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How To Start Your First Self Hosted WordPress Blog?

How To Start Your First Self Hosted WordPress Blog

People love to start a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Because it doesn’t have any limitations like other free blogging platforms.

Self-hosted WordPress blog means,

WordPress blog which is hosted in self-hosted server or your own server.

I don’t recommend newbie bloggers to start with self-hosted blogs,

Until they can invest money in a long term plan.

Because they have lot’s of expectations while starting a blog.

And due to these reasons, they do lots of blogging mistakes which results in quitting blogging,

Without making any single penny of money from their blog.

I am sharing here a complete process to start self-hosted WordPress blog from scratch.

And also, sharing my thoughts that why you should go with self-hosted WordPress blog instead of free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and Tumbler.com, etc.

Well, this article is just an overview of self-hosted WordPress blog.

And If you want to create a self-hosted WordPress blog,

Then just take a look at the below resources.

Free Blogging Platform Limitations

While using free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and Tumbler.com, etc,

There are many limitations set by the owners.

They have also different policies for their users which their users have to follow.

Now let’s talk about these limitations…

  • Few options when it comes to using various Plugins, Themes and Templates
  • You will not be the owner for the work and also They can delete your blog anytime without any prior notice in case they feel your blog is against their policies.
  • No option for database.
  • You don’t have the authority to sell your blog because they are the property of blog hosts and not yours.
  • Looks unprofessional and that’s why your blog readers will not take you much seriously.
  • You can’t create authors, contributors, Admin, etc and at the end, you will miss the guest blogging kind of activities on our blog.

The above are the few common limitations in free blogging platform.

There may be many more.

But I am not gonna discuss them.

Because this article is about self-hosted WordPress blog.

And also this article will gonna too long.

Because I am gonna discuss it in deep.

As already said, Self-hosted WordPress blog doesn’t have any limitations.

There are Plugins available almost for everything.

And also, you will get lots of professional-looking themes for free that you can use on your blog.

There are also available thousands of premium Plugins and Themes which can help your blog to be more advanced & unique than others.

The basic & main requirement to start a self-hosted WordPress blog is to have a good web hosting service that supports WordPress.

If you don’t have then don’t worry,

Here is the complete step by step process that will help you start a self-hosted WordPress blog from scratch.

Decide your WordPress Blog Niche

People always ignore this step while starting a blog but this should be the first step to start a blog.

Always choose that niche which you are passionate about and have some knowledge about it.

The niche which you are passionate about with some knowledge can go with a long term plan.

Because you can provide your readers with quality & valuable information which will make your readers love your blog in no time.

Also, you should select that niche which is profitable for you and to do that, You should do some research on it.

To do this type of research, you can use the Google keyword planner tool, SEMrush, and LongTailPro, etc.

Don’t go with Multi-niche at the starting.

People are highly motivated with the pro-bloggers blog and their earning and that’s why they start their blog with the same niche to earn money from their blog.

But think again before doing this,

They are authority blogs and already ranking on a search engine for that particular niche.

When you choose a niche which you are passionate about, you can produce lots of quality content.

And also, Your passion will help you to learn more & more about that niche.

Let me take an example of this blog.

I am passionate about Blogging, WordPress, Web Hosting, SEO, AdSense & Affiliate marketing related topics.

And that’s why I’m able to produce quality posts around these niche topics at regular intervals here on PresentBlogging.

I will recommend you to take approx 3 – 5 days to decide your niche.

Maybe it’s a too long time for you but one thing you are not gonna believe,

Pro-bloggers and business owners take approx 1 – 3 months to decide their niche.

While deciding their niche, They also make the strategy for their blog to go with a long term plan.

Choosing Domain Name for Your Blog

A domain name is how your website will be known online, no matter what type of website you’ll have.

It is the unique address of your site on the internet.

And it will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 – $15 for .com domain).

  • Users who know your domain technically referred to as a URL (uniform resource locator) can simply type it in their browser’s address bar, and be taken there.
  • Others will be able to discover your blog through search engines such as Google and Bing.

You should always choose a Domain name which reflects your blog niche.

It should be unique, short and eye catchy.

It should also have the potential to become a brand.

You may find any trouble while getting your desired blog domain name,

Because most of the domain names you try may already be owned by someone else.

But choose the relevant one.

Avoid numbers and hyphens,

Because they are often misunderstood.

People who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash.

If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.

There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential.

Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.

You can use the Google Adwords keyword tool or any other keyword tool to see the kind of terms people are actually using to find information of their interest.

Keywords list that you get from a keyword tool will give you lots of domain name ideas that you can go for.

Also, make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company.

It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!

Choose Best Web Host for Your WordPress Blog

In the past ten years of managing WordPress sites, I have used more than 20 WordPress shared hosting services, 3 managed web-hosting services, and 1 unmanaged VPS server.

  • I have had absolutely bad experiences with Godaddy and Fatcow hosting services and
  • I have had some great experiences with budget shared hosting companies such as Bluehost, Hostgator and SiteGround.

As a beginner, selecting the right hosting service is not only crucial.

But also a headache!

I’m sure for your money quality matters a great deal to you, as it does to me.

Since my area of expertise is WordPress,

I can point you toward some of the best WordPress hosting companies you can choose from, depending on your budget.

Bluehost is my top choice for shared hosting,

And I currently have many sites hosted on their server.

I first learned about Bluehost from an official WordPress hosting recommendation page,

And after trying their service, I found that they offer excellent value for the money.

They are not the cheapest hosting service,

But their plan currently costs only $2.95/month for the first year,

And with unlimited bandwidth and storage, this plan provides very good value for the money.

Bluehost also allows the customer to install multiple WordPress blogs on the same hosting package.

Another great feature of Bluehost is the fact that their servers are well optimized for running WordPress blogs.

And thus they allow you to install WordPress within 4-5 minutes.

With Bluehost you will get one free domain name with your hosting purchase, saving you money on your first domain name!

Install a Professional Theme in Your Blog

There are thousands of free professional looking WordPress themes that you can access from the Theme section from the WordPress dashboard.

Also, there are thousands of premium themes you can download from other trusted sites like Themeforest and MyThemeShop etc.

If you are planning to make money from AdSense then you can try this premium AdSense SEO optimized WordPress themes.

These all premium WordPress themes are tested by me and the conversion rate is so good.

Admania and Flex Mag works great for me.

It boosts my AdSense income of 300% in one month.

Also NewsMag, Top News, AdSense Theme by MyThemeShop and Max Mag works great for my friend’s blogs.

It has increased their AdSense earnings of 150% in one month.

The above themes are created specifically to get a higher CTR on your ads and make sure your content is generating the highest paying ads.

These themes come with strategic ad locations and lots of other subtle optimizations to make your website more suitable for displaying ads.

Install Plugins to Your WordPress Blog

There are thousands of free Plugins that you can install from the Plugin section from the WordPress dashboard.

Also, there are thousands of premium plugins you can download & install from other trusted sites according to your requirements.

Plugins help your WordPress blog to add various functionalities, features and to make it more search engine friendly.

Below is the quick list of WordPress plugins that I use on my WordPress blog.

The list is not in any particular order, and at the time of writing, these are the WordPress plugins which power my WordPress blog.

I will discuss these above plugins later in brief.

These are the recommended WordPress plugins from me and also from pro-bloggers.

Change Your permanent URL Structure

Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives.

A permalink is the web address used to link to your content.

The URL to each post should be permanent and never change — hence the name permalink.

The Settings Permalinks Screen allows you to choose your default permalink structure.

You can choose from common settings or create custom URL structures.

You must click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen for new settings to take effect.

By default, WordPress uses web URLs which have day and name in them.

However, WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives.

This can improve the aesthetics, usability, and forward-compatibility of your links.

When considering important aspects of the SEO of any site, the permalink plays a major role in overall optimization.

By default, WordPress offers permalinks like this:

https://www.presentblogging.com/?p=123

This type of permalink is not, search engine friendly,

So, most newbie bloggers just starting with WordPress fail to create a site that is optimizing WordPress permalinks for SEO.

Because they are using the default permalinks.

You can find various permalink settings under the WordPress dashboard > Settings > Permalink.

A few suggested permalink structures are:

  • Domain.com/Category/Post-name
  • Domain.com/Postname (/%postname%/)
  • Domain.com/postname/numeric-ID

My favorite and suggested permalink structure for a WordPress blog is Post Name.

Post name permalinks are short, sweet and have nothing extra which will affect your on- page SEO score.

Start Publishing Contents on Your WordPress Blog

As you have completely set up your WordPress blog, Now you need to write & publish the fresh, unique, relevant, quality article on your blog.

Keep in mind, Content is King.

Your article should be long enough and the minimum word count should be 700 words.

When done lots of research on article length that which works best on Google search page,

Then researchers found, the average word count of a Google first page result was 1,890 – 2450 words.

For better understanding, You can read my previous article – 10 Important Things to Write Perfect SEO Optimized Article.

While writing the article, You should try to add more relevant images & videos, If needed.

Also, try to link another blog article to give additional information to your blog readers.

Promoting Your WordPress Blog

If you’ve just started your WordPress blog and want everybody to read your content,

Then you should promote your blog on multiple online platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others.

Creating and launching an appealing and informative blog is not enough.

For better results, you need to get serious about its promotion.

Promoting your site is necessary because attaining traffic is important for a website.

A website’s purpose can only be served when it people come to the pages and spend a few minutes on browsing your site.

Monetizing Your WordPress Blog

There are two types of blog owners –

  • One who maintains a blog for the sole purpose of earning money,
  • Others who just want to share their random musing, ideas, and experiences.

It doesn’t matter which category of blogger you are,

Maintaining a blog requires some money…

You need to renew web hosting, and domain name annually.

Like me, Everyone wants to earn money from their blog and that’s where monetization comes to our mind.

There are many ways to monetize blog including Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

But I will recommend you to monetize your blog only if you are getting a sufficient amount of traffic to your blog.

Some of the monetization methods you can apply on your blog are Google Adsense, Selling direct advertisements, selling ads via BSA kind of networks, Using Amazon or ClickBank kind of affiliate websites or selling our own products, etc.

I hope, I have mentioned all the steps that are required to make our first WordPress blog a success.

Do you have something more to say which can help our self hosted WordPress blog even more successful, please share in the comments section below?

Written by Vishal Rana

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'PresentBlogging'. Grey Hat Hacker, Cyber Security Consultant, Information Security Researcher, Programmer, Developer, Social Engineer, Penetration Tester, Professional Blogger and SEO expert.

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