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So you want to start a WordPress blog? If you are anything like me, you have scoured Pinterest, for hours, and you have probably found a lot of information that does not deliver a whole lot of help. Luckily for you, I have done all of the research and spent a couple of years as a virtual assistant for top bloggers and entrepreneurs. I believe I have found the best steps and resources to create a successful, profitable blog.
A little about me if you are new here. My family and I love adventure and are always on-the-go. To support this lifestyle, I left my 9-5 job in 2016 to pursue working online as a Virtual Assistant to bloggers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. I have spent the last 2 years learning the ins and outs of blogging from the best and am here to share those secrets with you!
Why should you start a blog?
There are so many reasons to start a blog. What I find most appealing about blogging are the low overhead costs and the endless earning potential. Blogging is something you can do in your spare time, or you can turn it into a full-time career. It is what you make of it. With a little bit of love and a lot of hard work, your blog will be thriving in no time. Blogging also offers a very flexible schedule that supports the on-the-go lifestyle my family loves, so for me, it was a no-brainer. #locationindependent
What should you blog about?
Many people pick a topic that they are passionate about. Make sure you choose something that can withstand over time, something that you can build on, and evolve. Here are few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Mom Life, Motherhood, and Family
- Food and Recipes
- DIY and Crafts
- Healthy Living, Weight loss, and Fitness
- Personal Finance and Budgets
- Beauty and Makeup
- Home Decor
- Wedding and Event Planning
- Faith, Religion, and Inspiration
- Home Decor
- Home and Garden
- Homeschool and education
- Professional – Tutorials and Guides
- Student and College Life
- Mental Health, Chronic Illness, and Self-help
- You can even combine a few of these topics that apply to your life and call it a Lifestyle blog.
Should you create a Lifestyle blog?
Some people say it is hard to make a Lifestyle blog profitable and I am going to say that they are wrong. If you stick to just a few related topics and deliver valuable content to your readers, you will succeed. They Really Live is considered a Lifestyle blog and I write content on several topics with a focus on an on-the-go lifestyle.
Lifestyle bloggers share a broad variety of content centered around and inspired by their personal lives — most notably family, home, travel, beauty, food, recipes, fashion, makeup, design and decor. This style of broad content sharing inspired directly from their lives differs drastically from fashion blogs, mom blogs, and other more segmented, niched blogs in that they tend to always share a wide mix of content across other blog categories. Media Kix
So how do you start a WordPress blog from scratch?
The first thing you’ll want to do is brainstorm a name for your blog and find out if the domain is available. Make sure you pick something you love and is related to the content you want to write. I find THIS FREE WORKSHEET from Melyssa Griffin very helpful.
Once you have settled on a name, you can choose to purchase the domain from a site like GoDaddy or from your host (which is the easiest).
Real quick, let’s talk about platforms. I have used them all, or so it seems. Blogger, SquareSpace, WordPress and maybe even a few more. In my experience, WordPress is the best if you want to make money. It does come with a little bit of an expense (you’ll have to pay for your own hosting), but I think it is worth it in the end. WordPress is also the platform that a large percentage of top, successful bloggers use. It is no secret that I am a big WordPress fan and advocate, and I believe you will have the most success using this platform.
What Web Host should you choose?
To create a WordPress blog, you’ll first need to sign up for web hosting. When choosing a web host, I wanted to get the most bang for my buck; which is why I chose and love SiteGround. SiteGround has the fastest load times, best security, and tech support better than any other host. Want to learn more? Check out my full list of reasons to use SiteGround.
This is such a crazy good deal! Hurry before the deal ends!
Step ONE: Choose your Hosting Plan
Since you are just starting out, I would choose either the StartUp or the GrowBig plan. The StartUp plan will do everything you need it to, and your website will run smoothly and securely. The GrowBig plan does offer a Super Cacher which makes your site run a little faster. I use GrowBig because I like speed, but you can’t go wrong with StartUp either. Keep in mind you can always change this in the future as your blog grows.
Step TWO: Choose your Domain
If you are registering a new domain, just enter it in the text field and click proceed. I always recommend using .com!
If you are transferring a WordPress Blog from another host, SiteGround offers a free transfer service. I recommend using the Live Chat feature, and SiteGround’s awesome support center will guide you through the process.
Step THREE: Review and Complete
All that is left is filling in the required fields. I also suggest keeping the extra services that SiteGround recommends to keep your site running safely and securely. You may even notice that SiteGround’s low monthly rate is the same whether you purchase 12, 24, or 36 months! Once you fill in all the fields, click PAY NOW.
Step FOUR: Install WordPress
When you log in to your Customer Area for the first time, you’ll get this Pop-Up. Select START A NEW WEBSITE, Choose WORDPRESS, and fill out the required fields. Make sure you write down your login credentials for WordPress. This is what you will use to login to the backend of your blog. *Note: you will not be able to change your username so pick accordingly. Once you are ready, click on the CONFIRM button.
Step FIVE: Complete Set-Up
Agree to the terms of service and click COMPLETE SETUP.
Step SIX: Login to your new WordPress site
You are ready to go! Use the username and password you created in Step FOUR to log in to your new WordPress site. Go to http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin and enter your login information.
*Tip* If at any point you need help with your WordPress Set-up or have questions about setting up WordPress, SiteGround offers FREE WORDPRESS HELP. Yet another reason why you should use or switch to SiteGround!
Step SEVEN: Install a New Theme
From your WordPress dashboard, Click on APPEARANCE, and then THEMES. Here you can choose a theme already loaded on WordPress, or you can ADD NEW. If you would like to Add New, you can search Creative Market or Etsy for a new or custom theme.
Step EIGHT: Customize
In the Appearance section, you will find CUSTOMIZE. This is where you can customize your blog. Font, Colors, Headers, Footers, Menus, Settings, Widgets, pretty much everything you need to make your blog uniquely you.
For further customization, WordPress offers easy to use Plugins and Widgets. Check out my Top 10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins and Widgets.
Step NINE: Create
So far setting up your blog has been easy, peasy. This step is where the bulk of your setup work happens.
You will want to create Pages like ABOUT, CONTACT, and whatever else you decide. To do this go to Pages > Add New.
This is a blog so creating posts is a must. To do this go to Posts > Add New. You can categorize your posts into different Categories and Tag different keywords for easy navigation of your site.
I suggest having your site fully functioning and have at least ten posts posted before launching and promoting your website. You want your new readers to have something to read after all.
Step TEN: Publish & Promote
Hooray! Celebrate! You did it! Your blog is now live!!
Exploring how to grow your audience and monetize your blog is a must. Here are a few of my suggestions to help you succeed.
Build Your Email List
When you ask bloggers who have been around awhile, most of them will tell you they regret not building their email list sooner. Your email list is a group of people who like YOUR content. They are YOUR audience and they most likely want to hear from YOU. You can decide how often you email them and what. Is it a new blog post? Or maybe even new product! Email lists are invaluable. Start this sooner rather than later. I use and suggest Constant Contact. The first 2 months are free!
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