HOW TO START A BLOG FROM SCRATCH IN 2018
did you ever think about Escaping from your 9-5 job and start building a blog from scratch in 2018 that will be your "Job" and offers you to have the Life you always wanted?
If your answer is YES then continue to read this guide, if not, then it's better to bail out!
Being a blogger can be really amazing because you can work at your own pace and having much more time to be with your family and friends. In fact you will not have a Boss to do all those things they normally do, instead, you will be your own boss!
I don't want to scare you right now 🙂 but you need to be organized and focused to accomplish all your daily tasks or else your monthly goals may not be achieved.
I am really happy that you have decided to move on and build your own blog! That's a huge step forward.
Why do i need a BLOG?
Until i now probably you never had a blog and are still alive and breathing right?
When people want to start a blog, they have a mindset to make money, real money, but unfortunately, many of them can't achieve that.
With a Blog fully optimized for a business, your own business can be a Making money machine in an almost passive mode (when your blog is an authority).
Many people that i know after a few months quit their 9-5 jobs and started working from home in their own blogs, doing what they love to do and above all they have much more time to be with the family, taking care of the house and be with friends more often.
Having a blog is a way to achieve a goal that probably you could not be able to with a 9-5 job.
How much money can you make?
This is a question that a lot of people asks me and i normally give the same answer.
It will depend entirely on the effort you put in your blog. If you put a lot of effort, let us say 6-8 hours per day it's completely different from someone who put 1 hour per day.
About the income you can take from it, you can make $0 up to $100k per month, it will depend a lot in the niche you have chosen, the effort you put on it and also the traffic and monetization techniques that you use.
But its quite normal to see after a few months many bloggers to reach $1000 per month only with advertising.
Here the sky is the limit!
Why do so many blogs fail to succeed?
Maybe you are starting to be afraid... but let me tell you to not be because i am going to guide you step by step in this entire process!
You know that normally 95% of the blogs that are created after 12 months they are closed due to lack of traffic, monetization, etc...
This happens because people just want to build a blog without trying to understand how to do it.
The thing is that we have tons of information everywhere about everything and people tend to get lost with so much information and also because they dont have the right model to follow since day 1.
1 - How TO Avoid Failure
Choose a niche or sub-niche that you like to write about. But before deciding in a niche you should research for a niche that has a good amount of traffic.
A good place to do a research is using Pinterest because Pinterest is also amazing to drive free traffic to your blog, i mean TONS of traffic!
So if you do go research you will identify niches that have a huge amount of traffic and you should only create articles about that niche because of that's another reason why so many people fail.
They start writing about every single topic (money, dogs, cats, dresses, beauty, etc, etc) and then when they need to start getting leads (email subscribers) its extremely difficult to target a qualified audience to subscribe to their list and to monetize is even worst!
So you need to focus exclusively on your Niche, if you have decided to have a blog about Dog training your content should be about it and also to very related topics.
2 - HOW TO Research and Choose your NICHE
As i have told you before the best and easiest way to research for a niche with tons of volume is using Pinterest, because if you do everything right then you can receive an avalanche of Free and qualified traffic from Pinterest.
The procedure to research for Niches in Pinterest is quite simple as you can see below:
1) Go to pinterest
2) Search for a niche (ex. dog training) , in the search bar you will see some suggestions that are based in search volume for those keywords. So this is great because if there is a good amount of traffic for your choose keyword then it is a good niche to be picked.
3) Search by Hashtag, for example, #dogtraining as you can see the hashtag exists and you can see there is a huge amount of pins related to dog training so its another proof this niche is a winner!
3 - HOW TO Choose My Domain Name
Now that you have chosen your Niche, you need to buy a domain, but maybe you don't even know what the heck is a domain???? I feel your struggle 🙂 many years ago i also did not know a crap about domains, hosting and all the things related to it.
Explaining in a very simple and straightforward way the domain is the name of the site, for example, if you see the site CNN.COM
The domain name is: CNN and the Extension is .COM
When you are choosing the Domain name for your blog, you need to be really careful about it.
Below is a list about what you should NOT do:
If a visitor does not memorize your Domain TLD probably will never come back. I know there are tons of cheap TLDs (some cost only a few cents per year) but in the long run will be a disaster.
There are many companies that sell domains and some will offer you a huge amount of offers, but the thing is there are no free lunches, so sooner or later you will be forced to pay all those bonuses, and when you have a domain you are going to keep it for a long time, so never think in short term.
I had really bad experiences with it, saved a few bucks and in the next year paid the triple for renewals 🙂
All my domain are registered there 🙂
4 - HOW TO Choose my WordPress Hosting
Now that you have chosen and purchased your domain, you need to subscribe to a hosting provider.
But before starting to talk about hosting ins and outs, i need to discuss with you why i am recommending you to BUY a domain, hosting, themes, plugins, etc... when there are so many FREE options all over the internet?
I know right now that you must think i am nuts recommending paid services when everything i am talking about exists and for free!
Let me explain...
When you buy anything for free there are always strings attached...
- Free Domains => there are free domains but they are not exactly Domains, but sub-domains like for example mysite.blogspot.com, its not a real domain but a sub-domain from Blogspot... its free but there are some issues attached to it (you don't own it, its a sub-domain and that's not good for branding, etc)
- Free Hosting => There is a lot of free hosting everywhere but the reality is they are slow, lack on features, and run with tons of ads so all your traffic is monetized by them and not by you or for you.
Below is a small list of the issues that you will find with FREE services like this:
At this point, i believe you understand why its MANDATORY to pay for services to have your blog running smoothly and working professionally.
let us move on...
About hosting, there are a lot of providers everywhere with tons of services. In the last 15 years of blogging, i have tested quite a lot of them and i can say that many are quite good as there are quite as many that are complete crap.
As an entrepreneur where your business resides entirely in your blog, this is your main asset and consequently, the infrastructure needs to be robust, secure, extremely reliable and should provide excellent support.
After testing a lot and suffering in the first person, i have switched all my websites to siteground because its extremely fast (SSD Drives), Very Secure and its a managed WordPress hosting
This means they will automatically upgrade WordPress installations, install hotfixes, etc) and above all, they have GURUs in support. About this GURU support, i will talk about them because this is my REAL experience with them..
So we had moved 8 sites to siteground awhile back and this one (bodydetoxtips4u.com) had a catastrophic problem...
At the time i was testing a few plugins and one of them has made the site to be completely inaccessible from WordPress admin console with a bunch of PHP errors...
I am not a programmer, i know a few things but this was beyond me and i tried to ask Siteground support to assist me because i had no clue how to solve this issue.
Take a look at how their support managed my problem.
As you can see, they put my website working again in 23 minutes!
They are not just called support GURU because it's a fancy name, its because they are really the best!
That's why i recommend Siteground to everyone who needs a top-notch hosting provider.
They are not that cheapest like others but on the other hand they deliver what others cannot.
Their pricing works like this, when you buy a hosting plan for them the first time you will get a 70% discount for whatever is the length of your hosting plan (1-3 years), BUT... there is always a but.
If you renew let's say after 1 year, you will pay their regular pricing and they don't provide any kind of discount coupons so you will have to pay the full price.
So my tip for you is to purchase the 3-year plan with a 70% discount if you can because you will have this HUGE discount only once!
You can check below the Pricing Plans:
If you are going to take the plunge i suggest to choose the GrowBig plan, because will have scalability in terms of adding more websites to your account, more storage and the recommended monthly traffic is nearly the triple.
I use that one to host 10 websites and its working quite fine.
HOW to Purchase your Siteground Hosting Plan:
1) Go to siteground site
2) Choose the WordPress hosting plan that will suit you best and click on "Get Started" button.
3) In the Secure form, you will have a couple of option to choose.
A) Choose if you want to get a New Hosting Account or Upgrade an Existing Account to a Higher Hosting Plan.
B) Choose if you want to Register a New Domain or if you already have a Domain.
C) Choose your Service: Startup / GrowBig / GoGeek
D) Choose the Hosting services plan (Startup, GrowBig or GoGeek)
E) Choose the location of your site (Chicago, Amsterdam, Singapore or London)
F) Choose your contract period (12, 24 or 36 months)
G) Extra services, here you can add SG Site Scanner add-on.
H) Payment information, here you can choose the payment source.
I) You need to accept with Siteground Terms and Services and then click in the "Pay" button.
After paying you will receive an email from Siteground welcoming you and also with all your account information (Cpanel login, Nameservers, etc)
5 - HOW TO install WordPress in my account
Before you can start blogging there just a few more steps... The next one is installing WordPress in your account CPANEL.
What the heck is Cpanel????
Cpanel is a dashboard where you administer everything in your account, but you must remember what i have told you about the plan you have subscribed in Managed by Siteground, this means they can do a bunch of tasks for you.
For instance, they can install WordPress and configure the Nameservers for you!
Isn't that great?
For WordPress, Beginners trust me this is a golden nugget!
So you just need to open a support ticket requesting to install WordPress for you!
Its quite simple, but I will tell you how to do it 🙂
1) Click on the "Support" Tab
2) Click on the Button in the Bottom to contact the support.
3) In Technical Assistance, choose "WordPress Assistance"
4) In the "Describe your request" box just write down something like: "Install WordPress" and click Continue
5) Then click in the "Contact us" button
6) Next click in "Post to Ticket" button
7) In the last step, you need to open a new support ticket, filling all the fields as above and make the description as "Install WordPress" and then click on the Submit button.
You should receive an update in 5-10 minutes.
6 - HOW TO choose and Install a WordPress Theme
When we are talking about WordPress themes there is always who does not want to pay for a Premium WordPress theme, I understand them and its a possible option.
But let me share with you my view about it...
If you want to have a presence online and also want to be known as a potential authority in your field of expertise, then there are things that you should not try to cut costs on.
A theme is one of them and why?
Because normally a free theme has basic features without any scalability. A Free theme will need to add a bunch of plugins to provide features the theme don't have... that will bring you a great problem.
Your website loading time... You know, the number of plugins installed is directly related to the loading time of the site, even though there are plugins that increase the loading time a lot.
You also need to know that if a site loads higher then 2 seconds visitors will leave!
If you don't believe me to check the graphic below.
Then there is another reason, probably the reason that will convince you to buy a premium theme 🙂
It's about Support!
Who does not make any money from a theme, typically will not provide a great level of support (if any), its common to have a support forum or if the theme is well known there is a community that may support the theme...
But the developer can at any time stop supporting the theme and that will be a huge step back for you and your business.
For a question of $50-$100, you will put your entire business at stake.
That's why I never ever will recommend using a Free theme for a Blog business.
Let's move on...
To me the best WordPress theme that is extremely flexible and with a great level of customization and is one of the fastest WordPress themes I ever saw its the Astra Theme
You can start with the ASTRA free theme that has great features for a free theme or if you prefer to have a much more flexible theme, to upgrade to the PRO version.
The PRO version offers the following additional features compared with the Free version.
As you can see, the PRO version offers a huge amount of additional features. In fact, we use Astra PRO in Bodydetoxtips4u.com and are not using the full potential of this theme.
To me, one of the best things it has and differentiates for almost all the other themes I have seen is about "custom layouts" where you can put a piece of anything anywhere in the site.
We have 2 Optin boxes to capture new leads targeting specific categories (in our case Detox and Yoga categories), that way we can offer to the target public a very specific free offer in exchange for an email 🙂
With this theme the sky is the limit!
About Pricing, ASTRA PRO has a normal price of $59 per year since they offer an amazing support, in some cases, you can also ask to do some minor customization for free 🙂
But if you don't want to pay a yearly license you have the option to purchase a lifetime license paid once.
Below are the available options:
After purchasing the Astra Theme the installation is quite simple 🙂
First, you need to login to your Astra account (Astra theme will send you a welcome email and also the login information so you can download the Theme installation file.)
Now let us install the WordPress theme in your WordPress Blog:
1) Login to Astra theme site
2) click on "my account" and choose "downloads"
3) Login in Downloads area using the credentials that were provided by email.
4) You need to download "Astra Theme" and "Astra Pro Add-on Plugin"
5) After downloading the files you need to access your WordPress admin console to install the theme.
Typically the URL should be yourdomain.com/wp-admin and you need to log in (with the credentials that your hosting provider sent you by email or support ticket)
6) In the WordPress dashboard go to Appearance and then choose "themes"
7) Click on the "Upload Theme" button
8) First, you need to choose the Astra Theme file that should be in ZIP format. Secondly, you should click on the "Install Now" button.
Afterward, the Astra Theme is Installed.
9) To enable the PRO version of the Astra theme you need to install the Astra Pro addon Plugin
To do so you need to go to the WordPress Dashboard and choose "Plugins" and then "Add New"
10) Click on the "Upload Plugin" button
11) To install the plugin, the procedure is the same as the theme (step 8), you just need to choose the Astra Pro Addon Plugin file in Zip format and then click "Install Now".
12) For last you just need to click on the "Activate" button so the plugin can be activated.
Now you have your Theme and the Plugin installed.
In order to customize your site and use the entire potential that Astra Theme can offer you.
7 - HOW TO choose the Best Plugins for my Blog?
Now that you have chosen your WordPress theme, you need to pick some of the best plugins to provide amazing functionalities to your blog.
In this chapter, I am going to discuss something that is really important for the success of your blog.
I am talking about WordPress plugins, it may seem a very technical name but its something that you need to understand what are they.
WordPress Plugins are small programs that will solve specific issues or lack of features that your theme or WordPress core has.
Typically each plugin will increase the functionalities of your WordPress blog.
I have written this chapter to give you the list of the best plugins that you need to use in order to have your blog fully optimized.
Before starting I suggest that you get a cup of coffee or tea because this chapter is quite long.
1 - Thrive Architect
I believe the first plugin that I recommend it is the best tool to create posts and Pages in WordPress.
Its called a content builder that exists to create posts and pages in a much simpler way than with WordPress native editor.
With thrive architect you can do literally everything.
let´s take a look at some examples:
The entire builder works with module blocks where you just need to drag and drop to anywhere in the post or page and can work inside that block.
The foundation block will give you access to:
- Background Sections
- Content Boxes
- Templates and Symbols
Then you will have the Building blocks that will have everything that you need to create your content.
As you can see from the list below.
I am using Thrive architect since day one and to me is the best content builder ever made!
The price is $67 for the lifetime license for 1 site or $19 per month (paid annually) to have access to the thrive membership that will include all the themes and plugins the company has to sell.
2 - JetPack (Traffic Status)
This is for me the best Traffic Status Plugin because it can provide you how much traffic globally your website is getting and goes deeper where you can identify how much traffic every post received and where the traffic comes from (traffic sources).
To have this level of information Jetpack i100% Free but if you need more features they have paid plan.
Honestly, i only use Jetpack for traffic status so i won't recommend using for much more then that.
You can download jetpack HERE
3 - Akismet (anti-spam)
Akismet is a basic anti-spam plugin that analyzes your blog post comments and filters all the comments spam.
All the spam is moved to the spam folder so you can review it. This plugin is awesome because will save you a lot of time, and also will keep your blog 100% clean and safe for the visitor.
The best part of it: its FREE
You can get Akismet HERE
4 - YOAST SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
YOAST SEO iis the best SEO plugin for WordPress period!
This plugin I recommend you 100% because it will help you to optimize your content for basic Search Engines (like google, yahoo, etc).
Optimizing your SEO is what help you to get searchable traffic from Google (Organic traffic)
Yoast SEO will provide you a score to your post or page regarding how good you used target keywords, external and internal links, readability, meta descriptions, image tags and many other factors that affect your page ranking with search engines like Google or Yahoo.
Additionally, it helps you to add the open graph tags required to verify or sit with Pinterest and also apply for rich pins (where we talk in detail in the Traffic generation guide)
Yoast SEO has a free and paid version (with premium features). Personally, I don't find the paid version has enough features to justify the price tag. But you can make your own judgment about it.
5 - WPDISCUZ & THRIVE COMMENTS
The 5th plugin is not a single plugin but two different alternatives for commenting purposes.
The First one is wpDiscuZ that integrates with Discus commenting platform. Its a good platform for beginners, even though you need to follow some steps to implement Wpdiscuz in your WordPress blog.
Its much cleaner then WordPress native commenting that is quite basic.
wpDiscuZ has a free version and what they call an "Add-on package" with 19 extra modules that will provide a lot of nice features for $99.
The other solution is a much more robust solution from Thrive Themes and is called Thrive Comments, it's a premium solution that will cost $39 for a single site (lifetime license in terms of future updates and new versions + 1 Year of support).
I use thrive comments since day 1 because its a best if you want them to engage with your audience and convert commenters in subscribers or even clients!
Instead of writing here all the features thrive comments has to offer I will post below all the features from their site.
If you can afford to purchase this plugin, then i highly recommend that you do so.
6 - Social Warfare
To be honest with you, i am completely overwhelmed with the functionalities of Social Warfare. It provides you with a couple of amazing things.
First of all, it offers you the ability to create social sharing buttons to your blog or website. That's just the beginning 🙂 The buttons can remain "Sticky" so they can follow you down the page.
Then we have customizations, so all the sites don't have the same type of buttons, social Warfare allows you to customize the look of them to match your branding, neat right?
Another great stuff about Social Warfare is that you can upload "hidden" images for Pinterest and Facebook, that way when someone shares your blog post, it has customized, fully sized optimized image that you have created, rather than a selected image from the existing blog post.
The is cool because if you don't want to have vertical images in your site or blog, but still want to use because vertical images in Pinterest are 3x more efficient then horizontal ones. Then Social Warfare can "hide" them!
For last but not least, you also have the possibility to write down your own tweets and Pinterest descriptions, with are attached to your blog post anytime someone shares them using this plugin.
These guys thought about every single thing!
I use this plugin since the first day bodydetoxtips4u.com went live!
7 - Essential Grid
Normally if you take your blog seriously you will need to set up free offers (ex. ebooks, cheat sheets, worksheets and much more freebies to your audience.)
I am fascinated with this plugin because it makes your life extremely simple to add an interactive gallery to your site.
The best part?
You don't need to code anything! I use Essential Grid to offer my Free resource library of ebooks and worksheets to my subscribers.
Below you have an example of a gallery that I have created to another website I have.
Here I show you just a few images in my resource library but you can add as much as you want ... ahhh and you can add videos if you like also 🙂
This amazing plugin also allows you to link each image to a file, so i can display my entire resource list in a gallery format and when the subscriber hovers over it, they can download it.
It is really an amazing plugin!
Below you have a tutorial created by Melyssa Griffin about how to create a resource library using this amazing plugin.
Its a step by step guide showing you everything you need know.
8 - Imagify
One of the biggest concerns of a website is the loading speed and one of the major causes of is the image sizes used in your posts or even in the featured images used in a post.
For example, if you have an image with a 4k resolution used in a post it will take a lot of time to load.... and you will lose visitors right away.
So the solution to it is to use a plugin to optimize the size of your blog images.
I am using for more than a year a plugin called Imagify.
Imagify will help you to resize your images and compress them in 3 different levels (Normal, Aggressive and Ultra).
This plugin will automatically do all the hard work while you are creating content 🙂
You can have a free account with 25MB for testing the service and then if you like it you can subscribe to a monthly plan or single purchase with a specific amount of storage.
You can also test the service HERE without the need to create an account.
I suggest to give it a try, at least to test their service and then decide by yourself.
9 - WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is an excellent plugin for your WordPress blog or site with the main goal to increase speed and page performance through a different number of methods, that will make your blog to reduce the download times using great features like CDN (Content Delivery Networks), browser caching and much more features available.
So let me tell you this, the key benefits and features of caching plugins are really very technical and go beyond the knowledge of many of you, as it was with me also.
So you will need to trust me on this one ok!
WP Super Cache is one of the best free caching plugins ever made and that's why its so highly rated in WordPress,org directory.
The configuration may be quite overwhelming but I have a good step by step guide made by one of the best SEO Gurus so you can follow it with confidence.
Download the guide HERE
10 - Thrive Leads
Probably you have listened to this before... "The money is on the LIST"
What list are we talking about?
Your e-mail list!
Now the thing is, how should you "capture" visitors to your list?
That one it´s quite easy, with opt-in forms on your website.
But how can you achieve that?
Well with a great Lead generation plugin.
The Plugin i use in ALL my websites is Thrive Leads and its considered by marketing gurus as the best lead generation plugin for WordPress.
I am not a lead generation expert or guru ehehe but i know quite a lot about thrive leads and how good the plugin is.
Thrive leads is very easy to use and can bring me an average of 3% conversions from visitors to subscribers...
For every 100 visitors, 3 are converted into subscribers for my niche (Health and Fitness) and with Pinterest traffic.
Below is an optin i have created with thrive leads without any coding:
As you can see it can create a very clean opt-in form that can be 100% customized with your brand and your site background.
You also have a great dashboard where you can control everything inside out as you can see in the picture below:
You also have a very detailed reporting capability.
So you can instantly identify what are the opt-in forms converting better and what are the referer URL so you can instantly identify what was the exact form used (when you have multiple variations).
Thrive Leads have a huge amount of features that i cannot explain one by one in this guide but you can take a look HERE.
This is a Premium Plugin that costs $67 for a lifetime license.
If you really want to get subscribers since day 1, this is the plugin that you should have... ahh and it integrates quite well with Astra Theme.
So you don't get lost with this plugin, i have here a collection of videos from thrive themes staff about thrive leads, so you can configure every single feature of this amazing plugin step by step.
8 - HOW TO Install WordPress Plugins?
There are two different ways to install WordPress plugins:
METHOD 1: Using the search box feature, where you just need to search the plugin by keyword.
In this case, you will search in the WordPress.org inventory, where you will have access to all the free versions of the plugin (in some cases if you need extra features you will need to upgrade the plugin to a paid plan)
1) In the WordPress dashboard go to the "plugin" option and then choose "Add New"
2) In the Search Box insert the name of the plugin you want to install.
1) In this case, i have chosen the keyword "Pinterest" and the plugin i wanted is "WPSSO Core - Advanced Open Graph & Schema Meta tags for Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, SEO and more" As you can see in the image below.
2) Click on "Install Now" button, so the plugin can be downloaded and installed in your WordPress blog.
1) To finalize the installation and have the plugin activated and ready to be used you just need to click on the "Activate" Button and you are done!
METHOD 2: This method is used normally for paid plugins because they are not available in the WordPress.org inventory. So you will need to upload the file.
1) In the WordPress dashboard go to the "plugin" option and then choose "Add New"
2) Click on "Upload plugin" button.
1) choose the plugin file in ZIP format (if the file is not in zip format will not install).
2) Click on "Install Now" Button so the file is uploaded and installed.
3) After being installed, click on the "Activate" to activate the plugin.
By now you should be able to install any of the plugins i have recommended as well any other you may have.
9 - HOW TO Understand the WordPress Dashboard
WordPress dashboard may seem daunting at the start but after you work with it for a while, will be quite easy to follow.
Below you have a picture of your WordPress Dashboard with the most important sections of the dashboard.
So you can understand the dashboard better i will provide a small description of the 9 most important sections of your dashboard as follows:
1) Posts - This is one of the most important sections of your WP dashboard because its where almost all the content you create relies on.
Here you can create, edit or delete a new post and also its where you can create, edit or modify post categories.
A post is an Article that is published in a dynamic way, normally its associated to a category, for example, "weight loss". So if you write a post associated with the category "Weight Loss" it will show in the blog feed always associated with that category.
2) Media - Is the section where you have centralized all your media library, that can be in the form of text, audio or video, so you can use in your Posts or Pages.
3) Pages - Are Static pages that are not associated with categories, that way they are not dynamic. A good example is sales pages, legal pages, etc.
4) Comments - This is where you manage all the comments in your posts, you can review the comments, delete, edit and publish them.
5) Appearence - This is also a very important section of your dashboard because it's here where all the appearance aspects of your blog occur.
Here you can:
6) Plugins - This is another extremely important section of your WP Dashboard, is where you can Install, Disable and Delete the Plugins.
7) Users - Here is where you manage your website users, you can create, edit, delete and assign roles to your WordPress blog or site users.
8) Tools - Here you will have some tools that will be shown based on the plugins you have installed. Many plugins will add extra tools.
9) Settings - Here you will have a group of global settings to the site regarding to:
You might have additional options in the settings based on the Plugins that you have installed.
10 - HOW TO Create a Page in WordPress
Its quite easy to create a page, follow my lead...
1) Go to the Pages section in WP Dashboard.
2) Choose to add new.
3) Click on "Add New" button
4) Here you need to follow this workflow:
1) Add a page title.
2) You can write the content of the page in the basic WordPress editor (every change you do you need to click in the preview to check what you have done.
3) If you have Thrive Architect page builder you need to click in "Launch Thrive Architect" button.
4) While you are writing and editing the page you should save as draft so none can see your page.
5) After the page is fully created and is ready to be shown to the world then you just need to click on "Publish" button.
If you use Thrive Architect, will be much easier to work and also much more flexible because you have a lot of content block elements for specific needs.
As you can see in the image below.
After the page has been created and in order to be shown you need to add the specific page to the menu.
I will show you how to do it a few steps ahead.
11 - HOW TO Create your First Post
To create a post is similar to create a page with a few particularities as you will find out right now.
1) Add the title name of the post.
2) Write the post in the WordPress Basic Editor (if you don't have Thrive Architect plugin)
3) Click on "Launch Thrive Architect" to use Thrive Architect Content Builder.
4) Choose a category for your post, since you are starting with the first post you need to create a new category.
Click on + Add New Category
5) Choose the category name and click on Add New Category button
6) You should add Tags to your post, since its good for Search Engine Optimization and also to your post be found.
You should research the best keywords that you should use. You can use Pinterest to do some research (as explained in chapter 2)
7) This is about the Yoast SEO plugin options in the post. You should add the main keyword to be used in the post for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The Keyword that you choose in this field should be previous researched and use at least 0.3% to 0.5% of the number of words in your article.
For example, if your article has 1000 words and you want to use the keyword 0.5% then you need to use it 5 times with a good content structure.
Now we have reached the Social Warfare plugin options (if you don't have the Social Warfare PRO version some of the options will not be shown.)
8) You should add a social media image to be used on Facebook and Twitter, the recommended size is 1200 x 628 pixels.
9) Add a Social Media Title (only 60 characters are available)
10) Add a Social Media Description
11) Add a Pinterest image with the size of 735 x 1102 (optimized size)
12) Write a custom Tweet (great if you have a good tweeter presence)
13) Add a Pinterest description.
14) While you are creating your content you should save as draft since the content is not yet ready to be published.
15) After the content has been fully written and reviewed then its ready to be published.
To publish you just need to click in the "Publish" button
12 - HOW TO Create a Menu
Now i am going to explain how to create a menu, it may be confusing but i believe in the end you will understand clearly.
So you can have a menu being shown on your site you will need to create a menu inside wordpress with content or else the menu will not be shown.
For example, if you have a category A and create a menu for that category but don't have any post associated with that category then that menu will not be shown.
I had a lot of issues to understand it, so let me tell you upfront.
To create a menu is quite simple.
Let me show you.
1) In the WP Dashboard select Appearance and then Menus
2) Click on Create a new menu link.
3) First, give a name to the Menu and then click on the Create Menu button
4) Choose what do you want to add to the menu (can be pages, posts, categories, links, etc...)
5) In Astra Theme you can add menus to multiple placements (this will not happen in many themes).
You will need to choose to wish of the available menu placements this menu will be added.
6) After all the items have been added to the menu and you are ready to save, click on Save Menu button
13 - HOW TO View your site
To view your site from the Dashboard is quite simple.
In the top left corner click on your site name and a sub-option will be shown "Visit Site", click on it and you will be redirected to your site.
14 - HOW TO Add images to your Blog
You know that adding images to your blog posts increases the time spent in your posts and consequently increase the viewability of your ads also... that means more money coming in 🙂
I should inform you as a clarification that grabbing an image from any search engine normally is an illegal act. I mean you are stealing images from someone who has the copyright for those images.
If you get caught with it, your entire business will go down in no time, with big lawsuit fines.
So the solution to that problem is to use Stock Photo libraries, they allow you to use the images commercially in your business.
You have 2 different options about stock photos:
First, Free Stock Photo libraries, that is fine to use, but let me advise you if you want to stand out from the crowd either in your blog post or with Pinterest Marketing.
this can be a start but sooner then later you should switch to premium Stock Photo if you really want to provide a professional blogger image to your audience.
Secondly, Premium Stock Photo libraries. I only recommend the ones I use and they have very high quality, the flexibility of formats, colors, transparencies, and much more features...
And for editing all my images for my blog posts and also for Pinterest Marketing i use Canva (Free and Paid versions available)
15 - HOW TO Grow your List
For last but not least you need to think about growing your list of subscribers since day 1!
To do so you will need two things:
1) An Autoresponder
2) A WordPress Plugins to convert visitors in into subscribers.
The first one will be used to create the famous "List" and create sequences of emails, that is what many call it sales funnels.
Let me explain...
A sequence of emails is a couple of emails sent to a new subscriber since the day he subscribed your opt-in form. The Sequence can be with 2 emails or 100 emails, it's up to you to decide.
When do you send them the emails its also defined by you in the autoresponder, so as you can see this tool can help you a lot.
Personally, I use Mailerlite, because it offers up to 1000 subscribers for free with all the automation included in the paid plans and when you reach the 1000 subscribers the monthly pricing is less expensive than the entire competition out there.
If you ask me: Is Mailerlite is the best autoresponder?
To be honest with you, it's not the best but for who is starting out it's more then enough when you have a solid subscribers base and a reasonable income then you can judge by yourself if it's better to take the plunge to a more expensive solution.
I am still using mailerlite in Bodydetoxtips4u.com so it works quite well.
About the second one, in order to manage your lead capture boxes, also called Opt-in boxes, to me the best ever plugin that handles it amazingly is Thrives Leads.
If you want to create a bunch of different Opt-in boxes with a bunch of templates, funnels, sales pages, etc.. Thrive Leads is the only answer.
And the reporting is something really amazing!
16 - CONCLUSION
I tried to create one of the best Guides about how to create a WordPress Blog step by step in 2018, trying to cover all the aspects that a new blogger needs to start out in a structured way.
With this guide, you will be able to create a new blog from scratch not entirely for free because you will need to spend some money as you should do in any new business.
If you have any doubts or questions about the guide don't hesitate to comment below.
ahh, before leaving if you liked this Guide don't forget to share with whom wants to start blogging but don't know how.