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How to Get Started Blogging With WordPress?

New Bloggers aren’t sure if they can blog. So it is important to have a step by step guide that can make new bloggers understand blogging and let them decide if blogging is the right choice for them or not. So I will share the basic of blogging and detailed step by step guide to getting started blogging with WordPress.

The Mindset of New Bloggers

Getting started to blogging by getting a domain and hosting does not work especially with new Indian webmasters when they are not sure if they can blog or not. So it is important to get your feet wet with blogging. When you are trying to blog you are actually not trying to be a blogger but you want to see if blogging can work for you or not and test the blogging model yourself.

If you are into the same mindset read below or else you can directly jump to the next level.

See also:

Getting Started with WordPress.com

Self-hosted WordPress blog is the way forward for money making blogs but we need a domain name and hosting for self hosted blog. If you are not comfortable getting yourself a domain and hosting, you can get started with WordPress.com blog that will be on WordPress.com subdomain like http://shabbirbhimani.wordpress.com/

WordPress.com blogs are difficult to monetize (can see why here) but the idea is to get the feeling of WordPress and blogging before you move to self hosted WordPress blog. Your risk is only the time you invested learning WordPress and nothing financially which I think should be very much an option for anybody who is trying to be a blogger or webmaster.

Your effort of WordPress.com blog will not be wasted at all and it will help you build links to your self hosted WordPress blog that you get in the future.

This article has lot of steps and so I will recommend you bookmark this page for coming back to the article. Once bookmarked I will suggest go and get your WordPress.com blog NOW.

Finding the Right Niche for your Blog

Let us now find the right niche for your blog. Finding Niche is very tough task but finding niche of your first blog is simple and let me help you get that done.

Take paper and pen and write down all your hobbies. At least make a list of 3-5 hobbies and don’t worry it can be anything like cricket, bikes, gyms, reading books or even playing games.

Sort the hobbies in decreasing order of your liking.

The niche of your blog is the one right at the top of your list. Find 10 topics that you would search in Google for finding information about the niche. Those ten topics will become your first ten posts in WordPress later.

Why don’t you promote your blog in my comments before proceeding further? Share your blog and niche with me in comments below.

See also:

Blog Themes

You have your WordPress blog and have selected the right niche for your blog and its time to find Good theme for your Blog that suits your niche.

If you have started with WordPress.com blog you have the option to choose the themes in your WordPress admin interface. Select the theme that is best suitable to your niche. You can choose from thousands of free WordPress themes.

Once you have your blog, the right niche and the needed design, its time for the first few articles to go live on your blog.

The First Few Posts

Time to go blogging. While choosing the niche for the blog I suggested you to have ten topics and so the first step is to get those articles online.

Once you have your first set of topics as posts in your blog you can have hard time finding new topics (and every blogger can have that issue) and so I will share with you one very important tip about finding topics for blogging. Make blogging part of your day and soon you will notice things from a blogging perspective. You will find lot of things that would tell yourself, “Hey, I can write about this.”

You are passionate about the topic and it is your hobby as well and so it should not be very difficult for you to read and learn more about it.

You can also visit related forums and read queries from members to find topics for your blogs. Apart from that you can also read other authority blogs to learn more about the topic as well as read comments on the authority blog and see what questions people have and answer them on your blog.

See also:

Things to Avoid As New Blogger

Don’t focus on traffic stats – Don’t focus on traffic stats and even if you do, don’t feel depressed if no one visits your site for the first few months. It will take some time for your blog to get noticed and readership and so you should focus on getting good quality articles before trying to get people to read them. If people land on blog with only handful of posts, they may not consider you seriously.

Avoid Social Media Marketing – Social network sites are good but they do eat up lot of your valuable time that you can dedicate to writing posts.

Avoid too many options in the sidebar – New bloggers tend to add lot of distractions like twitter and Facebook streams. These things never work and make your blog slower. Apart from that it gives lot of options to your users to click away from your blog.

Why Blog?

The most important question is why you should blog? It is not always the money that drives people to blogging and there is much more than just money which is

  • Create great relationships with people you may never meet.
  • Learn lot of technical stuff – I was not taught PHP or WordPress in my Bachelor’s degree but now I can say I know them because of blogging.
  • Learn lot of non-technical stuff – I am not a marketing guy and yet I do lot of experiment with online marketing for my websites. The credit of learning of internet marketing goes to blogging.

See also:

What to Expect from your New Blog?

Many people expect immediate results from blogging and are deeply disappointed when things don’t go their way. I prefer building a blog before expecting anything from it.

Do you think you can blog? Do you understand WordPress better now? What all queries you have that you want me to answer? Share in comments below.

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  • Subra Mani

    Thanks Shabbir !!!

    Wish U Happy Networking!
    Subramanian,Coimbatore

  • Sabyasachi Behera

    Hello Shabir, thank you for your help. I want to blog about movies. But, the problem is, I’m unable to find any topic. Can you help me out please?

  • Mithun

    Hi Shabbir
    I am in the working in the BFSI and was thinking about blogging about Personal finance planning. I know there are already some good blogs in the same field, what are your views about the same.

    • If you are working in BFSI and if you think you give your blog a new perspective to the financial segment, I think you should always go for it. For me also same can be said about Internet Marketing Blogs. There are just too many out there but then there are very few blogs with an Indian perspective and so I think I am ok with the blog if I am the only reader of my blog as long as I am sharing things that I like to share for myself to refer in future.

      • Mithun

        Thanks Shabbir for your views.
        I have one more question, can I start a blog a with WordPress.com and later on, if required, move that blog as it is to a self hosted site without loosing any data etc. If yes will the process involve lot of technical work.
        Thanks….

        • Hi Mithun,

          Technically you actually cannot move your blog from WP to self hosted because you will not be able to redirect your WP.com urls to your site’s urls but yes you can export your WP.com data and import them into your self hosted blog. The WP.com blog will still remain and if you want you can delete those content from your WP.com site but then it will not redirect the traffic or users from your WP.com to your site.

          No it will not be too technical but asking that to a technical person will always have same answer and it depends on your technical expertise levels.

  • Fitness Tips

    Shabir,

    Now we cannot make payments from Paypal balance. Which is the best way to make payment to companies situatuted outside India? Especially for web hosting companies we compel to use credit card to make payments.

    • Salman, you can use PayPal but then you have to making payments with your cards and thats because of RBI. You can use moneybookers though.

  • vidhi

    thanks shabbir,
    my hobbies are cooking, stress free life, reading, travelling places in India how should I start. which is better

    • Anything that you can think is your best hobby and you would love to do it when you are tired and exhausted.

  • Hi Shabbir, I’d like to add something to the mindset part of your post. I think it is very important you have the mindset to succeed with what you are doing against all odds and deliver value to your readers. Too many blogs (and I ran into a few again today) do not TEACH anything to somebody. I always think this is a little disappointing. In your blog post here you are teaching your readers something, so I think that the main mindset should include that you are passionate about teaching your passion to somebody else. Anyway, I guess you know what I mean. Enjoyed reading your post. 🙂

    • Jack, yes I can understand what you mean and I call those blogs and blog posts as vanilla posts to get the article count higher and I try to avoid that on my blogs.

  • I agree that finding a niche is very difficult when your first starting. But, if you think about it.. it becomes very simple to figure out,

    the main question is.. what is your purpose? Why are you trying to blog?

    If your trying to monetize a product, you should probably right to a niche in that product’s niche. If your blogging for fun, you should blog about your hobbies. If your doing cancer research, you should create a blog all about cancer.

    Your advice with starting with WordPress is great, I advice people getting the right information and training to get started quick!

    There’s many reasons to blog, I actually created this article the other day check it out, http://www.empowernetwork.com/mortsleam/why-you-should-blog/ . It’s not my main blog, but it’s the monetized version of WordPress, didn’t want to post my real blog, some people get mad at that.

    -Mohad Mussa

  • sana shaikh

    can we blog without spending a single penny ???

  • Sameer

    hi shabbir,
    I read an advertisement of iForex on your website.
    They are a currency exchange agency abroad in which u can buy and sell foreign currency.
    Are u registered with them?
    just wanted to know if its safe..
    Thank you.

    • The ads on my site are by Adsense and they show up based on lot of parameters including your interest as well. I don’t trade in forex and so cannot say if they are good or bad.

  • Sameer

    Hi, Shabbir,
    I wanted to know that if I am starting blogging directly with my own domain using bluehost, can i tag google adsense to it? Even when it has not been approved on blogspot..

    • Sameer, you can add Google Adsense to any of your site that is within the TOS of Adsense and you don’t need to approve each domains separately.

      • Sameer

        Thanks a lot Shabbir

        • The pleasure is all mine Sameer.

  • Kirti

    Hi Shabbir,

    I want to create a blog on my cooking but I am totally confused as to whether I should start it with wordpress.com or wordpress.org. I just wanna know the approximate cost of creating a blog like yours where you have your domain, host, etc.

    Correct me if I am worng.

    Thanks,
    Kirti.

    • Kirti, WordPress.com blog is free to setup and you don’t get your own domain name like imtips.co and you have to settle for WordPress.com subdomain like shabbirbhimani.wordpress.com

      To get a doamin of your own, the cost is $4.95 per month or less than 300 Rs per month and you get a domain name free with hosting. One of my preferred and recommended shared hosting solution is BlueHost (Aff Link).

      • Hey Shabbir,

        Just droped in tell you that I have opened my blog on wordpress. Right now I have not got my own domain but surely in near future I will buy it.

        Do check out my blog and let me know your comments,

        Thanks,
        Kirti
        http://lovecookingfood.wordpress.com/

        • Great start and great niche as well Kirti.

  • Dear Shabbir,
    What a good suggestion to make a list of hobbies in order to choose a topic to blog about. Thanks for sharing your expertise with others. Celebrate you today.

    Joan Y. Edwards

    • The pleasure is all mine Joan.

  • I know about blog something. Just i have come in your site and get a god result about blogger. It’s very effective with me.
    Thanks

    • The pleasure is all mine Mehedi Hasan.

  • Salm

    Shabir,

    I use blogspot with top level domain from Magic brick for my blog.

    The robots.txt file in blogger blog shows the following status.
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /search

    Does this effect the seo of my blog in google ? It shows Disallow:/Search.

    To rectify this, I removed /search from blogspot settings screen. However in google webmaster page, the change I made is not reflected somehow and it is still showing as Disallow:/Search.

    Do I need to wait for few days to see the change reflects in Google Webmasters page? Or the change I made is not effected yet?

    Any idea?
    Regards
    Salman

    • Salman, search is not allowed from crawling by Google bot and that should not impact a lot on SEO.

      Yes you need to wait for few days for Google to come to your site and fetch the new robots.txt file

  • Carol Nelson

    Shabbir, I’m thinking about blogging. I made my hobby list and I believe my niche is “Enjoying life on a fixed income”. My hobbies so far are living on a fixed income, living debt free, cooking, food shopping, bargain hunting, saving oney,iPad activities, reading, walking. Any suggestions for me?

    • Income niche are too crowded and so I don’t recommend those but cooking is something that is something really interesting in that list.

  • About 3-and-1/2 years ago I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke (that is, a “bleeder”) as a secondary result of an explosion I was in years ago. Fortunately, I have been having an equally massive recovery. Since strokes are the NUMBER ONE cause of long-term disability in many countries worldwide, a large interest lies in any website or blog which can provide solid stroke and rehabilitation data — especially if delivered with a personal touch. In other words, a view of strokes from the inside out, and from the outside in.

    Thus far, I have a “posterous” blog, StrokeRevelations.com, with little formal structure but with great data (from links of newspaper articles and magazines to highly-technical, scientific articles on the neurology of strokes), and interspersed with my personal posts.

    My intention is to improve and substantially develop the blog. This necessarily involves: making it easy to subscribe (a bit non-obvious currently), effectively monetize it (currently readers can donate, though how to do that is also a bit non-obvious), and substantially increase readership.

    Should I go another direction with how I’m handling the blog — stay with posterous, switch to WordPress, other? And should I monetize in a different way (advertisements, for example).

    Any feedback will be welcomed!

    • Billy, You have a great blog but as you pointed out you have those issues as well. I could not find option to subscribe or donate that easily and so I think it needs working.

      Posterous is acquired by twitter and news is such that it is more of a talent acquisition and so I would recommend moving to WordPress.

      Regarding monetizing the best way is to test different ways and see what works the best for your site.

  • somewhere I read to analyze and get a niche keyword first and research well on that keyword phrase, then start blogging about it. It may give you a good traffic. But yes, we should not lose the focus only to the keyword. Content has to be strong enough. But it is better way than blogging first and changing keywords later. Whats your take in this view, shabbir?

    • My view is lot different when trying to get started with blogging. I think you should list all your hobbies and sort them in descending order of your liking and the one at the top should be your niche for your blog. I said the same in my article here.

      After you have the niche you can play around with the content and keywords to find keywords that are not competitive and yet has lot of quality traffic.

      So I don’t think you should start blogging based on keywords but find keywords based on your niche.

  • Anuj Sharma

    Your BlueHost links ends up on a 404 page.

    • Thanks for letting me know Anuj and I have fixed the issue now.

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