Step by Step Guide To starting A blog In 20 Minutes
One of the questions I get from most people a lot of the times is how to create a blog.
In order to avoid explaining one process to different people every time, I decided to put up this guide to help anyone who wants to create a blog from scratch.
By the way, before you read this guide, you should download my free ebook here: The Ultimate Guide To Building A Profitable Blog in 30 Days
You may ask, why should I create a blog in 2017?
Why Every Business Must Have A Blog…
Blogging isn’t a “maybe” for your business…
If you’re serious about creating a REAL, passive, “J.O.B.”-replacing income, then you need to get serious about blogging…yesterday!
Accounting firm Ignite Spot published the following stats…
♥ 77% of Internet users read blogs.
♥ Businesses that blog have 97% more inbound links.
♥ 81% of US consumers trust the views and opinions shared on blogs
♥ Sites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages in the search engines
♥ 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on reading a blog
♥ Small businesses that blog generate 126% more leads
A recent Hubspot survey of over 7,000 small businesses revealed…
- Increasing blogging frequency from 3-5x per month to 6-8x nearly doubles lead generation.
- Businesses that blog 15+ times each month get 5x more traffic.
- Increasing the total number of blog posts from 11-20 to 21-50 creates a 45% growth in traffic.
Would you like to…
- Build your email list?
- Position yourself as an expert?
- Convert your prospects into customers and make more money?
- Quit your day job?
- Get paid what you’re worth?
- Make an extra $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000 each month like Linda Ikeji?
Then you’re in the right place!
Blogging is the most reliable, long-term strategy for creating a true business asset that will pay you “dividends” month after month.
And here’s why…
Five Major Reasons to Start Blogging TODAY…
- Blogs are easy to set up, simple to maintain, and are the easiest way to create an online presence, publish your own content, and brand yourself.
- Your blog will generate free traffic from search engines, social marketing websites, and even other blogs. Blogging is really the easiest way to generate leads and traffic for your business – fast! – without spending a ton of money.
- Google and the other search engines absolutely LOVE blogs.
- Blogs are more “credible” than sales letters, advertisements, brochures, corporate websites, or other types of traditional marketing. Therefore, your site visitors will be less likely to have their “guard up” while reading your blog – as long as you provide real, valuable content.
- Blogging allows you to build your own community of loyal readers and contributors. When you publish content, visitors can comment on your posts and add their thoughts and feedback. This adds a conversation, a “social dynamic,” to your marketing.
Since this guide is a long one, let’s get started right away…
Step 1: Getting Started – Choose your Blogging Platform (WordPress)
Before you can even start worrying about how your blog will look like, you’ll need to choose your blogging platform.
There’s a lot to choose from. You are able to create a blog with many different blogging platforms, such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and more…
However, given that there are over 72 million active users using WordPress today, it’s clear which platform is the boss. Even my own blog is built with WordPress blogging platform.
- It’s FREE for everyone to use (including themes, layouts and add-ons that many other blogging platforms don’t provide).
- It’s super easy to set up.
- It’s secure; WordPress is always updating their software and keeping everything sound and secure, so there’s rarely a worry of having your blog come under hacking attacks. No wonder Sony, NASA and even university blogs are using WordPress.
- It’s HIGHLY customizable. There are hundreds of free themes and plugins that add more functionality to your blog, from contact and subscribe boxes to plugins that improve blog performance and more.
While the other blogging platforms (blogger, Joomla, etc) are generally all pretty OK, nothing in my opinion has ever come close to matching the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers. So without a doubt, go with WordPress. Especially when you are just starting out.
No matter what others would say, WordPress is just the best platform to use.
Why you shouldn’t create a blog on a free blogging platform
If you want to take your blog seriously, then you totally should not consider a free blogging platform.
If you don’t have the money yet to afford a decent self-hosted blog, then wait until you can afford it.
Without a doubt, you need to self-host your WordPress blog.
Think about it – what famous, successful blogger you know is using a free blogging website like “maverickexcel.blogspot.com” or “MyAwesomeblog.wordpress.com” instead of their own domain name like “MyTerrificBlog”, for example?
It’s not just that – free blogging platforms have other problems too – including…
- You don’t control your content – the blogging platform does. They could shut you down any time, and for any reason. Don’t believe me? Read this. It has happened to the most successful blogger in Africa, Linda Ikeji.
- The web address of your blog will be long and hard to remember (like yourfreeblog.blogspot.com) instead of a catchy, branded address you choose.
- You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it much harder to ever make money from blogging.
All of these limitations apply to the WordPress.COM blogs. What you really want is to self-host a WordPress blog – it’s the same software without all the limitations!
Don’t get me wrong: If you really don’t care whether or not your blog will be successful, go with free blogging platforms.
They’re okay if you’re just experimenting blogging and don’t have budget for it.
But if you ever want to look credible, build an audience and make money blogging, then you need your own blog, on your own domain name, with your own hosting. That way, you make the rules and control your content.
If I were you, I’d start with a self-hosted blog on my own domain from day one. Setting up a blog like this is WAY easier and less expensive than you think.
Step 2: Finding a domain name and web hosting provider
To set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain name, you’ll need two things:
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. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behind YourNewBlog. The cost of a domain name is usually $12/NGN 4,200 per year.
Good blog names are unique and descriptive, so your audience will immediately know what your blog is about.
Another option is to simply use your own name. For example, PeterWilson.com.
Many of the top bloggers use their own name as their domain name.
This has the added benefit of preventing someone else from registering your name, allowing you to secure your “virtual real estate”.
Once you have some blog name ideas you will need to choose a domain extension.
.com is the gold standard, but .net and .org work just as well. I would suggest staying away from other extensions like .us or .biz, as they are not as familiar to most people.
You may find that the domain name you want is already taken. This happens to all of us. In fact, it happened to me with this site. Blogstarter.com was already taken, so instead, I chose theblogstarter.com.
If you find that your desired name is already taken you can try adding simple words like “the”, “a”, or “my” to the beginning of the name, or you can try adding dashes between words such as the-maverick-excel.com.
Web hosting – This will be the home of your blog address and content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a computer hard drive that stores all your content on your blog (images, blog posts and so on). The cost of web hosting is usually somewhere between $10.
A web host is a company that stores all of the files for your blog and delivers them to the user when they type in your domain name. You must have a web host in order to have a blog.
Choosing a bad host will doom your blog from the beginning. Users will be frustrated with slow page loading times and you may often find that your blog is simply not working at all.
There are hundreds of different web hosts you can choose from, but my recommendation for your blog is Namecheap.com. In fact, Namecheap is the web host I use for maverickexel.com. I have been very happy with Namecheap.com for a long time now, and recommend them for all new bloggers.
Where should I get my domain name and hosting?
When it comes to hosting, there are only two things that matter.
- Page load speed – The average amount of time (in seconds) it takes your blog to load.
- Uptime – 99.9% isn’t enough (it’s 42 minutes of downtime per month). You should be aiming for 100%.
There are hundreds of different web hosting providers. They all offer you a similar service (domain + hosting) with a similar price, but I will recommend only those companies I’ve tried their services.
In some cases, I have purchased domain names and web hosting for my clients from Namecheap.com alone.
However, you can always go with another web hosting as long as it’s fast, reliable and offers unlimited storage & bandwidth. This helps you to avoid problems later on.
You can also register your domain at DomainKing.ng.
Steps Involved In Buying A domain name at Namecheap.com
How to Purchase a Domain Name with Namecheap
Go to >>www.Namecheap.com<< and enter your domain name idea.
Then click on Search!
Choose which suffix or Top-Level-Domain (TLD) you want, and make sure it is available!
- .com (recommended)
Next, click on the cart button, and then click on View Cart when done.
Type In a promo code if you have any and click apply, to have a discount.
*Tip: Always check for a promo code on Google whenever you’re buying a domain name or web hosting. Every month, domain name registrars do have a promo code or coupon code for first time customers.
The WhoisGuard is free for the first year, so you should enable it (unless you have a reason to leave it off). To learn more about WhoisGuard, click here.
I would also suggest you keep the “PremiumDNS” section disabled.
Then click Confirm Order.
Log in to your Namecheap account if you have one or signup for a free account.
Since I have an account with them already, I’ll just sign in and continue
Add payment details and pay using Paypal or your Credit Card.
Your domain name will be activated within 5 minutes. You can then start using it immediately.
Step 3: Buy Web Hosting Package
After buying a domain name you also need a web hosting package.
Like I said earlier, web hosting will be the home of your blog address (yourblogname.com) and content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain.
I use Namecheap for my web hosting and for my clients too. I have never had any issue with them.
Steps To Buying Web Hosting On Namecheap.com
Go to Namecheap.com and click on the tab “Hosting”.
On the drop down click on “Shared Hosting”
Or simply click on the link below to be taken to “shared hosting page”
On the next page that appears, choose the plan that you can afford.
As a beginner, you can choose the “Value” package which is less than $10 in the first year and less than $40 when you want to renew it after a year.
Click on “Add to Cart”
On the next page that appears, click on the option that applies to you.
Since we bought a domain name with Namecheap, we will click on “Use a domain name I own with name cheap.
In the list of domain names you currently own, select the one you’d like to use here and click “continue”
Fill your payment details and click on “Confirm order”.
After that, wait for a welcome email from Namecheap.
After buying the web hosting at Namecheap do the following:
If you have Value, Professional, Ultimate or Business plan with Namecheap you need to point your domain to dns1.namecheaphosting.com and dns2.namecheaphosting.com nameservers. If the domain is registered with Namecheap, you can change the nameservers the following way:
- Log in to your Namecheap account and go to Domain List.
- Click on Manage next to the domain in question.
- Select Namecheap Web HostingDNS next to Nameservers and save changes by clicking on tick icon:
Hidden steps involved after you buy a hosting account with namecheap
Once the order is complete it may take up to 15 minutes (in rare cases more) for the hosting account to be activated. Upon activation our system will email Your Hosting Welcome Guide with all login details to your contact email address. Make sure you also check Spam/Junk folders for it.
And now you are ready to start! Let’s explore what needs to be done to go live:
- UPDATING DNS
The first thing to do is to make sure your domain is pointed to our hosting nameservers – to actually tie it up with your future website.
Look up for details on how to update DNS
NOTE: when you change nameservers, your domain might still be unavailable for some time. It may take up to 24 hours (in rare cases more) in order for the local ISPs to update their DNS caches resolving your domain onto the new server. This process is called DNS propagation. Unfortunately, it cannot be influenced or sped up because it is performed automatically.
How To Install WordPress On Your Namecheap.com Hosted Website
Once you order hosting service, you can start creating your own website. Using Softaculous automatic app installer you can install WordPress in a few clicks.
Below you can find step-by-step guidelines covering the process:
- Log into your cPanel.
- Navigate to Exclusive for Namecheap customers section > Softaculous Apps Installer menu:
- On the homepage, click on the WordPress icon:
- Switch to the Install tab to proceed:
- On the next page you will need to fill out the details of your WordPress installation.
- Choose the domain you wish to install WordPress for
- In the In Directory field you can specify the root folder for WordPress installation. By default, this field is empty, and it allows installing WordPress on yourdomain.com directly. If you wish to install it to a subfolder, like yourdomain.com/blog, simply type “blog” in this field.
- Database Name can be left default.
- Table Prefix can also be left default wp_; however, due to security reasons it is better to change it, e.g., to ncwpsite_ .
- The Site Settings section should be filled out accordingly to your needs, though you can change it anytime later if required.
Make sure you set up secure and hard-to-guess details in the Admin Account section:
You can now go ahead and log into your WordPress Dashboard to start working on your website.
Once the installation completes, you’ll get an email that shares your login information, including an “Admin URL”. (In case you missed that notification bar)
To log in to your blog, click the admin URL. If you forget this URL, it’s simply http://myblog.com/wp-admin (where “myblog.com” is your domain name).
Step 3: Configure, Design and Tweak your blog
In this section, I’ll show you some WordPress blog basics, including:
- Getting familiar with WordPress dashboard
- Changing your blog’s design
- Installing new plugins/features
- Making your blog search engine friendly
If you’ve set up your blog, you’re now ready to start using WordPress and customizing your blog. I promise – it’ll be pretty easy and fun at the same time.
Remember: You can log in to your blog by going to www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/ and using the credentials you set up with Namecheap or any other hosting company you used.
Understanding the WordPress Dashboard
When you log in for the first time, you’ll see a dashboard or admin panel that looks something like this:
Let’s break down some of the most important ones for new bloggers to know:
- “Dashboard” shows you an at-a-glance look at your recent activity, including how many posts, comments and pages you have. You can also write up a quick draft blog post here – but don’t – I’ll show you a better way a little later in the guide.
- “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 services 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 labelled 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 show you exactly how to do this a little later in 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 site’s title and tagline, edit your email address and manage all of your site’s important settings.
Changing Your Blog’s Design (Themes & Layouts)
WordPress blogging platform uses design templates called “Themes” to figure out how your site should look. Changing your blog’s layout and design is as simple as installing a new theme.
There are over 2,000 professionally designed, fully-customizable and free themes to choose from – so you’ve got a lot of options. If you want to see more premium type of templates and themes, head over to MyThemeShop.com
Here’s how to find and install a theme you love:
Mouse-over the “Appearance” tab in the WordPress sidebar, then click on “Themes”.
On the next screen, you’ll see several themes are already installed. If you don’t like those, click the “Add New” button at the top, or the great big “Add New” square to start searching for a theme.
Now, you’ll see tabs where you’ll find featured, popular and brand new themes, as well as a “Feature Filter” and search bar.
When you’ve found a theme you like, click “Install”. You’re nearly done!
Once the theme has been installed, all that’s left to do is click “Activate” on the next screen:
Installing a New Plugin (add some cool features to your blog)
“Plugins” are little software modules that you can install to add features and tools to your blog. They can do all sorts of things, like:
- Adding contact forms
- Reducing comment spam
- Making your blog SEO-friendly
- Creating newsletter sign-up forms
- Adding photo galleries
And lots, LOTS more.
Installing them is really easy. First, Mouse-over “Plugins” in the sidebar, then click “Add New”.
Now, you can search by keyword to find plugins for almost anything!
When you find a plugin you like, just click “Install Now” and then “Activate Plugin” on the page that follows.
BE CAREFUL: Before you install any plugin, it’s a smart idea to Google its name and read reviews. Some plugins can break your theme, cause problems with security, or just plain work poorly, so always get a second opinion first.
Also, make sure your plugins (and themes) are always up-to-date. Don’t worry though, WordPress usually lets you know when some of them are out of date.
Configuring your blog to be search engine friendly
There are some things you’d need to do to make your blog more search engine friendly. Search engines do not like two things:
- Ugly and clumsy URL-s – http://yourblog.com/2012/04/topic-a/author-Karen/how-to-start-a-blog. A much better way is to use: http://yourblog.com/start-a-blog
See the difference? One is filled with irrelevant information and the other one is short, clean and neat.
In order to change your links to a more cleaner, click on the “Settings” -> “Permalinks” and use the following settings:
- Spam comments – Unfortunately, lots of people want to leave automate spam comments on your blog. They do that for couple of reasons – to get people from your blog to their blog and to advertise their services/products.
To avoid that, make sure you moderate your comments. Here’s how to do that: Go to “Settings” -> “Discussion” and tick those two options.
Step 4: Adding/Writing Blog Posts and Pages
By now you should have fully working WordPress blog on your own domain name. You should also have a custom blog theme that fits with your blog’s topic. Congratulations – you’ve done a LOT and I’m proud that you’ve managed to get so far.
In the LAST step, I’ll show you how to write your first blog post and share some tips for writing blog posts.
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
Using WordPress to Blog
Adding a New Post
To add a new blog post, click the “Posts” section on the left hand side-menu, then click on “Add New”.
On the next screen, you’ll see something like this:
You can add the title to your blog post in the top field, and your content goes in the big text box below the title.
You can save your draft or publish your content live by using the box menu on the far right of the page. You can even schedule the post to be published later – or make the post private so only friends can see it.
Once published, your new post can be found in the “All Posts” section of the “Posts” tab, so you can edit it any time.
Let’s take a quick look at some things you can do to spruce up your post:
To add an image to your post, click the “Add Media” button right above the lower content field.
Tip: Before you click “Add Media”, be sure you’ve left your cursor inside of your blog post where you want the image to show up. Otherwise, you’ll have to move it later on.
Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, 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, 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.
On the pop-up, you’ll need to enter a few important bits of information.
- URL is the web address of the link you want to share. Make sure you include “http://” 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.
Adding Headers & Editing Text
It’s a good idea to use headers and bolding to make your content easier to read and scan.
To add a heading, click on the drop-down menu on the bottom left of the toolbar.
Try to only use “Heading 1” once within your page (usually at the top), and use “Heading 2” or “Heading 3” for other sections in the copy, as this is better for search engines.
Tip: You can also highlight the text you want to change in your blog post, THEN click on the dropdown menu and select the format you want the text to be in.
You can also bold, italicize, underline and even change the colour 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
As you can see, this is all pretty simple for someone who has worked with Microsoft Word.
There are other little things you can learn in WordPress if you spend a little time with it.
Things you need to put in place after installing wordpress
The first thing I’d do is create a proper About Me and Contact page.
- Creating a perfect about me page (This is usually the most visited page on your blog)
- Adding a Contact Page/Form on your blog (So that your readers could contact you)
Ready to take your blog into next level?
Once you have some content on your blog it’s time to get some traffic and make it profitable.
- Get your blog listed on Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
- Get more traffic to your blog
- Monetize your blog
If all these processes look confusing, don’t worry.
I’ve got you covered.
I can help you set a professional looking blog just like my own in just three (3) days with a token.
Blogs that i’ve created for clients…
My Blog Services Include
- Blog Setup and installation
- Blog Customization
- Blog review
- Blog consultation
- Blog promotion
- Blog Management
because projects vary in complexity, there is no fixed amount for some of these services. To know how much I charge for any of the services, you can contact via firstname.lastname@example.org
All my services and products are listed here>>> My Services
Use the contact form to send me a message right now. I am at your service sir/ma.