How To Create A WordPress Blog In 9 Easy Steps

How To Create A WordPress Blog In 9 Easy Steps

Are you considering starting a blog? This is a simple guide on how to create a WordPress blog in 9 easy steps.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to blogging, like a lot! You aren’t going to learn everything from this blog post but hopefully I can give you some pointers to help you start your blog the right way and not make the mistakes that I made in the beginning with my first blog. šŸ˜…

When you first set up your blog, try and think about your ‘why’.. what is the main reason that you are setting up a blog?

Are you looking to drive traffic to your blog to increase sales? Do you plan on making money from your blog? Is your blog going to be a side hustle or would you like it to be your full time job?

If you have a think about your answers and that will help you to have the right attitude about your blog from the very start.

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What’s The Difference Between .com And .org

A very common question for new bloggers is what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? The main difference between the two is that WordPress.com is a hosted website whereas WordPress.org is self hosted.

What this means is that a hosted website is managed by the host. Some hosts have their own website builders which is much easier to use. WordPress.com is good if you don’t want to worry about the technical side of your website.

With a WordPress.org website it’s self hosted so you need to do all tasks related to the back end of your website, yourself. The bonus with going self hosted is that there’s much more functionality, you can customise every part of your website yourself.

WordPress.com

Some of the main differences are listed below:

  • It’s free
  • You don’t need to update or backup your site
  • You can only feature Wordads if you want to have ads
  • Limited amount of themes available
  • Very easy to use, design a website in minutes
  • You can’t add plugins
  • You can pay and have access to Google Analytics
  • Shared hosting so might have issues with a lot of traffic

WordPress.org

  • You can customise every part of your website
  • You can download plugins
  • Lots of free themes available
  • You can feature ads from any provider
  • You’re responsible for updating your website and backing it up
  • It takes a bit longer for a new blogger to learn how everything works within WordPress.org
  • Can handle larger volumes of traffic

When I first setup my website, I didn’t know anything about the difference between hosted and self hosted. I signed up for a website with GoDaddy which was using their own web builder.

It was very simple to use but as soon as I started learning more about blogging, I wanted to add a Pinterest pin button to blog posts and when I contacted them they told me it couldn’t be done.

This is when I realised that I should switch my website over to self hosted before I had too much content. If you are switching between a WordPress.com website to WordPress.org it should be much simpler. However, I had to copy and paste my blog posts over which was a pain!

how to create a wordpress blog

How To Create A WordPress Blog

Now we should get to how to create a WordPress blog in 9 easy steps. Just to clarify this is setting up your website with WordPress.org.

Step 1 – Check If Your Domain Name Is Available

First of all, before you decide on your domain name you should check if it’s available and if the social media names are available. Of course you can go for variations on your social accounts but it’s much better to have everything the same across all channels. This is because it will be much easier for you to share and for people to find you.

Namecheck is a great place that you can check the domain and social media accounts at the same time. I put this step first on the list because I think it’s important to check all of this before you sign up for your website.

how to create a wordpress blog namecheck

However, if you’ve already chosen your domain etc it’s really not the end of the world if you can’t get the same social media accounts. I’ve chosen @damarisrussellblogger for my social media accounts because it’s my name and it still represents what I’m doing.

It’s also a good idea to run your domain name idea by a few people first as well. Just to make sure that it sounds right and fits well with the content you plan to write on your blog. Sometimes getting other opinions is useful because they might see something that you don’t.

Make sure that your name is easy to say and also make sure that it’s not going to be mistaken for another brand or website.

I know a blogger who had to change their brand name across the board because they created their website first but the new brand had paid to Trademark the name so the blogger had no choice but to change it.

Step 2 – Choose Your Hosting

Once you’ve decided on a domain name and you know it’s available you can then choose the Hosting provider.

I use Lyrical Host, I’ve been with them for 2+ years now and I love it. Whenever I’ve contacted them they’re so helpful, nothing is too much trouble. They’ve got a lot of resources on their websites to help you get started and they also plant trees for the anniversary of when you join, which is an added bonus.

Other providers you can go with:

  • Hostgater
  • Siteground
  • GoDaddy

When you sign up with a provider you will normally have to pay an annual fee for the domain name and then you will pay a monthly fee depending on how many websites you have and which provider you go with.

Prices could be anywhere between $5.95 to $16.99 per month.

Lyrical Host was recommended to me by another blogger. I’m grateful for this recommendation because they have exceeded my expectations.

When you’re looking into providers, I recommend asking around first or checking reviews on their website and Trustpilot (if applicable). Changing provider in the future can be inconvenient and may involve a lot of stress.

why you need an ssl certificate

Step 3 – Install WordPress and SSL Certificate

Once you’ve bought your domain name and signed up with a provider they should guide you through the next steps. However, installling WordPress and getting an SSL certificate should be your first priorities.

Installing WordPress means you can get started by customising your website within the WordPress admin Dashboard.

An SSL Certificate is what changes your website url from http to https. Https is much more secure than http, most people will not even click on a website that is http so it’s definitely something that you need to get sorted straight away.

You may have noticed when you’re on a website there is a padlock symbol next to the url, this is to show that it’s a secure website. If you click the padlock you can find out more about the connection and cookies etc.

Within Lyrical Host they direct you to install WordPress and your SSL certificate straight away. With this website I was in contact with Admin and they added the SSL certificate straight away for me so I didn’t even need to worry about it.

Step 4 – Choose A Theme For Your Website

Next you should go onto your WordPress Dashboard and click onto Appearance and then Themes. Your website should be automatically set to a theme, you can either start customising that theme if you like it or have a look through the thousands of free themes available for one that you want to use.

I’ve used the Astra, Ashe and NovelGreen themes and they’re fairly simple to use. You can always pay for a premium theme if you prefer, I haven’t personally done this but I know some people like to use certain themes for the appearance and/or speed.

When you’re first starting out you might not have the money to do this and that’s ok. With so many free themes available you should be able to find something that works well for your content.

Now the fun bit which is customising your theme to exactly how you want it with your business name, logo and any other information you want to include.

My best advice when you’re customising, is try not to spend too long on this part of the process. Talking from experience but I spent too much time tweaking my first website and when you’re starting out you want to get the basics done so you can get to writing content to help you get found.

If you’re not 100% happy with it you can always revisit in the future and change things.

Step 5 – Install Plugins

I would recommend installing some plugins before you start writing your blog posts. Mainly because downloading and activating an SEO plugin such as Yoast or RankMath will really help you to write your blog posts and consider SEO when you’re writing.

You should also install a plugin to backup your website remotely. Your host will probably have their own ways to backup your website but it’s a good idea to backup your website yourself remotely just in case you ever have an issue with your website. I use UpdraftPlus to backup my website to Dropbox. You can back it up to Google Drive or Amazon S3, whichever you prefer to use.

It can be really confusing with all the different plugins available, that’s why I’ve written a post with the best ones. For the full list of WordPress plugins for bloggers, check out my post.

how to create a wordpress blog

Step 6 – Write Your First Blog Post

Next you should start writing.. I would recommend learning the basics of SEO, otherwise you are unlikely to rank well on Google.

Doing some keyword research is another important part of blogging. You can use lots of different online tools to do keyword research before you start writing.

Personally I like to use the Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere and then I do a few Google searches to see what other questions people are asking based on that phrase. I also like to use the website Answer The Public every few months to write down some ideas for future blog posts.

answerthepublic

When you sit down to write, a SEO plugin will give you some pointers for your title and content when you input your focus keyword. I personally like to use Rank Math because it allows you to add several keywords (keyword phrases) on each post on their free plan.

The truth is that the more you write blog posts, the better you will get. The main thing I will say when you’re first starting out is to try and rank for long tail keywords which is a keyword phrase with several words. When you haven’t yet had a chance to build authority on Google you’re not likely to rank for shorter keywords.

If you’d like more information on how to write an engaging blog post, I would recommend my post as I go into more detail about writing a good blog post.

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Step 7 – Connect Google Analytics

Then you should set up your Google Analytics account so that you can monitor your content in the future. I like to also get the Google Site Kit plugin so that I can see how my content is doing from my WordPress Dashboard.

Google Analytics can be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with it so take some time to have a look around. Once you start getting consistent traffic to your website you’ll be able to see where you get your traffic from and you can see which posts are performing the best etc.

The first thing I do with a new website is to set it up to ignore my IP address in the data. When you don’t have much traffic it counts every time you visit your own website so it’s easier to set this up so that the data you see is just from genuine visits to your site.

Step 8 – Set Up Google Search Console

The next step is to setup your Google Search Console account, it’s good for making sure your content is being indexed correctly by Google. Google Search Console will email you if there’s an error with your content when it gets crawled. They could contact you about a variety of issues so I can’t really list them all but you can always go into your account and find out what you can do to fix the issue.

You can also submit a sitemap through Google Search Console, I know that some bloggers have never submitted a sitemap to Google Search Console and have still managed to rank their blog posts and gain traffic. However, it just helps Google to know the different pages and categories for your website and establish what your content is about.

You can normally use sitemaps that your SEO plugin creates. For Rank Math it can be found under Sitemap Settings in your WordPress admin Dashboard.

how to create a wordpress blog and share on socials

Step 9 – Share Your Posts

Lastly don’t forget to share your content on social media. When you’re first starting out you might not know exactly which social media platforms you should use.

This will definitely depend on what your blog is about. Certain niches do very well on Pinterest so do a bit of research first of all and see if there’s much content in your niche already on Pinterest. Lifestyle, coaches, blogging tips, recipes and DIY is the sort of content that generally does really well on Pinterest.

Then there’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok.

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The best thing to do is to pick a few platforms that you think your ideal audience is on and work on posting regularly, building a community and sharing your blog posts occasionally for your followers to read.

Before you get traffic from Google, it’s another great way of getting people on your blog to read your content.

9 steps to create a wordpress blog

That’s how to create a WordPress blog in 9 easy steps. As I said at the start, there’s so much to learn when it comes to blogging. That’s why I wrote a post what you need to know before starting a blog if you wanted to learn more about setting up your blog the right way.

Damaris

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