These are what you’ll learn in this article (step-by-step):
- Picking a blog niche/topic
- Registering a domain name and signing up with a web host
- Installing WordPress CMS
- Choosing a suitable theme
- Customizing your blog
- Adding your first pages and blog posts
- Traffic ideas and monetization methods
- Find Your Niche/Topic for your blog
When learning how to be a blogger, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re passionate about. Sport? Fashion and style? Music? Being a parent? Here are tips on how to find your Niche.
Your Niche/Topic is what you are passionate about that you will always have something to write about anytime anywhere. If so, whatever it is, write about that. If not, then you must first find out what your passion is.
(Note: Generally, I recommend that people don’t start a blog about elaboration or any other heavily saturated topic. But what this really means is that you don’t start a blog about something unless you have a passion and unique perspective. If you’ve embraced simple living and have a unique perspective, then the sky will be your starting point.
- Register a Domain Name and Sign Up with a Web Host
Before you go any further, you need to choose a domain name.
These are the importance of domain name:
- It’s your “first impression” to website visitors.
- It affects your rankings in search engines.
- It defines your brand.
Having that in mind, you should put some thought into your domain name, but not too much.
Domain name – This will be your personal blog address where people find you over and over again. For example, Google’s Domain is www.Google.com, Linda Ikeji is www.lindaikejisblog.com, mine is www.utibeetim.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com.
Tips to get a great domain name
Choose brand over generic. A brandable domain name is unique and stands out from the competition, while a generic domain name is usually stuffed with keywords and unmemorable.
Keep it concise and simple. According to research from Gaebler.com, a magazine for entrepreneurs, the top-100 websites have approximately 6 characters in their domain name.
Easy to type and pronounce. Your domain name should be easy to type and pronounce.
Choosing your host is another important aspect of creating your blog. Bad web hosts cause most of the issues people have related to their blog. For example, unhelpful customer service and hidden fees are quite common so be very careful.
Web hosting is simply the home of your blog address and all content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a phone memory that stores all your contents (Apps, images, videos, documents, and so on).
- Install Blogging Platform: WordPress CMS
Having set up your web host, you can now install WordPress Content Management (CMS) System to help you manage all your blog contents. If needed, you can watch WordPress videos and tutorials for beginners on a youtube channel for help and guidance with installation, use, posts and templates.
Here is the step-by-step guide to install WordPress CMS
- Log in to your host control panel
- Once you’re logged in, you’ll be redirected to your Control Panel. From there, choose “Install WordPress”
After you are done with WordPress installation, this leads you to the next page where you can choose your blog destination URL. I recommend using your root domain (www.YourNewDomain.com, not www.YourNewDomain.com/blog/), so just leave the field on the right empty.
Log into your new blog
You should now have a blank WordPress site installed, along with your admin access username and password, make sure you write down your login details somewhere.
Start by typing in your new web address (www.YourNewBlog.com) to see what your WordPress blog looks like.
Next, log in to your admin panel by going to an address like: http://YourNewBlog.com/wp-admin/. (You’ll use the same username and password you chose earlier during the setup.)
After logging in, you’ll see the welcome page of the admin panel. After browsing around for a few minutes, it should be fairly intuitive, with all of your major options helpfully located in the sidebar panel.
Understanding the WordPress Dashboard
Let’s break down some of the most important ones for new bloggers to know:
“Dashboard” shows you a glance look at your recent activity, including how many posts, comments, and pages you have.
“Posts” is where you’ll click if you want to add a new blog post or edit an existing one.
“Media” is the library of all the pictures, videos, and audio files you’ve uploaded to the site. You can manage all of those items here.
“Pages” is where you can add a new permanent page – like a service or contact me page (not a blog post!) and manage the pages you’ve already created.
“Comments” is the place you’ll want to go to manage comments. You can see which comments are waiting for your approval, review comments you’ve approved, see which comments WordPress has labeled as spam, and delete comments you don’t want.
“Appearance” – this is where you can edit your blog’s design and install new themes and layouts. I will show you exactly how to do this a little later on the page.
“Plugins” is where you’d click if you wanted to install a new plugin, like a photo gallery or SEO tool. I’ll show you how to do this in a moment.
“Settings” is the last section you need to know about. Here, you can change your blog’s title and tagline, edit your email address and manage all of your site’s important settings.
- Find & Active Suitable Theme for your blog
Choosing your new WordPress blog design is the most fun step. Having a good design is important, but having a theme that implements the latest SEO practices should be your priority. It is not bad to outsource the development of your theme and also SEO implementation to the best and reliable SEO firms that will ensure better results and user experiences.
The good news:
You can do it all on your own.
You can get a free WordPress theme that makes your blog look great.
You can change it later (just don’t change it so often that your readers can’t keep up).
The bad news:
You can spend a very long time looking for the perfect theme.
WordPress theme is responsible for how your blog looks, so it’s an important decision.
Here’s what to look for in a WordPress theme:
- Simplicity: Unclear design makes it difficult for readers to navigate your blog.
- Responsiveness: The theme needs to adjust its layout across different screen sizes and devices. In the highly mobile world we live in, responsiveness is a necessity.
- Speed: Although most themes don’t slow down your blog significantly, it’s still good to test it. To test a theme’s speed, use the Pingdom Website Speed Test, enter the URL of the theme’s demo, and see how long the page takes to load. If the load time is longer than three seconds, you might want to find a different theme (ideally, the load time is below two seconds).
- Ease of customization: It should be easy to customize the theme—otherwise, you’ll struggle every time you want to tweak something. Fortunately, many themes offer plenty of easy customization options.
- SEO readiness: The theme shouldn’t make a huge difference to search engines. But it’s still better to choose a theme that’s designed with SEO in mind. (Look for “SEO Optimized” or “SEO ready” in the theme description.)
- Security: Themes don’t generally create security issues. But it’s anyway good to check some user reviews and comments—and while doing that, check if people have had security problems with the theme.
- Customize Your Blog
Once you’re inside the WordPress dashboard, you can start customizing your blog. We’ll go through everything you need to do to get your blog ready and your first post published today.
- Add Your First Blog Post: In this section, I’ll show you…
- How to write a post inside WordPress
- How to add images, links, and format text
- Some quick tips and tricks for writing great content
To add a blog post, go to the “Posts” section on the left-hand side menu, then click on “Add New” in your dashboard.
Title Area: This is where you write the title of your post.
Content Area: This is where the body text of your post goes. The whole area works just like text editing in Word or Pages.
Adding Headers & Editing Text
it’s a good idea to use headers and bolding to make your content easier to read and scan.
Editing Fonts: You can also bold, italicize, underline, and even change the color of your text in a click or two.
“B” is for bolding
“I” is for italics
“U” is to underline your text
“A” will open a dropdown menu where you can select font color
Adding Images: To add an image to your post, click the “Add Media” button right above the lower content field. Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, and then click “Select Files”. Once you’ve found the file, double click it and WordPress will upload it automatically.
When the upload is finished, make sure the image you want is selected, and then click the “Insert into post” button to add the image to the post you’re writing.
Adding a Link: Linking out to other websites is a great way to build relationships and share interesting content. To add a link, click on the icon in the toolbar that looks a bit like a chain link.
Tips about link
URL is the web address of the link you want to share. Make sure you include “HTTPS://” before the “www.” address, or your link will be broken.
“Link Text” is the text you want people to click on to get to your link. It might be “Click here”, or anything you choose.
“Open link in a new window/tab” – it’s a smart idea to check this box. Otherwise, when someone clicks your link, they’ll leave your blog.
If you want to link to an existing page, you can use the “Search” section to find a post or page you’ve already created and click it to add a link.
Finally, click “Add Link”, and your link will be added where you left your cursor in the post you were writing.
Standard Editing Tools: Here are options like bold, italic, lists, paragraphs, and headlines.
Publishing Tools: This is where you get your post will be shown to the world; the “Publish” button. You can also set a publication date to schedule your post in the future or save the post as a draft for more editing.
Creating the slug: Your slug is the URL of the post. You want to make this slug clear and concise. This will make it easier for people to share it on social media, and overall it will just look better.
You can find the slug underneath the post title. It will say “Permalink: http://yourdomain.com/post_title”.
Sometimes, the title of your blog post will make the perfect slug. But usually, it will be too long, and you should change it so that it’s no longer than 2-4 words.
Here are some tips for optimizing your WordPress slugs:
- Target SEO keywords. Think of what people would type to Google when they search for the information you share in the post—those are SEO keywords.
- Avoid duplicates (make sure it’s not the same as another slug on your website).
- Don’t change the slug after publishing the post (unless you absolutely have to) as this will result in lost traffic.
- Traffic Generation & Monetization Method
No blog is complete without compelling content.
To start, you should figure out the topic(s) that your blog will focus on. Then, come up with 10-15 ideas for new posts. Make these posts a mix of informative and entertaining.
You’ll also want to stumble on the side of creating evergreen content (content that doesn’t become dated/is always relevant) versus news/current affairs content (which becomes dated and irrelevant). Evergreen content will continue to generate traffic over time, while other content will run its course and become irrelevant.
If you want more blog readers as well as the opportunity to monetize your blog, you need to promote your blog.
Turning a blog into a profitable business is doable if there’s enough traffic.
Traffic = customers and money.
How to make a blog with sustainable traffic? All you need is:
- A content plan
- A game plan for social media
- Some basic knowledge of SEO.