I bet I can guess why you’re here. You’ve always been thinking to learn blogging and you have no knowledge how to get started with it. Right?
I’m glad you’ve decided to start blogging, I’m sure a big thing is going to happen in your life now. You’re going to have friends, knowledge, skills, money, freedom and whatnot. It is not easy to grow in blog within a day or month or specific time period. However, you can become a successful blogger with perseverance and the right efforts.
Most importantly, you need someone who can teach you practically and guide you through it. That’s the reason I have created and organized the resources that you want to learn and grow in blogging over the time.
Are you excited? Let’s begin!
Learn Blogging Fundamentals and Basics Step-by-Step (Blogging for Beginners)
What is a blog?
A blog is a website with subpages on which the author(s) share their knowledge about a particular subject.
For example: Let’s say you are good at cooking a variety of foods. No matter if it is a hobby or you’re already running a food business locally, you can always start a blog online, teach people about cooking and eventually make money by monetizing your blog.
What is blogging?
The process of creating a blog, setting up the pages, publishing content in the form of articles, promoting the blog and building the audience base, and of course, making money, are all part of blogging. So there is no clear definition for blogging.
Blogging journey includes learning of so many cool skills like writing, proofreading, designing images, graphics, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, networking and so on.
What are some blog examples?
It is important to go visit some blogs to understand exactly what a blog is. So I’m going to share two blog examples here:
- Blogging Explained – On my blog, I share tips and strategies for beginners to grow in blogging. That’s my passion: to teach something that I already know about bloggin and I make money through it.
- YoungAdventuress – On her blog, Liz shares her travel stories and adventures to inspire you to travel the world before it gets late.
Both the examples tell you how you can perfectly turn your passion into blogging.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
- For domain – Free of cost
- For hosting – Rs.99/mo
These are two basic things that you want initially. However, as you explore more about blogging, you might need a theme, SEO tools, and other blogging tools, etc.
How to start a blog (step-by-step tutorial)?
Technically, you need three things to start a blog.
#1. Niche: It is the topic on you will blog. For example: Motivational blog, religious blog, Food blog, Sports blog, Movie reviews blog, etc. Now you know what is niche, you need to be clear about choosing a profitable niche for your new blog. You must read my article about How To Find Perfect Profitable Blog Niche Step by Step (With Bonus 20+ Ideas).
#2. Domain name: Mine is www.bloggingexplained.com and for you what it is gonna be? Once you decide blog niche, go to online dictionary or domain name generator tools and brainstorm for words from your niche.
For example, if you’ve decided to start a blog on sports, you can try domain name like sportsbuddy.com or pocketsports.com, etc.
You can also purchase a domain of your name. Like, www.yourfullname.com.
FYI, .com, .net, .biz, .in, etc are called as domain extensions. Don’t worry about it too much as it doesn’t make much difference in the success of your blog. Just pick any extension that is available!
#3. Web hosting: It is a place somewhere online (technically it is called a server), where your blog content and data will be stored for some fee yearly.
In the current market, there are so many web hosting companies. Don’t go searching Internet, you will be exhausted and confused with so many options. As I promised, I will make this task easy for you by recommending HostPapa.
HostPapa hosting is probably one of the top 10 web hosting companies in the world with best support and budget plans. It perfectly fits to a new blogger – You will get complete technically support. Like connecting your domain name with web hosting, setting up the blog online, and so on.
In fact, I use the SiteGround for this blog and another, I just love it. You can reach to me for help, I will do the setup for free.
Go to HostPapa and buy the basic plan.
I have bought a domain name and hosting. Now what?
All you need to do is visit my tutorial on creating a blog step-by-step and follow the instructions from Step 4.
What is the best blogging platform to start a blog?
If you’re not aware what is blogging platform yet, it is nothing but the dashboard where you manage your blog online. Technically, it is called as CMS (Content Management System).
The popular CMS names are WordPress.org, Ghost.org, Blogger.com, Wix.com, Ghost, SquareSpace, etc.
Don’t get confused with so many names. Here is the thing – 96% of bloggers use WordPress.org for blogging. It is easy to use, has many customization options, secured and tons of resources available for smooth blogging.
Can I also start a blog for free of cost?
Yes, you can.
But I don’t recommend that if you want to make a career in blogging. Here is why:
Blogger.com, Wix.com, etc platforms give you the option to create a blog for free. However, their brand extension will come at the end of your blog name.
For example: nettyfeed.wordpress.com, nettyfeed.wixsite.com, nettyfeed.blogspot.com. These kind of blogs are good for sharing personal stories but not any good to make money.
If you want to remove that extension, you need to pay to them. However, If you go with WordPress.org, you don’t need to pay to use the platform, it is absolutely free.
What is a theme?
A theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a design or a template which you can customize to make your blog appear online.
Once you setup the blog, you can design your blog with a perfect theme by navigating through:
- WordPress Dashboard –> Appearance –> Themes
WordPress.org has tons of themes in its library (both free and paid).
What are some best WordPress themes and which one should I install?
Well, if you’re new to blogging, it might be hard to evaluate a perfect theme for your blog because of the various options available.
Plus, if you don’t have any pages or content yet on your blog, maybe you should not go aggressive about themes.
I would suggest you going with simple, fast loading, secured and highly customized theme like Astra. In fact, I use the same for my blog. It has both the free and paid version. For time being, activate Astra free version and later you can upgrade to the pro version for just $41.
What is a page and how to create a page?
Usually, a page is used to present information to your readers. It could be about you or a product or some guidelines. You can create unlimited pages on your blog and they can be updated with new information whenever you want.
Now let’s understand how to create a page in WordPress.
Go to your WP dashboard–>Pages–>Add New.
For example, create “about” page, add information about you, picture, etc, set the URL of page(yourwebsitename.com/about) and hit the publish button.
Now enter the URL in new window and see how the page would appear for your users.
What are the important blog pages I must have?
Blog pages could help your users and Google bots navigate and understand your blog better. Every blog has different purpose and goals, depending on that pages must be created. However, below are 4 crucial pages you must have on your blog:
#1. Home: There are two choices when it comes to displaying a ‘home’ page. They are:
- Recent blog posts (Example: hugestepup.com)
- Static page (Example: nettyfeed.com)
You can set this option at WP Dashboard –> Settings –> Reading
If you set home page to a static one, you need to enter the which page is ‘home’ page and which has to be the ‘recent posts’ page as shown in the above picture.
But if you set home page to recent posts, all your latest posts will be displayed on your home page.
#2. About You: Since you are a new blogger people might not know you, especially the people who come through organic traffic. After reading your content, they want to know about you and search for ‘About’ page. So you need to win their trust and make them a subscriber at the first sight.
As a matter of fact, my About page is one of the popular pages on my blog.
#3. Contact: Your visitors may want to advertise on your blog and you must have contact page for them to reach you for discussions. Else, you might lose the business.
Mention your email ID or social media handle to get in touch with you.
#4. Blog: This the page where you can display all your recent blog posts if you had set ‘Home’ page as ‘static’. Take a look at my blog page for better knowledge.
#5. Disclaimer: If you’re selling your services, affiliate products on your blog, then you must inform your users about the same and your responsibility for those products.
Few of above pages are very essential pages if you want monetize your blog through Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, otherwise channels.
What is the menu and how to create it?
Usually, what do you find in the menu when you visit a restaurant?
List of food items, right?
Similarly, a menu on your blog tells about the pages and posts you have. And you can organize them into categories as well. For example, take a look at my header – I have ‘about’ page, ‘blog’, and categories.
How to create blog menu?
Go to WP dashboard –> Appearance –> Customize –> Menu –> Create new menu
Importantly, you can create two menus for your blog:
- Header menu
- Footer menu
What are header and footer on a blog?
Header is the top area of your website and footer is the bottom. You can set the items to be displayed here through your customization section.
What are some basic initial settings to do on my WordPress blog?
#1. Upload a logo – Go to Appearance, Customization and then Site Identity where you can find the option to upload your logo.
Logo can be designed freely from platforms like Canva.com, shopify, etc within minutes. If you want to get this done from a professional, be ready with $25 to $50 and move to trusted freelancing site like Fiverr.
If you don’t want to focus on logo for now, enter the ‘site title’ as your blog name and display it.
#2. Delete the default sample content – Remove the sample “hello world” content from Pages and Posts section.
#3. General settings: Set the title, site address (URL) for your blog that appear on the Internet. Enter/change the admin email ID that can be accessed easily by you.
Set the “Default New User Role” to “Subscriber”.
Time zone-format, date and format can be set as per the region you put up and save the changes.
#4. Reading settings: You can check out the reading settings in one of the above sections (what are the important blog pages do I need to have).
#5. Discussion settings: Here you can adjust the settings for your blog comments. The most important point to note is to ‘enable’ the option called ‘Comments must be manually approved’.
#6. Permalink settings: WordPress.org platform offers you the ability to create a custom URL for each post and page that you publish on your blog.
The ideal default permalink setting is “Post name”.
#7. Setup the admin profile: Set your profile details (administrator) under users section. So whenever you publish a new post, the author bio will appears at the bottom of the post. I suggest you install “Simple Author Box” plugin for better look.
Here you can add users as authors, admin and subscribers. Careful if you give admin access to any of your friends – they will have the same abilities as you do.
What is a WordPress plugin and how it help?
Plugins in WordPress are nothing but tools that let you extra customization and functionality to your blog. There are tons of plugins on WordPress platform that can do a lot to your blog.
For example: A simple Astra-Ecommerce (Premium) plugin can change your normal blog to eCommerce site. And plugin like SiteGround Optimizer will run in the background optimizes your blog and improve the loading speed.
You can find plugins here: WP dashboard –> Plugins –> Add New and explore.
What are some important WordPress plugins do I need to run?
As I said there are thousands of plugins that you can use. But remember, adding too many or outdated plugins could crash your site and downs the loadspeed.
Choosing the right plugin is very important for load speed, security, UX and SEO friendliness of your blog.
WordPress.org has both free and paid plugins depending on the requirements. As a new blogger, I don’t suggest you any paid (premium) plugin, however, you can consider as per your knowledge.
Here are some of the best and must have plugins I have curated for new blogs:
#1. Rankmath – One of the best SEO plugins currently to optimize any blog post, page and overall blog. Check out the Rankmath setup tutorial. You can even create a sitemap through it and submit to your Google search console ( You will learn more about this in coming sections).
#2. WP Contact form – If you want to show a contact form with customized field to capture leads, this plugin is must. You can even set the customized fields like name, email ID, mobile number, comments, designation, etc.
#3. Simple Author box: Display author bio with a picture at the bottom of every post.
#4. Jetpack: This plugin is developed by WordPress.com. However, it works well for WordPress.org. There is a lot you can do with this plugin – Like filtering spam comments (partly), showing related posts at the bottom of the post, site downtime monitoring-alerts, basic social sharing tool, email subscription form to collect emails, mobile optimized appearance and so on.
It is free to use with above limited options. If you want what a premium version of jetpack can do, find out here.
#5. Redirection: In future, you might update the permalinks of your existing posts/pages. What happens if you don’t redirect those old URLs to new URLs? The user will land on “404 Page not found” page. So to avoid this problem, you must add this plugin which automatically redirects old ones to new ones.
#6. Social Snap: Did you see the social media share icons on my blog? Do they look great?
I designed them with Social Snap and it has 50+ social media networks that you can use on your blog. They are stunning in look which makes your visitors to share your content which can increase your blog traffic.
Since you are a beginner, the free version works fine for you. However, if you want to display classic look to your blog, try social snap pro with 30% discount.
#7. Monster Insights: The plugin allow you to connect your WordPress blog with Google Analytics. By doing that, you can know your blog traffic, source of traffic, most performing posts and pages, bounce rate, country of your visitors and so much more.
Check out the guide on “How to setup Google analytics for your blog through Monster Insights.”
Important note: I hope you are using SiteGround hosting as I recommended earlier. Be default, Siteground gives you the better speed through SG optimizer plugin, automatic restores-backup option and better security through it’s inbuilt functionality. So there is no need to any extra plugins like WP rocket, Smush, Updraft plus or Wordfence, etc.
How to write my first blog post?
Don’t make people bore by giving your intro again (after about page). Instead try the existing strategies in a different perception. Here are some tips to write your first blog post.
- Tip 1: Discover pillar article from your niche and write about it. For example: By now, you have learned about creating a blog from scratch, right? You can just write about it in a new angle to make the content worth reading for your readers.
- Tip 2: What are the main & sub-topics that you already know from your niche? Rewind!
- Tip 3: Signup for Quora.com, search for your niche and list all the questions that people are asking. You can pick any topic to write in your own words.
- Tip 4: Signup for SEMrush Free trial, enter the keywords from your niche and try some of those content ideas it will give you.
- Tip 5: Invite any small or medium sized influencer from your niche to write a guest post on your blog.
- Tip 6: Organize expert roundup post.
- Tip 7: Identify trending topics from your niche using Google trends and write about them.
- Tip 8: If you don’t get any ideas still, don’t hesitate to take the help of blog post idea generator tools like Hubspot, Portent, etc.
How long should you write a blog post?
Usually, there are two types of content in the market. They are:
- Short form (Average of 400 to 900 words)
- Long form (Average of 1500 and more)
Let’s discussed in brief.
Short form content: They take less time to read and caught great attention of your readers in the first glimpse. If your blog post is about tips or answering a tiny query, you can conclude it in 300 to 500 words.
Now the question is do they rank well on Google?
Yes, they do. If your content is highly value-packed and you’re targeting for low competition keywords.
Example of short form content – Basic Blogging tips category from my blog.
Long form content: Long form articles could drive you massive traffic as they have chance to optimize the content for high competition keywords and add a great value with the authority content.
Plus, long form content could solve specific set of user problems. In fact, according to Moz’s research, content that has 1000+ words has got more traffic, shares and backlinks compared to the short ones.
Overall, I don’t give you any number. There is no ideal fit for content length. It will vary according to your niche, keyword competition, and other goals. So don’t let the number game destroy your ultimate vision for blogging.
Just focus on delivering better and quality content.
How to write great description for individual pages and blog posts?
Writing great description for pages and posts can lead to rise in CTR (Click-Through-Rate) and blog traffic. So you must not ignore this topic.
Check out my recent article about writing compelling meta description for posts and pages.
What is sitemap and how to submit?
Imagine you want to take a look at the property (house) that you find online. Eventually, seller will pick you up to show you the property, correct?
Similarly, a sitemap is a file that hints the Google crawlers about your blog (pages, media and posts). The file helps Google to navigate your blog better by offering a hierarchical way.
By default, search engines will crawl your site once in a while. However, if you have just created the blog or wrote new content, it is advised to submit sitemap so that crawlers will crawl your site newly and reward you better.
How to create a sitemap?
Go to Rankmath –>Sitemap settings –> General
You will find sitemap index URL there. It looks something like https://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml
How to submit a sitemap?
- Sign up for Google Search Console with your gamil ID.
- Add your property at URL prefix option. Enter your blog URL in the format https://www.yourwebsite.com and click continue to verify your ownership.
- There are at least 5 ways to verify the property ownership. The easiest is “HTML tag.”
- Now install Insert Headers and Footers plugin by WPBeginner on your blog.
- Copy the meta tag of your property and add it in the ‘Scripts in Header’ section in above plugin (under WP settings) and save.
- Then go back to ‘search console’ and click verify to get the verification process done.
- Now you will see the console dashboard. Go to ‘sitemaps’ section and enter the sitemap URL you got from Rankmath i.e, https://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml. You only need to add the highlighted part and submit the sitemap.
- Once you submitted, Google will take some time to crawl your blog and the result can be found in the dashboard.
How to drive massive blog traffic?
Getting big amount of traffic is not a big deal if you write top-notch content and promote it with the right audience. Given the rise in recent times, there are probably more than 255 million blogs online now. The only way to generate massive targeted traffic to your blog is to stand out in the crowd with your creativity.
Recently, I published 17 Creative Ways To Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog. It is just for you, take time to read, understand and implement.
How to make money from blogging (earning your first sale)?
There are various income streams that you can use to earn money by blogging. I have designed an easy guide for beginners to show how to turn a blog into passive money-making source – How To Make Money from Blogging (How do I make $1000 a month).
That’s all for now! However, I will come up with new ideas for this page. So stay tuned…If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment or join my Facebook group.
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Mudassir is the founder and author of BloggingExplained.com, the only blog you may want to follow to learn to blog and grow in blogging industry. He has already helped dozens of newbies to get started with blogging. If you too want to start a blog and put your thoughts into action, he is the right friend to connect. You can catch up Mudassir on Twitter @BloggerMudassir.