How To Create A Blog From Scratch
How To Start A Blog Free Of Cost Using Content Management System (WordPress): Create A Blog From scratch, in 20 minutes, step-by-step Guide
Here Is How To Start A Blog Free Of Cost using WordPress and Make Money online with It. Do you wish to learn how to start a blog but don’t know a thing on how to go about it? Or, have you ever sought to create a blog from scratch but often find it difficult to make headway?
Well. I have good news for you. This is the right website for you. This is where you will learn all of that without paying a dime.
There are several ‘how to start a blog website’ guides online. However, on this ‘HOW TO START A BLOG’ guide, I took it upon myself to simplify the steps involved in creating a blog free of cost from scratch using WordPress.
In addition, I promise that you will have a functional blog site in minutes provided you observed the frantic six steps outlined here in this article.
NB: Just learn how to start a blog website following the steps here. These steps are very easy to follow. You don’t need to be tech-savvy person before you can follow them.
Now, let’s go there!!!
Lest I forget, I wish to reiterate what I stated earlier. This beginner’s guide, gives apt instructions on how to start a blog in 20 mins from the comforts of your bedroom.
It follows almost the same path as the guide on how to create a website found on the front page of this website. Therefore, I enjoin you to pay careful attention to these steps involved as you read this article.
In addition, you will learn how to get your choice domain name extension. For example “.com,”. The summary of it all is that by the time you are through reading this article, you will have learnt a lot concerning the act of blog site creation, building, and design.
This includes how to find the perfect design you desire.
NB: This ‘How To Start A Website Guide’ has a few accompanying info graphics for proper understanding . It makes it impossible for to get wrong.
Now lets get to the nitty-gritty, I’ll share some tips that will save you time and money, too!
Below is what this guide will cover, so as to save time and money. It is just in 6 steps:
6 steps to start a blog In WordPress
This is a 6 steps approach, HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE GUIDE FOR EVERYONE.
- Pick your blogging platform.
- Choose a host for your blog.
- Decide on a domain name.
- Set up WordPress (the easy way)
- Choose and customize a design.
- Start writing!
May I crave your indulgence to know that these 6 steps on ‘how to start a blog’ are straight forward such that a dummy can hit the ground running almost in breeze.
So my dummies, sit back, fasten your seat belts as we cruise around these steps.
- Choose a blogging platform
First thing first, a blogging platform is needed. Here a “Platform,” technically implies Content Management System (CMS) that you intend to run your blog on.
Fortunate enough, there exist numerous content management systems for running blogs (and websites). Notable CMS are, WordPress, Joomla, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, etc., to mention but a few.
To save some time, WordPress is the most qualified, and this guide centers on the use of WordPress as a CMS platform for blog creation:
Unarguably WordPress is your best platform if you want to start a blog, particularly, for beginners. It is a very user friendly Content Management System.
Below points are why you need a WordPress if you desire to have a responsive blog:
- Is beginner-friendly, i.e. most suited for beginners
- Makes blogging as easy as ABC from the start or very beginning.
- Allows you to have your own your desired domain extension say, ‘.info’ “.com”
- It is free of cost: no monthly fees.
- It comes with thousands of themes such that you can comfortably choose the one that suits your project.
- It is best suited for making money online, WordPress is the best platform for you.
- Sites running on it are mobile responsive
- It has thousands of plugins which act as addon some which are free, freemium, and premium, respectively
As can be seen on the stats above, over 60 % of all the websites and blogs on the web, including 62% of the top 100 company blogs are powered by WordPress, and you cannot be wrong choosing WordPress for your online project.
However, you should not be enchanted by the statistics I revealed above to hasty sign up just yet! Because, this guide, will be showing you how to install WordPress in one click in Step 4 of this guide. Just exercise little patience and study this article properly before moving to create your blog.
And also, how to configure it all but there a few quick things we need to do first.
However, the most recent statistics shows that WordPress which is a free (open-source) blog platform is the most commonly used blogging platform since 2017 till date.
I’ve also compiled a list of top 10 blogging platforms in 2023.
Data from: trends.builtwith.com
From the above screenshot, WordPress is closely followed by Blogger, Tumblr, Ghost, and Medium.
NB: On the contrary, many people have also been hearing about blogger platform owned by Google, and maybe wondering why I have not recommended it? But wait a minute let me ask you. While some others might say: Because of the one- time buying of domain and all that other stuffs, couldn’t I just start a blog for free on a site like Blogger?
Well, my candid answer to the above note is YES. You can create a blog or a website with Blogger. However, after you have created your blog free, you should also brace up for the set-backs that await you.
For sure, using blogger platform (blogspot.com) for creation of a blog, you will encounter these set-backs below:
- Finding your site will be as hard as search for water in the desert.
Do you want a nice site address like “Yourblogname.com”? Too bad. With a free site, you’ll be stuck with something like “yourblogname.blogger.com” – so less people will find your content. Moreover, it would be hard to memorize such an absurd domain name.
- You won’t have control over the content.
Your entire site might varnish in split seconds, no thanks to lure of free stuffs. The most painful part of such scenario is that you stand to lose your years of hard work due to phantom claim that you breached on rule or another.
- Your site is not customizable – you cannot tweak it to have a bit unique look.
There is no plugins to add unique functionality like calendars or online shopping cart to your blog. Lastly, you have limited number of themes to make your choice from limited.
- You’ll find it expensive to switch.
When you decide you want more control, switching from a free platform to something like WordPress can take hours of manual work and formatting. If you are not tech-savvy, it could be capital intensive outsourcing the hard and sedentary work to someone knowledgeable in the field of web development.
- Someone else will profit from YOUR hard work.
This is the worst and most painful. Most free platforms reserve the right to put ads all over your content. Imagine seeing a huge, ugly pop-up for a product you don’t even support on your blog. In addition, you are not making a dime off from it!
- Blogspot.com. Your site’s domain name will appear amateurish and unprofessional, e.g., yourname.blogspot.com .
To save yourself from the above set-backs, you should start a blog with WordPress from day one.
Do not allow the human nature of always wanting a freebie to push you astray. Be professional this time.
NB: Starting a blog on WordPress is not capital intensive. With less than $10 you will have an up and running blog or website which you have full control over it. However, if you need more functionalities that is when you will have to pay like $20 to $50 to have the premium plugins that can give you that functionality you desire.
Choose a host for your blog.
I Assume you’ve chosen WordPress as your choice blogging platform – which I recommend. Your next step is choosing a web hosting service. Webhost is like a store house in real life where your files are stored.
Let me give you an analogy of what a webhost is like in the physical. Take for instance, I am a trader, and I ordered for goods. Moments later, the goods got sent to an address.
Later in the day, I arrive my base and decide to visit the address location asap to claim my goods. Upon arriving the address location, I saw my goods parked safely in an enclosed space. In this case, that particular enclosed space where my goods are kept safely for me is what I may refer/describe as a space hosting my goods safely.
Therefore, In the online world, the store house for a website’s files is the webhost. The webhost keeps your site’s file safely such that when internet searchers search for terms relating to an article/content you already have indexed on your site, and that particular content URL on your site should appear on the search engine result page, SERP.
If your site’s content URL containing that searched term is clicked, the searcher would be automatically taken to your webhost where your site’s files are hosted. Whatever, that appears is among the files that are currently being hosted by your webhost.
There are many webhosting companies. I will cover a few of them in no distant time.
Note: Webhosting is the storing of your blog content files so that they can be fetched and viewed on the web. A web host is like a store house for your file content. While WordPress is the Content Management System (CMS) software which you use in creating your site’s content.
However, without hosting nobody will be able to view your website on the web.
In webhosting, or before you choose a host there are certain things you must look out for. Always watch out for these three vital things below:
- Uptime: I know you want a host that won’t go offline randomly without warning. If you ever chose a bad host that makes your website to go down in breeze, such gives bad experience in the minds of your visitors.
- Support: You need super fast support from actual experts if something goes wrong. A good host should have standby customer service.
- Price: You deserve fair pricing – and no hidden fees!
However, there are many webhosting companies out there, but a few of these numerous hosting service providers actually meet the above 3 must have criteria.
Of all of them I recommend you look them up on Google.
Choose a domain name.
To understand properly what a domain name stands for, I will liken it to a physical home address.
While the website is the home, a domain name is just the address that leads to your home in the cyberspace. Through that address, people can find your blog or website at, like “www.yourblogname.com”
However, going about domain name, I recommend you get any of the top level domain extensions like the .com .NET .top and .org, etc.
particularly, if you are running the site as an organization. On the other hand; a situation whereby none of these three major domain extensions are available for purchase, you can always go for other top level domains like .info, top, biz, etc.
Take for instance, this site uses .top domain extension. Because, the keyword ‘How to make a website’ has been taken in the three major known traditional extensions: .com, .net, .org.
Sincerely speaking if you can get a .com for your domain, that would be great plus for it’s easiest for most people to remember.
Follow this tip: There are several domain name registrars out there. If you are stun always google them up and visit anyone of them that appears on the SERP to purchase a domain name.
Once you compare prices and have settled for the registrar that suite your budget, simply enter a keyword or topic in the search bar. There you get dozens of ideas for available domain names all at once.
NB: The above screenshot represents that of Namesilo Domain Registrar. And if you’re really stuck on a name, just click “Skip this step” along the bottom of the screen above. You can always add your free domain name later, when inspiration hits.
Already own a domain name, this step may not be necessary unless you are fed up that domain.
Mindfully, you won’t break anything, even if you’re already running a live site.
Before you cart away you domain, there are basically a few addons that you must add to your cart. Just checkout my post on: How to register a domain name.
But before that:
( i ). Choose your desired package
( ii ). Choose also, the vital addons
( i ). Choosing the desired package
This in any registrar entails that you should select the duration or time period for your ownership of your chosen domain name.
This is also known as “Account Plan” and it ranges mostly from 12 through 24, to 36 months.
If for example, your chose months as your “Account Plan” ownership period of 12 months, it means that once you buy/register the domain name, you are to be the exclusive owner for a period of 12 months. After which, it expires and becomes free and available for anyone else to purchase.
However, as a professional, it is recommended that you place your registered domain/domains on auto renewal upon its/their expiry so that it/they automatically gets/get renewed while you might not even be aware.
Recommendable of the duration is that of 12 months (one year).
My reason for recommending one year hosting plan is that you stand to save money.
At 12 months, the price is quite reasonable for most registrars and you’re not out any extra money if you decide blogging isn’t for you after a year.
( ii ). Choose also the vital addons
Finally, you can choose whether to add on extra features FOR SWEETER VIBE.
Quick tip: Most optionable extras are a waste of money for beginners. However, two of these optional extras are absolutely worth considering, and they are:
- Domain Privacy – $0.99/mo (must-have)
When buying a domain, your contact details are added to a public database by law. Buying privacy means your host’s details are listed instead, preventing you from being spammed with hundreds of calls from telemarketers and domain name traders.
You see it is absolutely worth it, and you cannot break the bank by parting with that paltry sum of money.
NB: Blogging is one of the lucrative online businesses you can do. Hence, you need this privacy to make it big by being free from distracting calls and emails.
- Code Guard Basic – $2.99/mo (optional)
Don’t ever allow hackers play a fast one on you by making your blog venerable. Never you loose all your content to a hacks.
Using CodeGuard Basic ensures your site is regularly and securely backed up, which offers you peace of mind. You can always add this one later on.
Note: If you don’t want any of the optional features, make sure you uncheck the boxes before moving on! It’s very easy to miss.
Now it is time to cart away by entering billing details
Enter your credit card details. If you’d like to pay with PayPal, click on the paypal icon at the top above. See the screenshot above from Namesilo for vivid clarification.
You are to create account on any of the well known domain registrar and have your password and username saved before you can be able to use their services. For you must login before you can use the service. From the foregoing, to start a blog is simple! Right???
Set up WordPress (the easy way)
To start a blog, most people will choose WordPress. It is an open source software…wow…it is free as…Good news: now that you’re logged in WordPress is just sitting there, waiting for you!
On the first screen you see, you’ll be asked to pick a theme.
I recommend you skip this step by clicking the link below the pictures of themes, as I’ll be showing you how to explore more (and better) options later.
If you do choose a theme now, you can always change it later without any problem.
On the next screen, click the “Start Building” button. In case, you accidentally click the “Or, go to my Bluehost account” link, just push the back button.
Note: If you opt for a new domain name, your blog may show up on a temporary domain name for a little bit. It’s NOT a glitch!
It can take a few hours for a host to sort out the technical issue; Bluehost, that will automatically fix the domain as soon as it’s ready.
You should now see a screen that looks like this screenshot below:
Welcome to your WordPress dashboard! This is where the main tweaking are resident.
Note: You don’t need to revisit your web hosting company for every time you wish to log into your WordPress account dashboard. You can cut corner to log into your WordPress dashboard quickly by typing in: “http://www.[YOUR DOMAIN NAME].com/wp-admin”
Just replace [YOUR DOMAIN NAME] with your actual domain name
It’s very straight to point. Again, you should consider bookmarking it!
On the dashboard, you will get to see a sidebar. You’ll also see a few different tabs (Ignore them for now!). Examples are these below:
- Posts: This is where you’ll go to write new blog posts or view old ones.
- Media: Check out the library photos and files you’ve uploaded or add more.
- Pages: Create static pages (if you ever decide to.)
- Comments: Manage the comments on your content.
- Appearance: Choose new themes or edit the one you have.
- Users: If you create content with others, you can add them as users here so they can edit blog posts.
- Plugins: Add and remove plugins that give your blog new features.
Don’t worry about the others for the moment.
At this point, you’ve got two options to focus on in the center of the screen: Business, or Personal. See this screenshot below:
Select whichever best applies to your motive or intent. In addition, don’t worry. All of this is EASILY changed later. Nothing is permanent, and you literally can’t screw this up.
When you clicked either of the two: “Business” or “Personal”, you’ll see something like this screenshot below:
- “Site Title “is just going to be your blog’s name for now. This is what visitors to your site will usually see at top most part of your site’s main page.
- “Site Description” is your chance to write a short summary of what your blog is all about. Remember to keep it brief – as if you were explaining your blog to a friend or potential client!
As always, don’t worry: all of this can be edited later if you change your mind.
On the next screen, you’ll be asked if you’d like to update your site with news or blog posts. Just click “Yes.”
Now, you get to choose what you’d like for people to see on your home page: the most recent blog posts/updates, or a more “static” home page.
I recommend choosing the first option, because, a blog is a dynamic website that is regularly updated.
Next, you can set up a “Contact Us” page if you’d like people to be able to send you a message through your site. This one’s up to you. You can even use ‘Contact Form’ plugin for this.
Finally, you’ve got the option to connect your “Jetpack” profile to WordPress to improve security, grow traffic, and track your site’s stats. Jetpack is a freemium plugin. You can always upgrade for greater functionalities. So, I do recommend going through this quick process if you have a moment.
However, you can always do this later, so simply click “Not now” if you’re not in the mood.
Click it to complete the activation process and bring your new blog to the world. I have stressed over this above, and I deem it feat to reiterate it here again.
Choose and customize your design
It is time to choose the look you want for your blog. WordPress, comes with thousands of “Themes” that you can use to give your blog almost a unique look.
It might interest you to know that most of these themes are free, many others are premium themes. But, do understand that you can use the free themes to achieve the same level of success.
Note: Most of these so called paid-themes have nothing special that distinguish them from the free themes. They just incorporated the additional functionalities that a plugin could have provided in a free theme.
Always know that you have over 10,000 FREE themes and lots more thousands of premium themes to choose from.
On the contrary, you might spend hours being confused as to which to choose and which not to choose. That is the common problem beginners face.
On installation part. To access the Themes, click the “Appearance” tab, and you’ll see a screen like this screenshot below:
Simply click “Add New Theme” to get asap.
These themes are categorized thus: Feature, Popular, and favorite.
Have you found a theme that interests you? Then it’s time to do a little more customization.
Customization of your theme will take care of stuffs such as
- How to make sure Google can find your site (Search Engine Optimization)
- How to edit your site’s menu in WordPress for human navigation and search engine bot crawling.
- How to set up your home page so as to make it captivating.
- How to improve WordPress security against hackers and malicious software.
Start Writing Your Blog Posts And Pages!
Hope you are computer literate, and can use Microsoft word? If your answer is yes, you are good to go.
To start writing a post, just click “Posts” in the side-bar, then click “Add New.”
If you’ve logged out of WordPress, type in http://your_domain.com/wp-admin/ to log back in!
What you’ll see is a very friendly editor screen that should remind you of MS Word or Pages on Mac:
Below are what we shall look into later:
- Title Area: This is where you write your post’s title.
- Content Area: This is where the body text of your post goes. The whole area works just like text editing in Word or Pages.
- Standard Editing Tools: Here are options like bold, italic, lists, paragraphs, and headlines.
In a moment, I’ll show you how to use this section to add links, images, and more to your post.
At the very end of the Standard Editing Tools is the “Toolbar Toggle” that looks like this:
Click this to add even more options to your Toolbar, such as Undo/Redo buttons, text color formatting, indentation, and more.
- Publishing Tools: This is where you get your post shown live to the world.
- The most important thing to note here is the big, blue “Publish” button you’ll push when your blog post is ready.
- You can click “Save Draft” on an incomplete post to save your work without pushing the post live.
- The “Preview” button can be useful to test out how your post will look when it’s live without having to publish it right away – especially when adding images or videos.
- You can also use the options in this section to schedule a post for the future, make posts public or private (password required), or even UNPUBLISHED a post by changing the “Stats” back to “Draft.”
- Additional Fine-tuning Tools: You’ll sometimes use these tools to update your blog post, tag it with a category, or add a featured image – but for now, you won’t be using this much. You can learn more about WordPress categories and tags by clicking here.
Must WordPress Post Formatting Essentials
Note: Do you write your blog posts in a program like Word, and then copy and paste them into WordPress? It may get you frustrated by how WordPress formats the text you paste.
To avoid this problems, make sure you’ve clicked the “Toolbar Toggle” button, then click the “Paste as Text” button that looks like the below:
WordPress will strip out all of your previous formatting, so you can customize the text to look exactly how you like.
Heading helps search engine bots to understand the most important part of your posts.
Secondly, headings help you structure your content and make it easier for people to read.
This helps people who want to scan content find what they need. Consider adding headings for each of your main points.
To add a heading, scroll up to “Paragraph” drop-down menu and select the heading you’d like to use.
Note that the “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the post’s title, so stick to the smaller headings (with larger numbers) inside the post. However, it seems that is all changing now.
Note: “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the blog post’s title, so you shouldn’t use it again in the body of your content.
Consider using “Heading 2” to break down the different sections of your content, and “Heading 3” for sub-headings inside those big sections.
As part of Search Engine Optimization effort. Google loves to see the keywords you’re targeting in your headings, so try to use them naturally!
It’s a good idea to link to other (credible) websites: whether to share a piece of content or back up a claim you’ve made, or share another one of your own posts.
But, you must have to do that consciously to avoid sending authority and traffic out unnecessarily. However, WordPress makes it easy.
To add links to your posts, highlight the desired text (for this example, I just wrote “Add links” as my text) and then scroll up to the blog menu.
Click the button that looks like a paperclip, to the right of the “Align right” item and above the “Add BWS Shortcode”.
From there, add the URL you want to link to:
Then, click the Settings icon on the right (the wheel-looking item above, next to the arrow).
Click the “Open the link a new tab” box. This is important—you don’t want people to leave your site when they click on a link!
I touched on this briefly before, but I’ll explain it more here. Start by scrolling up to the top of the blog menu and click “Add Media” in the top left corner of the menu.
From here, select the files you’d like to upload. You can find previously uploaded files from the “Media Library” at the top-left corner next to “Upload Files” – no need to upload them again!
Once you’ve uploaded an image, you can choose its size and placement.
Adding a “Featured” Image
A featured image is simply the image that will be displayed at the very top of your post, and will be used in the thumbnails of your article when you share it on places like Facebook or Twitter.
To add a featured image, run your mouse along the right sidebar of your blog menu. You’ll see an option titled “Set featured image”.
Click that, then go through the same uploading process to add an image as you did in the step above.
Quick tip: Try to pick a featured image that draws the eye – you’d be surprised how colorful, weird, or interesting images can make a HUGE difference on how many people will click through to read your blog posts!
Adding videos from YouTube
Videos are AMAZING! Whether you want to showcase your own vlogs or just share a video you love, adding this type of content is a great way to keep people interested.
To add a YouTube video:
- Visit the page of the YouTube video you want to share and copy the URL.
- Paste the URL into the content area of your WordPress blog. Make sure the link is on its own line (no text before or after) and is NOT clickable (don’t make it a link!)
- As soon as you push “Publish” on your post, the video will appear on the live version.
Still stuck? Our friends at WPBeginner have a guide for this if you need any further help—check it out here.
Customizing your “Slug”
What the heck is a “slug?”
It’s the URL of your post – for example, if your domain name is “yourdomainname.com,” the slug would be the address of the specific post you are publishing, such as “yourdomainname.com/my-post/.”
That last bit at the end? That’s the slug.
You want to make this slug clear and concise. This will make it easier for people to share your content on social media.
You can find the slug underneath the post title. It will say “Permalink: http://yourdomain.com/post_title”.
By default, WordPress will make the title of your post the slug. But usually, this is way too long.
You should change it so that it’s no longer than 2 – 4 words.
Below are some tips for optimizing your WordPress slugs:
- Target SEO keywords. Think of what people would type to Google when they search for the information you share in the post—those are SEO keywords.
- Avoid duplicates (make sure it’s not the same as another slug on your website).
- Don’t change the slug after publishing the post (unless you absolutely have to) as this will result in lost traffic.
Now, Publish Your Post
All done? Click that “Publish” button. Then click “View post” when the link appears to see your new post live in action!
Congratulations! You just published your first blog post. But don’t stop there!
Here are some tips for creating strong blog content that your audience will love:
- Start by creating a lead-generating content marketing strategy.
- Follow this guide for creating strong blog posts.
- Develop a reading habit, so you can internalize how great writers write.
- Make your content scan-able with headings, short paragraphs, and high quality images.
- Write content that helps your audience solve a problem.
- Follow this strategy to become a better blog writer in 30 days.
- Use this formula to create stronger headlines (if your headlines aren’t compelling, people won’t read the content!).
Ready To Launch? Next Steps???
Nothing more, it is time to launch your blog.
To start a blog is simple, and blogging is lucrative. Now follow these steps above to start a blog today and make money.
This is a powerful ‘how to start a blog website guide/tutorial’. Pls share with your friends and family members.