How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2020
If you are planning to quit your job (or) planning to make money online as an alternative to doing a 9-5 job.
You will soon find blogging is the best way to make money online on the side (with minimum investment)
The purpose of this blog post is to help you start a WordPress blog on your own and make money even though if you are technically challenged.
I will also cover...
- how to start a blog to make money
- What are the essential tools required to start a blog?
- What do you need to do after setting up the blog?
How to create a WordPress blog like a pro and what next to make money?
- Register your domain name
- Get the best hosting (super fast)
- Set up your blog on WordPress
- Spend time crafting a beautiful Theme for your blog
- Understanding the WordPress
- Install essential WordPress plugins
- Design a professional logo
- Create social profiles and share content
- Upload essential content/pages on your blog
- Get a business email
- Write 4 pillar articles
- Promote Your Blog
Bonus: How to add customized permalink (SEO purpose) and how to get free stock images to use in your blog and on social channels (promotion).
3 Essential Tools Required to Make a Blog
- Domain Name/blog name
- Hosting Space [place where all your work will be hosted]
- Blogging Platform/Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress
How to start a blog and make money
Following are the 12 steps you should consider to earn money by blogging in India.
#1 Finding a Domain Name and Register on Godaddy or Namecheap
If you have decided on the topic to blog, Next step is to find a brandable domain name for your blog.
Domain Name is your brand name/identity with which people can remember your blog.
You have to buy a domain name from Domain Name providers by checking the availability of the domain name you want to register.
You can register your domain name with Godaddy or NameCheap.
Domain name registration costs you around $5 to $12 per year.
I use both Godaddy and Namecheap for buying domain names.
Pro Tip: Always find domain names with ‘.com’ or ‘.in’ (‘.in’ if your target readers are from India)
‘.com’ domain names are very popular and the internet users always type ‘.com’ or country-specific extensions when they search for blogs.
Don’t worry about what to name your blog if you find difficulty in getting a perfect domain name for your blog. [All the good and easy to spell domain names are already taken. You can always change later if you find a good name]
Quick Tip: You can pick your Full Name as a domain name and build a personal brand around it.
Now, you have got the domain name taken care.
Pat on your back and feel good about your new home on the internet.
#2 Host Your Blog on SiteGround [Super fast and reliable hosting]
Hosting Space or Server:
Hosting space is where your blog content/data [all files which contain the information] is stored.
Pricing: You need to pay $4 to $10 per month for a quality hosting provider. (which provides outstanding customer support, uptime, security, and speed)
Why I recommend SiteGround (A hosting service crafted with care!)
I tried Godaddy, Bluehost and Hostgator but here are the reasons (not found in other hosting providers) I prefer SiteGround.
- Expert Support with Live Chat
- 99.99% uptime
- Clean servers and innovative security measures to keep your blog safe.
- Free SSL certificate
- Speed (critical for SEO)
Get 60% discount on SiteGround using this link.
If you are looking for a long-term, SiteGround with a dedicated support team who can solve your problems in minutes and also provides you the expert knowledge in quick time is the best bet.
#3 Set up Your Blog on WordPress [CMS Platform]
WordPress is the most popular CMS provider in the Blogosphere and among Freelancers.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted WordPress software publishing tool for content creators which is available for free.
WordPress is also easy to set up (no tech required), Free forever and has a support of a large community who are very helpful.
You've got a fair idea about the essential tools required to start a blog:
You registered your domain name with Godaddy.
You also bought Hosting from SiteGround.
Let’s see how we can start a blog on WordPress with SiteGround Hosting:
How to start a blogging in India
Following is the step by step process to set up a WordPress blog.
1) Point your GoDaddy domain name to SiteGround Hosting:
In this step, you will change the default Godaddy Nameservers to Siteground Nameservers.
Login to your Godaddy account.
Click on DNS next to the domain name you want to point out to Siteground Hosting.
Step 1: Click on DNS
Step 2: Go to Nameservers ->change the default nameservers by clicking on the Change button. [You will see Nameservers section when you scroll down after clicking the DNS]
Go to your Siteground account [log in to your Siteground account]
Go to My Accounts tab - click on My accounts tab
Click on Go to CPanel Button as shown in figure
Click on Proceed button
On the left side you will see Nameserver details of SiteGround.
Now copy and paste the Nameservers details given in the SiteGround dashboard into your Godaddy account by selecting a custom field from the drop down as shown in below figure.
Final step: Save your new nameservers:
You have successfully updated default Godaddy Nameservers to Siteground Nameservers.
2) Adding Domain Names [Add your domain name to hosting]
Click on ‘Add Domains’ icon as shown below...
Type your newly registered domain name, give a strong password, and click on Add domain button as shown in below figure.
When you Click on Add Domain button.
Your domain name is added to SiteGround hosting…. [success message shown as below]
Click on Go Back
And Back to Cpanel or click on Cpanel Home on the top right side.
3) Setup your WordPress blogging platform with one click.
Now, install your WordPress blog by clicking on ‘Install Now’ link as shown in below screenshot.
Give all the details such as :
Your domain name to install, username, password, admin mail id etc.. [note all the details in a notepad safely. You will need the same information to log in to your WordPress dashboard]
You will see a screen saying...
Congratulations your WordPress installed
Finally, click on return to overview and select the blog you installed and click on it.
It will redirect to the new blog that you created on WordPress a shown below.
Note: If you don't find your WordPress site live. Wait for some time to let the new DNS Nameservers to update that you changed earlier: [In some cases it will take up to 24-48 hours…]
Once your DNS [Nameservers] updated you can log in to WordPress dashboard
By going to www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin
A snapshot, on how to log in to WordPress blog [provide the required details]
Give the username and password you selected at the time of installing the WordPress
[remember you have noted the details separately in a document]
Now your hosting and domain name are connected…
Set up your blog theme (blog design or layout) by logging in to the WordPress backend.
#4 Best WordPress Themes for Your Blog
List of Best WordPress Themes for Blogging in 2018
Install the theme and explore yourself, you can customize, play around and learn on your own. [WordPress dashboard and the software is easy to learn]
You can also install a free theme for time being and see how the theme looks live by going to Appearance section on the left side and choose the appropriate themes from the results you see in the dashboard as shown in below screenshot.
You can check the latest, popular themes and see the live preview of the themes.
Note: You can change the themes as and when required so choose the one best fits you for time being and learn how to customize and add other features over a time.
#5 Important things first [Understanding the WordPress]
How to create a Page and add content to your blog?
Add New page as shown in the above screenshot and add the content using the WordPress content builder which is similar to what you see in Microsoft word document or any other content builder.
You also need to add content to the blog in the form of a blog post, which you can do by going to the Posts section of the WordPress dashboard as shown in the below figure.
How to create a Post in WordPress?
Add the content in the post content area and publish the content after you perform on-page SEO tasks. [Totally a different topic that you will learn over the time]
Changing Permalink of your Blog for better SEO results:
By default, permalink would be like
Google and even people do not like these type of URL’s which are with numbers and symbols.
You can change this default permalink into an SEO optimized permalink by going to Settings area on the WordPress dashboard as shown in figure.
Click on Permalinks and then set your permalink to ‘Postname’ as shown in above figure
When you do this both search engines and people feel good about your URL structure.
Now, your post URL look like below…
Which is easy to read.
As I promised, let’s make your blog more professional, SEO friendly and optimize for better performance using plugins.
#6 What are the best and essential Plugins for your blog which will enhance your work and make life easy.
You need plugins to enhance your blog functionality, performance and more.
List of Essential WordPress Plugins:
1) W3 Total Cache - Website performance
2) WP Smush - Optimize images for speed and SEO purpose.
3) Wordfence - Security purpose plugin
4) SumoMe - Email list building and analytics
5) Yoast SEO - All in one SEO purpose tool with content analysis for SEO
6) Akismet - To protect your blog from spam
7) Tablepress - Create beautiful tables inside posts and pages.
8) Elementor - Page builder plugin
9) Header & Footer - SOGO Add Script Header Footer plugin for adding code in footer and header section.
10) Pretty Links - cloak your affiliate links.
11) Ultimate Social Media - Social media share plugin
12) Contact Form 7 - create beautiful contact forms and collect information
There are thousands of useful plugins that can improve your blog. Selecting and utilizing few of the essential blogging plugins that enhance functionality and improve the overall performance of your blog is a must for every blogger.
Go to Plugin section and search for each of the above-mentioned plugins and install one by one and then activate each plugin.
Example: How to install a WordPress plugin?
Go to Plugin area and click on Add New button so that you will redirect to the following screen.
Check the appropriate plugins that you want to install and Click on ‘Instal Now’ button and then ‘Activate’ plugin.
When you do this your plugin installation is complete and successful.
You now have set up a professional blog which not only looks good but also secured and optimized for performance.
Next, make your blog user-friendly, and visually appealing by using Royalty Free High definition images for your blog from below mentioned sources.
Beautiful Images from Awesome Communities that creative and Professional Photographers share for Free
Use images that catches your reader attention. Beautiful and free images available on the following mentioned platforms.
#7 Make your brand stand out with a professional logo
Did I tell you that you can make a professional good looking logo on your own with this awesome tool (the tool I use daily) for free?
Signup for a Canav tool and hop on to Canva dashboard and check for logo section.
Click on the logo -> select best logo samples that suit you -> make necessary changes-> download png image and use it on your blog.
Create your own logo by making a few changes to your text and color etc.
Download the final logo and use as your blog logo.
To upload the logo you created using Canva tool to the WordPress platform:
Go To WordPress Dashboard-> Appearance -> customize-> general/site settings -> add logo by uploading the image [upload your downloaded logo that you just made using Canva tool]
The Ultimate list of 55+ Free Tools for bloggers that you will love...
Next, Time to get Social.
#8 Get Social by creating all the necessary social profiles
Create your profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Linkedin, Quora, Medium, Google+, Slide Share etc…
Find out which social channel is more suitable for your blog audience.
Pick any 2 social profiles that work best for you and drive traffic by posting valuable content on these social channels.
Side Tip: Fashion and Lifestyle. Food and Travel bloggers use Instagram and Pinterest as their traffic sources [As the audience of these blog niche love images and visual content]
# 9 Create Important pages for your blog and look professional in the eyes of Google and your blog readers
The four important pages of your blog.
- About me page [most visited page apart from your home page]
- Terms & Conditions
- Contact Us
For creating an about me page take inspiration from any of the influencer blogs in your industry/niche.
Tip: About Me page should be all about your readers and how you will help them even though it is technically about you.
#10 Get Business email id
Create your business email id and use the same business email id when you create social profiles, business transactions and also mention your business email id on the blog (contact us page). When you use business email id over personal Gmail or another email id you will be looked up as a professional blogger.
I use G Suite to create all my business email id’s - Rs.150/month per user.
#11 By next one to two months write minimum 4 articles
Think about How to write a great blog post that your readers love.
Practice writing great posts and write from your experience and then publish your first blog post on your WordPress blog. [You can update your blog post later if you feel you missed to add any important notes]
#12 Be consistent in adding value to your blog posts and promote big time on social channels and work on SEO.
Start promoting your articles on Q&A and web 2.0 platforms. [write to me so that I will share the list of Q&A and blog submission sites which help you in SEO]
Start promoting on Social channels.
Be consistent in writing great content on your blog and share valuable information on social channels to become successful online with your blog. When you add value and solve your readers problems by consistently writing content you will start earning money online with your blog.
I have written exclusive articles and covered more information on how to start a blog and make money in this blog. [You can check my other posts on Blogging and Make Money over here...]
We have learned about how to set up your WordPress blog in 10 minutes and also the important things that you need to do after you create the blog.
By following all steps mentioned in the blog post you are good to make money on the side and you will see great results by blogging consistently in 6 months time. Keep producing great content and keep sharing your work on social channels.