Learning how to start a WordPress blog can be both fun and income.
Starting your own blog is the best and easiest way to share your ideas and expertise with the world. If you think creating a blog from scratch sounds too difficult and technical then you couldn't be more wrong . Because blogging is a lot easier than you think. It's really!
But if you're trying to blog without a little knowledge and guidance, it can be easy to get frustrated and quit quickly. We don't want that!
We're going to go over how I would start a WordPress blog with custom hosting and domain on Hostgator - and give you some additional options that are very popular these days.
There are a few different things you'll need (which we'll go over in detail) in order to get your WordPress blog online, including:
- A hot topic or a hot niche
- A custom TLD domain name (like .com)
- WordPress hosting (where your website "lives")
- A WordPress theme (what your blog looks like)
- WordPress plugins (how to customize and optimize your website)
And of course a little time to set things up and modify them (I'll show you the default settings, which you can change a little later).
Choose a hot niche for your blog
When choosing a niche, industry, or topic for your blog, choose something specific enough to resonate with your audience.
With over 4 million blog posts published daily, being simple, trustworthy and unique is important.
But you also want it to be wide enough that you have a lot to write about in the long run. With that in mind, your blog (and domain name) name should be broader so that you can expand.
So how do you choose a blog niche?
Maybe you already have some ideas, but you want to secure your topic:
- Has a lot of content to write about (not too narrow)
- Is interesting - and you are interested in it (is exciting)
- There's an audience of other people interested in it.
- 'How to' tutorials etc.
Here are a few ideas for brainstorming your blog niche:
Think about what other people are grappling with (what are your friends, family & colleagues complaining about that you do this easily)
- What do people compliment you for? (feel free to ask your friends)
- How do you people introduce yourself to others? What are you supposed to be so good at?
- What would you do if you had 3 more hours? What would you talk about with a friend for 3 hours?
- What are you doing on a Saturday afternoon?
- Why are you so excited?
- What are other people doing that you find cool or interesting?
Take a few minutes and write out a bunch of ideas (good or bad, it doesn't matter). Then narrow them down and combine ideas to find a topic.
They're great when you start out and they make it really easy for beginners to get started with their first WordPress blog.
You also don't need to "Install WordPress" as this happens automatically when you create your account.
How to start a WordPress blog on HostGator
Note: I negotiated a special price only for our readers if you follow the link below:
Just follow these simple steps:
Go to the Hostgator homepage and click on 'Get Started':
Then you have to choose a plan. I would choose the 'Hatchling' or 'Baby' or 'Business' plan. The big difference is the number of websites you are allowed to use:
I like to experiment with new sites without affecting my main page, so I'd choose 'Baby Plan' - but it's up to you!
On the next screen, select a domain name (The domain name is free for a year) or enter the one that already exists.
Then you will create your account and fill billing information.
Below, select your hosting package information:
The cheapest price per month is available if you choose a 36 month plan, but if you want a shorter commitment you can choose the 12 or 24 month plan.
Note: I'm paying more per month than you would pay for 2 years - just to give you some perspective on how much that is.
I would also include 60% off on your order. Use coupon code 'SHARED3660'.
Enter your credit card or PayPal details below, agree to the terms and conditions and click on 'Checkout Now' button.
How to set up and configure your WordPress site can be seen further down on this page. There are important settings that you need to change right away!
Installing WordPress on your hosting account with their simple and beginner-friendly "1-click" WordPress installer.
WordPress default settings to be changed
There are a few settings you'll want to change right away - before you even start customizing and creating blog posts or pages.
Since this is really a topic on its own, I would recommend opening this post from HostGator . It's detailed tutorial, well-written, and an excellent starting point.
The main ones I would start with are:
- Delete the default post, the page and the comment
- Make sure you have a strong password (User> Your Profile)
- Change the title, tagline and time zone of your website (Settings> General)
- Change permalinks to post name (Settings> Permalinks)
- Change your default category (Posts> Categories)
After you've configured the default settings, you'll need to choose a theme. A theme controls how your WordPress blog looks.
Free WordPress Themes
There are plenty of free themes that you can search for right from your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress plugins allow you to add functions and features to your website.
Some allow you to add visual elements that your visitors can see (such as contact forms) while others only work in the background (such as caching plugins to speed up your website).
Here are a few free ones to get you started:
- Yoast SEO (guides you to get the basics of SEO right)
- ShortPixel (automatic image compression makes your website load faster = happier visitors)
- BackWPup (create automatic backups of your website)
- WP Rocket (makes your website load much faster and is easy to set up)