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Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step on an exciting new journey by creating your blog. There’s a sense of thrill that comes with crafting that first post and sharing your thoughts, ideas, or expertise with the world. It’s an adventure, indeed, filled with learning, creativity, and connection.

But just like any new endeavor, starting a blog on WordPress comes with its own set of challenges. How do you pick the right theme? What plugins should you use? And, what about that all-important first blog post?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone in this. We’re here to help you navigate these waters. Your initial steps in blogging are incredibly important as they lay the foundation for your online presence. So, buckle up! This journey is about to get a whole lot more exciting as we dive into the vital next steps you need to take after setting up your WordPress blog.

Together, we’ll turn these challenges into stepping stones to your blogging success.

Understanding your blogging platform: WordPress

You’ve chosen WordPress as your blogging platform, and let’s just say, you couldn’t have made a better choice. A powerhouse of versatility, WordPress powers a significant chunk of the world’s websites. It’s user-friendly, robust, and above all, made for bloggers like you and me.

With its vast array of themes and plugins, WordPress allows you to create a website that truly reflects your style and purpose. But to tap into its real potential, it’s important to get acquainted with its fundamental features.

Ever heard of the adage, “knowledge is power?” Well, when it comes to WordPress, understanding its nuts and bolts can make your blogging journey smoother and more enjoyable. You’ll know exactly where to click to customize your theme or add a new post.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves, dive into the basics, and get you comfortable with your new WordPress blog. After all, a well-understood tool is a tool well used!

Step 1. Have a solid strategy

Stepping into the blogging world without a strategy is akin to sailing without a compass. It’s not impossible, but it’s surely challenging. So, before you start churning out blog posts, it’s vital to spend some time crafting a solid strategy.

What’s your blog’s purpose? Who’s your target audience? What types of content will you create to engage and delight your readers? These are some of the questions your strategy should address. Remember, your strategy is your roadmap. It will guide your actions and help you make decisions aligned with your blogging goals.

Your strategy will also influence key aspects of your blog, from your chosen theme to the WordPress plugins you install. So, set aside some time, brew a pot of coffee, and let’s create a strategy that sets your blog on the path to success.

  • Your end-goals for each visitor
    Start by figuring out what it is that you want each visitor to your blog to do before they leave your site. It might be signing up for a mailing list, purchasing a product, or something else.
  • A basic content plan
    Your articles should never be stand alone pieces, but rather form a comprehensive web of topics that are all related to your end-goals. For example, start with a 5,000-word “Ultimate guide to X” article and then make your next few articles deeper studies of sub-topics within that.
  • A simple means of promotion
    Try to come up with some ideas for how your will promote the blog. For example, you might create graphics and videos and then send a little paid traffic to them for added engagement.

When you create a strategy you will find that your writing and promotion time is spent much more effectively and you will have concrete measurements to track your growth.

Step 2. Choose right theme

So, you’ve got WordPress installed, and your blogging strategy is ready. The next step? Giving your blog a visual identity. This is where WordPress themes come into play.

Think of your theme as the outfit your blog wears. It can instantly communicate your blog’s personality and purpose to your visitors. Do you want your blog to exude professionalism? Maybe a minimalist theme suits you. Or, perhaps, you’re all about creativity and color? There’s a theme for that, too.

When picking a WordPress theme, consider your brand, your target audience, and the type of content you’ll be posting. Is it easy to navigate? Is it responsive for mobile users? And most importantly, does it reflect your blog’s voice?

Remember, your theme is the first impression visitors get of your blog.

Step 3. Get the right plugins installed

So, you’ve picked the perfect theme for your blog. What’s next? It’s time to deck it out with some handy tools. In the world of WordPress, we call these “plugins.”

Imagine plugins as the secret weapons of your blog. They’re like tiny elves working behind the scenes to amp up your blog’s functionality. Whether you want to boost your blog’s SEO, create contact forms, or add social media buttons, there’s a plugin for that!

It’s crucial, however, to choose your plugins wisely. Your blog is like your home. You wouldn’t clutter it with unnecessary items, would you? The same applies to plugins. Only install what you really need.

Here are a few must-haves for any WordPress blogger: Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts, Akismet to filter out spam comments, and Jetpack for site performance and security.

Remember, the right plugins can supercharge your blog, but the wrong ones can slow it down.

Pro tip: Set up a mailing list from day one

Starting a new blog can be exhilarating, yet many beginners trip up by not establishing an opt-in form for email subscribers early on. Trust me, this little oversight can turn out to be a biggie. Why, you ask? Well, as your blog grows, your mailing list becomes your go-to promoter for new content. More subscribers mean more promoters. It’s simple math, really!

Plus, a robust and engaged mailing list acts like your shield against those pesky Google algorithm changes that might threaten your traffic down the road.

So, what’s this magical mailing list? It’s your little corner on the internet where folks can subscribe to your blog, eagerly awaiting your email notifications each time you publish a spanking new post. To sweeten the deal, many savvy bloggers offer freebies or exclusive content for subscribers. Tempting, right?

But how do you make the most of this tool? Here are a few tips:

A. Make it Easy to Spot : Once you sign up with a mailing list provider, like Constant Contact, you can add an email collection form to your site. Make sure this form matches your blog design and is easily visible on both mobile and desktop platforms. The prime real estate of your blog? The top of your sidebar and above the fold.

B. Design a Landing Page to Promote It : A landing page dedicated to promoting your mailing list can work wonders. If you’re offering a free eBook for subscribers, for instance, this page could detail the process, benefits, and expected timeline.

C. Experiment and Optimize – Once your form is up and running, don’t just let it be. Experiment with A/B testing, changing minor details, like the button color, to see what works best. Extend this testing to your newsletters as well, playing around with subject lines and links to figure out what resonates with your readers.

Remember, a blog without a mailing list is like a party without guests. Start building yours today, and watch your blog flourish!

Step 4. Create your first blog post

Ah, the anticipation of the first blog post! It’s a bit like taking your first step on a thrilling journey. Don’t let the blank screen intimidate you, though. Remember, your blog is your canvas, and you’re the artist.

Start by choosing a topic that sets your heart racing. It could be a hobby you love, a cause you’re passionate about, or a unique experience you want to share. When you’re passionate about your subject, your enthusiasm will shine through, drawing in your readers.

Remember to draft, edit, and proofread before hitting the ‘Publish’ button. It might seem daunting at first, but remember, every great blogger started with their first post, just like you. So, take a deep breath, harness your passion, and start writing. After all, your blogging adventure begins with the first word!

Step 5. Make sure your blog looks good to Google

Starting a blog is exciting, but let’s not forget the importance of catching Google’s eye. You’re probably wondering, “What on earth does that mean?” Well, we’re talking about the science and art of blogging SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO is a bit like sending Google love letters, wooing it to rank your blog higher in their search results. Implementing both on and off-site SEO strategies could lead to a significant boost in traffic over time as you keep creating more content. Remember, each page of your blog is a potential magnet for visitors, not just your homepage!

But, how do you charm Google, you ask? Here are some tips:

A. Originality is King – Google appreciates authenticity. Avoid rehashing content found elsewhere, and strive for fresh, unique perspectives in your posts. Think of it as crafting a unique voice for your blog.

B. Be a Problem-Solver – Google loves to match queries with solutions. Make your blog a hub for problem-solving. Whether you create a new tool or offer fresh insights on existing issues, solving problems equals higher rankings.

C. Speed Matters – A fast-loading blog is like a well-oiled machine. Google likes that! Check your blog’s loading time using tools like Pingdom, and aim for a loading time of one or two seconds.

D. Embrace Yoast SEO – The Yoast SEO plugin is like your friendly guide through the jungle of SEO. It uses a simple traffic light system to help you optimize your content. Green light means go!

E. Variety is the Spice of Content – Blogs that incorporate a mix of text, photos, infographics, and videos are more appealing to both Google and users. Such diverse content also tends to attract backlinks, boosting your rankings further.

F. Get Comfy with Webmaster Tools and Analytics – Lastly, don’t forget to install Google’s Webmaster Tools and Analytics on your blog from day one. These tools offer precious insights into how Google views your blog.

In your early days, it’s easy to get caught up worrying about SEO, but remember, the best blogs are those that find innovative ways to help their audience. Keep SEO in mind, but always prioritize your readers’ needs.

Step 6. Refine your design and UX for maximum readability and conversions

Once you’ve dived into the blogging world, it’s important to take a moment to ensure your blog is a welcoming space for readers. The aesthetics of your blog can greatly impact its performance and readability. Here’s how you can make your blog shine:

A. Embrace Simplicity – Don’t overcrowd your blog with numerous images, links, and menus. Instead, think of your blog as a minimalist, high-end magazine – a clean space sprinkled with engaging content and tasteful imagery.

B. Magnify for Readability – Opt for a font size of at least 16px. Larger font sizes enhance readability, making your blog more accessible to everyone, especially older readers.

C. Consistency is Key – Craft each blog post consistently. Avoid generic stock photos and low-quality graphics. Stick to a consistent color scheme that mirrors your brand’s personality. Take a leaf from the book of successful content-driven blogs and websites for inspiration. Publications like The New Yorker offer great examples of a strong focus on long-form content combined with a consistent aesthetic.

D. Select a Suitable Theme – Explore Google Fonts and WordPress themes to find a design and font combination that suits your taste. Look for a theme that minimizes clutter and promotes readability, like a white theme with a single column layout.

E. Make it Mobile-Friendly – Last but not least, ensure your blog is mobile-friendly using Google’s mobile test. With more than half of potential traffic coming from mobile devices, a mobile-friendly design is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Remember, your blog’s design is its virtual storefront. An appealing, user-friendly design can turn casual visitors into loyal readers.

5. Network and promote

As you take your first steps in the blogging journey, it’s crucial not to underestimate the power of networking and promoting your blog. These steps are often overlooked by new bloggers, who, despite crafting compelling content, feel disheartened when they see no one is reading. So, let’s explore ways to change that:

A. Connect Through Content – One proven technique involves referencing other bloggers in your niche. It not only provides credibility to your post but also gets you noticed by those bloggers when they see you’ve linked to them.

B. Bridge the Gap – Once you’ve linked to another blogger’s work, let them know. A simple tweet can put your blog on their radar. The aim is not to ask for promotion, but to gradually introduce your blog to their field of view.

C. Share to Show You Care – Another effective approach is to share the content of blogs in your niche. Create a concise summary and repost it on your social media platforms. The idea here is to capture the attention of fellow bloggers.

D. Guest Posting – Once your blog is loaded with quality content, look for guest posting opportunities. It’s a beneficial strategy to attract new traffic, although somewhat challenging. If you’ve built a relationship with fellow bloggers, pitching becomes much smoother. Platforms like LifeHack that accept posts from various writers could be a good starting point.

E. Value-Added Comments – Leaving insightful comments on other blogs is an underused tactic that can add value and promote your blog simultaneously. Comments that show appreciation or add to the discussion can earn you visits from the blog’s readers and potentially lead to collaborations.

F. Invest in Advertising – Finally, treat your blog like any other business. Consider investing in advertising. Even with a modest budget, say $50 a month, you can increase traffic and gain valuable insights into ad design. Remember, writing great content is just half the battle. The other half is getting people to read it – and that’s where strategic networking and promotion come in.

You are ready to blog!

To wrap up, starting a blog is an exhilarating journey filled with opportunities to express, create, and connect. Remember the crucial steps – understanding WordPress, crafting a sound strategy, creating impactful content, and effective promotion.

Stay patient, keep exploring, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Your blogging adventure is just beginning, and the world is ready to hear your voice!

What have I missed?

I’d really love to know if you think I’ve missed anything important. What do you think bloggers should absolutely do when they first set up their new blog?

Please leave a comment below and let me know!

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
Learn more about Bluehost Editorial Guidelines


  1. Thank you so much for having me here, guys! I really appreciate it. Hopefully it’s useful to some new bloggers out there.

  2. Pradeep Parik Reply

    Excellent article, but very hard on the eyes. You should have used a better font,16 px.

    • Hi Pradeep. Unfortunately I can’t pick the typography when I do a guest post. Perhaps Bluehost will see your comment and consider making it a bit larger, however. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Angie Arriesgado Reply

    Hey Ramsay, I follow you on your blog and just got an email from you so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve been a Bluehost customer for over a year now and I never even bothered to click the link to their blog on the footer. LOL.
    I just want to add that new sites/blogs should add the Facebook pixel too even if they don’t plan on using FB ads anytime soon. This allows FB to collect data for their site visitors so when they are ready to advertise on FB they can laser target the people who’ve been on their website.
    Advertising on FB is relatively cheap and boosting your posts to such an audience (people who are familiar with your brand) will help you with your conversion goals whatever it may be.

    • Good tip. Just make sure you let people know that you are tracking them in your terms of use and so on.

  4. Great post Ramsay. I think we shouldn’t just comment on blogs just to leave a backlink to our sites, we should really want to help people with something insightful.

  5. Chuck Bartok Reply

    Very clear and concise.
    Want add the importance of consistency!
    And I love the mention of larger Font.
    We actually saw more positive growth going to 18 pt

    • Hi Chuck. Yes, I think you’re right. People are definitely moving away from the smaller font type of trend now.

  6. Romain Berger Reply

    Great article, as all your articles on Blog Tyrant.
    I’ve launched my blog (Band Sculptor) a couple of weeks ago, and what I noticed is how much time and effort you have to put in to maintain and promote the blog. My advice for beginners would be to write or at least outline articles as much as possible before starting. Because time goes fast and it takes a lot of time to write quality article, and plan everything for their release. Having a few articles ready to go anytime is great to not feel too much pressure.

    • Really great tip. It’s insane how much time it takes in the beginning, but after a while it eases off when you can find other people to help with some of the slower tasks.

  7. Thanks Ramsay for another great post. I’m still in the planning and design stage and always find your blog posts and whole website a fantastic resource. One thing I would have done differently is to have found Blog Tyrant and read it all first, before spending money on some things I’m not sure if I will ever need.
    Something else I would find very helpful would be an index of all the articles. I find myself following links within or article and then lose track of where I was. Also, a glossary of terms would be good for people like me who are new to blogging. I know that you do explain a lot of bloggy terms within posts and articles but to have them available in one list would be great as a reference tool.
    Keep up the good work – it is very much appreciated!

    • Hi Dawn.
      These are really excellent suggestions. Thank you so much.

  8. Abdulrazaq Olatunji Reply

    Hi Ramsey, its very nice to see here. I’m a big fan

  9. Jonathan Mfoniso Reply

    I really do appreciate your guidance presented in such an easy-to-chew narrative. That is usually your style though, so am not surprised at all. I find a few things I need to apply to my new blog and getting the word out using free and paid advertising avenues is one of them. I thought one could win it crafting good content and letting the rest take its course, but now I see the need to spend some money, after all this is supposed to be a business.
    Getting one’s site properly recognized by the search engines never occurred to me as something that requires intentional effort. That’s another area I need to give serious attention to.
    I do run a Bluehost-hosted blog and I fear if leaving a link here to the site might be considered offensive: the intention basically is to let you, if possible, take a look at it and offer some advice.
    Thanks once again for sharing such valuable insight. Starters hang on and draw oxygen from stuff like this more than you think.

    • Hi Jonathan.
      Thanks for the comment. I took a look at your site and would just say that you should emphasize your domain name/brand a lot more. It’s a cool name and people will remember it. Maybe head over to Fiverr and get some original graphics made?

  10. Your post comes at a perfect time, as I just launched my blog. I don’t have a “give away” on my landing page, but I’ll get on it. I really like your idea of making a comprehensive web of topics. I come from a news background, so this blogging world is new to me and I’m so grateful for your insight. 🙂

  11. georgeemmanuel Reply

    Retweet of twitter trend with blog link attached to it has also helped in my blogging career. Thanks for sharing this great tips.

  12. I Hosted One of my domains with Bluehost and is Quite amazing and Great , Thanks to the amazing Team

    • Machielle Thomas Reply

      Hi Sandra, we are happy to heat that you’ve had a great experience with us!

  13. Louise Jewell Reply

    Hey Ramsay,
    Again, a great article on your behalf! Your writing continues to be one of my primary go-to sources on all-things-blogging!
    Hey catch this … while reading this article, I followed your advice and got the Yoast plug-in activated ASAP!
    And yes, having only recently launched my work related website/blog a few months ago, I have yet to offer a free download for new subscribers. That’s next on my to-do-list!
    However, I did get that subscriber sign up plug-in going (again, following the advice on one of your blog’s posts!) and am slowly growing my subscriber list one person at a time.
    I am enjoying the learning curve experience … one day at a time!
    Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your knowledge with us all. So appreciated.
    BTW, I host my domain with Bluehost and am so thankful for their A+ service.

  14. Monal @ Electric Bikes Reply

    A foolproof plan is the must thing to get success as a blogger, as your plan keeps you on the right track and leads you where you want to be. Keep sharing such useful stuff and i will visit the blog again in future. Thanks

  15. Fantastic idea and beautiful strategies I’ll keep it and implement as well to improve my blog , thanks for sharing !

  16. articularis Reply

    Great article as always Ramsay. I have just started re-blogging after a long hiatus. It was different 7 years ago, and I discovered new tips. Tq

  17. Sabin zara Reply

    The success of your content website depends on how much traffic you can attract to your site. Your website search engine rank for your keywords will dictate your success or failure. If you are “above the fold” on the first search engine results page for your keywords, you will probably succeed. If you are not “above the fold” on the first page of the search engine results, you are invisible and will probably fail. I like your post. I will share your blog to my friend.

  18. Adrienne - Sofia SEO Reply

    Content is still king. The key is finding the right balance between selecting content that can go viral, using just the right amount of appropriate keywords, and making your post visible to the right people. We have found a lot of success using this 3-prong method.

  19. Anthony Theodore Reply

    My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  20. Yahoo Tech Support Reply

    Tips are useful. I will; try to implement in my upcoming blogging website. If I get any issue so will you help me to sort out or I will take help from Yahoo Support.

  21. Not Taught At School Reply

    These tips are awesome 🙂
    Thank you for sharing these and i will be back to read more

  22. acer support Reply

    Hello Ramsay,
    These tips are so useful.It helps me for improving my blogging.keep sharing these type of information.

  23. Great share indeed. Your article is very elaborate and very well explained. I would definitely try these tips for my website.
    Thanks for sharing.

  24. Your tips are very insightful. I’m lucky to have discovered your site. I’m going to religiously follow all the tips here for my blog. Thanks once again, for sharing.

  25. Donna Balkaya Reply

    Thank you for this article it’s given me some great tips and motivation . Thank you

  26. Truly accommodating tips! As another blogger, these following stages are crucial for progress and develop. Gratitude for giving clear direction on what to zero in on. Eager to execute them!

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