How to Easily Start An Awesome WordPress Blog Without Breaking A Sweat

The thought of starting a website looks daunting to some people. Thankfully, content management systems make setting one up a breeze these days.

So, what are content management systems?

Content management systems (CMS) are applications that help you create and manage digital content. They eliminate the need to build a website using traditional codes.

Never feel frightened to start a blog or website again. This is because I have detailed very simple steps to start a WordPress blog without breaking a sweat

There are several of these available. These include; WordPress, Squarespace, Joomla and Drupal among others. As a 7-year-old blogger, my CMS of choice is WordPress. This is because WordPress is beginner friendly and allows you to extend your site’s functions using plugins.

Furthermore, it is very SEO friendly which means that people can see your site via search engines. If you ask me, that is a huge win for you.

According to builtwith content management stats, WordPress is used by 37% of the top 10k sites. This stat shows that many websites are shifting towards WordPress usage. Thus, showing its dominance in comparison to others.

If you still need more convincing, major sites like CNN, Techcrunch, Mashable all make use of WordPress CMS.

Alright, enough of the lectures on WordPress. Here are simple steps to enable you to create that awesome WordPress blog without breaking a sweat.

Some of the links provided may be affiliate links. This means that if you purchase any product or service via the link provided, I earn a commission. For more information click here. Thanks for your support.

1. Know what you intend to talk about

Before starting any project, serious planning has to be involved. Blogging is no exception.

The best way to achieve great success with a blog is to talk about something that really interests you. When you do so, you save time, money and energy.You may be asking; how do I now what I am good at? Well, in all honesty, that is a good question. That’s why we are going to perform an activity to answer this question.

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Click the button below to download the topic ideas worksheet

My Ideal Topic Activity

If you haven’t downloaded the topic ideas worksheet, I highly recommend you do so. For the first question, list six topics that you feel that are of interest to you. These topics could be anything. Topics that spark either curiosity or topics think you know very well.

The second question is a self-assessment test. Blogging consistently for 2 months means that you can publish at least 2 articles per week without running out of ideas over a period of 2 months. Eliminate the topics that miss this criterion and move on to the next question.

The following question is to re-affirm the stance that you will use your blog as a business. Therefore, for the topics that made the cut, which of them can you create a product or service from? Products, in this case, could be physical products like clothes and books or digital products like e-books and e-courses.

Remember that whatever you create should provide a solution to a need. Please give this extra thought because this will define your business.the next question is to determine the receptiveness of the topics left. It is important to discuss these with your friends, families, and even strangers. Ask them how interested they are in the topics.

The feedback you get should be used to rank the topics based on the level of their interest. This whole exercise should leave you with at least two topics to choose from.

The next question is to determine the receptiveness of the topics left. It is important to discuss these with your friends, families, and even strangers. Ask them how interested they are in the topics.

The feedback you get should be used to rank the topics based on the level of their interest. This whole exercise should leave you with at least two topics to choose from.

The following question reaffirms that business mindset again. Of the topics left at your disposal, there should be one that you strongly feel that you are ‘very’ good at and you know that you can generate an income from. This topic should be the topic of choice for your blog.

Congratulations! you have a topic. Raise your right hand and pat your back. You did it!

create-sustainable-business-worksheet

Click the button below to download the topic ideas worksheet

2. Picking Your Domain for your WordPress blog

Now that you have a topic, it is time to set up your website. But, before we go into the details of setting one up, let’s make a decision on what your site’s name (your domain).

The idea behind naming your blog should be based on the fact that you are not just creating a blog but a brand (a business).

The rationale behind this is that you want people to associate your blog with you. The more people know who is behind a brand, the greater the trustworthiness they place on that brand. With that being said, here are some things you should consider before picking a domain name.

1. Your domain name should be easy to remember

Most people use their first and last names when naming their websites. This is what I recommend because this action makes it easy for people to find you online. For instance; melyssagriffin.com, neilpatel.com and so on.

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If you are not comfortable with using your first and last name, you could use some word together with your first name or come up with any word that is easy for people to remember. Here are a few examples of what I mean; sites with a word and a first name (purelydavid.com, davidblogs.com), other variations (sourcefield.com, sourcescope.com)

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2. The name you choose should be available across the different social platforms

This is really important because you want your audience to associate your WordPress blog with the various social media platforms you set up. For example, my site is purelydavid.com, therefore, I ensure that the name “Purely David” is used on all my social media platforms. You can see this is the case with my Pinterest and Facebook profiles respectively.

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You may be wondering what to do if the usernames you want aren’t available. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem. All you have to do is add your last name, an adjective or any other word to your intended username. For instance, if @purelydavid isn’t available, I can decide to use my full name @purelydavidebere or add a word @itspurelydavid as the case may be.

Now that the domain name we want out of the way, it’s time to do some tech stuff.

1. Pick a domain name that is easy to remember.

2. The name you choose should be available or have a close variation available across the various social media platforms you use.

3. Registering your domain name and Hosting plan

When registering domains, I prefer choosing ones that also offer great hosting services. This is why I choose either HostGator (when starting out) and WP Engine ( which has a better performance).

You are at liberty to do your own research and choose the domain registrar that meets your needs. There are a couple of them such as GoDaddy, Blue Host, Siteground, Namecheap and Traffic Planet Hosting etc.

For the purpose of this article, I will demonstrate how to register a domain name using Hostgator.

Steps in registering a domain name with HostGator

Head over to Hostgator.com and click on “Get started now.”

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On the next page, you will be presented will three plans; Hatchling, Baby and Business plan.

The recommended is the baby plan because it gives you the option to add unlimited domains. In my opinion, it is the best value for your money considering that you are just starting out.

Nonetheless, I employ you to carefully check each plan out and pick the one you are most comfortable with.

hostgator-plans

1. Choose a domain

Simply enter your domain name you came up with in the box provided. If the domain name you picked is already registered, do not panic. Just enter something close to the one you chose. Also, ensure that the register a domain tab is active.

For this demo, I will be using something random

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2. Choose a hosting plan

As I previously mentioned, I will go with the baby plan. By default, the option is set to 36 months. If you want to pay for three years, that’s fine. But, if you don’t, simply change the billing cycle to one month or to whichever option that suits your needs.

Fill out the boxes for your username and security pin. Make sure the 4 to 8 digit pin you use is memorable. This is because this will come in handy when you require support from HostGator.

Again, I am using random entries.

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3. Enter your billing info

In this section, fill out all the required fields carefully. The information you provide will serve as a means through which HostGator sends you necessary alerts.

If you are paying with a credit card, make sure that the credit card section is selected before entering your details.

If Paypal is your choice for payment, select PayPal and select the payment agreement you are comfortable with.

The PayPal agreement means that each month, payments are made automatically while one-time payment means that you will have to manually make each payment once they are due.

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4. Add Additional Services

In this section, HostGator will try to sell you services that I believe you don’t really need. Furthermore, most services can be done easily with WordPress plugins. Therefore, do not check all the services.

The only one you may leave checked is the “Domain Privacy Protection.” This depends on whether you are comfortable with others seeing the information of the person behind a domain name.

Once completed, review the price presented. Since I picked a billing cycle of 36 months, my charge comes up to $299.51. (Note: If you picked 1 month, the charge should come up to $22)

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After reviewing, check the “Terms and Services” box and click the “Checkout Now” button.

If you chose the PayPal option, another page opens where you’ll need to pay via PayPal.

Once your payment is completed and verified, go on over and check the email you provided during the payment process. Specifically, you are looking for the email with the subject “HostGator.com :: Your Account Info.”

In this email, you are provided with a username, password, and control panel link. Make sure that you protect your password.

Click on the control panel link provided for you. This action will take you to a new page. Simply enter your username and password in the required fields.

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4. Setting up your WordPress site

After you are logged into your control panel, click on “Get started with WordPress today.” You will find this under the special offers section. See the image below.

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Performing this action will open a quick install new tab. Simply click on the install WordPress button.

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In the drop-down, fill out the relevant information in the required fields.

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Here is a breakdown of what you should do.

  • For the first form field, click the drop-down and choose your domain name.
  • You can put whatever you want in the install path. For those who do not know what an install path means, it is simply where you want your WordPress files to be stored. Example, I want my site to be installed in a folder called “blog”, I will input the term ‘blog’ in the required field. This means that when people look for a content they have to use www.mysite.com/blog.
  • Your main site should be located in the root directory. Therefore, I suggest that you leave the “path” field blank.
  • Use an email according to your preference.
  • Give an ideal name to your WordPress blog. Most people usually name their WordPress blog by their domain name.
  • Use a username other than admin. Ideally, you alone should know this information.
  • Carefully fill out the remaining fields and click the install WordPress button.

Your WordPress will begin installing. Give this a couple of minutes. Once the installation completes, you will see the necessary information required to log into your site.

Click the admin link provided. This will take you to a new page requesting your login information.

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Simply enter the required information and you will be taken to the back-end of your site.

5. Understanding your WordPress Site

Now that you are at your back-end, let’ s get familiar with some functions.

Adding a theme

By default, WordPress comes with the WP-2016 theme as the default. To change this, click on “appearance” and then “add new.”

WordPress gives you a wide variety of free themes to choose from. But, I highly recommend that you get a premium theme.

There are various marketplaces where premium WordPress themes are found. The most common being ThemeForest and Creative Market.

To upload a premium theme,  simply click  on the upload theme. Ensure that files you upload are in .zip format.

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Adding a plugin

Just like themes, plugins follow the same pattern. Simply click the “plugin” tab in your dashboard and click “add plugin.”

For further information to understanding WordPress, there are tons of resources online you can assess by doing a google search. You can also visit the WordPress codex. Additionally, you can refer to the video below.

Conclusion

Starting a website shouldn’t be a scary thing. This is because CMSes like WordPress have made it extremely easy to create one without prior coding knowledge.

Furthermore, WordPress is a great platform to use especially if you are serious about SEO. It also offers plugins that do extend your sites functions.

I do hope that after reading this article that you are equipped with the knowledge to start your WordPress blog.

Related: How to easily set up schema for your WordPress site

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