You’ve seen it a thousand times, “Start A WordPress Blog in 15 Minutes, It’s Easy!”
Well you can start a blog in 15 minutes. It will be a blank white page or one generic image, a jumble of code, and a .com that is two miles long. That’s what you get following instructions to start a WordPress blog.
Starting anything is easy, the maintenance and action, is the hard part.
I knew when I started it was going to cost some time but I had no idea how much. Coding, writing, researching, making images for pins and social media, working social media for traffic, SEO, monetization, newsletters, and blogging homework in general. It’s a lot of work. And it definitely is not easy.
Really, it is like a part time job. And that is ok for some people, and not for others. But the headlines that bloggers who blog about blogging pitch are a bit misleading in an effort to sell their affiliate products. I am posting those same affiliate products, but I will not tell you it is going to be easy. Especially since you are going to pay for those services.
When people start to work to make some money with their blog, they usually have affiliate links. Those posts are selling those products with that start up pitch. Ya know what, I am about too as well. That is part of blogging and one of the ways that they generate revenue. This post will have those same affiliate links to the usual suspects. And while they are great companies, you really should know what you are getting when you start a blog.
Start A WordPress Blog – Coding
Copy and Paste sounds pretty easy. We do it all the time. In this case it is a little more challenging. You have to paste it into the right place.
There are pages and pages of code, and your changes must be located in the right spot, or take the place of something else. It’s pretty tough really. People want something that looks good, and that will be how you make that happen.
Start A WordPress Blog – Researching
OK, you’ve made your site! Now you need to make some content. You probably already have something you want to share, but it has to be formatted in a way that people will want to read it.
You will spend quite a bit of time researching and reading other posts and information while compiling the information you will present after you start a WordPress blog.
This part isn’t actually that bad because you are reading and learning about stuff you already want to share, but it definitely requires some time to do it.
Start A WordPress Blog – Writing Your Content
The time has been invested in researching and outlining your post, and now you need to write it out. I usually find I need to rethink some ideas. Either they are too brash, and people disagree. I caught a little flack on my last post for the first bit, you can read it here if you want. Or it just comes off in a different way than you envisioned.
Either way some editing will be done. I’ve never written something that didn’t need it. You are probably smarter than me and may be able to pull more off without it, but I would factor it in just in case.
Writing takes some time, but is the easiest part. It is just typing out your thoughts. And that is cool. The internet is wicked.
Start A WordPress Blog – Social Media
You’ve been able to start a WordPress blog, you have researched and written your posts, but nobody read them!
“Man, I thought Everyone would like this!” You say to yourself. Everyone may like it, but they need to see it. The internet is full of content and you have to somehow make yours stand out. Then start reading up on what people are doing. You need some free, or cheap options, because your blog isn’t making any money.
You see the bloggers posting about social media and its benefits, and hey that’s free!
The only thing it requires is…. You guessed it, time!
Social media can definitely work for you and is mostly free, but you have to work for it as well. Interacting with your followers, putting other content up to attract attention and value. I have some stuff I love to do with Dad Jokes and Parenting Work Site Tips. They are cutsie and pretty easy, but they still take time to build and share. I enjoy them more than anyone I think!
One of the biggest parts of social media are the image creations. People get so much thrown in their face you have to make you images stand out. This is especially true for Pinterest, which is pretty much the holy grail of social media for bloggers right now. I am sure you have seen that already if you’ve been thinking about starting a wordpress blog.
Image creation is pretty time consuming. Even with all the cool little programs now, from Photoshop to Canva, you still have to build the content and make it presentable.
BoardBooster is a little cheaper than Tailwind, but has far less options. You can create schedules and campaigns and also post the pins to Twitter and Facebook, but cant modify them from the pins when you do.
Tailwind is the better option in my opinion because of the Instagram integration. They also have a time slot timer to show when the best times to post will be for traffic. You can schedule the posts separate which is another cool feature. You don’t have to post to Instagram at the same time like you do with BoardBooster.
Either will save you some much needed time! Check Them out with these links-
How To Start A WordPress Blog – It’s Hard, But Why You Should Do It
So for the last few paragraphs I’ve ranted about how tough it is to run a blog. And it is. I spend a ton of time on it. For very little reward because my blog isn’t very profitable. I hope one day it is, but we aren’t there yet.
But…. I have loved it.
For the simple reason it makes me better at the things I write about. I write on a blog centered around relationships between spouses, and children. And that is my passion in life. Not writing, but living those things. Being a dad, and husband. I feel like I get good reviews (way better than my blog lol), but they could just be blowing smoke to make me feel good about myself.
Thinking constantly about new blog content and material has brought several issues that I have dropped the ball on to the forefront of my thoughts. It has made me a better spouse and father, almost immediately. And that’s super cool.
The last post I wrote was How To Reignite Your Relationship When The Flame Is Fading, about strengthening relations with your significant other, and it made me realize a few things I could do better. And I put them into action immediately.
It is little things like that, that caused me to look at blogging in a different way. Sure I want to make money at it, so I can do it full time, but it changed the way I look at a lot of things throughout the day.
If you want to write about fashion, do it, and it will make you better at it. Lifestyle? I didn’t even know that was a thing, but apparently it is an actual topic. If you want to write about cooking, do it now, it will make you a better cook. You will be looking for new information, trying new things, and thinking outside of the box to be unique.
Even if your blog is completely terrible cosmetically, it will make you better at your crafted topics.
That is why even knowing how much time I am going to spend writing, coding, researching, changing, social media-ing, and all that stuff, I would do it again. If I never make a living doing this, which I now love, I will still keep going. For the super simple reason that it makes me think more about each moment everyday and how it fits my story.
You need to make a blog. For your story.
How To Start A WordPress Blog – The Stuff To Start With
You can find much better write ups with screen shots and the works from a lot of professional bloggers who blog about blogging. You don’t need them, this part is the actual easy stuff. Mine is what I used and the thoughts that brought me to where I am now.
The first thing you need is a platform. I have read 25% of the internet runs on WordPress. And as much information as there is out there for it, I believe it. It is an amazingly simple platform with a lot of plug ins and add on options. Far more than anything else.
But what you don’t want is to start with the basic wordpress.com site if you want to have a decent blog that gets views. The free ones are sloppy, slow because they don’t have the bandwidth to run the traffic, and almost no customization. There isn’t anyone that has a blog that gets traffic that isn’t on a hosting platform.
BlueHost won out because of the easy WordPress install options for multiple domains. I want to start a fitness blog at some point too, so I had that in mind. They have an easy to use CPanel (where you make admin-ish changes to your domains and stuff). And they also have the MoJo Market place which sells add ons. You can download a bazillion, even though I don’t think that is the official number, plug ins for word press directly from your site builder. All with unlimited space.
I am not very tech savvy and that made it easy for me.
You only need to start with the very cheapest basic plan which is about 4 bucks a month. You pay for at least one year, so keep that in mind, and you get breaks for buying longer time frames. I just did a year. I had no idea what was going on and didn’t want to pay a bunch up front. The cool thing I learned later, is you can still cancel even if you buy the long time frames. Didn’t know that at the time though.
You can buy your domain name when you sign up. They have a cool widget so you can look to see if want you want is available. I’ve linked it in here for you to play with.
Anyway, if you go with the free wordpress.com thing, you get a funky, not cool, domain that shows the wordpress extension, so definitely grab one when you sign up for BlueHost. It comes with the thing anyways when you sign up, so keep that in mind. When you make your domain, you have an option for .99 cents to buy privacy. Do it, it keeps your personal details private.
So yea, the “Start A WordPress Blog in 15 Minutes” part is pretty easy huh. The only thing left to do to actually finish that, is going to your cpanel down to one click installs and choose WordPress and follow the instructions.
How To Start A WordPress Blog – Customizing Your Blog
Ok here is where the stuff starts to hit the fan. You wanted a blog like you see all over with cool images and content and all that jazz. But when you got WordPress installed you found only 3 free themes. And they are pretty lame.
You can stick with one of those and do lines and lines and lines code and modifications until it looks half way decent, or you can buy a theme that is already pre made.
I killed myself trying to make a free theme look decent. That junk was for the birds. So I searched and searched for stuff that didn’t require near as much coding. Now don’t get me wrong, even the off the shelf themes wont be perfect and you will want to make some changes. Most of them are pretty easy to change, but still require a little modifying of the code. But it is hundreds of times less work.
I shopped around and found that everyone liked the Genesis platform for themes best. Genesis is the base code and then you pick which “child theme” you want to go with it. It is super easy to install, it comes with easy instructions. So easy I could do it! That’s saying something. I am not sure what, but it is saying something.
Anyway, Genesis base and all the child themes can be found over at StudioPress. I went with the Beautiful Pro Theme, which you can see HERE if you want to. When you buy one, you get the theme and Genesis for that one price, so you don’t have to buy two things. This was one of the best investments I made and saved me days and days of work that still wouldn’t have turned out as good.
There is tons to choose from, after you get WordPress installed spend some time looking through them to see if you find one you like. You’ll thank me later.
How To Start A WordPress Blog – Setting Up A Newsletter
Once you have your blog designed in place, or mostly in place you will want a newsletter subscription service. MailerLite is easily the best option for a new blogger. It is free to 1000 subscribers, which is more than everyone else if I am not mistaken. It is a huge time saver because you can set up automation where when someone signs up they automatically get a message thanking them, or whatever you want it to say. And you can send all your subscribers one newsletter, or break it up into groups.
MailerLite also has a drag and drop email builder which makes creating newsletters crazy easy. It’s really a no brainer and was the easiest decision I made regarding the whole blog set up process. Since I still have less than 1000 subscribers, I am still in the free stage and not paying a dime for the service and still get all the great tools.
I also use it to manage my free give away, which you can sign up for at the end of this post through one of their automated email systems. I built a page with a massive amount of weight loss info, and MailerLite sends subscribers the info and password to access it without me lifting a finger! When I do another freebie for the blog, which I am close to finishing, I will just build another automated template and response with them using the same tools.
How To Start A WordPress Blog – Conclusion
Alright, so blogging. Now I have made the obligatory “How To Start A WordPress Blog”, like every other blog. I am now initiated into the club! But hopefully mine was a bit different. Nobody wants to be the same. But even more important, I want to be honest. Also, they probably don’t want me in their club anyway.
We established it isn’t as easy as it sounds. But it can shine some light on some things you are passionate about and help you make those things and even bigger part of your life.
My kids now ask me all the time, “Dad are you going to put this on the blog?!” It’s super cute. It has become a bit of a family affair since family is my topic of choice. But even if family isn’t what you want to blog about, I still encourage you to do it so you can really focus in on the things you care about and make you happy.
You have to make time for you and a blog can possibly give that to you. It can be very fun at times, and awfully frustrating at times trying to make the smallest cosmetic change.
I think, once you start your WordPress blog, you will agree with the points made herein. I wish you much success, but even if you never make a dime blogging, I think you can still find reward in the good things it will bring you.