In this article we are going to cover all steps required to start your WordPress blog or website, with great insights and information.
From purchasing your domain name and hosting, to installing, customizing, writing posts, ideas on what to write about, keywords research and monetizing your blog.
If you are a newbie and want to find out more about WordPress, I recommend this article: What is WordPress and how does it work?
How hard it is to start a WordPress blog?
Before we go any further, I want to set something straight.
Starting a WordPress blog it’s not hard at all.
It’s a walk in the park, believe me!
You don’t have to be a super geeky tech person.
You just need to have basic knowledge of how to operate a computer, and an internet connection.
Whether you’re 15 years old or 50 years old, this guide is very easy to understand and follow. Better yet, if you get stuck somewhere, I’ll gladly help you. Just leave a comment at the bottom of this article.
If you’re still not sold, and still think it’s hard, we offer Free WordPress Blog Setup and Installation.
Believe your eyes, I am not kidding! We install, configure and get your WordPress website ready, so you can focus on writing and promoting your content.
What if I told you, that the hardest part isn’t to start a WordPress Blog?
The hardest part is to make it successful!
I’ll have to warn you! It’s not the kind of job that gets you rich over night, so if you’re into something like that, you’re in the wrong place!
But if you’ll be consistent and persistent, you’ll be baking some serious cake before you know it. Just keep reading, and you’ll walk away with some great WordPress insights under your belt, by the end of this article.
What we’ll cover?
- What do You Need to Start a WordPress Blog?
- How much does it cost to start a WordPress Blog? ( Low Budget vs High Budget )
- Buy hosting & domain
- Install WordPress
- Choose a Theme for Your Website ( Free Themes vs Premium Themes Pros and Cons )
- Install WordPress must-have Plugins
- Optimize Website for Speed
- Optimize Website for SEO
- Setup Google Analytics
- Create a Backup System
- Add a Contact Form
- Setup your website menu
- Create your first post & quick guide to keyword research
- 50 Creative blog posts ideas
- Most popular methods to monetize your WordPress blog
So…What’s the catch? Why should I start a WordPress blog?
If you’re reading this, there is a high chance that you already made up your mind and want to start a WordPress blog, or website for that matter.
But still, let’s make a quick recap on why you should start a blog, and what can you gain?
Most popular 3 reasons why you should start a WordPress blog!
- Money – Can’t live without them, right ?! Got’s to have it 🙂 A blog can be a great source of income if managed properly. Successful blogs make from 25000$/year to 1 million and in some cases even more. That’s a 7 figure income! Let that sink in for a moment.
- Freedom – That’s right. Blogging makes you flexible. You just need a laptop and an internet connection, and you can work from anywhere!
- Attract an Audience – Share your knowledge. Create engaging and unique content to attract visitors, and connect with other people from your niche for potential business opportunities.
Is WordPress popular? What is WordPress market share?
As you can see, WordPress market share is constantly growing. If we look back in 2011 the market share was 13.1%, and fast forward 8 years ahead here we are at 35%. You can check this data here.
Just in case I wasn’t clear enough, WordPress empowers 35% of all the websites across the globe!
Therefore, if you’ve heard stories about blogging being dead, they are all just big fat lies.
Now that we know the basics of WordPress, why you should start one, and how popular it is, let’s dig into this tutorial.
1. What do You Need to Start a WordPress Blog?
There are only three things required to start a WordPress blog.
- A domain
- Web hosting
- Survive this 30 minutes tutorial 🙂
What is a domain?
A domain it’s your web address on the internet. It’s what people type in their browsers to get to your website. Google.com it’s a domain name, Wikipedia.org it’s also a domain name, and your-website.com it’s also a domain name. A domain name can have various extensions. It can be .com, .org, .eu, .net and the list goes on and on.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is nothing more than an online hard disk, where all of your website files are stored. Think of host, as the space on your computer where you keep your pictures, videos, projects and other files.
Who offers web hosting?
This service is offered by various hosting companies across the internet. Some are good, some are bad, some lack in customer support, some in server up-time and so on. No worries, I can save you hours of research. Over the years, I have tested a bunch of them, and I can ensure you that the one you’re about to choose is perfectly balanced in server uptime, customer support and website speed.
So, which web hosting to choose?
To prove that I’m not just jibber-jabbering have a look at the following screenshot, which shows the average customer review score for the biggest hosting companies: These are pulled from the Trust Pilot website.
Here are the actual links to the reviews so you can double check them, and see what clients say about each hosting provider.
As you can see, SiteGround has 3190 reviews and an excellent score. Do you think this is a coincidence?
I am telling you, it is not! I have tested all the above over the years, and can confirm that SiteGround is the best in the business, in my opinion. Sure A2 and InMotion have a great score too, but if you want no headaches at all, really fast customer support, and an optimal website speed I strongly suggest picking SiteGround.
Quickie: Have a look at top WordPress Web Design Companies.
How about a price comparison?
Let’s also have a look at how much you pay for web hosting and domain in one year, at the web hosting companies listed above.
At first sight, we can see that SiteGround costs a fraction more than Bluehost and A2Hosting, but believe me, it will worth every penny! And if we take into account the excellent customer reviews combined with their fast support response time, I think choosing the right hosting company for your wordpress website just got easier.
SiteGround takes customers very seriously, and they are really committed to CARE (Customers Are Really Everything), and in the long run I can guarantee this will be a winner in your book!
Knowing all the facts and data, let’s get to step 2.
2. How much does it cost to start a WordPress Blog? ( Low Budget vs High Budget )
Which one’s for me chief?
The budget is up to you, after all it’s your hard working money, or hey, maybe you just got a rich uncle 🙂 . To make your decision easier here are some useful insights to get you started:
- If you are looking just to blog, then the low budget is the right one for you.
- If you are looking for a professional touch, and you want to create a business WordPress website, I recommend going with the higher budget version.
- Of course you can go with the higher budget version either way, if the budget allows you to. But if you don’t want to break the bank, and just want to write articles on your blog, why not save some money?
Low budget costs
Here’s how much you’ll have to pay for web hosting and domain in one year:
|What you’ll need||Price|
|Domain||$15.95 / year|
|Web hosting||$47.40 / year|
|Total||$63.35 / year|
The following features are included in this hosting plan:
- You can add 1 website (domain)
- You get 10 GB of disk space
- Host plan can sustain up to 10,000 Visitors/Month
This is more than enough to get you started. In the first months you can’t expect to get a very high volume of traffic anyway, especially if you start with a fresh domain. And you can always upgrade your hosting plan as you grow!
Believe me, if you will create a successful blog, $63.35/year will be a drop of water in the ocean compared to what you’ll earn. We’ll also get to the blog monetization part later in this article. Let’s focus on our budget for now.
High budget costs
Here you have two options. First I’ll present them, then I will briefly explain the differences with a nice comparison.
|What you’ll need||Price|
|Total 1st year||$146.35/first year|
|Total 2nd year and above||$87.35/2nd year and after|
|What you’ll need||Price|
|Total 1st year||$218.35/first year|
|Total 2nd year and above||$159.35/2nd year and after|
As you probably noticed already, there are price differences between 1st year total, and 2nd year and above, total.
That’s because 59$ is the average price for a premium theme. And this price is only paid once, so in the following years, you’ll only have to pay for hosting and domain. Of course, 59$ is just a reference price, and it may vary somewhere between 30$-90$, in some cases maybe over 100$.
Another thing to mention is that at this price, you will buy the premium theme as it is. Any other customization or modification you want to add to your website, will have to be done by you. If you don’t have the knowledge, or simply don’t have time, you can always hire someone to do it.
Can I create a WordPress blog without a premium theme?
Of course, you can create your WordPress blog without a premium theme, and still go for the high budget. So your costs would drop even more in this kind of situation.
What you get for each web hosting plan?
Here is what you get for each of the above described options:
|Option #1||Option #2|
|Unlimited Websites||Unlimited Websites|
|20 GB Web Space||30 GB Web Space|
|~ 25,000 Visits Monthly||~ 100,000 Visits Monthly|
As you can see, this web hosting plans are for WordPress websites with a medium to high volume of traffic/month. When you’ll reach the threshold of 25.000+ visitors/month, you’ll be as happy as a clam.
Why? In simple terms, if you managed to get 25.000+ people to visit your website, you have done your homework very well. Your website provides quality and unique content, and you should keep updating with fresh and new articles to boost your audience even more.
And most importantly, you’ll be making bread & honey!
I’ve presented the data, it’s time to decide which plan it’s the best for you.
3. Buy web hosting & domain
Knowing what a domain and web hosting are, and why they are needed when starting a WordPress website (or any other type of website for that matter) let’s go ahead and purchase them.
As discussed above, this tutorial will use SiteGround hosting as a reference, but you are free to choose which hosting company you like. The process will be very similar, no matter what host provider you choose.
Note: We believe in transparency here, so I have to let you know, that when you will signup to SiteGround through our referral link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. You’ll also Get Free WordPress Installation And Setup from us. So it’s a win-win situation for both parts.
Click on the button to claim your domain and hosting.
Choose the desired hosting plan
You should see this screen with three hosting plans. As discussed above, choose the right one for you, and hit Get Plan.
Choose your domain name
Next, choose your domain name. Remember, you can use any extension not just .com. See the bellow image for reference:
Tips for choosing a domain name:
- Looking for branding? – Choose a short and unique name that is easy for you and for your visitors to remember. Don’t have any ideas for a brand name? Try this tool. Just enter a keyword, and let the tool do it’s magic. In seconds you will get hundred of catchy brand names.
- Looking to write about a specific topic? – Choose a domain name that also includes the main keyword you plan to write about. For example if you want to create a food recipes blog, try including recipes or food in the domain name. i.e YummyRecipes.com , SeanSpecialFood.com , BestVeganRecipes.com. You get the idea! This will give you an extra help in search engine optimization. It’s not a huge advantage, but hey it counts!
- Make use of hyphens – if domain name you’re looking for it’s not available, try it with hyphens. Example : YummyRecipes.com is not available, but Yummy-Recipes.com might be.
Review your order
After domain selection, you will be prompted with a screen where you will create an account, and fill in the rest of the details. I’ll attach some screenshots and explain bellow the most important details.
I’ll skip the obvious details, and get to the important ones. Pay attention to the following:
- Data Center – This is the physical location of your web hosting server. Choose wisely here, if you expect to receive more traffic from the United States for example, choose that location. This will translate into great website speed and fast server response time for your visitors. The same rules apply if you plan to attract more visitors from Europe.
- Domain privacy – By default when you purchase a domain, your personal information becomes publicly available through the whois services. If you want to hide this information from the public, you’ll have to purchase this service. This is totally optional. It’s up to you.
Once you’ve filled in all the details, double check them just to be sure and hit Pay Now. You’ll receive an email notification with your purchase receipt, login information and other server details.
Congratulations, you are now one step closer to your brand new WordPress Blog!
Although we have chosen just 5 web hosting providers, our friends from Digital.com came up with this crazy article about the best web hosting providers of 2020. Give them a look, it will be worth it.
With domain and hosting are purchased, it is time to install WordPress on your server. Login to your SiteGround account with the credentials you created at step #3, navigate to My Accounts tab, and click Go to cPanel, as seen on the screenshot bellow.
After successful login to cPanel, locate the AutoInstallers > WordPress option as seen in the screenshot, and click on it.
Next, locate the Install Now option, and click on it. You will be prompted with a screen, where you will enter all of your website details. I’ll explain them bellow.
- Choose the version you want to install – This is the WordPress version that will be installed. It is recommended that you always choose the latest version available.
- Choose Installation URL – This is the web address of your website. You can install it anywhere you want. For example, you can install it on yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com/my-blog or any other address that you have in mind. Think twice, as this will be your permanent website address, and if you want to change it in the future, you’ll have plenty of work to do.
- Site Name – This is the name of your website. Keep in mind, that this title also appears on search engines, when people are searching. But don’t worry, later in this article we’ll take care of SEO aspects too (Search Engine Optimization).
- Site Description – This is the description of your blog, and it’s usually displayed after the Site Name. Try providing a unique description, maybe a catchy slogan.
- Enable Multisite (WPMU) – Leave this unchecked, as we don’t need it.
- Admin Username – This is the username that you’ll use to login to your WordPress website. Avoid using generic usernames such as: admin, user, administrator and so on.
- Admin Password – This is the password that you’ll use to login to your WordPress website. Make sure you choose a very strong password, that is hard to guess. You can never be too paranoid when it comes to passwords. I suggest using a password generator tool, like Strong Password Generator, and then save it a safe location.
- Admin Email – This is your admin email, and you can use it for various tasks. For example, if you forget your password, you can send a password reset request, and instructions will be sent to this email.
- Limit Login Attempts (Loginizer) – Loginizer is a WordPress plugin (extension) which helps you fight against brute force attack by blocking login for an IP after it reaches maximum retries allowed (you can define this options in admin once WordPress installation it’s complete). This is very useful and you might want to check this option, for extra security.
- Classic Editor – leave this unchecked as we don’t need it.
- WordPress Starter – also leave it unchecked. We will install must have plugins later in this tutorial.
Click on Install, have some patience, and in about 1-2 minutes your WordPress website will be up and running!
5. Choose a Theme for Your Website ( Free Themes vs Premium Themes Pros and Cons )
Yey! You’ve made it through the famous WordPress install, it’s time to take care of your website appearance and design. It’s time to pick a theme.
First, let’s login to the administration area. You can do this by adding /wp-admin at the end of your website URL. So for example, if your website it’s example.com you would login to the following address: example.com/wp-admin. Now enter your username and password that you created at Step #4, and login to your website.
Before choosing your theme, I’ll have to let you know that you have two options here.
- Free theme – You can choose to use a free theme, and believe me there are plenty available. There is a theme for anything you can think of. When I say free themes I am talking about the themes hosted on WordPress repository.
- Premium theme – As discussed above, you can choose a premium theme and give your website a more professional look right from the start.
If you still can’t make up your mind, let’s make a little comparison between free and premium themes, to see what you can gain, and what you can lose.
Free WordPress Themes vs Premium Themes ( Pros and Cons )
Free Themes Pros
- Well the most obvious point: it’s free
- Decent quality – the free themes from WordPress repository are reviewed by people before they are approved, and I can ensure you that this is a very strict process, so you can rest assured you are getting a theme coded to the latest standards.
- Easy to download – You can download them straight from the admin dashboard
Free Themes Cons
- Limited support – All themes from WordPress repository have limited support, and the developer might or might not help you if you encounter any bugs or problems.
- Distribution with no warranty – You download the theme as it is, and you get no warranty.
- Limited functionality – free themes may lack some basic features that you might need for your website such as adding a new logo, change basic colors, font sizes etc.
- Not all are responsive – Responsive means that the theme can adapt to any device that it’s being viewed from.
Premium Themes Pros
- Premium features – You get tons of features, to ensure you can customize and tune your website up to the finest details.
- Fast support – You get the support needed much faster in comparison with a free theme.
- Visual and aesthetics – The visual design, as well as the images, backgrounds and other elements, look very professional, and give your visitors a much more pleasant experience.
- Unique look – They have a more unique look than the free themes and don’t look so generic.
- Build visually – You can create your pages and posts with visual page builders, which don’t require any knowledge of code from your side.
Premium Themes Cons
- Bloated with features – Some premium themes are bloated with extra functionality that you might never need, and that can slow down your website.
- Price – well a premium theme it’s not free.
Hope these insights will make your decision easier. Knowing all the details above, let’s proceed and install the theme. I’ll show you how to install a free theme, and also a premium theme. Let’s begin:
Free theme installation
If you like the default theme that WordPress comes with, then you are good to go, and you can skip this step.
Assuming that you are logged in to your WordPress admin area:
- Navigate to Appearance > Themes.
- Click Add New
- Search for your desired theme, or you can just browse Most Popular and Latest themes.
- When you’ve found the one that you like, click Install as seen on the screenshot.
- Activate the theme, and you are good to go.
Premium theme installation
If you’ve decided that a premium theme is the right one for you, let me introduce you a Powerful WordPress Theme that was developed by us. By using it you will achieve the professional look that you’re after, and you also have tons of customization options at your fingertips to ensure you get the perfect WordPress website.
This theme comes bundled up with 46 ready to use websites from all domains you can imagine. With the push of a button, you can install any demo from the ones available, and have your website ready in minutes. You get all of these features for only 59$.
Have a look at the following animation, to see how easy you can import any website with our theme. You’ll also get extensive documentation, video tutorials, and a support forum where you can submit a ticket and request help for any problem that you may encounter.
I’m not going to brag here about the theme features to much, you can visit the theme’s page and see for yourself what’s in store for you.
If for whatever reason, this theme is not good enough for you, let me show you other places where you can find beautiful WordPress themes:
- ThemeForest – Creative and unique themes at your disposal.
- Envato Elements – a place where you can find tons of premium themes.
- Google – Just google “premium wordpress themes” or “my niche premium wordpress themes” and I’m sure you’ll find something to fit your niche.
Now that you’ve chosen your premium WordPress theme, you are ready to install it. The process is very similar with the one from the free theme installation. Follow this steps:
- Navigate to Appearance > Themes;
- Click Add New
- Make sure you have your theme ready in a .ZIP archive format;
- Click the Upload Theme button;
- Choose your .ZIP file and hit Install Now
- Activate the theme;
- Congratulations. You’ve installed your premium theme.
What you should know, is that each premium WordPress Theme usually comes with detailed documentation to assist you further in the process of your website creation.
Common problems you may encounter during theme install
During your WordPress Theme installation ( free or premium ) you may encounter different problems. Here are the most common, and how to fix them.
- Stylesheet is Missing – this is the most common error, and it usually means that your theme is not archived correctly. Unzip the theme to your computer, and make sure that the file “style.css” it’s placed in the theme root folder. For example: If your theme folder name it’s my-theme make sure that you DON’T have this folder structure my-theme/my-theme/style.css. Create the archive again, with the correct folder structure, and re-upload.
- The uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize – This means that the theme you are trying to upload is larger than your web host allows. You can contact your hosting administrator, and ask them to increase this option. There is also another workaround for this, but you’ll have to know how to use FTP ( File Transfer Protocol ).
- Broken links – If your links are not working correctly, go to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress admin dashboard, and click again on Save Changes. This should fix the problem in 99% of cases.
If you encounter any other problems during installation, feel free to leave a comment on this page, and I will be happy to assist you.
6.Install WordPress must-have Plugins
It’s time to add some plugins, to make our WordPress website faster, and ready for search engine optimization. For those of you who are not familiar with the term let’s make a quick recap:
What is a WordPress plugin?
A WordPress plugin it’s nothing more than a piece of software, that you can add to your website to extend and expand its functionality. Just like themes, plugins can be free or premium. At this moment there are over 54.000 free plugins on the WordPress plugin repository. So if you’re thinking about a feature you want to add to your website, there is a high probability that you’ll find a plugin for it.
But be careful with plugins, as installing too many can dramatically affect your website speed and functionality. Why? Because not all are very well coded, or simply because many of them are bloated with tons of features you don’t need.
No worries, the plugins we’re about to install will increase your website speed and make it more S.E.O. friendly, instead of slowing it down.
How to install a WordPress plugin?
Knowing what a plugin is, and how does it work, let’s see really quick how can we install one. The process is very similar with the one from theme installation. Navigate to Plugins menu on your administration screen, and click on the Add New button. Once we are on this screen, plugins can be installed in multiple ways:
- You can search for your desired plugin using the search form provided, install it and activate it.
- You can download a plugin from WordPress repository, or from any other source, save it on your local computer, then upload it using the Upload button, install it and activate it.
- There is also a third option available, using the FTP ( File Transfer Protocol ) method, but we are not going to use this method, as it’s a little more advanced for a beginner.
Have a look at the following screenshots, for a better understanding on how each method works.
What plugins do I need on a new WordPress website?
As mentioned above, we are going to install only must-have plugins, to keep our website as light and fast as possible. Let’s have a look at what plugins we are going to install, and I’ll briefly explain them.
- WP Fastest Cache – To render a page and show it to a visitor, server uses PHP and MySQL, therefore RAM and CPU are needed. If you have many visitors coming at the same time, the server needs more resources and pages may be rendered slowly than usual. To prevent this, we need a caching plugin, which converts your pages to static HTML files, that don’t need PHP and MySQL processing. By doing this pages will load much faster.
- Yoast SEO – SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization it’s the process of optimizing your website with unique and quality content to make it more appealing for search engines. Doing this, when people search for certain keywords on Google or Bing ( or any other search engine ), your website might pop-up in the results, which translate into organic traffic and more visitors coming to your site.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – Google Analytics it’s a free service offered by Google, that allows you to track your website traffic. You can see many insights such as who visited your website, how much time visitors spent on each page, where did they come from and many other cool features. Then, you can use this information to improve your website content, or certain pages that don’t perform very well. This plugin, allows you to integrate Google Analytics into your WordPress website.
- WPvivid Backup Plugin – You need to create a backup of your website data and files on a regular basis, just in case things go wrong someday and you need to restore it. This is where WPvivid Backup Plugin comes in handy. It can save and restore your backups, directly from the WordPress interface, created scheduled backups, and you can also download the backups to your computer.
- Contact Form 7 – If you want to add a contact page to your website, so people can reach you, you need to install this plugin also. If for whatever reason you don’t need a contact form, skip this one.
Knowing what each plugin does, and how it can help you, go ahead and install all of them using your desired method. Don’t forget to activate them also. Then we’ll proceed and make the required configurations for each one separately.
7.Optimize website for speed
As discussed above, we need to optimize our website for speed and cache it. We are going to use WP Fastest Cache for this task.
This can be done super easy. Locate the WP Fastest Cache option on your administration menu, and make sure that you check the options, as seen on the screenshot bellow.
Once you’ve done all the tasks, click Submit, and your website should be optimized for speed. To make sure WP Fastest Cache is active and running do the following:
- Go to your website address ( i.e http://yourwebsite.com )
- Right click anywhere on the page and select View page source , or press CTRL+U if you are using Google Chrome browser on Windows.
- Scroll at the bottom of the page source and you should see something like this:
<!-- WP Fastest Cache file was created in 0.062665939331055 seconds, on 22-11-19 12:56:19 --><!-- via php -->
Here are some screenshots for a better understanding. Make sure that you are logged out from your WordPress website before checking, otherwise this text won’t show up.
If you can see the WP Fastest Cache file was created... text, it means that the plugin is properly configured, and we can move on to the next step.
Tip! If something goes wrong, or for some reasons posts/pages are not updating when you add new content, you can always go to WP Fastest Cache > Delete Cache and delete all cache. Then refresh the page, and all things should work as expected.
I also have some WordPress image optimization tips to share!
Check this article if you want some good tips on how to optimize your images for web and WordPress.
Take a quick look at 24 Websites Where You Can Download Free Stock Photos , if you’re looking for some free high quality images to use in your blog.
8.Optimize website for SEO
Next step, is to make our website SEO friendly. If you skipped to this part of tutorial, you might wanna check what Search Engine Optimization means. The plugin that we are going to use to accomplish this task is Yoast SEO.
Assuming that you’ve already installed it at step #6 of this tutorial we are going to dig into it. After installing this plugin, there is not much to do from your side, as the plugin does the job itself, without any additional configurations.
You might want to check this article also to learn some Great SEO Tips For Your WordPress Website.
Anyway, here are some extra tips, to maximize your SEO Performance!
When creating a page or a post, scroll down at the bottom of the post/page, and you should see an option called Yoast SEO. I will use the post “Hello World” as reference ( this is the default post when you install WordPress ). You can see that there are 3 tabs with options there:
Let’s analyze them. I’ll begin with SEO tab, and point out only the most important details. If you want to find out more about this plugin, there is also an extensive documentation here.
- Focus keyphrase – The focus keyphrase feature is an analysis of your page, and can help you to optimize the keyword usage and density in the post or page content. For example if you write an article about food, this tool will help you analyze if the keyword and keyword derivations are properly added into the post content.
- SEO Title – This is the title that appears in search engines. Try to be as accurate and descriptive as possible. Doing this, people will want to click on it right away, when your page pops-up on Google or Bing. Make sure you don’t exceed 60 characters, or it won’t be fully displayed.
- Meta description – This is the description that it’s shown in search engines. It’s similar to the title, but here you can add up to 160 characters. Make good use of it.
- SEO analysis – put this tool to work, as it will point out important details that you might be missing out when writing an article.
Readability tab also can come in handy. This tool uses an algorithm to determine how readable your post is. By using this, you can make your post easier to read and understand for people.
Social tab – Allows you to add a title, description, and an image, for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Data you enter here will be used when people will share your posts across social networks. If you have the skills and knowledge, you could create some catchy images, to make your posts more engaging.
Congratulations, your website is SEO ready! We can move on to the next step.
9.Setup Google Analytics
Now we have to add Google Analytics, so we can track our traffic. First you need to go to Google Analytics website and create an account if you don’t already have one.
Follow the steps as seen on the screenshots to create a Google Analytics account, and copy in your clipboard the UA-XXXXXXXX-1 code as seen on screenshot #3
Next, login to your WordPress website, and locate the Google Analytics option on the left administration menu. In the Tracking Code field, paste the UA-XXXXXXXX-1 code you just copied from Google website. See this screenshot:
Leave Disable tracking to No, and click Save Changes.
That’s it. You have successfully installed Google Analytics and you can start tracking your visitors activity on your website.
You might wanna wait 12-24 hours until you receive any data. So be patient! Then login to Google Analytics each time you want to check the results and insights.
10.Create a Backup System
Now it’s time to configure our WordPress Website backup. If you skipped to this step, make sure you have installed and activated the WPvivid Backup Plugin. By default, the plugin is very well configured, and you don’t need to make any additional settings.
Anyway, here are some important things you can do with this WordPress backup plugin.
- You can create backups manually or set up scheduled backups at a certain interval ( 12 hours, Daily, Weekly or Monthly )
- You can save your backups on the server or on remote locations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3, DigitalOcean Spaces, FTP and SFTP.
- You can download backups to your local computer
I’ll illustrate these important features with some images, so you can configure and understand how this plugin works.
As you’ve probably noticed already, plugin is very easy to use and intuitive. At first sight, it seems like it’s overpowered with options, but once you understand it, it’s a piece of cake really.
And what I like the most about this backup plugin, is that it offers many features that other plugins charge you big money for.
11. Add a Contact Form
Why Do I need a contact page in WordPress?
As mentioned above, this step is optional, but I totally recommend it. If you create a contact page for your website, people across the internet can reach you with business proposals and opportunities. Why miss that chance?
If you decided that you need a contact form, let’s go ahead and do it. Adding a contact form is super easy. We are going to use the Contact Form 7 plugin to create it. If you haven’t already installed it, go ahead and do it now.
How to create a contact page in WordPress?
After successful installation and activation of plugin, click on Contact on the administration area menu. You should see that a contact form is already created under the name Contact form 1.
Look for a shortcode text that looks like this:
[ contact-form-7 id="150" title="Contact form 1" ]
Copy that text in your clipboard, and paste in any page or post you desire. Click Publish and you’re all set. I’ll attach some photos bellow, for a better understanding:
Can I make additional changes to my contact form?
Yes, you can. If you want to make additional settings and configurations, such as changing the email address where you receive your e-mails, or add new fields to contact form, go back to Contact > Contact form 1 and click Edit. You will be prompted with a screen and four option tabs where you can make any changes you desire.
Again, here are some images for reference:
Can I add more than one contact form to my WordPress website?
Again, yes! You can add as many contact forms as you want. Click on Contact > Add New to create a new contact form. Follow the same steps described above, to add it in any page or post, or to modify it.
12. Setup your website menu
This is the last step in your WordPress website creation. When you are done with the menu, you can start blogging or adding content to the site.
To create your first menu, navigate to Appearance > Menus and follow the instructions provided in the following screenshots:
What items can I add to my WordPress menu?
As you can see in the images above, you can add anything. Posts, pages, tags, categories, custom links and anything else you can imagine.
13. Create your first post & quick guide to keyword research
Creating a post in WordPress couldn’t be easier. Navigate to Posts > Add New, and start editing. I attached some screenshots to give you an idea on how the whole process works:
What can I add to a WordPress post?
You can add almost anything you can imagine. The default WordPress editor, comes bundled up with a multitude of blocks, that give you the freedom to add anything.
You can add images, galleries, embed videos, text, shortcodes, lists, quotes, audio, tables, code, categories, tags and the list could go on and on. Best way to discover them all, is to start blogging and take your time to familiarize yourself with each feature.
Check this article if you need additional details on How To Create A Post In WordPress?
What is keyword research?
Keyword research it’s a SEO technique that involves finding the words and phrases that people type in the search engines, when looking for a specific topic. Then, with a little research you’ll start writing unique articles around that keywords to bring traffic to your website.
What is organic traffic?
The traffic that comes naturally to your website from search engines it’s called organic traffic, and this is the one you are after.
Still confused? Let’s put it like this. I Google “how to do a flip” and your website is shown in the results. I like the title of your article, and I click on it, which brings me to your website. That’s organic traffic.
There are also other forms of traffic such as paid traffic, referral traffic, social traffic and direct traffic. I’ll explain them really quick:
- Paid traffic – You can advertise your website on Google or other various advertising platforms. When people click on your ads, and visit your website, you are charged by Google at a specific rate, depending on your ad, or keyword(s) chosen in the ad.
- Referral traffic – There are various methods to add links with your website to other websites across the internet. Traffic that comes from those websites to yours, it’s called referral traffic.
- Social traffic – This is the type of traffic that comes from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on.
- Direct traffic – When people know about your website or business, and type your website address directly in their browser.
What should I know about keyword research?
There are three important things you should know about keyword research.
- Volume of monthly search – Each keyword or phrase people type in search engines, has a monthly search volume. There are popular and less popular keyword phrases.
- Keyword difficulty – Each keyword or phrase has a difficulty score from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the hardest is to rank on first page on Google.
- Long-Tail Keywords – Long-tail keywords are more specific topics or subtopics of the main keyword. For example: “shoes” is the main keyword and “best running shoes” is a long tail keyword of the shoes keyword ( also known as seed keyword ).
How to use keyword research to your advantage?
Before writing any post, make a list of the relevant topics about your business and what you plan to approach. Don’t make a really long list, maybe 5-10 seed keywords ( main keywords ).
Then, you can use various free tools, to generate long-tail keywords from the seed keywords you’ve chosen.
Long-tail keywords don’t have such higher difficulty score, therefore it’s easier to rank on the first page in search engines. By approaching this strategy, you won’t have to battle with the titans that are ranking on first page with the seed keywords.
There’s pretty much meat on the bone for long-tail keywords too! There are many long-tail topics that have a high volume of searches, and very few and irrelevant results. This is where you’ll be able to make a difference.
And on the long run, if you keep updating your blog and make relevant content, Google will love you and you’ll start to rank higher even with the seed keywords. Trust me, this is the best strategy you can choose when you are just starting out!
Gimme some free keyword research tools!
You’ve understood how the whole keyword research process works, here is a list of most popular keyword research tools to help you out:
- Ubersuggest – This is crème de la crème! It offers valuable information that other tools charge you big money for. You just enter a keyword or phrase and in an instant you get the monthly search volume, keyword ideas, long-tail keywords, keyword difficulty and so on.
- Keyword Sheeter – This is ideal if you want to generate lots of keyword ideas, and do it fast! Just enter a keyword or phrase, and get tons of results and derivations.Make sure you push the stop button after a while, as this tool can run forever 🙂
- Answer the public – Useful tool that finds questions, comparisons or prepositions from the seed keyword provided. Example: You start with “blog” and get these results : how to start a blog, why to make a blog etc.
14. 50 Creative blog posts ideas
Ok. So you’ve got everything set up and you know how to write a post. Now it’s time to add some content to your blog. But you’re stuck! You have no idea where to start. Have no worries, I got your back.
Here is a list of 50 creative blog post ideas, to help you out. These are just some topics to get you started. You’re gonna have to put your mind to work and start being creative! There you go:
- Health/Fitness for busy people
- How to travel on a low budget
- Publish a post about your success and epic failures
- Make a list of interesting stats in your niche
- Charity and activism
- Announce a contest.
- Make a post full of GIFs
- Love and marriage 🙂
- Share a case study
- Language learning blogs
- How to make money
- Public speaking
- Come Up With A Truth Vs Lie Post
- Write a FAQs post
- Learn how to: WordPress, CSS, HTML
- Search Engine Optimization
- How to be a blogger
- Spotlight on other writers
- Your DIY Guide (Do it Yourself)
- Relevant news
- Best books ever
- Do a behind the scenes article
- Unusual facts and figures
- Make a list of the best and most insightful quotes about your niche
- Climate change
- List things to avoid
- Self sustainable systems
- Offer tutorials or step-by-step guides
- Phone apps
- Conduct a survey and share the response
- Technology I Can’t Live Without
- Learning to ZEN/Balanced life
- Video reviews
- What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? How did it help you?
- Self-Improvement Tips
- Similarities and differences
- Share Shocking Customer Service Stories
- Your Biggest Fears or Phobias
- Favorite Plot Twists
- Write some helpful emails that can be used in your industry
- Share resume writing tips for the modern professional
- Holidays and events
15. Most popular methods to monetize your WordPress blog
Now that you’ve got everything running smoothly, and your WordPress website is ready it’s time to make some bucks out of your passion.
Let’s have a look at the most popular monetization methods before digging into it.
Of course there are more than these 3 methods to monetize your WordPress blog. But we’re gonna focus on these ones, as I feel like they are the most popular and important. Let’s see how each method works:
Become an affiliate
This is without a doubt one of the oldest and profitable methods of monetizing. Using this method you won’t have to deal with shipping costs, customer service headaches, or any order returns.
How can I become an affiliate?
Almost every online shop allows you to create an affiliate account, and start referring their products. So no matter in what niche you are blogging, you are most likely to find a shop that is selling products that could easily fit into your blog.
How do I earn money by becoming an affiliate?
After creating an affiliate account, the shop usually provides you with a unique affiliate link and a set of banners that you can place on your website. When people click on the affiliate link or a banner, and make a purchase, you’ll get a commission from that sale. Percent of the commission may vary from one shop to another.
Where can I register as an affiliate?
As I said above, almost every online shop has an affiliate program where you can register and start earning right away. This is not limited only to physical goods, you can refer digital products, e-books, services, hosting and any other things that come to your mind. You just have to see what products fit better into your niche.
Anyway, here is a list of 105 Best Affiliate Programs. I’m sure you’re going to find something in your niche there.
Google Adsense is an advertising placement service that is offered by Google to website publishers. It works in a similar way just like affiliate banners. You create an account with Google Adsense, set up your ads, and place them on your website. When your visitors click on a banner or a text link ad, you receive a payment amount from Google.
This is called CPC ( Cost per click ).
How much does Google Adsense pay?
CPC may vary anywhere from 0.01 cents to 2-5$, sometimes even more. The amount you receive for each CPC depends on many factors such as: how many times the visitor has spent on your site before clicking the ad, his location, the value of the product advertised and so on.
Google Adsense also pays you for CPM ( Cost per 1000 Impressions ). An impression is count as valid when the ad has begun to download on the user device.
In this scenario, visitors don’t have to click the ad but only see it. Anyway, the price that Google pays you for 1000 Impressions is not a very big one, so CPC is the king here.
How can I get started with Google Adsense?
You can sign up here for Google Adsense. However, make sure you have the following things in place before applying for an account:
- Read the Adsense policy and FAQ to see what you are allowed to do and what not.
- Make sure you have a Terms and Conditions page ready.
- If your website is located in Europe, or you have traffic from this location, you’re gonna have to make your website GDPR Compliant.
- Be sure to have some content published on your website
Each Adsense application is reviewed by real people so the process can take up to 2 weeks. But in most cases, it happens in 24-48 hours. You may not get approved at first try, and if this is the case you will be informed by email.
They won’t tell you why your website was not accepted, so you’re going to have to figure it out yourself.
That’s why you need to check and read their Adsense policy and FAQ. Doing this, you will increase your chances of being accepted from the first try.
Sell your own products & Services
This is another popular method that you can use to make money. And it’s the most profitable without a doubt. Why? Because you keep all the profit, whilst in the other two scenarios you only get a small cut.
What can I sell?
Anything. You can create an e-book, sell a digital product, sell shoes, flowers, clothing, hiking equipment, homemade stuff, or anything else you are good at, or your blog relates to.
If you plan on creating a shop with WordPress I can recommend 2 plugins to help you out:
- WooCommerce – This offers a flexible e-Commerce solution, and you can build any online store you want. You can sell physical and digital goods as well. Documentation on how to use WooCommerce can be found here.
- Easy Digital Downloads – If you sell only digital products, this one’s for you. It’s very easy to use, and it has extensive documentation.
You survived this 30 minutes tutorial 🙂 Now your WordPress website is up and running, and you are a happy camper. I’ll wrap it up and finish with some final thoughts on how to take good care of your blog:
- Make sure you don’t go crazy with installing all of the plugins available 🙂 to keep your website as fast and light as possible!
- Keep posting unique and high quality content to boost up your website traffic and rank higher in search engines
- Communicate with your audience in blog comments and on social networks to understand their needs and make a stronger connection
- Give away your knowledge – Don’t be afraid to share with people things you know, and help out others.
- Give it some time – Miracles don’t happen overnight. Have patience and faith and in the end you will achieve the impossible.
If anything goes wrong during your WordPress install, I’m here for you and you can ask me anything in the comments and I will guide you in the right direction.
If you feel like I missed something out, have something to add, or just want to say hello, feel free to use the comments section.
If you appreciate this article, you could help a brother out with a like or share. This will put a smile on my face and inspire me to create more tutorials to help out people like you!