Are you new to blogging? Do you have challenges on how to start a WordPress blog?
Are you still having questions about the best hosting service for your blog?
This article will give you an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to start your WordPress blog using Bluehost.
Starting a blog in 2021 has never been this easy. Several years ago, creating a blog would have required coding, web development, and all its technicalities besides the pocket tearing cost of hosting it and having a domain name.
Today, in less than an hour, you can own a WordPress blog and host it on Bluehost with a domain name at a meagre price, even without prior knowledge of coding or website building.
But before we get to the “how?”, let’s start with the “what?”
What is a WordPress blog?
You can skip this if you know what a WordPress blog is already.
The term ‘blog’ became popular in 2007 and was taken from the word ‘weblog.’ It’s liked an online diary or journal where you can write just about any topic of your choice.
WordPress, like many other blogging sites, is an application that gives you space where you can put out your ideas in the form of blogs. It’s like a website already built with tools and buttons that you can customize to your taste.
There are several blogging sites you can use to start your blog. However, WordPress is the simplest blogging site to operate. It is beginner-friendly and can be used for several other purposes, such as digital marketing.
Most companies build their website with WordPress. WordPress is commonly used by top-notch bloggers and has about 60 million blogs already making 7 figures from WordPress blogging.
How to Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost
Bluehost is a web hosting platform that allows you to host your WordPress blog. Consider Bluehost as an online space you rent for your blog.
Bluehost provides an area where you can store up your files and images that you want people to see when they click on your domain name.
A domain name is like your internet address. For instance, bluehost.com is the domain name for the Bluehost Hosting Service Company. It’s a unique name peculiar to you.
Once it is typed in a search engine, it leads straight to your site.
Bluehost has been in existence for a while and has been widely used for WordPress blogs. Every WordPress blog comes with a free.wordpress.com domain name (e.g., annie.wordpress.com), which is considered unprofessional.
Hence, I highly recommended that you acquire your domain name (e.g. www.anniestextiles.com), and host with Bluehost which gives you free of charge in your first year of hosting with them.
5 Steps on How to Start a WordPress Blog
If followed correctly, there are five simple steps to help you get started on your blogging journey on WordPress.
- Getting a Domain name and Web hosting on Bluehost
- Setting up your WordPress blog
- WordPress theme and plugins set up
- Content, content, content
- Search Engine Optimization
1. Getting a Domain Name and web hosting
As I mentioned earlier, a domain name is your online address. It is peculiar to you and will lead visitors straight to your blog once they click on it. Bluehost, which is one of the most widely used and reliable web-hosting providers, allows you to purchase an “online space” for your blog as well as a domain name.
Once you go to bluehost.com, you would find a page like this:
Bluehost happens to be one of the cheapest hosting services at $2.95 per month annually and comes with a free domain name.
It has different pricing packages you can choose from.
Go ahead and click on your preferred package and get started. In the next step, you can create a domain name of your choice.
This is where you choose what name you’d like to call your blog.
The next step takes you where you can now input your account information and proceed to payment, as seen in the image below.
2. Setting Up Your WordPress Blog
While installing a WordPress Blog may seem tasking to a non-techy person, it is a straightforward thing to do.
Like you, several non-techy people have built websites with WordPress, and you are just about to join that list of people.
Once payment is completely made for your WordPress blog, an email with details on how to log in to your Web hosting panel (cPanel) will be sent to you.
Once you click this link, you’ll be redirected to your hosting dashboard, where you will manage everything and especially install WordPress.
Scroll down and look for the WordPress icon as most of the other icons are at the moment unimportant.
The WordPress icon is located in the website section of the cPanel. Once clicked, a Bluehost Marketplace Quick Install for WordPress will appear. Click on the ‘Get Started’ button to continue.
On the next screen, you will be asked to select the domain name you wish to install in WordPress.
Choose the domain name you have recently purchased for your WordPress blogging and click Next.
At this point, you’ll be required to fill in your WordPress blog’s name, admin username, and password for your blog.
This can be changed later in WordPress settings should you wish to change it for any reason. You’ll also need to check all the checkboxes on the screen and then click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.
WordPress will immediately begin to install on your blog. Once the installation is over, you’ll see a success message in the top header.
Once completed, you will have to click on the ‘Installation Complete’ link, and you will be redirected to a page with your WordPress login URL and password.
With this, you have just successfully created your first website blog. In the following few steps, you will learn few more things that will help you complete building your website with WordPress.
Head over to your WordPress login page and log in. This can be done by typing your blog’s URL in your browser and pressing ‘enter’.
Your login URL will look like this: http://www.yournewdomain.com/wp-admin
Once on your login page, you can log in to WordPress with the admin username and password entered earlier.
To make your blog appealing, there is a need to do some customization.
3. How to Setup WordPress theme and plugins
Appearance is very important when it comes to WordPress blogging.
This determines whether people will want to spend their precious time on your blog or not. The pages have to look very appealing and even attractive.
This can be achieved by installing and customizing a preferred theme.
By default, a basic theme will be used for your just-created WordPress blog.
You are expected to change it to make the visual Appearance look beautiful. This can be achieved by exploring the WordPress theme directory.
On your WordPress admin dashboard, hover on ‘appearance’ and then navigate on themes.
Click on ‘Add New’ thereafter. Once that has been done, you will be able to select from among the thousands of available themes in the WordPress blog directory.
These themes can be filtered in many ways: popular, featured, latest, etc. It is usually good to have an idea of a preferred theme as this will save time and help picture how the Appearance of the blog should be. If the preferred theme is known, all that is needed is just to search for it and install it. The install button will appear on the theme after it has been searched.
It is that simple.
Once the preferred theme has been installed, you will then need to customize it according to your taste. The Customize link under the Appearance is your go-to for this to be achieved.
This will launch the theme customizer, where you will be able to change your theme settings with a live preview of your website.
The beauty of your WordPress blog may not come out immediately as expected. This is because your blog is still a skeleton at the moment. It needs flesh, otherwise called contents, for its beauty to be brought out.
4. Creating Content for your WordPress blog
You might have heard the phrase “content is king” before. Well, it is very accurate.
Without content, there is practically no reason for building a website with WordPress or hosting a blog, for that matter.
By default, WordPress comes with two default content types called post and pages.
Posts are part of your WordPress blog contents and appear in reverse-chronological order (newer items displayed first).
You can, of course, change the order of your post appearance.
Since you are just starting, it is advised that you maintain the default order.
WordPress, by default, features your most recent post and shows suggestions of related or previous posts somewhere on the page.
You can set how often you want these related posts to be displayed and the position of the page you want them displayed.
Let’s add some content to your WordPress blog.
You’ll start by adding a few pages to your WordPress blog. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough content for these pages at the moment.
You can always edit and update them.
Head over to Pages » Add New page in the WordPress admin area.
This will bring you to the page editor screen, which will look similar to this, depending on your theme.
After that, you can add content in the text editor below. You can add text, links, images, embed videos, audio, etc.
After adding content to your page, you can click on the publish button to make it live on your WordPress blog.
You can repeat the process by adding more pages for different sections of your blog. For example, an about page, contact us, etc.
Now let’s add a few blog posts as well, which is, of course, very important.
Head over to Posts » Add New in your WordPress admin area, where you will see a screen as you saw earlier when adding pages.
You can add a post title and then add content in the visual post editor.
You can click on the “Save Draft” button to store your post as a draft or click on the publish button to make it visible on your WordPress blog.
5. Optimizing your WordPress Blog for Traffic Through SEO
Search Engine Optimization, popularly called SEO, is crucial in getting traffic to your WordPress blog; this is an essential part of building your WordPress website.
Imagine, after going through the entire process of creating a blog and putting content, no people are visiting and interacting with your posts. It will simply be a waste of time and resources.
That is why it is essential to understand the concept of SEO and how to incorporate it into your WordPress blog appropriately.
When this is correctly done, your search-engine-optimized content will appear higher in the search results when people search the Web for topics you write about. As a result, you’ll get more people clicking and visiting your blog.
SEO entails using the right keywords in titles and the body of your write-ups.
Those keywords allow Google to rank your article once it is searched for.
One of the easiest ways to have a search engine optimized blog is to make your blog or blog articles rank for certain keywords so that search engines like Google, Bing Yahoo etc. can easily index the site and show your content to more people when they search for content using related keyphrases or keywords that your WordPress blog is ranking for.
You can check out the words or phrases used frequently in that niche you want to write on.
Also, check out the top 3 websites that google displays when you search for a certain topic and pay attention to the keywords that are used frequently.
Make use of them in your blog in a way that makes sense. This will increase visitors to your blog.
11 Tricks to Optimize your Blog Post for SEO
Before you think of how to start a WordPress blog, one of the things you need to learn is content optimization.
This very key in building an SEO friendly website with WordPress.
Writing SEO-friendly articles is basically doing some tweaks on your page such that Google can recognize what you are writing about a particular keyword and rank it above other articles once that keyword is searched for.
This is also called on-page SEO.
Here are some tips and tricks that help you write SEO-friendly articles.
1. Use a Captivating Blog Post Title
When writing an article, one of the first things you have to think about is the title.
Don’t begin writing an article when you don’t have a title. The title is the main thing that will help you rank on Google and get you more visitors to your blog.
It’s the first thing people will see on your website or on search engines.
If you are new to copywriting or crafting great headlines, free title generator sites can help you to craft good WordPress blog post titles within minutes.
If your title is attractive, chances are that people will click on it more. This is called CTR or click-through rate.
Whenever it gets more clicks, the CTR will increase and in this way, you will get a higher rank on Google. It is very important when it comes to ranking your articles.
An example of a good title: How To Have A Fantastic Affiliate Marketing Strategy without Spending Money.
The keyword here is “Affiliate Marketing”. Hence, once the keyword “Affiliate Marketing” is entered on Google search, this article is likely to come up.
There are amazing headline generators that you can use in creating an attractive headline.
Kickass Headline Generator and SEOpressor are good places to check for captivating headlines.
2. A Captivating Introduction
Your introduction should be able to capture the reader’s interest and keep her hooked on your article.
You can achieve that by spelling out the possible problems that your reader might be having in getting conversions (if you are writing on the topic mentioned above).
And using words that give hope and promise the reader that they will find a solution to her problem in your article.
3. Use of Subheadings
Many people find it difficult to read a blog post that is just filled with block texts.
Once they scroll down and lose interest, they will quickly leave your page.
This is not good for your site.
Once Google sees that people do not spend time on your page, it reduces its ranking and you wouldn’t want that if you’re aiming for the top rank on Google search.
Hence, break your articles into simple paragraphs and use headlines as seen in the image below (If you’re using a WordPress blog, then you will find this easy to do.
4. Optimizing Images
Images have been known to make your article more interesting to read.
People will stay more on your site if you have images in between your write-ups.
However, dropping images without optimizing them might not have much effect on having an SEO-friendly article.
You can optimize your images by resizing it such that it doesn’t take so long to load.
You can add keywords to your images by naming them accordingly.
For example, if you have a website that sells shoes or other clothing, instead of naming an image something like “wedge heels” you could name it “best heels for outdoor events.”
You can also strategically use some of your keywords in the title of your image and in the caption or description.
5. Use of Videos
Videos are a great way to keep people on your page.
People will find it easy to watch a video than to just read a long blog post.
However, ensure that you embed the link to the video hosted on another site into your page.
This will make it faster to load and will contribute to the number of outbound links on your article which helps in optimizing your article.
This tells Google that your article is rich and might contain helpful content for the reader. So it will improve your ranking on Google.
I will highly recommend creating your own videos and publishing them on YouTube, this way you can just copy the link and embed it on your WordPress blog.
You don’t need expensive cameras to shoot videos, you can use a screen recording and editing software like Camtasia to record quick and professional videos for your YouTube channel.
7. Add Inbound and Outbound Links to Your WordPress Blog Posts
Just as I mentioned earlier, adding links that will direct people to other places from your site is important in optimizing your article. These type of links are called outbound links.
Outbound links are those links that link your readers to other sources with authority that validate your claims or information that you have put out in your article.
This makes your article more authentic and credible, a feature that will make your article rank on Google search.
While internal links or ” Inbound links ” are links that when clicked on, will direct people to other pages or posts within your website.
This could be a link to more detailed content that you have previously written that is related to the one you are currently writing on.
7. Shorten Your WordPress Blog Links
Positing long outbound or Inbound links may look unprofessional and offensive to readers. People are less likely to click on longer links than shorter links.
It is good practice to shorten your links and give each article on your WordPress blog a professional look. Use link shortening tools like Rebrandly or bit.ly to shorten your links.
Alternatively, use the “insert link” option when creating your WordPress blog post to neatly insert to your post.
8. Use Rich Keywords in Your Articles
As much as you write, ensure to populate your blog post with keywords that will help Google to recognize your write-up.
These keywords are usually collated from popular searches on Google about a particular thing.
So any of which is used in your article once searched for, Google automatically suggests your article as the best place to get more information about the keyword.
However, be careful not to overuse it because Google might detect it and hurt your chances of ranking high.
It is advisable that you use it strategically and in a way that flows naturally with the content in your article.
Most keywords are highly competitive and may be hard to rank for because high authority sites are already ranking for these keywords.
If your WordPress blog is new, consider doing thorough keyword research and aim to rank for keywords with low SEO difficulty.
9. Use SEO Plugins to Aid Your Writing
This applies to everyone who does WordPress blogging.
If you built your website with WordPress, you will notice that there is a feature where you can install apps in the website (plugins) that will aid your writing.
One of such apps is Yoast SEO.
As you write, it tells you how strong or weak your SEO is. I
t also helps you check for errors and suggest better alternatives you can use in your article that will boost your SEO.
Also, with Yoast, you get to edit the description that will be shown under your link when it appears on Google. This description is meant to be captivating so as to pull more visitors to your page.
10. Have a Good Conclusion
More often than not, readers, once they come on your page scroll to the last part of your article to get a summary of what the article is talking about.
If it has what they are looking for, then they will go back to the top and start reading.
So it is very important to summarize what the article is talking about in few sentences in your conclusion and also highlight the benefit of what they will gain if they followed the points you have raised in the main body.
11. Call to Action
After reading your blog post, what action do you want your readers to take? This is the point where they can now move from visitors to constant readers, followers or customers.
Ensure you highlight the action you want them to take.
For example, if you are promoting a product in your article, you can use the “buy now”, “order yours” or you can ask them to subscribe to your weekly emails or newsletter.
If you are able to pay close attention to these tips I have pointed out, in no time, you will not only have an in-depth understanding of how to start a WordPress blog but a clear picture of how to write articles that will rank on Google and help you gain more traffic to your site.