How to Start a WordPress Blog: 5 Step Tutorial

I am from Serbia, and here it is not so common for people to have their own blogs, like it is in the US. Well, I have been in this business for a few years, and since most of my work revolved around SEO, marketing, HTML, CSS and building up other people’s websites and their presence I have been covered with work and most of my friends never took the time to understand what I do. Well, all of that changed after I started this blog, now I have a dozen of forgotten friends calling me day and night asking how to do this and that and how to get started basically, how to make money online.

wordpress blogMy usual response is to tell them to go to my blog and they will find everything there, if I haven’t written it I placed a link to other blogs that have. I mean why is it so hard for people to do their own research? Well, if that wasn’t so many marketers would be out of their paychecks which they get from online courses and webinars. So I decided to write a short crash course on how to start a blog, it will consist of 5 steps which I will publish in the course of the next week or so. The course will consist of:

- Blog Topic Research
- Getting Some Content Up
- Creating Social Media Accounts
- Promoting Your Blog & Building Your Presence
- Keeping Your Blog Running Until your Achieve Success
In this introduction we will cover the very basics:

- How to buy a domain and hosting
- How to choose your WordPress Theme and set your blog

Getting your domain and hosting is rather easy. I’m not going to talk about choosing a domain and doing research, that would take too much space and time all over again. If you want to learn about that subscribe to my mailing list and you will get my 10 Step SEO Tutorial and Practical SEO Keyword Bible eBook.

Domains are cheap, average $10 per year, so what it comes down to is choosing the hosting company and plan. My recommendations are Hostgator and DreamHost, but I also heard great things about BlueHost so it might be worth checking out, haven’t tried them but they can’t be bad since everyone is talking good things about them. If you are aiming for one single blog with low budget you might consider Hostgator’s lowest plan that includes on domain and hosting for $4.95 a month, which is really a bargain. If you want unlimited disk space and storage plus unlimited domains go for DreamHost. I looked over BlueHost and they seem to offer the same deal as DreamHost for $6.95 a month, which is amazing if it’s true, so if anyone uses BlueHost please leave your comment below and share your opinion.

Your choice of the hosting provider will depend on your needs and your plans for your blog or blogs. That is something you will have to think for yourself, options are here so choose.

Choosing a WordPress theme is another matter. Like with almost everything online you have two options, a free WP theme or a premium WP theme. The difference is the possibility of customization and also design and performance. There are plenty of great free themes out there, so if you are new go for a free theme of your choice, something that suits your blog topic or go for a simple white theme. Don’t go for 100 color themes or funky backgrounds. Once you are ready you can try premium themes like mine here, which is Thesis theme or you can go for Woo themes or other premium WordPress themes.

And now comes the hardest part, setting up your WordPress blog. Once you go into your hosting account you will find one click setup function that will let you install your WordPress blog with one click of a mouse. After that you will be given a login link where you will setup your basic info like the blog’s name and your password, all of which can be changed later.

I won’t tell you how to create a post or how to upload images; you can find all of that in WordPress tutorial. I will tell you about a few plugins you need to install on your WordPress blog. The most important plugin if you don’t have a Thesis theme is the SEO plugin, the choice comes down to All in One SEO Pack and Platinum SEO pack. When you create an HTML page you need to place three important things besides your content and those are the Title Page, Meta tags and Meta Description. These two plugins allow you to create these for each of your pages, so make sure you install them and use them each time you post something on your blog.

There are plenty of plugins that I use, but I am an advanced user, you probably won’t need a fifth of those plugins, so what you also need is Akismet plugin. This plugin is used to stop SPAM comments, a really useful plugin that will save you time and keep your blog 99% clean of SPAM. I also recommend installing Do Follow plugin as that will motivate more people to visit your blog and to leave comments as well as installing KeywordLuv plugin which allows your users to place their name and their keyword while using the keyword as their anchor text.

Once you have your blog setup, all plugins installed, your theme tweaked to your liking you are ready to research your topic and start getting some content up and work towards your goal.

Please leave comments below and ask any questions you might have and give any opinions or suggestions on the subject. And please don’t tell me that this is actually a 6 step tutorial, I know!

About The Author

is the founder and CEO of Practical SEO and also a passionate blogger. All of his free time he dedicates to his Practical SEO blog and giving free advice as well as participating in the blogging community.

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25 Response to How to Start a WordPress Blog: 5 Step Tutorial

  1. Fran Aslam@kw writer on October 17, 2010

    Hi Zarko:

    Today I liked your post a lot. You know why because I am not tech savvy. Actually I do not completely know how to set up a WP blog yet. Whatever You have in this post is simple and I know it. But not all of it.

    You are a good writer, your blog is looks a good.

    Talk again
    Fran Aslam

  2. lawmacs on October 17, 2010

    Nice tutorial here Zarko but for anti spam plugin i would recommend Grow map anti spam plugin that will do the trick works better than askimet

  3. Zarko on October 17, 2010

    Thanks Fran, you can expect a lot more in the next 5 posts :)

    Lawmac, I will try it immediately, you already know how much I hate SPAM and that I have issues with it, I don’t know why you didn’t mention it earlier :)

  4. Zarko on October 19, 2010

    Thanks, but this is just an introduction to the wordpress blog setup, there will be five more posts on the subject.

    How do I feel about importance of on-page SEO and link building on wordpress sites?

    the same as I feel for any type of website or blog on any other platform, it is essential. Importance? It’s a must, there is no way around it, thankfully, wordpress gives us plenty, so it is easy to optimize a wordpress blog thanks to all the plugins and great usability of the wordpress blog platform :)

  5. Felicia @ No Deposit Poker on October 19, 2010

    Hi Zarko,
    I am searching lately on what hosting service I should take for a blog I am planning to set up. Thanks for putting up a post that gives a step-by-step instruction on getting a blog started.

  6. Zarko on October 19, 2010

    My pleasure Felicia, you can check out the Hostgator vs DreamHost review if you are interested in some promo codes and discounts using my account. :)

  7. Steve@Lifestyle Design on October 19, 2010

    Good idea to write some posts going over the basics of getting started. That can be very useful.

    I think a lot of the stuff that is written presupposes a level of knowledge that may not be there for the casual user. A few “get started” posts are a great way to help that, since some of the best ways to learn this all is to get out and play with it!

  8. Lynnivere on October 19, 2010

    So here’s how far in the dark I am. =)

    I thought buying a domain WAS buying web hosting. Ha.. oy!

    So, I bought my domain name through NetFirms, would you suggest buying web hosting through the same co.?

    I’m definitely ready for the Thesis theme. Do I simply buy/upload it when I get the web hosting?

    Oh, thank you for explaining all this. I appreciate it sooo much!

  9. Zarko on October 19, 2010

    Well I’m not familiar with NetFirms so I can’t say yes or no. So ask around, if they are any good and also have affordable rates I say go for them, it is always easier to have your hosting and your domains with the same company. If not it’s not a big deal, you can easily transfer a domain or just change the DNS records to point towards your new hosting, wherever that may be. Find what works best for you, maybe Hostgator or DreamHost or even BluHost will suit you better, like I said, look for some more reviews and find something that really suits you.

    About thesis, yes. Once you but the theme, just upload it to your WordPress blog and you can edit it from there as much as you want. I recommend a few tutorials, if you are a total beginner maybe Four Bloggers tutorial will suit you.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask :) And stay tuned for the next 5 posts on how to start a wordpress blog!

  10. Brian | i-Blogger on October 20, 2010

    Hey Zarko,

    I have heard great things about WordPress, but I have never actually used them. But are you able to embed Google AdSense into a WordPress blog? I use AdSense on my 2 main blogs, and it accounts for 50% of my earnings every month.

    This is a very informative post and it’s just the type of info that your visitors appreciate receiving. Take care.


    Brian M Connole

  11. Zarko on October 20, 2010

    Hi Brian, of course you can embed adsense into WordPress, you are a few days late on my blog or you would have seen adsense into my sidebar, now it is in my footer.

    Some WordPress themes allow you to place adsense very easy, there are also various plugins that allow you to do the same, and of course you can always add a hook :)

  12. blog optimization on October 22, 2010

    Hey Zarko,

    I’m glad you see the importance of on-page and link building, I feel like many people think SEO plugins alone will be enough to get their WordPress site to rank well in search engines. In regards to on-page SEO and keyword density, I believe this still needs to be done manually unless there is a plugin for that as well I don’t know about. Have you heard of anything?

  13. Zarko on October 22, 2010

    Yeah,m well that is all thanks to guru internet marketers that often say that wordpress is an automated system with only a few plugins need and you are set. Everything needs manual optimization.

    there is no plugin that will do that for you, but there are a few that will point out that your keyword density is low, or that there are no keywords from the title in your post etc… one of those is Arkayne, but again, it’s not anything special and is made for absolute beginners, I know all of that before I even sit down to write a post :)

    Not sure about traffic getting plugin from Jeff Johnson, everyone says it’s great, but I actually have no clue what it does, LOL :)

  14. Aswani on October 29, 2010

    Hello Zarko, I have a blog on blogger. And I really enjoy it like anything. I don’t see any such reason to switch over to wordpress. But yes, I have been recommended by most of my blogger friends to go for the same. I will do it one day for sure. Thanks for sharing all these valuable tips. Great blog you have. Keep writing :)

  15. Zarko on October 29, 2010

    Hi Aswani,

    well I never used blogger for anything more than to create bloglines for other people, so I never actually got to know it like I do wordpress, but if we only look at customization and SEO options between the two, WordPress beats Blogger hands down.

    In the end it is a thing of habit, what works for me might not work for you, but I really doubt that is the issue when we talk about WordPress :)

  16. Martin John Price on November 2, 2010

    Hi Zarko, the one thing I do like about your blog is the look. (not the only thing obviously! It’s got great content too, thanks) I use blogger as you know and it looks… well it just looks plain and boring. I suppose if my content is great then it doesn’t really matter (a la Grizzly Brears blogger blog). It’s becoming a personal goal to try and get up the rankings with my blogger blog. I have a long way to go. Thanks for your words of inspiration and posts on my blog!

  17. Zarko on November 2, 2010

    Hi Martin,

    well the only thing that really matters is your content and your marketing skills, wordpress or blogger have nothing to do with it, it’s just what is easier for us. the best example is Aswani, you can visit his site, it’s blogger platform and it looks and feels great.

    One thing that will surely help you with the rankings and will make your blog look professional is your own domain and not a hosted domain on blogspot like you have, so think about purchasing that domain.

  18. Promoting Your Blog – How to Start a WordPress Blog Step 4 on November 10, 2010

    [...] is to create social media accounts. So how do we promote our blog? That is the 4th step of our How to Start a WordPress Blog 5 Step tutorial and we will get over it very [...]

  19. Keeping your Blog Running – How to Start a WordPress Blog on November 17, 2010

    [...] hope this sums up our How to Start a WordPress Blog tutorial nicely. I like to thank all the people that have been visiting my blog and this tutorial [...]

  20. TJ@Phoenix SEO on November 17, 2010

    Hey Zarko,

    Great post for someone looking to start out with a WordPress site. I use Hostgator and Woothemes Canvas theme. Woothemes Canvas is another “framework” alternative to Thesis although Thesis works as well. I just like it better because of the theme options. I love Hostgator as well because they have 24/7 live chat support and not only do they help find out whats wrong if something happens they usually fix it while your waiting. I now have a shared and dedicated server with them and it has been the best experience.

  21. Zarko on November 18, 2010

    Hi TJ,

    yeah I love Woo Themes, if I hadn’t done so much work on my thesis I would go for A Woo like Canvas or Skeptic.

    As for hostagtor, what can I say, top of the line hosting company :)

  22. Deepak kasana on February 23, 2011

    dear sir,
    thanks for these points i know about wordpress but not so much thanks for that and kindly see my site ,that site was running from last six month but i can’t see good traffic on my site,pls help how i generte good traffic.

  23. Zarko on February 23, 2011

    two things Deepak, first, add some value to your content. most of the posts are very short and have no actual keywords. Second thing is promote!!! Promote, promote, promote, link building, networking, social networks, free ads, anything you can get your hands on until word spreads around. And of course, when link building try to concentrate on your main pages, like categories etc…

  24. Alex@Promotion inevitably on June 12, 2011

    Very useful for newcomers! What is the best hosting in UK and Germany?

  25. white label seo on July 1, 2011

    Thanks for this venerable tutorial covers all the 101′s of what wordpress newbies must know.

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