The question of the day is, “Should you start a wordpress blog?” If you have something you’re truly passionate about and you know there’s an audience for it, then the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!”
Should You Start a Blog?
The costs to start a blog are negligible, if you use the right tools. Plus, you have total control over what goes into it if you do this on your own (as opposed to contributing to someone else’s blog). You can really make of your blog whatever you want.
Consider the following:
- The Money
Some people start a blog with the intention of making money. Whether you have a physical or digital product to sell or you simply want to monetize your site with ads, there are a number of ways you can make money from a blog.
- The Fame
“Fame” in the blogosphere doesn’t always need to resemble something like Perez Hilton. All fame really means is that you’ve become an authority on a specific subject and that readers come to depend on you to deliver insightful information related to it.
- The Growth Opportunities
Perhaps your blog is there to support and draw attention to your business. Or perhaps you use your blog as a digital portfolio or resume that potential employers can reference when researching you as a candidate. Regardless of the goal, there are many ways a well-formulated blog can create new opportunities for you professionally.
- The Open Platform
If your goal has been to get your writing in front of a real audience, a blog is an excellent place to do it. You’ll have full control over what is published and when, and then it’s out there for the world to discover.
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How to Start a WordPress Blog in 4 Steps
As you can see, there are a number of reasons you might want to start a blog. Luckily for you, the process of setting one up is relatively straightforward and painless. All you need are a few tools and four quick steps and you’ll be ready to rock and roll.
Step 1: Choose Your Specialty
Starting a blog is no different than starting a business (if they’re not both one in the same). This means you should have a clearly defined specialty before investing in the tools and software needed to create your blog.
If you haven’t thought about it yet, take time to do so. Your area of expertise should be:
- Interesting: Obviously, you’ll want a blog that there’s an actual need for or interest in. Without an audience, the small investment you’re about to make may not be worth it.
- Sustainable: You’ll want the topic to be one you can discuss from a variety of angles, over and over again.
- Evergreen: While it’s possible to tackle topics that are pertinent to a current trend or event, the overarching subject of your blog should remain relevant well into the future.
- Authentic: Just because you’ve seen other people launch successful blogs on one specific topic (like fitness or food), doesn’t mean you need to jump on the bandwagon. Talk to something that’s actually meaningful to you.
And the reason why you need a clearly defined topic is…
Step 2: Create a Domain Name
A domain name is the URL of your website and something you need to snag up before you do anything else.
Once you know what your area of expertise is, you’ll need to purchase a domain that’s clearly related to that topic. Visitors looking for blogs about cooking dairy-free would be confused to run into a website named MooMooGoestheCow.com or BodyByJaneDoe.com. Keep it simple, keep it relevant, and make it easy to spell.
If you’re worried about the availability of the domain you want, go to Instant Domain Search.
Enter the name you want to use. It’ll let you know if the domain is available. Once you’ve finalized a domain name for your blog, it’s time to buy it.
Step 3: Purchase a Domain and Web Hosting
While you could purchase your domain separately, it makes more sense to bundle your purchases into one step. Since you also need to wrangle down web hosting for your blog, let’s do this all together.
For the purposes of this example, I’m going to use Bluehost as the source for both the domain and web hosting account. Bluehost is one of the web hosting companies that WordPress suggests users work with because of how easy it is to set up and work with, so you shouldn’t run into any issues if you go with this option.
Here is what you need to do:
Visit the Bluehost website and check out their Hosting options.
For a new blog, we’d suggest starting with Shared hosting. Basically, this means your website would share resources on a server with other websites. It’s the cheapest option, but still comes chock-full of a number of goodies (like unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and plentiful storage) and is reliable enough for a new blog.
If you need to upgrade resources or hosting types later, Bluehost can help.
Sign up for your hosting and domain.
With your domain name ready, this process is going to go super-fast.
Select the type of web hosting you want to use. Bluehost will then prompt you for the domain name you want to purchase.
You’ll next be prompted to provide your account information as well as to select the type of web hosting package. There are a number of options you can toggle on and off here (none of which you have to get), so be careful to review before you submit your payment information.
When you’re ready, hit the Submit button and purchase your domain and web hosting.
Step 4: Get WordPress
Web hosting gives your blog a place to reside. A domain gives your blog a name by which readers can find it. Now you need a way to create the content. Our suggestion? Use WordPress, the world’s most popular (and, dare I say, trusted) content management system.
Most web hosting companies will already have WordPress available from their control panel, which makes it even quicker to set up and get to writing! Oh, and did we mention that WordPress is free?
Once your Bluehost account is created, go to your control panel and find the handy little “Install WordPress” widget and click on it.
Select your new domain name from the drop down and hit the Next button. Then watch as WordPress installs right within the browser.
Once logged into WordPress, you’ll be taken to the dashboard where you can now start creating content for your blog!
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In terms of next steps, we’d suggest prioritizing the following:
- Choose a Free Theme Or Best Premium Themes (i.e. the design of your website)
- Create your first Post
- Add Plugins to optimize your blog for performance, traffic, and more
One More Thing…
Although WordPress is a fairly intuitive blogging platform to use, it can seem overwhelming at first. But don’t let that intimidation keep you from getting started. WordPress is a highly intuitive platform that takes little to no time to get used to. Just remember that the left side of the dashboard will always take you back to where you want to go.
And don’t forget about WordPress support. Whether you want to work with video tutorials or you prefer a written step-by-step guide, there’s a wealth of information available online. We’d suggest you start with WPBeginner. Their tutorials are always simple, straightforward, and full of helpful screenshots. This video, in particular, will get you moving in the right direction.