So, you’ve been thinking about starting a blog?
I bet you’ve read every piece of content you could find about starting a blog (and there’s a ton of it). You learned about traffic, monetization, email list building, WordPress themes and plugins. You went through a gauntlet of tutorials, courses, e-books and podcasts. And still you’re feeling lost. All information feels incomplete.
If so, you’re in the right place. In this post, I will walk you through complete process of setting up a fully functional WordPress blog, step by step. We will go through every little detail to get your blog up and running smoothly. After you complete this guide, you will have just one job to do for your blog: write great content!
So, let’s get started!
1. Choose blog niche which brings you visitors
If you’re gonna write your blog just for fun, you don’t really need a niche. You can write about anything that’s on your mind. But, if you’re thinking about growing and monetizing your blog, then niche is important.
What do I mean by niche? Well, imagine this scenario: a visitor lands on your post about, let’s say, how to lose weight. They really like it and think: “I better check out more posts, this blog looks really good”. But, then they see other posts about your dog, your favorite movie, or what you had for lunch yesterday. So, they think: “Meh, this guy is all over the place”. And they never return
But, if all your posts have a related topic (niche), then your visitors will think there is value in your blog. Because chances are they found you through search query or social share. And in that case, they are probably interested in topic of your blog.
So, how do you choose a niche for your blog? Unfortunately, there’s no one tried and tested approach. It’s more of a hunch then exact science, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
But, have no fear. Here is a list of tips to help you determine the perfect niche for your blog. Take these tips into consideration when you brainstorm topics for your blog niche.
Note that this step will tame some time, since you will need some brainstorming to do. If you’re not feeling up to it right now, feel free to skip this chapter and go straight to choosing domain name. Alternatively, you can take a look at this list of profitable blog niches as inspiration.
Step #1: Leverage your interests and passion
If you’re serious about blogging, then you must be in it for the long haul. That’s why it’s important to choose a topic that you are interested in and passionate about.
When you start writing content for your blog, you will spend a lot of time writing about your niche topic, researching it, getting intimately familiar with it. And if you are not passionate about it, you will probably do a bad job with your blog posts. And people can notice when your heart is not in it. That’s why it’s important to follow your interest and passion.
Note that you don’t need to be an expert about a topic to blog about it. For example, if you are interested in SEO, but feel you’re not knowledgeable enough about it, start writing anyway. Even if you are not an expert, but you create good content, people will appreciate it.
So, go ahead and write down several topics you are interested about. These will serve as a starting point to determine your blog’s niche.
Step #2: Check popularity of your topic
Now that you have a list of possible blog topics, it’s time to refine it. In this step, you keep only topics that have large potential audience you can reach. By choosing popular blog topic, you will have more potential readers, thus more opportunity to monetize your blog.
So, how do you estimate popularity of the topic? Well, you can check out popularity of search terms related to a topic, social shares about the topic etc. Here are some tools which you can use to perform this step:
- Google Keyword Planner – this free tool is a part of Google Adwords, which means you will need Adwords account (you can create one for free). You simply enter keywords related to your selected topics and you can immediately see how often people search for related keywords
- Google Trends – this tool gives you relative search volumes for search terms. You can use it to compare popularity of topics, is the popularity rising or declining and so on. For example, this screenshot shove popularity of two possible blog topics: You can clearly see which one is more popular. Google Trends also show you if interest in particular search is rising or declining
- Keywords Everywhere – this is free Firefox and Chrome plugin which instantly shows search volume, CPC (Cost Per Click) and other useful information for all your search queries. You can use this tool to estimate which search terms are most used, what is the difficulty to rank for them and so on. Here is the sample screenshot of Keywords Everywhere in action for search term “blogging”:
When you type in your search in Google search box, Keywords everywhere shows you average monthly searches for that query, along with CPC (Cost Per Click) and competition. You can use these two values to gauge popularity and competition of search queries related to your niche
In addition, Keywords everywhere shows similar searches which you can use to further examine popularity of your blog niche. By combining all these search information, you can have pretty good picture of the popularity of your chosen blog topics
In addition to these tools, sites like Quora and Reddit are a great resource to find blog topics. All you should do is search these sites for categories related to your chosen blog niche, and check how popular these topics are on them. Look for things like number of followers, number of question, how frequently questions are posted and answered.
After this step, you should be able to determine which of your potential blog topics are most popular. Cross off any topics which do not pass popularity filter. In the next step, we will further refine your list.
Step #3: Size up the competition
Competition is a double edged sword: too much means it will be hard to get your blog noticed, and too little means that your chosen niche may not be quite profitable.
The simplest way to assess the competition is to do Google search on blogs in your niche. For example, search “personal finance blogs” should give you top results for blogs about personal finance.
Go through these search results and try to examine all these blogs. Look for patterns, similarities and differences. See what these blogs have in common, and how they are different.
Once you get the idea of the competition, you might wanna think about the opportunities in two areas:
- Differentiate yourself – take note of what your competitors are doing that is successful, and try to approach that from different perspective. You might want to try different writing style, focus on specific sub-niche or something else. Brainstorm possible approaches and see what you can come up with
- Make connections – in blogging world, you want to be on good terms with your fellow bloggers. Be frequent visitor to your competiiors sites. Make contributions in form of comments or maybe even guest posts. Subscribe to their social media channels. Make an effort to get them to notice you
Continuing with the list of topics from previous two steps, narrow it further to topics taking into account factors described in this step. Focus in niches where you think you can make a dent in competition and get our blog noticed.
Step #4: Choose the niche for the long haul
Blogging is about giving your readers value. But, you don’t want to give your readers a solution to one particular problem, because once they solve that problem they won’t need you any more.
Instead, you want to focus on topics that improve your readers lives continuously. You want to make them coming back for more.
From your list of remaining topics, go through each of them and think of possible topics for individual blog posts. See if you can come up with at least 30—-50 titles for one single topic. This way, you ensure you can have enough material to keep serving your audience with great content.
Hopefully, after this exercise, you should have one topic that would be your blog niche. If you still can’t decide on a niche, don’t sweat it. Get your blog up and running, and start writing. After a few posts, you will probably have good idea about your niche.
2. Choose memorable domain name to stand out
Once you’ve decided on your blog niche, the next big step is choosing your domain name.
Although this might seem as a trivial task, you will soon realize that it can be frustrating and time consuming. Why, you might ask? Well, here’s the deal:
By the end 0f 2017, there were over 330 million registered domains on the Internet. That means that finding simple one or two words domain names is almost impossible, without paying premium price. You will need a lot of imagination and banging your head against the wall to figure out domain name that is suitable and available.
So, why is having the right domain name important?Your domain name must let your users know that they've come to the right placeClick To Tweet.
Basically, this means that your visitors can take one look at your domain name, and immediately have an idea of what your blog is about. In today’s world of information overload, people usually won’t bother to figure out what your clever domain name actually means.
Here are some domain name formats that have proven to be successful and which you can try out.
Successful domain name formats
These formats of domain names for blogs have proven to be successful for their owners, and you certainly won’t make a mistake if you base your domain name on them. Here they are:
- benefit for the reader – state the benefit your readers will get if they visit your blog frequently. This type of domain name answers the question “is this blog for me?” by stating the benefit readers will get from reading it. An example of this type would be iwillteachyoutoberich.com
- target audience – this type of domain name lets the intended audience know they are in the right place. Example would be bloggingpro.com
- blog topic – with this type of domain name, you simply state the topic of your blog. For example, bloggertipstricks.com
- your end goal – this is where you state what you are doing as a blogger, but in a way that your readers can relate to it. For example, livingwellspendingless.com
Now, there are also some common mistakes that you should avoid:
- wrong domain extension – choose .com, .net or .org extensions. Most people know about these extensions and will remember them easily. If you use new extensions like .co, io., .biz and similar, you will just cause confusion for your readers
- using subdomain of blogging platform – it looks unprofessional and it also leaves you exposed to any whim of the blogging platform
- using hyphens – people usually don’t remember hyphens. In addition, people will always rather click on domain without hyphens in search results, then one with them
Armed with this knowledge, you can now start brainstorming ideas for you domain name. For your convenience, I have set up little tool which will help you check if your desired domain name is available right away.
Check if your domain name is available
This little tool will help you check if your domain name is available. Simply type in your domain name and select desired extension (.com, .net or other)
When you click “check availability” button, you will be taken to Bluehost (affiliate link) page where you can see if your domain is available. If not, you will see suggestions for alternate domain names.
You can choose one of the alternate names, or keep trying until you find available domain name. When you do, you can register for Bluehost hosting account by clicking “Next”. For detailed steps on how to get an account and install WordPress blog, continue to the next section.
3. Get fast and secure hosting for your blog
We’re getting closer to have your WordPress blog up and running. Now we need to get hosting for our blog.
There are thousands of web hosting companies out there. They vary by prices, quality of service, options they offer, support and many more. Selecting the right company out of this sea of options can be tedious and time consuming process. To save your time, I highly recommend that you go with Bluehost (affiliate link). Why do I recommend it?
- performance – Bluehost consistently has almost 100% uptime and fast page loading time
- security – they offer tools like spam protection, hotlink protection, 2-factor authentication and many more
- Bluehost is one of recommended hosting provider for WordPress
- affordable price – hosting packages start at $2.95 per month
- 5 free email addresses with hosting package
- free domain registration with hosting package
Let’s go over the steps needed to create your Bluehost hosting account
Create Bluehost account
Note: If you used the form in previous chapter to select your domain name, you can skip first 3 steps here and go directly to account registration page.
For almost all new blogs, shared hosting will be sufficient. Go to Bluehost web site (affiliate link), and from the main menu at the top, choose “Hosting->Shared hosting”
Here you can select your preferred hosting package. Generally, I recommend selecting Basic package, since it will be sufficient for start. You can always upgrade if needed.
Click on the green “Select” button for Basic plan. You will be taken to next page where you can register a domain you selected in previous step. Simply enter domain name in the box labeled “New Domain“
Click “Next” and you will be taken to account registration page. This page is a bit long, but have no fear. We will examine each section in detail.
First part is your basic contact information. You won’t need much help with this one.
Next part is package information. In this form, I recommend that you select 12-months payment term. It means you pay for 12 months upfront, but you get almost 50% discount. For longer upfront payment (24, 36 months) you get even more discount, but I advise you to go with 12 months term. It’s the sweet spot between price and commitment.
Now you need to decide on extra add-ons on offer from Bluehost. To be honest, you don’t need any of those, at least in the beginning. You can easily add those in future if needed. So, go ahead and uncheck all suggested add-ons:
Final part is payment information. You can pay by credit card or PayPal. To show PayPal as payment option, click a link “More payment options”.
That’s it, your done!! Just click “Submit” and your order will be completed. Once it is done, you will be asked to choose a password for your account. After that, you will be able to log in.
4. Install your WordPress blog in just a few clicks
OK, this is where the fun starts! We have everything we need to install your new WordPress blog. This step will take just a few minutes, so don’t give up now :-).
Log in to your Bluehost account, and select “My Sites” on the left side menu bar. Then, click on “Create Site” button on the right.
You will be taken to next page where you should enter your blog name and tagline. If you are not sure what to enter here, don’t worry. Just type in anything, since you can always change it later. Then click “Next”
In the next screen, you will be prompted to choose a domain for your WordPress blog installation. Choose your domain here. Leave the field “Directory” as is.
Here, Bluehost will offer to install some additional plugins for you, but I would not advise you to accept. I will cover functionality of these plugins in depth in upcoming articles, but trust me, you won’t need them now. Just uncheck all the plugins and click next.
Congratulations, your WordPress blog is being installed. This process will take a few minutes.
And, we’re finally done! Your blog is now installed and ready. Installation summary will be shown on final page:
You can log in to your WordPress blog at the URL named “Admin” above. To see your password, click the “Show” button.
Congratulations, you are now proud owner of brand new blog!
5. Improve your trustworthiness with SSL certificate
Now that you have your WordPress blog up and running, you will need to install SSL certificate. If you’re wondering what it is, it’s the thing that makes little green padlock appear in your browser’s search bar. It let’s your visitors know that your site is safe and trustworthy. But, there’s more benefits to SSL then just having your visitors trust you more. Let’s see what else you get by applying SSL certificate to your blog.
SSL protects sensitive data
When you send sensitive data over plain HTTP connection (no green padlock in search bar), your data is sent over the line in plain text. This includes data such as passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers and other. As you imagine, this is not a very good idea, since it leaves you wide open to hacker attacks.
Th most common sort of attacks in this scenario is so called “man in the middle” attack. In a nutshell, it allows malicious attacker to intercept your data, steal it and maybe even alter it. So, when you log in to your WordPress blog over plain HTTP connection, there is great possibility that someone can sniff your login credentials (username and password)
In addition, if you plan to accept any form of payment on your site, it is ABSOLUTELY essential to use SSL when collecting any user information. The last thing you need is to have your user’s payment data leaked or stolen.
SSL helps your site rank better in search engines
There has been a lot of debate if SSL helps with search engine optimization. In fact, Neil Patel has a really detailed post about whether SSL is important factor in search engine ranking, backed by a lot of data. It’s a long post, but the gist is that SSL gives you minor improvement in ranking, but it may increase in the future.
Another thing to consider is that Google is pushing for using SSL on all web sites very aggressively. In fact, they have announced that, starting from July 2018, Chrome browser will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”. And since Chrome has almost 60% market share, you don’t want to take this lightly. Once you get a bad rap for having insecure site, it’s hard to bounce back.
Install SSL certificate for your blog
If you’re still not convinced about importance of SSL, you should know that Bluehost provides SSL certificate for free. So, you have no reason not to setup SSL for your WordPress blog. Let’s go over the steps to do it.
When you log in to your Bluehost dashboard, click on “My Sites” button in left side menu. Once sites are loaded, hover your mouse over the site for which you want to install SSL certificate. When you hover, two new buttons will appear. Click “Manage site” button.
You will now be taken to your blog settings page. Here, click on “Settings” tab.
On Security page, simply click the switch marked “Free SSL certificate”.
That’s it! You now have fully SSL compliant site!
6. Turn your WordPress blog into finely tuned machine
Once you have your WordPress blog installed, you need to configure it for optimum performance and security.
This can be daunting for beginners, especially with all different kinds of advice you can find all over the Internet. But, have no fear! I will guide through entire initial configuration step by step. Once we finish this process, you will have well oiled WordPress site machine. So, let’s get started!
Step #1: General settings
First order of business to configure some general settings for your blog. On main WordPress menu (vertical menu on the left), go to Settings->General, as shown in the screenshot. This will take you to “General settings” Page.
WordPress comes with some default settings for this part of configuration, but these are not optimal for most sites. We’re gonna fix this configuration to fit your site. To do this, you will want to change the following items in general settings, as shown in the following screenshot:
- Site Title – set this to the name of your blog (eg., My Awesome Blog). This will be displayed in your site header and browser title bar
- Tagline – this is like short description of your blog. It gives readers a better idea on what your blog is about
- WordPress address and Site address – these should be set to your domain name, which you chose in step 2 of this guide. Since we installed SSL certificate in previous step, make sure to have HTTPS in the front. Otherwise, you may have problems along the way
- Email address – this is the address where WordPress sends various notifications. Make sure this is email address you frequently check
- Membership – here, you will want to uncheck “Anyone can register” checkbox. This will prevent user registration. Otherwise, you might get a lot of spam users which can slow down your website and compromise security
Note that the last step is not needed if you actually want users to sign up, but I highly recommend you turn it off. You will almost certainly not need user signup.
You can leave other settings on this page as they are, or fiddle with them if you want. When you are done, click “Save changes” button, and let’s continue.
Step #2: Discussion settings
In this step, we will configure settings for comments on your blog. These are important, because there is a trade off between two somewhat conflicting goals: encourage interaction with your readers while keeping your blog secure enough.
Start by selecting Setting->Discussion from the WordPress main menu. You will be taken to the Discussion settings page. Once there, you will want to uncheck “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article” and “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles”, like in the image bellow:
What do these settings do? When you create a blog post and link to another WordPress blog, WordPress attempts to automatically notify that blog that you linked to it. This is called pingback. Simlarly, when someone links to your blog post, you get notified of that fact. This is called trackback. You can read more about trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress documentation.
Why are these bad? First of all, they are favorite tool of spammers and bots. They create a lot of useless links on your posts which slow down page load and can even lead to blacklisting your site with search engines. In addition, when you link to your own posts, it will add comment to target post about the link. You really don’t want to pollute comment areas of your post.
Beside turning off these two, some souces recommend turning off comments altogether. To do this, you just uncheck “Allow people to post comments on new articles” checkbox. This way, nobody will be able to comment on your posts.
While this is definitely good solution to get rid of spam comments, it’s kind of nuclear option. Blogging is all about building relationships with your readers, and comments help a lot with it. If you disable comments, you lose a great tool for interaction with your readers.
When you are done with these settings, click “Save Changes” button and let’s go step number 3.
In this step, we’re gonna configure permalinks for your blog content. What permalinks, you might ask? They are permanent URLs (permanent links) to your content. It’s what other blogs would use to link to your content, or what you would send someone to share your content. You can read more about permalinks in this post.
Why are permalinks important for your blog? They have huge impact on search ranking of your site. Search engines use your page URL as one of the signals to figure out what your content is all about.
By default, WordPress uses numerical identifiers to mark your posts. For example, default URL of your blog post would be https://myblog.com?p=23. You will agree that this is not really self-describing.
Instead of this, you should use human-readable URLs in your content. For example, instead of cryptic URL above, you can use something like https://myblog.com/how-to-lose-wight. This URL is much more user-friendly, and search engines can easily infer what your post is about.
Fortunately, WordPress allows us to configure this type of URL with ease. On main WordPress menu, go to Settings->Permalinks. You will be presented with the page bellow:
On this page, simply select “Post name” radio button as permalink type. You can see how an example link would look like.
The next order of business is to do a little cleanup of your new blog.
Step #4: Delete sample posts and pages
When you install new WordPress blog, it comes with some sample content, namely one post and page. These are the ones you see when you load your new site, and are used to showcase WordPress capabilities.
The thing is, you don’t need this sample content, since it just takes up space and it looks unprofessional to have content like this on your blog. We will create new pages you need for your blog in the last part of this guide. But for now, we are going to delete this sample content.
To delete sample pages, select “Pages->All Pages” from main WordPress menu. You will be presented with the list of existing pages, like in this screenshot:
You will now need to perform the following steps:
- Click on the “Title” checkbox, as shown in the screenshot. This will select all existing pages
- From “Bulk Actions” combo box above, select “Move to trash” option. Bulk actions allow you to perform actions on multiple selected items. In this case, we want to move all selected pages to trash
- Finally, click the “Apply” button. This will perform selected bulk action on selected items
You will need to repeat the same process to delete sample post. To see the post, simply choose “Posts->All posts” from main WordPress menu and repeat the steps outlined above
Step #5: Remove unneeded plugins
Every WordPress installation comes with a few plugins installed by default. For example, Akismet and Hello, Dolly are default plugins for all installation. Some hosting providers (like Bluehost) also add some of their plugins which they deem useful for their customers.
Whether these plugins are useful or not is open for debate. My recommendation is to get rid of them and start installing plugins from clean slate. Only install plugins which you really need and avoid duplicating functionality of different plugins. If you are not sure which plugins you need, stay tuned on this blog, as I will cover this topic soon.
To remove default plugins, choose “Plugins->Installed plugins” from main menu. You will be taken to plugin management page:
Just like before, choose “Delete” from “Bulk actions” combo box, and the hit “Apply” button. WordPress will now remove all installed plugins.
Now you have clean slate to install plugins you need for your blog from scratch. Installing needed plugins is out of scope of this post, but I’ve published a separate post about must-have plugins for your WordPress blog. It covers all the plugins you need to have your blog secured, fast and functional.
I strongly recommend you to got over the above post after you finish this one. This is these two posts kind of complement each other and give you the best starting point for your blog.
Step #6: Remove unused themes
WordPress comes with a default set of themes you can choose from. These are simple themes which are not adequate for any aspiring blogger, so I suggest you remove them.
Apart from adding clutter, unused themes can pose security risk and have negative impact on performance. So, let’s delete all inactive themes. Navigate to “Appearance->Themes” in your main menu. You will have a page similar to this:
To delete a theme, you must follow two-step process:
- hover your mouse over an inactive theme you want to remove (active theme is marked with “Active” label). A button “Theme details” will appear. Click it and you will be taken to theme details page
- On the theme details screen, look for red “Delete” link in the lower right corner. Click it and theme will be deleted
You will have to repeat this process for each theme you want to delete. Make sure you leave active theme, so your user interface keeps working until we set up professional theme for our blog.
That’s all there is to it! Your blog is now configured for optimum security and usability. In the next part, we will take care about the appearance and make it pretty for your readers.
7. Make your visitors fall in love with your blog appearance
You’re doing great so far! Your blog is almost ready to get it’s first visitors. But before that, we need to make it more presentable.
WordPress relies on themes to provide it’s good looks. You can think of theme as a skin for your site. Theme provides layout, colors, fonts and other elements which make up a website.
There are thousands of WordPress themes out there, both free and paid ones. This is both a blessing and a curse: from so many options, how do you choose right one? While good theme can have a great impact on your blog, a bad one can break it ( and I mean literally!).
So, what are the criteria for choosing a good WordPress theme? Apart from the obvious visual appeal, what should you also look for?
Most important things to consider when choosing a theme
When choosing the theme, you should consider the following features:
- Performance – you want your website to load as fast as possible, and themes have deep impact on this. In general, you should be looking for lightweight themes that don’t load a ton of scripts and stylesheets. The less resources your theme needs, the faster your pages will load
- Security – badly coded themes with disregard for security best practices are a heaven for hackers. When you are looking for a theme, make sure it is from reputable source, such as official WordPress repository or other well known marketplace. If you are developing custom theme, always choose developers with proven track records of theme development
- Customization – ability to customize the theme to suit your website is one of the most important things to look for. Most themes come with a basic set of customization options, but great ones allow you to easily customize almost every aspect of your site’s appearance
- Maintenance – make sure that your theme is being actively developed. This will ensure you get the latest bugfixes and security patches. The last thing you want is to be stuck with unmaintained theme, since that will make your site prime target for hackers
- Support – make sure your theme has good support channels, because sooner or later, you will need it. Depending on whether it’s free or paid theme, you can get various support levels, from community forums and basic email support to enterprise level service
Armed with this knowledge, you can now start looking the perfect theme for your WordPress blog. As you have probably seen, there are countless themes available, which means you will have hell of a time going through themes until you find one you like and which ticks all the boxes. Or, you can take my advice and…
Install Astra theme
Astra theme (affiliate link) is the one theme I recommend for your WordPress blog. It is the one I use on all my sites, because it is lightweight, responsive, flexible and pages load instantly. For example, this is the result of Pingdom pages speed test for this website:
As you can see, this site uses Astra theme (affiliate link) and is in top 5% sites among all sites tested by Pingdom tools. Of course, there are lots other factors involved here, but having high performance theme is one of them.
In addition, Astra checks all the boxes we outlined above: it’s lightweight, secure, under active development and has great support theme behind it. It is free theme, with optional paid version.
Now, if you are convinced, these are the steps to install Astra theme:
- in WordPress main menu, go to “Appearance->Themes”. Once that page opens, click “Add new theme”
- in themes search page, enter “astra” in search box in the top right corner. When search results appear, hover your mouse over theme and click install
And that’s it! If you try to load your blog now, you should notice significant improvement is page loading speed. Also, you can now start customizing the theme to your liking. If you are not sure where to start, stand by for the next posts on this blog.
This version of Astra theme is completely free, and it comes with a ton of features. But if you want even more features, you can get Astra Pro version. Check out this page (affiliate link)to see what else you can get for a small payment.
8. Create important blog pages
By now, you are probably sick and tired of this tech grunt work. Your fingers are itching to write some cool blog posts. Fortunately, this is the last step in getting your blog ready for your visitors.
Before you start writing, there are several really important pages every blog should have. Some of them are just common pages users expect to see on your blog, and others are legal stuff required in certain jurisdictions. So, what are the pages you need? Read on!
About pageYou ABSOLUTELY NEED an 'About' page for your blog.Click To Tweet
I bet it never crossed your mind that you need an “About” page for your blog? Let me tell you:
One of marketing gurus, Neil Patel. has written an extensive post about he importance of About page, and this is the guy who knows what he’s talking about. He’s one of the most successful Internet marketers, and you should definitely listen to what he has to say.
Your About page should let your visitors know who you are, what you do and, most importantly, what you can do for them. To sum up, your About page should have the following elements:
- Headline – give your readers one-line description of what you do, and the benefit they get from reading your blog
- “What’s in it for me?” – main content of your About page should answer this question for your readers. Let them know what you can do to make their life easier
- Credibility – Why should your readers listen to what you have to say? This is your chance to show any credentials, testimonials and achievements you might have to boost your credibility.
- Images – adding some images will help your readers relate to you and increase trust
If you need some help to get started, take a look at this detailed guide about how to write blog About page. At this point, you should not be concerned about the design, but more about content and grabbing attention of your readers. You can always revisit this page later.
Another important page for your WordPress blog is contact page. This is a page which contains contact form, so your readers can get in touch with you. Why is this important?
Having a successful blog is all about having engaged readers. If your readers are willing to contact you, it means they participating. And if they want to contact you, you want to make it as easy for them as possible.
For your Contact page, you will need contact form. When users fill this form, you will be notified via email so you can respond to their inquiry. To get the working contact form, you will need a WordPress plugin. There are a lot of them, but I recommend Ninja forms.
Ninja forms is an extremely good and easy to use form plugin. It is free in it’s basic version and allows you to easily create various forms for your site.
Ninja Forms is one of the essential plugins I recommend for WordPress blogs. I’m preparing new article about must have plugins for a WordPress blog. If you would like to be notified when this post is out, feel free to subscribe to our mailing list using this form
Essential Wordpress blog plugins!
We are preparing new post about MUST HAVE plugins for your Wordpress blog!
SIgn up for our mailing list and we will notify you when it is ready.
Terms of service
At this point, you are probably wondering “Terms of service? WTF? Why would I need that for a simple blog?”.
Well, chances are, you will probably never need it, but in the case you do, you would be glad you have one. Having Terms of service page can save you a lot of headache down the road. Especially if you plan to monetize your blog and accept payments. In these cases, TOS page is extremely important.
What should this page contain? That depends on your jurisdiction, type of the blog you run, your monetization strategy and so on. The best idea would be to have a lawyer to draft Terms of service for you. In a nutshell, it should layout the rules on how users use your site and include disclaimer for any liability you might be facing.
But, if you just want a basic legal cover, you can use this free Terms of service generator tool. You simply fill out the form with your basic data and this tool will generate Terms of service content for you. You then simply insert this content into your blog page.
Please note that this is extremely generic TOS and may be completely incompatible with laws in your country. If you want proper legal cover, I strongly advise you to talk to a lawyer who is familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction.
- what personal data you may be collecting
- how do you store this data and for how long
- do you share this data with third parties
- let users know how they can see this data and request it to be deleted
- if you use any tracking codes, like cookies
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You now have a solid base to build your WordPress blog upon.
As you have probably realized so far, building a successful blog is hard. There are countless technical details to take care of, and they can be pretty annoying. Even seasoned tech professionals can have problems navigating WordPress technology landscape. I speak from experience, having gone through numerous episodes of hair pulling due to problems with my blog. And I’m a seasoned software developer who’s supposed to know what he’s doing.
But, you don’t have to go through same ordeal I’ve gone through. I’ve decided to create a whole series of articles about getting your WordPress blog in perfect condition and ready to get traffic and monetization. In the next weeks, I will publish more posts similar to this where we will continue to build and improve your blog. Don’t miss it, it will be awesome!
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This has been a long read. My goal was to cover whole process of setting up a blog as detailed as possible. I hope I’ve succeeded in it, but only you can be the judge of that.
I would love to hear your opinion. Was this post helpful? Did it help you to create your blog? Is there anything you didn’t understand or something that need to be changed? Please don’t hesitate to give your feedback.