How To Start A Blog 2018 ( Ultimate Guide)
You are confused!
You know there are tons of people who make a living online via their blogs. Still, you are petrified by the thought of starting a blog.
You have a few misconceptions about creating a blog. No, it is not a herculean task. You can start one in five minutes. Yeah, you heard it right!
In this article, you are going to read about what you should do in order to create a blog in five minutes. Are you ready to get into the core of this post?
Here you go!
How to Start a Blog in 5 Minutes?
Starting a blog involves multiple steps. For your convenience, I have placed each under separate subheadings, which you can read below.
#1. Choosing a Niche
The niche is the main topic of your blog. The very first step to starting a blog is selecting the niche itself.
You must be extra vigilant when it comes to niche selection. As you are going to start a new blog, you have to take blogs of the same niche into consideration.
The ultimate aim of you is make a living online, right?
So, you have to analyze the competition to get an idea of the profitability. If you want to make money from AdSense, you have to be clear about Cost Per Click aka CPC. The higher the CPC, the better the earnings will be.
In case your main supposed-to-be earning source is affiliate marketing, you must choose products with higher commission to promote.
Don’t forget to Google your niche to have an idea about your competitors. Grab their main keywords and also note down the keywords in your niche, which they haven’t used.
Believe me, when it comes to starting a new blog, niche selection where I spent most of my time. If you do your research very well, the path to success will be half-passed.
Once you decide your niche, you can move on to the next step.
#2. Selecting a Domain Name
The domain name is your online address. My blogs domain is mytrickschool.com. It is evident that you can’t choose a domain which is already taken.
From my experience, I have found out that EMD (exact match domain) works well when it comes to niche blog.
For example, you want to start a blog on best headphones. Then, you can buy a domain like bestheadphonesforu.com. In case you are an event blogger, you must get an EMD.
I don’t recommend this method for authority, long-term blogs. You know ShoutMeLoud, don’t you? Harsh Agarwal went for a brand-able domain than an EMD.
You can consider this step as a part of the next one because most of the hosting providers today give away a domain name along with their packages.
About a ton domain name extensions are available. Still, I would go for .com. You can consider .net and .org as well.
#3. Picking a Hosting Provider and Plan
Once you decide your domain name, you don’t have to purchase it right away. You know why?
Most of the hosting providers today offer you with a free domain name. In case your preferred provider doesn’t give you one, you can go ahead and buy one from anywhere.
It really is a tedious process!
Yeah, you heard it right! About 200 hosting providers are available on the web. And, when it comes to choosing one, you have to rack your brain to the maximum.
One of the best ways to decide which one suits you the best is reading honest reviews on other blogs. I have reviewed some hosting providers in the past as well.
If you ask me which one I recommend, then I will go with Bluehost.
Read my Bluehost review to get an idea of their hosting.
I hope you are starting a blog from the scratch. In this case, you can surely go with shared hosting (Bluehost shared plan includes a free domain too).
Are you sure that you will get hell lots of traffic within a short time? Or are you moving your site with good traffic from another hosting?
If you have a yes to any of the questions given above, you have to go with VPS or dedicated server hosting.
A few points to ponder while selecting a hosting provider
- Scalability to upgrade to another plans
- Responsive 24×7 customer support
- Refund policy
- Company reliability
- Bandwidth and web space
- Competitive pricing
- Availability of cPanel
How to Purchase Bluehost Web Hosting ?
- Go, Bluehost.
- Choose your preferred webhosting package as per your requirement.
- Click on Sign up Now !
- Now fill up the form and complete purchase process.
- Now check your gmail address for cpanel username and password.
#4. Installing WordPress
Now that you have chosen your domain name and, purchased hosting as well.
You should install WordPress. I hope you didn’t choose to go with free blogging platforms. WordPress is the number one content management system available as of now. I am talking about wordpress.org here, not wordpress.com.
Installing WordPress isn’t a mammoth task as you may think. As I said in the earlier section, you must buy a hosting plan with cPanel. In short, cPanel is the toolbox of your website.
Once you complete checking out, you will receive the login credentials to the cPanel of your blog. Most probably, you can reach your cPanel page by entering yourdomain.com/cpanel. In case you this link seems having no use, you can log into your hosting account and access cPanel from there.
When you log into your cPanel, you will see tons of options there. Don’t be confused! All you have to do is choosing an icon and go with on-screen options.
How can you find that one from all these items?
Simple! Just hit Ctrl+ F and, type WordPress into it.
You will get the required option now. Hit on the same to kick-start WordPress installation.
Everyone must provide domain, site title, tag line, username and, password during the process. Once you finish the same, you can visit yourdomain.com/wp-admin to log into your dashboard.
Voila! You have started your own blog now. Did it take five minutes? No!
The following are a few must-dos you should do right after installing WordPress.
#5. Changing the Theme
Tons of WordPress themes are available out there. Of course, you can download one for free. Still, I really recommend going with a paid one.
Benefits of Premium Themes
- Top notch security
- Responsive customer support
- Search engine friendliness
- Regular updates
- Clean coding
- Tons of features
You can’t avail all the features given above with a free theme. That’s why I always recommend going with a premium one.
What if you download a nulled theme? (like cracked versions of premium themes).
NO! You shouldn’t install nulled themes, period.
Trust me, I learned it the hard way. About three of my sites got hacked due to nulled plugins during my initial days of blogging. I ignored nulled themes ever since.
You can get a package of themes from different WordPress theme clubs available in the online market.
I have reviewed some, which you can find below.
How to Install a WordPress Theme?
Follow the steps given below to install a WordPress theme.
Step 1: Apparently, the very first step is to download a WordPress theme. You can do it from any theme club or WP theme vendors. What you get is a zipped file. Don’t try to extract it as we have to upload it in the same format.
Step 2: Log into your WordPress dashboard and enter the correct credentials. Once you reach your WP dashboard, follow Appearance>> Themes.
Step 3: You will see a button there, labeled Add new. Clicking on the same will bring you to a new page.
Step 4: On the bottom of the page, you can get a lot of free themes. NEVER look at them! Just follow Upload Theme>> Choose File and browse to the zipped file you downloaded earlier. Finally, hit Install Now.
Hurray! You just installed a WP theme on your site. You can go ahead and, customize the appearance using theme options.
#6. Install Essential Plugins
Once you change your theme, you must download a few pugins. Before I give you my list of must-have plugins, let’s find out how to install one.
Step 1: As usual, you have to log into your admin panel. Then, follow Plugins>> Add new.
Step 2: You will be brought to WordPress plugin repository with a search field. Just enter the name of the plugin you want to install.
Step 3: When you get the required one, hit Install and then, Activate. That’s it.
N.B.- You can’t install premium plugins in this way, though.
Now, it’s time to get into the list of essential plugins.
- Akismet:- Your Swiss army knife to fighting against comment spam. There are both free and premium packages available. It works on the basis of an API.
- AddToAny Share Buttons:– Adds social share buttons to your website. You know? Social signals are important in SEO.
- BJ Lazy Load:- By delaying the loading of images, it saves the bandwidth and, makes your website load faster.
- Broken Link Checker:- Once your website grows, it is impossible to manually check for broken links. Don’t worry! This plugin does it for you.
- Contact Form 7:- Helps you integrate a contact form to your posts, page or anywhere.
- Google Analytics:- Integrates your Google Analytics account with your site to get audience overview.
- iThemes Security:– Are you scared of hackers? Install this plugin and, invest for the premium account if you can.
- Updraft Plus:– Taking regular backups is mandatory for every site. Updraft Plus does it for you. If you want, it can automate the process after connecting to a cloud storage network as well.
- W3 Total Cache:- When it comes to speeding up your website, I can’t recommend another plugin than W3 Total Cache. Once you configure it the right way, it will skyrocket the loading speed.
- WP Smush:- Do you have a habit of uploading big media files? Install WP Smush and, it will compress them for you.
- WP-Optimize:- Optimizing your database is significant to improve your site health as well as speed. WP-Optimize is specifically built for that.
- Yoast SEO:- Which is the best SEO plugin for WP? Yoast SEO, hands down! It will take care of your on-page SEO, sitemaps and much more.
I have share 10+ plugins here. That means, it surely takes a lot of your time. What if I give you an option to install plugins in bulk?
Yeah, it is possible. Just install WP Install Profiles plugins, and, you can do the same without any issues.
#7. A Few Tasks to Do
Even after you do half a dozen of the tasks given above, you should follow the things given below as well.
- Changing permalinks:- Follow Settings>> Permalinks for that.
- Altering title and taglines:- Go to Settings>> General
- Delete unused themes:- Visit Appearance>> Themes. You can delete unwanted themes from there.
- Delete Hello Dolly plugin:- Access Plugins and, you can delete the plugin.
I hope you know how to start a WordPress blog now.
I have touched every aspect needed for creating a blog in this article. In case you feel you are confused at any stage, don’t forget to reach out to me using the comment section down below. I will be more than glad to help you out.
Don’t back out! Don’t delegate the task to the next day!
The best time is NOW. So, start making your online venture TODAY itself.