Do you want to start a WordPress blog within few minutes? The word ‘Blog’ has become very common nowadays, as every second person has started blogging or wants to start a WordPress blog. But the truth is that only a few have command on the writing skills and can make it profitable.
If your writing skills are good enough then you can have your own personal or professional blog. And if you are thinking about how to start a WordPress blog? Then don’t worry because I am here to help you out with that.
How to start a WordPress blog for free?
In this article, I will cover every point which will be helpful for you to start your professional WordPress blog. So let’s know the easy steps to start a WordPress blog free and make money.
Why Start Blogging on WordPress?
To be very frank, I started blogging just as fun. But as the days passed, the fun became my passion. Yes, now blogging is my passion, not fun.
Your reasons might be different. Which might include-
- It’s super FUN!
- The right platform to share your knowledge and expertise
- The right choice of your career can become your full-time passive income
- A high-traffic blog will act as the icing on the cake to your CV (Curriculum vitae)
- And a lot more…
And the main thing is that Blogging has the ability to change your career as well as your life.
So before starting your blog, follow the below-given steps properly.
Step 1: Should I Choose a Free Blog or Self-Hosted Blog?
You might have noted that we didn’t talk about how much will it cost to start and maintain a blog? I was waiting for the right time to answer and you guessed it right, the right time is now. Your blog will cost you between $0 to $70 a year.
The biggest mistake newbie makes when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. But now you are here so you will not make that mistake.
In my opinion, you must choose the paid domains and host but it is up to you. You can also start a WordPress blog for free.
Yes, you read it right!! You can create a blog for free on many different platforms and such platforms are:
You know that everything having pros have cons. So even the free blogging platform has pros as well as cons. Let’s have a look at it.
- Easy to use and manage
- Quick and easy setup
- Free for a lifetime
- The initial stage for learning to blog
- Can test your abilities
- Limited Storage
- Free hosting is SEO unfriendly
- No guarantee of ranking in Search engine
- The free account is limited and displays ads and free blog branding on your blog
- They can completely disable or deactivate your blog if you violate any of their terms and conditions
- You can only use free themes and plugins on free blogs
So here comes the serious question – Should I create a Free blog or a self-hosted blogging platform?
Let me tell you the difference in detail.
If you have decided to start a successful and profitable blog then you should not use all these types of free blogging platforms.
And the reason is:
These “free” blogging platforms take over the control of your content.
The most important thing is that they are businesses so they will only see the profit and that profit will come from your website by displaying Ads on your blog. Also, the platform will set limitations on your account due to which you will be forced to dive into an “unlimited” or “premium” blog plan.
Then what next??
After a few months of hard work, you start getting loyal visitors and subscribers. Then you also start to get paid from sponsored posts, paid ads, or by selling your products.
Isn’t it great?? But wait!!
Then by mistake, you violate your free web provider’s Terms and Conditions and then your complete online business is permanently lost to the interweb’s trash bin. See all the limitations for Blogger.com and WordPress.com here.
Thinking about it scares me…
Now think about another scenario a self-hosted blog.
I am damn sure that no one wants to deal with all the situations stated above.
This is the reason why most of the successful bloggers started their self-hosted blog.
- It is cheap
- Grants you access to your domain name (e.g. pixel2pixeldesign.com vs. pixel2pixeldesign.blogging-platform.com)
- Gives you full control over every aspect of your site
- Enables you to create an attractive and unique website
- Access to premium website themes and plugins
- And most importantly it is an SEO friendly blogging platform
So it is better to spend little on your self-hosted blog as you can do whatever you want on your self-hosted blog.
And believe me, you will never regrate this in the future.
Step 2: How to start a WordPress Blog – Step by Step Technical Guide
Let us start with the steps which will help you to build and launch your self-hosted blog.
But to start, you will need only two things. They are:
- A Domain Name – It is the web address of your blog (like our is www.pixel2pixeldesign.com)
- Web Hosting – It is a server that stores your blog files and keeps it online so that others can browse them and read them anytime.
And with just a few clicks you can purchase as well as set up your blog very easily.
So let me hold your hand and walk you through the step by step process of installing your self-hosted WordPress blog.
How to Sign up with Web Hosting
There are dozens of web hosts available in the market. But out of them, only 4 to 5 web hosts provide precisely exceptional services according to their price.
One out of these 4-5 web hosts is “Bluehost”. I recommend it for beginners or we can say “first-time bloggers”.
Why we recommend Bluehost?
Because Bluehost is-
Besides this, Bluehost also provides a bunch of gifts that will streamline your blogging experience and make your life a lot easier. And that too at no extra cost to you.
What do they have?
- FREE Domain Name for 1st Year
- Packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 expert support
- Free SSL certificate worth $60 as a bonus
- Powered more than 2,000,000 websites worldwide
And yes, they also offer one-click installs, which makes it damn simple to get your blog launched within just a few minutes.
That’s why we’ve worked out a deal with Bluehost to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL, and over 60% off on WordPress hosting.
Click on the button – “Get Started” and choose a domain name.
Disclosure: To keep our site up and running, we use affiliate links for some of the products mentioned in this guide. This means that we earn a small commission (at no extra expense to you) anytime you make a purchase using one of our links. Thank you for your continued support!
Choose Your Web Hosting Plan
On click of the “Get Started” button, you will be redirected to the pricing page. Please select the plan that fits your budget.
Which plan you should choose?
This question arises while choosing the plan. In my point of view, you must choose the BlueHost “Choice Plus” plan because it comes with a free Site Backup from “CodeGuard”.free Site Backup from “CodeGuard”.
Why this Choice Plus plan?
Because it comes with a free SSL certificate and free Site Backup tool from “CodeGuard”.
- It comes with a free SSL certificate and CodeGaurd site backup tool
- It helps you to keep the information of the visitors secure
- Enhances your engagement because no one is interested in spending time on a website having a “Not Secure” warning
- It helps you to earn a few extra brownie points with Google
- CodeGuard works behind the scenes, taking daily backups and saving each as a separate version – making it easy to turn back the clock should disaster strike
- Daily Backups: Secure all your hard work with an automatic, daily backup of your blog
- One-Click Restore: Revert to a previous version of your blog with just one click if something when wrong on your blog
But the renewal prices for the “Choice Plus” plan of BlueHost is costlier than the introductory rate, so I would recommend you to purchase them as long of a subscription as possible if your budget allows you.
Once you’ve decided on the plan that best suits your needs you will be taken to the next step of free domain name registration.
How to Choose a Domain Name
It is very much easy nowadays to register a domain name and it is cheap. However, it is very much important to choose the right domain name that your users or customers can easily remember and type.
Your domain name is the address on the internet like Google.com, Facebook.com or Pixel2PixelDesign.com. This is the address your users or customers will type into their web browser to reach out to your blog or website.
Many web hosts charges in $14.99 per year for a new domain while BlueHost provides free domain to the new customers for an entire first year of their web hosting service.
Choose a Brandable Domain Name
Those days are gone when people use to boost their blog search ranking with a keyword-rich domain names. But still including a keyword in your domain name will have a positive impact.
We will suggest you choose a brandable domain name, like WordPress.com, Blogger.com or ThemeForest.net rather than a keyword-rich domain name like killercopywriting.com or copywritingtweaks.com.
Brandable domain names are not only easier to remember but also it will help you to get a good positive SEO impact in the long run.
Choose the Right Domain Extension
You must have noticed so many websites with .com domain name extension this is because .com domains are very popular since the beginning of the internet world.
If you want to have a strong online presence then I will suggest you look for a .com domain name for your blog. However, if .com is not available for your domain then you will go for an extension like –
If you are not able to find your first domain name then scratch your head, ask your family or friends, try out different words, and find the most different and brandable domain name for your new site.
Search the Domain Name below
You can now either choose an existing domain you have or purchase a new domain for free. We recommend getting a new domain since it’s free.
Finish the registration process of your web hosting account now. And checkout using a PayPal or credit card.
Once you make the payment within a few minutes your web hosting account will be ready to host your first blog.
Welcome to the wonderful journey of the bloggers!!
You are now ready to launch your blog!!
Don’t wait, just install WordPress and start writing your first blog post on the very same day.
How to Install WordPress on Your Web Host
BlueHost will provide a program that makes it very easy to install third party scripts to your web hosting account. If you want to install a WordPress blog, you can use the Marketplace to install WordPress to the root of your site or install it to the subdirectory.
Log in to your cPanel
Look for the “website” section and click on the Install WordPress icon. You will be redirected to a place called “Mojo Marketplace.”
Install WordPress on Bluehost
On Mojo Marketplace you can see “Install New Scripts” and “Manage My Installs” button. Then you have to click the big button saying “Install New Scripts” to install your first WordPress blog.
Choose your domain name
After that, you will be taken to enter the domain name screen. Please enter the domain name on which you wish to install WordPress. 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 you want to install WordPress in the root directory then you can keep the directory text field empty.
Check the domain name again and if you are satisfied with everything you can click on the check domain name button.
Sit back and relax the installation of WordPress will take some time. Once the installation is finished you will be redirected to a page where you can see the login credentials of your newly installed WordPress site.
You will get the following details:
- Your website URL
- Your website’s admin (login) URL
- Your username
- Your password
This is very important information please write down this information somewhere and keep this data at a safe place.
You will also receive email notification of these credentials
Very easy right guys – You have now successfully installed your first WordPress site on your Bluehost hosting server!
You can now login to the WordPress admin section and begin editing themes, uploading plugins and adding content to your brand new WordPress website.
However, after login to the WordPress admin section, I would like you to edit the following details first.
- Go to Settings -> General which is present on the left sidebar
- Add Site Title and Tagline (your blog name and tagline)
- Add your email address (so you can get all important notifications)
After you finish editing the above steps, click “Coming Soon Active” at the top of the WordPress dashboard to launch your blog and then “Launch Your Site”.
If you are using a different WordPress blog hosting service like SiteGround, HostGator, WP Engine, A2 Hosting, DreamHost etc, then steps to install WordPress will be bit different for those providers.
Step 3: How to Customize Your WordPress Blog and Make it Look Attractive!
You can very easily customize and change the look and feel of your WordPress blog by installing free themes available in the WordPress theme repository.
And to install a free theme you have to log in to the admin section of your newly created WordPress blog by appending wp-admin to your URL. Here’s how your WordPress login URL should look like:
You can now login to your WordPress blog with the login credential you have received in your email.
How to Install a WordPress Theme
The default theme that comes with WordPress installation is also very good, but I will suggest you to change that theme with another beautiful alternative theme available in the WordPress repository.
But before you choose a random free theme for your blog, take a look at our list of top free WordPress themes and install any one of this theme that will best fit for your WordPress blog.
If you don’t like any free WordPress theme from our recommendation, then you can search and install the theme that you like from the official WordPress theme repository. There is no need to download the theme you can directly install the theme to your WordPress blog.
You can also check the Astra theme. Astra is a fast and beautiful WordPress theme with elegant and stylish design. It is suitable for blogs, business, and personal portfolio websites. Astra is one of the most popular WordPress theme right now with more then 3+ million installation.
To install a new theme –
- Visit the website’s dashboard -> Appearance -> Theme -> Click the Add New button from the top.
To test the theme of how it will look, you can click the “Preview” button.
When you find the theme as per your convenience for your new blog, you can then activate it in two ways-
- Either through Preview – Click the “Install” button.
- Or from the main search area – Hover over the image and then click the “Install” button.
As soon as you activate the theme, it will get installed on your site. Now you can post the content and start getting popular through the blogs.
Manage Your WordPress Blog’s Content (Blog Posts & Pages)
Instead of starting from a “Hello World”, sit down and start a new post.
Does the question arise how to add the first post?
The answer is simple: Navigate to Dashboard -> Posts -> Add New.
This is the turning point of your life. Now let your words speak to the worlds.
Here you can add a title and you can start writing the content which best suits you or is your forte.
Now, add a featured image that will make your post more attractive and also add some visual flair for your readers.
Don’t know how to do this?
Don’t worry. I will help you out with this.
Click the “Featured Image” box which is on the right-hand side of the screen -> upload your image -> “Save”.
Once, sit back, read the content again i.e. proofread and check whether the content is up to the mark or not. Also, check the layout of your post. Before hitting the publish button, look from the viewer’s point of view, and if you like it then don’t stop yourself to hit the publish button.
Congratulations!! You have finally published your first blog post!
If you don’t want the list of recent blog posts on your homepage and you want to add a welcome page then you have to go to Pages -> Add New and now add the title and content.
What to do to create another page for your blog list?
Simple!! Repeat the above process. Later, choose an appropriate title for your blog and publish it.
Both the pages have been created. Now go to Dashboard -> Settings -> Reading, then check “A static page” in the “Your Homepage Displays” option -> select your welcome page in the “Homepage” setting and your blog page in the “Posts page setting”. To save, hit the “save” button.
Your welcome page is published and is now ready to welcome the new visitors as they arrive with your note.
How to Create a Menu
The user expects good navigability which means that the user can find the content that he needs easily.
How can this be possible?
This can only be possible by having a well designed and up to date menu.
And according to my experience, creating a menu in WordPress is very easy.
You can do it in just three steps-
Go to Dashboard -> Appearance -> Menu.
For your main menu, you can easily add a new menu item from here. In the “Add menu items” section you will see all the pages that you have created for your WordPress website. From that page list check the pages you want to add in the main menu and then click “Add to Menu”.
Once you are done with your menu’s structure, you can then display it on your website’s main header and this can be done by checking the “Primary Menu” location box in the menu settings and then click “Save Menu” button.
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
The next question that arises is how to extend the website’s functionality like a contact form, photo gallery, etc.
The simplest answer to this question is to use “Plugins”. With WordPress, you can find thousands of free plugins that will help you easily add many additional functionalities to your blog.
To help you make understand how the installation of the plugin will work, let’s install the most used “Contact Form 7” plugins.
- Go to the Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New and from there search “Contact Form 7”
- From the search result, click “Install” and activate the plugin
- A new menu called “Contact” will be created on the dashboard
- To edit the new form, click “Contact Form 1” from the list
You have to make sure that the mail template is properly functioning so that you can receive emails that are sent from the contact form.
How to do this?
It is very simple –
- Go to the “Mail” tab -> change the “To” field value to the email address where the email must be sent
- Next, you have to copy the WordPress blog shortcode which you will find under the name of the contact form in the blue bar. It must look like
contact-form-7 id="1" title="Contact form 1"
- After copying the shortcode, create a new page with the name “Contact Us” and paste the shortcode on the page
- Then click the “Publish” button
Now just relax and check out your new contact form.
If you want more free Plugins then you will find them in the WordPress repository. Try them out and make your site more attractive and talkative to the audience.
How to Customize Your WordPress Blog
If you want to add wings to your site then you must make it professional and take it to another level.
How can this happen?
Don’t scratch your mind. You just have to download another plugin which will help you to change your website’s fonts.
Steps for the installation of the “Easy Google Fonts” plugin will be the same as stated above.
Once you install the Easy Google Fonts plugin, you will see a new option in the “Customizer” with the name “Typography”.
You can then go to the theme customizer from “Appearance -> Customize”. This section will help you with the customization of your theme and preview it in real-time.
You can also change the site identity, add widgets, change theme colors, change homepage settings, add additional CSS, or you can change anything with the help of customizer as it gives you full control of your WordPress Blog Design.
With the help of Typography, you can change the site’s fonts as per your likes and requirements and it also gives you the greater level of authority to style your website.
Don’t finalize your blog until you get the command over the Customizer. I recommend you to play with it until you understand it deeply. When you will start having knowledge about it, then you will start experimenting with it on your site.
Once you are satisfied with the look and feel of your site, click the “Publish” button.
If you want your content to be shared on social media then you must provide a social sharing plugin for your readers. Install the “Social Sharing Plugin” and this will help you increase your viewers, and your viewers will start promoting your content.
To add that plugin, just search in the plugins page “social share” or “social sharing”. These keywords will bring out hundreds of results. Install the plugin which best suits you and set it up accordingly.
How to Create a Personal Email Account
If you want to start your website as a professional then you must have a domain-based email account.
For instance- firstname.lastname@example.org
What are its benefits?
- Boosts the professionalism of your website
- Increases authority with your readers
How can I do this?
Don’t worry. Because BlueHost enables you to creates a custom email account for your domain and it is a part of your web host account.
Create a new email account
You can easily create a new email account just follow the following steps.
- Log in to your HostGator account and click on the “Mail” section in cPanel.
- Click “Email Accounts” to open up your email dashboard. You should see email, password, and mailbox quota fields.
- In the email field, type in your business email that you want to create. Just like with Bluehost, this can be any kind of email address you want to start. You can always remove accounts later.
- Enter a secure password and type again to make sure that it’s secure. Check the password strength if you are worried about security or spam problems. You can set up your spam filter later in cPanel.
- Enter a quote in the mailbox quota if you have a preferred limit. The default is 250 MB for HostGator as well as Bluehost.
- Click “Create Account” to finish creating your first email account.
After the email account is created-
- Click Email Accounts then click the “Access Webmail to access the webmail application”.
Confirm your credentials and after that, you can send, receive, and manage the emails from your new domain-based account.
I hope that you found my step by step tutorial on how to Start a WordPress Blog and Make Money. If you still have any doubt don’t hesitate to comment below.
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