There are millions of blogs online in existence. They are created for one or more reasons: to spread ideas, write about things they are passionate about, make money by blogging, and other reasons. Many of the blogs are today are built on the WordPress platform, which is very powerful, customizable, and newbie-friendly, and because of this, the focus of this post will be on starting a WordPress blog.
If you are thinking about starting a blog then there are certain things you should keep an eye on if you want to have a successful blog, or in other words a blog that will have lots of visitors.
Visitors or in other words traffic is the real measure of how successful one blog is. If your goal is to make money with your blog then unless you have visitors you will not make any money by blogging. If you are new to blogging then there are some steps to follow to make sure your blog is up to a good start.
Choose a niche for your WordPress blog
Choosing a niche or topic for your blog is the first step and also a critical step if you want to build a successful blog that will attract an audience and make money for the owner, that’s you. It’s not easy to pick a niche for a blog but here are some guidelines that will help you:
– Choose a topic you have an interest in. When starting your blog and choosing a topic newbies should start from their experiences, knowledge, hobbies, and things they are passionate about. This way you will not run out of ideas about what to write about and if you are genuinely interested in the topic of your blog you will be more motivated and have more energy to research and write content that will attract an audience with similar interests.
– Choose a niche that will have the potential to attract a large audience. Avoid topics that you are passionate about but there are not many other interested people. If you wish to make money online by blogging then you must have traffic or visitors to your blog. Making money blogging is easy as long as you have traffic, which is the hard part of blogging. If no one is interested in what you write about then no one will come to your blog. That is why you need to choose a topic that interests many people and will have the potential to bring an avalanche of traffic to your blog.
Choose your web hosting provider
You can’t build a blog or a website without web hosting. Today there is an abundance of web hosting companies that offer web hosting for extremely low prices. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for web hosting for your WordPress blog:
– Price. This is the first thing you will notice. Prices are very low today only a few dollars per month but you can probably get a discount if you buy web hosting for 24 or 36 months in advance. You can also search for coupons and deals and get web hosting for even less. Many web hosting companies will also offer a money-back guarantee or a free trial period so look around to find a deal that suits your best.
– Bandwidth. Choose depending on the traffic that you expect your blog to get. A new blog will not have much traffic in the beginning so a cheap starter package will be sufficient. Later on, when your blog gets lots of visitors you should switch to a package that has more bandwidth.
– Disk storage space. Also for a new blog, a starter package offering a few gigabytes of disk storage space will be enough. There are some web hosting companies offering unlimited storage space.
– Free domain. Registering a domain name is cheap and you can get a .com domain name for about $10 but many web hosting providers will provide a free domain name when you buy a web hosting package.
– Free email. Many web hosting providers today will offer a free email.
– Customer service. This is very important, especially for newbie bloggers who are not very tech-savvy. If you are a newbie blogger choose a web hosting company with good 24-hour customer support. Building your WordPress blog today is very easy and automated but what if things go wrong. In this situation, you will need someone to help you get back on track.
– Easy WordPress installation. Look for web hosting providers that will provide you with an easy way to install WordPress. See if h provider has cPanel and Softaculous.
– Additional services. Web hosting companies will often offer some additional services like auto backup, DDoS protection, SSL certificate, etc. for free which is also a plus.
Here are some web hosting companies for your WordPress blog:
Bluehost – automatic WordPress installation and updates.
iPage – WordPress hosting including preinstalled themes and plugins.
QHoster – European hosting company. Instant WordPress setup using cPanel. A large number of payment options like Paypal, Payza, Skrill, Bitcoin, Western Union, and many more.
Namecheap – offers managed WordPress hosting
LiquidWeb – high-performance dedicated cloud and hybrid hosting, managed WordPress hosting.
Inter Server – cPanel one-click WordPress installation.
Creating a blog today is very easy and not limited only to the tech-savvy people but virtually anyone can start a blog with a virtual click of a button. If your web hosting company has a cPanel control panel then you can have your new blog up and running in minutes using Softaculous auto-installer. To get started log in to your cPanel and scroll to Softaculous. There you should click on the WordPress icon and the installation of your WordPress blog will begin. Next, you will have to provide the following details:
– Choose the version you want to install. It is recommended to select the newest version.
– Choose installation URL. This is your registered domain name. It is recommended to choose https:// protocol and leave In directory filed blank.
– Site name. Type the name of your blog.
– Site description. Provide description for your blog, what is it about.
– Admin username. Write your username you will use to log in to your WordPress Blog dashboard.
– Admin Password. Choose password you will use to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Install essential WordPress plugins
Now your blog will be up and running and next, you should customize it a select a theme, and install some essential plugins. Plugins help WordPress blog owners customize their blogs and make it running their blogs very easy and simple without knowledge and experience in programming and web design.
To add a plugin you should log in to your WordPress dashboard and on the left click on Plugins/Add New. You can search for plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory or you can download them to your computer/laptop and then upload them by clicking Upload Plugin
There are many plugins available serving different purposes. If you are newbie and have no knowledge about WordPress plugins here are some suggestions:
– Jetpack has many tools to help blog owners track statistics, design their blogs, improve social sharing, increase number of visitors and more.
– Yoast SEO is a plugin that helps WordPress blog owners improve the SEO of their blog and drive more traffic and increase audience.
– Akismet is a plugin that will help deal with spam by checking comments and contact form submissions. As an alternative you can use Antispam Bee
– WP Super Cache is a plugin that will increase the loading speed of your blog.
– Google XML Sitemaps creates a dynamic sitemap of your blog and notifies search engines every time a change is made.
– Smush Plugin compresses images so that your site loads faster.
– Everest Forms plugin helps create contact forms with ease.
– GA Google Analytics adds Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress Blog so you can see how your visitors find your blog and how you can keep them coming back
– Broken Link Checker checks your WordPress for broken links. Broken links can damage your blog SEO and decrease number of visitors.
Publish your first blog post
Now you have a fully functioning WordPress blog. As you could see it was not so difficult to have it up and running. Now comes the actual blogging that is writing interesting and engaging content, publishing it, attracting an audience, and eventually making money with your blog. Keep in mind that success will not come overnight and hard work and time is necessary to be a successful blogger.
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