This blogging for beginners guide contains basic and detailed steps on how to create a blog with screenshots that’ll guide you in all steps of the way.
Here is a list of what you’ll learn:
- How to set up a domain name and hosting for your blog.
- How to install a free SSL Certificate for HTTPS Protocol.
- How to install WordPress and a theme.
- How to drive traffic to your blog.
- How to make money blogging.
Learn How to Get Traffic to Your New Blog Today
Chances are, you’re not going to get much traffic from Google within the first few months of launching your blog. Some people say that Google starts referring traffic to your website after six months.
This post is going to show you the detailed steps on how to create a blog, but what about the traffic aspect?
Assuming that’s true, how are you going to get traffic before Google recognizes your blog?
Problem solved. Get the guide below and learn how other bloggers direct traffic to their blogs.
Traffic Blueprint For Blogs
...for beginner and intermediate bloggers
My blog is still pretty new. I’m not getting much traffic from Google. Knowing that traffic is the lifeblood of every online business, these first few months of blogging are supposed to be slow and painful for me, right?
Well, for a time it was slow and painful until I discovered how to generate traffic to my blog outside Google, and it’s not through Facebook or Twitter.
Like you, I knew I currently had no chance of ranking on Google’s top three pages for competitive keywords because of the low Domain Authority of my young blog.
So I began building my audience on Pinterest, and it quickly became my main source of traffic.
You may ask me why not Facebook and Twitter?
Truth is, the organic reach on these sites has dwindled badly.
According to WebPageFX, every tweet on Twitter lasts up to 24 minutes, and a Facebook post will give you 90 minutes of visibility in the News Feed. However, a pin on Pinterest can last up to 151,200 minutes.
My pins on Pinterest reached people that weren’t even my followers, providing the perfect opportunity for bloggers like us who want to grow our blog organically without spending a dime on Facebook Ads or Google Ads.
There’s an art to generating traffic from Pinterest, though.
That’s why I’ve put together this super short guide on how to generate traffic to your blog. Without traffic, there’s no hope of ever making money from your blog.
I outlined all the strategies that are currently working for me on Pinterest, so all you need to do is download the Traffic Blueprint For Blogs to explode traffic to your blog, especially for new blogs.
Traffic Blueprint For Blogs
...for beginner and intermediate bloggers
This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.
How to Create a Blog
I know you’re all excited to know the steps to make your dream blog go live. But before that, let’s clear the most important issue to your blogging journey.
Your Blogging Platform – Self-Hosted or Free?
WordPress is by far the preferred blogging platform by thousands of professional bloggers. There are popular blog sites like Wix, Squarespace, Drupal, Joomla, and so on.
You have the option of choosing a self-hosted blog or a free blog. If you create your blog on WordPress.com, it’s a free blog. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is usually self-hosted.
- Self-hosted blogs allow you to own the domain name of your blog. For example, officialbryangrey.com. Going for a free blog means that the domain name of your blog will always end up with wordpress.com. For example, officialbryangrey.wordpress.com. That looks unprofessional, and it’s not advisable.
- Hosted blogs, like WordPress.com, limit the functionalities and plugins you can use as opposed to self-hosted blogs.
- A self-hosted blog is truly yours. You paid for your domain name and hosting so you have full control over your blog. However, a free or hosted blog isn’t really yours. Its control and features are restricted and it can be deleted at any time without your permission.
I recommend you go for a self-hosted WordPress blog with your own domain name and hosting. Your WordPress.org can be installed from your hosting cPanel account when you’ve bought your hosting.
So here are the steps on how to create a blog:
Purchase your domain name
Your domain name is the web address of your blog. Namecheap is the most popular domain name registrar. It’s the cheapest, solid, and most preferred company to purchase your domain name.
Head over to Namecheap and search for your desired domain name to know if it’s available.
Type in your domain name and click on the search icon. If the domain name is available, then add it to the cart and proceed to complete your purchase.
You can purchase your domain name with Namecheap here.
Get your web hosting
There are many things to look out for when choosing a good web host. You don’t want to hastily settle for a mediocre hosting company and then go through the stress of migrating your site to a superior hosting when you find one.
It’s best to start with solid hosting, and here are some things you should look out for when choosing a web host.
- Uptime – There should be zero server crashes or downtime with your preferred hosting company.
- Security – The highest level of web security should be in place to protect your site from malicious hackers.
- Cost – It shouldn’t be too expensive, neither should it be too cheap. Cheap hosting from experience performs poorly.
- Support – Technical and WordPress support should be able to respond to you with speed because there’s a high chance you’re going to run into some technical issues.
- Page speed – The hosting you’ll settle for should be optimized for page speed. This is particularly important as Google has announced that page speed is among its ranking factors and the industry benchmark for page speed is 2 seconds.
After doing my research and looking at real user reviews on the best web host that satisfies all the criteria listed above, I chose SiteGround.
I’ve been using SiteGround for a while now and I haven’t experienced any server crashes or downtime. Security-wise, all SiteGround servers run on the latest PHP 7 version with the latest security fixes.
SiteGround has a special price that starts at $3.95 per month, and did I forget to mention that their support is stellar too? The response time for live chat is almost instantaneous and tickets are answered at an average of 10 minutes.
The best part of it all is the boost in website speed provided by SiteGround hosting. Your blog will never be like one of those that takes forever to load.
With Google taking page speed into consideration when ranking sites, your blog has to load under 2 seconds.
SiteGround comes with an inbuilt powerful caching called SG Optimizer that increases the overall load time of your blog.
After you purchase your domain name, I recommend you host with SiteGround.
Head over to SiteGround and choose a plan.
Tick the box for “I already have a domain” and type the domain you’ve purchased already. If you don’t have a domain name, then go with “Register a New Domain.”
Then proceed to complete your billing order.
Update name servers in your domain registrar
After you’ve purchased SiteGround, login to your account and grab the name servers of your hosting account. You’re going to insert it inside your domain registrar, which is Namecheap if you used it.
I remember when I bought my hosting, I didn’t know I had to do this. Most posts I read on how to create a blog carefully omitted this part.
After I installed my WordPress and typed my domain name in my browser to open my blog, it showed me a message that my “domain has been parked.”
The trauma, panic, and headache I went through are still fresh in my memory. Thankfully, you’re not going through that. If you don’t update your name server, your blog will show that same message whenever you try to access it with a browser.
Updating your nameservers in your domain registrar points and connects your domain name to your web hosting.
So, let’s find your name server. Your nameservers are found in your hosting account.
If you use SiteGround, login to your account.
Go to Home >> My Accounts and open your cPanel.
A popup window alerting you that your cPanel is accessed securely will show. Click on “Proceed”.
On the right-hand side of your cPanel, you’ll see your name servers. There are usually two in number.
You’re going to insert the nameservers into your Namecheap account. Open another tab in your browser and log in to your domain name registrar. If you used Namecheap, sign in to Namecheap.
Go to “Domain List” and click on “Manage.”
Scroll down to the NAMESERVERS section and change the default name server to “Custom DNS” and insert your name servers in the space provided.
Click on a sign beside the Custom DNS to save changes.
Now you can sign out of Namecheap. You’ve successfully updated your name servers.
Install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for HTTPS Protocol
SiteGround offers you a free Let’s Encrypt Certificate that comes with their plans. It allows your site to have a secure protocol like https://www.yourdomain.com instead of http://www.yourdomain.com.
Login to your cPanel, and click on “Let’s Encrypt” under the SECURITY tab.
Select your domain and click on “Install.”
A success message will be displayed indicating that your SSL Certificate has been installed.
Now, you’ll want to enforce the SSL Certificate on your site, so that your blog can only be accessed over an HTTPS connection.
Go to “Select an Action” beside your domain name and click on “HTTPS Settings.”
Now, you have a valid SSL Certificate and HTTPS Protocol running on your site. Congratulations.
WordPress is usually installed in the cPanel of your hosting account. If you’ve purchased your hosting with SiteGround, login to your cPanel.
Under the “Autoinstallers” section, click on “WordPress.”
Click on “Install Now.”
Then you customize your settings for WordPress install.
If you have an SSL Certificate, you can change your domain protocol to https://www.yourdomain.com. If not, you’ll want to leave it at http://www.yourdomain.com.
HTTPS protocols are for secure sites only. Luckily, SiteGround offers a free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate to enable HTTPS protocols.
So, if you have an SSL Certificate installed, you can use the HTTPS protocol.
Leave the field for “In Directory” empty. Scroll down to “Site Name” and “Site Description” and insert your desired information there. It’s very important, as it would be used in Google search to locate your site.
Scroll further down to your Admin Account section and change your “Admin Username,” “Admin Password” and “Admin Email.” Your admin username and password are what you’ll use to regularly log in to your WordPress dashboard. So save it somewhere you can easily retrieve it.
Scroll down, click on Install and a congratulatory message will be shown containing the link to your WordPress admin dashboard, usually in the format of https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/.
Save the link to your WordPress admin dashboard somewhere, then open it in another browser. Here’s how your WordPress login page will be like. Enter your admin username and password here.
Log in and get access to your dashboard. Hooray!
Get started with a theme
WordPress offers some free, fancy themes you can choose from. Start by logging in to your admin dashboard. Go to Appearance >> Themes and you’ll see a list of free themes available for installation.
You’ll see an “Activate” button when you hover any free theme. Activate your desired theme.
Professional and premium themes can be gotten from Elegant Themes.
Quickest Way to Make Money Blogging – Start Now
After you must’ve learned how to create a blog from this post, the next issue is blog monetization.
For new bloggers, it’s best to start monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing involves being an affiliate of a product you trust, recommending it to your readers by inserting affiliate links to the product on your blog, and receiving a commission whenever a purchase is made using your affiliate link.
Here’s how it goes:
- Setup your kickass blog.
- Grow your audience and drive traffic to your blog. Very important.
- Build your email list with the incoming traffic by offering a lead magnet.
- Recommend an affiliate product you trust and start earning commissions.
- Keep providing value and building trust with your readers.
A simple powerful key to blog monetization is the ability to keep readers coming back to your blog. This is done by building your mailing list.
Setting up a lead magnet offer to ‘catch’ readers to your email list ensures you gradually build a following of loyal readers, establish trust and credibility by communicating through emails, and direct your email list traffic to whatever blog post or affiliate products you have later on.
First-time visitors are not likely to purchase any affiliate products you have. Usually, customers need to see your affiliate advertisement six to eight times before they make a purchase.
That’s why you have to do all you must to convert your visitors to email subscribers so you can stay in touch through emails until they finally make a purchase, and you receive your sweet commission.
In the beginning, you might have one subscriber, two, five, ten, fifty, and you’ll keep climbing to 100, 1000, and so on till you have a decent email traffic base that you can direct to whatever you publish on your blog.
You build your email list by offering free giveaways or lead magnets of value like eBooks that are content upgrades to your blog post. These are related, valuable, ‘done for you’ information that’ll help your readers implement what’s contained in your actionable blog post and see better results.
How to Create a Lead Magnet Offer
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to craft your lead magnet offer:
- Write your actual lead magnet in Microsoft Word and save it as a PDF.
- Upload it to Google Drive and get a shareable link to the PDF.
- Head over to your email list building tool, create an email campaign, add a short welcome email that includes the lead magnet shareable link your visitors will receive when they fill out your lead magnet form.
- Create your lead magnet form with Thrive Leads and connect it with the campaign you just created in your email list building tool.
- Insert your lead magnet form inside relevant parts of your blog post. Thrive Leads magnet form uses shortcodes that you can copy and paste into your WordPress visual editor when writing blog posts.
How to Get Traffic and Email Subscribers
Hopefully, with these detailed steps on how to create a blog, your blog must be all setup and ready for traffic.
Without decent traffic flowing into your blog, it’s a matter of time before you pack up. Traffic is truly the lifeblood of every online business.
Even little trickles of traffic could mean zero lead magnet signups and zero affiliate commissions.
Thankfully, that problem is solved for new bloggers like you. You can quickly grow your traffic and following organically on Pinterest without spending a dime on social media and Google ads trying to increase traffic.
Get Traffic Blueprint For Blogs today and solve that problem of traffic you’re having. Cheers.
Traffic Blueprint For Blogs
...for beginner and intermediate bloggers