How To Start A Blog On WordPress

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Before we get into how to start a blog, and before you get caught up in plugins and web themes, you need to decide what you’re going to blog about. Define your blog niche and the purpose your blog will have ahead of time so that when it comes to building out content to fit into our content pillars, it will flow naturally and make coming up with blog content ideas super easy!

Whether you’re blogging for business, or positioning yourself as the expert within your field via a digital and social presence, your blog is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. Blogging gives you the opportunity to showcase additional content that your audience might not already be exposed to via your website service pages and social media communication.

Publishing regular digital content via your blog platform let’s you develop the ‘know, like, and trust factor’ with your audience – a critical step in your marketing strategy and relationship with your potential customers. You can achieve this by sharing behind-the-scenes content, highlighting just how much you know about the service you provide or the product you sell, and even answering the questions that your audience is searching for. Plus, publishing regular content that’s optimised for SEO can help your ranking within the search engines!

In this beginner’s guide to setting up a blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know for how to start a blog on WordPress. But for the scanners, here’s the 6 main steps.

  1. Decide what to blog about
  2. Choose a blogging platform
  3. Find a web host
  4. Pick a domain name
  5. Install WordPress
  6. Design and use your blog

The Beginners Guide: How To Start A Blog


1 // Select your web hosting service

A web hosting provider is the service that provides space on the web for your website to exist. There are many different web hosting providers in a number of different formats – such as free web hosting, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and collated hosting. Shared hosting is largely the most popular for small to medium businesses and bloggers as it’s relatively affordable and provides adequate site speed. Dedicated hosting is the preferred choice, as it gives you the entire web server to yourself, allowing for faster site speeds and increased security. If you’re hosting a large website with lots of resources and require increased security, dedicated hosting is often recommended.

Making the choice between the various web hosting services is often determined by the cost, and recommendations from previous users. Make sure you shop around and do your research. Compare the price tag with other features like tech support, average site down times, regularity of server maintenance, data storage, and other add-on features.

Follow the instructions from your web hosting service to register and setup your self-hosted account. Common web hosting providers are SiteGround, A Small Orange, Bluehost, inmotion hosting, iPage, and PressIdium.

2 // Choose your domain name

Be strategic when it comes to choosing your domain name. Your domain name is your URL. URL’s that end in .com are always preferred, unless your business your blog is location specific. In that case, you’re best to select your main URL that’s targeted for location i.e. www.domain-name.co.uk or www.domain-name.com.au. When purchasing your domain, try to secure the variations of your domain as well for safe guarding. When choosing your domain, think about how it looks in your browser – can you read it easily, and does it make sense?

If someone else already has the domain name that you wanted, don’t get the lesser known variation (i.e. .net or .info). Instead you’re best to choose an alternative domain name. It is possible to have a different URL to that of your blog name, you’ll just have to be clever with your tag-lines and branding. And remember, you can always redirect URL’s incase you change blog or business names in the future.

The Beginners Guide: How To Start A Blog on WordPress by SeedSocial.com.au

3 // Choose your blogging platform (WordPress in this case)

We recommend you get started on the self-hosted WordPress platform. If you’re blogging for business, or you want to take your blog seriously, WordPress.org is the best platform for SEO. And SEO is an important part of your blogging method because it helps to bring eyeballs to your blog!

There are alternatives to WordPress such as Squarespace (currently a very popular alternative to WordPress), Joomla, Google’s ‘Blogger,’ or even the free WordPress.com version if you’d just like to dip your toe into the water. However, I recommend you should always start as you mean to go on.

A note about WordPress – you’ll come across two different WordPress options. WordPress.com (free) and WordPress.org (paid self-hosting). Where we refer to WordPress within this post, we mean the WordPress.org platform.

A note about “free” platforms such as Wixx and GoDaddy site builder – just don’t do it! They’re clunky, limited, have little control over SEO, end up costing you money to expand in the future, and in some cases, you technically don’t even own your content.

4 // Install WordPress

In most cases, installing WordPress will be a simple “one-click” install within the Control Panel of your host server. Alternatively, you can download WordPress.org (free) and manually upload and install via your FTP within your Control Panel. Your hosting service will have instructions for how to do this. It will most often give you a link to click-through to your new WordPress website where you can enter your login details and access what’s called the “back end” of your blog platform.

5 // Choose a blog theme

Choosing a blog theme to start your blog has the potential to be a very long process as the choices are endless. There are many different pre-made theme shops such as Mojo Marketplace, ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, Restored 316, Creative Market, and even Etsy. When choosing your blog theme, make sure the theme is 100% mobile responsive. The majority of people these days are viewing websites from their mobile devices. So if your blog theme is not optimised for mobile, you’re potentially missed out on a lot of traffic!

Make sure your blog theme is user-friendly and does what you need it to. So think about the design, layout, and purpose of your blog before diving into pretty themes. If you’re blogging for business, you’ll want to make sure your “blog” page fits with the rest of your website. Some design themes will have more of a blog feel than others, and likewise for business.

Many themes will offer drag & drop features which takes away the hassle of fiddly coding and limitations. Blog themes such as Jupiter and Divi are popular because they come with loads of different templates within, giving you more flexibility and customisation. You can at times find free blog themes, just do your research and make sure the free theme does what you want it to and that it’s compatible with the most current version of WordPress.

6// Purchase, download & install your blog theme

When you download your blog theme, make sure the file stays zipped or compressed. If using Safari, you may need to switch out and open Chrome or Firefox to download. Upload and install your theme directly within WordPress or manually via your FTP in the C-Panel area of your site hosting. Within WordPress, select the “Appearance” tab within the left panel of your “Dashboard”. Then click on “Themes” and you’ll see the “Upload”button. Once uploaded, WordPress will automatically install the theme for you, and you’ll then be prompted to “Activate” the theme.

When you install your new theme, it will usually take you on a “Guided Tour” within WordPress to customise the initial theme settings. You can also find this manually, again via the Dashboard > Appearance > Customize.

The Beginner's Guide: How To Start A Blog on WordPress and how to set it up by SeedSocial.com.au

Make sure your blog theme is 100% mobile responsive and does what you need it to do. #blogtips #blogchat Click To Tweet

7 // Personalise the WordPress settings

Open up the dashboard within the back end of WordPress and click on “Settings” from the dashboard left sidebar. Enter in your information within the various tabs in the Settings section to customise the look and feel of your WordPress blog. Key settings will be the site title, the site tagline, your WordPress URL, your email address, date format, time format, timezone, your blog syndication, subscriber options, your author bio and ‘gravatar’ image, and the layout of your blog (whether you want a static home page like a landing page, or your blog feed as your home page).

Often your blog theme will also require custom settings within WordPress, and will most often come with a tutorial and instructions when purchasing the theme.

8 // Install additional Plugins for WordPress

WordPress offers loads of features and flexibility – more than you’ll get access to within Blogger and others. However, plugins are extra add-ons that allow you to do more with your blog and website within the WordPress platform. There are thousands of plugin options within the WordPress directory – some good and some not so good. Depending on your chosen blog theme, some themes may also require you to have specific plugins installed, especially if running a child theme on the Genesis framework.

To start your blog, we recommend you install Yoast SEO (basic free version_, SEO friendly images (free), UpDraft Backup Plus (free), JetPack for WordPress.com (free), Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (free), Google XML Sitemap (free), WP Smush (free), W3 Total Cache (free), and Akismet (free).

We’ve compiled the best, most important plugins you need to start your blog.

Running too many plugins within WordPress can actually slow down your site, and occasionally some plugins can have issues with others, causing your website to ‘break’ or do funny things. Only install and use plugins that are actually essential to your blog, and that come highly recommended with positive reviews, lots of downloads, and fairly regular updates. The WordPress Plugin Directory will give you all of this information.

9 // Get clear on your content strategy

Decide on your blogging categories (usually no more than 6, these will be your content pillars), refine your blogging tags (similar to hashtags, these group posts with related terms together), and clarify your content strategy so that your blog content is in-line with your niche. If you can, try to have at least 10 blog posts published before taking your site “live” or public, and write consistently and publish regularly.

10 // Publish your first post

Go to your WordPress dashboard and hover over the “Posts” option within the left sidebar and click “Add New.” Write your blog post, choose a crafty blog post title, enter your SEO information, add your images, and then press publish.

The Beginner's Guide: How To Start A Blog on WordPress and how to set it up by SeedSocial.com.au

>>> Here’s how to optimise your blog posts for SEO

How To Start A Blog + Other Things To Consider

Think about the fonts, graphics and images you will use on your blog and make sure they bring together a cohesive brand presence. Create a logo or a blog post ‘header.’ Secure your social accounts on your chosen social media platforms and link to them within your blog. Remember, you don’t need to be on them all. Here’s how to choose which social media platform to use. Create a custom 404 page (this helps with SEO and also makes your site more user-friendly as your readers move about your site). Submit your site to Google so that it can start indexing the pages, and most importantly – setup a free Google Analytics account.

Now that you’ve created your blog and moved past the ‘how to start a blog’ hurdle, there’s a bunch more you’ll need to know. Setting up a blog is just the beginning, you’ll need to think about content creation and content marketing, optimising your blog posts for SEO, social media integration and marketing, reader engagement, and much more.

To get started, go ahead and follow these 6 key steps on how to start a blog on WordPress and take action now:

  1. Decide what to blog about
  2. Choose a blogging platform
  3. Find a web host
  4. Pick a domain name
  5. Install WordPress
  6. Design and use your blog
Your beginner's guide to wordpress and how to start a blog in 6 steps. #blogtips #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

It’s a lot to process all at once, and it can be a pretty steep learning curve. Start with the basics for how to start a blog, and we’ll guide you through the rest as you navigate through our site. If you’d like a helping hand to start your blog, you can contact us here.

>>> Still not sure how to start a blog on WordPress? Let’s chat.

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