So, are you here getting interested in starting your own blog? Today, in this article, I am going to guide you through everything that you need to know about blogging and how you can start your own blog. By the end of this article, you will be able to start your own blog for a very cheap price right now and take your blog to the next level.
There are tons of blogging platforms and content-management-systems for starting your own blog. Here’s a list of the most popular platforms for blogging.
Now, we will discuss WordPress and Blogger since they are the most popular blogging platforms worldwide. It’s worthless to talk about other blogging platforms, but if you are a good web developer, you may develop your own CMS (Content Management System) for blogging.
My Pick: WordPress.org
You shall prefer using Google’s Blogger or any other blogging platforms too. But, the one main thing is that these services don’t provide enough freedom and aren’t as customizable as WordPress. So, it is better to start with WordPress. Now that you have chosen your blogging platform, there’s something more in case you are going over free blogging platforms rather than getting a self-hosted WordPress-based blog.
Now, it’s time to get your own domain name and a web hosting from SiteGround. So, let’s get started! In the next few steps, I will take you through the step-by-step walkthrough of SiteGround where you will be registering a domain name and purchasing a web hosting service to start your own WordPress blog.
Step 1: Visit SiteGround
Click here for the special $2.75 per month rate on SiteGround and then click “get started now”
Step 2: Select a Hosting Plan
Before you have your own house, you need to purchase a plot of land to build on it. Just in the same way, after you have headed over to SiteGround, you need to select a hosting plan.
If you are just starting your blog, and want the cheapest and the most basic plan, it is better to go with the first plan on the list, StartUp which itself tells it is provided for an amazing web start. But, what you need to know is that you can host just a single blog on your SiteGround account if you get the StartUp plan. If you get the second one, GrowBig which is the best-selling plan, you can host any number of blogs you want.
Even though you choose StartUp plan now, you can always upgrade your plan to the higher level later when your blog starts growing. When I was at the place you are right now, I selected the GrowBig plan and now I have upgraded to the GoGeek plan as my blog started growing.
Step 3: Choose your Domain Name
To choose your domain name, you need to decide what your visitors need to type or click on to find your blog. It is just like how your friends are going to find your house. So, you need a domain name to give your blog an URL, i.e. web address.
How can you get a domain name from SiteGround? You can get a domain name through SiteGround just for $15.95 a year. It is all the basic part of the starting process.
You may also purchase a domain name from a domain registrar service, and then purchase a hosting only from SiteGround. You can also purchase both domain name and host from the same place.
When I was starting this blog, I bought the domain name as well from SiteGround.
You shouldn’t waste a long time thinking about where to buy these things. If you keep doing so, you may not be able to start a blog anytime soon. You can also change your domain name later whenever you want since a domain name just costs about $10 a year. You can also transfer a domain name from a domain registrar service to your web hosting service. For example, if you get your domain from any domain registrar other than SiteGround, you can always transfer it from the domain registrar to SiteGround.
If you are a freelancer, it is recommended to purchase a domain name having your own name. What you need to make sure is that the domain isn’t already taken. For example, you can purchase YourFullName.com domain name. If it is already registered, you can pick up any domain name that seems familiar with what kind of blog you are trying to start.
If you want to know whether a domain is already registered or not by someone else, you can just go to WHOIS.COM and type in the domain name to check it.
Here I have tried to check if google.com is available to register or not. If it shows something like this one in the image, it means the domain is already registered and you need to wait till the domain gets expired and register it as soon as you can before the owner renews the domain. Or, without wasting time, you can search for another domain name.
After you have selected your domain name, now it is time to get to the next step.
Step 4: Fill your Information
Now, you need to create a username and a password for your SiteGround account. You should also fill your contact information along with your payment details. Then, you have to select your hosting period. It is recommended to start out with 12 months as your hosting period so that you can change your hosting or renew the same hosting after one year.
In the “Exta Services” section, it is recommended to get the Domain Privacy service. If you don’t select this option, anyone will be able to find your full name and your address for your website’s WHOIS information. I always purchase the Domain Privacy service along with every domain.
Step 5: Install WordPress in your domain
It is very easy to install WordPress with SiteGround in your domain. You can just open a support ticket to have their support team install WordPress on your domain for you without any cost.
To do this, you can just complete your SiteGround account registration and then login to your SiteGround account just to select the “Support” tab at the top of the page in the menu area.
Now, you need to scroll down. Then, you need to click on “WordPress Assistance“.
You can also install WordPress on your blog yourself. Before installing WordPress, you need to have completed your SiteGround account registration and then you need to sign in to your SiteGround account.
After you have signed in to SiteGround, you need to select “My Accounts” at the menu area.
Now, you need to select “Go to cPanel” in the “My Accounts” option. When you select it, you will see a request where it says “Are you sure?”. You need to select “Access cPanel securely” and then click on “Proceed”.
Now, you will see your web hosting cPanel where you can see a lot of things that you can do with your site. You should scroll down and reach the option where it says “AUTOINSTALLERS“.
You need to select the WordPress icon there.
Here you should select the WordPress icon from the WordPress Tools panel and then click on the Install button.
After you have selected the Install or Install Now button, you can customize the installation process as you like. You need to define your email address, your Blog Name and your Blog Description and lot more things including the administrator account username and password. It is better to leave the Directory field blank.
After you have done all these, you can press the Install button and after the installation is completed, you will see a page where it says “Congratulations, the software was installed successfully”. This page will also display you the administrator login URL of your blog.
Step 6: Choose a WordPress Theme
After you have installed WordPress on your domain name, you can open a new tab in your browser and type yourblogname.com/wp-admin to visit the admin login page of your site. To visit your blog, you can just type yourblogname.com in the browser address bar and press Enter.
You’ll see your brand new blog. But, the design of your blog would look like this.
This isn’t what your viewers will love to see. This theme wouldn’t even make an impact over any of your blog viewers. So, you need to change this theme.
First, you need to visit your blog’s admin login page (i.e. yourblogname.com/wp-admin) and you will get a page like this:
Here you need to enter your administrator account username and password that you created during the WordPress installation process and then click on the login button to log in to your WordPress Dashboard. You will obtain a page like this:
To install a new theme, you need to select Appearance and then select Themes. You will be presented with a page that consists of the current theme and the other pre-installed themes on your blog. These themes are provided by default by the WordPress Foundation, but these themes aren’t much attractive. So, you need to install a new theme.
Now, you need to click on Add New button in the Themes page and you will see a page like this:
All of these WordPress themes are provided for free. You can filter the searches and then choose the best theme for your brand new blog. After you have chosen the theme, you need to select it and then click on Install. The theme will be installed in a few seconds, but it won’t appear on your blog yet. Now, you need to select the Activate button and your theme will be activated.
Now, you can finally visit your blog. You will see your blog in the theme you have just activated. But, the theme won’t look exactly as it is shown in the theme screenshot. To make it look exactly as it is shown in the image, you need to customize the theme by following the instructions as well as start adding new posts in your blog.
Now that you have your brand new blog along with your favorite blog theme, it is time to start putting contents. Before you start putting contents, you can just customize the theme in any way you like. You have tons of features available in the WordPress Dashboard with which you can add widgets in your blog sidebar as well as other parts of your blog.
If you want to add a widget or a menu in your blog, you can just select Appearance and then select Widgets or Menus. You can add any object that you like in your blog through the Widgets page and links to any pages or external links through the Menus page.
You can also customize the theme design in any way you would like to make it look like. To do so, you can select Appearance and then select the Customize option. It will load you a new page where you can customize your blog in any way you like by putting logos, favicons (icons appearing next to your site title in the browser tab), header text and a lot more.
If you want to post something in your blog, you can select Posts in your WordPress Dashboard and click on Add New. You will be presented with a new page where you will see different features such as post title field, post content field and options to add tags, categories, featured images, etc. You can also select the Schedule option to schedule the time for your post to be published. You can do a lot more stuffs from this page. But, you also need to delete the “Hello, World!” post that is available by default in your WordPress blog. You can insert images, links, frames, horizontal lines and even moving text and a lot more from the post writing field. You are provided toggle option to write posts in a Visual way or in an HTML way. The Visual way is the default one and it makes it a lot easier for you to add images, links, and a lot more. Here’s what this page looks like:
You can see there are a lot of options in the post writing area just as you have in Microsoft Word or other word processor software. You are given a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor with which you can define a text as a paragraph, heading, sub-heading, pre-formatted text, etc. You can also define a text appearance as bold, italic, emphasized, strikethrough, etc. You can also insert ordered and unordered lists as well as blockquotes. Defining the text or image alignment and adding links are also available. With the Add Media button, you can either upload photos, videos, and other media or just embed a photo or a video from an external URL. You can also create a gallery and slideshow from the uploaded media.
If you want certain posts or pages to appear in the menus of your blog, you can easily do so by going to the Menus page.
Step 1: Managing Blog Settings
You need to make sure that your blog looks good not only in its design but also in the way how it is presented and how it is given to search engines. To do so, you can select the last option in the left sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard where there are written Settings. You can make a lot of changes in your site from this page.
Also, the Settings page is divided into different sub-pages to make it easier for you to know what you are changing. Here’s what you need to know about different pages inside the Settings sub-menu!
- General: This page is all about your blog name, blog description, blog language, blog timezone, blog time formats and a lot more. But, it is recommended to you not to change anything in the WordPress Address (URL) and fields since even a little change in these fields can make your site behave in an abnormal way. If you want your blog homepage to be a different webpage, you can change the Site Address (URL) field, but please make sure that you know what you are doing.
- Writing: You can choose whether to enable posting by email or not and also choose the default category and default format of your posts through the Writing settings page.
- Reading: Through the Reading page, you can choose whether your homepage needs to display your latest posts or a particular post. You can also choose how many posts you want your blog to show in the homepage. If there are 21 posts in your blog and you enter 10 in this field, it will display Next or Page 2 & 3 buttons at the bottom of your blog to go to the next page. You can also choose whether your posts in homepage need to show all of its contents or just a few numbers of words and to read the full post, viewers need to click on the post title. You can also choose whether the search engines like Google need to show your site in the search results or not.
- Discussion: In the Discussion page, you can choose whether the viewer’s comments will be published automatically or not. You can also choose whether to email you or not when someone comments on your blog post. You can also ban certain words in your comments section through this page.
- Media: This is the least modified page in the WordPress settings pages. You can define the size of images in your blog. You can also choose whether to show your uploads in the form of yourblogname.com/wp-content/uploads/upload.png or yourblogname.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/upload.png if the file is uploaded on July 2018. You can do this from the last option of this page.
- Permalinks: With this page, you can define what kind of URL your blog posts need to have. Using the default one will result in your posts to have the URL like this: yourblogname.com/2018/07/29/your-post-name. So, I recommend you to use the “Post name” as permalink since it makes your blog post URLs look good. However, if you are making a diary-based blog, it is recommended to use the default structure. You can also make changes to the URLs for categories and tags in your blog through this page.
These are all the settings sub-pages that you can see in your WordPress Dashboard. You need to make sure that you have changed these settings in the right way just as I explained about these pages above.
Now that you have created a blog with your own domain name, web hosting as well as customized the theme in your own way and modified WordPress settings in the way you want it to be like, you need to keep on writing more and more contents. Now, there are still a lot more things you need to do after doing all these things.
You can add different plugins in your blog to make it easier for you to perform different tasks. You can do so from the WordPress Dashboard just in the same way as Themes, Menus and Widgets.
So, are you ready to take your blog to the next level?
Here’s what you need to do now!
- Keep on writing more and more articles.
- Create pages like About, Contact, etc.
- Submit your blog to Search Engines like Google.
- Start getting more and more visitors to your blog through search engines as well as by sharing on social media and online communities and forums.
- Setup Google Analytics.
- Insert an Email Subscription Box to allow your visitors to subscribe to your blog so that they can get notified by email when you publish a new article on your blog.
- Apply for ad networks. I recommend Google AdSense or Media.net.
- Do affiliate marketing with Amazon Affiliate, Clickbank, Commission Junction (CJ) or any other affiliate programs.
After you have done all these things, your blog will finally have a good visibility, and you will also be making a passive amount of income from your blog.