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Hi, today in this post, you are going to learn how to start a successful WordPress from scratch and turning it into a successful income-generating blog within a year.
There are several things and checklists you need to perform before starting a WordPress blog. Nowadays, starting a blog is very easy that even a ten-year-old can do it.
But the real catch comes to when you have to turn your blog into a successful income-generating blog and this is where over 95% of bloggers fail and quit within 6 months of their blogging career.
This shouldn’t be you as I will give you all the necessary resources you need on how to start successful WordPress blog within 90-180 days which you won’t find on similar how to start a blog generic guides out there.
What blogging is not?
Remember, blogging is hard work and it will take time for you to see the fruits of your labour. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme as you may have been falsely misled by some popular blogging gurus in the blogosphere.
You certainly won’t start making thousands of dollars overnight with your blog as soon as you configure your blog.
There is a learning curve waiting for you but don’t despair as I will give you all the recommended resources I used which helped me build a successful blog as well.
It took me 5+ years to eventually figure out this blogging thing. In those 5+ years of blogging, I have started more than 5 blogs which all failed before this blog you are currently reading.
As a result, I named my blog trials and tests to remind me of the hardships and struggles I went through during my first 5 years of blogging.
The information you will get here about starting a WordPress blog is unique and based on my real-life experience which you won’t find elsewhere.
Most guides on how to start a blog are simply repackaged and regurgitated content you have read countless times which won’t be the case with this post.
Why This Blogging Guide Is Different
This bogging guide is different because it will show you all the essential steps you need to start a blog which most how to start blog guides out there don’t cover. Additionally, if you start a blog using any of the promotional links in this guide, I will help you get 10,000-30,000 monthly visits to your brand new blog within 3-6 months of your blogging career.
I will also coach you on how to treat your blog as a start-up and not a hobby if you want to make your first $100-$1,000 per month within 6 months of your blogging career.
All you need to do to take advantage of this rare offer you won’t find elsewhere, just simply email me your Ipage hosting account purchase receipt after purchasing any of their hosting plans using my special discount link to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
For more information about this unique once in a lifetime offer, you can kindly visit my free blog set up page by clicking the lovely button below if you find starting a blog too intimidating and technical for you to do correctly.
How To Start A WordPress Blog 13 Simple Steps
Step 1: Choose a blogging niche you have experience on
The first step you need to take in starting a successful blog, is you need to choose a blogging niche you have experience on and well knowledgeable of.
Choosing a niche you have experience on will help you easily come up with blog post ideas for your blog which isn’t the case if you randomly choose a niche you have zero knowledge or experience on.
Personally, I blog about blogging, investing, making money online, affiliate marketing and positive living as these are niches I have real-life experience on.
Secondly, when you choose a blogging niche you have experience on your content will be unique and original as you will be sharing your unique perspectives and experiences about that topic.
As a result, your content will stand out from many millions of run off the mil pieces of regurgitated content out there which is now common in the blogosphere nowadays.
When you choose a niche you have no knowledge or experience on, you will find it hard to consistently come up with new blog post ideas on a regular basis.
Consequently, this will eventually lead to blogging burn out after some time as you will run out of blog topics or ideas to write about pretty quick.
Step 2: Choose the right blogging platform
Choosing the right blogging platform for your blog is the second most important step you need to take.
There several free blogging platforms like Blogger or WordPress free version to use for creating your lifestyle blog.
But the main problem which comes with free blogging platforms is that they are very limited in their customization options which will negatively affect your blog growth and look.
This is because free blogging platforms don’t have a provision which will allow you to install third-party plugins for your blog customizations.
Secondly, free blogging platforms are not SEO friendly which put you at a disadvantage as you will want to get organic traffic from search engines as your blog grows.
In the light of these disadvantages which comes with free blogging platforms, choose a premium blogging platform to build and start your lifestyle blog on.
When it comes to blogging platforms, WordPress premium version is the best out there due to its versatility and ease of use compared to similar blogging platform out there.
You can access the premium WordPress version for free by choosing a web hosting provider of your choice.
All web hosting companies come with premium WordPress blogging platform integrated on all their web hosting plans which you can easily install after purchasing a hosting account with them.
In fact, most successful blogs are built on WordPress premium blogging platform which is the most popular out there powering more than 30% of websites on the internet.
Step 3: Register A Domain Name
The third most important step to take before starting a blog, is you need to register a domain name for your blog.
Your domain name will be your blog address by which visitors will be able to find you online. There are several domain registrars out there for registering your blog domain.
Name cheap is one of the best & cheap domain registrars you can use out there just after Godaddy which I currently use for my site though it’s quite technical to set up.
Pricing of Namecheap domains starts at only $0.88-$1.5 for the first year with free Whois Guard using that special promo link for new customers.
Unlike other domain registrars out there, Namecheap has no hidden fees and the renewal fees are very cheap at only $15 per year in the second year compared to similar domain registrars.
But to keep things simple, encourage you to take advantage of the free domain offer which Ipage gives for every new customer as this will save you some technical hurdles which come when you have to configure your blog when your domain is registered with a different hosting account.
Domain registration process
To register your domain with Ipage, choose a domain name of your choice by searching and typing your desired domain name for your blog as shown below.
If your domain is available, it will be shown and if the domain you choose is taken, you can always choose other domain options which are similar to the one you want to choose.
From there, proceed to register an account with Ipage in order for you to purchase your chosen domain as shown above.
After registering your domain, as shown above, you will be taken to the Ipage purchase page where you can select the hosting package of your choice depending on your budget.
Step 4: Purchase A hosting Account For Your Blog
In order to host your purchased domain, you need to purchase a hosting account for your WordPress blog so that it can be found online.
Without a hosting account, your blog won’t be found or accessible. Your hosting account acts like an online server of file storage where all your blog contents of your blog are stored online.
There are dozens of hosting solutions to choose from out there but only a few of them are trustworthy and reliable.
One of the recommended hosting solutions I recommend newbie Bloggers is Ipage which is very cheap at only around $2 per month using that discount link for new customers.
Ipage is a very reliable hosting solution for newbie bloggers with very good customer support for beginner bloggers as you don’t need an expensive hosting solution for a blog which has no traffic & if you have less than 30,000 monthly visits to your blog.
As a new blogger, I recommend starting with the cheapest package which is $2/month using this special discount link for new customers. Ipage also comes with free domain registration if you chose any of their hosting packages further saving you some costs.
When you click that link, you will be taken to the registration page like the one shown above. After registering for an account, you will then be taken to the final page where you can complete your package. You can choose either 1,2, or 3 years hosting depending on which you will find the cheapest as shown below.
Configuring Ipage Hosting Account
If your purchase is successful, an email notification will arrive in your inbox confirming the successful purchase of your Ipage hosting account.
After that, you will receive your cPanel login details to use to login into your cPanel account in order for you to set up and configure your blog.
Your Ipage cPanel account is where you will need to install your WordPress software for your blog and will look as shown below when you log in.
To install WordPress, log into your cPanel account using the login details emailed to you after purchasing your hosting account with Ipage as shown below.
When your WordPress installation is successful, your cPanel dashboard will look like the picture shown below.
From there, you will be emailed your WordPress admin login details which you will use to access your blog every time on your admin login page.
At this point, you should now finalize installing everything needed for your blog. To access your WordPress blog backend, you need to login into your admin account.
After successfully logging into your account, your dashboard should appear as shown below. From there, you can start customizing your blog appearances.
Setting up your Email account
The Ipage hosting account also comes with free email hosting. To set up your email address, go to your cPanel account dashboard and select email accounts as shown below.
Having a business email address where your blog visitors can contact you for help or private questions is crucial for building connections.
When you select that option, you will be taken to a new page where you will be required to create a new email account by selecting create option as shown by a red rectangle below. Image
After finishing your email account creation process, your account dashboard should look like the picture above with your new email address associated with your domain.
In my case my email address is email@example.com. You can use your domain or your personal name to create your email account.
Step 5: Install a WordPress Theme
After setting up everything, at this point, your blog should now be ready for you to customize. In order to enhance your blog and make it have a professional look, you need to install a theme for your site.
A WordPress theme is responsible for how your blog will look. There are several free WordPress themes which you can use for your blog which will come by default.
To install a theme on your blog, you need to go to appearances>themes. You should now have the page like the one shown below.
From there, you can choose a theme of your choice to enhance the professional look of your blog. To help you choose the best free themes, read best free Wp themes for bloggers.
When you are done setting up your theme, you can proceed to write your first blog post. The first important pages you must write are.
- Affiliate disclosures
- About me
- Contact page
To write your first blog post or page, simply go to posts>add new to begin writing your first blog post for your newly created lifestyle blog as shown below.
One of the best free themes to use if you have no move yet to purchase a premium theme is Astra which is easy to customize and configure.
Why use premium themes for your lifestyle blog?
If you want your blog to look more premium and professional, I recommend purchasing premium themes for your blog for more customization options.
A premium theme comes with many customization options and features not found with free themes. Free themes are limited in their customization options.
There are several paces out there to purchase WordPress themes for your blog. Additionally, premium themes are more secure and SEO friendly than free themes.
One of the best places to purchase your themes is elegant themes and Studio Press which comes with Genesis Framework at only $60.
Genesis Framework is the best and one of the fastest WordPress theme out there ideal for bloggers but is not beginner-friendly like Astra.
If you are a complete newbie in blogging with no technical skills, I recommend starting with Astra which is beginner-friendly and easy to customize and configure.
Astra themes are also affordable costing only $47 per year. If you want lifetime access to all elegant themes and updates, you only need to pay $249 one-time fee. This blog you are reading also uses Astra Theme which is my favourite theme.
Themes from Astra with a website builder which you can use to design your blog with professional looks without any coding skills required on your part.
Why choose Genesis Framework?
On the flip side, if you want the fastest and the most versatile WordPress theme out there, Genesis Framework is the best by far.
If you have some basic technical skills, on customizing websites, Genesis Framework is the recommended theme if you want to design a stunning professional looking lifestyle blog.
Genesis Framework is highly recommended by web developers due to its versatility not found elsewhere.
To use the Genesis Framework, you need a child theme which you can purchase on Studio Press. Lifestyle blog child themes start at $60.
Using a child theme makes it easier for you to customize the appearances of your website especially if you are less tech-savvy and a beginner.
Secondly, using a child theme will ensure than you don’t lose all your settings and customizations if a new Genesis Framework update is released.
Studio press is also the best place to purchase child themes for your lifestyle blog which you need to dress on top of your Genesis Framework theme.
Step 6: Installing Essential WordPress Plugins
When your website is all set and done which you have done at this moment, you need to install essential plugins which will enhance the functionality of your blog further.
There are literally thousands of WordPress Plugins to choose from out there but not all are worth installing.
Having too many plugins on your blog will slow down your site to a crawl as plugins are resource hungry.
Before installing any plugin, ensure that it’s compatible with other plugins and the theme on your blog to avoid accidentally breaking your site due to compatibility issues which usually come with plugins.
One of the top plugins you must immediately install is Yoast SEO plugin which will help you optimize your blog posts for SEO so that they can be found on search engines which is free.
To install plugins for your blog, go to plugins>add new which is the easiest way of installing any plugin.
Then, simply search for the plugin name in the search bar which will give you the option to install the chosen plugin.
In our case, let’s say we want to install the Yoast SEO plugin. To do so, we just simply type the Yoast plugin in the search bar which will then bring the Yoast plugin with the option to install it.
After installing the plugin, you will then need to activate it by simply clicking the activate button next to the Yoast plugin which must indicate active after activating the plugin. Other essential plugins you must immediately install are.
|Plugin||Type & Functionality||Cost|
|MonsterInsights||SEO, Google Analytics configuration||Freemium/$400 per year|
|Re Smush It||Image compressions for reducing large images before uploading them on your blog||Freemium|
|UpdraftPlus||For backing up your site in case your site gets hacked or breaks||Freemium|
|WP Rocket||Caching plugin for faster loading times||$37|
|Social Warfare||For generating social shares to your blog posts for more social traffic||Freemium|
|Sucuri Scanner||For scanning & securing your site from malware & for preventing hackers from hacking your site||Freemium|
|WP Forms||For creating contact forms on your blog for visitors to contact you||Freemium|
|Insert Header & Footers||For inserting codes or snippets on your blog for more functionality||Free|
|SEMRush||For keyword research & writing SEO friendly content||Freemium/$100 per month|
|Pretty Links||For shortening and making affiliate links look cleaner, easy to add in your blog posts and easy to remember.||Freemium|
Step 8: Submit Your Site To Google
When your blog is finally ready, you need to submit your site to Google Search Console so that your site can be indexed.
To access your Google Search Console, you can log into your Google account using your Gmail account. Your page should look as shown below after successful logging in.
From there, you need to generate a sitemap of your blog which you will submit to Google. Generating a sitemap of your blog is very simple which can be done by Yoast plugin which you need to install.
If you have Yoast already installed, kindly read this post which goes into further details on how to submit your site to Google and why it matters.
When done with submitting your site, you then need to verify your site so that Google is sure that you are the actual owner of the site.
Read this comprehensive post on how to verify your site with Google to learn more on how to go about this process.
Step 9: Set Up Google Analytics
Another crucial step you need to perform with your blog is configuring your blog with Google Analytics.
Without Google analytics properly set up on your blog, you won’t have access to important metrics such as how many visitors come to your blog a very month and from which country.
The best and easiest way of configuring Google Analytics with your blog is by the use of a plugin and the best plugin for this purpose is Monster Insights.
To use Monster Insights, you can install the plugin in your WordPress account dashboard using the procedure I earlier showed you in this post on how to install WordPress plugins on your blog.
Step 10: Invest In SEO
If you want target quality targeted traffic from search engines like Google, you need to invest in SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your blog easy to find on search engines for your target keywords ideally on the top 10 search results.
SEO is a very broad niche with a steep learning curve which isn’t possible to explain fully in this article.
But there are two main components of SEO you need to be aware of which are on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page, SEO is an SEO practice which deals with optimizing your blog post around your target keyword such as.
- Meta descriptions
- Inserting your target keyword in the H1 title tag
- Mentioning your target keyword in the first 100 words of your copy
- Including your target keyword in image alt text description
To learn more how to carry out on-page SEO, kindly read this ultimate guide about on-page SEO by Brian Dean which is the best out there to learn on-page SEO in detail.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is an SEO practice which deals with link building, social signals blog promotion and all other non-on-page SEO related practices.
Link building is the major component of off-page SEO and the most challenging to do. With link building, you essentially acquire backlinks to your blog from relevant sites in your niche.
Backlinks are crucial if you want to rank for competitive keywords with huge monthly search volumes as well as for building your domain authority.
The topic concerning link building is vast and can’t be covered fully in this limited article. Therefore, I recommend visiting Backlinko, the best site out there to learn link building for SEO.
It’s where I also learned SEO and how to acquire backlinks for my blog and my go-to resource for any SEO related topics.
Step 11: Writing Killer Blog Posts
After setting everything up with your blog, you now need to start publishing useful and engaging content on your blog regularly to grow your audience.
Learning how to write a good blog posts takes time and requires a lot of practice for you to be good at it but don’t despair as you can do it.
When I first came to the blogging scene in 2014, I had no idea how to write a good blog post which makes my audience hungry for more and what SEO was all about.
Consequently, my first 5 blogs failed miserably due to this ignorance but I learned from my mistakes and didn’t give up despite the early hardships and trials I faced in my first 5 years of my blogging career.
There are several pieces you need to fit together in the jigsaw puzzle to write SEO friendly blog posts which drive targeted traffic to your blog.
If you want to learn how to write proper blog posts, kingly read this best comprehensive guide on how to write a blog post by Brian Dean of Backlinko I have ever come across.
When it comes to writing engaging blog posts, Brian Dean is the best out there and his content is very easy to understand. I also learned from him on how to write proper blog posts as well.
Making Your Blog Posts SEO Friendly
To rank on search engines, you need to make your blog post SEO friendly which means your post must have clean permalink URLs.
With WordPress, all you need to do is go to settings> posts > permalinks. From there, select the post name as shown below.
As you can see in the picture above, I selected the post name which makes all my blog post URLs clean and SEO friendly.
So, every time I write and publish a blog post, my target keywords will be included in my permalink URL. For example, this post is about how to start a lifestyle blog and my permalink URL for this post is, ”https://trialsandtests.com/how-to-start-a-lifestyle-blog”.
If you look closely, my permalink URL contains my target keyword for this post instead of random numbers and characters.
Step 12: Build An Email List
Building an email list should be one of your top priorities as a newbie blogger as they say money is in the list.
Having an email list of loyal subscribers will make it easier for you to promote your affiliate products as your loyal subscriber are more like to buy from you compared to random strangers.
To build your email list, you can use a lot of email automation services out there. But the best out there is Convertkit due to its simplicity and ease of use.
Convertkit costs around $30 per month but is worth every penny if you want to make substantial income via your email list.
If you don’t have the money yet, I recommend using Sumo which I previously used to collect email subscriber on my blog. Sumo is free and can be integrated with Convertkit which also now offers a free account as of 2020 for 1000 subscribes which I highly recommend you to use for your email list collection.
Building a successful email list takes time and there is a learning curve waiting for you but I have good news for you.
I will give you the best and recommended email course to take for you to build an email list which generates you a passive income every month.
And that course is no other than list love. List love is the best email course I have come across in my 5+ years of my blogging career.
This amazing course was created by Jennifer who makes six-figures every year from her email list alone with over 900,000 active email subscribers in her list.
The course is free but there is also a premium version which you can purchase once you have the money.
Even with the free course, the value and information you will get from there will surpass similar email courses which cost north of $100.
Kindly visit her product page for more information to see actual case studies and testimonies from the various student who took the course.
Step 13: Blog Monetization
After doing all the above step on how to start a successful WordPress blog, you should be able to see some results within 6-12 months of your blogging career.
When you start getting decent traffic like 1000 monthly visits and above, you now need to think on you will monetize your website.
There are several ways of monetizing your blog as a beginner and one of the best and easiest way is ads which require no experience and income earned from ads is truly passive.
When I say ads most of you think of Google Adsense. In this case, I mean premium ad networks which pay 5-10x more than Adsense.
One of such premier ad networks is Ezoic which requires a minimum of 10,000 monthly page views to your blog to sign up.
With Ezoic ads, you can earn 5-10x more than what you usually get with Google Adsense depending on your niche.
Implying, with only 10,000 monthly page views, you can make anywhere from $100-$200 per month from ads alone depending on your niche and traffic source.
Ezoic ad network uses artificial intelligence to optimize and show the best ads which will give you the best revenue on your blog depending on your visitors.
Other blog monetization strategies to use are affiliate marketing and selling digital products but these monetization strategies take time to materialize and have a steep learning curve.
Therefore, start with ads using premium ad networks like Ezoic which will help you make some decent cash to be proud of with your blog while learning other blog monetization strategies.
That’s it, the 13 steps you will ever need on how to start a successful WordPress blog in 3-6 months. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions related to blogging.
This post was quite comprehensive as you have seen as I wanted to give you the best chances of creating a successful blog in this competitive and saturated blogosphere.
After which you can forward or send me your Ipage receipt for your hosting account confirming you used my Ipage link to purchase your hosting to get started with my coaching to help you get your first 10-30k monthly visits to your brand new blog within 6 months.
If you enjoyed this post, kindly share it with everyone you know as they will benefit as well. As you know sharing is caring indeed.