How To Start a Blog: Easy-to-Follow Steps [Updated for 2021]
→ a Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners ←
Do you want to learn how to start a blog?
Below, you will find one of the most comprehensive guides on the Internet for starting your own, profitable blog.
We’ll show you how to choose your perfect topic and blog’s name, get your blog online and set up, along with what you need to know to create your first blog post.
By the time you leave this page, you will have also learned how to promote your blog to get some traffic, and create a plan for making money with it.
You too can start your very own blog – and, monetize it for making money, as a good side income – OR, maybe even a thriving online business.
How to Start a Blog (and Make Money) in Easy-to-Follow Steps
How to Start a Blog – Table of Contents:
- Choose your ‘perfect’ blog topic (your blog’s niche will impact your whole business)
- Find an available domain name (this will be the name of your blog)
- Get your blog online (your web hosting account – the home for your blog)
- Design your blog with a Free WordPress theme (create the visual design of your blog)
- Install essential WordPress plugins (add vital plugins for functionality)
- Basic WordPress functions (getting to know your WordPress dashboard)
- Must-Have pages & your first blog post (turn your ideas into shareable blog articles)
- Learn how to promote your blog (To Include: driving targeted traffic to your site with SEO)
- Create a plan for making money with your blog (do I really need to say more?)
* Already have the topic (niche) for your blog, and your blog’s name (domain name) ready to go? – Click Here to choose your web hosting and get your blog online.
Read to get started?
I’m here to show you that you can start, and have a successful blog on virtually any topic.
Worried that You’re NOT a Techie?
Not a problem!
The majority of bloggers don’t understand the First Byte of programming language. The developers of the blogging platforms know this and have created the CMS (Content Management System) to be super user-friendly.
So user-friendly that my mother, at age 78, used to operate a WordPress-based blog for her Bed and Breakfast, which has since been sold.
What’s the reason I am telling you about my mother’s blog? To let you know how easy it is to operate one.
You see… my mother is the type of person that can open her laptop, turn it on and login to her email account, all without any curse words spoken… well, sometimes.
Starting a Blog can be one of the easiest ways to build your own website – And, it’s very quick, easy and inexpensive to set up.
How do I get started?
I know that starting a blog can appear overwhelming and intimidating to say the least, but with today’s computers, and the Internet, anything is possible.
Creating your own blog has never been easier, a few clicks of the mouse, minutes later, there’s your website.
Whether you are 12 years old or 82 years young, you can have your own blog up and running in no time. And, I’m here to show you how easy it actually is.
I promise – it will be simple, I hate the Technical Jargon too!
Step #1: Select the ‘Perfect’ Topic for Your Blog
To start a blog and be successful as a new home-based business owner, you have to select the right topic for your blog.
You’re going to want to make sure you start your long journey as a blogger on the right foot by picking a niche that kicks A$$.
When it comes to topics, most people are motivated by money and select a niche that has the best potential for brining in the cash.
Don’t do it!
Select a topic that provides the most value for your readers, regardless of the money potential.
Because, the niche you select needs to be one you are most passionate for, or have experience in.
Learning everything you possibly can about your chosen niche will be much easier if you’re writing about a topic you enjoy, and that you can provide a ton of value for.
The secret is to focus on providing value to your readers, and everything else will follow – including the money.
Giving your audience value will mean more traffic, more traffic means more money.
When choosing your topic, providing value should be on TOP of Mind – your MAIN focus.
Niche selection is one of the most crucial steps in your process – because, the topic you choose, could be the difference between failure and success.
Let’s break this down…
First, let’s make sure to pick a niche that you are the most interested in — one you are passionate about.
Second, you need to make sure your chosen niche has enough of an audience — topics people are searching for.
Let’s say you already have a topic in mind for your blog – so, let me ask you a couple of questions:
Do YOU Enjoy This Topic?
If you don’t have a love for the subject you choose, it’s going to show in your writing style.
Whatever topic you pick, you’ll need to have a natural curiosity for it, if not, running out of ideas to write about is going to become your reality.
Most importantly, you won’t be able to consistently create content that will build your audience.
Do YOU Have a Passion for This Topic?
Passion is key when it comes to sharing your knowledge with the world. Choosing a topic that you are passionate about makes the process of creating a successful blog – and making money from it, much easier.
As long as you are writing about topics that you are genuinely interested in, your passion will shine through, and keep your readers interested, which in turn will create a group of loyal followers.
If you want to start a blog for the purpose of creating a home-based, profitable business, you NEED to find the passion that burns with-in you!
Ask yourself the following questions…
- Can I talk about this topic for years to come?
- Do I feel an excitement about helping people on this subject?
- Is this topic something I think about often?
- Can this blog (business) become my life’s work?
Something to remember – no idea, no matter how good, is truly unique.
But, you have one thing others don’t have… unique experiences. You also have a voice like no other, along with a personality that will attract others similar to you.
Are There Other Blogs Doing What You Wanna Do?
Of course there are. One thing to keep in mind is that if there are others out there doing what you want to do, that shows that there is a market for it.
Do a quick Google search and you will probably find a half a million websites using the same topic as you are interested in.
Don’t overthink this Too Much – I’ve wasted several years LEARNING instead of DOING! The BEST thing YOU can DO is JUST GET STARTED! Take Action and Learn as You Go!
Step #2: Finding Your Blog’s Name – Your Domain
Your domain name is what people will type in the browser address bar to get to your website. It’s your website’s address on the internet.
This will become your identity for many years to come – and define your blog, and what you stand for.
Although this is an exciting part of the process, don’t spend too much time on your domain name, because you can always change it later.
But, here are some additional thoughts when choosing your domain name:
- Is it brand-able?
- Is it user-friendly?
- Is it easy to pronounce, remember and spell?
Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s what creates emotions and thoughts within your customers when they hear or see your business name.
It’s crucial that these thoughts resonate with your ideal audience.
Branding, in its most simple terms, is what people think about or say when you’re not around.
Will your chosen domain name represent, in a nutshell, what your business is about?
If you are having trouble coming up with a name, you can use the domain name generator tool like NameStation to produce a lot of ideas at once.
Once you find a domain name that interests you, use one of the links below to see if your chosen name is available.
If your name is not available, try to find a variation that works. One thing to keep in mind is to go for a ‘.com‘ extension if you can; and also, avoid getting a domain with dashes between words.
Spammers like to use them because they are easily created. They can just take any set of words and put dashes between them to make a domain that isn’t already used.
– The moral of the story, don’t use them, because the search engines don’t like them.
If you still cannot come to terms with a domain name, don’t let that stop you. Find a name that you can be happy with for the moment, then change it down the road when you find your dream name.
If you haven’t already done so, attempt to buy your personal name in a ‘.com‘ extension. You may wanna use it in the future.
If the name you like is available, you can:
- Buy it from the registrar, OR
- Register it through your web hosting account (which will save you time & is recommended)
Next Up – Finding a Home for Your Site…
Step #3: Choosing Your WordPress Web Hosting Plan
If you haven’t heard of “Web Hosting” before, it’s a storage space for your website. A Web hosting company is an organization that leases memory space on its servers.
You will be paying a small fee to keep your blog up and running on the Internet.
Keep it simple and cheap. Sign up with shared hosting.
What’s the Most Cost-Effective – Officially Recommended by WordPress.org – with a customer satisfaction rating at 98% – Hosting for WordPress?
They are one of the top recommended WordPress providers by WordPress.org – and, one that I’ve been using for about 4 years now – and highly recommend.
My REPUTATION for HONESTY is EVERYTHING TO ME, so I wouldn’t consider tarnishing my name by guiding you down the wrong path.
SiteGround Hosting includes:
- A 30 day Money Back Guarantee
- Trained WordPress experts available 24/7
- A FREE SSL (HTTPS) to encrypt your blog (so Google knows it can be trusted)
- DAILY Backups – Your site is backed up daily (so you will never lose any of your data)
- A FREE Content Delivery Network (CDN), so your site loads fast from anywhere in the world (you’d pay an extra $9.99 or more per month if you purchase a CDN separately)
- FREE business Email accounts for your newly found, home-based business
Are you sick of seeing the word, “FREE” yet?
Yes, there are cheaper hosting companies out there, but they don’t include a FREE CDN, eMail accounts, and daily backups of your site.
And, they ARE NOT known to be as FAST, Frustration-Free and Trouble-Free as SiteGround.
Remember the old saying – “You Get What You Pay For!”
I personally use SiteGround.com, because:
- SiteGround is Engineered for Speed, Built for Security, and Optimized for WordPress
- Your site will run faster than most other hosts (which is a big deal to Google)
- Their support agents are helpful & available 24/7 by Phone, Chat or Ticketing support
If you want to get started now and save BIG on web hosting, you can get it for as little as $6.99 a month, through my partner link below.
To be honest, you really don’t need any fancy web hosting at this stage. Once you have over 10,000 visitors per month, you can consider upgrading, and SiteGround will scale with you.
Once you land on SiteGround’s site – choose your plan
Once you’ve chosen your plan, enter your domain – this is where you can register your domain – as previously mentioned.
If you’ve already purchased your domain from somewhere else like Godaddy.com, type it in where it says, “I already have a domain.”
Add Your Account Information
Add Your Payment Information
Same with the Data Center – choose the one closest to where you live.
For the Extra Services – it’s not necessary, and you can always add it at anytime, down the road, if you choose.
But, if you are up for the most security possible for your site, go for it!
Confirm that you have read the Terms and Conditions – Click PAY NOW!
Now that You Have Your Hosting – It’s Time for the Next Step
Creating Your Blog – Installing WordPress
Time to Install: a Few Minutes
To install WordPress – first you will need to access your Customer Area.
After you signed up for your WordPress hosting package you should have received all the necessary information you need to login via the email you typed into the form.
When you login to your Customer Area for the first time, you will be prompted to Start a New Website on your account.
Click on the Set Up Site button and follow the steps:
- Select the Start a New Website button
- Then select the WordPress button and follow the prompts
- Browse the extras, then click Finish to complete the installation
Watch the first minute of the SiteGround video for the Easy-to-Follow instructions
– Talking to a person by phone would be better than using the chat window, all for the reason that you can have the person on speaker phone, while walking you through a process.
– If you live in the United States, you can call 1.866.605.2484. SiteGround will have access to your account which will help solve any issues you may have.
That’s it… you are all set up and ready to go with WordPress!
You can now go to the front page of your site by clicking on the ‘Proceed to Customer Area‘ button, and check out the newly installed WordPress application.
But… Before You Do!
I Have a Question?
Did you register your domain name with SiteGround while signing up for Web Hosting? If so, you are good to go, no further steps are needed. You can follow the link and go to Step #4. Installing a FREE WordPress Theme
If your domain name is registered with another source like GoDaddy.com, you will need to point the Nameservers from your domain registrar to the SiteGround server.
It sounds complicated, but it is Super-Simple to do.
I’ll use the example for GoDaddy.com.
Virtually any registrar is similar to GoDaddy. If it’s not obvious when you log into another registrar account, you will need to contact their support to help you point your domain to SiteGround.
For now, let’s walk you through pointing your domain from a GoDaddy.com account.
If your domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, head on over there now.
Go ahead and log in to GoDaddy…
The first page should be your Products.
Find your domain name and click on the ‘DNS‘ link – as shown by the arrow.
The DNS Management page should appear as follows.
What you’ll want to do is to scroll down the page until you see Nameservers.
Click on the Change button.
After clicking on the Change button, you will then land on the “Connect My Domain to a Website” page, as indicated below.
Click on the, “Enter my own nameservers (advanced)” link, as shown in the screenshot below.
This will go the following page to where you will add your custom nameservers from SiteGround, as shown below.
Before you can add your nameservers to the boxes in the image above, you will need to get them from your Site Tools dashboard in SiteGround.com.
- Click on the link, SiteGround.com, which will open a new tab or window
- Login to your account from the ‘Login‘ link in the upper right hand corner
- Once you’re logged in, click the ‘Websites‘ link from the main menu above
- Then click the Site Tools button under your domain name, taking you to your blog’s dashboard
The nameservers that you need to add are shown in the lower right corner under IP and Name Servers, indicated by the arrow.
Please don’t mind the blacked out part of the nameservers – I have to have some privacy.
With your mouse, highlight and copy each individual nameserver, one at a time (do not include the numbers in the parenthesis), and paste them in the nameservers box as shown in the image below.
When you are finished adding the nameservers in the box, be sure that the nameservers say “NS1” and “NS2”, as indicated in the image, then click on the ‘Save‘ button.
– If something were to happen while you were adding the custom Nameservers at your Domain Registrar, you will need to contact their support.
The Techie Stuff is Over – Time to Be Creative with Your Site…
It’s Time for the Visual Design of your Blog…
Question – Would you like to increase your chances for a successful blogging business?
Below is a Form to receive my FREE 7 Days of, How to Start Your Own Blog, training that will include exclusive, detailed information to Start, Build & Grow a Profitable Blogging Business.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn in the FREE 7 day course:
– Included will be everything you need to know to start a successful blogging business.
- Day #1 – Choosing your ‘Perfect‘ blog topic (choosing a niche and blog name you’ll love)
- Day #2 – Set up your blog hosting and install WordPress (starting your blog)
- Day #3 – Plan, brainstorm and create a content strategy that works
- Day #4 – Write your very first blog post + Key features of a great article
- Day #5 – How to grow your traffic (getting targeted visitors to your site)
- Day #6 – Make an income with your blog (9 monetizing strategies explained)
- Day #7 – Final Day – Create a system for blogging success – 90 days and beyond
Fill out the Form for Instant Access!
Step #4: Choosing a WordPress Theme
Now that you’ve got the installation complete, it’s time to start designing the look and feel of your new site.
Let’s start with your WordPress theme…
What’s a WordPress Theme?
If you are not familiar… a WordPress Theme is: a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface design for a Blog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site looks and functions, without modifying the underlying software.
Now, for the Non-Techie Version
A Theme is the “Face” of your blog. It’s the overall, what I call, look and feel of your website. It’s what your visitor’s will first see when they come to your site.
One of the greatest parts of owning a self-hosted WordPress site is that you have full control in virtually every aspect of what you do with your site. You can change what it looks like, how it functions, improve on its performance, or virtually anything else you can imagine.
Here’s one of the main problems with a site that is so versatile… plain and simple, TOO many choices!
Right now, the subject we are on, is a Theme for your site, and there are thousands upon thousands of them to choose from.
If you were NOT born with a Tech Gene, you’re going to want to look for a theme that is adaptable and easy to work with… what I call, user-friendly.
Before we begin, let me be clear about one thing… the content that you write on your blog matters more than anything else.
It wouldn’t matter if your site is one of the ugliest on the Internet, if you have great content, you will get repeat visitors.
The opposite is also true… you can have the most beautiful site on the planet, but if the content sucks, your visitors will say to themselves, hmm… beautiful site, then turn tail and run, never to come back.
That said, you have a couple of options when choosing a theme, the Free version or the Paid version.
A Free theme can give you a basic beginning.
A good place to start would be the Free themes that WordPress.org recommends. They have a large collection of themes, with some of them having the option to upgrade to the premium, paid version.
For most newbies, this is more than enough to get the ball rolling, especially if money is tight.
Watch this WordPress Starter video to SEE HOW SIMPLE IT IS…
Free WordPress Themes
Now let’s walk you through the first option – choosing a Free WordPress.org Theme.
To start, log into your blog if you haven’t done so already.
If you are logging into your account for the first time, follow the prompts, as per the video above, to complete your WordPress setup.
If you decide to change your blog’s theme, follow the information below…
Select a theme that looks great and fits your needs.
While in your WordPress dashboard, click on the ‘Appearance‘ link from the left side, then the ‘Themes‘ link.
When you get to the Themes page, click on the ‘Add New‘ button, as shown by the blue arrow in the screenshot below.
On the next page you will find the Featured themes WordPress recommends – as shown below.
Here’s a quick guide to help you choose a theme:
- Preview the theme – Preview the demo by clicking on any of the images to get an idea of how it will look, the layout, and if it seems to be user-friendly for customizing.
- Look at the Stars (Ratings) – Since most beginner bloggers will choose a Free theme, seeing how they rate the theme will give you an idea to the quality and user-friendliness of the theme.
- Read the Description – Most of the Free themes will come with a short description of features and functionality. Reading the description will help you to figure out if the theme matches your specific needs.
You can click on any of the themes to preview them, or as an option, you can take your search one step further and click on the ‘Feature Filter‘ link, as shown below, to match certain criteria.
On the next page you can choose different features and layouts to narrow down your search.
Once you’ve check-marked the boxes that you want, click on the ‘Apply Filters‘ button, as shown below, to bring up the available themes matching your criteria.
Once your page loads from your filtered choices, click on any of the images that suits your fancy to see the available preview.
If you can’t seem to find a Free theme from the WordPress dashboard, try not to be discouraged.
- You can either, settle on one that you like, even though it may not be perfect without some modifications, OR…
- Invest in a Premium theme, which will usually have many more features and are more user-friendly than the Freebies
If you like what you see, and you would like to install your chosen theme, click on the ‘Install‘ button at the upper left corner of the browser window – as shown by the Hand.
Once the theme installs, the Install button will change to an ‘Activate‘ button, which you can activate it or wait for later if you wanna keep browsing themes.
If you’re not going to activate the theme now, click on the “X” button in the top left corner to exit the page.
To activate any of your chosen themes, revisit your Themes page by clicking on the Appearance link > Themes link.
Once on the Themes page, hover over the image of the theme that you would like to active, and click on the ‘Activate‘ button.
To customize your theme, click on Appearance > Customize from your sidebar.
This will bring up a box on your left side with a Menu of areas for Customizing – as shown in the screenshot below.
Just play around with the different links, which will show you a live preview of your changes.
Once you’ve made some changes, the faded Published button – indicated by the blue arrow – will turn green. If you like what you see, click on ‘Green‘ button to save the changes.
When you’re ready to exit out of the Customizer, click on the “X” in the upper left corner.
A couple of things…
- If you click on the Customize link from your Dashboard, it will automatically bring up your Home page
- Make only 1 modification at a time, so if you need to bring it back to it’s original state, you’ll remember what you did
From the dropdown menu, click on ‘Theme Customizer‘ link. This will bring up the Customizer boxes as shown in the screenshot for the post/page you’re on.
Something to keep in mind – each theme will have different customizable links.
If you don’t like what you see, go back to the Add New area in your Themes page and search for other themes to play around with until you find one that you can work with.
– If you’re looking for another option for a Free theme, the Astra theme is: super fast, popular and comes highly recommended.
Click on the image to visit their website
Premium WordPress Themes
If you are anything like me, you will not want to spend a bunch of time learning one theme, then down the road, deciding to upgrade having to learn another. I have always been the type of person to find a happy medium, as it’s said.
So… when I first started blogging in 2009, I decided to invest in a premium theme… one that I can learn and grow with.
After almost 10 happy years of using the same theme, I finally decided to switch to the most popular theme on the planet for bloggers.
Why, because it’s extremely versatile and super user-friendly.
One of the greatest advantages of owning a premium theme is the support you get, if you need it.
Here it is… the most powerful, easy to use theme for WordPress: Elegant Themes.
The Cost: $89 (but, you get 87 themes to choose from, plus Marketing plugins, all for 1 Price)
Here are the Elegant Theme highlights
- Divi Theme, the most popular WordPress Theme on the planet ~ BuiltWith.com
- Divi comes with a visual drag & drop page builder – design anything you can imagine
- Monarch software – a Social Sharing plug-in that’s customizable and looks great
- Bloom software – a simple, yet functional APP for building your email list
- Extensive Library of Video and Written Tutorials for every module of your themes and plugins
- The Divi theme receives regular updates and support, making it easy to stay secure
This may seem like a high cost right now, but the clear advantage of Elegant Theme’s and their Marketing plugins are that they are an ‘All-in-One’ package price.
Elegant Themes (Divi in particular), are the perfect package (The Ultimate Toolkit) to get your home-based, online business up and running. It’s the main reason they have become the most popular company building themes on the market, with over 767,154+ paying customers, and counting.
When you head on over to check out the Divi theme, be sure to watch the video on the Elegant Themes Home page.
The bottom line:
If you are wanting the most user-friendly solution that will last you for years, and doesn’t require the Tech Gene, then Elegant Themes are your ticket to Stardom.
You can check them out Here.
Another premium theme supplier that many popular bloggers use and come highly recommended, is StudioPress (not as user-friendly). Like ElegantThemes, StudioPress themes are professional and designed for speed and beauty as well.
Step #5: Installing WordPress Plugins
Now that you have your theme figured out, it’s time to continue the customization process using WordPress plugins.
A plugin is an Add-On feature for your website that implements code within your blog to create a specific function.
With 50,000+ FREE WordPress plugins available, there are plugins for everything you can imagine, from search engine optimization, to tracking visitors to your site using Google analytics, to Contact forms, to collecting emails from your readers.
The problem is, the Internet is littered with articles about “Essential” and “Must-Have” plugins, which can cause overwhelm for the newbie blogger.
When a new blogger is excited about all the options available, they will install TOO MANY plugins, which will slow down their new site to a crawl.
So, to help you cut through the Internet overwhelm – here is my list of essential plugins that will cover all the categories needed to help you get your business up and running.
9 Essential WordPress Plugins to Get Your business Up and Running
- Akismet Antispam – Protect Your Site from Spam
- Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Site Security
- W3 Total Cache – Performance Caching
- UpdraftPlus – FULL Site Backup
- MonsterInsights – Google Analytics Dashboard
- WPForms – Contact Form
- SocialWarfare – Social Sharing
- Rank Math SEO – Total Search Engine Optimization
- Thrive Leads – Email List Building
1. Protect Your Blog from Spam (Akismet Anti-Spam)
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
You can review the comments spam that it catches under your blog’s Comments section, admin screen.
2. Firewall & Malware Site Security (Wordfence Security)
Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress.
Their Threat Defense Feed, arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses required to keep your website safe.
Rounded out by 2FA and a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available.
- WORDPRESS FIREWALL – Web Application Firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic. Built and maintained by a large team focused 100% on WordPress security
- WORDPRESS SECURITY SCANNER – Malware scanner checks core files, themes and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections
- LOGIN SECURITY – Two-factor authentication (2FA), one of the most secure forms of remote system authentication available via any TOTP-based (Time-based One Time Password) authenticator app or service
Non-Tech Talk Interpretation: It’s a Bad-ASS Security plug in
3. WordPress Performance Plugin (W3 Total Cache)
W3 Total Cache (W3TC) improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.
W3TC is the only web host agnostic Web Performance Optimization (WPO) framework for WordPress trusted by millions of publishers, web developers, and web hosts worldwide for more than a decade. It is the total performance solution for optimizing your WordPress Website.
4. Backup Plugin (UpdraftPlus)
UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over two million currently-active installs.
Backup your files and database into the cloud and restore with a single click!
Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email.
5. Google Analytics Dashboard (MonsterInsights – Google Analytics Dashboard)
We believe that it’s easy to double your traffic and sales when you know exactly how people find and use your website. MonsterInsights shows you the stats that matter, so you can grow your business with confidence.
MonsterInsights has over 2 million active installs, showing the popularity of this Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
This free Google Analytics plugin shows you all of your relevant information directly inside your WordPress dashboard.
All you need to do is connect the plugin to your Google Analytics account to find out which articles are grabbing the most attention and how long the reader stays on your site.
Sign up for your free Google Analytics account right here.
6. Contact Form (WPForms Lite)
We believe that you shouldn’t have to hire a developer to create a WordPress contact form. That’s why we built WPForms, a drag & drop WordPress form builder that’s EASY and POWERFUL.
WPForms allows you to create beautiful contact forms, feedback form, subscription forms, payment forms, and other types of forms for your site in minutes, not hours!
7. Social Sharing Plugin (Social Warfare)
Get more social shares which can lead to more website traffic with the best WordPress social sharing plugin! Built by a group of social media marketing experts and world class developers who are obsessed with performance. Learn more at Warfare Plugins.
Most WordPress social sharing plugins slow down your site, are not attractive, and don’t work the way you would hope. Social Warfare share buttons are both lightning fast and beautiful.
Not only will it never slow down your website like other sharing plugins, we give you the most attractive share buttons available that look great no matter what screen size or resolution.
8. BEST WordPress SEO Plugin (Rank Math SEO)
SEO is the most consistent source of traffic for any website. Rank Math was created to help every blog owner get access to the SEO tools they need to improve their SEO and attract more traffic to their website.
For the longest time, I was a die-hard YOAST SEO plugin fan. I recently changed over to Rank Math and am more impressed with it than virtually any plugin I use.
If you happen to use Yoast SEO plugin on your site, Rank Math has a 1-Click import feature. With a single click of your mouse, Rank Math can import all your settings from Yoast SEO & Yoast SEO Premium. The transfer is instant, and you don’t lose any SERP rankings as a result.
Rank Math has an Easy-to-Follow Setup Wizard that practically configures itself. Rank Math features a step-by-step installation and configuration wizard that sets up SEO for WordPress perfectly.
Rank Math has so many powerful features that, if I were to list all the abilities of Rank Math, this page would be another 3 feet long.
Way to many to list – you’ll have to check it out for yourself.
9. Email List Building Plugin (Thrive Leads)
Here Are 4 Big Benefits:
- Design & Deploy – Thrive Leads combines every type of opt-in form you need in one single plugin and gives you a simple drag-and-drop editor to create the perfect design every time
- Advanced Targeting – Get a massive conversion boost by showing relevant, highly targeted offers to your visitors based on posts, categories, tags and more. Build hyper-targeted and profitable lists
- A/B Testing Engine – Thrive Leads comes with a highly advanced but very easy to use A/B testing feature. Easily increase your conversions and use the plugin to automatically increase your conversion rate
- Actionable Reporting & Insights – Thrive Leads gives you a simple overview over the most important metrics. See exactly how your opt-in forms are performing over time and where your most valuable traffic comes from
The Thrive Leads plugin is not free. It costs $67 on its own, or you can choose the $19 per month (paid annually), which would get you immediate access to ALL 10 of their amazing Thrive Themes plugins. It is definitely worth checking into.
If cost is a concern, consider the free version of Sumo, which has some great features, but includes company branding.
Visit the ThriveThemes site to see the forms you have at your disposal.
108,759 – Enthusiastic Users Can’t Be Wrong…
Here are some of the features:
- Drag & Drop Contact Form Builder
- Pre-built Form Templates
- Mobile Ready, SEO Friendly and Optimized for Speed
- All the Fields & Features that You Need to Succeed
- Surveys & Polls
- Membership and Default WordPress Forms
- Easy to Customize and Extend
- Payment Form, Donation Form, Booking Form, and More
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
Now that you have recommended WordPress plugins to get you started – let’s walk you through installing them.
Installing a WordPress plugin is simple.
Under the ‘Plugins‘ tab, click on the link, ‘Add New‘.
Once you get to the ‘Add Plugins‘ page, you will have 2 different options for installing a plugin.
You will either:
- Search for a FREE Plugin – You can enter the name of the plugin you’d like to install in the ‘Search Plugins…‘ field (this will show you FREE Plugins from the WordPress repository), OR…
- Upload a 3rd Party Plugin – You will click the ‘Upload Plugin‘ button if you purchased a 3rd party plugin like ThriveLeads
Option 1 – Searching for a FREE WordPress.org Plugin
Once you’ve entered the name of the plugin you are searching for, the page will refresh itself showing you the plugin, along with other plugins with a similar function.
Next, click on the ‘Install Now‘ button as shown below.
Option 2 – Installing a 3rd Party Plugin
To upload a 3rd party plugin to your WordPress blog, you will need to:
- Click on the ‘Upload Plugin‘ button from the ‘Add Plugins‘ page
- Click on the ‘Choose File‘ button as shown below and grab the file from your computer
- Once your file shows next to the ‘Choose File’ button, click on the ‘Install Now‘ button
Activating Your WordPress Plugin
There will be one more step to get your WordPress plugin to function – you must Activate the plugin.
Whether it’s a FREE WordPress plugin or a 3rd party plugin that you uploaded, the function is the same.
You can activate the plugin directly after you Install it, by clicking on the ‘Activate‘ button as shown below.
If you happen to be on the ‘Installed Plugins‘ page, you can click on the Activate link as shown below.
Step #6: Basic WordPress Functions
Let’s cover some basic WordPress functions…
If you’ve been wondering why my dashboard is the color of aqua blue, instead of the ugly, default color black, I’m gonna tell you.
If you want to change your dashboards, theme color, click on ‘Users‘ from your sidebar, then ‘Profile‘. Once you are on the Users Profile page, click on any of the ‘Admin Color Scheme‘ options which will change the color, without leaving the page.
If you like the color you chose, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the ‘Update Profile‘ button. Wa-La!
WordPress Posts and Pages
Posts and Pages – the heart and soul of your blog.
– We’ll be covering how to create a Post and Page, in greater detail, in the next section – Step #7: Your Site’s Must-Have Pages & Your First Blog Post.
To find previously published or draft Posts…
Hover over, or click on the ‘Posts‘ link on your sidebar, you will see: All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags.
Once you have Posts Published or in Draft form, they’ll be listed under the ‘All Posts‘ link.
On the All Posts page, you can click any link above, example: ‘Published‘, which will separate those already live on the Internet, compared to those waiting to be published (in draft form).
Your list of articles on this Posts page will show: the Title of the Post, the Author, Categories of the article, Tags, Comments, and the Date the article was written, or last modified.
This page can also show other features a plugin might add to this list of articles, I.E., Social Shares or SEO Details, etc.
Add New – is pretty self explanatory – add a new post, using this link.
Categories – will show a list of Category Names that you created when you added your post. It’s a way of placing your Posts into different subjects or topics, like a folder.
This page will also show the number of posts under any particular category. If you were click on the Number, under the column Count, it will open a new page with the posts listed under that specific category.
Tags – are smaller in scope and are focused to specific topics. Think of them as keywords used for topics discussed in a particular post. Under the Tags page, you will find a list of tags you added when you published a post.
Similar to Categories, you can click on the Number under the Count column to see which articles are attached to that particular tag.
A Page is static and won’t use Tags or Categories, it will simply have content for informational purposes.
A few examples for a page would be: Recommended Blogging Tools & Resources page, the About the Author page, Contact Form page, Terms of Service or maybe even your Home page if you choose to set your blog up that way.
Finding your list of Pages, whether draft or published, is similar to Posts.
From your sidebar, click on Pages > All Pages – to get to your list of static pages.
The ‘Appearance’ Link
This is a menu option that in turn will be one of the most important areas for the design of your blog.
This is where you will upload and customize your blog’s Theme, create menus and many other cool features.
The items under your Appearance Link will vary slightly depending on which theme you choose for your site.
The ‘Plugins’ Link
We discussed plugins prior to covering some basic WordPress functions, so you know what that link does…
You already know that plugins are for adding features to your blog, like a Contact page, social media buttons, design features, or search engine optimization tools, so we will stop there and move on to the next section.
The ‘Users’ Link
This is the area that has many different levels of permission for your site. The highest position is the Administrator, which has unlimited access to every part of your blog… that’s YOU!
Let’s say you wanted to have a person design your blog for you. You would add this person giving him certain permissions to modify your site.
If someone if offering to write for your blog, you would add them as a Contributor to start, moving them up the levels to an Author or Editor upon proving themselves.
The ‘Settings’ Link
These are customization features similar to, how many articles you want to show on your front page, etc.
This may seem like a lot, and slightly overwhelming, but once you spend some time playing around with your newly installed blog, it will become second nature, easy and intuitive.
If you just can’t wait any longer to see what your site looks like right now, live on the Internet, click on your blog’s name in the upper left hand corner as shown in the screenshot below.
Clicking on this link from your dashboard will give you the finished look of your site. It will be what others see live on the Internet when they enter your domain name or click on a link from a search or elsewhere, like social media.
Right now, your blog looks very plain. Keep in mind that it’s in the beginning stages.
To return to your dashboard, hover over your blog’s name in the upper left-hand corner and click on the link, or on ‘Dashboard‘ from the drop-down menu. Pretty simple huh?
Next, let’s move on to your Must-Have pages and create your very first blog post.
Step #7: Your Site’s Must-Have Pages & Your First Blog Post
Depending on your site’s purpose and individual needs, you can ultimately decide what pages to add to your site.
But, the following are the most common pages found by bloggers using their site for a money making business:
- Homepage Page – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” For Help creating your Home Page and what to include: How to Build the Perfect Home Page
- About Page – The most traditional page on any blog is the “About us” page. The About page can be about pretty much anything: it can be about you, your niche, your passion, or your journey. Here’s some Help for your About Page: How to Create the Perfect About Page
- Contact Page – A Contact page, in its simplest form, should contain a friendly invitation for visitors reaching out to you. At the minimum, your contact form should supply a field for a person’s email address, a brief subject line to describe the topic of their message, and a box for the actual message. Recommended Contact Form: WP Forms
- Resources Page – This page can include recommended products and/or services that you provide, use or recommend. Here’s my Resources Page: Recommended Blogging Tools & Resources.
Creating Your ‘Must-Have’ Pages
To create a new page, simply hover over the Page link, then click on the ‘Add New‘ link from the dropdown menu.
You will then be taken to your Add New Page, Edit box where you can add your content, similar to a Word Document.
Below is the ‘Classic Layout’ – it’s simple, easy to use and easy to learn
I am OLD School, so I like what I’ve been using for years, which is the Classic Editor shown below.
You have 2 options here:
- You can learn more about the new block editor by clicking on the following link for a Block Editor Tutorial, Or…
- You can install the Classic Editor plugin, which will return your Edit box to the original look of the Edit box from the past, which is the one I prefer
If you like the Classic Layout, grab the plugin to make it happen. Click on ‘Plugins‘ > ‘Add New‘ then type in Classic Editor in the Search Box.
Let’s start with the basics of the WordPress Page – as indicated by the blue arrows:
- Add Title – this is the title of your page – make it 60 characters or less for search engines
- Edit box indicated by the cursor – this is where you’ll, of course, add your content
- Add Media button – this is where you’ll add images to your page
- Add Form button – when you have a form created – you will click on this button to add it
- Save Draft button – this is where you’ll save your work in draft form to work on it later
- Preview button – click this button to look at your page on the Internet (it’s not live)
- Publish button – once you are satisfied with your page, click this button to make it live
– The other tab, ‘Text‘ is much less, user-friendly for creating a post, you would need to be familiar with basic HTML coding.
Creating a Home Page
If you’ve created a custom, static Home page, follow the instructions below to get it to show up on your blog.
Question: Is your Home page live for the world to see?
– Your Home page will need to be published for this to work.
From your links on the left sidebar, click on Settings > Reading.
When you get to this page, under Reading Settings, next to Your homepage displays, you will see 2 circles. You’ll want to hover your mouse over and tick the ‘A Static Page‘.
Doing this will allow you to use the dropdown menu to select the page you intend to use for your Home page.
Once you are done finding the page you intend to use, click the ‘Save Changes‘ button.
Click on your site’s name link in the upper left hand corner to see your Home page live on the Internet.
Creating Your About/Contact/Resources Page
Similar to creating a Home page:
- Create a New Page
- Add the information you’d like
- Preview the page
- Publish the page
If you need to find your Pages, use the link on your sidebar Pages > All Pages. Your drafts and published Pages will be listed there.
If you happen to have a policy page created, you can find it under the dropdown menu. When found, highlight the page, then click the ‘Use this Page‘ button, as indicated by the blue arrows.
On this page you will find short summary’s of information that should be provided. These sections include:
- WordPress Dropdown Menu: Information compiled from your theme and plugins
Allowing Your Pages to Be Seen
To Add Pages to your menu:
To add a page or multiple pages to your menu bar, visit your menus page by clicking on Appearance > Menus from the left sidebar. This page will be where you’ll create your menu.
The first thing you need to do is to make a Name for your Menu in the Menu Name box.
Example: my menu’s name is a simple one – Main Menu as seen in the image, but you can name it anything you’d like to.
Once you are done naming your menu, click the ‘Create Menu‘ button as shown.
The next page is where you’ll add pages to your newly created menu.
To Add Pages to your Menu:
Click the ‘View All‘ tab, shown by the blue arrow, under the Add Menu Items box, to see all your site’s pages.
Select the pages you want to add from the left column, then click on the ‘Add to Menu‘ button.
Once you’ve added the pages to your menu, scroll down the page, under Menu Settings you will see Display Location. Checkmark where you’d like your menu to show on your site – as shown by the blue arrow in the image below.
Once you’ve check marked your location – click on the ‘Save Menu‘ button.
NOTE: If you’re not sure of the location this menu will be displayed, try saving your menu in different locations and visit your site to see how it looks.
Writing Your First Blog Post
It’s time to start writing blog posts. But, before we do, let’s cover some basics for creating the perfect blog post.
Taking the ideas from inside your head, and turning them into words on the screen – then sharing them with the world.
The best content will feel personal and approachable, and will feel like it was written just for your reader.
Most Bloggers write informal, in a laid back style of conversation, as if talking to their best friend over coffee.
Your audience will be looking for your authentic self, your own writing style, in your own voice.
You will want your blog, your content, your writing voice and your brand to feel like home to them.
Creating Irresistible Headlines
Your headline represents the culmination of the finest, most attention-grabbing, interest-arousing statements you can muster.
Your headline MUST:
- Stop your readers in their tracks – grab their attention and trigger an emotional reaction that leads them to click on your link
- Be benefit-oriented – make complete sense immediately, and hint at a special something to soon follow
- Let your readers know what your content is about – give a brief statement, using your chosen keyword phrase, letting them know what your article is about
If your readers are not curious or convinced with what is being offered – they will leave.
And, by all means, speak the truth, Do Not lie or mislead with your headline just to get them to click on your link.
Here is a FREE Headline Analyzer tool to help you come up with a strong headline: CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Turn Your Ideas into Shareable Blog Posts
If you haven’t written a blog post before, you will need to become familiar with this form of writing.
Blog posts are supposed to be more personal, as if you are writing to your best friend.
They have their very own format.
- Use a conversational tone
- Have scannable content and is easy to read
- Have short paragraphs
- Have links to other helpful content
- Have images to help tell the story
Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.
Using a Conversational Tone
Your readers will want to visit your blog for you and your voice. They will want to hear from you as if you are speaking directly to them.
When you write your blog post, for the purpose of a conversational tone, act as if your friend is sitting across the table from you enjoying a nice cup of coffee.
What tone would you use, what would you say to this specific person?
Writing for the Web
Studies have shown that the majority of Internet readers will SKIM articles.
Readers on the Web have so much going on in their lives, that they don’t have much of an attention span.
Because of this, the majority of your readers will skim your article first. If you get their attention with your outline, the chances are good that they will go back to the beginning and read your article.
One way to break your content up for easy skimming would be to use header tags as an outline for your content.
WordPress uses the Header tags to serve as an indicator to the levels of importance of each section of your article.
These HTML header tags, denoted as h1, h2, h3, h4 etc., are an easy way to format your text and organize your page’s structure.
NOTE – Important for WordPress – The H1 tag is only to be used once in a POST, and is already used by default as the Headline/Title of your Post – DO NOT use an H1 tag in your article’s content.
The h1 header tag will ultimately be the most responsible reason for a person to visit your article. The h2 header tag will be for subjects that are sub-sections of the h1. The h3 for sub-sections of the h2 tag and so on.
– Format your article with short headlines to create an article storyline.
While you are breaking up your content for the skimming public, be sure to create bulleted and numbered lists to greater emphasize your information.
The whole idea is to remove the blocks of text, giving the skimmers an idea of what your content is about and making it easy for them to read.
Creating Short Paragraphs
Break up your paragraphs into short chunks of information, with no more than 2 to 3 short sentences, and 4 lines of content or less ~ Less is More!
Make it skim-mable, easy to read and absorb.
Use Links within Your Content
Have external links for the reader to click on to learn more, giving the person a choice to absorb more information.
- You can send them to related articles for additional information, like I’ve done with my links
- You can send them to a helpful article on another person’s site
- You can link to resources that will help your readers with solving their problem
To avoid any link errors, open the page you want to link to and copy the URL directly from the address line in your browser – then be sure to test it.
Use of Images within Your Content
Be sure to use high-quality images within your content.
You will always want an image towards the top of your posts to give an idea what your content is about.
Many bloggers like to use images to help break up their content, and show information (like a screenshot of Google Analytics).
Let’s Get to Work – Writing Your First Blog Post
You will need to decide where you will write your blog post, drafts.
Many bloggers will use Word or Google Docs.
For me, I write all of mine within my WordPress dashboard, this way I can type directly into the Posts Edit box, then click on the preview button to see how it looks live on my site, without it actually being published and live for the public to see.
If you do decide to use Word or Google Docs, which is a great place to write your document, hold off using Bold, Headers, Bullet Lists, etc. Let me tell you why…
When you transfer the information, do so in the ‘Text‘ tab (next to the Visual tab). Then when it’s pasted in your Edit box, switch if back to the ‘Visual‘ tab and format your information with your Headers, Bolding, Bullet points, etc.
This is one of the reasons I use the WordPress Edit box to write all my content.
For those not familiar – a Post is a blog article which, when you have multiple articles, your most recently published article will be shown at the top – listed in reverse chronological order.
Your published post will usually come with a Date, Categories, Comments and Author link directly under the title of your article, which will give your reader some basic information.
This is the norm, but there are some themes that you will be able to disable some of these features, if you choose.
If your blog has these elements, they will show you when, and by whom the article was created, the categories the article is listed under, and how many comments the article has received, as indicated by the blue arrows below.
To Add a New Post
In order to create a post, simply hover over the Post link, then click on the ‘Add New‘ link from the dropdown menu.
You will then be taken to your Add New Post, Edit box where you can add your content, similar to a Word Document.
I am OLD School, so I like what I’ve been using for years, which is the Classic Editor shown below.
You have 2 options here:
- You can learn more about the new block editor by clicking on the following link for a Block Editor Tutorial, Or…
- You can install the Classic Editor plugin, which will return your Edit box to the original look of the Edit box from the past, which is the one I prefer
If you like the Classic Layout, grab the plugin to make it happen. Click on ‘Plugins‘ > ‘Add New‘ then type in Classic Editor in the Search Box.
Below is the Classic Layout – simple, easy to use and easy to learn
The use of this Post Edit box is pretty self-explanatory and simple to use once you get the hang of it.
Once you’ve written some content, you’ll be able to click on the ‘Preview‘, which I’ll cover further down the page.
This preview button will open a new tab, so you can see what your content will look like as a finished product.
– The other tab, ‘Text‘ is much less, user-friendly for creating a post, you would need to be familiar with basic HTML coding.
One of the best methods to start your draft would be to create an outline. This would essentially be a map of your blog post.
To do this:
- Figure out the headline you’d like to use and write it in the box where it says, ‘Add Title‘
- Think about what you’d like to say – figuring out what the topic of your blog post is all about
- Write down any Headings and Subheadings to break up your content into different subjects (creating a storyline for the skimmers).
Once you are done, look over the outline to see if it tells a story, using your Headings and Subheadings.
Is everything on topic? Does anything need to be rearranged?
Example: If you happen to have a number in your Title, similar to, ‘7 Writing Tactics That Will Engage Your Audience,’ do you actually have 7 subjects (subheadings) in your draft?
In this example, ‘Writing Tactics‘ would be my main keyword phrase. Is your keyword phrase listed in your outline within, at least, one of the Header tags?
Adding a Category to Your Post
At this point, you should have an idea for the Category that your article belongs in.
You have a couple of choices here:
- For a New Category – click on the blue hyperlink, ‘Add New Category‘, in the red oval. This will open a new box below the link to add your Category name – as indicated by the blue arrow. Once you’ve added a name, click on the ‘Add New Category‘ button.
- For an Existing Category – If you already have a Category within your saved Categories box, similar to the screenshot, hover over the little box and click your mouse to checkmark it.
If everything is good to go, it’s time to move to the, drafting of your article, phase.
Before you do, it’s time to save your work. Click on the ‘Save Draft‘ button as indicated by the blue arrow in the image below.
Periodically, save your draft as you go, so you don’t lose any of your work.
The Screen Options and Help Menu
If you’re on your Edit New Post page, and there are some boxes missing from the right-hand side, example, the Featured Image box – here is the solution.
In the upper right hand corner of your page, you will see 2 tabs sticking down, Screen Options and the Help tab – as indicated by the blue arrows.
The Screen Options Tab
If you hover your mouse over the ‘Screen Options‘ tab and click on it, the tab will move down and expose a bunch of check boxes for adding Elements to your page. See the image below.
The blue arrow in the image indicates the check mark that was needed for the hypothetical, Featured Box that was missing. All that was needed was to be check marked with the mouse.
Once you are done adding or removing boxes, click on the ‘Screen Options‘ tab once again to move it back up.
The Help Menu Tab
If at any time you need help with a certain page, you can click on the ‘Help‘ tab, which will give a dropdown of information for that particular page.
From the dropdown menu, you can choose more information from the left hand side, indicated by the arrow, about the subjects covered on that page.
If you need more information, you can click on any of the links shown in the upper right hand corner. When you are done, click on the ‘Help‘ tab to close it.
Drafting Your Post
A general outline consists of 3 sections: an introduction, the main points and the conclusion.
Here is a well written article to help you with your blog post: How to Write a Bullet-Proof Blog Post Outline in 5 Minutes
This article breaks down the outline into the main parts. It will show you a step-by-step process that this company uses to craft bulletproof, blog post outlines.
Preview Your Masterpiece
OK, masterpiece may not be quite accurate at this time, but if you’d like to preview your work at any time, all you need to do is click on the ‘Preview‘ button, as shown below.
Back to the Outline…
Whatever Title you add to your post will be the first thing a reader will see on your page, it’s the first impression. However, your title may have gotten their attention, now it’s up to the Introduction to do its job and draw the reader in deeper.
Create a Masterful Introduction to Keep the Reader Engaged
To create an introduction, write 1 to 2 sentences to convince your reader that they need to continue reading.
You’ll need to create intrigue that draws the reader in and keeps them engaged, so much so that they’ll want to dive deeper into your article to see what happens next.
- Start with an opening question
- Open with a startling revelation
- Empathize with your reader
If your introduction is weak, it will discourage your reader from continuing on any further.
You could have an amazing blog post, but if the Intro doesn’t do its job, they may never find out how incredible your article actually is.
After a compelling introduction, it’s time to work on the main points.
Now – for each of your sections, you will want to write down the points that your reader needs to know.
For now, consider this a rough draft, so focus on getting your ideas onto the screen to go back and edit later.
When you have your main points complete, it’s time to wrap up your blog post with a conclusion.
The conclusion is a brief way of tying all your content together. This is also where you will add your call-to-action.
What is it that you want your reader to do after reading your post?
Do you want to have your reader:
- Add a comment?
- Share it on social media with their friends?
- Sign up for your Email newsletter?
- Check out a product?
Think about your article, then choose 1 Call-to-Action to include at the end of your post. Limit it to only 1, so it makes it easy for your reader to know what to do next.
Adding Images to Your Masterpiece
When you’re ready to begin adding images to your article, place your cursor and click your mouse where you want the image to appear, within your article.
While your cursor is blinking, click on the ‘Add Media‘ button at the upper left side of your Edit box, as shown in the image below.
This will create a Popup window for you to find your image within your computer to add.
NOTE: Be sure to not have images larger than 1200 pixels in width (I never go larger than 1000px width), and have them compressed for the Web.
You sure don’t wanna bog down your site with large images.
Edit Your Post
Once you have your rough draft complete, save your work by clicking on the ‘Save Draft‘ button once again, then stand up, walk away and take a break.
It’s time to clear your head and recharge.
When some time has passed and you are ready to edit your article – read your post out loud.
This way, the chances are greater at catching the errors that you’d normally miss simply by reading with your eyes.
Be sure to look for:
- Fluff – As you read aloud, get rid of the extra, unnecessary words.
- Areas that don’t make any sense – Do you need to clarify any of the points you made?
- Repetition – You don’t need to repeat yourself, over and over
- Errors – Watch for grammatical and spelling errors
- Organization – Does your article flow like it should?
Once you’ve made all your changes, guess what time it is?
It’s time to read it out loud again.
You won’t believe how many times I’ve caught myself with additional grammatical errors, misspellings, or areas that don’t make any sense, after my original corrections.
It’s happened on multiple occasions. Even after reading my article out loud for the 3rd or 4th time.
High-quality content is the only way to go. Continue reading it out loud until it sounds like it’s something you can be proud of to publish.
If you haven’t finished your article and you want to save it for later, simply click on the ‘Save Draft‘ button.
Your article will not be live on the Internet just yet. If you like what you see, then and only then, will you click on the ‘Publish‘ button.
Clicking on Publish will make it live on the Internet for the World to see, and of course you can always modify and update your article any time you choose.
Is it Ready to Go Live?
Before your post can be seen by the public (I know, scary right?), you must publish it within your WordPress blog’s dashboard.
Here is your Checklist before you publish your Masterpiece:
- Log into your WordPress account (if you aren’t already there)
- In your WordPress dashboard, under ‘Posts‘ (left side), click on ‘Add New‘
- On the ‘Add New Post‘ page, if you used Word or Google Docs, copy and paste your draft into the edit box – add your Title in the box, Add Title
Once you’ve pasted your content, Preview it. If it doesn’t look right, it’s probably because you forgot to switch over to the ‘Text‘ tab of your Edit box before pasting the content, so the formatting transferred from Word or Google Docs.
Click your ‘Text‘ tab, Paste your content, then Preview it.
After you paste your information within your Edit box, you can click the ‘Visual‘ tab, then start to format your content with Headers, Bullet points, Bolding, etc.
Before You Publish Your Post – Checklist
- Have you added your post to your chosen Category? Is Uncategorized unchecked?
- Have you added your Featured Image within your post (right-hand side box)
- Have you checked your Spelling? Do you see any Red squiggly lines under any wording?
- Are your Sub-Headings formatted with h2, h3 or h4 heading tags, instead of in Bold?
- Are your Sub-Headings telling a story when you’re skimming the article?
- When in the ‘Preview‘ mode, have you checked for proper sentence structure and formatting?
- When in the ‘Preview‘ mode, have you checked ALL your links to make sure none are broken?
- Have you added all the images that will help your post tell a story, and get your point across?
- Have you done a FINAL Preview to ensure all your images and formatting are correct?
– If you are ready to make your post Live for the world to see, click on the ‘Publish‘ button on the right-hand side.
– If you want to publish at a later date/time, click on the ‘Edit‘ link next to the ‘Publish Immediately‘ words and set your date and time, then hit schedule.
Additional Strategies to Help with Your Writing
Coming Up with Post Ideas
Whether you know what topics you want to write about or whether you are still on the fence, one way is to follow the data and do some market research before you dive in headfirst.
Below are a few methods to research ideas – using keywords.
You can use BuzzSumo.com, which is an online tool, to help you find popular posts that have gone viral on social media.
All you need to do is to type in a keyword phrase like Content Marketing into the search box and BuzzSumo will spit out similar articles that perform the best.
Another great online tool is Ubersuggest. This is a tool created by the genius mind of Neil Patel.
Similar to BuzzSumo, type in keywords related to what you are searching for and his online App will spit out all sorts of information, to include popular content others have written.
Developing a Content Strategy
It is vitally important to have a Content Strategy. If there is one thing that matters above all else for keeping your readers engaged and coming back for more is – CONSISTENCY!
Posting every other week, consecutively is better than publishing 2 or 3 articles a week for 1 month straight, then posting nothing for the next couple of months.
If your life is a crazy mess, consider that. If you are a working parent, supporting 3 kids, take that into consideration when creating your content schedule.
Just don’t set yourself up for failure to the point of wanting to quit before you even gain momentum. You will want to choose what works for you and your lifestyle, and is realistic.
Put your thoughts into a content publishing schedule, known as a content calendar.
You can create a content calendar, adding dates for when you will post certain articles. This will help you stay organized and consistent, keeping you on track for the articles you plan to publish on your blog.
You can plan one month at a time, two months ahead, whatever works for you.
To create this publishing schedule, you can use an actual calendar, an app on your phone, or even an excel spreadsheet.
You can always increase the number of articles that you write in a single month, once you’ve proven to yourself that whatever you’ve chosen, can fit into your current lifestyle.
Step #8: Promoting Your Blog – To Include Driving Targeted Traffic to Your Site with SEO
Writing high-quality content, then optimizing it for search engines isn’t the only way to get traffic.
Although, believe it or not, only posting high-quality content on a consistent basis, is actually enough to succeed in any niche.
But, if you’re a person that would go batty, because all you did was continuously work on content, then I would recommend choosing at least one other form of blog promotion, from the list coming up.
You truly only need one core promotional method, plus one specific way (SEO) to generate traffic to build a highly profitable, home-based, Internet business.
Anything beyond that will most likely cause Overwhelm, increasing your odds to Give Up.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – THE BEST Targeted Traffic Method
One of the BEST, and most targeted methods for driving traffic back to your blog is Search Engine Optimization.
“Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results” ~ Moz.com
Over the years, Search Engine Optimization has gotten Extremely targeted, via the search engine algorithms that the SEO engineers have perfected.
Although, SEO can take months to take effect for your site, IT IS Still the BEST targeted source of traffic for any person’s Internet-based business.
“Even Google has specifically stated that this is the Best Way to build an authority website. As long as you have the patience to do it right and not game the system, you shouldn’t have to worry about penalties. Simply post quality content consistently and you’ll move up the rankings.”
I don’t think I could have said it any better myself…
According to an article from SearchEngineLand.com – “Organic search is responsible for 53% of all site traffic, paid 15% [Study].” The article goes on to say “According to BrightEdge, paid and organic search drive more than 70% of revenues for B2B and the other verticals.”
Wanna know what they say about Social Media? Before I tell you, promise me that you Won’t Kill the Messenger!?!?
According to this article – “Social media traffic referrals – The report has little positive to say about social media, which has been flat (at ~5% of traffic) since 2014 according to the company.”
We’ll cover Social Media, and its frightening statistic, coming up…
Back to SEO…
Did you know that there are MORE than 200 Ranking Factors that search engines take into account when ranking your site for their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?
Yup, you heard me right! These elements judge your blog to see if your website has the most accurate information to give to the people, searching for your specific topic.
Do you want your blog to be the authority on certain subjects? I KNOW I DO!
If you answered with a Resounding, YES, then you will need to learn as much as you can about search engine optimization.
What better person to learn from than Brian Dean of BackLinko.com?
Even though you see a question mark at the end of that sentence, it’s not a question – it’s a fact!
In his in-depth on-page SEO article, he’ll cover:
- On-Oage SEO basics
- How to Optimize your Content for SEO
- How to Optimize your Title and Description tags
- Plus, much more…
Besides learning the importance of SEO – NEXT, we will be discussing 2 important elements necessary to help find your place within the search engine results.
You will learn:
- Keyword Research – identifying Keywords, creating high-quality content around those keywords
- Meta Tags – filling in your vital Meta Tags to gain traffic from the Search Engine Results Pages
Keyword Research – Done Wrong Can Make or Break Your Entire Business
Ok, don’t freak out – not knowing how to do keyword research isn’t going to break your business, per se’.
What I’m referring to is, if you are relying on receiving traffic to your online business, and you don’t do proper keyword research, you probably won’t get too many eyeballs to your site.
So, I guess in a nutshell, if you don’t know how to find the right keywords for your business, not getting any traffic, could actually break you.
“Learning how to do keyword research is a fundamental SEO task that involves identifying popular words and phrases people enter into search engines. When you know what people search for, you can focus content around those topics.” ~ Moz.com
To repeat: Keyword research is a fundamental process of finding keywords to put within your content which will lead readers back to your site.
Sounds easy, right?
I’ve discussed keyword research briefly in one of my articles: 11 Time-Tested Digital Marketing Strategies to Catapult Your Niche, but if you’re looking for the in-depth article about the subject, I’m going to refer you back to Brian Dean of Backlinko.
Here is his in-depth article: Keyword Research – The Definitive Guide for 2021
SEO Meta Tags
Meta Tags provide information about the webpage in the HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language – the code that makes up your web page) part of the document. These tags are in a specific area of your Source Code (what search engine robots read) that contain information about your website.
There are two very important Meta Tags that you need to add information for, each and every time you write a piece of content for the Web; the Title tag, and the Description tag.
If you took my advice and are using the RankMath SEO plugin, open up your WordPress blog to one of your posts and follow along.
Once you are in your Posts Editing area, scroll down to your RankMath SEO Edit Box, then click on the blue ‘Edit Snippet‘ button – as shown in the image. This Edit button will create a drop-down box to add your information.
If you are wondering what the green, button looking thingy, below the blue arrow, that says, “Make Money Blogging” is – that is what is called a Focus Keyword.
In other words, typing your main Keyword Phrase within this box will give you an impression of how well you’re doing for on-page, keyword optimization, among other things within your article.
As you can see by the information with all the green check marks, this article is doing quite well for on-page optimization.
The Title Tag
The Title Tag is an element found in the section of the HTML code of your web page. They’re displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.
The Title Tag is quite possibly the most important consideration when trying to improve your search-engine rankings for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
Search engines use the text contained within the Title Tag as a primary factor to determine what the content of your web page is about.
Search engines will display the Title Tag at the top of each item in the search engine results page (SERPs).
Because the attention span of a human is less than a Goldfish, a well written Title increases the odds of your searcher clicking on your link to visit your article.
Like a headline that needs to attract visitors while on your blog, the Title Tag should consist of the most attention-grabbing, interest-arousing statements you can muster.
Make sure to limit your Title Tag wording to 60 characters or less, because most search engines will not display any more than that.
Below, you will find the Meta Snippet Edit Box after clicking on the ‘Edit Snippet‘ button as spoken of above.
As you can see by the blue arrows, there are the 2 boxes to type in your Title and Description. This information will then be on display within the Search Engine Results Pages.
NOTE: If you look at the screenshot on the right side of the Title box and the Description box, you will see numbers indicating the quantity of characters used for your Title and Description.
Once you have typed in your Title and Description, you can use the Close Editor button below the Description box.
The Description Tag
You should optimize each and every Meta Description Tag on your web site, because as previously mentioned, the Meta Description Tag is an important part of the display information that visitors see when your site is listed in the SERPs.
Even though the Meta Description Tag is not important to search engine rankings, it is extremely important for gaining user click-throughs from search engine result pages (SERPs).
These short paragraphs are the author’s opportunity to create a few compelling sentences describing to searchers exactly what the given page offers, compared to what they’re looking for.
Try your best to limit the Description of your post to 160 characters (most search-engines use the maximum of 160 characters in their search results pages).
The ultimate goal of your description should interest the visitor enough so, they will click your search-engine results, link.
We’ve Covered SEO – Now Let’s Move On To Promoting Your Content
At this point you’ve learned the importance of SEO and how to go about getting it done.
Promoting your content is a way of saying to your potential reader, hey, “I’ve created some amazing stuff here for you to take a look at. And, it might even solve your [problem], or give you the [Desired Result] you’ve been wanting.”
I know, I know, it reads kinda weird, but you get the point.
Let’s get busy, and take a look at some ways you can start getting the word out about your amazing content.
Let’s Start with Friends and Family
A good place to start to get the word out about your new journey, is to include your friends and family.
Who better to support you and spread the word than those that love you (or like you a lot).
If you are a social media surfer, admit it, you are, be sure to let your friends on the Social Media sites know what you’re doing.
Your mom, dad, brothers and sisters love you, hopefully enough (come on, you gotta chuckle), to help you spread the word about your newly found passion.
OK, so you are a social media addict, the next section is for you, maybe.
Social Media Marketing
It’s recommended to figure out if Social Media is truly a good fit for you and your business.
Do you recall earlier when we were talking about SEO, about where it mentioned in the article, “Social media traffic referrals – The report has little positive to say about social media, which has been flat (at ~5% of traffic)…?”
– Give or take 5% traffic – those metrics suck!
Yes, a lot has to do with how well a person promotes, their followers and how engaged they are, etc., but, on the average, Social Media is not known for driving huge amounts of traffic to the average blogger’s site.
If you were trying to build a lifestyle-based brand, then you might just have something to gain from social media.
Examples of niches that could work well with social media are Food, Fitness, Supplements, Beauty and Fashion, to name a few.
More often than not, if your niche doesn’t fall within something similar to the niches mentioned, your time might be spent better, focusing on SEO, improving your writing skills, or rubbing virtual elbows with influential bloggers.
If you do choose to go down the path of Social Media as a form of promotion, one good strategy is to Choose 1 Platform to focus on.
Once you’ve become an expert with your chosen platform, add another one to your Promotional Tool Kit.
Word of Warning: Don’t try to take on multiple social media platforms at once, it will overwhelm you.
Start by figuring out what platforms your ideal readers hang out on – whether its Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or maybe even Twitter.
This is where you wanna start. If Facebook is your jam, each and every time you publish a new post, share it with a comment on your Facebook page, and ask for feedback.
If your blog is your marketing tool for your business, make sure to treat your Social Media time in terms of return on investment (ROI).
By ROI, I mean the platform you’ve chosen to market your genius to, should be able to send your visitors back to your site and convert them into Email Subscribers (which we’ll be talking about soon).
Having a million followers on a Social Media Platform is amazing, but if they don’t turn into raving fans of your work – who know, like and trust you, what is the point?
In the world of business, it’s better to be profitable, than popular. Go with what gives you the greatest reward.
If you happen to have a strong desire to use Social Media, there are plenty of Social Media Experts out there that can help you with techniques that will work for your platform of choice.
I am NOT one of these experts – I’m an SEO guy.
Networking with Influencers
If you are not familiar with networking with influencers, this is a way of saying to schmooze with seasoned bloggers that have been around cyberspace for a while.
As it’s said in business, “it’s all about the relationships.”
Don’t look at other bloggers within the same niche, as competition.
Networking with other bloggers by linking to their site, or mentioning them by name, within a blog post, will put you on their radar.
When you do this, and I recommend you do, reach out to that blogger, and let them know you mentioned them in your article.
In your email to them, state what you said about them and if they feel it’s worthy, to please share it.
Thank the influencer for their time and you will continue to share information about their site/posts or them in your future articles.
By reaching out to them and introducing yourself, you might just find out that they would make a good friend.
One of the coolest things about starting a new blog is that other successful bloggers love to be helpful.
If you are not feeling confident, or it’s just not time to connect with bloggers within your niche, that is OK, at least follow and learn from them.
Guest Posting, also known as guest blogging, is writing content for another person’s site. This will help connect with their audience.
Not only will you tap into their already established audience, but Guest Posting will give you a link back to your new blog helping to boost your Domain’s Authority, along with sending new readers to your blog.
If you have an Opt-In Box on your site, which you should, this will also help you get more subscribers for your Email List.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to tap into that website owners audience, which could be huge.
Creating an Email List – From Day 1
Creating an Email List is probably one of the most powerful methods to keep your readers engaged and excited about your blog, and the work you are doing with it.
It’s also one of the greatest assets (income streams) for your blogging business. There are many people earning a good income with nothing but an Email List.
Here’s a fun fact you might enjoy hearing – for every $1 invested in Email Marketing, you can expect a $42 return. That’s a 4200% Return On Investment (ROI). Try doing that with the Stock Market.
Something else to know and remember – your email list is yours. No one can take it away from you.
With your Email List, you are in complete control.
Building your list will be a simple task once you have visitors coming to your blog.
In order to start collecting email addresses, you must sign up for an Email Service Provider such as MailChimp or ConvertKit.
Paid Traffic is a way of receiving visitors from platforms that you pay for.
Some common forms of Paid Traffic would be, Pay Per Click (PPC) for YouTube, Google, Yahoo and Bing, including Facebook.
Pursuing Paid Traffic requires money that you’ll pay to receive a ton of data, that needs to be interpreted. What do I mean?
I am meaning that, dialing in on paid advertising takes time, there is not magic formula, at least not that I’m aware of.
Before you start wasting money, consider reading more about the subject.
Similar to Social Media, I am NOT the guy to help.
Step #9: Create a Plan to Make Money with Your Blog
The Final Frontier – creating a plan to Make Money with Your Blog.
Up until now, I’ve written, over 16,000 words for How to Start a Blog.
- Choosing the perfect topic for your blog and finding your blog’s name
- Purchasing your Web hosting to get your blog online
- Designing your blog with a WordPress theme along with installing the essential plugins
- Some basic WordPress functions, then created your must-have pages & your first post
- Discussing methods to get traffic to your blog through SEO and other tactics
Man, we’ve covered a LOT! – Now it’s time to ‘Show YOU the Money‘!
One thing you need to keep in mind is, it’s not Just about Making Money.
Do you recall what I said in the beginning of this article?
“provide value to your readers, and everything else will follow – including the money.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you must create useful and high-quality content, with your readers in mind. And, Over-Deliver!
When you write with your specific reader in mind, with articles that are helpful and problem solving, you will gain loyal readers coming back for more.
You’ll eventually become the recognized expert in your chosen niche, with a following of raving fans that will help support your blog.
OK, enough said…
Realizing that the whole reason you probably decided to start a blog was to make money with it – let’s continue on.
Instead of me writing a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about monetizing your blog for making money, right here, why don’t I take you over to my Money Making article that is much more in-depth?
My Make Money Blogging article has some juicy information about Monetizing Your Blog to bring in the cash.
Don’t Panic, it’s not as long as this one. – – Is that a Sigh of Relief I hear?
Without further Ado, Here Ya Go – – – – WAIT!
Read the rest of MY Inspirational Stuff First – before you GO!
I’ll put the link at the bottom!
Now that you are up and running, be sure to concentrate on a few things.
#1. Become an Expert at Your Style of Writing
Do you recall what I mentioned in, Step #7 under, Writing Your First Blog Post? Most Bloggers write in a very informal, laid back style of conversational writing. Their readers are looking for authenticity in the blogger’s writing styles; the person that has been there, done that.
Be Your Own Voice – Be an Authentic YOU!
#2. Become as Knowledgeable as Possible for Your Chosen Topic
Research, research, research! Do tons and tons of research about your blog topic.
Never stop educating yourself – commit yourself to learning as much as you can about business, marketing, and your craft.
#3. Start Building Relationships with Influential Bloggers
While doing your research, subscribe to at least 10 relevant blogs within your niche, so you can get a sense of what works to run a blog successfully.
At the very least, you should subscribe to their blog’s email list, download anything they are offering, follow their podcast if they have one, along with legally stalking them on their Facebook page, Twitter account or Pinterest, and any other social media sites they hang around on.
Pay close attention to the bloggers that you are subscribed to, not just to their blog posts and their writing style, but also, very importantly, how they write emails to you.
Out of the bloggers that you follow, do you relate with any of their particular writing styles?
When you receive emails, do you notice any special form of writing compared to other blogger’s emails?
Do you like how they approach you in the email, are their emails lengthy, what is their closing style of wording, do they leave links to related articles at the end of the email. What is their call to action – is it, “Click Here to Learn More.” Do you relate to their style?
How do you feel after reading their emails? Do you feel pitched, as if they were trying to sell you something, or did the email come across more like they wanted to help you?
#4. Never, Never, Never Give Up ~ Winston Churchill
Don’t wait for anything, start writing – have fun with it.
Don’t worry about followers and subscribers at this point, just enjoy the ride!
Something to remember – you are a newbie blogger, just enjoy blogging, the subscribers and money will follow.
Don’t ever lose sight of your passion – AND, the reason you started your journey.
The beginning stages of blogging can be difficult at times… it may take you many months or possibly years to become proficient at the art of blogging, so try your best to focus on what matters and what your end goal is.
Remember… this is a marathon, not a sprint!
Good things take time to develop, grow slowly.
Difficulties, failures, and frustrations are going to happen, roll with the punches.
It’s a part of life and certainly a part of business.
Take one baby step at a time, building yourself a solid foundation as you learn… enjoy the journey.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You MUST create High-Quality Content if you wanna get anywhere with your blog.
You MUST Over-Deliver – you must look at your content as, if I were reading this article, what would I learn from it? Am I missing anything crucial for the subject I am covering?
– Here’s the link to my, How to Make Money with Your Blog – 9 Proven Strategies to Monetize Your Blog article.
TO YOUR SUCCESS,