Blogging

The Beginner’s Guide: How to Start a Blog From Scratch

Everything you need to start a successful blog

How to start a blog - geniusalive.com

This guide is well-packed with all you need to know about “how to start a blog” now… everything plus bonus tips to get you started on the right path. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn.

I’ve spent several months making a lot of mistakes, trying out different approaches, blogging technicalities and even niche ideas… so believe me when I say blogging is a bit unproductive and redundant if you don’t plan well at the start.

And if you ever want to earn any income from your blog, you have to create a blog profit funnel, a basic plan that’s workable… the good thing is that it’s an easy thing to do if you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your blog’s niche.

Take a few seconds to slowly scroll through to the end, to have a feel of what you’ll be learning on “how to start a blog” and come back here.

Bookmark this page or download the pdf worksheet, for an easier future reference.

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to:
Build a blog or website using WordPress from the scratch for yourself and for anyone & get paid: creating a new source of income and acquiring a valuable skill.

I’ll try to get to the point, make it simple and easy while making sure I don’t miss out anything. Let’s dive in it already.

Step 1. Finding and Selecting a niche

After deciding to start a blog, the first important step to take is choosing a topic area to blog about. A good niche or topic area is the secret of any successful and lucrative blog.

Ohh, I’ll explain what a niche is; a niche is a topic area that focuses on providing helpful and quality content for a narrowed group of people in a large market.

You wouldn’t want to spend a year or two blogging about the wrong topic after putting in a lot of time. Knowing that you might spend the next 5 to 10 years or more blogging, selecting a good niche becomes a must.

A good niche for you is:
 What you are passionate about
 What you’re knowledgeable about
 Profitable

A Blog’s niche could be about a specific topic in fashion, life-hacks, traveling, a particular product
 Entrepreneurship
 Health and fitness
 Viral News (Gossips)
 Relationships, Graphic Designs, A Product Review, Religion, Hobbies and much more… hundreds.

You could use these tools below to check if a good amount of people are already interested in your potential topic areas.
 Google trends
 SEMrush
 Google word planner
Semrush-search-2-how-to-start-a-blog

Still trying to come up with a topic area? Read 81 blog topic ideas


Step 2. Choosing your domain name

A brief info on how domain & hosting work:
The two basic things every website must have to come on board on the internet is a domain name and a host, without these two things people can’t find you, your content will stay on your PC hard drive and not online.

The host is your rented space (like an office) on the internet and the domain (an office address) is the address that gives anyone an access to the content in your space. Okay, that said, let’s go on.

You’ll be doing two things here:
1. Searching and selecting a domain name
You would need a domain name for your blog that no one else has taken. So you might want to try domain names with two to three words because almost all the single word domain names are not available.

When choosing a domain name, the two good ways to go at it are:
Choosing a domain name that describes your niche: businessideas.com, knowyourfashion.com, bestgraphicdesigns.com, strictlyshoes.com, uniquephotos.com
Or you can use your name: brainscott.com, justinegrey.com, designwithbella.com

It doesn’t stop at these two, you can get creative and come up with any cool brand name.

Try out these domain name generators to help you come up with available domain names related to your niche keywords
Shopify
Namemesh
Domainsbot

2. Registering your domain name
Finding a good available domain name is just the first step, the next important step is registering the available domain name. Someone else, somewhere on the planet right now might be interested in the same available domain name you just found too, it’s the first person to register it that gets to own it.

You have to register your new found domain name (www.yourdomain.com) to become the legit owner.

There are a ton of domain and hosting services out there where you can register your domain name in minutes for $9.99 to $15 a year, but I would recommend you to keep expenses to the minimum.

One of the best hosting and most affordable domain services among others I’ve used is iPage.

It offers an affordable hosting plan that comes with a free domain registration for a year, with a simple user interface for beginners. So with Ipage, you’ll be getting a free domain registration (saving $15).

I’ll show you how to go about your domain name registration in the next step.


Step 3. Setting up your domain & hosting plan

As a blogger who is just starting out, the only two things you have to purchase are your new domain and a hosting plan, you can get most of the other stuff you need for free.
But thanks to iPage, we’ll be purchasing just one thing – a hosting plan, the other (domain registration) comes for free.

I chose Ipage because it’s one of the best and most affordable hosting plans you can get out there, others offer over $3.5 for a similar plan with fewer features.

GET iPAGE OFFER HERE

Okay, we’ll do this in 5 easy steps:

1. Go to iPage now and click the “Sign Up Now” button. You’ll get the $1.99/mo special offer by clicking the green get offer button above.

2. Type in your new domain name and click “Check Availability” (Just to confirm the domain name is still available). I used “www.geniuscreativ.com” just to explain this process.

Ipage select domain name - how to start a blog

3. Fill in your details

Ipage hosting purchase - how to start a blog

4. Choose a hosting plan*

You can choose a 12 month, 24 months or 3 years subscription option as shown below.

One of the mistakes I made when first learned how to start a blog was picking a 12 month plan, yes it was cheap at $35.88 but after a year, it expired and I had to renew at $105 at the time… I could have easily utilized the first time sign-up offer to get a 3 year plan at just $71.64.

So, if I had to do it all over again, I would pick the 3-year first-time offer plan without a blink

Here’s why:

• The Sign-up price for any hosting service is a lot cheaper than the renewal price

 Web host   Sign-up price   Renewal price 
 Ipage   $1.99/month   $10.95/month
 Bluehost   $2.95/month   $7.99/month

Let’s compare the 3-year sign-up offer price to the renewal price ⇒

Utilizing the sign-up offer:
A 3-year plan cost = $71.64 at the rate of $1.99/month

Total $71.64 for a 3-year plan (You pay just once)

Not utilizing the sign-up offer:
Paying for only a year – 12 months x $2.99 = $35.88 (sign-up offer included for first subscription)
Renewal for year 2 – 12 months x $10.95 = $131.4
Renewal for year 3 – 12 months x $10.95 = $131.4

Total $328.68 for a 3-year plan (You pay three times with a possible increase in price in the future)

The summary is that “iPage 3-year sign-up offer saves you over $257.04 and gives you enough time to build up your blog income funnels without worrying about any hosting expenses”… it’s the best offer out there.

Ipage plan page - how to start a blog

5. Purchase your hosting plan

You’ll see a lot of other purchasable features for your domain or hosting plan on this page. Leave only the “Domain Privacy” checked and uncheck the rest. You don’t need the others for now. Domain Privacy feature protects your personal domain details from been vulnerable to hackers, so it’s important to include it.

Then Go ahead and click the “Check Out” button. You can pay via “PayPal or Credit Card”. Once your payment is confirmed, you’ll receive an email with your ipage account details.

Congrats you now own your space and an address on the internet!

You can create official email addresses that include your domain name for free with ipage hosting account, like anythinghere@geniuscreativ.com, hello@yourdomainname.com, contactme@geniusalive.com


Step 4. Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress software on your hosting dashboard involves a few processes, but with Ipage, it is as simple as it can get by just clicking a few buttons.

How to Install your WordPress software into your iPage web hosting in 5 steps:
1. Login into your ipage account control panel

ipage login page - how to start a blog
2. Click the WordPress button


3. It takes you to Ipage marketplace, click “continue installation”

mojo marketplace - how to start a blog
4. Then click the “select domain for installation” form and choose your domain and directory and click the “next” button.

Ipage marketplace - how to start a blog
5. Check advanced setting, fill out the required details, check “terms & conditions” and click the “Install” button. Then wait for the installation progress bar to get to the end – 100% complete.

Cheers! you’ve set the core foundation of your blog (Domain, hosting and WordPress), just modifying your blog’s look, posting contents and a few other stuff are left.

You can now log into your WordPress application by adding “/wp-admin” at the end of your domain. (www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin). A page similar to the one below will come up, type in your login details and click the “Log in” button.

Wp login page - how to start a blog
Go to the next step to learn how to change the look of your blog.


Step 5. Choosing a theme

A theme provides the overall design or front end styling of a site. So, beautiful WordPress sites have beautiful themes.
Great themes make your website look great and legit. I spent hours searching for the perfect blog theme when I first learned how to start a blog and I still do till date, who doesn’t love a good-looking and responsive site?

To install free themes for a start:
1. Go to left sidebar and click on appearances, then click “themes”

Installing a free wordpress theme - how to start a blog

2. You’ll see the default theme that’s already installed, go to the “Add New Theme” section and click the button

3. It will take you to a library with thousands of free themes. You could search Huemantheme and install it for a start, it’s a standard free theme with a lot of customizable features which I settled for at the early stage of my blog after trying out a lot of other free themes.

To install premium themes:
1. Go to any top theme marketplace:
  ThemeForest
  Mojomarketplace
 Elegantthemes

Preview different themes and choose a theme of your choice, buy, and download to your computer’s desktop (for easy access).

2. Go back to your “themes” page on your WordPress account, click “Add New Theme”, then click “upload theme” button at the top-left part of the page

Uploading theme - how to start a blog

3. Click the “choose file” button. Open the downloaded theme on your desktop and “Install Now”. After the theme is installed in a few seconds, activate it.

4. Go back to the themes page to activate the theme.

To change any feature or setting in your theme, hover over the “appearance” button by the left sidebar and click “customize” button, a new page will open with a lot of customizable features and settings.


Step 6. Install basic plugins

Plugins are the magic wonders of any WordPress site, with them you can make your site do almost anything without knowing how to code, just by installing a certain plugin in 3 to 5 seconds that do whatever function you want.

According to the wiki, “a plugin is a software part that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. It enables customization.”

For now, you’ll need to install a few important plugins to make your site work better.

How to install a plugin:
1. Go to the left sidebar and hover over or click the “Plugins” button – 1 and click the “Add new”2

Installing plugins - how to start a blog
2. You’ll enter a new plugin page that looks like the image above, then enter the name of any plugin you want to install in the “search plugin”3 (or enter a keyword, e.g if you want to install a facebook-like button, you could type “Facebook like button”, all the plugins that offer related functions will come up)

3. Install your preferred plugin by clicking the “Install Now” button – 4. You could click “more details”5 to find out more about the features of the plugin.

4. After it’s installed in 3 to 5 seconds, click the red “Activate” button that comes up to activate the plugin on your site.

Once it’s activated, you can adjust the settings by finding the plugin’s button on your left sidebar, if it’s not there check the settings button on the left sidebar.

Now install these 6 important plugins:
1. Jetpack: This plugin has major features every site needs: stats, related posts, search engine optimization, social sharing, protection, backups, speed, and email list management.

2. Yoast SEO: Can’t be left out. It optimizes your blog, making it super easy for visitors to find you through search engines, it automatically creates XML sitemaps, social media integration, helps you write better contents and much more.

3. WP Super Cache: Makes your site faster through caching

4. Google analytics by monsterinsights: Connects your site to Google analytics to enable you to see your site’s statistics and performance: the number of visitors on your site at any time, visitor’s country, the pages been visited the most and a lot more.

5. Updraftplus: Backs up and easily restores your site just in case of a breakdown or hack.

6. Sumome: Provide free important tools (social shares, list builder for email marketing, image share, and much more) to help you grow your site and bring more people to your site when visitor share your post & photos on social media and subscribe your blog)

• To install any of the plugins above, type the plugin’s name into the “search plugin” and press enter, then follow the procedure on “how to install a plugin” above.

Each plugin instructs how to adjust the settings in the right way. You might want to take out time to set up Yoast SEO, WP Super Cache & Google analytics because they are very important.


Step 7. Publishing your first blog post

So far, so good, you’ve learned the basics of how to start a blog. But the “content” is the heart and soul of any successful blog.

How to publish a post in 5 steps:
1. Go to the left sidebar and click or hover over the “Post” button – 1, click the “Add New” button – 2

Publishing a blog post - how to start a blog
2. Click on the “Enter title here” text field – 3 to enter the title of your post

3. Below is a large text field – 4 where you can type in your content, above is a toolbar for editing your content, adding images or any form of media and more.

4. You can preview your content to see how it’ll look in your web page by clicking the “Preview” button on the right sidebar.

After you’ve complete your post and you are okay with the “preview” page, click the red “Publish” button to put it your post on your web page.

Conclusion

Now you know “How to start a blog” from the scratch. Go ahead and start yours.

Note that this guide isn’t only used for creating only a blog, but sites too. Cms applications are used for creating blogs, websites and web apps.

Create a Blog or a Site! Learn a few skills & become a pro! quit limiting habits, Create awesome contents!, Offer helpful services & start making money via your blog.

Time flies. Today looks like the best time to start, don’t you think so?

(Bonus tips) 6 things to do next:

1. Create a brand - Logo, brand color(s)2. Upgrade your Content writing skill3. Promote, promote, promote4. Monetizing your blog5. Gather knowledge and keep updating6. Create a plan

A good logo and a brand color are the two main important design basics your site should start with, a good logo and design create trust. The brand color is the main color of your site, established blogs or sites all have a particular color that is being used all over the site, some brand colors work better for some niche.

You might say, “I don’t know how to design a logo or come up with a brand color”. No worries, you can get beautiful logos design for you on 99designs or freelancer. Fiverr too for $5 or $10.

Just get something design and simple. While at it, you can kill two birds with a stone by asking the designer for a preferred brand color for your blog’s niche.

Good writing skill is a must when it comes to blogging, it’s one of the reasons why you visit some sites more than other related sites in the same niche. It all comes down to headlines, good writing skills, and designs.

So, learning to become a better writer who writes awesome blog posts people can’t do without is very important to the success of any blog. And good content writing is a very lucrative skill too, you could write contents for other blogs and earn cool side income. (Don’t mind me, I just love taking up on opportunities)

Okay, here are a few good online courses on “Writing” worth taking:
Creative Writing Specialization Course: Craft Your Story Like The Great Writers
Writing With Impact: Writing that Persuades
Freelance Writing For Beginners

I guess I’ve haven’t said this so far, if so, here is it “The two main things that get your content read are: Promotion & promotion”

Ohh, what about SEO? yeah, a bit, but you should know that as a new blogger,

…writing blog posts and putting awesome contents on your blog is just 25% of success work, oh sorry 10%! while promoting your blog post is 90% of work.

Imagine putting up awesome contents on your blog and no gets to read them just you… argh, that’s not cool, right? Promoting your blog posts build up visitors with time, from “0” views to “1,000” unique views to “millions”, that all depends on your level of promotion.

If you aren’t getting enough traffic, you need to do one main thing – promote more!

6 best ways you can start promoting your blog:
 Set up Social media accounts (where you share your blog’s contents & build up followers)
 Set up your email marketing funnels (where you collect you visitors email for updates, info & offers)
 Comment on other blogs with related topics
 Join online forums
 Guest posting
 Facebook ads

If you plan on earning any money through your blog in the long run, then start now to make a space for that while building your blog.

You can monetize your blog in a few ways:
 Affiliate marketing
 Ads
 Sponsored blog post
 Creating and selling a digital product: course, e-book, webinar and more.
 Offering a service: Consulting, “Done for you” and more.
 Membership site and a few more.


Blogging has taught me a lot of things I wouldn’t have dared to learn.

Since I started blogging, I have learnt a buck load of skills, knowledge and much more by reading hundreds of articles and taking online courses: I can basically research about anything online, I’m a WordPress expert, I design, fast typing skills, quick thinker (I could write a 2000 words article in 2 hours or less), an online course expert, web developer too, and much more.

In order to create great contents, you have to spend quality time learning and gathering up new trends, information, skills and more. You can easily do this by doing a few things:

  Reading related blogs – get ideas from established companies that hire experts to design, write and develop their blogs
 Learning good skills
 Taking note of any idea that comes to you. You’ll be amazed at the number of creative ideas that will come to your mind as a blogger.
 Thinking of your reader’s wants and needs or try asking them a few questions
 And more.

As I said earlier, blogging is one of the best things anyone can start – it’s a great hobby, profitable, creative, super informative, writing skills, technical skills, research skills, planning and all. But it can become a bit tiring when you don’t set goals & targets or when you don’t see results or have any plan.

You only get results when you set certain targets, note down the steps you need to meet these targets and try to complete each step. Blogging with no targets or plan makes you take any result you get, even if it’s a poor one.

 

Hey, kindly leave a comment :) thanks!