How to Start a WordPress Blog – A Beginner Step by Step Guide | 2019

Do you want to learn how to start a WordPress blog? Then, you have come to the right guide.

In this 6000+ words guide, I am going to teach you how to start a WordPress Blog with easy to follow Steps. Whether you are tech savvy or a complete beginner, This guide is going to be one of the easiest to follow.

To get your WordPress blog started, there are 3 things I will require from you. They are:

  • A Domain Name
  • A Web Hosting
  • And your attention to complete reading this guide & taking action

Don’t worry, I will show you how to get a domain name and hosting, all I need from you is reading & implementing this guide.

In This Tutorial, I will cover:

  1. Picking a Niche
  2. Choosing the right blogging platform
  3. Picking a Domain & Buying a Web Hosting
  4. Installing WordPress
  5. Changing WordPress Theme
  6. Customizing WordPress Theme
  7. Permalinks
  8. Writing Your First Blog Post
  9. Adding Your First Page
  10. What Are Plugins & How to Use Them
  11. Adding a Contact Form
  12. Setting Up Google Analytic Tracking
  13. Optimizing Your Blog For SEO
  14. Setting Up Your Email List
  15. Widgets
  16. How to Make Money From Your Blog
  17. Learning More about WordPress

You can decide to go through a few tutorials a day. It all depends on your reading plan.

So let’s get started.

How to Start a WordPress Blog – A Beginner Step by Step Guide | 2019

how to start a wordpress blog

Step 1: Picking a Niche

Before you start a WordPress blog, it is important to decide what your blog is going to be about. The planning of your blog starts with picking a niche. That is deciding on the main topic for your blog.

For example, wplearnhowto.com is a blog that teaches about WordPress.

Here are some factors you should consider when picking your blog topic.

  • Do you have experience in the topic
  • Is the topic something that can solve peoples problem
  • Is there earning potential in the topic?

Step 2: Choosing the right blogging Platform

Another very important aspect of your blog setup process is choosing the right blogging platform. And since it is WordPress we are going to be using, There are two types of WordPress.

And the types are base on how WordPress is being hosted. (see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).

We are going to use WordPress.org also known as Self-hosted WordPress (WordPress you can download).

But why choose WordPress.org?

  • It is free to use
  • Most top websites & blogs use it
  • You can install plugins,
  • customize every aspect of your blog design
  • Make money from your blog without restrictions

But since WordPress.org is free, I don’t need to pay for anything?

Yes, WordPress is free but you still have to do the setup and host it yourself. You will need to buy a domain name & hosting and I will be showing you how.

Step 3: Picking a Domain & Buying a Web Hosting

Now that we decided we are going for the self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org), You have to now get a domain name & web hosting to use WordPress.

Typically a domain name costs about  $14.99/year, and a web hosting costs about $7.99/month.

That can be a lot for beginners who are just starting out.

But not to worry, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider is giving a free domain name, SSL & over 60% off on their Web hosting.

Click Here To Claim This Bluehost Exclusive Offer

Bluehost powers over 2 million websites worldwide. They were selected by WordPress as a recommended hosting for the self-hosted WordPress since 2005.

Bluehost has been committed to the WordPress committee for over 10 years now and they are constantly driving to be the number one web solution, provider.

Good Alternatives to Bluehost

If you are looking for other good alternatives to Bluehost for your WordPress blog, then you won’t be disappointed with these hostings

  1. Hostgator How to Set Up a WordPress Blog with Hostgator
  2. SiteGround
  3. Dreamhost
Buying Your Domain Name & Hosting With Bluehost

1) Visit Bluehost (click on this link).

2) Once on the Bluehost page, Click on the big green “Get Started” button.

Bluehost Hosting, start a WordPress blog

3) Next, you need to select your hosting plan.

select bluehost hosting plan

Bluehost has 4 major hosting plans tailored to suit your needs. From their Basic to their Pro plan. It all depends on what you want.  But all their hosting plans come with a free domain name & SSL (Site Security Lock).

As a beginner starting out in blogging, Bluehost basic plan is just what you need. The basic plan allows you to host just 1 website and with plenty of storage space for your blogging activities.

Once you think it is time to go bigger with your blog, you can always contact Bluehost for your hosting plan upgrade.

4) Now Click on the green “Select” button on the hosting plan you are going for.

5) On the Sign up now page, enter the domain name you want to use on the “New domain” Section.

Note: Picking a domain name relating to the niche you are going for is a good idea.

bluehost signup page, start a WordPress blog

6) Once you enter the domain name you want to register, click the blue “Next” Button.

A domain name availability search will be performed.

7) If the domain name is available to register, you will be taking to the “Create Your Account” Page.

If the domain name is not available, keeping trying new domain names until you find one that is available.

8) On the “Create Your Account” page, you will need to fill in your account information.

blue host account information page

Make sure you double check that your account information details are correct.

9) The next section is “Package Information“. It shows the hosting plan you want to go for, the price and the free domain & SSL you will get.

Select the account plan you are going for.

blue host hosting plan, start a WordPress blog

You can go for a 12, 24 or 36-month hosting plan. But you get the best value if you go for the 36-month plan (Costing $2.95/mo).

10) The “Package Extras” section contains added services you may want to add to your hosting account. You can “check” the extras you want.

Blue host package extra, start a WordPress blog

By default, Bluehost has the checkbox: domain privacy protection, site lock security & code guard basic checked. If you can spare a few more dollars I see no reason why you shouldn’t have them checked.

But just so you know, you don’t need these package right away in other to start your blog. You can always purchase them later if you need to.

11) The last section you will need to fill in the “Create Your Account” Page is the “Payment Information“.

Enter the credit card information you want to be billed from.

Blue Host Payment Information

Don’t you want to pay with a credit card?  click the “More Payment Options” link to see the “Pay With PayPal” Option.

Check that you have agreed to Bluehost terms…

12) Finally, go through your information and when you are ready, click on the green “SUBMIT” button.

Once you complete the signup process,  you will receive an email about your hosting account opening. The email will contain details on how to login to your control panel (cPanel).

The Cpanel is where you manage everything about your hosting account but most importantly where you Install WordPress.

Step 4: Installing WordPress on Your Bluehost Hosting

Now you are about to install WordPress, Have you thought about what your first blog post will be on? You are excited about that right? – Just keep reading. I will show you how to write your first blog post.

Let’s now Install WordPress on Bluehost.

1) Log in into your web hosting Cpanel ( Check your hosting welcome email for the login details)

You will notice there are so many small icons in your Cpanel. Each of these icons serves its own purpose. But don’t be overwhelmed, you won’t be using the majority of them.

2) Next, Find the “Website” section in your Cpanel and click on “Install WordPress”. On the next screen is the Bluehost Marketplace Quick Install Screen where you will begin the WordPress Installation process.

Bluehost Website Section - Install WordPress, start a WordPress blog

3) You will be asked to select your domain name for the installation. Choose the domain name that you want to use from the dropdown and Click “Next”.

Wordpress Installation Bluehost, start a WordPress blog

If you want to install WordPress on a folder on the domain name, then type in a name in the “Directory” field before clicking “Next”.

4) You will need to enter your site Name,  admin username, email  & Password. You also need to check all the checkboxes.

WordPress Installation Blue Host Next Step, start a WordPress blog

5) Once you are ready, click the “Next” button. The QuickInstall will start installing WordPress on your domain name.

Why the installation is in progress, you may be asked to browse WordPress Themes. You can skip that, you don’t need to find a theme now. I will show you how to get a free WordPress theme later in this tutorial.

Once WordPress has finished installing, you will see the success notice at the top header.

Click on the success link to see your WordPress Login Url, Username & Password.

To login to your WordPress, the URL will be similar to this:

Yourwebsite.com/wp-admin

All you need to do is replace the “Yourwebsite.com” with your actual website name.

And That’s it, you just successfully installed WordPress. Let now begin customizing your website and writing your first blog post.

Here is how your WordPress dashboard will look like.

wordpress dashboard, start a WordPress blog

Here is how the front end will look with the default Twenty Nineteen WordPress Theme.

wordpress new install frontend, start a WordPress blog

 

Step 5: Changing the WordPress Theme

WordPress themes provide control over the look & presentation of your blog. They are made up of templates files & stylesheets at the back-end, working together to give you a graphical look at the front end.

By default, all WordPress installation comes with the default Twenty Nineteen WordPress Theme. And if you don’t like the theme, you can change it.

Let’s begin changing your WordPress Theme.

There are two categories of WordPress themes. We have Free themes (Which can be found mostly in WordPress Theme Directory) and We have Premium (Paid) Themes.

But You can start with a free theme. And later if you want, can upgrade to a paid theme.

so, Let’s begin…

1) From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance >> Themes

wp-appearance-themes, start a WordPress blog

2) From the WordPress Theme screen, you will see your current active theme and other themes installed. Click on “Add New” to get a new theme.

Wordpress Themes Add New

3) On the “Add Themes” page, you will have access to the WordPress themes directory where you can search for a theme you like using the “search themes” function.

The themes here are all free. You can search for themes using the filters such as the featured, popular, & latest.

Wordpress Themes Selection, start a WordPress blog

The “Feature Filter” helps you streamline your search to particular features you want on a theme. Select the features you are looking for and click the “Apply Filters” to see themes matching your selection.

Wordpress Themes Feature Filters, start a WordPress blog

Also, If you have marked themes as favorites on WordPress.org, you can browse them from the favorites section. All you need to do is enter your WordPress Username then click the “Get Favorites“.

WordPress Themes Favourite, start a WordPress blog

Seen a WordPress theme you like? hover your mouse on it and you will see more details of the theme.

Wordpress Theme select circle, start a WordPress blog

You can click on the theme itself or the “preview” button to see a preview of how the theme will look on your website.

4) When you have seen a theme you like, Click on the Blue “Install” Button to begin installing the theme.

wordpress theme installing

5) After the WordPress theme has been installed, click on the “Activate” button.

wordpress theme activate

The new theme will be activated on your website. You can visit your website front end to see how the theme looks.

WordPress Theme Activated

Step 6: Customizing WordPress Theme

After you have decided on a theme to use, next is customizing your theme to include your logo, site icon, etc.

1) To customize your theme, go to Appearance >> Customize

Wordpress Theme Customize

On the customize screen, you will find a customizer screen to the left while your website appearance will be on the right.

wordpress theme customize screen

As you make changes to your website from the customizer screen, the changes will reflect automatically on the website in the right.

2) Don’t forget to click the blue “Publish” button on-top the customizer screen to save the changes you have made to the website.

Note: The customizer screen makes it easy to make changes to your website. And it varies from theme to theme. It is only available if the active theme supports a Customize ability.

Adding a Logo To Your Website

Most WordPress themes will have a customizer screen to add a logo easily to your website.  Add the most likely place to add a logo to your website is from the “Site Identity ” menu in the customizer screen

Using the Writee Theme as an example, let me show you how to add a logo.

1) From the customizer screen, click on Site Identity.

wordpress theme customizer screen - site identity

2) Next, click “Select Logo” and you will be taking to the media screen.

WordPress Customize Site Identity

3) On the media screen, you can use an existing logo already uploaded or Click “Select Files” to Select a logo file from your computer. The theme will tell you suggested image dimensions for the logo.

wordpress theme select files

4) Once the logo has been uploaded, click the blue “Select” button.

select image wordpess website logo

5) Next, you will see the Crop Image screen. Crop your logo to your desired width and height and when you are done, click the “Crop Image” button to begin cropping.

Crop Image

6) Once the logo has been cropped, you will return to the Site Identity Screen” where you will see your logo ready for use.

Don’t forget to uncheck the checkbox “Display Site Title and Tagline”. Once you are okay with the logo, click the blue “Publish” button to save changes.

Site Identity - Publish Changes

You can now view your website to see the new logo.

From the site identity customizer option, you can also add a site icon to your website. Just click the “Select Site Icon” and you will go through a similar process of adding a logo.

Site Icon

Here is how a site icon looks.

Site Icon Look

Now go ahead and begin customizing another aspect of your website. And If you need help, you can contact me.

Step 7: Permalinks

Before you begin writing your first blog post, it is important you decide on a permalinks structure because changing your permalinks, later on, can seriously impact on your blog search engine visibility.

The permalink also called a permanent link is the full URL you see – and use – for any given post, page or other pieces of content on your site.

It is recommended your permalinks should be SEO Friendly and using the “Post Name” type permalinks is a better choice from my experience.

Setting Up Permalinks

Let’s go ahead and change your permalinks so you can begin writing your first blog post.

Go to Settings >> Permalinks and have the post name checkbox checked. Don’t forget to save changes.

Permalinks

post name permalinks

Reasons Why I recommend Using the Post Name Permalinks.

It is:

  1. SEO friendly
  2. Simple and clear permalink structure
  3. Keeps the Url shorter compare to when you have dates on your URL.

Step 8:  Writing Your First Blog Post

You made it this far, and things are about to get more exciting. You are about to write your first blog post.

Let’s get started.

1) From your WordPress dashboard, go to Posts >> Add New menu.

Add New Post

2) You will be presented with an editor area where you can write your first blog post.

Note: This is the old WordPress Classic Editor. If your WordPress is using the new WordPress Block Editor, I recommend switching to the old classic editor as it is easier to use.  

Classic Editor

To switch, you will have to install & activate the classic editor plugin.

Classic Editor Guide -1, start a WordPress blog
Classic Editor

From the editor area, using the numbers on the above screenshot to explain each section, you can:

  1. Add the title of your blog post
  2. Add Media such as images to your blog post
  3.  Use the tools section to format your blog post. e.g add header text, make a text bold, etc.
  4. Switch between visual & text option when writing your post.  If you are using the text option you won’t see the formatting on your post, only plain text. So it is always recommended to leave this at visual.
  5. If you click 5, you will enable a distraction-free writing mode. This mode helps you focus more on your writing.
  6. This empty white section is where you begin writing that awesome blog post.

3) Once you’re done writing, you can decide to Save draft, Preview or Publish the post immediately.

You can now be able to view your published post on your blog.

publish post

Also, you can schedule your post to be published automatically in the future by editing when the post is to be published.

This is very useful when you won’t be available to check your blog but want to have a series of posts published automatically based on the dates you set.

Edit Publish, start a WordPress blog

Other things you can do for your post is organizing them into Categories & Tags.categories & tags, start a WordPress blog

You can also set a featured image for your post.

Here is how a featured image looks like.

Featured Image

How a featured image appears on your blog varies from theme to theme.

Now that you know how to write & publish your first post, let’s now look at adding your first page.

Step 9: Adding Your First Page

Adding a page is almost similar to adding a post.

But a major difference between them is that a post is a dynamic entity and a page is a static entity. A post has a published/updated date and is displayed on the blog page.

Examples of pages are the About, Contact & Privacy Page. And These 3 pages that I mentioned are very important in a blog.

To add a page to your website,

1) Go to Pages >> Add New

Add Page

2) You will be presented with an editor area where you can write your first Page.

Add Page Screen, start a WordPress blog

3) Writing a page is very similar to writing a post. One difference is that you won’t find the categories & tag section in the page edit screen.

But you will find a section called “Page Attributes“.

Page Attributes

From the page attribute section, you can select the parent of the page. The parent page is an already existed page on your blog that this new page will be a child page of.

Parent & child pages help gives pages a hierarchical structure.

Also, you can change the template of your page. This affects the layout of the page on the front end.

Depending on which templates are available to use, you can see a selection like default, no sidebar, with left sidebar & with right sidebar.

4) Once you have finished writing your page, you can then click the publish button.

So that’s it with writing your first page.

Step 10: What Are Plugins & How to Use Them

Plugins help extend the functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. They are written in the PHP programming language and are integrate seamlessly with WordPress. Without them, you will have to write lines of code just to have a specific feature on your website.

For example, If you need a contact form on your website, instead of trying to write codes, all you need to do is get a contact form plugin. And you can find many to choose, from the WordPress plugins directory.

I have written a post that will show you how to install & activate a plugin. 

Let’s now install a contact form plugin in your website.

Step 11: Adding a Contact Form

Contacts form are crucial to every website. A contact form allows for people to reach you from your website.

Since WordPress doesn’t come with a built-in contact form, you would have to search for a WordPress form builder plugin to add a contact form on your blog.

I recommend using WPForms Lite plugin. This plugin allows you to build all kinds of forms, including a simple contact form.

Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress

 

WPForms Lite is a free version of the popular WPForms Plugin. My number #1 for best contact form plugin for WordPress.

wpforms

To Install & Activate the WPForms Lite plugin on your website, go to plugins >> add new. 

Next, type “WPForms” on the search box.

Once you see the plugin, you will need to click install, then activate the plugins.

For detail plugin installation & activation guide, check this post: how to install & activate a plugin. 

Upon activating the plugin, here is a detailed guide on:

How To Create a Simple Contact Form On Your Blog Using WPForms

Step 12: Setting Up Google Analytic Tracking

How can you tell when people visit your blog? That is why you need to set up Google analytic tracking on your website.

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

Google analytics tracking helps you know the number of people visiting your blog, their location & what they are doing on your blog.

It is better to have google analytics setup when starting your blog so you can know how much your blog has grown over time and be able to make necessary changes to your blog base on the analytics report.

1) To have google analytics set up on your blog, first, you need to visit the Google analytics website to get your “Tracking ID“.

2) If you don’t have an account already you will need to signup with your Gmail account.

google analytics

3) Next, make sure you are on the Website Tab. Fill in your information and website URL in the “New Account”. section.

google analytics signup1

 

4) Don’t forget to have the recommended data sharing settings checked. Next, click “Get Tracking ID”.

google analytics signup 2

5) Once you click the Get Tracking ID, a popup screen will appear where you will need to select your region and agree to the google analytics terms.

6) Next, you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code.

Tracking ID

If you already have a google analytics account with your Gmail account but don’t have an analytic account for your website, you can add a new account from your google analytics account.

From your google analytics dashboard, click  “Admin”.

google analytics admin1

On the Admin screen, click “Create Account”

google analytics admin create account1

Next, you will be taking to the New Account section. Follow from step 3) above to get your tracking Id.

Now that you have your tracking code, go to your WordPress admin area.

Setting Up MonsterInsights Plugin

You will need to install & activate the MonsterInsights plugin. This is a free popular plugin that allows you to add google analytics easily on your blog. It is the best google analytics plugin out there.

Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Search the plugin directory for “MonsterInsignts“. Install & Activate it.

Upon activation of the plugin, you will be taking to the Quick setup process.

On the Quick setup page,

1) Select what categories best describe your website

Monster Insights Setup1

2) Next, you will need to connect google analytics to your website. Click on the “Connect MonsterInsights” button.

Monster Insights Setup connect

3) The authenticating Process will begin.

Monster Insights Setup connect authenticating

4) You will be taking to “Sign in with Google” page where you will need to use the Gmail account you used to signup for Google analytics.

Sign In With Google

5) Next, you will need to Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google account. You can see the details that Monster Insights will have access to.

Google Sign In Access

 

6) Once you click allow, you will be taking to the MonsterInsights Website where you will need to select your website from the dropdown menu.

Click “Complete Connection” once you have your website in the drop-down menu.

connect google analytics to your website

7) The Finalizing Authentication with the MonsterInsights process will begin.

Finalizing Authentication With MonsterInsights

8) The next screen is the Recommend Settings. MonsterInsights will recommend settings for your website based on your website configuration.

Go through it and make the changes you want. When you are ready, click the Save and Continue.

screencapture-wplearnhowto-wp-admin-2019-05-20-11_48_46

9) On the next screen, MonsterInsights have some recommended Addon. But to access these Addons you have to upgrade to MonsterInsights Pro.

Once you are ready click “Save and Continue“.

screencapture-wplearnhowto-wp-admin-2019-05-20-11_57_24

10) MonsterInsights Will begin Checking your website to finalize the setup process.

MonsterInsights Checking Website

11) Awesome, you’re all set up. Next, click the “Finish Setup & Exist Wizard”.

Monster Insights Setup Completed

12) That’s it,  MonsterInsights with Google Analytics has now been set up on your blog.

Monster Insights Loading Settings

Monster Insights Setup Completed - Screen

 

Accessing Your Google Analytics Report

You can now see your website analytics report straight from your WordPress dashboard.

screencapture-wplearnhowto-wp-admin-admin-php-2019-05-20-14_15_14

You can access your analytics report from the Insights >> Reports Menu.

Analytics Report Navigation

 

If some reasons, after activating the MonsterInsights Plugin, you were not presented the Setup process, you can always access the Quick Setup Wizard from the Insights >> Settings menu.

Analytics Report Settings

 

On the settings page, scroll down to Setup Wizard and click the “Launch Setup Wizard” to begin setting up Google analytics with your blog.

MonsterInsights Setup Process

Step 13: Optimizing Your Blog For SEO

If you want people visiting your website, then SEO or Search Engine Optimization should be an ongoing crucial aspect for your blog.

SEO helps users find your blog on search engines, so it is important you start optimizing your blog for SEO from the beginning.

To get started with your Blog SEO optimization, you need to install & activate the Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the most complete & popular WordPress SEO plugin that will help you optimize your blog.

Upon activating the plugin, you may be presented with a quick configuration wizard that will help you walk through the plugin set up.

But all the same, You can also access the quick configuration wizard from SEO >> General.

Yoast Setup

Click the “Configuration Wizard” from the “First-time SEO Configuration” section to begin the setup process.

Yoast General, start a WordPress blog

Yoast Configuration Wizard

The 1st step of the installation wizard is the environment. You will need to specify if your website is under construction.

I think the right choice is option A: My site is live and ready to be indexed. Except your website is still under construction and you don’t want it to be on search engine just yet, then go with option B.

When you are ready for the next step, click on “Next“.

Yoast Step 1

For the 2nd step, you will need to indicate the Site Type.

Yoast Step 2

On step 3, you will need to select if your website represents a person or an organization.

If you choose Organization, you will need to enter the name of the organization, the logo, and the social media links if any.

Yoast Step 3

But if you choose an Individual, then you will select your username from your WordPress blog.

Yoast Step 3 Individual

Step 4 allows you to specify what content types you would like to appear in search engines.

Set this to “Yes” on both options to allow search engines to show your posts & pages in search results.

Yoast Step 4

On step 5, you will need to select if your site will have multiple authors. If you choose no, your author archives will be deactivated to prevent duplicate content issues.

Yoast Step 5

Type in your Website Name and Choose Title separator on Step 6.

Yoast Step 6

On Step 7, I recommend you Sign up for Yoast newsletter if you would like to keep up-to-date about Yoast SEO for WordPress.

Yoast Step 7 edit

Step 8 presents you with some Yoast Materials you might like.

Yoast Step 8

And finally, step 9 is the success page.

Yoast Step 9 Success

You did it, you have successfully completed the Yoast Setup. You can always come back to the setup page if you need to start the setup again.

Now, What Next?

SEO is a very broad topic and not just Yoast SEO you will need.  You have to be constantly learning new ways to optimizing your blog.

Also, There are other aspects of Yoast SEO plugins you will need to learn. Whenever I write about Yoast SEO & SEO Tutorials in general, you will find them on my WordPress SEO categories.

Check this on how to write an SEO blog post.

Step 14: Setting Up Your Email List

 

e-mail marketing

I have heard the saying “The Money Is On The List”. This can be true if you are sending out emails to your subscribers regarding new posts & offers from your blog.

An Email list is a very important marketing tool. And I recommend you start building one when starting your blog.

But in other to start building an email list, you need to signup to an email marketing service provider.

An Email Service Provider (ESP) is a service that enables marketers to send out email marketing campaigns to a list of users.

Email Marketing Services

There are a lot of email marketing services out, but to make it easy for you, I have put up a list below of the most popular email marketing service providers.

  1. Constant Contact
  2. Drip
  3. ConvertKit
  4. SendinBlue
  5. AWeber
  6. GetResponse
  7. MailChimp
  8. ActiveCampaign
  9. MailerLite

Most of these email services offer free trials. You can signup to any of these email services on your preference and choice.

But if you are just starting out in blogging and looking to build an email list on a tight budget, then you might want to consider Mailchimp & MailerLite.

MailChimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send up to 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers.

While MailerLite lets you grow your email list for free until you reach 1000 subscribers.

When you use up their free plan,  you will need to pay for an upgrade

Once you have decided on the email marketing service to use, you can now start building your email list.

How to go about Building your Email List

To start building your email list, you will need to create email signup forms on your blog.

The process of building an email list is simple.

1) When someone puts in their email address on your signup form to subscribe to your blog updates & offers, They will need to click on your subscribe button.

2) Once the subscribe button is clicked, The person will need to confirm their email address first (Double Optin) before their email is saved to your email marketing service provider.

You can choose to have a single opt-in. A procedure whereby the person will not have to confirm their email before saving to your email service.

3) You can also set up a “Thank You” Page.

4) Once the person subscribes to your email list, you can start sending updates about your blog and offers.

From your email marketing service, you can do a lot like setting up your autoresponders, setting up an automated email series, customizing your email templates, etc.

Ways to Create Email Signup Forms

If you search the WordPress plugin directory, you will be able to see different email list builders plugins that have signup forms for various email marketing services.

Using Sumo WordPress Plugin

But one easy way to build beautiful signup forms on your blog is by using Sumo WordPress plugin.

Sumo – Boost Conversion and Sales

Sumo is a powerful tool to grow your email list and it works with major Email Services providers.

sumo

With Sumo, you can build beautiful popup email forms integrated with your email service provider. While sumo is free, you will need to still upgrade to access some of the features.

Tip: If you want to build your email list fast, offer some free stuff.

When people visit your blog, chances are when they leave, they may not return back. But when you have an email signup form on your blog, and they signup, you can send a blog update or offer to them.

And When they visit your blog again it will be as returning visitors.

Apart from sumo, here is a list of some popular WordPress email list builders with opt-ins forms plugins to help grow your email list.

  1. Thrive Leads
  2. ConvertPro
  3. OptinMonster
  4. Bloom
  5. Leadpages
  6. WP Notification Bar Pro
  7. WP Subscribe
  8. MailChimp for WordPress

Before you go for any of the above lists, make sure you check it can integrate with your email services.

Step 15: Widgets & How To Use Theme

One step to go to the unveiling of ways you can make money from your blog. Excited right?

But Let me quickly touch a bit about WordPress Widgets & How to use them.

What are WordPress Widgets?

Widgets are easy to use modules with a specific function that adds up to the customization of your website theme.

Widgets are can only be used on widget-ready areas such as footers, sidebars & headers depending on which area is available to use.

Examples of widgets are search, recent post, recent comments, email subscribe form, etc.

Your WordPress Installations come with its own defaults widgets. But you can get more widgets options from activated Themes & Plugins on your site.

How To Use Widgets

To use a widget on your website, go to Appearance >> Widgets

Widgets menu, start a WordPress blog

On the widget screen, to the left, you find available widgets you can use on your website. And to the right, you find the widget ready areas you can use widgets on e.g sidebars, footer 1, footer 2, & footer 3.

Widgets, start a WordPress blog

For example, To add a widget to the sidebar, all you need to do is drag the widget from the Available Widgets into the Primary Sidebar.

You can also

  1. rearrange the order of the widgets in the primary sidebar.
  2. use the arrow down button to customize the widgets

primary sidebar

Don’t forget to click the Save button to keep the widgets changes.

From the widget ready areas, You can delete widgets you don’t need or if you want to keep the widget for later use with its settings, drag it to the inactive widget section.

Inactive Widgets, start a WordPress blog

This is an example of a widget in my blog sidebar

Wigdets example, start a WordPress blog

Step 16: How to Make Money from Your Blog

So you want to make money from your blog? Yes, it is very possible.

But… I have to share a bitter truth. If you are:

  • Looking for a get rich quick scheme, then you have no business with blogging.
  • Not ready to put in the hard work and effort, you may never make a penny from your blog.
  • If your REASON WHY you want a blog that makes money is not strong enough, you may find yourself quitting your blog.

But as long you know your reason why and are willing to put in the hard work, effort and being consistent, you’ll reap the reward.

Remember, there are no shortcuts to success.

Here are some of the best ways you can make money from your blog.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Market is simply promoting other people’s (or company’s) products or services to your blog readers for a commission.

All you need to do in this business model is recommend high-quality products and services that you use or don’t use but trust to your blog readers.

But first, you have to signup and be approved as an affiliate to a product or services before you can promote them on your blog.

When you get approved by an affiliate program, You will be giving an affiliate tracking link and other promotional materials.

When someone goes through your link to make a purchase, you will earn a commission.

Here is a list of some great affiliates/marketplace networks to join.

  1. Amazon Associates
  2. ShareASale
  3. Impact Affiliate Network
  4. Ebay Partners
  5. Rakuten Affiliate Network
  6. CJ Affiliate Publisher’s Program
  7. Bluehost Affiliate
  8. SEMrush Affiliate
  9. StudioPress Affiliates (WPEngine)
  10. Shopify Affiliates

These are just a few. I will write a detail lists of Affiliates Programs to join. Whenever I publish the list on this blog, I will include a link to it on this guide.

2. Google Adsense

google adsense

Google Adsense is a CPC (cost-per-click) advertising program. It is the largest advertising platform for bloggers and publishers.

You will need to signup to their program and if approved, you will start seeing advertisements on your blog.

3. Sell your Product & Services

sell

If you have products to sell or services to offer, you can sell them through your blog.

You can choose to set up an online store (with Wocommerce) on your blog to sell your products e.g digital downloads like ebooks.

or If you have services to offer, you can create a page on your blog where you can talk about your services and how much you charge.

4. Sponsored Post & Advertisement

You can let people know you accept sponsored post & advertisement on your blog.

All you need to do is create a page in your blog with the sponsored post details and the cost you will charge per sponsored post or advertisement.

When it comes to earning money from your blog, The more traffic your blog has, the greater the chance of making sales.

Step 17: Learning More About WordPress

Wordpress-Learn-How-To

Now you know how to start a WordPress blog. What next?

You keep learning.

And WPLearnhowto is a WordPress Tutorials blog for beginners with Step by Step guide. We teach easy to understand WordPress Tutorials with the most up-to-date techniques for faster learning.

To expand your WordPress knowledge, always check out this blog for more WordPress updates.

If you like this article on how to start a WordPress blog, you can subscribe to this blog via email, so you will get updates when there are new posts.

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