An Idiot’s Guide How to Start a Blog – Even My Kids Can Blog
Everyone wants to be known for something. Recent days people are more interested towards entrepreneurship. They want to do something innovative and creative. They want to create their own identity in the society.Those days are gone, when accessing resources or gadgets were restricted. Now everyone is connected to internet and it’s now a part of life. Without internet life is kinda impossible. Isn’t it? Anyways we don’t have any choices not to accept it. Lets talk more about How to Start a Blog.
The way I am gonna teach you how to start a blog evan a kid can blog. I will hold your hand and guide you each and every step that are required to know how to start a blog. You may feel that my way of approach is bit childish but at the end of the article you will feel the difference.
There are tons of YouTube videos and blogs out to guide you, on how to start a blog. But in reality they are quite confusing and distracting. Probably that may motivate you not to learn how to start your blog. They don’t talk about the insides rather give priorities to those areas of discussion where they can sell something.
I already experienced all these pain points and don’t want someone to experience the same. It not only takes your time and money but also kills your motivation to start a blog. I believe in creating Win-Win situations. So Be Good and Do Good.
Each and every information that I am going to share here, will be in the form of pictorial guidelines. It not only help you for understanding the context better but you will also feel confidence to apply it in real time.
Let’s start it…
How to Start a Blog in just 5 Easy Steps
Step #1: Register Your Domain Name + Hosting Services
Step #2: Install and Configure WordPress
Step #3: Install and Configure WordPress Plugins
Step #4: Install WordPress Themes
Step #5: Post Your Content
Tips and Tricks #: How To Promote Your Post
Step #1: Register Your Domain + Hosting Services
I believe you must have thought of few names for your blog. Today getting a good .COM domain name is quite difficult because of high market competition. If you haven’t thought of any names, try these 13 Domain Name Suggestion Tools, which will help you to find a good domain name for your blog. Once you decided your domain name, next step is to register it.
I would recommend you to keep your domain name short and simple and relevant to your blog.
Here’s how to signup with BlueHost;
Go to BlueHost.com (Click here to get a Discount + a Free Domain Name) and select the package of as per your requirements. I would suggest to go for BlueHost Plus Membership Plan by paying little extra and you going to get the benefits like unlimited Websites to host and Unlimited Space.
Now enter your desired domain name as indicated below and click “next“. If you have already registered your domain name with some other service provider, then you can enter that domain name in the other box “I have a domain name”.
This confirms that the desired domain name is available and now I can proceed with registration process.
Next, you have to enter your account details. These fields are quite self explanatory, no helping hand is required to fill out the form.
BlueHost is offering 1 year/2 year/3 year packages to choose from. You have to select the appropriate one that suits your budget. Don’t forget to select Domain Privacy Protection that will protect your personal data being displayed to the public. I have selected 12 months account plan.
Next, enter your credit card details and tick to accept BlueHost Terms and Conditions then click on Submit button.
Congratulations!!! Now I have successfully bought the package. At this stage, do not buy any offers. Being you are new to this platform, it may create confusion. These packages can be bought separately. Just click on “no thanks” to proceed further.
Immediately change your password and never share with anyone. If it’s compromised, someone may play with your website and put illegal information’s. When you click on “create your password”, it will take you to a new window to change the password.
Now change the password as per the recommendations highlighted in green and click Next to proceed further.
Once you successfully change your password, click on log in that will take you to BlueHost Dashboard.
Welcome to BlueHost Dashboard. Latter you can play around the options and go through their Getting Started Guide.
If you need any assistance, you can directly call them up. These guys are pretty good. They will always try to give your better service.
As soon as you get you bought Bluehost’s Hosting Services, you will receive an email from BlueHost to verify your email address within 14 days of registration. Click the on the link to confirm it.
This completes your WHOIS Verification Process.
We have successfully now created Domain Name and Hosting Services accounts with BlueHost. Let’s jump into the step number two. This the first achievement towards How to Start a Blog.
Step 2#: Install and Configure WordPress
Now I am going to show you, how to install and configure WordPress using BlueHost. Don’t worry the process is quite simple and easy. I will take you through step by step process to make you comfortable. From your BlueHost Dashboard just scroll down little bit, you will see “Website” window as displayed below. Click on “Install WordPress” to initiate WordPress Installation for your blogging site.
It will now take to you the BlueHost Marketplace, where you have the option to install WordPress. Recently they implemented this Marketplace, earlier you had the option to install WordPress directly from the Dashboard. Click on “Get Started” to move next.
From the Domain drop down menu, select your domain where you want to install WordPress. Here I have selected http://www.salilparida.com domain to install WordPress. If you registered multiple domain you can select the appropriate domain where you want to install WordPress.
Click next to proceed with installation. During the installation if you have any issues, you can directly reach out Bluehost WordPress Experts on the given number. They will help you to fix that issue. Else you can comment below to address your issue.
Give a Title to your Blog Site and write down your login credentials and don’t share with anyone. These credentials are required at the time of login to your WordPress Site. Tick all the three boxes and click “Install” to start the installation process.
Now this completes the WordPress installation Process. Isn’t so easy to do.
Installation is completed and to check your login credentials, click on view credentials here . Make a note of the installation details, you will need it at the time of logging to your WordPress account. Never share the credentials with anyone.
Note: BlueHost will suggest you to Get a WordPress Theme (as shown below) but I would recommend you not to go for it at this stage. Otherwise you will be misguided and things will go wrong. Just follow my instruction, I will tell you when you have to do that.
Let’s Configure WordPress;
You can either click the WordPress link that you got it i.e. http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin else open your browser and enter this link to access WordPress Admin Console. Supply the given login credential and Login.
http://www.salilparida.com/wp-admin (WordPress Login Link)
After successfully login, it will ask you to configure the site but I would recommend you not to do that. Just ignore it by clicking “I don’t need help“ .
After logging, the very first thing you must do is to Change The Default Password. To do that, follow the below pictorial guidelines. Select Users –> Your Profile from Dashboard Main Menu.
Click on Generate Password to change the default password.
It will automatically generate password for you but it will be very complex and difficult to remember. So delete the default generated password and enter your password manually. If it will show weak password, click the confirm to use the weak password. But it’s not recommended to have a weak password. Next click on Update Profile to change the password.
I have successfully changed the default password. Now let’s configure the WordPress basic settings.
Update Your WordPress Profile
Updating your profile will help your users to know more about you and your lifestyle. That helps while building a professional relationship with your users. To do that Click on Users –> Your Profile from Dashboard Main Menu Options.
Filling the Profile form is quite easy and self explanatory i.e.
First Name: Kallol
Last Name: Parida
Nick Name: Kallol Parida
Display name publicly as: Kallol Parida
Email (required): email@example.com
Biographical Info: I am a Professional Online Marketer. I help individuals and organizations to setup their online businesses. And also help them to maximize the return of investments in short period of time.
Profile Picture: You can change your profile picture on Gravatar. Create a account on Gravatar and upload your profile picture.
After updating all the information’s, Click on Update Profile to update the information.
Update WordPress Default Settings
Next you need to do some required changes in WordPress settings. To do that, click on Settings –> General from your Dashboard Main Menu.
Look at the below image and do it accordingly.
Enter a good Title and Tagline for your website, that helps people to know what type of website it is.
Ensure WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) are as per the below picture i.e. http://www.yoursite.com
Use your default email address as specified at the time of installation. Tick on option” anyone can register” besides Membership. Don’t change the new user default role, let it be Subscriber. And Change the time zone to your local time zone.
Don’t do any changes here, let it be default value.
No need to do any changes in Writing Section. The default setting is good to go.
For Reading, we need to do few changes as its required.
For Front Page Displays you can either choose the default i.e. You latest post or choose a static page. At this stage I would recommend you to select “Your Latest Posts“, so that whenever you post a new article it will be on the top of the page.
For each article in a feed show –> Select Summary
Search Engine Visibility: Ensure you must un-tick this box otherwise your site will not be visible to any search engine and that impact your website ranking. Do Save Changes to save the modifications.
Next click on Discussion to do some minor changes;
Now compare your default settings with the below image and replicate the same in your site. That will be easy to do.
No need to do any changes in Media. The default setting is good to go.
The last setting is Permalinks (also called Permanent Links). Here you need to do just one change.
Change the default setting to “Post Name“, it helps to rank better in search engines.
We have now successfully setup the WordPress Basic Settings. Moving forward in step 3 I will share you the installation and configuration of WordPress Plugins.
Step 3#: Install and Configure WordPress Plugin
I hope you must have some idea, what is WordPress Plugin? Anyways, let me brief you in few words, these are the predefined programs that are available in WordPress Online Store. It provides additional functionalities that you are looking for in your wordpress blog i.e. Social Media Icons, Optin Forms, etc. These plugins makes the life simpler. Just in few clicks, you will get the required functionalities.
Let’s talk about the required plugins for our blog. I have segregated into two categories i.e. Basic Plugins and Advanced Plugins. As its name suggests, Basic Plugins will fulfil the basic requirements and once you are familiar with WordPress then you can install Advanced Plugins as required.
Top Ten Basic WordPress Plugins
Contact Form 7: Helps to create a Contact US Form
Google Analytics WordPress Plugins: It helps to capture and analyse daily user visitor data.
Google XML Sitemaps: Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about your pages to crawl and cache.
TG Copy Protection: Protects your content from being copied.
TinyMCE Advanced: It enhances the default formatting toolbar and provides more options.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) helps to suggest other relevant post to readers.
Yoast SEO: Improves SEO Capabilities to Rank High in Search Engine
Share Buttons by AddThis: Provides Social Media Sharing Options
WP Smush – Image Optimization: Resize and optimize all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free image smusher
W3 Total Cache: It enhances the site performance speed using its cache feature.
Top 20 Advanced WordPress Plugins
Ad injection: It helps to add Ads into your blog. No manual intervention is required.
AdSanity: Another WordPress Plugin which helps to manage your Ads.
Akismet: It manages the spam blog comments
Author hReview: It displays Star Ratings in Search Engines
BackupBuddy: It takes care of WordPress Backup.
Broken Link Checker: It take care of all the broken links and suggest you to fix it.
Clicktotweet: It adds tweetable code within the article
Defender: It protects your WordPress Blog from attacks
Display Widgets: Simply hide widgets on specified pages.
Duplicator: Duplicate, clone, backup, move and transfer an entire site from one location to another
EasyDigitalDownloads: The easiest way to sell digital products with WordPress
Fast Secure Contact Form: An easy and powerful form builder that lets your visitors send you email. Blocks all automated spammers.
HUMMINGBIRD: Hummingbird zips through your site finding new ways to make it load faster
Insert Headers and Footers: This plugin allows you to add extra scripts to the header and footer
iThemes Security: Take the guesswork out of WordPress security
Jetpack: Increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers with Jetpack.
Login Lockdown: Limits the number of login attempts from a given IP range within a certain time period.
OptinMonster: It helps to add email subscriptions / news letters
Plugmatter Document Importer Pro:
Smartcrawl: Boost your PageRank and drive more traffic to your site with little effort and simple configuration
Snapshot: The smart, automated, ready on-demand time-traveler from WPMU DEV
ShortPixel: Compress images without degrading quality. Helps in faster loading of the articles.
SumoMe: Enables Social Share, OptinForm, Newsletter Subscription and Many More
TablePress: Embed beautiful and feature-rich tables into your posts and pages, without having to write code.
VaultPress: for WordPress backup
WP Forms: Ninja Forms is the ultimate FREE form creation tool for WordPress
WP Link Status Plugin: Link checker of all your content links and images, looking for broken links, check link redirections, warn of nofollow links
Wangguard: To stop spam registration in WordPress.
WP security audit log: Keep an eye on user activities inside WordPress dashboard.
WP Sweep: Helps to optimise & clean WordPress Database.
Let me Guide You How to install and uninstall WordPress Plugins
Go to your WordPress Dashboard Main Menu and Select Plugins –> Add New as shown in below image;
Now you have two options to install WordPress Plugins. One way is to upload the plugin and other way is to search for the plugins from the marketplace. Most of time people will use Search option rather uploading plugins.
Lets install “Google Analytics” plugin. To do that, type google analytics in search box as shown below and immediately it will show results relevant to your keyword. After identifying the right plugin (maximum active installed), click on “Install Now” to install that plugin.
After successfully installation, click on Activate to enable the plugin.
Once the plugin is activated, it will be shown under Plugins.
If you want to uninstall WordPress Plugins , first you need to deactivate the plugin by clicking the Deactivate as shown below.
Once the plugin is deactivated, just click on the Delete to uninstall it.
I have shown you the process of installation and uninstallation of WordPress Plugin. Have any doubts, just type your queries on the below comment section, I will revert you back as earliest as possible.
Step 4#: Install and Configure WordPress Theme
WordPress makes blogger life easy, just in few clicks everything is ready. You talk about any functionalities that you need for your blog, its readily available for you. As simple as that. Let’s jump into the WordPress Theme Installation and Configuration section.
Click on Appearance –> Themes from your Dashboard Main Menu. It will take you to the WordPress Theme section, where you will have the option to see and change the theme.
Every year WordPress change it’s default theme name to current calendar year. That’s the reason the default theme name is Twenty Sixteen. Some people like this theme and some not. Because it is just a simple theme, no fancy or attractive look. But I can say it’s a decent theme for a beginner. It depends what you want to have for your site.
In case if you don’t want to use the default theme, you have got many options to choose from. Either you can search or upload free/paid themes based on your choice. Using search option you can instantly see all the available wordpress theme whereas using upload option, you have to manually upload the WordPress theme if you bought it from somewhere else.
We have already the default “Twenty Sixteen WordPress Theme” installed for us. So I would like to show you, how to upload and install a WordPress theme that you bought it from outside.
Below are the most popular and recommended WordPress Themes that are being used by the most popular bloggers across the world. Here I am using OptimizePress WordPress Theme. I have few other sites where I am using StuDioPress, DiyThemes and ThemeForest WordPress Themes. If you ask me personally, I just love StudioPress and OptimizePress WordPress Themes. They look Premium and have awesome features that you think of. You can download these themes;
To show you, I have downloaded OptimizePress Theme.220.127.116.11.zip file from my OptimizePress Admin Console.
Click on the Upload Theme –> Choose File , select the ZIP File from the download location in your computer, in our case it’s OptimizePress Theme.18.104.22.168.zip and click Install Now to proceed with installation process.
Depending upon the size of the Zip file and speed of Internet, the installation time may vary. For me it just took 30-40 seconds to install it. Once the OptimizedPress WordPress Theme is installed, you need to click on “Activate” to activate the theme to use.
After OptimizePress Theme activated, it will ask you to enter the license key details as shown below. Login to your OptimizePress Admin Console and get the License Key. Enter the OptimizePress Key and click on Save Settings. This ends up the WordPress Theme Installation Process.
Let’s Configure OptimizePress WordPress Theme;
Under OptimizePress click on Blog Setup to initiate the four step process for configuring the theme.
Select Theme Style: Select the theme style, out of the three default themes and click Continue to Step2
Blog Branding: This section will help you to brand your blog by configuring Logo, Favicon, Colour Settings, Copyright Notice and Typography. Click on each heading and configure it. It’s quite easy and simple. In case you don’t understand it, click on (i) to watch the video guidelines. Before configuring it, ensure you have your Logo and Favicon is ready.
Once completed, click on Continue to Step3.
Blog Layout: This section will help you to configure your blog layout design. Click on each heading to configure it. Click on Continue to Step 4 once your complete it.
Modules and Features: This section will help you to enhance your blog by adding Optin Forms, Social Sharing Options, Related Posts Box, Comments System etc. Steps are very simple, just turn it on/off. Click Continue to Step 5 (Finish Setup) once done.
Now your blog has been successfully setup. Next we need to go little deeper to verify and modify the Blog Settings. Now click on Continue to Blog Settings to move further.
We have already selected our theme style while setting up the blog, in case you don’t like it, you can change it here.
We have already done this, if you still want to modify someone the properties, you can do it here.
if you want to change the last Blog layout setting, you can do it here.
We have already setup this section but still you have the option to change the options of your choice. Click (i) as indicated below to watch the videos for that respective property.
Once the theme configuration process is completed. The last step would be creating menus, pages and widgets for your blog. Let’s complete the below tasks;
- Creating Home Page and Footer Menu
- Creating Sidebar Widgets
- Making the Site Live
To Create Pages, go to WordPress Main Dashboard Menu and Select Pages –> Add New
Give a Title to the Page as shown in below picture and start writing the content.
Once you finished writing the content, next upload the relevant profile picture. Click on the “Set featured image” from your right hand side bar. Before that ensure you have your profile image ready. For profile pictures (Featured Image) I am using 700 x 350 pixel image.
Click on “Select Files” to select your profile image.
Once the Profile Picture (Feature Image) is imported then you need to fill Title, Caption if required, Alt Text and Description with relevant information with respect to that image. Look at the below image, how I did it. Image Alt Text and Description are most important fields to rank in search engines. Click on Set Feature Image.
In case you don’t want to use this image to be the profile picture, click on Remove featured image to change it.
We need to properly configure the META Tags (Search Engine Understandable Language) to make the Search Engine understand the type of content. I am using Yoast SEO Plugin to enable this functionality. Check out this Yoast SEO Guidelines for more information. Yoast SEO Plugin will show GREEN indication for properly configured META Tags as like blow;
After you successfully completed all the above steps, click on Publish button to publish the content.
Now let’s create the Home Page Menu’s for better visibility of the blog site. From the WordPress Dashboard Main Menu, click on Appearance –> Menus
Give a name to the Home Menu and Click on “Create Menu“.
Out of the four options, select “Blog Primary Menu” , which is Home Page Menu.
Now select all the pages that we have created and click “Add to Menu” to include under Home Menu.
After adding the pages to the Home Menu, you can drag each item up and down to arrange the menus as per the preferences.
Create the Footer Menu as you have created for Home Menu but for Footer Menu, you need to select “Footer Copyright Menu”.
When you browse www.salilparida.com, the menus will be shown as below;
Creating Sidebar Widgets
Last one that we need to configure is the Sidebar. Without of it, blog site don’t look good. To create Sidebar, click on Appearance –> Widgets
From the available Widgets, drag the widgets to the Sidebar that you want to have on your Blog Sidebar. Basically Widgets are the predefined templates and by adding them to the sidebar menu, we are going to available that functionality.
Making the Site Live#
Finally the blog setup and configuration process completed. Ohhh I forgot, but still your blog website shows “Coming Soon” page.
To remove the “Coming Soon” page, click on Dashboard –> Home and check the notification as shown below. Click “click here” to bring your site live.
Hurray, the blog site www.salilparida.com is LIVE now.
Step 5#: Post Your Content
Finally we have completed the blog setup process. Now lets post some contents into it. To do that click Post –> Add New from the WordPress Dashboard Main Menu;
Give a search engine optimised name to your article as indicated below. Then start writing your content in writing area.
Article Tags & Featured Image#
Tags help your visitor to find the relevant content easily. So create tag keywords properly, it should match your post. When someone searches for those tag keywords, the relevant article should be displayed. Follow this article on how to use tags.
Add a featured images relevant to your content. That give more enhancement to the article. You may skip it but adding a featured image is recommended.
Article Meta Tag Optimization#
Be ensured that your SEO Score is GREEN that means the content is fully optimised as required by search engines. Follow Yoast SEO Guidelines to know more about this plugin and how to use it.
Create a Category that suits your article, by doing so you are organizing the contents. This helps to find relevant contents in single category.
Publishing Your Article#
During the development of your content, you can click Save Draft to save those contents as a draft. If you want to see the preview, click on Preview. Once proofreading is done, hit on Publish button to publish the content. Content is most important part for a blogging site and if you don’t update it regularly your website visitors may go away. Kontent Machine Software is best known for generating good quality contents. You can download kontent machine and try it.
Follow the same process to post your contents. So far you learned How to Start a Blog and Post Contents successfully. For a blogger this is not sufficient, you need to know how promote your content to your target audience. Lets talk about that;
TIPS and Tricks #: How To Promote Your Post
We have successfully completed the process of How to Start a Blog. Now lets learn How to Promote Content. No matter how good your content is, if it is not visible to the people, your effort is valueless. Being a blogger you must know how to promote your content efficient. Otherwise sustaining being a blogger would be very challenging. There are many blogger out there who wrote awesome contents but no one saw their content. But I don’t want that to be happen in your case. I want to your content to be on top of search engine, so that it can get maximum exposure. You must spending 20% of your time developing the content and 80% of time promoting it. That’s the practice you need to develop being a blogger. Promoting a content requires proper planing and strategy. Otherwise you will end with no results by promoting your content in a Sahara desert.
Connecting people using social media is quite easy rather using any other media. Facebook is one of the most popular social media application where almost all people are connected who are using smart phones. So how easy it would if you know how to connect them. let’s check out how;
Logon to your Facebook and search for the keyword (for an example: How to Start a Blog) that you are interested in, in our case its “facebook marketing“. I am searching for the people who are interested in Facebook marketing. There is a reason to it, when I will be posting any new content on Facebook marking, I will invite those people to read my content. My intention is to connect similar interest people.
Click on the Facebook Groups Tab to check if anyone has created any closed groups for that keywords (How to Start a Blog). For facebook marketing I got many groups. Now look for the Groups where the number of members are more than 1000 and click on +Join to join that group. Most of time the Group Owner accept your request and add you to the group. Once you are accepted and added to the group, immediately you are connected to those thousands of similar interest people. Next you know what to do right? Just publish your content into that group and get appreciated.
It just matter few minutes to connect thousands of people with similar interest. Isn’t it so easy to do?
Login to your Twitter Account and search for the niche keyword ( for an example: How to Start a Blog ) that you are interested in. I am searching for “twitter marketing” to find out the similar tweets. I got thousands of results on twitter marketing.
Now check which tweet has got maximum re-tweets.
Next click on the date when it was tweeted;
Now click on the RETWEETS to check who are those people.
These are the people who are interested in Twitter Marketing. Now start following these people, it’s highly possible that these people also follow you back because of the similar interest.
Follow the this practice until you have good number of followers. Once you have good number of followers, you can reach out them with your offers. Make a habit of following 40-50 people in a day, not more than that, otherwise Twitter may detect it as a Spam.
You need to follow the same strategy as we were doing for Facebook. Connect the interest groups and once you are approved, promote your content into that group.
You can search your niche topics, for an example linkedin marketing, How to Start a Blog, Search Engine Optimization, etc
Pinterest Promotion #
Pinterest is the awesome platform to promote your content. To use this platform, you have to design very good infographics that people like. Create an account in Pinterest and search for the topic that you are interested in;
i.e. How to Start a Blog or social media marketing
Click on Board to show all the boards relevant to your search term;
Click on one of the board to check the number of followers. These are the followers who have got similar interest on the search topic. Click on that followers to see who are those people.
Now start following them and there is 90% of probability that in return they will start following you. Which will help you to increase your Pinterest Follower. Once you have good number of followers, then start promoting your contents to get maximum visibility.
Active discussion forum are the best way to promote your contents. To find the relevant forums, in Google type Your Keyword + “Forum” and search. It will show you the list of forums relevant to your search keyword (for an example: How to Start a Blog). Create an account with these forums and show your involvements by promoting your content or answering questions.
How to Start a Blog + “forum”
Quora and Yahoo Answer Promotion#
These are the two open platforms being used for asking questions. Create accounts with these platforms and search for the keywords of your niche (How to Start a Blog). Find the relevant questions (How to Start a Blog) and start answering it with referencing to your blog website. That will force someone to visit your blog site to get more details about that question. Quora and Yahoo Answers are most preferable by the online marketers to study the real time issues that people are having.
Using Reddit you can drive insane traffic to your blog. Search for your niche topic (for an example How to Start a Blog) and submit your article link or article relevant to that topic (How to Start a Blog). That will help to drive huge traffic to your blog site.
Guest posting is creating content and publishing it on another person’s website. Blogs are a very popular platform for guest posting. This is a great way to build an online reputation for your blog site. Find the popular blogging site of your niche (How to Start a Blog) and ask the owner (using contact form or email id) of that blog, if he/she would be interested posting your content (for an example: How to Start a Blog) into their blog site.
This concludes the article “How to Start a Blog”.
Isn’t so easy learn how to start a blog and do it by yourself. I hope this piece of information is definitely going to help you to build your own blog and promoting it into a right people.
You are awesome, thanks for spending your quality time reading my blog on How to Start a Blog.
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