A blog is something that helps you express your feelings, write stories or share information in a much more efficient manner. Blogging as an industry is becoming saturated with more and more bloggers coming in. Therefore, it is important that you learn the fundamentals and then jump into blogging.
One of the reasons that I am writing about this on my blog is because I know that this topic has potential searches. Oh! Wait! Why does that matter? Because search engines have become sophisticated and understand way more than what you know about your audience.
Why should you start a blog?
Well, there can be no reason or there can be hundreds of them. One of the reasons can be that you want to make a strong online presence, make a personal brand or start a passive income on the side. There can be other reasons like for practising the art of writing, just keeping a log of your life (like a diary) and others.
Whatever the reason, a blog can help you grab the attention of the people you were always looking for. But the question is how to start a blog on WordPress in 2023 if you are a total newbie to the internet. Let’s deep dive into the process and see the step-by-step guide to starting a blog.
Which platform to use for starting a blog?
Honestly speaking, you can start a blog on any platform. For example, you might choose to design a log website and host it by yourself. Or you can take help from various blogging platforms like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Ghost and so on.
This is not an affiliate blog, so don’t worry, I am not going to sell you any of these platforms. However, I would like to point out that the platform you choose should align with your requirements. For example, Wix is good for customizations, AI website builder and has an intuitive interface. However, if you want an all-around performance from an SEO perspective, you should go for WordPress.
I have not used Squarespace or Ghost much so cannot speak for them. However, what I do know is that Ghost has a clean interface and it is best if you want to run paid newsletters and earn from the subscription model.
I have chosen WordPress and I host my website through Hostinger. I have been on these platforms for a while and am pretty comfortable with them, hence I use these 2.
So, this tutorial is for all beginners in 2023 who are planning to start their blogging journey on WordPress. I will be covering many parts of this article in detail that can help you scale your blog.
A step-by-step guide to building a WordPress Blog
Building a WordPress blog in 2023 is simple and the amount of flexibility that WordPress offers is currently unmatched. From building a blog to your personal portfolio website, WordPress offers you a platform that can suffice any of your needs.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build your WordPress site in 2023.
- Step 1: Deciding if you want to build a blog for leisure or business
- Step 2: Buy a hosting and a domain
- Step 3: Install WordPress
- Step 4: Install themes and plugins
- Step 5: Publish content
- Step 6: Learn and Implement SEO strategies
- Step 7: Promote content
- Step 8: Repeat steps 5 to 7
- Step 9: Gain traffic and Celebrate
Let us understand the steps in detail:
Step 1: Leisure or Business? Decide
Before you plan on building a blog on WordPress, decide if you want to build a website for leisure or business. If the answer is the former, then you are better off with the free version of WordPress where you can simply log in and write about whatever you like, whenever you would like to. You can create a free blog sites with WordPress having a subdomain.
If the answer was later, you should consider building a website on WordPress. Starting a blog is a business of discipline. It is going to bear fruits, but not so soon. It is a big investment, especially for beginners. So if you are considering spending on a blog, be prepared to toil accordingly. It not only involves financial investment but also a time investment.
Step 2: Treat it as your digital home
Your blog is your digital identity. It will have an address and a space on the internet where the blog will reside. The space where your blog will stay is called the hosting, and its address will be the domain. A domain is unique and cannot repeat for two websites. So it is a unique address.
Just like in the real world, you would also need to buy a hosting and domain name to differentiate your website from others. Try to keep the domain short & sweet and memorable. You can use wordplay for a domain. Ensure that you check your domain name is available on social sites too.
Step 3: Install WordPress
I am using WordPress for this blog and it is helping me in many ways. It is so easy for me to use the platform as it is very user-friendly and you don’t need deep programming knowledge.
Once you have the hosting and a domain you can simply install WordPress and start using it. Let me know in the comments if you want to know how to install WordPress on hosting. It is quite easy, but I would be happy to help you all.
Once your WordPress is installed, you have a home for yourself on the internet. Start understanding the platform now and then take the next steps.
Step 4: Install plugins and themes
Well, now that you have a blog up and ready, prepare it for the world. You will publish content in this place and you would like to let people know that you have a website. But if someone comes to your website, their experience should be good enough for them to keep visiting. This is where the themes and plugins would play a key role.
Themes allow your website with an excellent look-and-feel vs plugins that allow you to implement functionalities on the back and the front end to match the user’s intent.
There is a debate that often comes up when people talk about WordPress themes and that is whether you should go for a paid or a free theme. If you have the resources to buy a theme, you can use a WordPress blog template that these themes offer.
If you are just starting, I would recommend a free theme like the one I am using. Your blog would perform basis the content you publish and not the look and feel. So, focus on publishing quality content.
Step 5: Start publishing
Now that your hygiene tasks are over, start publishing content. You should create a bank of content pieces so you don’t have to create one content piece after the other. I recommend you create 20-30 pieces at a stretch and publish them weekly. This will give you more than 5-6 months of content where you can work on a second set of content pieces.
In between, you can create time-sensitive content pieces around your niche. These content pieces will help you cover larger traffic when people are searching about these topics.
Don’t worry about ranking, traffic, or anything in this period. Let Google do its job, while you do yours. We will worry about this after a year since that is the amount of time you would need to make your blog count and allow people who come to your site to spend more and more time.
Step 6: Learn and implement SEO strategies
SEO is kind of overrated, especially if you are just starting. Google will rank websites which have enough content for a person to stay on your website. Let me help you understand the context here.
In today’s age, Search engine optimization is going to take your website places. However, you need to first understand what it means. Let me help you with an example. Your website is a store which people are searching for on Google using some keywords. For example, when we search for “Samsung Store near me”, Google understands that someone is looking for their store.
The result you get is the Samsung website or the list of locations where their offline stores are located. Where would you click on when you search for a Samsung store, obviously the first 3 websites? Exactly like this, your website should also rank for a set list of keywords.
You can learn SEO from various websites, YouTube and other sources.
Step 7: Promote content
Writing content and applying SEO strategies can only get you so far. The number one step to take for improving your website visibility is by promoting it through the right channels. Take advantage of your social media channels, promote content through WhatsApp statuses, Instagram stories and even better, if you can make reels.
See, the more you reach out to people, the more they would know about you. Post a link in various groups, and use your big following if you have one on social media. Share the news with your friends and in WhatsApp groups. Connect with fellow bloggers, sign up on blogging communities and so much more.
The more you promote, the more people will know about it. The more people visit, the more it would help you grow your blog.
Step 8: Repeat steps 5-7
Keep publishing new content, apply SEO strategies and promote content. You have to do this every time you write a new content piece. These 3 steps will never end. You might find people to do these for you once you start earning revenue from your blog, but yes, it will keep happening.
So stay updated, publish good content and keep repeating the right steps.
Step 9: Celebrate the success
Pat yourself on the back with little incentives when you achieve your goals. Your goal can be traffic, rankings or affiliate revenue. Set a goal, work towards it, and celebrate every milestone. This will help you stay motivated and patient while you are working towards achieving the next milestone.
Hope this has helped you aspiring bloggers. These tips are the general ones that work for almost everyone or have worked in the past. You can have these steps as a template and improvise as per your niche, expertise and goals. There is no right formula to start and grow a blog. But there are always baby steps that every aspiring blogger takes to become a successful one.