HOW TO START A BLOG

Step by Step Guide for beginners in Simple Steps from Scratch in just 30 minutes (on WordPress).

Guide by Hanish. Last updated 18.03.2017

My name is Hanish and I have been making blogs and websites since 2004. I've worked on Variety of Blogs and Websites, which means I'm probably in a good position to write this guide for you.

Hanish Pherwani

Hanish Pherwani

Author & Web Devloper behind BloggersGIG.com

Starting your own blog is not all that difficult. You can start in less than 30 minutes.

P.S. I've created this guide as long as I've known people's questions about starting a Blog from my experience - So It's about a 30 minutes read from now. If you get stuck somewhere shoot me a mail at mail@hanishpherwani.com and i'll do my best to help you.

 

 #1. 
Having a Blog and benefits


 

What is the difference between the blog and a Website?

 This is a Website

The major difference between blog and website is A website remains the same i.e, Static. There are few pages in the website which gives you information about specific things like company information, about me pages, products etc.

This is a Blog

Blogs have dynamic content with loads of information listed in chronological order and whichever way you want to display information. It is organized in posts and categories (coming to that later in this post) and tags too. Blogs are updated (almost or as planned) daily.

Why start a blog?

There are many reasons you might consider. Here are few popular ones:

Obtain more business or clients with your blog

Blogging is one of the marketing channels that can reach exactly the type of person or company that you would love as a client. when companies search for information they often refer blogs to obtain certain kind of information. When they land on your pages for that information they can be converted to a client.

To make your Personal Brand

Personal Branding and Blogging go hand - in - hand in 2017. Many Bloggers have established their Personal brand with their Interest's and Niche that have landed them with very good opportunities in life.

Just write

Share your thoughts and show yourself to the world, encourage others and build a community.

So What should you blog about?

The answer lies in your Interest. Just Blogging about anything doesn't works in 2017. You've to pick up a specific Niche. Choose a Niche that you're passionate about and can think and write about passionately. I've written a full post on How to Select a Blogging Niche.

You can come up with any category that Interests you -

Better Parenting
Better Home Making Ideas
Life Experiences (LifeHacks)
Family & RelationshipsAutomobiles
AutomobilesGadgets & Technology
Gadgets & TechnologyPersonal Stories
Personal StoriesHumor & Memes (Viral Nova)
Humor & Memes (Viral Nova)
Sports & Travel
Food & Music
Entrepreneurship
Making Money & Saving Money

Just have fun with your own topic. The list is endless as long as you can think and write about that topic.

Examples of Blog

The information that your read on Mashable, Gizmodo, YourStory etc., are all big websites actually are blogs. Information is Updated Frequently and almost on Daily Basis.

How much Time it takes to Blog?

To set up a blog it doesn't takes much time. With this guide, you'll be done in just around 30 minutes of your time. Action + Reading around 45 minutes to setup everything.
(Skip directly to start process)

The main question arises is how much time you want to dedicate to blogging. If you're like one of me, I give around 6-8 hours daily to blogging. I've numerous blogs and I maintain them.

It all depends on you how much time you would like to devote to blogging.

How much does it Cost?

It is very simple. To start your own Self-Hosted blog that means on your own name (www.yourname.com)

You need two things
#1. Domain name - 6 Tips to Choose your domain name Wisely
#2. Web Hosting (preferably BlueHost) 

This will cost you around as low as starting $3.95 per month (paid annually). With BlueHost you will get a free domain as well.
Once you have these two things you're good to go and start your blog. I've outlined the complete process below on how to set it up.

Can you Make Money?

Bloggers in India and Abroad have made millions, something that cannot be achieved overnight, It takes a lot of effort and dedication to write consistently and write quality posts to make money out of it. You too can make money from blogging, provided you select the correct Niche for yourself and craft it.

Yes, there are various ways and methods to make money through blogging. There is Advertisement, Affiliate Marketing, Sales through Newsletters and Courses. The list is Endless. Follow my Article on Monetization Tips - Making money through blogging.

 #2. 
Why choose WordPress as Platform


There is WordPress and then there are other platforms: 

1. Drupal
2. Joomla
3. Tumblr
4. Blogger
5. Typepad etc.

That said WordPress is most preferred of all platforms.

Don't start worrying about Technicalities of WordPress and other platforms. To put it simply, Wordrpess is a CMS (Content Management System).

What is CMS ?
Imagine a Diary, where you write on daily basis date wise, WordPress is as simple as that. The only difference is that in Diary you turn pages and in WordPress you make posts (datewise) and pages (static) for information like About, Team etc.

Now why we chose WordPress is a question?

How to Start a Blog Step by Step Guide

WordPress is Universally accepted as the most preferred blogging platform for blogging. (for Website Making too) - The reason being simply because Is -

- Highly Customizable (You can even make a website)
- Most User-friendly
- Lots of Plugins & Themes (for customization)
- It's secure and Updated all the time by WordPress Team
- Responsive (Themes are highly customized for Mobile)
- Super Flexibile, Easy to Update Information
- You can even blog from your mobile phone

This web page that you're reading, you treat it as a One-Page website (HTML), but in Reality it's a WordPress based (PAGE) which I've customized as looking like a Web-site.

That said It doesn't mean that other platforms are not good. It's just that WordPress has more customization options that not(her platforms.Hold before you start googling about WordPress
Installation.

WordPress has Two Versions

1. WordPress.com (Free Version)

Using it you get a name like (name.wordpress.com) name would be replaced by your name. It can be a business name and it can be on your personal name.

2. WordPress.org (Self - Hosted Free Version)

WordPress.org comes with an Installable file (One click install with BlueHost and other Hosting providers). We will learn how to do this in our next step.

WordPress is free in both the methods. What differs is on Self Hosted Platform you need buy two things

1. Domain Name

This will be your personal address like (www.yourname.com) and that's probaby the best part of using Self-Hosted blog.   you can choose your own name or your business brand name. The cost of domain (.com) is usually $10 /year, With this guide you get it free with BlueHost web hosting.

2. Web Hosting
(e.g, BlueHost) to install
Self-Hosted WordPress Blog.

This will be where your blog will reside. Without purchasing hosting you will not be able to host your domain.

This is simply your HARD Drive on Internet which will store all your information about your blog (images, blogposts and so on). The cost of it depends on the server you purchase.

I hope I'm clear with these two things.

Create a Self-hosted WordPress Blog

In the Next Step what you'll learn is how to go ahead and Book Domain + Hosting and also Install WordPress.

Some Advantages of using Self-Hosted

- Own Domain Name 
- Full Control over your name
- You can change anytime
- You can advertise anytime (Monetization Method)
- Personal Branding

The opposite of all this is when you chose to go for WordPress.com blog. I'm not saying wordpress.com blogs are not successful, But If you're really serious about blogging business and passionate about it, I would suggest Start with Self-Hosted.

If I were you, I would never go for Free version.

 #3.
Pick a Domain & Setup Host


 Types of domain names -

personal domain names (www.hanishpherwani.com)
business domains (www.bloggersgig.com)
microsite (www.productname.com)

Also, .com, .in, .net. .org are considered TOP level domains. You can continue booking for .com. IF .com is not available you can choose any of .in, .net. But remember .com is given first preference of all.

Well, I won't put up complete guide for domain name here but just remember it should be -

Brandable

(easy to remember) so that people can recollect it.

Resemble the Purpose

(Bloggersgig.com) - easily says that it's something about blogging

How & Where you should Register and Setup Domain

The reason we start with BlueHost is because when you purchase hosting you get a
domain free with BlueHost and BlueHost rates are reasonably lesser than others.

If you wish to choose any other domain name provider + web hosting you can refer my guide here (comparison of all hosting providers)

Just make sure you see few things while purchasing web hosting because there are these few things that matter when it comes to web hosting

- page load speed - The amount of time (in seconds) it takes to for your blog page to load
- uptime - 99.9% isn't enough - Try and aim for 100%.

While there are many host providers the procedure for registering the domain and installation of WordPress remains almost the same with all providers.

Choose a Hosting Plan

Bluehost 3.95 pricing

Hosting Plans with Bluehost comes with variety of options like you can see above – 

When you’re starting out normally you’re good to go with Basic Hosting plan which covers with 1 free domain and 50 Gb of website space.
you will get 25 sub-domains and 100 MB per email storage.

While there are other options like PLUS and prime in which you get unlimited domain options but those I wouldn’t recommend.

From Investment point of view they are good to go plans because you get hosting space for more domains almost paying a little more or extra.

As of now let’s keep it at Basic.

Choose your Domain name 

Try to keep your domain name short. If you’re lucky you’ll get a short domain like your name or business name. There is also a tool called NAMECHK where you can check usernames for your domain.

for e.g, my domain is HanishPherwani.com and I’m into blogging – I chose to keep my username as @hanishblogs on all social profiles like twitter, facebook, Instagram. It’s short, tells primary perspective i.e, I Blog and “Hanish” as a keyword is also included in my username on all social profiles.

Use NAMECHK to check usernames that can resemble your primary domain and it will be good form Google perspective because you’ll be easily searchable.

Put your Account Information 

This is Self Explanatory – Try to put up all this information as accurate. Select Country as India,

Put your Email address that you actually use because all your information about this domain and hosting details will be sent there.

Select Plan Duration

1. Account plan 

which you can select from 12 months to 60 months
The benefit of selecting 36 months is you get a better pricing of 3.95$ per month. However, if you wish to keep it for 12 months pricing that would be little higher.

2. Free Domain 

Highlighted in yellow is you can see “Free Domain” This would still be free even if you select 12 months plan

3. Domain Privacy Protection 

This is something if you wish to keep your domain name like your name, telephone number, address that you put it up while signing up in the previous screen secret to the world.

This is visible when somebody searches for your domain is whois.com – It will show your information as to who is the owner of the domain

I normally keep all this off because I don’t want to keep my information as secret.

You can see above when you select 12 Months Pricing plan the price per month is little higher. But then also it doesn’t hurt too much on the pocket. So finally for around 60$ a year, your website is setup with free domain.

Enter Payment Information

 

This is absolutely the last option after putting up the information. You make your payment with credit card details and you’re done.

You can also receive a refund at any time, so I highly recommend signing up for the 12 months as it is the cheapest option. If you think that if you sign up for a yearly term then you’re locked into a some sort of contract. Let me tell you that there are really no contracts and there is no risk at all.

Blog hosting will most likely cost you around $65 a year on average, or $146 for 3 years, which is a great deal! If you purchase a 12-month plan, your total price is only $65 a year, which is a great price.

You might ask (What’s Next?)

Well, Just check your email that you put when you had entered your information. Your login details and all other plan details you’ll be able to find it there.

 

 #4.
Install WordPress


 

Login to your Bluehost control panel and install WordPress one click install.

1. Goto My.Bluehost.com
2. Enter your login & email that was sent to your email while your signing up.

Once you're in your control panel you'll be able to see Install WordPress option on the Screen. Choose "Install WordPress"

This will take you to another screen where you'll be able to put WordPress Information.


Once you select Install WordPress the next screen that you get is it asks you which directory you would like to Install WordPress on. I would recommend you using it on root domain (.i.e, www.yourname.com) and NOT (yourname.com/blog) unless you want to make homepage slightly different and not the blog homepage like mine.

This is where WordPress comes is dynamic. There are set of posts and then there are set of pages which you can easily select. (I'll come to it later)

SO for now just leave the directory field blank and continue.

You'll then get another screen to Input details as below.

You'll be asked various fields like BLOG TITLE, Tag line, Username and Password just keep it as it is – like your made your email. Something that should every easy to remember.

A Word of Caution

DO NOT Use Admin as your USERNAME because hackers may use this information and your blog can be compromised.

Click “Install Now”

Whoa! That’s JUST DONE. You’ve just successfully setup your blog.

Check your Email and there will be information about your latest WordPress installation. There will also be path to login to your WordPress installation.

 

 #5. 
Tweak & Design


The first step after doing all this is to have a look what your blog looks now like. Just open a new Tab in your browser (www.yourdomain.com)

Next, Login into your WordPress panel by going to
http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/

That's the path to access your new blog - admin area. Once there you'll be greeted with WordPress Dashboard

Through Dashboard you can do everything. See and feel the CMS that you're seeing in front of you is most powerful, secure and easy to use in the world.

You'll be abe to -

1. Change theme
2. Install Plugins
3. Make new Posts and Pages
and all things that are required for blogging.

WordPress Basic Jargon & Terms

Dashboard - This is basically the first screen that you'll see after you login to your WordPress blog.

Posts - From here you'll be able to post new blog posts daily or as you decide. Remember the Diary thing that I said in the start. This is from where you'll be able to Input information that can be listed datewise in order.

Media - This is the Panel where you can see all your images that you will be uploading to your posts and pages

Pages - This is the second Area where your information like About US, Team pages, Privacy Policy you can type. WordPress is data compiled in posts and pages.

Comments - Comments is a place where people can come and comment on your information that you put on your blog. They can appreciate and they can also send spam comments.

Appearance - This tab is used where you can change the look of your website or blog. There are Themes, Widgets, Plugins and various other things that can be used to change appearance of your blog.

Settings - From settings tab, you'll be able to manage your permalinks, reading & writing settings of your blog. The color set and theme of your admin panel and various other things.

Tools - Some additional tools that come from plugins area.

Categories - WordPress is a Wonderful CMS. You can categorize your posts into Categories & Tags. To learn more about it follow here

Change Theme of your blog

1. The theme of your blog basically means that you can change the look of your blog. To have look at themes Click Appearance -> Themes

Dashboard WordPress

2. Select a new Theme you want to apply on your blog. Preview it before applying and then click Activate.

To Install new Theme 

You' see lot many options from Themes. You can scroll down and select the Desired Theme and then click Install. once theme is installed You can activate it by pressing the same blue button.

There are different themes for your blog depending on your requirement. There are many types of themes available on various markets. Some of them are:

Thrive Themes
Elegant Themes
MyThemeShop
Envato Market

Learn to Add Posts and Pages

Publish your First post
Select Posts from the Dashboard. Click on Add new.

 

What you'll see Next is WYSIWYG Editor. What you see is What you Get Editor.
There will be many fields and options on it. Just have a look below.

Let's learn them in detail:

1. Title Area - This is where your post title comes.
2. Content Area - This is the content area after the title that comes. You can also add media
i.e, images, embed youtube Videos and other types of media by clicking "Add Media"
button.
3. Editing Tools - Editing Toos like Bold, Italic, Left align, Right align etc. just like you use your MS Word.
4. Publishing Tools - After you're done with drafting your content and adding images you
can hit the "Publish" button and your post will be live.

You can have a look and feel of it on your blog home page i.e, www.yourblogname.com

#Add links

You can add links in the following box. Once you type the text and you want to add link to it. Select the text and click on the Icon as shown in the arrow. Then add your link in the box that opens up and click ok. Simple.

Adding Images

To Add Images you've to click on "Add Media" and then select image from the library. If there aren't any images available in library click on "Upload Files"  select few images that you want to upload and click okay.

Select the Image from the library and click okay. The image will be in the Text editor.

To Format text of a Blog

WordPress has amazing typography. It has 5 headings and Paragraph. It's always advised to select your headings in the Hierarchy, like how you can see in this article. 

Link
Permalinks (What is it?)

Permalink is the feature of the WordPress which enables you to show what the post is about. By default, WordPress works on post-ids and page-id system, in which it numbers the posts. But it looks like very cluttered in the address bar. Have a look below at the address bar in which Permalinks are not enabled.

Now have a look below image in which Permalinks are enabled.

Permalinks in WordPress

Basically, All you have to do is go to Setting -> Permalinks and click on the desired link system that you would like to show in the address bar.
 


Plugins

Plugins are very important part of WordPress. There are tons of plugins available for WordPress and that makes it very dynamic.

You can install plugins the same way as you installed Menu. Just Select Plugins -> Add New
There would lot of options to Install New Plugins + their usage as demonstrated in the box that will open up when you read about the plugin.

I've done a Separate post for plugins. Read it out here.

So basically, you learned how to create and setup your own blog. I hope I was able to
make this easy for you. Do let me know in your comments if you have any difficulty or write to me via contact page. I'll be more than glad to assist you.

 

 #6. 
Better Blogging, Traffic & Monetization


Better Blogging

Blogging without relevant content and goal and purpose is of no use. You need to figure
out topics which you like and people would love to read.

You need to have a Solid Content plan with Strategy and focus on Particular Topic & Niche.

Think of Catchy titles, relevant ideas to capture readers attention. Your posts should be informative and Entertaining.

The types of content you can decide is -

Product Reviews, App Reviews, Technology Updates
Informatory Guides
How-to-Articles
Meme and Viral Funny Blogs

List Post (10 things about (anything)) and so on..

You will need to Strategize your content for more traffic.

Unlike News & Current affairs topics which becomes outdated over time these topics pass
on knowledge that user will want to read again and again and thus you content will be
Evergreen.

Tips to Make your Blog Better

# Make Catchy Headlines - Read this guide 
# Read, Read and Read. All Serious bloggers (including me) read lot and derive ideas from the same. - This Guide from Authority Hacker here
# Don't post same content what is already available on the Web. Even if you do, you need to see it from different angle and post it that way.
# Use images in your blog
# Make it easy for readers to comment
# Use Humor wherever & whenever possible
# Spur Conversation

Traffic & Promotion

For Traffic and promotion, you need to do something called OutReach and do SEO.

Submit your Blog to Google and Bing - Read this Guide

Once you have more traffic you will be able to get subscribers to your blog which will get info. More traffic is good for your blog and you can decide which way to monetize it and promote it. There are various channels for increasing blog traffic

Google (SEO) - The smaller businesses will never catch up to the large companies marketing budgets, so how can they really compete? One way, SEO, on-page and off-page optimization -
Full Guide

Guest Blogging (Posting on Others Blogs)Guest blogging is a method used by bloggers to increase blog traffic where bloggers write posts to be published on other bloggers' blogs. Guest blogging can work in one of two ways: You write a post to appear on another person's blog. Another person writes a post to appear on your blog. - Full Guide

Social Media Channels 
Facebook Groups & Google Plus Pages
Quora.com (Read what people are asking and if you blog about it link back to your article)

Monetization

There are many methods of Monetizing your Blog. In General, many people follow Advertisement as their prime method of Income through blogging (i.e, adsense). However there are other ways of blogging as well.

Some of the methods of Earning through Blogs:

Affiliate Marketing
In-text Ads
Advertising Space
Offer Courses
Review Products and put on all social channels
Create and Sell your own Product
Write an eBook
Become a Consultant
Host a Webinar
Selling Services (Hire Me)

These are some of the methods Earning through blogging. There is one thing that you have to keep in mind when offering all of this above is - The Material that you offer or sell should revolve around your Blogging Niche.

It takes a lot of effort, persistence, and patience to bring in traffic and monetize your blog.

Always keep in mind -

More Traffic = More Revenue.

I hope I was able to provide you with all the Necessary information on Start a Blog Step by Step Guide and Monetize it. Start here if you haven't already. If you find this useful I would request you to Share it and Subscribe below to keep receiving updates on more information about Blogging, Deals, and Tools.

More Useful Articles and Guides


Check out these Informatory Posts & Guides once you're done with Setting up your blog.

 

6 Tips to Choose your domain name Wisely

What are some ways to generate Creative Blog Topics

Top tools Every Instagram Fashion blogger must use

Blogging Glossary

9 Best WordPress Plugins to install in 2017

If you find this guide useful, don't forget to share it with your friends and colleagues so that maximum people could benefit from it. Sharing is Caring - Do share with your friends to let know about the same.