Wondering about how to start a blog in 2020?
A lot of people ask me If it’s complicated to start a blog and I always tell them ‘No’. It has never been easier to start a blog and actually make money from it. I know that there are so many newbies here who are stuck and they don’t know much about blogging or how to go about it.
Well you’re in luck because I’ve designed this free eBook to walk you through the process of creating a successful blog in 2020. I’m going to be showing you how to set up your blog from start to finish including a tutorial on how to use WordPress.
But before we start, I should tell you that you should always think of your blog as a business not a hobby. This means that you should be willing to put in the same amount of time and dedication as you would a business. Treat it as something that is going to be bringing you income in the long run.
I should warn you that this is going to be a long tutorial so I suggest you grab a cup of coffee and a notebook and let’s get started.
Note: I have divided this tutorial into steps to make it easier to follow through.
Ok, let’s begin!
How To Start A Blog And Make Money
Step 1 – Choose Your Blog Niche
The first and most important step you need to take when it comes to starting a blog is to
decide on what it is you want to write about. Now I know that a lot of bloggers will tell you to
follow your passion and blog about what you love.
In my experience, after years of trial and error, and tons of blogs later, I can honestly tell you
that when it comes to making money online through your blog, it is not what you are
passionate about that will make you money but WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT!
Ask Yourself These 3 Questions
- Will your niche solve a problem?
- Is your niche in demand?
- Is your niche monetizable?
Will Your Niche Solve A Problem?
You see, people come onto the internet to find answers to their questions and solutions to
their problems. Google comes up with answers to search queries by presenting answers from
bloggers like you and I. If you as a blogger can answer that question perfectly or solve that
person’s problem, you have just earned yourself a loyal follower, reader, or client.
Is Your Niche In Demand?
Now you may be thinking how to figure that out, it’s easy, just head on over to Google Trends
and type in your niche. If you want to blog about sewing, type in sewing and see what comes
up. Sort your results by 5 years and if your query results into a stable line you have a winner
but if the line is in a downward trend, STAY AWAY FROM IT!
Is Your Niche Monetizable?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself, can you actually monetize your
niche? Are there actually products on the internet that you can promote to earn money? Are
there courses or ebooks in your niche that are selling?
If your desired niche is not monetizable, you will need to think of something else
because at the end of the day, you want to make money from your efforts.
Step 2: Choosing Your Blog Name
Choosing a blog name is a very important step in the blogging process because it’s what your readers will identify you by.
You don’t need to rush through this process. Instead take your time to choose a suitable name that’s in line with the niche you chose.
For example, if your niche is on relationships, you can use a name like relationshipguru.com.
You want to choose a blog name that is unique and memorable so avoid using names that are similar to your competitors’.
If you’re having trouble picking a name, write down a bunch of keywords that apply to your niche and then when you are done start putting the words together.
Alternatively, you can use a dictionary to find synonyms of the words that apply to your niche.
Tips For Choosing A Blog Name
- Keep it short and simple– You want your name to be easy to remember so avoid choosing a long name.
- Use the .com extension for your domain name– The .com extension is the most popular and it’s what most people are familiar with. So avoid using the .org
- Don’t use hard to spell or made up words– Again, you want your blog name to be easy to remember so stop using complicated words including jargon.
Step 3. Choose A Blogging Platform
There are tons of CMS (content management system) online that you can choose from to
create your blog. Some of the most popular ones are as follow:
- Ghost Wix
Each one of these systems has its pros and cons, some are easy to use while others can be
complicated. You as a new blogger will want to use a system that is easy to configure and one
with all the options, tools, and themes needed for a successful blog.
I highly recommend WordPress.org which is open-source software that you can use to create a
beautiful website in minutes. WordPress.org comes with all the features, tools, and plugins
needed to build a powerful blog. It is also used by over 35% of all bloggers and website
All of that being said, you will need to get hosting and this is where you will have to spend
some cash! Don’t worry, it’s cheaper than a haircut!
Step 4. Set Up Hosting
You need to choose the right hosting for your blog. There are so many problems that come as a result of choosing the wrong hosting.
For example, you’ll find that your site is very slow and sometimes, it goes down. All these are factors that can affect your ranking in Google.
Let me explain that further.
Google wants its users to have the best possible experience on their platform.
Therefore, they tend to favor blogs that provide top notch user experience. These are blogs that are fast and accessible 24/7.
So, to save yourself the headache you need to choose the right hosting from the beginning.
One of the best hosting platforms online that I highly recommend is Bluehost, there are tons of
other hosting companies online and I am sure that they all come with their pros and cons but
Bluehost is what I have used for years to host all of my blogs. Other reasons why you should
choose Bluehost are as follow:
A Free Domain name
One of the reasons why I like Bluehost is that you can get a free domain name with your blog
no matter whatever package you choose, unlike other hosting platforms where you have to
pay for the domain separately. Even with the basic package, you get a free domain name:
Affordable For New Bloggers
Bluehost offers 4 different hosting packages and the prices can range anywhere between
$3.95/month all the way up to $13.95/month. As a new blogger, you may want to keep your
investment as low as possible upfront or you may not be able to afford some of their pricy
However, if you use my special link, you will be able to save up to 66% and get a whole year of
hosting plus a free domain for just $2.65/month:
Another good reason to choose Bluehost is the option you have to install WordPress
automatically after paying for your hosting account. They make setting up a website or a blog
soo easy that you will have no need for a web designer.
24 Hours Support
Bluehost has a 24/7 expert customer support that will always be around to help you answer all
your questions or solve any problem you have. I actually contacted them once at midnight and
a rep answered the chat and helped me solve my problem right away.
Using a hosting company that always has someone available around the clock to help you
solve your problem is crucial to your blogging business and Bluehost has never failed me.
How To Start A Blog With BlueHost
Next, you might want to choose a domain name which is free if you signup through my link above or you can add an existing domain name if you have one already.
Choosing Your Hosting Package
I recommend you choose the basic plan as a new blogger but if you can afford the
plus plan, that’s fine too.
Selecting Your Domain Name
On the next page, you will be prompted to choose your domain name or add in a new one,
remember, this is free for whatever plan you choose.
Once you’ve added a domain name, it’s time to fill in your personal information. Make sure to add your information correctly.
Package Info & Addons
Next, you will need to add in your information and once you are done, scroll down to the
package information section to choose how many years you want to set up your hosting
account for. You will have 3 options, 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months.
The more months you signup for, the lower your price will be. I highly recommend you signup
for the 36 months plan because you will pay soo much less than what you will be paying the
next time you want to renew your hosting account.
Bluehost will try to get you to signup for $3.95/month, that is if my discount code isn’t working.
If this happens, choose how many months you want to host for and try to exit the page, as
soon as you do, there will be a popup box that offers you a discount of 66%. Claim the offer to
signup for just $2.65/month!
You will also want to remove all the extra addons because you really don’t need them, I only
recommend leaving the domain privacy on to keep marketers from trying to contact you and
preventing your information from being visible on the internet.
Enter Your Payment Information
Next, you will need to add in your payment info, agree to the terms and conditions and
continue to the next page and create your account.
Scroll down, tick the top box, and hit “submit”.
Creating Your Account
Next, you will be prompted to create a password for your Bluehost account which will also be
used to log into your blog. Fill in the details and click on create an account.
Once you are done creating your account, you will be able to log into your dashboard, click on
login to continue.
Add in the password you created for your account and click on login.
Next, you will have to answer a few questions about your blog such as the type of site, your
main category, and who are you creating the site for, you can skip this step but I recommend
that you fill it up.
Finally, you will have to add in the name of your site which is what will appear at the top of
your site, add in a tagline which is the description of your site, and select how well you are
capable of creating a website. Once you are done, click on continue to theme selection.
Set Up Theme For Your Blog
As a new blogger, you will be tempted to go out and pay for all kinds of premium themes, and
honestly, you do not need them! There are soo many free themes that you can use to build
your blog around.
I recommend the Astra theme because it is easy to work with, mobile responsive and
lightweight which is important for faster site loading time.
Once you click on continue to theme selection, you will be prompted to choose a theme, select the Astra theme.
Once you are done, wait for Bluehost to upload your theme and once it’s done, you will access
your dashboard. This should take less than a minute.
Once it’s done, you will get promoted to take this tour, you can skip this step or go through it,
it’s up to you, a little learning won’t hurt.
Now your blog is all set, you can choose to view your site by clicking on “view my site” or
clicking on my sites.
Please note that it will take a while for Bluehost to set up your blog but
you can still access it on the backend.
It usually takes around an hour for you to your domain name to show a coming soon page so
don’t worry if yours does not show right away. Bluehost actually keeps your site on the coming
soon until you decide to launch your site which you can do from your dashboard.
Once you click on “my sites” you will be able to log into your blog dashboard by hovering over
the image and clicking on “log in”
Once you do, you will be taken to your blog dashboard and this is where all the good stuff
Congratulations, you have just created your very first blog!
Set Up Your WordPress Profile & Login Details
Now that you have created your blog, your next step is to set up your login details for your
blog so that you can easily access it without using the Bluehost dashboard.
Navigate to the upper right-hand corner of your WordPress dashboard and hover over your
username and choose the option to edit your profile from the dropdown menu.
Scroll down to the name section and add in your details, as shown below, you will not be able
to change your username because it is what you used to install WordPress unto your blog.
Add your first and last name along with your nickname. You will be able to choose which name
you want to display on your blog publicly on your blog and other places online.
Next, you will have the option to change your email address, your WordPress install will come
with the email you used to set up Bluehost and may not be relevant to your blog or website.
Add in your new email and scroll down.
Next, you will need to fill in your bio and change your password, this will be the password
that you will be using to log in to your blog.
Finally, click on “update profile” and head on over to your email to verify your email change, and lets set up your gravatar image.
How To Set Up Your Gravatar
Your gravatar is the image that will show in your author box, your bio and it is what will be
shown around the internet when you comment on other blogs. It is important that you set it
up to increase your trust score online.
To setup gravatar, simply head on over to gravatar.com and scroll down to where it says
“create your own gravatar” create an account using the new email address that you just added
to your WordPress blog.
Next, you will be prompted to upload an image of yourself or your blog logo, along with your
email address. Once you are done, make sure to verify your email so that your image is
updated on your WordPress profile.
Now you can go to yourblogname.com/wp-admin to sign in to your blog, add in your
username that you created when signing up with Bluehost and the new password that you
Once you do, you will be prompted to update your new email address, just click on update
email and you are done.
Step 8 -Delete Themes & Plugins
Whenever you create a new blog or website, it will come with some themes and plugins that
you don’t really need. Having themes and plugins on your site that you do not use will slow
down your site.
It is important that you remove these plugins and themes to make your blog load faster which
is a huge ranking factor as well. To do this, simply head on over to appearance>themes>select
Once the theme opens up, scroll down to the bottom and click on “delete” do this for the rest of
the themes but make sure not to delete the Astra theme.
To delete unwanted plugins, go to plugins>installed plugins>delete under each plugin that you
do not need see list of plugins to delete below:
Some of the plugins I recommend you delete/deactivate are the following:
- Hello dolly
- Bluehost plugin
- Optin Monster API
- Mojo Marketplace
How To Set Up Plugins
Plugins are simple tools needed for your blog to function properly, without them, you will not
be able to gather data, protect your site, update your site, rank your site, or even monetize
your site. Some of the best plugins I recommend are as follow:
- Classic Editor
- Yoast Seo
- Jetpack plugin
- W3 total cache
- Social warfare
Yoast SEO plugin is great for helping you rank your posts on google and takes care of your site’s overall SEO ( search engine optimization). Jetpack plugin will help you protect your site,incorporate stats, and help your site load faster.
W3 total cache will enable you to delete unwanted files from your site and keep your site safe
while wp-optimize will help your site load faster. Wordfence will prevent hackers from
hacking into your site and keep it safe.
Social warfare is one of the best plugins for getting your posts shared on social media and
To set up or install a plugin, simply head on over to plugins> add new> and type the name of
the plugin you want to install. Once your plugin comes up, click on install and wait a second
before clicking on “activate”
Step 9 – Install Templates For The Astra Theme
The Astra theme is one of the best themes online right now, it has a lot of free features and
you don’t really need any of its pro features. That said, you will need to install additional
templates to make your blog look beautiful. ( Don’t worry, they have free ones as well )
To download the templates to your dashboard, go to appearance>Astra options>install
importer plugin. I already installed mine so my option is different than the one below:
Next, you want to select the elementary builder and wait for it to load the different templates:
Once the templates load, take a minute or two to choose one for your blog and let’s move on:
Once you choose a template you like, click on it and when it opens up, click on “import
Next, you will have to click on import and because this is a new WordPress install, do not click
on delete previously imported site. That said, if for some reason you do not like your template
and want to import another one, you will select “delete previously imported site before
importing a new one.
Before you begin setting up pages on your blog, you will need to set up your permalinks.
Permalinks are the structure of the urls of your blog posts and pages. Setting up your
permalinks correctly will also help your blog posts rank higher in the search engines.
All blogs come with an ugly looking link structure and you will need to change yours, to do
this, navigate to settings>permalinks>post name
Once you select the post name option, scroll down and click on save changes:
Create A Homepage & A Blog Page For Your Blog
Your next step will be to create a homepage and a blog page. A homepage is what people will
land on when they visit your blog URL and your blog page will be where all of your blog posts
Some themes will already have a homepage URL therefore you will only want to create a blog
page instead of doing both to prevent having duplicate homepages. To add both pages, simply head on over to pages>add new and name your page and hit publish, do this for both your homepage and your blog page:
Next, you will need to designate both pages to work properly: Go to settings>reading and
select a static page> home for the homepage settings and blog for the post settings. scroll down
and click on save changes.
You have completed setting up your homepage and your blog page for your site.
How To Add Pages To Your Menu
Whenever you create top-level pages that you want people to access easily, you will need to
add ten to your menu. Please note that you can also add categories and posts to your menu as
well. To add pages to your menu, go to appearance>menu>view all>select>add to menu>save
How To Remove Pages From Your Menu
To remove pages from your menu, navigate to appearance>menus>click on the drop-down
arrow next to the page>remove>save menu.
How To Create Categories For Your Blog
To create categories, simply head on over to posts>categories>add the name of the
category>add the slug of the category>add the description of the category>set parent to
How To Remove Widgets From Your WordPress Dashboard
Whenever you have a new plugin or theme installed onto your blog, it may create a widget on
your dashboard. This can sometimes distract you from your goals or take you longer to get to
WordPress gives you the option to hide some or all of these widgets from your dashboard
without deleting them. Note that you can return them whenever you choose. To accomplish
this, navigate to the top of your dashboard and click on-screen options>click on the little boxes
to turn each widget on or off
Step 11 – How To Customize Your Theme
By having the Elementor plugin installed on your blog, you will have 2 different ways to
customize your theme. One way is through the Elementor customizer and the other is through
the basic WordPress customizer.
The Elementor customizer is a little complicated for newbies while the basic customizer has a
plain and easy interface. To use the Elementor customizer, visit the homepage of your blog
while you are logged in and at the top of your toolbar click on edit with Elementor.
Once you do, the following page will open up: This is where you can edit your theme by using
the different blocks and options available.
To customize your theme using the basic customizer head on over to appearance>customize
and the following window will open up:
How To Create A favicon + Logo
To create a favicon and a logo for your blog, head on over to Canva, and create a free account.
Next, you will need to select the option to create a design using custom dimensions, type in 512 x 512 for a favicon, and click on create a new design:
Next, hover over to elements and select a circular frame, drag it onto your blank canvas and
position it to fit correctly, create a favicon of your choice, name your design, and download it:
After downloading your favicon, you will need to remove the background, you can do this
with a free tool called Remove.bg. Once you are done, you can upload it to your blog by going
to appearance>customize>header>site identity>site icon.
To create your logo, follow the exact steps above to create a custom dimension but this time,
you will want to use 180 x 60 pixels and do not use a frame in the background. If you can
afford it, get someone to create your logo for you on Fiverr or if not, try to do one yourself.
Once you are done creating your logo, you can remove the background as well using
remove.bg for free. To upload your logo, navigate over the site icon option, and select logo and
voila, you have successfully created your site favicon and logo!
Step 12 – How To Set Up Your Plugins
To install a plugin go to plugins>Add New>Search for the plugin>Click install now>Click Activate
Step 13 – Set Up Required Pages For Your Blog
Now that you have created your blog, you will need to set up certain pages that are required if
you are going to be running ads, selling ad spaces, promoting affiliate products, or selling your
own courses or ebooks.
Some of these pages you can make for free using online generators and others you will have to
create yourself. Below are all the pages required for a money-making blog:
- About page
- Contact page
- Cookie Banner ( Found in your widgets area)
- Terms & Conditions
Step 14 – Verify Your Blog With Google
Once you have created all the necessary pages for your blog, you will need to verify your blog
with Google and other search engines to index. This is very important if you want to drive
traffic to your blog.
Search engines process and crawl millions of blogs daily to gather information on which
results to show for certain search terms. By verifying your blog with them, you are allowing
them access and letting them know that “hey, I am the new girl or guy on the block” which will
lead to traffic.
Sign Up For Google Search Console
To verify your blog with different search engines, you will need to signup for various
webmaster tools. For Bing search, simply search for “bing webmaster tools signup” for yahoo “
yahoo webmaster tools signup” for Google ” google webmaster tools” or you can simply search
for search console signup.
You will need to be logged into your Gmail account before searching for “search console
Click on the first result and click on start now, you will get a notification on the next page that
says “ops you don’t have any properties” simply navigate above and click on search
Next, you will need to enter your blog URL in the “URL prefix section” and click on continue>
Next, you will have the option to verify your site by downloading code and then uploading it
to your blog but you don’t want to choose that option. Simply scroll down to “verify using
other methods” and choose HTML tag> copy it >
Verify Using The Yoast Plugin
After copying the code, go back to your blog and make sure that your Yoast plugin is activated.
Now navigate to SEO>general>webmaster tools>paste in the code you copied>save changes.
Go back to search console and click on verify and if the verification process was successful,
you will get the following message:
Step 15- Getting Acquainted With Your WordPress
Post Option On WordPress
Hovering over the post option will give you the option to view all of your posts in one place or create a new post.
How To Create Categories For Your Blog
Under the “post option” is where you will also be able to create categories for your blog along
with tags that you will be using across your blog. To create categories, add the title of your
category, the slug, which is the title but with small letters that are separated by dashes.
You can also choose if you want your category to be a parent or a subcategory and lastly, you
will need to add a description for your category using relevant keywords. Click on “Add new
category” and you have just created your first category.
How To Create Tags For Your Blog
To create tags, simply click on post>tags>add a title>a slug>a description>add new tag:
Media Option In WordPress
Under the Media tab, you have two options, you can video all of the videos and images within
your WordPress media library or you can add new. You can also delete items from your
library using the bulk option.
Pages Option In WordPress Dashboard
Under the pages tab, you have two options, you can choose to create new pages from here or
view all of the pages that are on your blog. You can also delete pages, view published pages,
view your drafts, see when you published a specific page, and finally, quick edit individual
Comments Option In WordPress
The comments section helps you see all your comments on one page, delete comments,
approve comments, and bulk select to delete or approve comments with one quick action.
Appearance Option In WordPress Dashboard
Under the appearance tab, you will have a lot of different options such as your themes,
menus, customizer, widgets, and your theme editor.
The theme option allows you to upload themes, delete themes, and add new themes from
WordPress. You can search for themes or use the sort option to find popular, featured, latest,
or sort by certain requirements.
Clicking on the customize tab will take you to a page where you will be able to customize your
theme by adding a logo, a site icon, sidebars, footer menus, and all of the different
customization options that come along with WordPress.
The widgets tabs allow you to add or remove certain options from your blog sidebar, add or
remove options from your footer menu, drag and drop certain options from the available
widgets. Widgets are very helpful to help your audience navigate your blog easily and also
gives you the option to serve ads on your blog.
The menus tab allows you to add pages, categories, posts and new menus to your blog menu.
This is where you will also be able to choose where certain pages are shown on your blog such
as which pages to show in your footer and which ones to show in your main navigation bar.
Make sure to save your placements s that they take effect.
WordPress Theme Editor
As a blogger or a webmaster, you will need to get learn your way around a specific part of
your theme editor. This is because in most cases, you will need to ad certain codes to your
blog. With that being said, you will only need to access the header.php>head> section of your
theme editor occasionally.
To do this, click on appearance>theme editor>header.php>locate the head section>add your
The WordPress plugins options allow you to upload new plugins, delete plugins, and install
free WordPress plugins.
WordPress Users Option
The user’s option allows you to view all of the users on your blog, change your user’s role, and
You can also add new users to your blog using the “add new” tab under the user’s option and
filling up the user details:
Next, you have the “your profile” tab which allows you to set up your personal information for
your blog such as your gravatar, log in details, passwords, email, social profiles, your bio, and
your author SEO settings.
The WordPress tools option allows you to import data to your blog, export your whole blog,
view your site health, and erase or export your personal data. One of the most common
features you will need within the tools section is the site health tool.
Checking it regularly will give you important stats about your blog such as excellent, good,
bad, and dangerous. It will also show you what you need to improve for a healthy site.
WordPress Settings Option
The WordPress settings tab comes with 8 different options, the general setting tab, writing tab,
reading tab, discussion tab, media tab, permalinks tab, privacy tab, and the sharing tab. Let’s
take a look at each of these tabs and what they offer:
WordPress General Tab
The general tab gives you the option to add in your site title, your site description, your site
URL and your email address that you want to be contacted by. This is where you can also
choose if you want your blog URL to start with www or not.
WordPress Witing Settings
The writing settings gives you an option to chose the default format for your posts and the
default post categories as well. You can also use this section to choose if you want to write and
publish posts using your email address without signing into your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Reading Settings
This is where you will be able to choose your blog homepage settings and how you want it to
look when people land on your blog. You can choose to have a page that displays all of your
latest blog posts or a static homepage.
Within the reading settings you will also be able to choose how many blog posts to show on
your blog page and if you want only a summary of your post or full posts to show.
WordPress Media Settings
Within your media settings, you will be able to choose the upload limit of your images like the
height and the width. Once you setup this page using certain dimensions, you won’t be able to
upload media that are higher in size.
WordPress Privacy Tab
WordPress installation for most blogs. You can choose to use this form or create a new one
WordPress Sharing Settings
Last on our list is the WordPress sharing settings, this is where you can choose which sharing
buttons you want to appear under your posts. You can use this function or you can install
other free plugins like social warfare which looks soo much better.
You have successfully started a blog from scratch step by step and learn all about the
important functions to help you navigate and use your blog accordingly. If you liked this ebook,
please share it with your friends.