- Infoproducts like ebooks and webinars;
- Continue to build momentum and grow your blog at your own pace.
Conclusion and Recommendations: How to Create a WordPress Blog
There you have it – the basic steps on how to create a WordPress blog!
We're not saying that the process of how to start a WordPress blog requires zero brain cells. But WordPress.com has made it so much easier that it requires very little additional learning from you. Gone are the days when how to make a blog in WordPress was left to developers and coders. Right now, the average person can create a stunning WordPress blog in no time.
So follow these tips on how to create a WordPress blog, and make sure to spread the word!
How to start a WordPress blog for free?
You can use WordPress.com or WordPress.org for free. However, you need to pay for premium themes and plugins for WordPress.com and buy hosting for WordPress.org.
I want to increase my income. How to start a blog on WordPress org and earn money?
You can definitely monetize your WordPress org blog using the plugin WooCommerce.
How to start a WordPress blog without it looking like a replica of another blog?
There are ways to customize the look and feel of your blog. So how to create a WordPress blog that does not look similar? You can customize themes and templates.
I'm a beginner. How to make a blog in WordPress without getting a headache?
Both WordPress platforms (.com and .org) are easy to use for starter websites. But how to make a blog in WordPress that's unique and multifunctional? If you want a more sophisticated website, then you'll probably need a developer to do that for you.
That's all for now:
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