So you want to create and start a WordPress blog?
WordPress has revolutionized the way people build websites. Even if you have no idea of coding or web design, you will get a hang of the platform in no time at all and have an appealing and a high-performing website in just a few clicks.
Although simple, knowing exactly what to do and how to do it is important so you don’t end up with a less than satisfying blog website.
So, we’ll walk you through all the steps to take to create a blog. We’ll also show you every single step you need to follow to start a blog.
With this guide and the right tools, you can have your very own personal or business blog up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Still, having a WordPress blog can be disastrous for many people.
The problem lies in creating a blog design that is appealing and therefore boosts conversions and generates revenue. Yet, all said and done, those are maybe the two most important aspects of a blog website.
If there are people who focus on a design that looks good, on the contrary many still fail to also do so to maximize their conversion rates.
That mistake costs you dearly on several levels, the most important one being that it makes it difficult for your customers to buy from you.
The biggest reasons you created your blog were to drive traffic to your content, generate leads, and make sales.
Creating and starting a blog the right way is not rocket science only a few bright people can master.
So, are you ready to have fun learning to do it?
Then let’s dive in and get started.
Meanwhile, watch this video:
Creating and starting a WordPress blog begins with identifying the two major steps that will help you do so.
- How to create a WordPress blog
- How to start a WordPress blog
Now, let’s look at the first one.
A. How to create a WordPress blog
At this first major step, we will look at 35 different steps.
To help you create a blog site, we’re going to follow the process step by step:
- Setting-up steps
- Design steps
- Navigation steps
- Usability steps
- Performance steps
- Further customization steps
- Other steps
We will cover each of these steps in detail below.
So, let’s look at the first one.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 1: Choose your blog topic
- Step 2: Find the right blogging platform
- Step 3: Purchase hosting and your domain name
- Step 4: Install the free WordPress software
- Step 5: Configure your WordPress blog
Step 1 – Choose your blog topic
The very first step you need to take in creating a WordPress blog is to choose a topic and a name for your blog.
If you want your blog to emerge from the myriad of existing and new blogs, follow most successful blogs and focus on only one thing.
That niche may be career advancement, travel, dating and relationship for men, beauty, business operations, etc.
Choose a blog topic that you are passionate about, interested in, or, expert at.
Your passion, feeling of curiosity, fascination, etc., or special knowledge or training will enable you write good, quality content to help others and make you grow your blog.
Let’s say you’re interested in muscle building. Most men are seeking to spend to get more muscle and have better bodies by doing away with their flabby figures.
You can create a blog offering products for weight loss, diet, training, and health supplements. This will get you new clients and help you make good money.
Tip: You’re not obliged to choose your blog topic at this stage, but it’s helpful to have something in mind.
Step 2 – Find the right blogging platform
The first thing you have to make at this step is to decide whether you want to create a free blog or a self-hosted one.
Platforms like Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and Tumblr.com allow you to sign up free and create your blog.
However, as I learnt at the beginning of my blogging career, that’s not the way to go if you are serious about blogging.
Free blogging platforms offer limited monetization, customization, and traffic. Besides, you’ll have no control over your blog which can even be shut down for unknowingly violating the terms and conditions of service.
Furthermore, should your blog become successful and you want to upgrade, you’ll pay more than if you had started self-hosted.
Lastly, you can’t have your own web address such as this blog’s: https://secureyourfuturewithus.com but an URL like my first blog’s: https://it-is-easy-to-make-money-at-home.blogspot.com.
Host your blog yourself. In other words, have a self-hosted blog.
This will make your blog appear more professional, be your own thing over which you have full control and which you can tweak as you wish.
Now that the question of free or self-hosted blog is out of the way, which blogging platform should you choose?
There are many. Some are more flexible and easier to use, while others are more limited and demand a higher learning curve.
Here is a list of top 10 blogging platforms in 2021.
The image above, as well as statistics, show that WordPress is the most commonly used blogging platform in 2021.
As self-hosting is the best way to go and WordPress is by far the most preferred blogging platform, your choice is clear.
Still, let’s see 4 reasons why self-hosted WordPress should be your best option:
- It’s free to use (open-source)
- It’s very flexible with hundreds of free (and premium) blog themes
- It has a large developer community
- It’s updated and improved regularly
Of course, self-hosting your blog comes at a cost, which made me create my first blog on Blogger.com. I didn’t know then that the cost was minimal.
Choosing Web Hosting
Web hosting is the engine powering your blog site. It is a service where your blog’s files are kept.
You get it from a web hosting provider.
Choosing a provider is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make in creating your blog. Because this can affect the functioning of your blog. So, you’ll need a fast, reliable, secure, and affordable hosting provider.
Fortunately there are many reputed web hosting services for WordPress. Online reviews will help you select a trusted one.
Having done that, you now have to choose the right hosting plan. This must be based on your niche, target audience, and end goals.
There are two types of hosting plans: shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting offers users shared occupancy of a web server in the host’s network. and dedicated hosting gives users sole occupancy of a single web server in the host’s network.
At this time, purchasing a shared hosting plan might be more judicious and economical for you. However, when your blog grows and attracts more traffic, you’ll have to switch to dedicated hosting.
You can always cancel the hosting service. Many providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Choosing a domain name
In addition to choosing a web hosting, you must also register a unique domain name to create a WordPress blog.
This is your website’s identity. It is what your target audience will use to access your blog online.
Think of a short, attractive, and easy to remember domain name. Try to make it something related to your niche so that searchers may find it online. Also, seeing it, people can guess what you do.
In order to avoid domain names conflicting with each other, you need to check to see the one you have chosen is available before you can proceed to registration.
Registration is done with domain name registrars.
Popular domain name registrars include GoDaddy, Name.com, Namecheap, Google Domains, Wealthy Affiliate, etc.
As you will soon find out, most web hosting providers also offer domain registration services.
Contrary to the web hosting, your domain name is not refundable. It will simply expire at the end of the subscription period. Then, it becomes available to the public for purchase.
I think you have accessed some websites only to be directed to a message: This domain is on sale. Yes, that’s a parked domain anyone can buy.
Need help coming up with a good domain name? Check blog name generators.
Short, go self-hosted and use the WordPress.org blogging platform because it’s much more flexible and you can start growing and creating your blog from the word go!
Step 3: Purchase web hosting and your domain name
For your free WordPress blog to be visible online and accessible to people worldwide requires those two things we’ve been talking about above:
- Web hosting – A simple and reliable one is usually around $4-$12/mo.
- Domain – your blog’s permanent address.
Fortunately, you can purchase both of them at the same time from WordPress hosts. There is a huge number of WordPress hosts here.
Like many WordPress users, as answer to the question which website builder is best for blogging, we recommend Bluehost to new WordPress bloggers.
- you will get your account activated instantly
- Simple, one-click install for WordPress. You can easily install WordPress. With just a few clicks, you can launch the WordPress software and have a functioning blog.
- It’s affordable. Just $2.95 per month for your first 12 months.
- You get a domain name free for the first year with SSL certificate (security) when you sign up. This is when you sign up with Bluehost, otherwise your own domain would cost $10+.
- It has enough performance to get you started. Bluehost offers plenty of performance to keep your site online.
- Free email accounts, like firstname.lastname@example.org
It will cost you about $35.40 to host your blog at Bluehost for the entire year, including your free domain name.
So, with an investment of between $40 and $120/year you have a blog business online. This makes blogging one of the cheapest businesses to create but which could give you fame and generates a lot of revenue for you.
How to sign up for WordPress hosting at Bluehost
To get started, head over to Bluehost. Scroll down the page, and you would see a list of their WordPress hosting plans.
Since you are just beginning, we recommend the Basic plan because it is cheap. Besides, it offers plenty of power for your new WordPress blog.
To start the process Click the SELECT button.
In the new window, enter your domain name in the new domain box and click Next.
With Bluehost, you get the domain name for free, remember?
On the final screen, enter the basic account and billing details at the top:
Then scroll down for the Package Information section.
You can choose the number of years of hosting service you wish to purchase, plus any add-ons.
Bluehost will check some of these add-ons by default, but you can de-select them:
Your total cost should be not more than $36 for one year of hosting plus your free domain name.
With all the information filled in, click SUBMIT at the bottom to complete your purchase.
Step 4: Install the free WordPress software
Now, you need to install the WordPress software.
I know this feeling.
Anytime most newbies hear about installing anything having something to do with technology, they freak out. But that shouldn’t be the case. Just read on to find out how easy this is.
Steps to follow to install WordPress on Bluehost
- Log in to your user profile at Bluehost.
- In the “Home” page click on the blue button “WordPress”
- WordPress installation starts
When you completed the Bluehost sign-up process above, you certainly received an email from them showing you how to log in to the Bluehost Customer Area.
Go ahead and do it.
Once in, Bluehost will give you a simple wizard that takes you through the process of installing WordPress on your new site.
If you don’t see the setup wizard, just go to the My Sites area and click the Create Site button. This will launch the wizard:
Then, you can fill in all the important details for your site’s name and the username/password that you’ll use to manage your WordPress blog:
Once the install process is over, you can access your new blog’s dashboard by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin and input the access details for your admin account.
Where to find WordPress themes for your blog
We’ve already told you where to go to choose a WordPress theme.
To find free themes, we told you to search the official WordPress.org theme directory.
To find premium themes, we told you to search Google. But here are some good options:
ThemeForest – a big directory of premium themes.
ThemeIsle – their themes are pretty swell.
Here is a list of the most popular and best free WordPress themes.
How to install a WordPress theme
Once you’ve found a theme that you love, WordPress makes it easy to add that theme to your site.
- Hover over Appearance
- Select Themes
- Click the Add New button
- If you chose a free theme at WordPress.org, search for the theme by name and click Install.
- If you purchased a premium theme, click the Upload Theme button and upload the ZIP file you should have received when you purchased the theme.
After installing your theme, make sure to click the Activate button to make it active on your site.
Step 5: Configure your WordPress blog
When you log in, you’ll see this:
Your WordPress blog is already 100% operational, yet there are still a few settings that you would want to see to in order to customize your WordPress blog.
1. General Settings
Go to the left sidebar and click on Settings → General.
Then you can set:
- “Site Title”: This is the name of your site. It’s particularly important since that’s what every visitor sees first. It’s also a big part of how search engines determine your rankings.
- “Tagline”: This is a one short sentence summary of what your blog is about. For example: “Affiliate marketing techniques that even a newbie can follow.”
Check to make sure your blog address (URL) is in order. Set your time zone, and your preferred language.
Note Bluehost’s Coming Soon feature in the last section of General Settings. Turn it off when you’re ready to go live with your blog.
2. Visibility in Google
What you’re going to do here is of the utmost importance to ensure that search engines like Google can index your new blog.
Still in the sidebar, go to Settings → Reading and make sure that the field labeled “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” remains unchecked, as below:
Should you fail to do that, your blog will remain invisible to Google and all your blogging efforts will be in vain
These settings determine how WordPress creates individual URLs, that is, webpage addresses, for your individual pages or blog posts.
Go to Settings → Permalinks and set your permalinks to the “Post name” variant, as below:
This is the most optimal setting of the ones available and also the one preferred by Google and other search engines.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 1: Choose a theme
- Step 2: Use a responsive design
- Step 3: Use favicons
- Step 4: 404 page errors
- Step 5: Exercise caution with home page carousels
- Step 6: Speed up your website
- Step 7: Increase your server response time
- Step 8: Make sure your website follows design norms
Step 1: Choose a theme
WordPress enables you to have a top-notch look for your blog even when you are not a skilled designer.
In effect, there is a vast and diverse array of eye-catching themes to make your website visually attractive. You can use any of them (free) and this, without any coding knowledge to customize your blog.
To do so, head to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance → Themes.
Then click on “Add New”:
Now, switch the tab to “Popular”:
WordPress will show you the most popular free WordPress themes out there for all types of websites. Any of them can be installed with just one click.
Take your time and browse through the theme list to find something that really suits your business and displays the main purpose behind your blog. In other words, choose the right WordPress theme based on your blog’s niche and content.
You found a theme you like?
Get it installed onto your blog by clicking on “install” next to the theme’s name, followed by “activate”.
N.B.: This step simply changes the look of your blog. It doesn’t affect your content in any way at all. So, you can change your themes as often as you want, without fearing that your blog will go haywire.
Step 2: Use a responsive design
Did you know that responsive design is the most important feature for a website?
That’s what makes your website accessible to people using different devices.
Visitors will view your website on desktops, smartphones, iPads, and PS4s. Their experience should be optimized for their devices. This is what Google recommends.
Step 3: Use favicons
If you’re like many website visitors, you use lots of tabs while browsing. I do this often while checking many websites for the same type of information. I leave the tabs open so that I can review them later.
Favicons give you the visual cue you need to orient yourself, find what you’re looking for, and return to a given tab while browsing.
Read more on favicon
Later on we will show you how to add a favicon to your WordPress blog.
Step 4: 404 page errors
The HTTP 404, 404 Not Found, 404, 404 Error, Page Not Found or File Not Found error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) standard response code, in computer network
communications, to indicate that the browser was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_404
They simply hit the back button, going out of your site forever.
Step 5: Exercise caution with home page carousels
Carousels aren’t a problem per se. They become so when they scroll automatically.
Carousels look like ads and therefore lead to banner blindness, reducing visibility.
As they scroll, they distract and annoy your website visitors. This drives their attention away from the one thing you want them to be focused on: conversion!
That’s why they’re known as conversion killers.
Step 6: Speed up your website
What kind of site is supposed to be too slow?
The one that takes more than four seconds for its web page to load completely.
Is this a reality?
Google undertook a study and found that 70 percent of the websites they surveyed took seven seconds or longer to load.
More importantly, they saw that the slower a site is, the more likely it is that a user trying to access it will bounce.
Now, what does Google recommend?
Google found that 3 seconds is the accepted best practice for website owners if they want to keep their visitors on-site.
Here are a few other metrics Google uses to assess site speed:
- Time to the first byte. When you enter a URL in your browser, it asks the server for the HTML document at that URL. The faster the response time, the more likely it is that the rest of the page will load quickly.
- Start to render. Computer code creates and presents the visual display on your screen. It shows visitors that something is going on and that the web page is loading.
- Visual completeness. The web page has finished loading, is fully visible, and has become fully available to your visitors.
- Document complete. The web page may be visually complete, but there are lots of additional details loading in the background. When it comes to loading times, this is actually a more accurate measure of completeness.
- Fully loaded. Asynchronous code begins loading data once the site is fully loaded. This asynchronous code doesn’t actually prevent users from using the site so it’s not considered part of the website load time.
Step 7: Increase your server response times
You’ve optimized your web pages for speed, but your website is still slow.
The problem could be your server response time. For no matter how fast your web pages load, it would be of no use if your server response time is slow.
Slow server response times typically indicate that there’s an underlying performance problem. So, do you see why we recommended BlueHost hosting? We told you it offers plenty of power for your new WordPress blog.
We recommended the basic hosting plan to begin with because your new WordPress blog does not have many files, images and plugins yet.
But as the site grows, these things tend to slow it down. Hence our recommendation to leave shared hosting for a dedicated one.
In any case, Google’s recommendation is that you reduce your server response time to 200 ms or even less.
Here are some of the dozens of potential causes:
- Slow application logic
- Slow database queries
- Frameworks and libraries
- Resource CPU starvation
- Memory starvation
Fast server response times and optimized web pages are crucial to an increased website speed and performance.
Step 8: Make sure your website follows design norms
There are some standard designs visitors are used to seeing at every website. Users expect your website too to follow these design conventions.
You have a lot of room to maneuver of course, as no two sites look exactly alike. But you have to exercise caution with what you do with that flexibility.
If, for instance, your visitors can’t find the navigation bar or the search function, you’ll lose them.
The rule of thumb is to include as many accepted design norms as possible but without going overboard.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step1: Have your website logo on the left, not centered
- Step 2: Avoid invisible navigation menus
- Step 3: Avoid uncontrollable navigation
- Step 4: Have the color of visited links changed
Step 1: Have your website logo on the left, not centered
Centering website logos makes it 6 times more difficult for visitors to find your home page within a single click.
The question you may ask is, is it important for visitors to get to your homepage?
Yes, it is.
The homepage is one of the first places visitors will go when they become lost or disoriented on your site. And from there, they can visit other areas of your website.
Your website’s homepage is like a town square. So far as you can make your way back there when you get lost, you can find your way to other places in the town.
Later on we will show you how to add a logo to your WordPress blog.
Step 2: Avoid invisible navigation menus
Like road signs or place names, the role of the website navigation is to tell you where you are and where you could go to from there.
The problem with invisible navigational menus is that they don’t help the visitor who is wondering, “Where am I?” or “Where can I go to from here?”
Yet visual cues from your navigation menus and breadcrumb navigation are supposed to help your visitors move through your site. They always help them find an answer to the “Where am I?” question.
Invisible navigation menus, a.k.a. mystery-meat navigation menus, on the other hand, leave visitors to guess which elements on the page are menu items. They are also left puzzling over where these menu items will take them.
The adventurous visitors will click all the same. And when the new page miraculously offers answers to their questions or helps solve their problem, they will breathe with relief. On the contrary, they will angrily and disdainfully click out of your blog site for good.
As Neil Patel says, “Clear menus, breadcrumb navigation, and design cues answer the ‘Where am I?’ question for your visitors.”
So, use clear navigation to keep your visitors oriented on the page.
Now, tell me, which of the navigational menus above would you hate and which would you love?
Step 3: Avoid uncontrollable navigation
You know that a calm sea is easier to navigate than an agitated one. The same is true of website navigation.
Animated navigation—anything that bounces, flashes, moves, or rolls on a website—distract visitors and consequently kill conversion.
Your visitors come to your site to find answers to their questions. Instead of that, they are made to spend their time trying to figure out how to use the navigation.
As a website user, you know this annoys you. So does it your website visitors who usually abandon your site.
Step 4: Have the color of visited links changed
Anytime I’m doing some research on Google results pages, nothing pleases me more than the blue links which turn crimson after I have visited them.
This keeps me from wasting my time revisiting a link already consulted.
Visitors of your websites also depend on link colours to figure out where they’ve been and where they could go to next.
So, help keep your visitors from visiting the same or the wrong page over and over again by changing the colour of visited links.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 1: Ensure great onsite search
- Step 2: Add functionality to your blog
Step 1: Ensure great onsite search
Let me see the hands of visitors who have never used search to find what they’re looking for on a website.
I see none.
Like you, your visitors also depend on search if they don’t immediately find a page they want to consult. This is especially true in e-commerce and on large and complex websites.
A great onsite search engine should be able to handle:
- Keyword variations
“Sorting results based on the number of keywords and queries isn’t helpful,” says Neil Patel. “If your site needs a search engine, make sure it prioritizes the best or most relevant search results for each query.”
Step 2: Add functionality to your blog
Your WordPress blog at this moment only allows you pretty much to create pages and write blog posts.
To do more you need plugins.
Plugins are what help you add functionality to your free WordPress blog while themes are mostly about its appearance.
With plugins, you can add more advanced functionalities like:
In effect, there’s probably a plugin for any feature you can think of. The WordPress community has developed 50,000 free plugins in addition to thousands of premium ones.
Now, where can you find WordPress plugins for your blog?
The best place to look for free plugins is at the official WordPress.org plugin directory. Many of them also offer premium versions with more features.
For premium plugins, you can also search Google for something like “best X plugin” and buy from a well-known developer.
Now, what are the WordPress plugins all sites must have?
Here are some suggestions of the essential WordPress plugins that must be installed on all blog websites:
- · UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
- · Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
- · WP Super Cache
- · Yoast SEO
- · Wordfence Security
- · Jetpack by WordPress.com
- · WPForms
- · Optimole
List suggested by themeisle
N.B.: There are plenty of niche plugins indicated only for specific uses.
Now, how do you install WordPress plugins?
- Go to Plugins → Add New
- If you chose a free plugin at WordPress.org, search for the plugin by name and click Install Now.
- If you purchased a premium plugin, click the Upload Plugin button and upload the ZIP file you received when you purchased the plugin.
Make sure to Activate
the plugin after installing it.
You can always manage your existing plugins by going to the Plugins tab:
The above is a quick guide on how to install WordPress plugins.
For a detailed guide, please click here.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 2: Install image or file compression
- Step 3: Enable browser caching
- Step 5: Make your website work with all modern browsers
- Step 6: Optimize your blog for search engines
- Step 7: Mind security
- Step 8: Add various useful features with plugins
Step 1: Don’t be overly dependent on JavaScrip
syntax, dynamic typing, prototype-based object-orientation, and first-class functions. Wikipedia
Step 2: Install image or file compression
Image files have a lot of information your blog doesn’t need.
Compression removes the redundant data, giving you an image of comparable quality but a smaller file size.
Why, you may ask, is it important to compress images and files?
Remember what we said above about speeding up your site?
Images and files slow down your site. Compressing them enables you to keep your site loading within Google’s prescribed limits.
Step 3: Enable browser caching
Browser caching is
When browser caching is enabled, your web pages load faster.
Caching downloads files and assets, and then stores the data on your hard drive.
Retrieving files and assets from your hard drive is always faster than doing so from a web server.
Your WordPress blog’s code contains both good and bad characters. Minifying your code removes all of the unnecessary characters from it while keeping its functionality intact.
What compacting your code also does is that it improves the page speed and website performance overall.
Step 5: Make your website work with all modern browsers
HTML and CSS are standards, so a page tested in one browser should look the same in all other browsers.
In practice, of course, things aren’t that simple. Different browsers display HTML and CSS in subtly different ways, while some browsers (we won’t name names) veer wildly from the standards.
It’s best to build your Web pages so that they look consistent across a range of browsers. This is often known as cross-browser (or multi-browser) coding. – Elated.com
Step 6: Optimize your blog for search engines
After creating a WordPress blog, one very important thing to do is to optimize it for search engines.
Using keyword tools, you can leverage SEO as well as relevant keywords and optimize different elements of individual web pages. These include the meta title, description, content, image alt text, etc.
Apart from keyword research tools, you can also use the Yoast SEO plugin to test every blog post’s search engine-friendliness and readability.
The plugin tells you what is good and what needs to be improved. It saves you time and hassle.
Step 7: Mind security
In these days of hacker-crazy people, you must take steps to safeguard your blog against cyber-attacks.
It’s true that most hosting plans include standard security features such as malware protection, DDOS prevention, etc. But you should also install an SSL certificate to strengthen your website’s reputation and credibility. This helps win the trust of your website visitors, and also helps boost your blog’s search engine ranking.
Step 8: Add various useful features with plugins
Apart from the essential plugins we talked about above, others enable you to add various useful features. These range from optimizing large image files to adding an audio player on your home page. You can even use plugins to sell products—both digital and physical—on your website.
The most important consideration to adding these plugins is to identify the right WordPress plugins for your niche and target audience.
Be careful about adding too many plugins. They slow down websites.
Further customization steps
Even though the WordPress theme that you’ve decided to use already comes with its specific pre-configured design, you can still change parts of it to your liking.
You further customize your theme by using the WordPress Customizer.
This is an interface that lets you make certain tweaks to your theme even if you have no coding knowledge.
To begin, head to Appearance → Customize:
What you’ll see is the WordPress Customizer:
You will find a set of options in the left sidebar.
They vary depending on the theme you chose:
The most common ones will include:
- “Site Identity” – this is where you can set your blog title again, plus add a logo image and a site icon (aka. favicon).
- “Colors” – for adjusting the basic colors used throughout the design.
- “Header” – for setting your header graphic or image.
- “Background” – for setting your background graphic, image, or color.
- “Menus” – more on this later on.
- “Widgets” – more on this too later on.
- And other, theme-dependent settings.
In general, you can use them to:
- Make changes by using the options on the left
- See a real-time preview on the website preview on the right
- Make your changes live by clicking Save & Publish
For a more detailed guide, please check how to use the WordPress Customizer.
Now, let’s see how to handle customization under the following steps:
- Step 1: Add logo
- Step 2: Add favicon
- Step 3: Change blog colors
- Step 4: Add custom header graphic
- Step 5: Change the background
That said, let’s start with the first of the 5 customization steps:
Step 1. Add Logo
Adding your company logo to your WordPress blog is quite easy to do:
Just click on the “Select logo” button.
On the next screen, WordPress will let you know the sorts of graphics acceptable for logos.
After uploading your logo, see it inside the live preview window.
You don’t have a logo yet?
Create one using these free online logo generators.
Step 2. Add Favicon
Adding a favicon to your WordPress blog is also quite easy to do:
Just click on the button labeled “Select image” under the “Site Icon” section:
WordPress will again tell you what sort of an image it’s expecting.
Unlike the logo, when you do add your favicon, it won’t get displayed anywhere in the preview.
To see it, look at the main top bar of your web browser, next to the blog title. An example from this site:
You don’t have a favicon yet?
You can use these favicon generators.
Step 3: Change blog colors
Depending on the theme you’re using, you will see a different set of options in this section of Customizer.
Step 4: Add custom header graphic
This customization step is also dependent on the theme that you’ve chosen. The most common setting that you’ll come across is the ability to add a header graphic/image, or maybe a header video.
To set your header image, just click on “Add new image”:
You can pick almost any image you want for your site header, as long as it’s of sufficiently high quality.
WordPress will let you know the minimal requirements for your header image right on the upload screen.
Step 5: Change the background
Some themes offer you the ability to set the main background for your whole website.
Most commonly, these options will enable you to set a custom image or a solid color to be in the background.
Either way, you can get quite interesting effects if you experiment with this long enough.
These are just a couple of customization settings. But if you keep playing with them, they can help you make your new blog look unique and more in tune with your brand.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 1: E-commerce
- Step 2: Monetization
- Step 3: Social Media Integration
- Step 4: Analytics
- Step 5: Google Search Console (GSC)
Step 1: E-commerce
WordPress can help you create an online store on your website without you having any prior coding experience.
All you need do is install and configure WooCommerce on your website.
This is particularly useful if you intend to start a dropshipping business or launch your official merchandise when your blog grows.
Step 2: Monetization
I often find beginning bloggers ask a question like ‘How can I make $1000 a month blogging?’
The answer is monetization.
If you want to become a full-time blogger, various monetization techniques are available for you to earn money from your website.
These range from launching a membership site to hosting webinars and offering courses.
You can even sell ad space on your blog through using advertising programs like Google AdSense or Mediavine.
Step 3: Social Media Integration
If you didn’t create your blog just for family and friends, you would want it to reach a wide audience. Thus, you need to amplifying awareness and blog traffic.
An easy way to do it is to encourage your readers to share your blog posts on social media.
You can easily enable them do this by adding social sharing buttons on your blog.
You can do this using a plugin like WP Socializer.
Note that most themes offer widgets which allow you to add a social follow button on key web pages.
Step 4: Analytics
You want your blog to garner traction, don’t you?
This requires that you have a deep understanding of your website visitors. You also need to analyze your website’s performance with parameters like bounce rate, total site visits, average time on site, and even demographic information for members of your audience. etc.
Since WordPress doesn’t provide built-in analytics, you have to install Google Analytics either on your blog or for it.
Step 5: Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console is a tool for webmasters that promotes success in search results. With a focus on impressions, users are able to study things like click-through rates, search queries, crawl errors, links from outside websites, and HTML errors.
Yeah, that’s how to create your WordPress blog. And we hope you followed us to create one.
Wasn’t so difficult, was it?
But you’re not quite ready to launch your new blog yet.
There’s the second major step of starting a WordPress blog.
Let’s dive in and learn how to do it.
B. How to start a WordPress blog
Now that you’ve got your free WordPress blog up and running, you’ll want to start your WordPress blog by writing blog post.
In 19 steps, we’re going to tell you not only how to write blog posts, but other matters as well.
To help you do that, we’re going to cover the following major steps:
- Legal steps
- Typography steps
- Content steps
- Graphics and image steps
- Usability step
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 2: Return policy or warranty information
Ponder these statistics:
20 percent of Internet users always read privacy policies, even though many of them don’t understand what they’re reading.
This is because they want to know what you’re going to do with their information, how you’ll use it.
Step 2: Return policy or warranty information
Rampant scams online have people worried about using online services. They fear to lose their identity information or hard-earned money.
Website visitors therefore want to know that should something go wrong while using your site, you’ll take care of them. You can assure them by having a return policy in place and especially that you honor it.
Ultimately, your return policy and warranty information are designed to increase sales. For, the more comfortable your website visitors feel about taking a risk with you, the more likely they are to become your loyal customers.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 1: Choose a clear font
- Step 2: Choose a good kerning
- Step 3: Choose a good tracking
- Step 4: Choose a good leading
- Step 5: Use few fonts
- Step 6: Use harmonious fonts
Step 1: Choose clear font
Cursive fonts, hand-drawn scripts, and symbols can be difficult, if not outright impossible, to read.
What were you able to read?
If you’re curious about it, this font exists. It’s called “Bedtime Stories”.
Such fonts, which are hard to read, decrease cognitive fluency. This term refers to the ease of use for the visitor.
It’s clear visitors cannot understand the message on the image above. This will drive people away because everyone prefers content that’s easy to read and therefore easy to think about and understand.
Step 2: Choose good kerning
Kerning refers to the space in between two characters (numbers, letters, or symbols).
Check kerning below.
Step 3: Choose a good tracking
Tracking refers to the spacing in between your words and phrases.
Check the two sorts of tracking below.
Step 4: Choose a good leading
Leading applies to the spaces in between the lines of your words.
See the differences between the three types below.
Poor kerning, tracking, and leading are readable. But what’s the problem?
They make it hard for your website visitors to read and understand you. This is because their nature and other typography mistakes make clarity difficult or impossible.
Yet, you’re going into blogging to persuade visitors to take certain actions. But without clarity you can’t do that because they can’t understand you.
Step 5: Use few fonts
Too much of everything is bad, they say. This is true with fonts. Using too many font types and font styles creates confusion. Visitors are distracted by the presentation when they should be focused on the message you’re trying to convey.
Repeatedly changing your fonts decreases cognitive fluency. It’s a visual speed bump that breaks your visitor’s focus.
Your website may be appealing, but overdoing it with lots of fonts and styles isn’t a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to focus on two or three fonts.
Step 6: Use harmonious fonts
Using two or three fonts which conflict with each other is a bad idea. This is because each font attracts the visitors’ attention, taking the focus away from the whole message and fixing it on its individual parts.
So, avoid using conflicting fonts to prevent creating emphasis and focus where there is none.
We will handle these under the following steps:
- Step 1: Add blog pages
- Step 2: Add navigation menu
- Write your first blog post
- Step 3: Focus your content on visitors
- Step 4: Make your content scannable
- Step 5: Make judicious use of whitespace
- Step 6: Use good grammar
Step 1: Add blog pages
To start creating initial content for your new blog, you’ll likely need some of the following pages:
- Blog –WordPress creates this section for you automatically. By default, all your latest blog posts will be listed on the homepage.
- About – to tell your visitors what the blog is about and who’s behind it.
- Contact – for people to contact you directly by mail, email, telephone.
- Getting started – how to get people started in your niche.
- Mission Statement – telling people what you do.
- Disclosure & Disclaimer – a statement which allows to be seen or known what we do & is a renunciation or disavowal of responsibility.
- Services / Products
– to list your products and/or services and tell people why they should buy them and from you.
- Testimonials – from your previous customers.
- Portfolio – your body of work presented in an attractive way.
See our About page
See our Contact page
See our Getting started page
See our Mission Statement page
See our Disclosure & Disclaimer page
Now that you have chosen the pages you want for your blog, how do you go about creating them?
First, set your blog to a maintenance mode so that people will not see your website under construction.
When you first log in to your blog’s WordPress dashboard, you should see a screen like this:
- Hover over Pages
- Click Add New
You’ll see the main WordPress page editing screen:
Add your page.
Once done, click the “Publish” button and your page becomes visible to the public.
Check a great overview of how adding posts and pages works on WordPress.
We will see below that when you create your blog posts, they will be displayed automatically on your homepage. And although your page goes public, if you want visitors to see them you need to add them to a menu.
Menus are your best tool for making sure that the pages you’ve created can be found by your readers.
So, let’s learn how to create them.
Step 2: Add navigation menu
Typically, your blog should have one main menu in the main navigation bar. Visitors are used to it. So, most of your visitors will expect to find something like that on your site.
To create a new menu, go to Appearance → Menus.
Now, look through the list of the available pages (the ones you’ve created) and click the checkboxes next to those that you want to have in your new menu.
Next, click on “Add to Menu”.
You’ll see your pages listed in the section on the right.
At this stage, you can also drag-and-drop those pages to realign them.
Once done, you can also select one of the checkboxes under “Display location”. Most commonly, your main navigation location should be listed there. In our case, it’s “Top Menu”.
When we click on the main “Save Menu” button, my menu is will be set.
Check my blog’s menus below.
Step 3: Change your blog Sidebar and Footer
Depending on the theme that you’ve chosen, you will have from zero to a handful of sidebars. You may also have a customizable footer.
This particular blog has no sidebar but there is a footer (which I haven’t set, however).
You can tune up what’s displayed in all those areas by using something called WordPress widgets.
Widgets are small blocks of content that can be displayed in various places throughout a WordPress blog.
Now, head to Appearance → Widgets.
Below is apart of my blog’s widgets.
What you’re seeing are all the different widgets that WordPress has for you. Some of them are:
- Archives – a list of all your past blog posts
- Image – an image of your choice
- Categories – a list of all your blog categories
- Recent Posts
- Search – a search bar
- Text – a piece of custom text
- etc., etc.
We can place all those widgets in one of the predefined widget areas, usually within the sidebar or the footer.
For example, we can drag-and-drop the “Recent Posts” widget to our “Footer” widget area.
You can do the same with any of the other widgets too.
Just grab them from the section on the left and drag-and-drop them onto any of the widget areas that your theme provides you.
Note: The widget areas that you see in your admin panel depend on the theme that you’re currently using.
Step 4: Write your first blog post
How do you write a good post?
Now that you’ve learned how to create a WordPress page, you’re certainly excited to create your first blog post!
Still in to your blog’s WordPress dashboard, you should see the screen below:
- Hover over Posts
- Click Add New
This launches the WordPress Editor, which lets you write your blog post using a really intuitive block system.
To add text, you just click and type.
For other content—like an image or an embedded YouTube video—you can add new “blocks”.
Need help using the editor?
Check to follow a detailed guide here.
Need more help?
Check a more high-level guide here.
Step 5: Focus your content on visitors
Inexperienced content marketers love creating blog posts that’s focused on their business and their importance. This common blogging mistake ignores visitors’ desires, goals, fears, frustrations, and problems.
Know that visitors don’t really care about you, but about themselves. That is why they visit your blog: to find answers to those preoccupations.
So, focusing your content on visitors increases credibility and makes it easier to convert them into loyal customers.
Step 6: Make your content scannable
Website visitors have time to read just 28 percent of the text on an average web page.
Does this mean that you should focus on writing short form content instead of the long form (over 2,000 words long) which however ranks better?
No, it just means you create content that’s easy to scan.
What is a scannable content?
It’s the one which has:
- Short paragraphs (two or three sentences)
- Descriptive sub-headings
- Bold, italicized, and highlighted formatting
- Bullet points and numbered lists
If your content is easy to scan, your visitors are far more likely to read it.
Step 7: Make judicious use of whitespace
When there isn’t enough whitespace, content is overwhelming for visitors to read.
In the above example, every column is fighting for the reader’s attention, making it difficult for them to decide where to begin from. Which goes to show how important whitespace is.
However, judicious use of whitespace fixes readers’ attention where it should be, aids readability and comprehension, and maximizes clarity.
Thoughtful use of white space can also come from allotting a lot of it.
Google for instance, uses plenty of whitespace to focus their user’s attention on what is most important.
What about going overboard and using too much whitespace? Here’s what it looks like.
Image source https://neilpatel.com/blog/website-design-mistakes/
Neil Patel says that’s a bit more difficult to assess. And says the difference between Google’s example and the above is intent.
In that Google wants visitors to focus their attention on searching for an answer to their question. So their whitespace has a purpose which fits with their visitors’ goals.
The problem of too much whitespace could be due to one of two things:
- The whitespace doesn’t have a purpose; or
- The whitespace has a purpose but it doesn’t fit with your website visitor’s goals.
Avoid too much whitespace or too little of it as it decreases clarity and focus.
Step 8: Use good grammar
As a teacher of business English to French-speaking post-high school students, one of the things I find them struggling with most is grammar.
When they get despondent, I sometimes tell them not to take their difficulties too much to heart as even native English speakers also make grammatical mistakes.
I see it on the internet all the time. And from time to time on blog sites.
Website visitors, who themselves make these mistakes, find them excusable.
But these mistakes become a problem when they are repetitive. Such a bad habit makes your website visitors wince, and erodes their confidence in your website’s credibility.
By the way, do you know that grammatical mistakes cost you money?
There is only one step here:
Step: Answering visitor questions
People visit websites to find answers to their problems. And people seeking answers will definitely have specific questions they want to be answered.
Here are some of the common questions your visitors may have:
- What is your website about?
- How do I contact a real person at your company?
- I want to create a blog in your niche. How do I get started?
- What’s your Mission Statement?
- What’s the price of your products and services?
- How do you handle refunds and exchanges?
- Why should I do what you’re asking me to do right now?
- What’s your Mission Statement?
- What are your Terms?
- What will you do with my information?
- What’s your shipping policy?
- Where are you located?
- What makes your company different?
- Why should I choose your product or service over a competitor?
Your website visitors have lots of questions they want you to answer.
Don’t think because you have some of these questions answered on your site, they should find them. Answer and gently guide them where they can find more information on your site.
This is in your interest as visitors leave websites that ignore their questions or refuse to answer them.
Graphics and image steps
We will handle these under the following steps:
- · Step 1: Avoid using irrelevant generic stock photography
- · Step 2: Avoid poor sizing and scaling
- · Step 3: Avoid unresponsive image sizing
- · Step 4: Avoid missing metadata
Step 1: Avoid using irrelevant generic stock photography
Good photographs liven up your blog post pages. They break up text, making it enjoyable to read. And they add to the meaning of the text message.
Cheesy stock photos however do otherwise. They hurt your website performance because they’re confusing and take away clarity and meaning of your message.
So, use original photos in your blog posts.
If you don’t have the resources to purchase them, time or know-how to take them yourself, use stock photos that reinforce your message.
If the image you’re using in your blog post is irrelevant, it’s a waste of space and resources.
Step 2: Avoid poor sizing and scaling
Small images do not do your blog post any good.
Realizing the problem, some bloggers stretch or size them to make them big.
But stretched or poorly-sized images often lose focus and look cheap and unprofessional. Who will trust a website with a poor image?
Images should be scaled vertically and horizontally with a one-to-one ratio.
When I want to resize (in this case, enlarge) an image, I click on it. It becomes surrounded with a line and displays squares at each of the four corners as well in the middle of each part. I simple grab one of the four edges and pull, careful not to let it lose focus.
If getting it to the size I want makes the image lose focus, I simply look for another one. But sometimes you have no choice but to use the “unsatisfactory” image.
What about large images?
Because of their weight, they decrease website and page load times. Consequently, they cause visitors to bounce.
If you want to work correctly with images, use common file formats like PNG, JPEG, and GIF. But definitely stay away from TIFF.
A good rule of thumb for images?
Size them to the dimensions where your image(s) will not begin to appear hazy. And save images using sizes optimized for the dimensions that will be used as well as for the social network you’d like to share your images on.
To increase page speed, use a CDN.
Step 3: Avoid unresponsive image sizing
What does Google recommend to make graphics, images, and media fully responsive?
Your CSS should be able to accept the various changes in size and shape, resizing your images and media based on screen dimensions.
Step 4: Avoid missing metadata
I’m sure you’ve seen the metadata saved by digital cameras.
They’re not helpful.
Imagine a file name like DSLR000167.jpg. What information does that give search engines or your visitors?
It’s therefore a good idea to replace digital camera metadata with one that’s descriptive and helpful.
This is especially helpful for search engines and visually-impaired visitors who can’t read images or make sense of digital camera metadata.
That’s it. How to start a WordPress blog the right way.
Now, you have the red light to go ahead and launch your brand new blog.
Wrapping things up
I hope you found this blog post comprehensive.
It’s great for creating and starting a profitable blog website.
For those who followed the steps, as you’ve seen, website design isn’t rocket science, but it sure takes some amount of work.
By following the steps detailed here, you can create and start or have already created and started a website that is appealing and makes you money by dramatically increasing the amount of traffic, leads, and sales you get from your website.
Once you create a blog that’s focused on your website customers, you’d be okay. Besides, you can tweak your website further when you get to know your audience more.
But if you’re like most people, you’ll probably want to look for ways to:
And if you’re a blogging beginner, you might be interested in the 32 things I wished I knew before starting a blog. You can read all of these blogging tips here.
You might be interested in the 68 common mistakes most beginning bloggers make.
You might also be interested in reading 71 lessons I learned while blogging.
You’ll probably also want to read Best blogging tools for professional bloggers in 2021 and figure out how to How can I make my blog SEO friendly?
What kind of difficulties did you run into while creating and starting your blog website?
Let us know in the comment box below. Thanks for the love.
Your personal guide to securing your future online.