Starting a Blog
How to Start a Blog

Blogging for Beginners: How to Start a Blog The Right Way

September 20, 2019
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Easy Tutorial on How to Start a WordPress Blog On Namecheap

I am going to show you how to start up a WordPress blog on Namecheap. Starting a WordPress blog can seem overwhelming and intimidating.

I will be the first to admit I made a ton of mistakes when I started my blog. I wish I had somebody to tell me what blogging required. Blogging is work. It is no easy feat.

Everyone talks about how much money they make with blogging. In the beginning, you’re running a one-man show. There are so many decisions to make that it feels like you’re spinning your wheels.

I made so many mistakes that blogging became an expensive hobby instead of a business.

I want to give it to you straight and show you what is essential to do first if you’re serious about this blogging thing.

First off, I want to say that it is not too late to start a WordPress blog in 2019.

With blogging, you want to blog about something that you enjoy. It’s not wise to pick a topic based on the desire of how much money you can make.

For me, writing is draining. I love to write, but it drains my energy.

What Should I Be Blogging About?

What keeps me going is keeping in mind who I am writing for. Also that what I’m writing about is more significant than me.

I make it about my readers. I care not only about what they want but what they need and how can I make an impact on their lives.

When it comes to motivation, blogging won’t sustain you if you’re only thinking about money.

The money will come if you always keep your readers in mind. When it comes to finding a niche, pursue one that a lot of other people are interested in as well. It does you no good, in the long run, to have a blog topic that only a few hundred people are searching for a month.

Of course, you can blog about anything. However, if you’re looking for a better return on your investment, I say talk about something where people are actively searching for answers.

I am not going to tell you that it is impossible. However, I will say that it’s going to be hard work.

I have created a worksheet to help you find your niche.

FInd your Niche Worksheet

It’s Not About Being Perfect

What you don’t want to do is to spend days on end trying to find the perfect topic. The important thing is to take action and get started. However, there’s always room for you to grow afterward.

Once you have decided on a niche, you are going to want to see the level of interest people have with that topic. Identify a problem that people want to be solved in their lives.

I do this by researching on social media. I check content on YouTube and book reviews on Amazon to see what questions people want to be answered.

Social media is a research playground. I also look at comments across forums and posts because questions are content.

Get ready for your ultimate guide on how to start a WordPress blog on Namecheap.

Selecting Your Domain

A domain is the name of your website. When it comes to domain names, keep it to the point.

I also suggest keeping in mind that you want your domain name to be inclusive to the theme you wish your blog to be about.

My biggest recommendation is don’t stress about the domain name. If all else fails and you can’t come up with anything use your name as the website domain.

Coming up with your perfect domain requires a little bit of research on your part.

To start a WordPress blog try using keywords that describe what your blog is about. An excellent place to check is Google keywords. Remember to keep it short because no one wants to type in a long website address. Once you have come up with a domain name head over to namecheap.com.

Namecheap is a domain registration where you can get domains relatively cheap. Get your .com for just $8.88 with Namecheap

This is what their homepage looks like.

Namecheap website

Step 1: Click on domains then click on Domain Name Search.

namecheap domain name search

Step 2: See if they have the domain name you chose available.

Namecheap domain name search

Step 3: Then click on view cart to purchase

Namecheap is what I use to register all of my websites. I have had great experiences with Namecheap and have been using them for my sites since 2014.

They are a fantastic and cost-effective starting point for hosting. Setting up with Namecheap is easy, and the customer service has always been responsive whenever I had an issue.

They solved some problems for me that I should have been paying a website designer to fix.

How to Purchase WordPress with NameCheap.

Hosting is what turns your domain into an up and running website. It is the peanut butter to the jelly. It is not complete without the other because it is the foundation of your site.

I have also been using Namecheap hosting since the start of my blog. I invested in it when I did not have a whole lot of money at the time. I was working minimum wage. I was making $9.75 an hour at the time.

At the time, it was cheaper than other options. NameCheap also had great yearly renewal pricing and decent customer service support. They have plans for every type of budget and business needs. 50% off 1st yr Shared Hosting!

I am going to show you how to purchase WordPress with Namecheap. Now WordPress is free regardless, but Namecheap has an easy WordPress option that installs it for you. It takes out the guesswork. I am going to show how to install WordPress yourself as well.

So once your blog starts getting more traffic, you can always upgrade. I started with the stellar plan. It is what worked for me and my needs at the time. I currently use Kinsta as my hosting provider. I switched September of 2019. Up until that point, I had been using Namecheap.

You have two options.

By comparison, Kinsta is a significant upgrade in pricing, but I still stand firmly by Namecheap, especially if you’re just starting out. When I started blogging, my goal was to walk before I started running and prematurely spending money in places I didn’t need to.

Option 1 – Namecheap Shared Hosting

Step 1: Go to NameCheap.

Namecheap website

Step 2: Toggle over Hosting then click on shared hosting.

Namecheap Hosting

Step 3: Click shared hosting and choose the plan right for you.

Namecheap Shared Hosting
They had a back to school special for the first year.

Option 2- Namecheap Easy WordPress hosting

Step 1: Go to Namecheap.

Namecheap website

Step 2: Toggle over on WordPress and click on manged WordPress.

Step 3: This is the managed WordPress hosting option.

Namecheap Managed WordPress Hosting Options

Namecheap created this option a few years after I set up my blog.

I would have to recommend the shared hosting. The managed hosting option is relatively new, and I do not have enough knowledge of it to recommend it with confidence. However, I put it in this post to show you the other hosting options available through Namecheap.

If you’re one of those people that want to take the guesswork out of the process, I say go with the WordPress hosting Namecheap offers and try it out.

The major downfall of it is that you have to have purchased your domain name from Namecheap to have access.

Adding the Postive SSL

Now its time to get a positive SSL with Namecheap. Once you go to check out, click positive SSL.

Postive SSl option

You’re going to need an SSL on your WordPress site if you’re going to be asking for personal information such as an email address. A positive SSL secures your website.

Furthermore, if you do not have one, certain browsers try to alert visitors as the website not being protected.

I use Google chrome, and they issue a warning that a website is insecure without one. They almost make it seem like your website has a virus on it.

Install WordPress on Namecheap

Installing WordPress on your new Namecheap hosting is easy. For those of you who aren’t good with technology, I will show you how to install it with the shared hosting option.

Step 1: Go to NameCheap

Wordpress Namcheap

Step 2: Sign in.

Wordpress Namecheap Sign in

Step 3: Toggle over the server icon on your dashboard.

Step 4: Click go to Cpanel.

Step 5: Scroll down to softaculous apps installer and hit WordPress.

Step 6: Click install now.

Start a WordPress Blog on Namecheap

Then that’s it. WordPress is successfully installed. If you choose the easy WordPress option from Namecheap, they will have you follow a series of other questions through a different custom WordPress dashboard. However, they make it easy to install WordPress for you.

Choosing a theme

When it comes to themes, it’s honestly about what you want and what your personal preference is. I would recommend choosing something simple, clean, and fast.

You might be sparking the question of trying a free theme. Unfortunately, in the world of capitalism, there is no such thing as a genuinely free WordPress theme.

The free ones that I’ve tried when I started were nice but had several limitations if I wanted to customize it.

As a result, to personalize them in the way, I wished I would have to “upgrade”.

I also tried lovely “create your own website/start from scratch” buildable themes that people recommended that were 100 percent customizable.

You could change any and everything you wanted about it, but I found those options overwhelming.

It was overwhelming because I didn’t know what I wanted until I saw it.

In my heart of hearts, I value simplicity. I was starting out on my own, and I did not know anything about coding.

My Top Recommendations For Themes.

  1. Solopine ( I use their Hawthorne Theme)
  2. Bluchic (I use their landing pages, but they have fantastic themes as well that are affordable)

You don’t have to know anything about coding to start a blog either. I didn’t know how to design a blog from scratch. So, I decided on a WordPress pre-made template. Everything works right out of the box.

Of course, I have options for customization within the theme.

Not going with the simple theme when I first started was one of my biggest regrets. When starting with blogging, I spent months trying to come up with the “perfect look.” I am a natural perfectionist, but wanting everything to be perfect when starting a business isn’t reasonable.

I wasted so much time when I could have been learning how to properly write a blog post, or learning about SEO. All of these things take time too.

I wish someone would have told me, “Girl just go get a cute little theme and go.”

I figured out one day after getting frustrated, and I thought to myself, what if I could get a simple pre-made one. I did a little browsing and found one that fit my needs and was in the aesthetic I wanted.

So I’m telling you to keep it simple and do your research. Once you have decided on a theme, it’s time to install it.

How to Install Your WordPress Theme

Step 1: Download your chosen theme onto your computer. It should be downloaded as a zip file

Step Two: go to the Appearance section in your WordPress dashboard.

Step 3: Click on Add new.

Step 4: Hit upload theme.

Step 5: Click choose file and hit install now.

Step 6: if you have successfully uploaded your theme, your screen should say theme insulation installed.

Now that your WordPress is up in your theme established, we need to create a logo.

Choosing a Logo

A logo allows you to stand out from the crowd. Also, it helps establish your brand presence. Many people skip over this step. I find it necessary because it builds consistency, that way people can quickly identify your work across social media platforms.

While you’re choosing your logo, start to think of the brand colors you want. Your brand colors are going to set your blog up as a brand.

I use the same logo for Pinterest, Instagram, and any other content that I am releasing related to my blog. Like I preached before to keep it simple. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a logo right now if you’re just getting started.

For my logo, I used tailor brands. Tailor Brands is a logo maker that takes the guesswork out of the logo making process.

Tailor brands create your logo to be perfectly optimized with each social media platform. It’s great for when you are starting out, and you don’t have tons of money to spend.

There also other great budget-friendly options.

Canva logo maker is also great. I have used it and it is a TERRIFIC option when starting out. Many of them are free. However, it helps to have established your brand colors already.

Fiverr is another option. Fiverr is a marketplace where freelancers advertise their work. It’s excellent for outsourcing work like logo design, content writing, or SEO optimization. I am a huge believer in supporting other freelancers and small businesses whenever I can. Type logo design into Fiverr and see what options come up.

FInd your Niche Worksheet

Installing Plugins

Installing plugins is the icing of the cake. They are lovely and honestly make life easier. I caution you always to back up your website before you start adding a whole bunch of plugins.

Plugins can slow down your website if you’re not careful. Some can also break your website because it’s not compatible with your theme. See how your website is working after each one is installed. If anything were to happen, you know who the culprit is. There are a few popular, highly recommended plugins that did not work with my theme.

Here are my favorite plugins. 

Google analytics

This plugin helps you sync with Google analytics. Google Analytics tracks your stats through your website. What’s great is that it gives you a real-time number of visitors on your website.

It also tells you where your traffic is coming from. This way, you know what’s working and what’s not.

Short Pixel Image Optimizer

Photos are pretty and engaging. They’re also fun to find. However, guess what? They slow down your website! A slow website is bad for SEO. But don’t you worry.

This plugin optimizes every single photo that you upload. It compresses it without sacrificing quality or pixels. This way, you can provide the best pictures with out sacrificing your user experience.

Squirrly SEO for 2019

I know that many people recommend Yoast, but Squirrely is my new best friend. Its SEO ability is unmatched. I broke up with Yoast for many reasons I’m not going to discuss.

However, Squirrely can provide me with much more without sacrificing my writing. Squirrely is feature-packed. One of my favorite features is that it focuses on making sure your content is readable.

They make sure it reads right for the bots for Google’s algorithm and for human readability.

Really Simple SSL

This plugin moves your site to an HTTPS. Your hosting provider is supposed to do this. However, this plugin makes sure that your SSL is always up and running.

As you may already know, with technology, anything can happen.

All in One WP migration

I use this plugin to backup my site. There is nothing more sad and depressing than to put all your hard work into your blog, and it crashes. All-in-one WP migration backs up your site in an instant then saves it to your computer.

W3 total cache

W3 total cache is a plugin that helps with website optimization. It makes sure that your site is loading as fast as it can make it.

WPS hide login

WPS hide login helps change the URL of your login. As you get bigger weirdos may try to hack into your blog.

Ugh, the luxury of being successful!

So don’t give them a chance and download this plugin so that you can change your URL login.

Social Pug PlugIn

Social pug is your basic social sharing buttons. I like it because I find it aesthetically pleasing along with my favorite words, “free.”

By the way, all of the plugins that I recommended are free.

Backing Up Your New Blog

Backup your blog especially, after doing all this hard work creating your blog. I have a shared hosting plan with Namecheap, so I installed the all in one migration.

It backs up my website, and it saves it to my computer. In case anything were to happen, I can re-upload my website. If you chose the dedicated WordPress hosting, you could ignore this step because it automatically does it for you.

Establish your Blogging Business Plan.

So we just went over how to set up your new blog. Setting up a blog was the easy part. The hardest part is knowing who to write for and identifying your ideal audience’s needs.

I struggled so hard when I started blogging because I didn’t know who I was writing to.

Many of my beginning articles were lackluster. I thought that I could write to everybody and that I was going to try to appeal to everybody.

However, blogging is much easier once you have a clear vision. Creating a clear plan when blogging allows you to write posts and create content with ease. I found that ideas were coming to me all the time once I knew who I was writing for.

I created a blogging business planner (check it out here). Once you get your blog set up, I suggest getting started planning and creating actionable goals.

One of the biggest things I struggled with when I started was creating a solid plan. I had a blog, but I didn’t have a vision.

I took course after course on how to properly set up my blog, but no one talks about how to find your ideal audience. I created a blogging business planner that spoke to my needs when I really could have used it.

Like myself, I know there are others out there that need something like this too. If your one of those people check it out and see how you like it.

I don’t want you to make the same expensive mistakes that I made. You can meet yourself where you are at and start small.

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