If you’ve ever wanted to start a blog, but not sure how, look no further. This article will explain how to make a WordPress website in 30 minute or less on the same platform as Woblogger.
Around five years ago, I didn’t know a thing about starting a blog. Over the years, I taught myself the skills to set up many of my own successful blogs. Today, I know what best practices to use to get results and what risks and mistakes to avoid. I’ve even started helping others create blogs of their own.
So, what’s the best way to build a profitable blog that makes you money? The short answer is— it’s both easy, and difficult. I’ll explain why.
The easy part is it requires little cash investment. You don’t need a degree, the field is wide open, and the profit margins are impressive. However, setting up a successful blog requires a lot of tedious effort, consistency, and perseverance. To put it simply, it takes time. But in the end, it is well worth it.
What do you need to start your blog?
To start your WordPress blog, you will need the following things.
- A domain name – this is the web address of your blog. For example, www.woblogger.com is my domain name.
- Web hosting – this is the place where your website is stored.
These are the essentials. Without a web host, your blog can’t be seen live on the Internet. Without a domain name, your blog is missing an address for people to search and find you.
How much does a WordPress website cost?
As I mentioned before, a website requires little capital investment, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely free. For beginners, I recommend starting with a small budget. This will include your domain name and web hosting fees.
Domain names usually cost around $10 per year. There are plenty of domain name registrars to choose from. I recommend Namecheap.com. I’ve had great experiences with them since 2014. Their customer support is awesome!
The next thing to consider is web hosting. I highly recommend Cloudways. They are the most well-known hosting company for fast and reliable service. Their hosting plans start from $10 per month.
This is A LOT for most people who are just starting out. But once you get these two things sorted, the rest is largely up to you.
Thankfully, Cloudways, has agreed to offer our users a $30 FREE hosting credit to get started. As a result, you can try Cloudways FREE for 3 months with our exclusive $30 credit.
With our exclusive deal, you can start a WordPress blog for only $10.
How to make the most of this blogging tutorial?
Today, I will show you how to start a blog one simple step at a time. I’ve broken it down into an easy to follow 7-part guide. Just follow the simple steps below and your blog could be ready in 30 minutes or less.
- Find a profitable topic for your blog
- Choose a domain name for your blog
- Pick your blogging platform
- Choose a suitable web host
- Brand yourself by choosing a blog theme
- Customize your WordPress blog
- Start writing!
Have fun creating your blog. Let’s get started.
This step by step blog setup guide is useful for users of all ages and skill levels. However, if you need help, then you can contact our expert team to help you setup your WordPress blog for free.
Deciding on your blog topic
Topic choice is going to be one of most important decisions of your blogging journey. I always choose topics I am interested and knowledgeable in. That way, I never run out of ideas and get stuck.
The best choice is a niche you’re passionate about. Something you love that is unique.
It’s fulfilling to connect with others and provide helpful information that solves their problems. If you’re passionate about your topic, you’ll be more invested in your blog in the long run.
Choose a domain name for your blog
The domain name is the URL, or web address, that identifies your website. This is your blog’s name. For example, Woblogger is the name of my blog, and Woblogger.com is the domain, the domain for YouTube is Youtube.com, and so on. See? It’s simple!
Your domain should articulate the mission and purpose of your blog. Don’t hurry through the process of picking a domain name. It’s your brand and something you’re going to love for years to come. Give it a name that is meaningful to your topic and what you do.
Here are a few tips to consider when naming your blog:
- Choose a .com. They are common and easy to remember.
- Avoid using numbers and symbols. They are confusing and difficult to remember.
- Try to use your brand as your domain name.
- Aim for 2-3 words. If your brand name is longer, try simplifying it.
- Avoid longer domain names.
- Choose a memorable or catchy domain name.
- Try to include a phrase that represents what your blog is about. This helps people to identify your blog’s niche. It’s good for search engines.
Be sure to take the time and effort to consider different names. Brainstorm ideas and bounce them off your friends, family, or coworkers for their opinions. After you narrow it down to a few names you like, check to see if the domain name is available before jumping ahead and settling on any name.
You can try the Namecheap.com domain name search tool and see if your domain name is available. Don’t get frustrated if your top choices are already taken. The right name for your project is out there! Maybe you just haven’t thought of it yet.
For one of my blogs, I searched for ‘elegantpantries.com.’ Luckily, this domain name was available. If it’s not, Namecheap will offer similar suggestions that might work for you instead. Once you’ve narrowed one down, click the “Add to cart” button and purchase your domain.
Choose your blogging platform
Next, you’ll need to choose a platform. This is where you get a little more choice. Several blogging platforms offer great templates and easy to use systems for customizing your blog. Some popular blogging platforms include:
- Blogger: e.g. yoursblog.blogspot.com
- Tumblr – e.g. yourblog.tumblr.com
- Self-Hosted WordPress: e.g. yourblog.com
The first two options are free. But, they come with annoying limitations that can narrow your blog’s potential in the long run. WordPress is the largest platform, with 82 million active users worldwide.
Several platforms offer fast and convenient ways to blog, each with their own pros and cons, but for this tutorial we will be focusing on WordPress. Some benefits to using WordPress are:
- It’s FREE, with many layouts/themes to choose from
- It’s beginner-friendly
- Small or large site? Great for both
- There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck
So, the smart choice is to go with a self-hosted blog.
Choose a host for your blog
What is hosting? This is a common question when starting your first blog. Hosting is a service that gets your website from your computer to the rest of the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything you want to share will be uploaded onto the host’s server. Think of it as a virtual hard-drive on the Internet where you can save your blog.
There are plenty of hosting services available. Based on my experience building my own blogs, I recommend Cloudways Hosting. It’s the best option for people who are getting started and here’s why:
- Cloudways is one of the most reliable and highest rated hosting providers in the WordPress community.
- Woblogger has been with Cloudways since 2015 and the results have been fantastic.
- They offer excellent customer service (365x24x7).
- Their packages are affordable.
- Their service provides fast page load times.
To help you get started, I’ve provided a promo link below, which allows you to claim a $30 FREE hosting credit. As a result, you can try Cloudways FREE for 3 months with this exclusive $30 credit. It’s only available here, so don’t miss your chance.
Sign up with the link below and insert the promo code “WOBLOGGER.”
» Click this promo link (opens in a new window).
Note: At Woblogger, we believe in transparency. When you purchase hosting with our referral link, we receive a small commission from Cloudways at no additional cost to you. This helps us fund our website. We only recommend products that we personally use and believe will add value to our readers.
Step-by-step guide to setup your WordPress blog with Cloudways
In order to claim the $30 free hosting credit, you need to sign up with Cloudways through our exclusive promo link. Click on the link “Got a promo code” and coupon box will appear. Make sure to add our exclusive promo code “WOBLOGGER” in promo code box. Otherwise, you will miss the deal.
Now all you need to do is verify your account. After verification, here are the steps you should follow:
Login to your Cloudways account, you will find the “Launch” button. Click on the Launch button to create a server.
Then, select WordPress as the application. Make sure to select the latest version of WordPress.
Type your desired name for the application name, server name and the project.
After that, select DigitalOcean as the cloud provider. You may choose any of these providers. I picked DigitalOcean because it has the lowest price.
Then select the server size. I recommend starting with the lowest for your first blog (mouse over each size for a description). The lowest plan come with 1GB ram, 25GB SSD disk storage and 1 core processor. In my experience, this server can hold up to 1000 visitors per day which is plenty for beginners.
You can always change the server size whenever required.
Pick a server location of your choice from the available locations. Remember to locate your server as close to the target audience as possible to reduces latency.
Click on the “Launch Now” button to launch your server and application.
Wait for the launching process to complete. This may take a few minutes.
Once the server is ready, go to the Cloudways account dashboard and click “Applications” in the top menu and select your WordPress app.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress on DigitalOcean cloud server at Cloudways.
How to find the login credentials
Login to the Cloudways account and click Applications in the top menu and select your WordPress app.
Navigate to ACCESS DETAILS > ADMIN PANEL. You will see the login credentials and the admin URL (www.yoursite.com/wp-admin) of your WordPress blog. If you click on the “eye” icon, you’ll see your password which you will need to access your blog.
Click the admin URL and use the credentials to log in to the WordPress Dashboard.
Now, let’s take your WordPress blog live
Before you do anything else, write down the IP address of your server where your desired web application is deployed. After you log into your Cloudways account, you will see the IP address under the server name.
Then, click “Applications” in the top menu and select your WordPress app. Under “Application Management” area, click on the “Domain Management” located on the left side of the screen.
Now, enter your full website name in the domain field. It should be a full domain like www.mysite.com. Then, click the “Save Changes” button.
After that, you have to add a domain name record to the domain name you already purchased from Namecheap.com.
Login to your Namecheap account and then go to “Domain List”. Choose your domain name and click on the “Manage” button next to your domain.
Now, Navigate to the “Advanced DNS” tab at the top of the page. You will see default Namecheap DNS records under “Host Records”. Delete them by clicking the “Trash” buttons.
Then follow these steps to create an A Record.
- Click on “ADD NEW RECORDS” button.
- Choose A Record as type.
- Type “www” as the host.
- Type your server IP address as the value.
- Select “Automatic” as TTL.
- Finally, click the check icon to apply the changes.
You may need to wait few minutes for your A name record to propagate everywhere.
Congratulations, you have successfully launched your WordPress blog. You are now well on your way to customizing your blog and making it your own.
Brand yourself by choosing a design
At this point, you should have a basic website up and running. Now, we have to make it awesome!
How to find a great WordPress theme?
You have several options to choose from when it comes to themes. The first option is to search within WordPress they have lots of selections to fit your style and preference.
Go to “Appearance” > “Themes” in the side menu, then click “Add new” at the top:
You can sort themes by “featured”, “popular,” or by any advanced “feature filter” you’re looking for.
If you like the look of the theme’s thumbnail, click on it to open a preview window:
To continue searching other theme previews, clicking the close button (X) brings you back to the thumbnails. When you find one you like, click the “Install” button.
Once you install a theme, you must activate it. You can do this from the successful installation screen. Or, go back to your themes page (Appearance > Themes) and you’ll find your new theme as the first option.
Click on the theme thumbnail. You will find a “Live Preview” option to see how your blog will look in real life. When you’re sure it’s the one you want, click the “Activate” button.
Option 2: Find a theme using a third-party site
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on WordPress, or you want something more original, you can find lots of great themes online. There are many free options, but the best ones are more expensive. You can expect to pay somewhere between $20 to $100 for a premium theme.
I recommend premium WordPress themes to start if you’re serious about your business. If it’s not in your budget, you can always use a free theme for now and convert to a premium one later. It’s a one-time fee, but worth the investment.
If you want to buy a theme now and save yourself the trouble later, the most well-known marketplace is StudioPress. If you can’t find a theme you like, you can go to sites like:
I use the Digital Pro theme from StudioPress for Woblogger. What I love most about premium WordPress themes is the support you get from the theme’s creators, which can be very useful for beginners.
Customize and optimize your WordPress blog
This is where the fun begins. One of the benefits of WordPress is the endless features for customization. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll stick to the essentials for now.
Themes are the foundation of your blog’s design and functionality. They give your pages a unifying style to embellish your brand. WordPress also has plugins that can add to or extend the functionality of your blog.
Change the site’s identity
The first step is to click the “Customize” button on your active theme.
Menu options in the sidebar will vary, depending on the theme you choose. The main category to edit is “Site Identity.”
Here, you can add the name of your blog and a tagline of your choosing. When you’re done, click the “Save and Publish” button.
Set up Permalinks
Permalinks are static hyperlinks that lead to a particular blog post or page. Kind of like mini domains that take viewers directly to a certain page in your site instead of the homepage. You can change the URL structure of your blog by changing permalinks. The default permalink structure of a WordPress site is yourblog.com/post-ID.
Permalink structure is quite simple. In the left sidebar, go with your mouse over “settings” and select “Permalinks.”
There are five custom permalink structures that WordPress displays as common settings. I use the “Post name” structure on my blog. It uses keywords from my title to create a recognizable URL link. Check “post name” radio button and save the settings.
How to create great blog content?
Congratulations on setting up your first blog! Now you can get to the most important part—creating content. This is where your ideas can shine and you can share your passion with your audience.
The content of your blog is what attracts visitors to your brand. Without great content, even the most well designed and structured blogs will fail.
Adding new posts
To create a new post, go to the left sidebar, select “Posts” and then “Add New” from the sub-menu.
There, you’ll find a screen that looks similar to a Microsoft Word file.
Simply write the title of your post in the first tab. Then, begin adding content in the second tab. You can add text, images and more to build the page you want. When you’re finished and ready for the world to see your post, hit “Publish.”
You can view your published post by clicking “View Post” on the next page.
Another important thing to consider is optimizing your post’s content for readers. You can do this by writing content people are interested in, containing words and phrases people are likely to search for to find your blog’s topic.
Without optimization, you’ll never gain the exposure necessary to get backlinks and rank well in search engines. If you write content that people love to read, you get traffic, social media shares, and links from other sites as your audience grows.
Adding new pages
Once you begin acquiring lots of content, the next step is to structure your website with static pages to help organize content. You’ll also want to include pages that tell people who you are and how to get a hold of you. You can do this with the following:
This page is essential for any decent blog. An About page tells visitors who you are, what your blog is about, and describes your chosen topic in more detail. This is the centrepiece that defines your brand.
This page allows visitors to contact you and find you elsewhere on the internet. It can be a simple page with your email address and social network links. Or you can use plugins like Ninja Form to have a simple contact form. Your visitor can use it to contact you without leaving your blog. This can be helpful to gain feedback, maintain relationships with your followers, and create business opportunities and partnerships.
How to promote your blog and its content?
The next phase of your blog is to promote yourself to a wider audience. To do this, you must learn some online marketing strategies. As I mentioned before, optimizing your content is a great way to grow your audience and reach more readers. A strong marketing strategy will help you promote each piece of content you create.
Let’s talk about content marketing. Your content marketing skills will determine how many visitors come to your blog site. More visitors mean more shares on social media, more comments and engagement, and more email subscribers to your blog.
Your ultimate goal should be to have as many visitors as possible. When you start to monetize your blog, the bigger your audience, the more profitable your website. Advertising is one of the best ways to make money online. Businesses will pay you to advertise their products to your readers. Convert your reader’s visits into profit with a comprehensive monetization strategy. More engagement means more clicks on ads, more referrals, and more buyers of products and services through advertisements on your website.
Now that you see the financial opportunities, let’s explore the ways you can promote your blog and its content.
Share your blog posts on social media
The best thing I ever did to get visitors, was to promote my blog posts on Social Media (Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn) and the forums I was a member of. Social Media is a great place to connect with others and share your knowledge and expertise. Building a social media following will fast track the growth of your audience.
Additionally, there are many WordPress plugins and tools that make it easy to share old blog posts automatically. Here are a few:
- Revive Old Post – Shares your old blog post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Tweetily – Effortlessly share your old posts to Twitter.
- Hootsuite – A great tool for sharing posts, new and old, on Social Media.
Submit your blog to search engines
I suggest using a plugin called WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin helps to optimize your content and allows you to create a custom XML sitemap for your blog. You can use this sitemap to submit your blog to search engines through Google Webmaster Tools (for Google) and Bing Webmaster Tools (for Bing and Yahoo).
Start building your mailing list
One of the first things you should do is start building an email list from the beginning. The longer you wait, the more time consuming it will be. When you are first starting your blog, it’s absolutely essential to get those first few followers on your email list. You can update them on what’s happening with your blog and you’ll develop a solid reader base that keeps coming back to your website. Later, you can use your followers to promote your monetization strategy.
It’s not too expensive to build a mailing list. Services like MailChimp allow you to have up to 2,000 subscribers with up to 12,000 emails for free, while services like GetResponse allow you to have up to 1000 subscribers with unlimited emails for $15 per month. Choose the best option for your blog based on how often you plan on sending emails and how large your audience is.
Optimize your blog for search engines
The best way to get noticed by search engines is like Google by Creating valuable, outstanding content on your blog regularly. The main goal of your marketing strategy should be to optimize your content for search engines. You can do this by editing content to rank well for keywords. This can be as simple as using the WordPress SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool to optimize your titles, meta descriptions, static pages, and individual blog posts.
Avoid stuffing your blog post with keywords if you want to stay on Google’s good side. Choose one keyword phrase to optimize on each page and post. Include it in your title, meta description, and to one image (image title and alt tag) on the page for best results. It can be helpful to do some research on what keywords and phrases are most popular in your topic. SEO can be tricky because it is constantly changing, but a bit of trial and error will help you learn as you go.
That’s a wrap!
You have officially set up your website and you are on your way to creating your own successful blog. This is only the beginning of an exciting journey for you. If you have any questions or issues, please leave a comment below. I try to check my comments daily.