Wondering about how to start a blog? Want to make money online and live a Laptop Lifestyle.

Thinking of Passive income or an eCommerce.

Well.

This Guide is for you.

No technical experience required and It’s easier and faster than you think.

Step: 1. Getting Started
Step:2. Choosing a Blogging Platform
Step:3 – Get a Domain
Step:4 – Your Online Hosting Provider
Step:5 – How To Install WordPress
Step:6 – After Install Configuration
Step:7 – Theme & Plugins
Step:8 – WordPress Security
Step: 9. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Step:10 – Must Do or Avoid
Step: 11 – Promote & Share your Blog
Step:12 – Passive Income
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How I Started back in 2010

I started my first blog in 2010, and back then there was no articles, guide or anything like this blog.

I learned all by myself, making all the mistakes and learning from them. I had to google hours just to get a simple knowledge about WordPress.

So, I made this Guide. Which covers all the topics about WordPress a newbie needs to know.

I run a Digital Agency, and we charge $450 for a Professional WordPress install.

Where we Make all the essentials settings like:-

So all these things that we do for our clients are covered in this guide with step-by-step tutorial with videos.

12 Steps to Start a Blog like Professionals

  1. Getting Started
  2. Choose a Blogging Platform
  3. Pick a Domain
  4. Find a Hosting Server
  5. Installing WordPress within 4 minutes
  6. Configuring your new blog
  7. Choosing Theme and Site Structure
  8. Blog Security
  9. SEO for Blog
  10. Do’s & Dont’s
  11. Promoting your Blog
  12. Earning Money from Blog

Tutorials on other blogs or Guides covers only 4 or 5 steps, But wpBeginning covers 12+ Steps with videos, FAQ and Support.

I have broken this complete guide into small chapters which will help you to understand well and follow the methods better and in case if you face any problem then you can comment on the specific steps and I will answer your queries within 4 hours.

That’s why I’ve put this guide together for you – to give beginners a fast, foolproof guide to starting a blog without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials.

In fact, over 12,500 newbies just like YOU have already setup blogs using this guide!

This guide is about 4000 words long which will take like 20 minutes.

So Here Is a cheat, to save more time, as I said earlier I have divided this complete guide in 12 chapters and each chapters has a video tutorial and podcast that will save you time and help you create a new blog in less time.

#1 – Getting Started

Decide what to blog about

If you’re part of a business, company or organization, your blog should be related to the product(s) or service(s) you provide, or the cause you promote.

If you’re an individual, you have more flexibility when choosing a topic. I talked about it here, but the main things to remember are:

Blog about something you enjoy. If you aren’t excited about your topic, writing about it will be drudgery. Who wants that? Also, why would readers be interested if you aren’t?

Blog about something with plenty of room for discussion. A blog requires a lot of content to get going and remain interesting. You’ll be at this a long time so make sure you have plenty to talk about.

Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. You probably won’t be the first person to blog about the topic you choose. It’s almost guaranteed someone else has thought of it before you. Don’t fret about this, come up with a unique angle. Do you have a reasonable chance of making your blog better than others talking about the same thing?

The goal for any blog is to become the go-to resource for its topic or niche.

Why Start a Blog?

#2 – Choosing a Blogging Platform

There are several services you can choose as your blogging platform. You may be tempted to use a free service, but free service will be limited in use and will restrict you in many ways.

There’s a lot to choose from and you are able to create your blog with many different blogging platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger/Blogspot and many more.

WordPress is by far one of the biggest platforms in the world and comes with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and customize your blog and use it in your own way.

However, given that there are over 82 Million active users using WordPress today. “And it’s clear which platforms rule the blogging industry.”

Even my blogs and niche sites are built with WordPress blogging platform ” And here’s the reason why:”

Why choose WordPress?

I use WordPress myself and appreciate its flexibility, functionality, ease of use and mostly its large and supportive community who shares tools, plugins, and great ideas.

Even though WordPress is bigger and probably better than the free alternatives, here are some reasons why you should go with WordPress for your blog:-

Reason To Use WordPress

While other blogging platforms are generally fine and nothing, in my opinion, has ever come close to match the freedom, flexibility and customization opinions that WordPress offers.

So without a doubt, WordPress is the best CMS ( Content Management Software ) to get started especially if you are new to blogging.

Don’t Use Free Blogging Platform – Here’s Why?

Just look at successful bloggers, all of them use WordPress. Even this Guide that you are reading now is on WordPress. Think about it – If we used a free blogging platform and our website address would look like http://WPBeginning.blogspot.com instead of something professional and simple like our own domain https://WPBeginning.com

It’s not just that limitation of the free blogging platform. It has other problems too

#3 – Pick a Domain

I will recommend you to buy your domain name from a different domain provides instead of your hosting company. This will help you to easily transfer your domain and have complete control of your domain and blog

What is a domain name? Well, you see our website address ” WPBeginning.com “, that is a domain name. If anyone in this world typed this domain name in their web browser than they will be sent to this address and they will view the same page and information that you are viewing.

In most of the cases, the competitive domain names with .com extension will be already be taken. But don’t give up.

Good domains are quite unique and descriptive which helps the audience to remember your blog and also the domain name conveys its own message. Some people ask friends and families before buying their domain name while some others directly get what names they want.

However, given that there are over 82 Million active users using WordPress today. “And it’s clear which platforms rule the blogging industry.”

Some tips when choosing a perfect domain name for your blog

You will find the perfect domain name in no time if you follow this tips.

#4 – Finding a Hosting Server

Web Hosting is a service that allows your blog to be accessed through the internet. Without web hosting, your blog can’t be seen online. and without a domain, your blog won’t have an address, as these two are inseparable.

There are plenty of web hosting companies to choose from. Prices generally range from $3 – $1000/month.

If you’re just starting a new blog, you should use Bluehost. They are the biggest and most well-known hosting company and I worked out a deal with them where you can get started for just $2.95 a month (plus you will get a free domain).

You don’t need anything fancy or high server capacity until you hit over 25000 unique visitors a month. Once you hit that mark, Bluehost can help you easily scale up your web hosting.

Bluehost-discount-free-domain

With my special deal (bluehost) the total cost will come out to less than a coffee at Starbucks a month – so it won’t break the bank.

Note: As a longtime customer and independent review site, we get compensated if you purchase from the referral links below – at no additional cost to you.

In fact, we have a killer discount so you will actually pay less for the same service through the links below.

Remember, I want to help you avoid the same mistakes I made when I first got into the blogging world, and save you from experiencing any sleepless nights from scrambling to get your website back online.

I’ve dealt with and monitored many famous and recommended web hosting companies like Bluehost, iPage, Godaddy etc… [very large button – tap here to start your blog]

free-ssl-browser

BlueHost also offers Free SSL Certificates, which adds trust to Google and your visitors.

#5 – Installing WordPress

Well, you cant start a blog without blogging software and I recommend you to choose WordPress because its easy to use, free, powerful and you will get all the customization and features already built by someone.

Moreover, you can easily install WordPress without any technical knowledge, and I have also created a video where I have shown the exact steps to install a blog as a professional does.

Here’s how. After you get your free domain and hosting account, you can log in and use your first click on the “Install WordPress” icon.

install-wordpress-bluehost-1

Choose the “do it yourself” version and click the “Install” button.

install-wordpress-bluehost-2

Use your third click on the “Check Domain” button.

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Your last two clicks will be for acknowledging their terms of service and finalizing your install.

install-wordpress-bluehost-4

Within a minute, you’ll have a fully functional WordPress blog up and running.

wordpress-installation-successful

Hurray!!! Your New Blog is Installed.

#6 – Configuring WordPress

STEP 1 – Deactivating all plugins !!!

Many hosting companies include some custom WordPress Plugins, and this can be a problem.

So the first thing we need is to “deactivate all the plugins.

” Deactivating all the plugins will set the WordPress work as a brand new with the default setting.” 

STEP 2 – Go to settings !!!

You will configure your blog name and description and other things.

Once you clicked on settings, you will by default be in the general tab. Here you need to set your blog title, tagline which will be your description, email address, where you will get all the notifications,

Step 3 – changing your URL structure !!!

The URL structure is a very important setting that you need to configure at the very beginning of your blog.

The URL structure cannot be changed in the future because if you change the URL structure in the future, your links in google search tools and google search results will appear broken and bots will not be able to reach and crawl your blog properly and your organic traffic and ranking will fall.

The URL structure in WordPress is known as permalinks.

The default permalink setting is not optimal and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use that setting.

By default, the permalink setting is set to pageid, which looks something link “https://wpbeginning.com/?p=123”.

So to change the permalink, you need to go to settings > permalink and then choose the option ” post name “.

#7 – Installing Theme & Plugins

WordPress themes help you achieve the desired look for your blog, but it doesn’t come out of the box as you want.

The best thing about WordPress is that you can change to any theme at any time, and you don’t need to blow the whistle or hire any freelancer or agency to do that task.

First, you need to log into your WordPress admin. You can access this by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

Here, you’ll need to enter your user credentials to log in.

install-a-wordpress-theme-1

If you’re new to WordPress, it might confuse you, but don’t worry, you will learn all while you progress with this guide. To install a new theme, hover over the “Appearance” menu in the sidebar and click “Themes.”

install-a-wordpress-theme-2

WordPress comes preinstalled with a few themes – named as “Twenty-[Year]” themes. Instead, we’ll search for fancy themes that will instantly make your eyes shine.

Click the “Add New” button at the top to get access to thousands of WordPress themes.

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Your taste and mine might be different. Fortunately, WordPress has a “Feature Filter” that lets you search for something that will fit your style.

installing-wordpress-theme

clicking on it will open a list of checkboxes.

Here’s what your filter requests might look like.

install-a-wordpress-theme-4

After applying your desired filters, you’ll see amazing themes that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars in design fees. Since I like you, it’s free

install-a-wordpress-theme-6

If you click on the theme’s thumbnail, you can get an instant preview of what your blog will look like. Evaluate if it fits both your personal style and the topic that you’ll be covering.

Once you’re satisfied with the sneak peek, click the “Install” button.

install-a-wordpress-theme-7

Once the installation is complete, click the “Activate” button and you’re all set. If you can’t find a theme that you like, there are premium themes that you can purchase from sites like:

By now, your theme should be activated and ready to go. Let’s move on to customizing your theme.

install-a-wordpress-theme-8png

What kind of Theme to choose for your blog ??

There are several types of Premium and Free WordPress themes to choose but if you are creating your blog then you should choose something that resembles it.

Note: We always say to AVOID MultiPurpose Themes. There are created to lure you. It will not be healthy for your blog.  — How can I be Sure? Because I’m A WordPress Developer and Designer. ( Niraj Kashyap )

If you are creating your blog on a particular niche like photography, SEO, programming, or any other niche, I would suggest you choose a good framework for your theme, and I would personally suggest you choose Genesis Framework by StudioPress.

I use Genesis for all my WordPress blogs and niche sites. As Genesis theme needs a child theme, head over to GloriousThemes.com to get a good theme for your blog.

Why say no to MultiPurpose Themes.

There are plenty of reasons why I say NEVER use multipurpose themes for your blog. Here are some reasons why

  1. Multipurpose themes are large in size and contain lots of resources, which means they will slow down your website.
  2. They are created for newbies to try and play with their theme, not for professional bloggers or someone like you who wants to get started and become a professional in their niche.
  3. They are created with no niche-specific, means they will deliver everything to your blog, even those which are of no use.
  4. It also slows down your entire website leaving a bad impression on your visitors.
  5. and there are many more….

Why I use Genesis framework & Why you should use too…

As it is said that Genesis is the foundation of any smart WordPress design. So here are some features of Genesis.

  1. Search Engine Optimized out of the box.
  2. State-of-the-art security.
  3. Instant Updates.
  4. Easy Customization.
  5. Widget Ready.
  6. Comment Functionality.
  7. Ready for advertisement.
  8. Auto-sized Featured Images.
  9. WordPress and Theme Tutorials.

So which theme is best for you?

I personally use Astra Pro which is the lightest theme (under 50KB) and loads your website within 0.5 seconds. Personally, I liked the design of this theme and many pro bloggers are using it because it’s easy to design and can be controlled with any drag and drop editor. We use Elementor Pro with Astra Pro.

Few things which you keep in your mind while purchasing a theme –

  • Make sure that premium themes which you are purchasing are lightweight and easy to use.
  • Avoid Multi Purpose Themes.
  • Check that the theme is compatible with your latest wordpress version and has been recently updated.
  • Always check that the theme is responsive and doesn’t needs lots of plugins to work .
  • Support is the main thing so try to find a theme which has good contact support (like Astra Pro and StudioPress).

Now let me tell some of my favorite paid themes which I am currently using on my other blogs.

Installing some essential plugins?

To make the most out of WordPress, you need some WordPress plugins.

There are the tools you need to succeed at every level.

We have a curated list of the tools and websites I strongly recommend for building and optimizing your WordPress blog and websites.

I have tested every recommendation on this page and many of the resources listed here are crucial to run my blogs and niche sites.

A Well tested and experimented Product, tools, and software for my Blog and Online business that I can trust 100% without the need of searching for its alternative.

#8 – Blog Security

A hacked WordPress website can cause serious damage to your business revenue and reputation. Hackers can steal user information, passwords, install malicious software, and can even distribute malware to your users.

wordpress-security

Worst, you may find yourself paying ransomware to hackers just to regain access to your website.

In March 2016, Google reported that more than 50 million website users have been warned about a website they’re visiting may contain malware or steal information.

Furthermore, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing each week.

If your website is a business, then you need to pay extra attention to your WordPress security.

WordPress security can be improved by several plugins that are available for Free and Paid.
Here are some of the noted plugins:

If you are interested in learning more on strengthening your WordPress security, we have a detailed post – Best WordPress Security Plugin to Strengthen your WordPress Security

#9 – SEO

To get traffic from google and to organically grow your wordpress blog, you need to make sure your wordpress blog is SEO friendly. SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization.

If you are serious about increasing your website traffic, then you need to pay attention to the WordPress SEO best practices.

SEO

If your website is not appearing in search results, then the first thing you need to do is to make sure that this option is unchecked.

Simply log in to the admin area of your WordPress site and visit Settings » Reading.

Look for ‘Search Engine Visibility’ section and make sure that the box next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is unchecked.

SEO Friendly Permalinks

SEO friendly urls are easy to read and are short. Google loves url that are short and friendly.

SEO friendly URL looks like this

https://www.bloggersprout.com/start-a-blog-money

And  a non-SEO friendly URL look like?

https://bloggersprout.com/?p=1547

he non-friendly urls are hard to memorize and the user cant guess what content lies within. You need to visit the Settings » Permalinks page. Select the post name option and then click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

The Best SEO Plugin

Yoast-SEO-Premium

Yoast is by far the best SEO plugin.  Yoast SEO is Free and has regular updates. At wpBeginning, we use Yoast and never thought of any other plugin for SEO.

A complete Step-By-Step guide on Yoast SEO is available on BloggerSprout.

XML Sitemaps

Adding XML sitemap to WordPress gives you the ability to your posts to appear in the Google Search results. XML sitemaps make it easier for Google bots to crawl and index your posts and articles.

XML sitemap automatically pings google bots, especially google search console about changes made on your site. These changes can be new posts, pages or images. It can be even updating old posts.

Yoast Seo Provide free XML sitemap and the sitemap is great in many aspects. You can find your xml sitemap which is being generated by Yoast by simply putting “sitemap_index.xml” after your domain name.

Like http://yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

Yoast sitemap creates sub-sitemap for posts, pages, categories, tags, and custom post types. So you don’t need to worry and keep checking and updating sitemaps every time you publish and modify any content.

#10 – Do’s & Don’ts

There are several do’s and don’ts in blogging. Here we have mentioned some of the do’s and don’ts:-

Do’s-and-Don’ts
Do’s
Dont’s

#11 – Promoting Your Blog

Promoting your blog is a major part that plays a role in your blog success. I have seen several blogs and bloggers fail as they don’t promote their blog enough.

All they think is that they will write great content and the traffic will flow towards them. Its like saying create an amazing product and it will sell by itself.

But in reality.

You can sale a crap thing via great marketing and promotion.

promote

Don’t be shy or lack behind to say people about your blog and its content. I have heard several bloggers saying things like – I don’t have enough posts or I need to work on my blog design.

Even i was trapped on this loop. Whenever i tried promoting my blog, I always though that i need to improve my blog design and work on it. And don’t get surprise, I have wasted more than 2+ years just on designing and tweaking my blog designs rather than focusing on my content and promoting it.

There are several ways of promoting your blog and content. I have laid them down as per their importance

#12 – Earning Money

Once your blog has started getting a decent amount of traffic, you can find ways to monetize your content to earn money. Always try to provide value rather than prioritizing about making money.

Make-Money-Blogging-wpbeginning

As Google keeps updating its algorithm, Google keeps a check on which website provides great value for their customers. After producing great content for some time and by engaging with your niche market you will become known as an expert and people will start valuing you and your site. Only then you could consider adding content that will generate income.

You can start preparing for monetizing your blog from the very first day of your website by creating an option form and capturing your reader’s email. We recommend to use [eafl id=”508″ name=”OptinMonster” text=”OptinMonster”] to create opt-in forms and capture your visitor’s email id.

Ever wonder why just about every website you go to asks for you to sign up with your email address?

In marketing, there is a saying that “the money is in the mailing list”. This is because a mailing list allows you to contact people over and over again.

Blog monetization channels

There are several ways to choose from when you think of monetizing your blog. You should use the ones that prove most useful to you:

Running ads on your blog

Google Adsense is one of the most popular choices for ads. Several people earn money from Google Adsense by integrating on their blog. However we only recommend using Google Adsense on your blog, if you don’t have any other way to monetize your traffic.

Enrolling in affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are the most widely used method to make a living on the internet. If you have a decent amount of traffic, you can earn several times more than using Google Adsense.

There are several types of affiliate programs and you need to search and find one in your niche. An example of Affiliate Marketing is BlueHost.

Example: We recommend BlueHost for Hosting as we personally use them and believe in their product and service, so we recommend them and earn a commission from them if we make a sale.

Some things that you need to consider when enrolling in affiliate programs:

Selling your products and services

If you are creative, an entrepreneur or a freelancer, you can come up with your own product and start selling on your blog. Several bloggers like fashion bloggers, entrepreneurs use this method to sell their products.

This method is useful when your blog is really popular or your blog has a great readership.

Selling on WordPress is really easy and takes few more steps to integrate. Some of the few eCommerce plugins are as follows:-

Advertisers are always looking for exposure and are willing to pay you for placing a sponsored post on your blog. Your blog can act as a billboard and make you money by writing articles and reviewing products that relate to your blog.

Always sponsor a product if you believe that the product review can provide valuable information to your readers. Don’t just hit up a sponsored for the sake of money.

Some of the frequently asked questions on making money are:-

Q. How much traffic does it take to make money online?

Ans: We recommend minimum traffic of 30,000 page views per month.

We have written 101 Frequently Asked Questions about Starting a Blog

Things To Do After You’ve Created Your Blog:

The first thing I’d do is create a proper About Me and Contact page.

Done Those Two? Go And Read These Posts.

Ready To Take Your Blog To The Next Level?

Once you have some content on your blog it’s time to get some traffic and make it profitable.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

We have 101 Frequently Asked Question, Find your answer in the FAQ post.

Q: What blog site should I use? A: WordPress. It is the most popular platform, powering over 30% of the web! Best of all: it’s free. Other blogging platforms aren’t in the same league.

Q: What should I write about? What blog should I start? A: Recipe blogs, fitness blogs, and business blogs are some of the most popular. Here’s how to pick a blog topic people will really want to read.

Q: How do bloggers make money? A: There are a number of ways including advertising and digital products, but some people just do it for fun. Check out my article How To Make Money From Your Blog.

Q: How Do I Pick A Domain Name? A: I would suggest using your real name (because you can change it later). Here’s more on picking a domain name.

Q: Are blogs social media? A: Blogs can be considered social media because they have comments and social interactions. However, from a technical standpoint, analytics software does not count blog traffic as social media traffic.

Q: Is blogging dead? A: No way! Over 409 million people read blog posts every month. You’re reading one right now!

Q: What’s the difference between a blog and a website? A: Blogs are frequently updated with articles while a website is generally “set it and forget it”. Blogs might have fewer features than a website and just focus on creating really good content. For this reason, a blog is more socially active, with shares and comments.