The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Blog in 2020 (and Make Money)

Free Easy Guide to Start Blogging Today in 15 Minutes

Are you looking for an easy, step-by-step guide on how to start a blog?

Want to learn how to start a blog in 2020? That’s awesome, congratulations!

If you’re looking to an easy and free guide for beginners on how to start a blog, you’re in the right place. I’m here to guide and help you through this step-by-step.

You’ll learn how to start a blog right now in 6 easy steps. It will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to start blogging today.

Click here to jump to the first step to get your blog started now.

Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts with the world, help others with your skills, and even make money online.

But to succeed with your blog and to make money online, you need to start your blog the RIGHT way from the very beginning.

To make this guide to starting a blog today easy to follow, I’ve divided it into six parts you can walk through one by one.

While this guide is the first step to getting your blog started right now, my FREE 7-day eCourse breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into simple, actionable steps. It will help you go from zero to setting up your blog and learning how to write blog posts to growing your blog in just 1 week. I really can’t recommend it enough.

If you want me to guide you through the simple 7-day process, let me know where to send your first lesson right away:

Now, how do you start a blog?

How to start a blog (to make money) in 6 easy steps

In this guide, you will learn how to start a blog in 15 minutes following these easy steps:

  1. Choose your blog topic and a name
  2. Get your blog online (blog hosting and domain name)
  3. Design your blog with a WordPress theme
  4. Write your first blog post and create pages
  5. Grow your blog traffic
  6. Make money online

If you’re new to blogging, it helps to have someone there for you to help you out step-by-step.

After all, you want to steer clear from mistakes that could ruin your entire blog, motivation, and future plans.

That’s why I’ve created this page for you! It is all you need to start your first blog  without having to worry about a thing.

No hassle, no technical jargon, no complex setup tutorials.

Start a profitable blog from scratch (in just 15 minutes)

This free beginner-level guide will walk you through each step of how to create a blog with WordPress.

All you need is a few moments of your time. And maybe a cup of coffee for a little extra boost.

By the time your coffee cup is empty, you will have a brand new blog all setup for years to come.

So, fill up your cup and just get comfy for the next 15 minutes!

Hi, I’m Mikke.

I’m a blogger and online entrepreneur who teaches his readers how to start a blog and grow a successful online business.

What is Blogging Explorer all about? Who am I?

Hi, I’m Mikke!

I’ve started a number of blogs and websites from scratch in the past years and learned valuable lessons from each of them.

In fact, I build websites and WordPress blogs for a living!

I’ve been a freelance WordPress web developer for a few years now.

Needless to say, I’ve come across tons of problems and issues new bloggers have to face. I know you want to maximize your chances of becoming a successful blogger.

And that’s why I’m here to share with you everything I’ve learned so far!

How to start a WordPress Blog the right way

Starting a blog may sound intimidating, especially if you have zero technical knowledge.

But the thing is:

Launching a profitable, successful blog is a lot easier than you may think. 

The best part?

Once you have everything set up on the technical side, you can focus on the fun stuff:

  • Creating content
  • Marketing and growing your blog
  • Monetizing your blog traffic

Following this guide will help you setup up your blog the RIGHT way from the beginning.

I’ll show you the best way to start a successful blog, so that you can save time and focus on what matters the most: blogging and creating awesome content for your readers!

With that said, there’s no need to make things harder than they are. That’s why this beginners’ guide is foolproof and quick and easy to follow. I’ve designed it for complete blogging beginners with no website experience or coding skills.

Are you ready? Follow along!

Starting a blog step-by-step: Beginner’s guide

What is a blog exactly?

A blog is a website that focuses mainly on written content. That’s what we call blog posts. They’re a bit like news articles – but you’re free to choose any topic you love writing about.

What can you write about on your blog, then?

The thing is: you can write about whatever you like!

Whatever it is you wish to blog about, you can attract visitors from all over the world to your blog and connect with people from around the world.

As a blogger, you can

  • express your thoughts,
  • share your experience with the world,
  • interact with your readers if you choose to enable a commenting function,
  • create an online community around a topic you love, and even
  • make money online.

But most importantly, starting a blog allows you to connect with like-minded people from around the world.

You can enable the commenting function in WordPress to allow your readers to share their thoughts with you.

So yes, you can turn your blog into an active discussion platform around a topic you love writing about. Not bad!

Even better: your audience can turn into a loyal readership, which in turn may allow you to monetize your blog in the future.

But isn’t blogging dead?

No, no, no!

Blogging is still alive and kicking! It has changed my life completely and I now make a full-time income from my two blogs. And I couldn’t be happier to share everything I’ve learned with you!

So yes, blogging is a surefire way to start an online business if you want to make money blogging.

In fact, starting a blog for money is one of the best ways to earn passive income these days. You don’t even have to create a product of your own to sell. We will look at a few popular ways you can make money blogging later in the guide.

Should I start a blog?

Many of us think that in order to become a blogger you have to be a great writer. Luckily (at least for myself), this is not the entire truth.

True, a blogger has to do some writing. But it’s not the writing alone that determines whether your blog will become successful.

What matters more is the level of engagement of your readers.

If you can offer your readers valuable blog posts they need, you’re on your way to becoming an all-star blogger already.

People read blogs to learn new things or to connect with others with similar interests. They go online to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.

With that said, the best (and only) way to become a successful blogger is to make your readers’ lives easier.

Furthermore, you don’t have to be an expert or an authority on your topic of choice to become successful.

Again, just remember that your blog should simply engage your readers. Pick a conversational and personal style to write, don’t worry about being an expert.

As long as you are genuinely interested in your topic, your readers will be interested in it, too. This brings me to my next point:

There is only one requirement for becoming a successful blogger: true passion and enthusiasm for your topic.

What can I achieve with blogging?

Blogging is all about sharing your thoughts and experience with the world. You can help others by sharing information on just about anything you wish and feel like.

There are heaps of reasons why you should start a WordPress blog, like:

#1: Make money with blogging

This is often the #1 goal for most new bloggers.

And it’s true – you can actually earn a big buck with blogging if you get it right. Even part-time bloggers can monetize their blogs to achieve a nice level of passive income.

I’ll show you how to start making money with your blog later on in this guide.

#2: Create or find a community

Having a blog allows you to interact directly with your readers, sometimes building up to a full-scale discussion forum about your topic.

Do you have a hobby you love spending time with?

Why not share your knowledge and tips with others who are into the same things? And hey, you can learn back from them with every comment they leave on your blog, too.

#3: Share your story

We all live our individual lives that are so different from one another. Having a blog gives you the voice to share whatever you wish about your own history, life path, and future plans, for example.

Reading a post about someone else’s daily life is extremely relatable to most of us, so your audience will definitely be big if you choose this path.

#4: Create an online presence

Did you know that blogging is the best tool to build an online authority around a topic you love?

Writing and maintaining a successful blog in a certain niche can earn you recognition in that area – worldwide.

Many bloggers use their platform to become respected experts in their fields. Your blog could therefore also become a popular go-to source for people interested in your topic.

Apart from these ideas, you can start a blog for pretty much any other reason, too. If you feel like it, go for it! Your determination and motivation will shine through to your readers and help you succeed.

Blogging is a powerful tool that allows you to make the most of your skills and knowledge by sharing them with the world.

There are more people online now than ever before – which means more potential readers for your blog. Therefore, if you’re thinking about starting a blog, now is the perfect time to make it happen.

Alright, let’s get your blog started!

How to start a WordPress blog in 2020? 15-minute step-by-step guide for beginners

Learn how to start a blog in 15 minutes following these simple steps:

  1. Choose your blog topic and a name
  2. Get your blog online (blog hosting and domain name)
  3. Design your blog with a WordPress theme
  4. Write your first blog post and create pages
  5. Grow your blog traffic
  6. Make money online

Don’t worry, starting a blog with this guide will be easy – even if you have no technical experience. I’m here to guide you through each step of the way.

After having started blogging a few years back and making money from it, I’ve been able to become self-employed and decide when and where I work.

Honestly, learning how to start a blog has been the best career and life choice I ever made.

And you know what? You’re next!

In this free guide, I’ll show you exactly how to start a blog the right way to start building an online business to make money from eventually.

Let’s get started!

Infographic: How to start a successful blog from scratch - Beginner's Step-by-Step Tutorial for Starting a WordPress Blog to Make Money Online

Step 1: Choose your topic and pick a name

The first step for starting a blog is to choose your topic and picking a name for your blog.

Not quite sure what to blog about yet? No problem! There are a couple of easy and quick ways to find a good blog topic. Let’s take a look:

What to blog about? How to find the best blog topic?

You can blog about pretty much anything you like. Here are a few helpful ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

#1: Hobby

One of the best topics you can write about is a hobby close to your heart. You will never run our of ideas or feel like you don’t know enough about the topic.

Gardening, baking, travel, novels, fashion, cooking, you name it! Writing a blog about your hobby is a great way to connect with like-minded people around the world.

#2: Passion

If you feel genuinely passionate about a certain topic, why not blog about it? We all have different interests and passions – for some it might be coffee, yoga, or politics, while others prefer tea, running, or green energy.

Whatever your passion is, it will help you stay motivated writing for your blog for years to come.

#3: Yourself

We all have different views and experience regarding the most diverse topics possible. You can start a blog about yourself living your life and sharing your thoughts with the world.

If you have a strong personality (not to the point of upsetting others), blogging about yourself can attract tons of readers and fire up discussions that will help your blog gain even more momentum.

#4: Family

We all come from different families with different backgrounds. There is something about reading someone else’s family story that sparks up our interest and attention. Of course, you don’t have to go into too much detail and share private stories.

In fact, one of the most popular family topics for blogging is pregnancy and everyday life. When the baby arrives, it’s so easy for other moms and dads to relate to blog posts about how everything changes with the new family member.

#5: Life experience

We all have learned a bunch of lessons throughout our lives, good and bad. Blogging about what you’ve learned so far can help others deal with similar issues or hurdles, wherever they are reading your blog.

Sometimes the most simple of advice can help someone struggling with a difficult time in their life more than you can imagine. But a life experience can be something as simple as writing about how it is to be an expat in a foreign country, or how your life has been since you decided to get married.

#6: Lifestyle

Last but not least, writing a lifestyle blog is probably the most popular topic out there. Fashion, makeup, interior design, travel, shopping, fitness… The list is long!

Lifestyle blogs can become incredibly successful in terms of attracting readers and making money by blogging if done correctly.

Combine your blog with powerful marketing tools like social media and you can become a full-on online superstar. If lifestyle topics are your thing, tag along and let’s start your blog right away!

How to choose a name for your blog?

Once you’ve found the perfect blog topic, it’s time to choose a name for your blog.

And even though this might seem like a big step to take, don’t worry. Most often the best name is the first one you’re thinking of – just listen to your gut here.

If you’re not quite sure where to start with this, just keep in mind that a good blog name should be:

  • Descriptive: The name of your blog should tell your readers what it’s about.
  • Concise: Keep your blog name as short as possible.
  • Easy to spell: Avoid difficult words that are prone to spelling mistakes.

Think about the name from your readers’ perspective: can they instantly tell what your blog is about just by reading the name?

I’d recommend coming up with 3 to 5 name ideas at this point.

Once you have a few blog name ideas figured out, you need to choose a domain name extension. The most preferred domain extension is “.com”. Also, “.org” and “.net” are popular.

If you wish to write for readers in a specific country, consider choosing a country or language specific domain extension like “.fr” for a French blog or “.de” for a blog in German.

Once you’ve gathered a few ideas for your blog name, it’s time to get your blog online.

Now, I know this next step might seem a bit technical or intimidating to many new blogging enthusiasts like you. And that’s why I’m here to help.

The step-by-step guide below will walk you through every step to make sure that you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong. I know anyone can do this, including you!

It’s easier than you think, trust me!

Please note: This guide contains affiliate links to products I use, trust, and recommend. If you choose to purchase a product using these links, I may receive a small commission for referring you – at no extra cost to you.

Step 2: Get your blog online – Domain name and blog hosting

To start a blog, you will need three things:

  1. Domain Name
  2. Hosting Plan
  3. Blogging Platform

Let’s see what these are…

1: What is a domain name?

To get your WordPress blog online, you will need to register a domain name for it.

In short: your domain name is what people type into their browser to find and visit your blog:

2: What is blog hosting?

Your WordPress blog consists of files and data stored on a web server. This server is like a home for your blog, where all the files live.

Your blog hosting provider is like the landlord for your blog, renting web server space for you and making your website accessible.

Without a domain name, your website visitors won’t have a memorable way to get to your website.

And without a hosting account, there won’t be a website to go to.

So, you must have a domain and a hosting account in order to create your blog.

Finally, you will need a blogging platform or software to write your blog:

3: How to choose the right blogging platform?

Before you can start writing awesome content for your blog, you’ll need a blogging platform.

It is simply the application running on your hosting account that allows you to create and manage your blog posts and other content.

That’s why blogging platforms are often called Content Management Systems (CMS).

There are many good blogging platforms to choose from:

  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr etc.

However, my recommendation is always WordPress regardless of your blog topic. I use WordPress to build all of my own blogs and websites, too.

Here’s why WordPress is the best blogging platform for you:

1: It’s FREE for everyone to use.
You can run your blog on WordPress 100% FREE (including design templates and themes, layouts, and powerful add-ons).

2: It’s incredibly easy for you to set up by yourself.
I’ll show you how in a minute…

3: It’s HIGHLY customizable.
WordPress has a 59% market share among all blogging CMS software.

This huge community has thousands of free themes and add-ons to offer, so that you can improve your blog’s functionalities and performance.

CMS Market Shares 2019 - How to Start a Successful Blog - Step-by-Step Beginner's Tutorial to Start a WordPress Blog

4: It’s safe and stable.
Being the world’s most popular blogging platform, WordPress has a big community of developers who monitor security and release automatic security updates for you.

Hence, you can focus on creating content instead of worrying about your blog getting hacked or attacked.

WordPress is simply the best choice for you as a beginner blogger. It’s super easy to set up and configure, especially if you are not familiar with the technical aspects of starting a website or blog from scratch.

The best part?

Most hosting providers let you install WordPress with just 1 click.

Where should I get my domain and hosting?

I hope you’re still with me!

So far, we’ve covered the most important preparations you should do before you get your blog online.

Next, let’s look at what practical steps you need to take to create and setup your blog using the WordPress blogging software we just discussed.

When it comes to blog hosting, there are three things you will need:

  1. Easy but solid technical setup: You don’t want to spend hours with complex setups on your hosting – you’re here for blogging, not for troubleshooting!
  2. Realiability with uptime: Your blog needs to be up and running 100% of every month, day, and hour.
  3. Fast page loading speed: The average amount of time it takes for your blog page to load needs to be as fast as possible.

There are hundreds if not thousands of different blog hosting providers to choose from. It gets overwhelming for any beginner, I know.

But I’ve done the research for you already so that you can start your first blog without having to worry about anything going wrong.

I’ve made a bunch of mistakes trying to find the perfect hosting for my blogs and websites. Needless to say, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes just to lose your sleep at night.

My blog hosting recommendation is simply based on my experience and what I’ve found to work the best for 100% of my blogs and websites.

Please note: As an independent partner, I receive a small compensation if you decide to sign up for hosting using the links below – at no additional cost to you.

But please, only purchase your hosting if you believe it’s the right choice for you and that it helps you achieve your blogging goals.

Thus, to spare you from repeating my mistakes and spending hours and hours after a crash to get your blog back online with no help from a poor hosting provider, here’s what I recommend…

I use and recommend Bluehost for domains and blog hosting. 

You can start a blog on Bluehost in just 10 minutes even if you’re totally new to blogging.

Plus, they even install the WordPress blogging software automatically for you. You literally just need to sign up and you can start blogging right away.

Why Bluehost is my #1 recommendation for domains and blog hosting:

Ok, so why Bluehost?

Here’s the deal:

Choosing a blog hosting provider is all about finding the right balance between simplicity and top performance.

You don’t want to overcomplicate things by spending days and weeks tweaking technical settings that are way too complex to understand in the first place.

Instead, you want to go for a provider that allows you to start your blog without any unnecessary hocus-pocus, right?

Thus, your blog hosting should be easy to set up but still offer top-notch performance and reliability. And that’s where Bluehost steps in.

I use Bluehost for my web projects (including this one) for a bunch of reasons, such as:

  • FREE domain name for your blog – They allow you to register your blog name as a domain for free to save money from the get-go.
  • Exclusive deal for my readers starting at just $2.95/month – Choose a hosting plan that meets your needs and your budget.
  • Easy and quick sign-up – I’ll show you how it works in just a second.
  • No hidden costs – No hidden fees when you sign up.
  • Free, automatic WordPress installation – That’s the blogging software you should use. No technical jargon or hassle – start blogging right away.
  • FREE SSL certificate for your blog – Encrypts your blog traffic, adding trust and credibility with your blog visitors and with Google!
  • FAST and friendly 24/7 support – I’ve waited 1.5 seconds on average for a support agent to join the helpdesk chat.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee – No questions asked if you choose to cancel your account for any reason.

In short: with Bluehost, there really is no risk.

And that’s why I’ve teamed up with them to give you access to an exclusive blog hosting deal. I know you’ll love them as much as I do.

That said, let’s get you to Bluehost to start your blog right away:

My #1 Recommended Blog Hosting Provider

  • Free, fast, and friendly 24/7 support
  • Fast and easy 5-minute sign-up
  • Free domain name for your blog
  • Free WordPress blog installation
  • Free SSL certificate for your blog
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Exclusive Offer for My Readers:

Start a WordPress blog in 2020 Beginner’s tutorial: How to start a blog in 10 minutes on Bluehost

Step #1: How to create a Bluehost blog hosting account

First of all, click here to get to Bluehost to get started.

The page will look like this:

Once you’re there, click that beautiful green button that says “Get Started”.

On the next page, you’ll see the following web hosting plan options to choose from:

Bluehost WordPress blog hosting plans - How to start a blog for beginners

When you are just starting out with your first blog, it’s perfectly OK to pick the Basic plan.

Especially if you’re on a budget and you’re not expecting to earn that much with your blog. You can always upgrade later in the future.

When I first started building my online business, the initial investment in web hosting and domains felt like a big buck.

However, I can assure you that this is a small price to pay for the potential you will unleash with an online presence. It’s simply a necessary investment, allowing you to make that money back with your blog or business soon enough.

Once you’ve chosen a web hosting plan (Basic, Plus, or Prime), click “Select” and you’ll land on the next page, where you can choose your domain name.

Step #2: Register a free domain name for your blog

On the next page, you can choose the domain name for your blog:

Bluehost WordPress Tutorial - How to start a blog and register a domain name

Simply type in the name of the domain name that you’d like to have for your blog. Mine is bloggingexplorer.com, for instance. Use the field under “Create a new domain” and click “Next”.

If your domain name isn’t available, you can either try another idea you have or (what I suggest) skip this step and choose your domain name later.

Simply click “I’ll create my domain later” at the bottom of the screen. You can take some time to brainstorm new ideas after getting the rest of your account set up. It’s just easier to take time to think the name through that way.

After creating your domain name or choosing to select it later, you’ll be taken to the final page for creating your account, finishing up the Bluehost signup process.

(I told you this would be easy!)

Step #3: Finish your signup and registration

Fill in your account information

First, fill in your account information like name, email address (use your primary email address, because that is where your login details will be sent) and address:

Step-by-step tutorial: how to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost

Choose the right hosting package

Second, choose the right hosting plan based on which price you want to secure and how far in advance you want to pay:

Start a WordPress blog on Bluehost: beginner's guide

Which pricing plan is best to start a blog?

I recommend picking one of the longer plans if you want to lock in the lowest price for your blog hosting. I started with the 36-month option. It gives you the blog hosting at the lowest possible rate for the next 3 years.

Keep in mind that the low pricing only applies to new customers and the first payment you make.

If you choose a shorter plan, your pricing may go up after the first year.

Of course, it’s up to you to choose a plan that suits your budget. However, if you’re serious about starting a blog to make money, it’s a good idea to opt for a long-term package.

Select package extras (you only need one)

Thirdly, you can choose some additional services for your blog under Package Extras:

How to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost

Now, if you ask me, you don’t necessarily need any of them.

However, I highly recommend selecting the Domain Privacy Protection. It keeps all of your personal contact information private.

If you chose the Basic or Plus plan, you can add Domain Privacy Protection to your order for $1 per month. In case you picked the Choice Plus plan on the previous page, your Domain Privacy Protection will be included in your plan as a free extra.

The total price you see is the amount you’ll pay now. But keep in mind: you won’t have to pay again for 1 to 5 years, depending on the plan you chose.

Also, Bluehost offers a full 30-day money back guarantee in case you’re not happy with them.

Enter your payment information

Finally, just enter your payment information, read and accept the terms and hit “Submit”:

How to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost

How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost

Congratulations! You’re now officially a happy member of the Bluehost community with your very own domain name and web hosting plan!

Next, let’s walk through the final steps of setting up your WordPress installation so you can start your WordPress blog on Bluehost right away!

Step #4: Log in to your Bluehost.com account and setup your WordPress blog

Luckily, Bluehost nowadays installs WordPress automatically on your account during the signup process. So there’s not much left to do here, really.

Once you’ve completed your payment process, you’ll see a warm welcome message from Bluehost:

How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost

To get started with your WordPress blog, click on the bright green button that says “Create your password”.

You will be taken to a page where you set your password for your Bluehost hosting account:

How to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost

Type in the password you’d like, make sure you write it down somewhere, and click “Next”.

You know what? You’re done!

That’s right – your WordPress blog has now been installed in the background and you can start creating content right away!

In the next screen, though, you can choose a WordPress theme for your blog if you want to (feel free to skip this step, I’ll show you how to choose a theme for your WordPress blog in a bit):

Tutorial: how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost

If you’re not quite sure about it yet, simply skip the step at the bottom of the screen.

If you’re completely new to WordPress, visit my article with the best WordPress themes and templates for bloggers to learn more about how WordPress themes work and how to choose the right theme for your blog.

Finally, you will land in your Bluehost account dashboard, where you can manage your sites, domains, and settings:

How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost

You see your WordPress blog right there in the center of the screen. To start blogging, simply click “Log in to WordPress” to get going with your awesome new WordPress blog!

Alternatively, you can access your WordPress website by typing in your domain name into your web browser using your personal URL and adding “/wp-admin” to it. So, if your domain is “myawesomeblog.com”, simply type

http://myawesomeblog.com/wp-admin

into your browser’s address bar.

Hit Enter and you’ll be taken to the login screen of your WordPress blog:

Beginner's guide: how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost

Simply enter your login details, click “Log In”, and there you go!

How to find your Bluehost username and password

If you’re not sure about your login name or password, check the email that you just received from Bluehost.

You’ll find your login credentials for accessing your hosting account at the bottom of the email:

How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost: step-by-step guide and tutorialYou are now ready to start designing and customizing on your WordPress blog to conquer the world – just follow along to the next section!

Step 3: Customize your WordPress blog – Choose a WordPress theme

You’ve almost made it!

This is the last step before you can start creating awesome content and posts for you new WordPress blog!

Let’s go through each step of changing your blog’s design next. Your WordPress blog comes with a standard design, so you don’t necessarily have to change the design just yet.

If you can’t wait any longer to start writing your first blog post, feel free to skip to Step 4 of this blog setup tutorial.

To change the design of your WordPress blog, you need to have installed WordPress on your hosting.

To do this first, make sure to click here to create a hosting account on Bluehost and follow the step-by-step guide for setting up your hosting and domain in the previous part of this guide.

How to change the design and look of your WordPress blog

You probably have some idea about how you wish your WordPress blog to look to your readers. Every blogger has slightly different preferences and a beautiful design is often just as important as great content.

Therefore, feel free to find a design that you feel comfortable with. Remember: you will be working with it a lot.

In WordPress, the templates that determine how your blog will look like are called “Themes”.

Thus, a WordPress Theme is in control of the entire design and layout of your blog.

Luckily, you can easily choose a theme you like from thousands of great options out there.

Whether you choose to buy a theme or use a free theme is totally up to you. There are plenty of awesome themes available that are 100% free to you.

Option 1: Use free WordPress themes

Free WordPress themes are a great way to start if you are a beginner blogger. They can work well, but they lack some of the tools that paid themes give you. And these tools are often the ones that help you make your blog successful.

If you have an extra $50 – $90 you can invest in your blog business, use a paid premium theme. The money will pay itself back.

If it feels like a big buck at this point, I totally understand.

Just use a free theme for a few weeks and learn your way around WordPress that way.

Using one of the pre-installed themes that come with WordPress is perfectly fine at first. You can find them under “Appearance > Themes” in your WordPress Dashboard. I’ll show you this in more detail in just a minute.

Why should I use a paid theme for my blog?

Since there are so many free themes available, why would you pay for one?

Paid themes are most often much more customizable and powerful in the long run. They usually come with helpful builder tools and solutions for managing your blog more easily.

These premium themes also have much better support staff to help you with your questions. They are there for you to solve any problems you may have with the theme.

Nevertheless, it’s perfectly OK to start your blog using a free theme. You can learn how to use WordPress and understand the features of the system first.

Option 2: Save time and create a professional design with a paid theme

If you can invest in a paid theme, you should pick one that’s both extremely user-friendly and powerful.

Having built dozens of blogs and websites, I’ve come across a myriad of paid themes.

Here are two of the best I recommend:

Please note: This guide contains affiliate links to products I use, trust, and recommend. If you choose to purchase a product using these links, I may receive a small commission for referring you – at no extra cost to you.

Divi is an incredibly beginner-friendly and powerful theme. I use it for nearly 100% of my projects nowadays.

It is easy to learn, intuitive, and highly customizable.

Divi allows you to easily change the design of any of your pages, including the blog page. And in case you have any questions about how to use the theme, the customer support is fast and friendly.

Also, Divi comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. There is no risk in trying it out.

When you purchase a licence for Divi, you can also access the entire Elegant Themes selection of over 70 further themes and plugins, too.

Needless to say, countless professional bloggers use Divi, and it’s quickly on its way to become the best WordPress theme for beginner bloggers, too!

Avada Theme was my first paid WordPress theme I used and loved and I still use it for a few projects where I don’t need all the features Divi has.

Avada has heaps of customization options and it’s a bit cheaper than Divi Theme.

Therefore, Avada is my second recommendation for beginner bloggers – a great theme to get started with!

When you start your blog and choose a theme, don’t overthink it! It’s easy and quick to change your theme if you’re not happy with the one you’ve chosen.

So, just pick one and use it for some time. Learn how it works and be aware of the things you like and the ones you don’t like at all.

Ok, let’s take a closer look at how you can find, install, and activate a WordPress theme next.

I’ll walk you through each step, so this is going to be easier than you think.

How to find a WordPress theme for your blog

To start off, log in to your WordPress blog using the login details from your web hosting provider.

You can open the login screen by typing the following URL into your web browser – remember to replace “yourblog.com” with your own domain name:

www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/

Simply enter your username and password into the fields and click the “Log In” button:

Beginner's guide: how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost

Once logged in, you will see your WordPress Dashboard. This is the basic starting point for everything you do for your blog:

How to change the design of your WordPress blog - how to install and activate a WordPress theme

On the left-hand side, you see a dark, vertical menu.

That is where you can access all the content on your WordPress blog, upload media, review comments, and change the design of your blog.

Go ahead and click on “Appearance”. This will take you to the Themes overview, where the active theme is the first one on the list (in my case the “Divi” theme):

How to change the design of your WordPress blog - how to install and activate a WordPress theme

Every WordPress blog comes with a couple of default themes installed for you: they’re called Twenty-Twenty, Twenty-Seventeen etc.

They all are easy-to-use, professional-looking themes that do a great job for any type of blog out there.

In case you just wish to start writing, I recommend using one of these default themes at first.

My theme is a premium WordPress theme called Divi, which I mentioned above. I use it for almost every WordPress blog and website I create.

Divi an incredibly powerful and user-friendly WordPress theme for both total beginners and professional web designers, too. For more details on Divi, check out the Divi website at Elegant Themes.

If you want to create and establish a successful blog to earn money by blogging, I can fully recommend using Divi. It’s my #1 recommended premium WordPress theme for all of my website and blog clients.

Click here to get Divi and gain access to 70+ other themes for free with Elegant Themes.

How to install a new WordPress theme

To install a new WordPress theme for your blog, click on “WordPress.org Themes” on the Themes overview page:

How to change the design of your WordPress blog

(In case you’re using another web hosting provider than Bluehost, the button might simply say “Add new”.)

This will take you to the themes directory with thousands of themes to choose from:

How to change the design of your WordPress blog - how to install and activate a WordPress theme

If you hover over a theme with your mouse, you will see an “Install” button.

You’re almost done here already! If you see a theme you like, simply install it with one click.

Furthermore, on the top you can see a “Feature Filter” option as highlighted in the screenshot above. It allows you to filter through all these themes with criteria you can define yourself:

How to change the design of your WordPress blog - how to install and activate a WordPress theme

Choose your filters (in this case, I’ve only chosen to see themes suitable for creating a blog) and click the “Apply Filters” button at the bottom. This will take you back to the themes overview, where you can find one that you like and install it like you saw in the screenshots above.

How to activate a new WordPress theme for your blog

Once you’ve found a theme you like and clicked “Install”, you see a button for activating the new theme with just one click:

How to change the design of your WordPress blog - how to install and activate a WordPress theme

Go ahead and activate your new theme once you find one.

And that, my friend, is how you install a WordPress theme for your new blog!

Finally, don’t forget to admire the results of your work – take a look at the new design of your WordPress blog that you just installed and activated. Simply hover your mouse over the name of your blog in the upper left corner of the screen and click “Visit site” to see the newly-designed start page of your blog:

How to change the design of your WordPress blog - how to install and activate a WordPress theme

Congratulations! You just changed the design of your WordPress blog like a pro!

I hope you’re still with me! If you have any trouble going through with the steps above, let me know and I’ll help you through it.

And you know what? You’re all set to start creating content for your WordPress blog now!

Step 4: Start writing – Create engaging posts and pages

You’ve come a long way already, good job!

By now you should have a WordPress blog on your very own domain name.

Also, you should have a custom WordPress theme to create a design that supports and fits together with your blog’s topic.

Again, congrats!

You have set up everything you need for a solid foundation for your future success as a blogger!

In the next step on how to start a WordPress blog, I’ll show you how to write your very first blog post. Posts are the main type of content you will create as a blogger, so in this section you’ll learn:

  • How to write a post in WordPress
  • How to format and edit text and headings
  • How to add and manage images and links to your blog post
  • How to create great, engaging content for your readers

Alright, let’s get to it!

Click here for Step 4: Start Blogging – Write Your First Blog Post

Step 5: Grow and promote your blog – Get more blog traffic 

We all know that it takes a great amount of determination, time, and effort to produce enough content to make it in the blogging world.

Once you’ve written a bunch of great blog posts to share with your readers, you really need to get your blog out there for the world to see!

So how do you stand out from the masses? How can you make sure that the right visitors find their way to your blog and not the others on the same topic?

It’s all about marketing, baby!

Marketing is the #1 essential part of blogging many bloggers fail to succeed. There’s so much awesome, valuable content out there to be discovered by readers, but if they can’t find their way there, that content is lost and practically obsolete.

To make things easier for you, I’ve put together this final step of my guide to help you find useful ideas and helpful information to grow your blog with:

Click here for Step 5: Grow Your Blog – Generate More Traffic

Here are a few beginner-level guide to drive traffic to your blog fast:

Here’s to growing your traffic and getting ready to monetize your blog!

Step 6: Make money blogging – Monetize your WordPress blog

You made it this far, congratulations! That’s awesome!

You’ve come all the way from laying the very first foundation for your blog to creating amazing content and promoting your blog to grow it.

You’ve hopefully found useful tips and information along the way, giving you something to apply to your blog for a long time.

If you followed each step of my guide carefully, you should be well on your way to building a successful blog for yourself. What you do next, is totally up to you – the world is your oyster, really!

How to make money blogging

When it comes to earning money with your blog, there are endless options to choose between.

Some bloggers make their money through affiliate marketing, some through selling ad space on their blogs, while some sell their own products to their readers directly on their blogs.

Whatever path you choose to make money with your blog, I’ll be there to guide you through it.

Choose the best monetization methods for your blog

Alright, time to talk about blog monetization.

Here are a few massive articles to help you get started:

  1. How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners (How I Make $3,718/Month)
  2. 5 Powerful Monetization Methods for Beginner Bloggers
  3. Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: Make Money Blogging Fast
  4. How to Make Money With Ads on Your Blog
  5. How Do People Make Money Blogging in 2020?

These blog posts should give you heaps of ideas for monetizing your blog content and traffic.

And while it may take a while to build enough blog traffic to start earning substantial income, just keep doing what you’re doing.

Keep your eyes on the prize! Because once the ball starts rolling, your blog income will start increasing faster and faster.

Cheers, happy blogging!
-Mikke, the Blogging Explorer

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