The Newbie's Guide to Starting a WordPress Blog in 2020
I’ve created a step-by-step newbie’s guide to starting a WordPress blog, outlining exactly what to do to get your blog up and running right away. So if starting a WordPress Blog is one of your goals for 2020, keep reading.
Every newbie can use this guide to start a blog in 2020 no matter what niche they are writing about.
- A Profitable Blogger’s Mindset
- Select a Hosting Plan
- Find & Register a Domain Name
- Install/Login to WordPress
- Choose a Theme
- Customize Your Theme
- Start Blogging the Right Way
- Backup Your Site
- Market Your Blog
First, let’s figure out the minimum cost for a self-hosted WordPress blog (where you will own and control your site’s brand)…
Costs Analysis: If you’re trying to build a WordPress Website without Hello Ambi Designs & Hosting this is what you’ll find…
As you can see, starting a self-hosted WordPress blog on your own can become very expensive and this doesn’t include maintenance and designer or developer fees which alone can cost upwards of $1000 – $15,000 for a single site plus additional fees whenever you want to make little tweaks and changes. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be! You have lots of choices for starting a WordPress blog in 2020 at a reasonable cost.
Option A – Just Not Smart
Go it alone – Get you a self setup w/ free theme $70, no security, poor support from customer service, no added features and worst… slow load times. You’ll be left struggling to figure it all out on your own.
Option B – A Great Value!!!
Purchase themes and plugins from the companies we trust + 35/mo for all the basics w/ (FREE Domain, FREE SSL, Pre-Install of WordPress, Nightly Backups, 99.9% Uptime, Unlimited Bandwidth, WordPress Tutorials and an Expert Support Team to back you up, all to the tune of $535 (Value of more than $1000)
Option C – Way Too Expensive!
Hire a web developer and/or designer to professionally setup with various required and premium elements: $1499-$2499 + recurring maintenance fees.
With Hello Ambi Designs & Hosting you’ll be paying a fraction of that cost and enjoying loads of premium features. Follow my step-by-step guide and you’ll save hundreds (for some maybe even thousands) of dollars, get your blog setup the right way and with much less hassle.
Step 1: A Profitable Blogger’s Mindset
Blogs don’t make money; businesses that blog do!
Before you begin blogging, you should really ask yourself why you want to blog. Many people think they want to blog because they enjoy the writing process or they are hoping for some notoriety. Truth is, most bloggers don’t become famous for writing stellar content, however anyone who wants to have a profitable blog can. It all starts with a business mindset, not a writer’s mindset. The blog is the vehicle for which you will market your business. With that said, here are 3 questions you should ask yourself to determine if this is the right path for you to take at this time. If after answering these questions you still believe that you have a viable business, will power and dedication to accomplish this goal, move on to step 2.
- What type of business will you build?
- What’s your commitment level (time & financial investment)? Don’t make it easy to break a commitment to yourself.
- What role do you want your website to play in building/growing your business? (Download my Web Service Guide to help you discover resources to power your website).
Step 2: Select a Hosting Plan
Web Hosting is where your files are stored on the internet.
Hosting is the water of internet services. Without it, you won’t be able to do much. Consider hosting to be your house, your domain is your address and your theme is all of your fancy decor. Choosing a hosting plan is also a lot like buying real estate; it’s digital real estate. You want it to be fast, secure and large enough to store all of your files and powerful enough to handle your visitors. Choosing the right plan that fits for you. How much space do you need? Hello Ambi has three hosting plans. If you want to know which one is perfect for you download my Web Service Guide to discover your recommended plan. Once you select a hosting plan with Hello Ambi, you’ll be prompted to register or search for a domain name.
Step 3: Find & Register A Domain Name
Your Domain is like your website’s street address. You give this out so people know where to go to find you online.
With all of the Hello Ambi hosting plans, you receive 1 FREE year of .com domain registration. In addition, we also provide FREE SSL (https://). An SSL is required for eCommerce sites to protect purchaser’s private information on your site and prevent fraud. Pro Tip: You can search for a domain before making your purchase if you aren’t sure that your name is available. Do a little research on what to name your business and choose something just as easy or similar to help others find you online.
Step 4: Install/Login to WordPress
WordPress powers over 30% of websites on the internet.
Hello Ambi pre-installs WordPress for you, but you can keep reading to learn how to login to access your site’s dashboard and admin panel. If you are hosting with another company you will need to contact your hosting service provider. If you have any problems, please submit a support ticket to our friendly expert staff.
How to Login to WordPress
〉Go your favorite internet browser
〉Paste and go to “yourname.com/wp-admin”
〉Enter your username and password
Step 5: Choose a Theme
Although there are lots of free and cheap WordPress themes available on the internet, some aren’t updated or can be really difficult to customize. Choose wisely!
Choosing the perfect theme can mean the difference between a good and a horrible experience with using the WordPress platform to operate your blog. Often times when people say that WordPress is too complicated or difficult to use, it’s because they have chosen a theme that isn’t easy to customize. If you are just starting out and planning to do all of your own customizations and edits, be sure to choose a theme with an easy to use page builder. Test out the themes demo and always read reviews. Don’t skip that part! Read more about this here. Want a designer quality theme? Try the Genesis Framework. It’s a theme that uses widgets to display it’s content. Some Genesis themes may require a little coding knowledge, but nothing you can’t use a cheat sheet for or find answers for with a quick Google or YouTube search.
Step 6: Customize Your Theme
Add photos, your logo, special fonts and light plugins that align with your brand.
Often times when people say that WordPress is too complicated or difficult to use, it’s because they have chosen a theme that isn’t easy to customize. It’s very easy to install a theme, but if you’ve chosen a theme with poor documentation it can be challenging to make changes or import content to make it look just like the demo. Hello Ambi will install and activate your theme for you. Change it as many times as you like, simply submit a support ticket and send us your theme files. We aim to do all installs within 12-24 hours (business hours only)
Once you’ve installed your theme, don’t forget to Install and activate any essential plugins. You can also purchase other elements to add blog styling from places like Creative Market, WooCommerce, ActiveCampaign and of course photos (I recommend using a stock image subscription service like PixiStock or Haute Stock to save time and create brand continuity.) For more suggestions on products and services, download my Web Service Guide.
Step 7: Start Blogging the Right Way
Prioritize site structure from the very beginning otherwise it will be difficult for search engines to determine what content is most important on your WordPress blog.
Although site structure is extremely important to search engine optimization (seo), many bloggers don’t take advantage of this important tool for being found on the internet. I suggest starting out by writing cornerstone pages (main topics) and then pointing to those pages from your blog pages (supporting topics or more in depth info about your main topics). Want to know more about SEO? Check out Yoast.com. They have lots of useful info and even better courses on seo.
Step 8: Backup Your Site
Always, always, always back up your site before making changes.
If you’re making changes to your WordPress blog site on a regular, including maintenances, theme or plugin updates, you should be backing up your work. There are many ways to do this, but Hello Ambi does automatic nightly backups, provided you don’t go over as long as your account doesn’t exceed 100,000 inodes or 20GBs.
Step 9: Market Your Blog
Now you’re ready to get your message out to the world.
Now you’re ready to get the word out about your business, by sharing your domain name and links to your blog. Your WordPress blog is the hub for your brand. Use social media to promote all of the great content you are sharing on your blog, not the other way around. (So many people get that part wrong!) Integrate/connect all of your social media platforms and your email list sign up to your WordPress blog. Now you will be able to share posts and pages straight from your WordPress blog.
Once you’ve gone through all 9 steps, you’ll be ready to take your blog to next level with advanced blogging.