Modern Blogging Made Easy
Start a WordPress Blog or eCommerce Store in 24 Hours or Less!
Wondering how to start a WordPress blog in 2020? 💻
Need a free, easy to follow, step-by-step guide on how to get it all done properly? You’ve come to the right place!
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: The following content contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through any of the qualifying links, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.
Whether you’re brand new to blogging, or maybe you’ve tried blogging before but haven’t found much success creating income from it, yet 💸 – don’t worry! This article is for you.
Welcome to Modern Blogging Made Easy: How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2020, where self-starting creatives (like yourself) can learn how to set up a WordPress blog in 10 easy steps.
This handy guide is a roadmap that’ll help you turn your passions into profit online in just one day or less.
Table of Contents
- Modern Blogging Made Easy
- Why Start a WordPress Blog?
- Step 1: Decide on a blog niche.
- Step 2: Choose a distinctive blog and domain name.
- Step 3: Register your domain & hosting services.
- Step 4: Install your blogging platform (WordPress).
- Step 5: Choose a theme and logo that screams ‘you’ – and customize it as your heart desires.
- Step 6: Install WordPress plugins.
- Step 7: Develop a long term, value-based content calendar.
- Step 8: Research SEO keyword-focused topics.
- Step 9: Write your first blog post!
- Step 10: Explore options for your income stream.
- BONUS Tip: Commit to posting consistently!
Why Start a WordPress Blog?
Not only does blogging create opportunities for you to share the things you know, love and are interested in writing about, it’s also a great way cultivate a community of like-minded followers, with whom you can form genuine connections with.
Best yet, you’ll be able to create a passive income for yourself by generating sales through digital products, online services, or other types of monetization methods, all while simply discussing a topic you already love.
And before you have to ask – YES, you can absolutely do this right from the comfort of your own couch, all while binging on the latest hit Netflix series. ✅
Now, without further ado – let’s get started.
Step 1: Decide on a blog niche.
What is a ‘niche’?
A blog niche is the overarching theme, topic, or problem at large that you will be addressing in your blog. For example, my website covers topics like blogging, SEO, and content marketing.
You know how everybody has a thing? It’s what people refer to as their thing?
Your blog niche is its thing.
You see, a blog is essentially just a really long conversation that you’re having with your audience. And just like a conversation in real life – it’s not hard to eventually run off-topic when you’re writing because you’ll be navigating through different subtopics within your blog.
Not only can choosing a niche ahead of time help you brainstorm for ideas to write about, keeping your chosen niche in mind is also a fantastic way to make sure that your blog stays true to its purpose as it grows.
Examples of Creative Blogging Niches & Monetization Ideas
- Fashion & Style (e.g. Lookbooks, Clothing Product Reviews)
- Makeup & Beauty (e.g. Makeup Tutorials & Product Reviews)
- Travel & Lifestyle (e.g. Diary of a Flight Attendant, Product Reviews)
- Home & Lifestyle (e.g. Parenting Life Hacks, DIY Tutorials)
- Food & Dietary Lifestyle (e.g. Vegan Recipes, Tips)
- Personal Finance (e.g. Frugal Living Tips & Ideas)
- Technology & Software (e.g. Tutorials and/or Product Reviews)
PRO TIP: The more you niche down, the easier it’ll be for you to monetize your blog within that market.
Step 2: Choose a distinctive blog and domain name.
Once you’ve decided on a niche, you’ll want to choose your blog and domain names.
What’s a ‘domain‘?
A domain is your website’s unique URL address, and functions as a link which directs visitors to your blog. For instance, mine is: lisakaela.com
Ideally, you’ll want to work with a blog title which can work synonymously as your domain name. Your domain name plays a crucial role for search engine optimization down the road.
When it comes to choosing a domain name, web hosting company Hostgator has this to say:
“SEO starts with your domain name“.How Your Domain Affects Your SEO [8 SEO Best Practices for Domains] published by hostgator
By picking a domain name that’s relevant to your chosen niche, or is related to a specific industry, search engine algorithm indexers will identify and mark your domain (or blog) as a trusted resource for that subject. The more content you create on a topic, the more Google will recognize your domain as a trusted source for it.
PRO TIP: Be sure to go with a trusted domain registrar!
Also, choosing a memorable blog and domain name from the get-go will allow your audience to get familiar with your blog as you brand it more content, and trust your brand’s philosophy as it evolves over time.
Short and sweet is the way to go when it comes to your blog and domain names.
Step 3: Register your domain & hosting services.
Now that you’ve chosen a blog & domain name (we discussed what a domain is in step 2, above), it’s time to set up the domain and hosting services for your new blog.
If you’re not familiar with domain and web hosting services, let me catch you up real quick:
What is ‘hosting‘?
A web hosting service provider offers the technology and services needed to make your website accessible to the world wide web.
Your blog’s home lies in the server of the web host you choose to go with, and this is where all of your website’s files, images and HTML codes are stored and served from.
When you pay for a web hosting service plan, you are essentially paying to rent and store your website, and to make it accessible on the internet – just as you would rent a physical store location for your business in person.
The best part about web hosting today is that most modern domain and hosting businesses will offer 24/7 customer support, so you can rest assured that you have access to professional guidance and technical support when needed as you manage your own website.
Where do I sign up for domain & hosting?
When it comes to hosting your website, I always recommend my friends and clients to consider server speed, the availability of customer and tech support, and to read through past testimonials.
For a simple, secure and reliable domain and hosting plan, I’d recommend for you to go with a self-hosted WordPress content management system (CMS), such as Bluehost, the #1 recommended web hosting as recommended by WordPress.
(FTC Disclaimer: As a Bluehost affiliate, I earn a commission when you use the link above to make a purchase. Know that this does not impact my review or comparison of products and I promise to only recommend products and services I would use myself!)
This way, you would have full admin control and ownership when it comes to your website, as opposed to using managed hosting plans (e.g. WordPress.com) where your content is technically owned by the hosting provider, and you may only have limited access or restricted control over your website.
With Bluehost, you’ll have full admin access, which includes WP Pro (where you can supercharge your WordPress hosting with detailed website analytics, marketing tools, security, and data backups all in one place), emails tied to your domain name, and 24/7 expert support.
As a sweet bonus, Bluehost even offers a FREE domain for the first year when you sign up for shared hosting!
Bluehost’s all-in-one packaged plans make it simple for new bloggers to focus on what really matters: creating authentic content, and garnering quality site traffic, so you can propel your passion project into a thriving business.
Step 4: Install your blogging platform (WordPress).
After you have set up your domain and hosting services, it’s time to install your blogging platform. If you’re using Bluehost, simply follow the steps below on How to Install WordPress:
- Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
- Find the Website section and select Install WordPress.
- Click the Install button.
- Choose the domain name to install it to. In the field next to the domain, you can enter a subfolder such as ‘blog’ or leave it blank if you want the site’s main page to be the blog.
- If necessary, you can edit the email address, username and password for the new WordPress installation. Click “advanced options” and you can change those settings.
- Read through the license and service agreements and check the boxes.
- Select the Install Now button.
Why use WordPress as a content management system?
WordPress is the world’s leading blogging platform, making up over 75,000,000 websites (or 63% of the market), so it’s a highly trusted CMS with gorgeous themes, countless plugins made compatible, and endless customization options for you to explore.
Moreover, there are also thousands of tutorials made available across all channels (blogs, youtube videos, online courses), which can provide you with guidance and support as you grow your blog.
The WordPress dashboard is easy to pick up, even if you’re an absolute beginner, due to its simple layout. On the left-hand side you’ll have your primary admin toolbar where you’ll be able to access and edit settings, theme options, plugins, and more.
And of course, if you’re using Bluehost, they offer a 24/7 live support which can help answer any burning questions you might have when it comes to WordPress.
Step 5: Choose a theme and logo that screams ‘you’ – and customize it as your heart desires.
Now that your website is all set up, here comes the fun part. You’re going to want to choose a theme that best represents what you want your blog to look like.
If you’re brand new to blogging, I’d recommend going with one of the simple and free WordPress themes first, since you can change your theme later at any time. (You never know if you’ll change your mind once your blog content begins to shape up.)
Depending on the theme, you should have access to layout design settings and other customization options for your blog.
Remember, your blog’s visual design is how your site visitors will remember you – don’t be afraid to get creative and play around with the colors, typography, etc. to make a lasting impression!
PRO TIP: When choosing a theme design, be sure to consider important pillar pages you’ll be adding to your website, such as an About page, Contact page, and Products/Services page (if applicable!). For example, if your website’s primary purpose will be for blogging, be sure to choose a theme that includes optional customization/styling settings for blog posts. This way, it’ll be easier for you to upgrade the website’s layout or evolve the visual design as your traffic grows!
Where can I find creative themes for my WordPress website?
(FTC Disclaimer: As a Shareasale affiliate, I earn a commission when you use the link(s) here to make a purchase. Know that this does not impact my review or comparison of products and I promise to only recommend products and services I would use myself!)
Here are some of my favourite places to find stunning WordPress themes:
- Themeisle WordPress Themes are especially created to setup and launch a website fast, with attention to design and all the functionality needed.
- I love HESTIA for its flexibility – it’s perfect for small businesses, startups, online agencies and firms, e-commerce and more!
- StudioPress uses WP Engine cloud-based hosting and the Genesis framework to design sleek and professional websites.
Keep in mind, you must register for a hosting plan with WP Engine in order to use StudioPress. Once you’ve signed up for a WP Engine plan, you get instant access to 35+ free themes, the Genesis framework, 24/7 chat support, automated SSL certification and more.
PRO TIP: Start with a free theme first, and create some blog content to get a better idea of how you want your blog to look before investing in a purchased one.
Where can I get a logo designed?
When it comes to taking creative control over my personal branding design, I love to support freelancers and small business owners around the world by scoping out the amazing artists available for commission at Fiverr.com.
(FTC Disclaimer: As a Fiverr affiliate, I earn a commission when you use the link above to make a purchase. Know that this does not impact my review or comparison of products and I promise to only recommend products and services I would use myself!)
Fiverr is an amazing freelance marketplace where you can browse through creative service listings for any of your blogging, design or digital marketing needs. In addition to getting a logo designed, you can even find support for design and development, content creation, and more.
Not only does working with freelancers on Fiverr help support small business owners around the world, it can really help speed along the process of growing your blog if you’re looking for a helping hand!
Step 6: Install WordPress plugins.
After installing and customizing your theme settings, it’s time to install some WordPress plugins that will make your blog stand out.
What is a ‘plugin‘?
A plugin is a WordPress add-on which enables additional functions or features (such as theme customizations) for your website.
Top 10 Essential WordPress Plugins for New Bloggers
- Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode – Coming Soon Page
- Yoast SEO
- Really Simple SSL
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
- W3 Total Cache
Want to learn more about the plugins above? Read the full details here.
Step 7: Develop a long term, value-based content calendar.
Once your WordPress website is all set up, your blog is ready to go! But before we start writing, we’re going to want to head to the drawing board to plan out your blog content.
While it’s tempting to just start writing right away, profitable blogging stems from growing an audience that finds value in the content you are creating. Planning your post ideas ahead of time will create the foundation needed in order to build a blog that’s authentic, well-researched and resourceful for your audience.
In addition to writing blog posts, you’ll also have to consider content distribution to get your work read! A great way to start would be to consider the social media platforms you’ll be sharing your blog posts to.
Will you create Instagram feed posts or IG stories to promote your articles? Will you find the best hashtags to start a buzzing conversation around your latest post? Have you looked into Pinterest — many bloggers’ secret tool to skyrocketing their website’s traffic whenever a pin goes viral? These are all important factors to consider when planning a sustainable blogging strategy.
If creating a passive income from your blog is on your to-do list, then I’d highly recommend for you to create a content calendar that clearly outlines the following:
- Blog Topic Suggestions
- Headline Ideas
- Research/Keyword Ideas
- Scheduled Publishing Dates/Times
- Ideal Article Length/Word Count
- Distribution Channels (Social Media Platforms)
Step 8: Research SEO keyword-focused topics.
Next, you’re going to want to research for search engine optimization (“SEO”) keywords and key phrases you should include in your blog articles.
What is SEO, and how can you use it to benefit your website? Check out my SEO Copywriting 101 page to learn how SEO can help you rank your website on the search engines, at a glance. In the meantime, here’s a quick breakdown of what SEO keywords are and how SEO keyword research can help you:
What is an SEO keyword?
SEO keywords and key phrases are terms to use in your blog content which will help visitors find your article when they look up those words on search engines.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research refers to the discovery process of finding what your target audience is looking for on the web.
It provides you with search query information and data so you can strategize content marketing solutions which will help improve your website’s search engine optimization ranking and get your website listed for specified keywords.
Feeling lost whenever “SEO” is mentioned? No worries!
Let me give you a break: SEOlium has a very well-written On-Page Search Engine Optimization Guide which covers everything you need to know from A-Z.
It’s time to start optimizing your website for those search engines, baby!
Worried about making mistakes along the way?
Here’s what Moz’s top SEO pro Britney Muller said in her interview with SEOlium:
Go break stuff!!! Put what you’re learning to the test on your own test domains. It’s the best way to learn the ins and outs of Google, while also challenging common SEO practices and gaining confidence.Britney Muller, Moz’s Senior SEO Scientist
The only way to get better at SEO is to optimize, optimize, optimize, until you see those technical SEO audit scores go up! You’ve got this.
Want to learn more about SEO? *Free Online Tutorials
If you would like to learn even more about how to perform quality SEO keyword research, here are some FREE all-encompassing tutorials by the top SEO pros on the web to get you started:
- Neil Patel – The Guide to Keyword Research
- Hootsuite – “How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide“
- Moz – “Keyword Research | The Beginner’s Guide to SEO”
Step 9: Write your first blog post!
Alas! After all the hard work you’ve put in to setting up your blog and the research you’ve done to plan out your content for profit, you’re ready to write your first blog post.
I’ll leave this part up to you. 😉
Step 10: Explore options for your income stream.
Now that you have created some awesome content for your blog, it’s time to start planning for monetization. How will you make money with your new blog?
8 Effective Ways to Make Money Blogging (for Beginners)
- Paid (CPC/CPM) Ads (e.g. Google Adsense)
- Brand Partnerships/Private Ads
- Sponsored Blog Posts
- Paid Reviews (e.g. Product Promotions)
- Brand Affiliate Marketing
- Sell Digital Products & Memberships (e.g. Ebooks, Online Courses)
- Sell or Promote Physical Products
- Sell Freelance Services
BONUS Tip: Commit to posting consistently!
If there’s anything you take away from this article, it’s that I wholeheartedly encourage you to push through.
The idea of making money while blogging from the comfort of your own home is exciting, but it does require hard work and self discipline.
You’ve got to keep learning, researching, and posting.
It’s evolving content and unwavering consistency that will really bring you the success that you hope to see from blogging. Stay passionate, and dedicated, and you will see the results for yourself!
PRO TIP: What you put into your blog is a direct reflection of what you will get out of it.
…And there you have it! Modern blogging made easy.
If any questions come up, feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog below and check back soon for more tips and tutorials on all things content marketing. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you over in the next article!