Welcome to my by guide on how to create a profitable WordPress blog in 2018!
By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be taking your first step to turning blogging into a career for yourself.
What You’ll Need
- Web Hosting – The hosting provider that will store your blog’s files
- Domain Name – The URL of your website. (ie. www.aspiringbloggers.com)
- ** Blog Theme – a ready-to-use website design that can be installed on WordPress
Breakdown of costs
- Web Hosting – $3.95 USD per month for the first year, $10 USD per month afterwards) Paid one year up front = $47.40 USD
- Domain Name – $14.95 USD per year for most domains.
- **Blog Theme – There are lots of free themes available on WordPress to get you started. Optionally, you can purchase premium themes for $15 – $60 USD (explained later in the guide
Total cost for your first year of blogging: $14.95 + $47.40 = $62.40 USD. For as little as 17 cents a day, you can create the blog of your dreams.
Don’t be afraid to make the initial investment, as you’ll have lots of time make the investment back and I’ll be here to show you how.
Step 1. Choose Your Blog Niche
If you’ve already decided on your blog niche, proceed to Step 2. If you haven’t decided yet, follow the guide below to help you decide what you want to blog about.
Step 2. Sign up with Siteground & Register a Domain
I’ve already done the research for you and found the best web host! For this tutorial, we’re going to be using Siteground Hosting.
Siteground provides super-fast servers, the best-ever customer support, and paramount security for your site. Read my in-depth review if you want to find out more:
As mentioned in the cost break-down, signing up with Siteground will cost you $47.40 upfront for the first year.
The landing page will give you three options to choose from.
Choose the “Startup” option from the packages above. It’s the only package you’ll need as a beginner blogger.
On the next screen, you’ll need to register a new domain for your Self-Hosted WordPress blog.
Deciding a domain name can be quite difficult so it’s best to spend a bit of time thinking about it before choosing one. You can brainstorm a list of ideas and choose the name you think will best suit your blog if you’ve already found a blog niche.
When you’re ready, simply type in the domain you want and Siteground will check whether or not it’s available. In many cases, the domain you want might already be registered.
Let’s go over some of the options in the next section.
Location: Choose the location that’s closest to your target audience. The closer the servers are to your audience, the faster their connection speed to your site.
Domain Privacy: Select this add-on option if you don’t want your personal information to be seen when others search up the details of your site. It’s not mandatory to add this to your site but some people prefer the privacy.
SG Site Scanner: This add-on enables an additional level of protection on your site to prevent hacks. Might come in handy if you’re interested, but I’ll have other articles that will show you how to protect your site.
After carefully selecting your options, you can proceed to process your payment and then you’ll be able to create your account login information.
We’re done the first step!
Step 3. Install WordPress
Now we’re onto the good stuff — installing WordPress. Installing WordPress is easy!
On some occasions, Siteground will actually install WordPress for you during step 1. You can check by going to the domain you bought earlier. If it’s installed, skip to the bottom of step 2 to log into your site’s admin panel.
When you’re logged into your Siteground account, you can access the “My Accounts” tab. Then click on “Go to cPanel.”
In the Autoinstallers section, choose WordPress.
Click on Install. Configure the settings accordingly:
Choose Protocol: Select “https://”
Choose Domain: Select the domain you created earlier. This should be selected already by default but sometimes it may not
In Directory: Leave this field blank
Site Name: Enter the name of your website
Site Description: Enter the tagline for your site. You don’t have to spend much time thinking about this since you can always easily change it down the road
Enable Multisite (WPMU): Leave unchecked
Admin Username: Enter the username you wish to log in to your site with
Admin Password: Enter a password for the above username. (make sure the strength indicator is as high as possible)
Admin Email: Enter the email you wish to associate your login account with
Select Language: Choose whatever language you’re most comfortable with reading
Select Plugin(s): Leave both options unchecked
Choose a Theme to install: Leave it at none (we’ll be helping you find a theme in the next step)
Don’t touch the advanced settings and click install. After a few moments, WordPress will be successfully installed on your site!
You can now access your site by typing www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and logging in with the account information you created earlier. Replace “www.yourdomain.com” with the domain you purchased in step 1.
This is the admin panel and where you’ll be changing your site’s appearance, and creating pages and posts.
Yay! We’re almost done.
Step 4. Choose Your WordPress Theme
Now we’re going to play around with installing a theme on your site. Themes are different layouts you can use to make your blog look just the way you want it.
To access all of the free themes that come available with WordPress, go to:
Appearance > Themes
located on the left side of your admin panel.
Click on the “Add New” button at the top and then browse until you find the theme you want to be installed on your blog. When you’re ready to install, just hover over it and click install and activate.
Voila! You now have a theme installed on your blog.
Note: There are hundreds of free to use WordPress themes out there, but I usually prefer to use premium themes for the following benefits:
- More features and customizability
- Theme support form author
- Makes your blog stand out more than free themes
Some premium themes are more expensive than others but it’s a one-time fee so you’ll have permanent access to the themes you purchase and you can even install them on multiple websites that you own.
My favourite sites to purchase themes from are:
You can find thousands of beautiful themes at these sites so it’s up to you to decide what theme suits your tastes and your blog.
If you’re having trouble, you can find a blog that you really like and then visit What WP Theme is That to identify what theme that blog is using. This only works if the blog is using WordPress and not a custom theme.
Step 5. Design Your Blog
This is the fun part! After installing your theme, you get to make it look exactly the way you want!
Unfortunately, I can’t show you how to do this part because every theme has different settings when it comes to customizing the design of your blog. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with your theme’s settings and other configurations to make your blog look exactly the way you want it to look.
If you’re lucky, you may even find a theme that looks perfect to you from the start and then you won’t have to do much work.
I find the designing step to be the most time-consuming because even to this day, I’m still customizing the appearance of my blogs.
My suggestion to you would be to not focus too much on the design of your blog. After all, visitors aren’t going to return to your blog because it’s pretty, but because you have content worth reading.
Step 6. Create Categories
Every blog should have a few categories (topics). The categories are up to you! Take some time to figure out what you’re interested in writing about and what you think your target audience will find valuable. Also, make sure it’s related to your niche!
You can create categories by going to Posts > Categories in your WordPress admin panel. After you have some categories, you can add them to the menu bar of your blog by going to Appearance > Menus. On most themes, you’ll have two menus, a primary navigation (header menu) or footer menu. Add the categories to your primary navigation menu.
Step 7. Post Your First Article
Now that you’ve officially finished setting up your Self-Hosted WordPress blog, it’s time to publish your very first blog article! Such exciting stuff.
Articles are essential for making money on your blog. Eventually, some of your articles will be promoting your products, services or affiliate programs.
Write as many quality articles as you can because you want to start ranking for keywords on Google and help others find your blog. No content = no readers = no profit.
To create an article, on the left side of your WordPress admin panel, go to Posts > Add New to create an article. Be sure to include a lot of pictures and text! A minimum of 500 words per article will help your posts rank better on search engines because it will contain more keywords — words/search phrases commonly searched for.
Read The Complete Guide to SEO For Beginner Bloggers to learn more about search engine optimization and how it can help you grow your organic traffic.
Step 8. Share Your Blog
Sharing your articles is one of the most fun parts of being a blogger. You can choose what platforms you want to share your posts on and then get feedback or even comments from readers.
Here are some platforms that I recommend:
- Join blogging groups in your niche by searching for them in the search bar. Some groups have tens of thousands of members and it’s a great way for you to promote your content. Be sure to follow the rules of the groups so that you don’t get kicked out.
- Share posts on your timeline so that your friends and family can see them and share with their list of friends and family as well. This is a great way to get your blog rolling
- When making posts, be sure to use a lot of relevant hashtags! Include the hashtags in your comments and not in the post caption itself so that your caption doesn’t look spammy. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in the comments so make sure you use of as many as you can
- Tweet your latest blog posts and use relevant hashtags
- Create conversations with other people in your blog niche by retweeting their posts, or commenting on them
- Create a board on Pinterest that is related to your blog. Be sure to pin links to your articles and to articles from other bloggers in your blog niche as well! The more you pin, the higher the chances are that your blog will be discovered by others on Pinterest.
- Join group boards in your blog niche. Some group boards have 100,000+ followers that you can share your posts with!
For more promotion tips, check out my post on How to Promote Your Blog Posts: 14 Methods That Guarantee Traffic.
Step 9. Start Making Money!
When you have a decent amount of traffic on your site, you can start earning money! There are 5 common ways you can make money from your blog:
- Affiliate Programs
- Google Adsense
- Online Services
Read my article on 5 Super Effective Ways to Make Money Blogging ASAP to learn more about each of them! Afterwards, try reading some of the articles below. They’ll definitely help you start earning more blog income:
- The 3-Step Process to Earning More Blog Income
- 7 Effective Ways to Get More Online Sales For Your Business
- 5 Awesome Affiliate Programs to Boost Your Blog Income With
Congratulations! You’ve now succeeded in creating a self-hosted WordPress blog that you can start turning into a career.
To continue to grow your blog, make sure you read my blog!