If you want to know how to build a WordPress blog but don’t know where to start, you’re in luck! In this article, we will walk you through the basic steps of setting up your WordPress blog from start to finish.
We’ll cover everything from choosing a domain name and web host to installing WordPress and adding content to your blog. Plus, we’ll discuss some basic SEO techniques that will help ensure that your blog gets found by interested readers online.
Building a WordPress blog is a great way to share your ideas, build valuable SEO for your company website, and build an audience for your work. Learning how to build a WordPress blog may be easier than you realize, simply follow step-by-step. Let’s get started!
Why use WordPress instead of another blogging platform?
What do you need to start a WordPress blog?
In this article, we will cover how to build a WordPress blog from scratch. This article assumes you do not have a website created already.
With WordPress, as with most other platforms, your blog and your website can be hosted together. My website, for example, is built using WordPress. It has only four pages: Home, My Story, Work With Me, and my Blog. Besides these four pages, the rest of my website continent is made up exclusively of blog posts.
Learning how to build a WordPress blog is one thing, but actually publishing the blog is another. While WordPress itself is free, there can be a few other costs involved depending on your needs and preferences.
Here’s what you will need to download (some free, some not) to start your WordPress blog and/or blog-inclusive website from scratch:
Website hosting provider
After you have chosen and purchased your domain name, you will need to set up hosting for your website. This is where your website’s files will live so that they are viewable and accessible.
You will need to download the WordPress software to your computer. This is a free open-source software that you can find at wordpress.org.
A website builder (or none if you know how to code)
A WordPress theme that works well for your business
Your WordPress theme is what will determine the design, layout, and feel of your blog. You can find both free and paid themes on WordPress or from other third-party websites.
Ability to add content to your blog
You will need to be able to create and add content, such as text, images, and videos, to your blog. There are many content creation programs, both free unpaid, that can help including my favorite design software tools powered by AI.
WordPress plug-ins to extend functionality
WordPress plug-ins are optional but can be very helpful in adding extra features and functionality to your blog. For example, the RankMath SEO plug-in is great for optimizing your blog posts for search engines.
A Google Analytics account
How to build a WordPress blog step-by-step
Follow these steps below to create your WordPress blog.
Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name is the address people will use to find your website on the internet. It’s important to understand at this point that whichever domain registrar you choose to purchase your domain name from doesn’t also have to be the place where you host your website.
For example, I purchased my domain name through GoDaddy, but my website is hosted on a hosting platform called WPX.com. I have the flexibility at any time to switch to another hosting platform if, for some reason, I was not happy with my current platform.
If you are creating a blog to be integrated into your business website, and your business website is hosted with an all-in-one platform such as Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, or similar platforms, you will want to create your blog through your already established host.
This is because having a blog separate from your website doesn’t make sense from a search engine optimization standpoint. That being said, some platforms such as Weebly have somewhat primitive SEO capabilities that typically won’t give your website the boost WordPress can give.
Your domain name should be:
- Easy to remember
- One or two words
- Relevant to your niche or industry
Step 2: Choose your website hosting provider
The next step is to choose your website hosting provider. This is the platform where your website’s files will live and be viewable on the internet.
There are many different hosting providers available, and they all offer different features at different price points. Do some research to find one that best suits your needs.
Ideally, you will want a hosting provider that offers:
- 24/seven customer support
- Automatic backups
- Security features
- Scalability (the ability to grow your website as your traffic increases)
The two hosting providers I recommend are Bluehost and WPX.
Step 3: Download WordPress
The next step is to download WordPress. Here’s how you do that:
- Visit the WordPress website
- Click on the “Get Started” button.
- Choose your domain name and hosting provider.
- Fill out your personal information.
- Choose your plan.
- Enter your payment information and complete the purchase.
Step 4: Choose your website builder
Now that you have WordPress installed, it’s time to choose your website builder. This is the software you will use to create and design your blog posts and pages. WordPress has a built-in builder called the Gutenberg editor, which is what I recommend using if you are not already familiar with other builders.
Gutenberg is a newer way of creating content that is much easier to use than the old-fashioned way of creating posts and pages with shortcodes. Shortcodes are still used occasionally when you need to add specific functionality to your blog post or page, but for the most part, they are no longer necessary.
If you choose to go with Gutenberg you don’t need to do anything at this point, it is already installed. If you want to use a different builder like Elementor, Divi, or Beaver Builder you’ll need to download and add it to your WordPress plugins.
Learn more about website builders here.
Step 5: Choose your WordPress theme
The next step is to choose your WordPress theme. This is the design of your website, and it can be changed at any time. There are thousands of themes to choose from, so take your time and find one that you like.
A few things to keep in mind when choosing a theme:
- Make sure it is compatible with the builder you chose in step four.
- Choose a theme that is responsive, which means it will look good on all devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Pick a style that you like and that is relevant to your niche or industry.
- You can always change your theme later if you change your mind.
Step 6: Add content to your blog
Now it’s time to start adding content to your blog. WordPress makes it easy to add text, images, videos, and other media to your posts and pages.
To create a new post:
- Click on the “Posts” tab in the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on the “Add New” button.
- Enter a title for your post in the “Title” box.
- Start writing your post in the “Content” box.
- When you are finished, click on the “Publish” button.
When writing new content for your blog you may want to consider using an AI writing tool to assist you. AI writing tools are powered by artificial intelligence and can help a writer with grammar, sentence structure, and even write portions of the article for you. My two favorites are Jasper and ClosersCopy.
Learning how to blog using AI writing tools is a skill you will want to develop to stay ahead, or even at pace, with the competition.
Step 7: Add plug-ins to extend WordPress functionality
If you want to add additional functionality to your website such as an email subscription form, social media share buttons, or an eCommerce store, you can do so by installing WordPress plugins. Plugins are like small apps that you can add to your website to extend its functionality.
There are thousands of plugins available for free, and many more premium plugins that come with a price tag. Some of the most popular plugins are:
Contact Form DB – allows you to create contact forms and manage submissions
WooCommerce – turns your WordPress blog into an online store
RankMath – helps you optimize your blog posts for better search engine ranking
To install a plugin simply go to the “Plugins” tab in your WordPress dashboard, click on the “Add New” button, and search for the plugin you want to install. Once you’ve found it, click on the “Install Now” button and follow the prompts.
Step 8: Setup your Google Analytics account
Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to track your website traffic. It is important to set up Google Analytics so that you can see how many people are visiting your site, where they are coming from, and what pages they are looking at.
To set up your Google Analytics account:
- Go to the Google Analytics website and sign up for a free account.
- Once you have an account, click on the “Admin” tab in the top navigation bar.
- In the “Property” column, click on the “Create Property” button.
- Enter your website name and URL, choose your Industry Category, and select the time zone for your location.
- Click on the “Get Tracking ID” button.
Copy and paste the tracking code into the head section of your WordPress website. You can do this by going to the “Appearance” tab in your WordPress dashboard and clicking on the “Editor” link. Then, click on the “Header.php” file in the right sidebar and paste your tracking code into that file just before the closing.
Step 9: Promote your blog
Now that your blog is up and running, you need to start promoting it so people can find it. There are many ways to promote your blog, such as:
Social media – Share your blog posts on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Email marketing – Send an email to your list of subscribers letting them know about your new blog post.
Guest blogging – Write a guest blog post for another website in your industry or niche and include a link back to your own site.
Paid advertising – Use paid advertising platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your website.
By following these steps, you will be well on your way to creating a successful WordPress Blog. If you get stuck at any point, there are plenty of resources available to help you, including the WordPress support forum and various blog posts and tutorials.