WordPress Blogging 101: The ABC of Starting a WordPress Blog in 2020

This WordPress Blogging 101 tutorial is an exclusive guide for beginners to learn ABC's of starting a WordPress blog in 2020. By the end of this dummies workbook, you will have a good knowledge of how to set up a money blog.

Did I take your attention now? Let's go...!

Days are gone when there was no competition in the blogging niche. Now, become a blogging master required a lot of efforts and setting up a professional blog on WordPress involves hundreds of things too.

And, if you are unaware of these things, there is no chance, your posts are going to rank in search engine results.

So, this WordPress Blogging 101 guide will show you how to start a WordPress blog in 2020 and set up it like a pro blogger. Moreover, this blogging 101 WordPress guide for beginners, need no technical knowledge but 15 minutes reading.

If you are a guy who is looking for starting a WordPress blog the first time, this article will take only the next 15 minutes to teach you how to set up your professional website from nothing.

Ready to set up a powerful website on WordPress? If said yes, let's breakdown the steps of starting a WordPress blog in 2020.

Did I take your attention now? Let's go...!


WordPress Blogging 101: The ultimate guide on starting a WordPress Blog in 2020


Step 1. Find a blogging niche

The very first step to learn WordPress Blogging 101 is to find a topic. It's an essential part of getting success fast in 2020's blogging business.

According to several different websites, professional bloggers and experts, below are some of the most profitable niches:

  • Blogging
  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Weight Loss
  • How to series
  • Product reviews
  • Making money online
  • Dating & relationships
  • Self-care
  • Beauty & fashion
  • Home decoration
  • Technology

All of these niches are conventional and high competitive. So, it's my suggestion, if you are going into any slot mentioned above, then don't go straight but into a narrow niche.

For example, if I choose to blog, then going for blogging for business, event blogging, Christmas blogging etc. will be a smart decision. In this way, you can start and grow up a WP blog within very less time.

Also, take care of the monetization method before picking up a blogging topic. For example, if you are going to write on movie reviews or technology hacks, then Google Adsense is the best option to earn money.

On the other side for product reviews niche like WordPress themes or hosting reviews, affiliate marketing is the most powerful option to earn passive income.

Step 2: Choosing between wordpress.com & wordpress.org

There are two types of WordPress software vailable: wordpress.org and WordPress.com. Both are free; only the difference is, to start a blog on wordpress.org, you need a custom domain name and web hosting. But to build a website on wordpress.com, you no need to purchase domain and web hosting separately.

Even this free stuff, most of the professional bloggers don't recommend wordpress.com. Below are the prime reasons:

  1. 1
    If you prefer to choose a free blogging platform (wordpress.com), that means you are not serious in blogging.
  2. 2
    You'll never be able to manage your blog the way you can control it using WordPress.org software.
  3. 3
    You can't monetize your website with Google Adsense and some other affiliate marketing methods.
  4. 4
    They can shut down your site anytime without notice.
  5. 5
    The free software can insert ads on your website without notice, which are unable to remove.

As you can understand reading above, why professionals doesn't suggest wordpress.com. So, now, if you are interested in making money by the side on, this WordPress Blogging 101 guide is only for you to start a WordPress blog with the smallest investment in 2020.

You may be interested to know that wordpress.org also powers WP Blogging 101. Browsing this website shows you how I designed it with custom layouts, widgets, headers-footer, and colors. Ultimately, I have full control of my blog.

So, now we are going to pick wordpress.org for starting a WP blog.

Ready? Let's move to 3rd step of Blogging 101 WordPress guide to get a domain name and web hosting.

Step 3: Buy a TLD domain and web hosting

TLD stands for Top Level Domain, which refers to the last segment of a domain name or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol.

Here are some examples of the popular TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .gov, .biz and .edu.

Web hosting is a place on the Internet where your website files will be live. It is like the home of your blog. For more details, you can read a comprehensive introduction to web hosting.

Choosing the best WordPress hosting for your blog not only improves blog SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but increase affiliate sales. Though there are different types of WordPress hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting.

But, in this guide, I will recommend you buy a domain name and shared web hosting from bluehost.com (claim Bluehost 65% instant discount and free domain now).

Here is why Bluehost...!

​Bluehost is one biggest leading web hosting companies in the world. It offers free customers 24/7 live chat, unmetered bandwidth, and at least five email accounts.

Compared to other web hosting companies like Siteground, Hostgator, and DreamHost, Bluehost is the most searched keyword in Google Trends data. This makes sense, why I have picked up Bluehost in this WordPress Blogging 101 guide.

​Showing past 12 months, Google Trends data within United States:

bluehost

​Showing past 12 months Google Trends data worldwide:

bluehost

​The very best thing is about Bluehost is that you can register a free domain name for the first year. On the other side, Siteground costs $15.95/year.

​Being an affiliate partner with Bluehost, I’ve negotiated with their hosting team for an exclusive discount for WP Blogging 101 readers. Hopefully, they accepted my request and arranged a 65% instant discount using this link.

​Now let's put up our WordPress Blogging 101 tutorial to sign up on Bluehost website.

Click on this special link (coupon code added into the link) to visit Bluehost website and click on the green button saying Get Started.

bluehost

Choose your hosting plan (Bluehost Choice Plus plan is highly recommended for maximum savings).

bluehost pricing

Enter the Domain Name you want to register and tap on the Next button.

bluehost free domain

Add your Account Information, select Package Information, choose Package Extras, add Credit Card details, accept Terms, and the last step tap on the Submit button to complete the purchase.

bluehost hosting

Once the payment is made successfully, you will get a confirmation mail on your registered email ID.

Congratulations, you have purchased a TLD domain name and web hosting service from Bluehost. Now let’s move to the next step of learning starting a WordPress blog in 2020.

Step 4: Install WordPress

I know you were waiting for this moment. Here we have done almost 50% of WordPress Blogging 101 workbook. Now, you have hosting and domain name. The next step is to install WordPress on Bluehost hosting.

Let's dig in!

In this guide, I am showing you two ways "Marketplace" and "My Sites" to install WordPress on Bluehost hosting. You can pick the one, looks easy for your own.

Installing WordPress on Bluehost with Marketplace (Legacy)

  1. 1
    Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
  2. 2
    Find the website section and then select Install WordPress.
  3. 3
    Click the Install button to start installing the application.
  4. 4
    Choose a domain name to install it to. In the field next to the domain and keep subfolder empty.
  5. 5
    Set up your username and password for the new WordPress installation by clicking on the Advanced Options.
  6. 6
    Accept Terms and Licence Agreements.
  7. 7
    Tap on the Install button.

It will take a few seconds to complete the installation.

Installing WordPress on Bluehost hosting with My Sites (Bluerock)

  1. 1
    Log in to your Bluehost hosting account.
  2. 2
    Open the My Sites tab from the left side menu options.
  3. 3
    Now, click on the Create Site button.
  4. 4
    Enter your Site Name and Site Tagline.
  5. 5
    Click the Next button.
  6. 6
    Select the preferred domain name from the drop-down list.
  7. 7
    Choose the directory this should be installed to, and click Next.

After clicking on the Next button, the application will be installed on Bluehost hosting. Once the WordPress installed, its time to move for the 5th step.

Step 5: Set a secure password

After installing WordPress application on hosting, the very first step to secure your website. This step is only needed if you have installed WordPress using Bluehost My Site method. As installing WP through Marketplace, you have the option to custom username and password individually.

For updating your WP blog password, go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin (don't forget to replace yourdomain keyword with your domain) and log in using Username and Password.

wordpress change password

Once you logged in, navigate to “Users” then “Your Profile” under the right side menus.

Scroll down to the bottom under the “Account Management” section, click on “Generate Password.” Enter a new password you want to set (mix numbers, letters, and characters to make password highly secured) and then click on the “Update Profile” button.

Congratulations, your website password has been updated successfully.

Step 6: Design your site

There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can install on your WP blog. Some of them are free, and others are paid.

On WP Blogging 101, I use GeneratesPress. It has two versions, “free and premium,” and I use a premium version, which is technically a plugin called GP Premium.

If you have a budget, it’s always a smart decision to purchase a premium theme. But if not, start WordPress blogging with a free theme.

You can find WordPress free themes by tapping on Appearance >> Themes >> Add New button. In a few seconds, a mega library of 5600+ themes will be displayed on your computer screen.

wordpress new theme

You can sort the list by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc.).

wordpress themes

Once you are happy with the theme you want to use on the newly launched blog, delete the other themes from the WP dashboard by visiting Appearance,>> Themes >> Select Theme and hit Delete button.

Note for business blogging:- Remember having a premium theme will serve more speed, flexibility, and optimization features. Below are some of the best WordPress premium themes you can try right now or later.

For more customization and designing experiments, I recommend go for Elementor or Thrive Architect landing page builder. On WP Blogging 101, I use both. Both plugins support all the above themes.

I found Thrive Architect is one best tool for writing blog posts that hit thousands of shares. Even this guide on WordPress Blogging 101 is also written using Thrive Architect plugin.

Step 7: Start installing essential plugins

Plugins are the tools that provide full control of your WordPress blog. Though there are thousands of free and paid plugins available depending on needs, as a beginner, you can start with free plugins.

Here, I have listed 6 most essential plugins that you must have to install from day one of starting a WordPress blog.

  1. 1
    Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a plugin with 5+ million active installations built considering for better SEO-Optimization. On Wp Blogging 101, I use it for on-page SEO, generating sitemaps, indexation rules, title tags and more.
  2. 2
    Akismet Anti-spam: There are millions of bots leaving spam comments on your WordPress blog, and Akismet is only one best tool to stop them.
  3. 3
    W3 Total Cache: On behalf of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), website speed matters a lot. This plugin helps your website to load faster by putting very little stress on your web hosting account.
  4. 4
    Wordfence Security: This plugin keeps your site secure from hackers (such attempts are more common than you may think).
  5. 5
    Contact Form 7: Contact form 7 is a plugin used to create contact forms.
  6. 6
    Smush it: Image compression is also a positive effect on SEO by improving blog loading speed and Smushit is the best plugin fit for these requirements.

Step 8: Essential settings

We have almost started and designed our WP blog. Now, our next step to start writing posts and pages. But before I proceed, there are a couple of settings; you need to do.

  • Permalink Setup: By default, WordPress doesn't have a SEO friendly permalink structure. So, to make it SEO-optimized navigate to Settings >> Permalinks and set to the Post Name.
  • Disable Pingbacks & Trackbacks: Pingbacks and Trackbacks are irritating notifications appear (in the comments area) after publishing each post. To stop these notifications go to Settings >> Discussion >> Untick Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles option.
  • Timezone: Navigate to Settings >> General >> Select Timezone according your country time. As you see, I have selected UTC+5:30 for India.

Step 9: Must have pages

Once you have done everything with the above steps, its time to add a few essential pages listed below:

Above are the most important page to approve a Google Adsense account. However, there is more page like deals, blog, services etc. you may have to write later as per your requirements.

Step 10: Start writing blog posts

Writing the first blog post is one of the best things to start your blogging career, where you can provide the best of the best ideas through words and images.

To create your first post, go to Posts >> Add New and WordPress post editor will be loaded on your computer screen.

create new post

You can see the box to enter the post title and the rest of the content will be written in the bigger box.

Once you finish writing your article, publish it hitting on the "Publish" button.

After publishing your first blog post, it's time to share content into the whole world. My recommendation always follows the 80/20 rule. Means, invest 20% of the time in writing content and the rest for it's promotion.

You can use social media platforms or email marketing even both to bring traffic to your website. For email marketing, I recommend Convertkit and Aweber email marketing tools.

With this final step, our WordPress Blogging 101 guide for, "how to start a WordPress blog in 2020" ends.

FAQs about WordPress Blogging 101

Below are the frequently asked questions (with answers) on starting a WordPress blog in 2020.

1. How much does it cost to start a WordPress blog in 2020?

In the meantime, starting a self-hosted WordPress blog costs under $100 only. But for more engaging blogging tools and resources, the price may increase as below:

  • Domain free (only from Bluehost)
  • Hosting $72/year (Bluehost)
  • Theme $49/year (GeneratePress)
  • Landing Page Builder $67 lifetime (Thrive Architect)
  • Social Sharing Plugin $39/year (Social Snap)
  • Keyword Research $99/mo (SEMrush)
  • Email Marketing Tool $29/mo (Convertkit)

2. How to make money blogging in 2020?

There are several ways to make money from blogging e.g., Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, sponsorship ads, paid reviews etc.

For me, affiliate marketing is the evergreen income source for long term earnings. So, WP Blogging 101 is 100% monetized with affiliate products. That means I earn money when you end up buying a product (at no extra cost to you) from my link. I have discussed everything about my affiliate earnings on the FTC disclosure page.

Apart from this method, Google Adsense is yet another most straightforward way to earn revenue by displaying Google advertisements on your website. Or you can run sponsorship ads to make money by the side.

Need help in starting a WordPress blog in 2020?

I hope my WordPress Blogging 101 guide has helped you setup a new blog on WordPress. If you have more questions or need additional help with starting a WordPress blog in 2020, please don't hesitate to ask me via the comments box. I will love to assist you.

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