WordPress Blogging Tips to Help You Get Started

If you want to start a blog, WordPress is probably the easiest and most user-friendly application you can use. There are even simpler options -such as using a free online blogging service such as Blogger.com, but you don’t have much control over your site. With WordPress, you get the best of both worlds -an easy-to-understand platform and unlimited features that enable you to grow your blog and add bells and whistles as you learn.

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

First, I should point out that there are two WordPress. The same company runs them, but WordPress.com is a service that hosts your blog for you -like Blogger, Tumblr, and other third-party sites, often called Web 2.0 sites. There’s nothing wrong with creating your blog this way, but it does limit you in some ways.

You don’t own the blog when you use WordPress.com or any Web 2.0 site. You are simply renting space on it. This means that the host can delete your blog at any time. This happens if you are deemed in violation of any TOS (terms of service). It’s surprisingly easy to do this, even without meaning to.

For example, WordPress.com does not allow you to make your blog commercial in any way. So, this is not the way to go if you want to start a business or even make a few extra dollars every month.

Another reason why WordPress.com and other such sites are not ideal is that you will have a harder time with SEO and generate traffic than if you owned the blog. That’s because most of your article’s “link juice” will go to the host rather than your specific site. That’s why WordPress.org is what I’m going to focus on here. This is when you buy a domain, get hosting, and start your blog.

WordPress Blogging

Choosing a Domain and Web Host

Your domain is your URL -the address of your website or blog. If you haven’t chosen one yet, you must do this first. You will also need web hosting. You can combine these if you want. Many web hosting companies offer a free domain when you sign up for hosting.


When choosing a web hosting company, it’s good to pick one with a lot of WordPress experience. They are, however, a little more expensive than most web hosts. If you really want to be sure of this, you might go with WP Engine, a company that specializes in WordPress.

If you want to save money, you can still find a good web host to support your WordPress site. Bluehost, for example, is highly recommended for this. WordPress itself even recommends them.

I will make one suggestion: whatever web host you choose, try to pick a plan that gives you unlimited domains/websites. Sometimes, one host offers several different programs. The price difference is usually only a few dollars per month.

The point is that creating WordPress blogs can be addictive! You will probably not want to stop with one. So, you may as well have a hosting plan to create as many as you want.

When choosing a domain, try to keep it short and simple. If you want your blog to rank well in the search engines, choose some good keywords in the title. These are words that people will actually search for when looking for information.

If your domain is something like Bobsblog.com or Marysblog.com, you will have a personalized name but not one likely to help you with SEO (search engine optimization). This is of particular importance if you intend to sell something. If you only want a blog to share with your friends, family members, co-workers, etc., then it’s not important.

How to Install WordPress

Installing WordPress is quite easy with most major web hosting companies. You usually use a script installer such as Fantastico or Softaculous (your web host probably has one of these -it looks on your control panel). You can then install WordPress with a few clicks.

I don’t want to waste too much space here describing the steps of installing WordPress because you can find this at your web hosting company. There are also numerous articles and videos on this topic.

What Should You Blog About?

I’m assuming that you’ve already chosen your topic. After all, if you can’t even think of a topic, it’s not a good time to start a blog! This doesn’t seem like it should be a problem, but many people experience “blogger’s block” after writing a post or two.

Set Google Alerts -Google can send you emails that deliver news to your inbox based on keywords you choose. But even when you have a topic that interests you, it can be challenging to think of actual posts to write. For this, you may need to do some research for inspiration. Here are some ideas.

Amazon -Check out what books are popular. Also, check out their magazine section! Other Blogs -check out Google Blogs and see what others in your niche are writing about. You don’t want to copy them, but you may get ideas to put your spin on.

Offline Books and Magazines -Go to the library, bookstore, and magazine section at Barnes & Noble (or wherever magazines are sold). Read newspapers. These are all great sources of ideas.

Consistency is the Key to Success

If you have a blog, you have to write blog posts! Believe it or not, this is really the most important “secret” to having a successful blog. You hear a lot today about “quality content,” which is, of course, important.

If you populate your blog with auto-generated or spun content (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it -you’re better off!), you won’t get very far. Search engines are quick to recognize this as low-quality content. However, you do have to generate posts regularly.

Forget about the search engines for a moment. When a visitor sees that a blog hasn’t been updated in months, they are likely to conclude that it isn’t very active or relevant. You probably do the same when you are looking up new sites online.

Search engines also love frequently updated blogs, as they give you more content for them to index. As long as we’re on that topic, let’s say a few words about SEO.

The Vast Universe of WordPress Plugins

Once you become more familiar with WordPress, you may want to explore its more advanced features. This often means adding plugins, which are tools that you upload to your WordPress site to perform various functions.

Plugins can be used for security, SEO, creating forums or membership sites, placing contact forms on your site, or hundreds of other things. Plugins allow you to accomplish many tasks that would otherwise require advanced coding knowledge.

There are so many plugins for WordPress it would be impossible to keep up with them all. At first, you may not think you need any plugins -and this is true. Yet it’s so easy to use them that you may as well get your feet wet and install some basic ones.

You can access the plugin’s settings from your WordPress dashboard. Akismet -This anti-spam plugin is already included when you install WordPress, but you must get an API key to activate it. Instructions on how to do this are included.

Google XML Sitemaps -This makes indexing your posts and pages easy for Google and other search engines. W3 Total Cache is a great plugin to help your site load faster and operate more efficiently. It does this by caching posts, pages, databases, scripts, and other elements that take up space. BulletProof Security -Helps keep your site safe from attacks. This is important, as hackers often target WordPress sites.

WordPress SEO by Yoast -This makes optimizing your site for search engines much easier. The above is an abbreviated list of what you can do with plugins. If you have any particular needs or ideas for special features for your blog, chances are there’s a plugin that can help you achieve this.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.