How to Build a WordPress Website: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
One of the most popular content management systems (CMSs) out there is WordPress. Its open source counterpart, Blogger, is arguably even more accessible to absolute beginners, which makes it such a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking to set up a website. Whether you’re looking to create a simple blog or an elaborate portfolio, you can find a WordPress template that suits your needs. You’ll also find a wealth of third-party plugins available for download that will extend the features of your site. If you’ve never set up a website or blog before, this guide will help you along the way.
The BASIC OF BLOGGING
For the uninitiated, blogging is the act of publishing regularly updated content on the internet. Anyone can blog, but expert bloggers often update their blogs several times per day, usually in a quick and entertaining style. When someone clicks on a blog link, they’re usually landing on content that is well written, informative, and regularly entertaining.
Blogging can be more than just a hobby for those who enjoy writing. Some bloggers even make a living from their content, which is one of the main reasons Blogger and other blogging platforms are so popular. However, even those who blog for fun can get quite a bit of value out of it, as detailed below.
Another important aspect of blogging is managing content. When you write an informative blog post, you’ll often find that you’ve got a lot of material. Your job is to make sure that you’re putting out content that is both useful and compelling. One of the best ways of doing this is by structuring your content into easily digestible bits. Think of some of the greatest bloggers out there, like Michael Hyatt and Neil Patel. They both have dozens of blog posts that are often very long. Yet, even in these instances, they’ve managed to keep the posts easy to follow and extremely informative.
This means that even if you’re new to blogging, you’ve already begun to exercise good content management practices. Before you know it, you’ll be submitting your own content to thousands of online readers, boosting your popularity and income along the way.
Popularity Vs. Income
Speaking of popularity and income, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. You’ll often hear the words used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. When someone refers to your blog’s popularity, they mean how many people are visiting the site and reading your content. This is usually a good thing, as more visits usually means more income. Popularity is generally a measure of how many other people are talking about your blog or website. If you want to make money from blogging, you’ll need to focus on increasing your income rather than just your popularity. There are several ways that you can do this, including getting paid to comment on other blogs, using affiliate marketing, and taking online surveys.
There are numerous benefits to blogging, most notably the fact that it’s an easy way of keeping in touch with relatives and friends who may live far away. It’s also a great way of adding an extra dimension to your content, whether you’re writing a business plan, a family history, or an article about fashion. Plus, you’ll often find that you learn something new every time you blog, making it an educational experience as well.
Ultimately, if you’ve got a knack for writing and can keep up with the content, you’re likely to succeed as a blogger. But beyond that, it takes a bit of courage to launch a blog, as you’re likely to encounter a lot of negativity from those who don’t believe in your vision. Still, you’ll find that most of these people will become your greatest allies once you’ve explained to them why you’re taking the step.
Where To Blog
Now that you’re equipped with the basics of blogging, you may want to consider where to blog. There are numerous places online where you can publish content, including specialist blogs and news websites. Perhaps the most popular option is WordPress, both due to its popularity and its open source nature, allowing users to tweak the appearance of the site as they see fit. This means that once you’ve put in the effort to build the site, you can change the appearance completely to suit your needs. Along with its advanced security features and robust support network, this makes it an attractive option for those seeking to build a blog.
Another good place to blog is Medium. Like WordPress, Medium allows complete freedom of customization, but it also provides a structured layout that makes content easy to follow. Even more importantly, Medium allows for any kind of post, from short stories to long-form journalism, which makes it a truly versatile option for anyone seeking to blog.
What To Blog About
As previously stated, the main purpose of a blog is to provide informative content for others to read. Like any other business, you’ll need to focus on providing value for your audience, and one of the best ways of doing this is by choosing topics that you know a lot about. If you’re completely new to blogging, this may be a tricky area to navigate, but seeking help from a specialist will certainly make it easier.
For example, if you’re seeking to create a wine blog, you know a lot about the subject matter. Not only have you probably tasted many different kinds of wines, but you’ve probably also researched the ideal climate for growing grapes, the different varieties of grapes that are suited to certain regions, and the like. All of this makes you an ideal candidate for launching a wine blog, as you’ll be able to provide your audience with high-quality content regularly.
It’s also worth considering what you’re passionate about. If you’re seeking to create a style blog, for example, you may want to consider focusing on fashion, lifestyle, or beauty. These are often lucrative industries, and if you can become the go-to source for your chosen topics, you’re sure to make a comfortable living from blogging.
Elements Of A Winning Blog
If you’re looking to create a successful blog, you’ve got to have a solid understanding of the industry as a whole, as well as the following elements:
- Attracting An Audience
- Engaging with Your Audience
- Monetising Your Blog
- Avoiding Blogging Platforms That Aren’t Suitable For You
- Increasing Domain Authority
- Building A Following
- Turning Point To Grow Your Audience
- A/B Testing Optimization
- Monetising Through Affiliate Marketing
- Focusing On What’s Important To You
- Avoiding The “Hype”
With this in mind, let’s examine each of these elements in turn.
Attracting An Audience
One of the most important elements of any blog is attracting an audience. If you want to create a popular blog, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd by providing your readers with engaging content that they will want to come back for. As previously stated, the key to making money from blogging is by keeping up with the content, which is why it’s so important to have an engaged audience. Creating an interesting and unique blog with a large following is certainly possible, but it’ll take a lot of work.
To attract the interest of your target audience, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd by providing your readers with content that is both interesting and original. To succeed as a blogger, you’ll need to understand how to create content that is both informative and entertaining.
Engaging With Your Audience
Once you’ve attracted an audience with interest, it’s time to engage with them. This involves communicating with your readers, responding to their comments, and creating a space for them to discuss and share information. This section of a blog post is often overlooked yet critical to a successful blog. Without regular interaction with your audience, your content will quickly become irrelevant.
To engage with your audience, you’ll need to respond to their comments and create a space for them to discuss your content. If someone comments on a post that you’ve written, make sure that you respond to their comment and keep the conversation going. This will help establish you as an authoritative voice in your niche, allowing you to build credibility and trust with your audience. When others see that you’re responding to comments, it shows that you value their opinion and are seeking to create a space for them to express their thoughts. This is a key factor in building a following.