Wanting to start a WordPress blog and actually doing it are two very different things. Taking that leap and starting your blog is a big deal, but you shouldn’t fear it. However, if something is worth doing (and this certainly is worth doing), it should be done properly. That’s why the guide below will guide you through the process and tell you about all of the things that you’re going to have to get right as you move through the process. It won’t necessarily be as difficult as you imagine it to be. A great way to make some extra money is by starting a blog.
Why Start A Blog?
But why should you start a blog at all? For a start, it gives you a platform to air your views and build a network. You can raise your profile and make sure that as many people as possible are taking you seriously. And, who knows, people might just like what you have to say! That’s always the hope, at least. You should also consider the fact that there is always a chance for you to earn money online from your blog if you start to grow it and build partnerships.
Bluehost is a hosting company that makes it easy to put your fully functioning WordPress blog in place. The information below will help you learn more about what the company can do for you, as well as how it should be used as a part of the overall blog creation process. So, without further ado, read on and learn about how you can start your own WordPress blog today.
Why Choose Bluehost?
First of all, it’s important to consider what Bluehost offers you and why this should be your hosting service of choice. Right now, Bluehost is considered one of the best hosting companies around. That’s something that means you simply have to take them seriously. With a strong reputation and a track record to match it, you can’t go too far wrong.
Pricing tends to be a major issue for people that want to get started in blogging. Fortunately, Bluehost starts at $3.95 and offers a free domain. No one wants to spend too much money on starting the blog because you don’t know how much of that money you will get back in the future. You always have to pay some money for a good hosting service, though. And the prices that you can get from Bluehost is far more affordable than most. There is no need to pay more than you have to, so take advantage of their offer. You can choose from a range of plans that vary in terms of length. Always compare these and consider which is best for you before going ahead.
Start By Registering Your Domain Name
To kickstart the process, you need to begin by registering a domain name. This is something that you can do via Bluehost, but you don’t have to. There are all kinds of websites out there that handle domain name issues. You can often find deals that allow you to get domain names free for a limited period of time. But once that time is over, you will need to start paying for them if you want to continue being able to use them. It all depends on the company you use and which domain you want. You might not get your first choice, but don’t fret over that too much.
You should give some name to what you want your blog to be called, though. Also, you don’t want anything that is going to be too confusing or difficult for people to remember. You should talk to friends about this because they can often point out the problems with your domain name that you don’t even notice. Short domain names are not necessarily better than longer ones, but they do need to be memorable in some way. If they’re not, it could be harder for you to grow an audience.
Head to Bluehost to Sort Out Hosting
Now is the time at which you should start getting your blog’s hosting in place. As identified above, Bluehost offers the best solution for this. So, head to their website and choose a plan that you think is going to work out best for your blog in the long-term. If you’re just starting out and don’t know how your blog will turn out, it’s fine to opt for the most basic plan on offer. For 99% of beginners, this is all that’s needed. But if you disagree, feel free to opt for one of the alternative plans. This is something that is entirely up to you because only you know what you want to achieve.
A 12-month plan is usually better than the month to month options that you can find too. It’s easy to select a package on the Bluehost website and to pay for it. So, this shouldn’t present you with any trouble at all. Be sure to choose a secure password to avoid any security issues for your blog later on. If you didn’t purchase your domain directly from Bluehost, you will need to link your domain and hosting service. This is a key step that you can’t avoid. But if you did buy your domain from Bluehost, you don’t need to worry about this at all.
Setup Your cPanel
Then you need to install WordPress on Bluehost to get your blog properly up and running. This is, of course, the most important step of all, and you need to do it properly. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do. Head to your cPanel, and choose the option that says ‘One Click Install’. You will then see a WordPress logo that you can click. Once you’ve clicked that, head to the ‘blogs’ tab and select the ‘start’ button. You can then choose the domain on which you want to install WordPress. You will then have to choose a username and password via ‘advanced settings’, and then the installation can begin.
Get Your Theme Right
The way your blog looks is really important. We use Genesis Framework from Studiopress which is the leading theme and framework. After all, this is what people will be presented with when they visit your website for the very first time. You want them to be impressed by what they see, and that will only happen if you have the right theme. The theme will generate the way in which your blog feels and the kind of tone it gives off. This is something that you shouldn’t rush because you need to make sure that you get it right. If you cut corners, you could end up with a theme that doesn’t work for you and your blog.
You don’t have to be a technical expert to come up with a theme for your WordPress blog, though. There are plenty of template themes that you can make the most of if you want to. Some of these are available for free, but the best ones often have to be paid for. It’s the kind of investment that’s worth making if you really want your blog to impress the people who will see it and use it. First, you will need to look at the framework, and then the overall blog design, which is known as the child theme.
Make the Tweaks and Changes in Place So That You’re Happy with How it Looks
Design Palette Pro lets you customize your Genesis theme. Once your basic theme is in place, you can start thinking about what you should do to make sure that your blog looks just the way you want it to. The theme is like the skeleton of your blog. But you need to flesh out with more features and design choices if you want it to look unique and specific to you. It’s not good to have a blog that looks too boring or generic. It will look the same as all the rest, and that just makes it harder to have the blog stick out in people’s minds. That’s not a situation you want to be dealing with going forward.
Use OptinMonster to Convert Visitors
Also, start working on your lead generation to generate repeat users. We use the industry leading OptinMonster. There are so many small changes that you can make to your blog if you want to. Browse through all of the different options until you find the one that’s right for you. These little tweaks and changes can be made continually. That’s the great thing about using Optinmonster; you can always go back and change something later on if it’s no longer working for your blog. Creating A/B testing is a great way to test what is working best for your users. You can also generate more email leads and convert more of your visitors into long term users. The control is in your hands, and that can be really important.
Setup Your Website Security & Plugins
You will want to start with making sure your site is secure. Start with Sucuri which is the leading provider of security server side security and firewall. Plugins and security are essential, and it might be the case that you want only a few plugins on your website. But don’t skip on security.
As for plugins, don’t rule them out completely because there are some plugins out there that could be really useful to your blog. For example, you could choose to use analytics tools. These can be installed via WordPress plugins. And you can then get access to much more data relating to how your blog is being used by visitors and how people are finding it. This is the kind of information that can really help you to improve your blog, so why not use it?
That’s just one example of how plugins can be used to your advantage too. There is no time or space to cover all of them here. But do have a browse through them and do some research. If you find any that you think could be useful to you, make the most of them. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of them if you think that they will make your blog better than it would otherwise be.
Start Creating Content That Will Grab and Retain Readers
When all of the above things have been covered, you will need to start thinking about what you can do to make sure that your blog is visited by as many people as possible. This, of course, begins with creating content for your blog. It seems obvious to say that content is what people visit blogs for, but you really can’t let that slip your mind. All those design features and plugins won’t save you if the content you’re creating is not good enough to keep people visiting and reading your posts. There is no way around that point, so don’t forget it.
You will also need to come up with some kind of plan that you will help you to retain the readers that you get early on. Make sure that you have some kind of presence on social media, and don’t forget to link back to the website from those profiles and platforms. You need to have an organic flow between your blog and social media if you want to maximise the number of people visiting your blog. It’s really important not to ignore this factor. The harder you work, the better the results will be.
Get Feedback and Never Stop Improving Your Blog Going Forward
The work doesn’t end once your blog is up and running and attracting visitors. If anything, this is when the hard work really starts. You have to maintain a high level of quality, as well as a regular output schedule. You won’t be able to grow your blog in the way you would like unless you have a plan for you how you are going to keep people coming back and reading your posts. It sounds easy, but it rarely is.
There are so many competing voices out there in the blogosphere, so you have to work hard to keep hold of your audience. It’s important to listen to what people are saying. You should take feedback seriously, especially when you’re just starting out as a blogger. At the same time, you don’t want to let the critics get you down too much. Simply learn from your mistakes and try to keep improving your blog as you go forward.
Starting a blog can often seem like an incredibly daunting challenge, but it really doesn’t have to be. If you follow the steps and advice outlined below, you will go from having no blog to having a blog that is able to impress in no time at all. So, what are you waiting for?