How to Start a Blog in 2022

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How to Start a Blog

This post contains an affiliate link. Updated on 1/16/2022.

Have you thought about sharing your knowledge by deciding to start a blog? If you have but aren’t sure of how to proceed, I’ll show you how to start a blog.

Table of Contents

Why Do You Want to Start a Blog?

Do you want to start a blog so you can share your adventures in life? Or, do you have a wealth of knowledge about a topic that you’d like to share with others? Perhaps, you’re an educator at heart and have a knack for simple explanations.

Maybe, you’ve searched the world-wide-web to learn how to do something and had to sift through many sites until you found the answer. Whatever your reason is, it’s worth deciding to start a blog.

What Do You Want to Blog About?

Before you decide to start a blog, you’ll need to determine your interests. What is your expertise? Better yet, what topics would you like to explore? You have so many topics to choose from like writing about SEO, History, Money, Business, Education, Celebrity Gossip, DIY, Parenting, Entertainment, Law, Health, Technology, Green, and more.

With this in mind, you can choose a topic and break it down into categories. It’ll be a great way for you to start a blog. Most importantly, you’ll be in charge and decide on the structure of your blog. Therefore, you should jot down what you want to write about and create the framework for your blog.

The internet has valuable resources to assist you in researching topics for when you start a blog. Not to mention, many of them are free.

Some online tools to use in finding trending topics to use to start a blog include:

Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog

Before you start a blog, you must carefully choose the name for it.  Once you’ve decided on what you want to blog about, you need to decide on a name that will reflect your chosen niche. Keep in mind that if you think you may venture into other topics, you may want to select a more inclusive domain name.

Where Do You Get a Domain Name to Start a Blog?

You’re probably wondering where you’d go to obtain a domain name. You’ll need to purchase your domain name from a Domain name registrar. Many sites offer domain names at various price points and add-on options. While other sites offer domains, web hosting, email addresses, SSL certificates, website security, marketing, and website builders.

You’ll need to choose the domain extension for your domain name. The most commonly used one is .com. However, there’s .org, .net, .co, .blog, and others. Some people purchase multiple extensions of their domain name so others can’t purchase them. While this practice is optional, it allows you to stake a claim on your blog name. But it increases your costs because domain extensions’ prices vary.

Consider Your Options Before You Start a Blog

Make sure you compare several sites before selecting a Domain name registrar. Look at their pricing for add-ons and policies regarding domain name transfers to another registrar. Some of their add-ons may be cheaper at another site. For this reason, you should consider this before you start a blog.

7 of the Best Domain Name Registrars to Consider Before You Start a Blog:

  1. Domain.com
  2. Bluehost
  3. HostGator
  4. GoDaddy
  5. Namecheap
  6. DreamHost
  7. Shopify
How to Start a Blog
MattSkogen / Pixabay

Select a Web Host

A web host is a company who allocates space on a web server for a website to store its files.

After you’ve decided to start a blog and chose a domain name, it’s time to select a web host. When selecting a web host, you need to think about the cost, website space, bandwidth, uptime, email accounts, email storage, spam protection, website backup, and one-click WordPress installation.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck When You Start a Blog

Ideally, you should select a web host who offers unmetered website space, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL, and at least one email account with at least 100 MB of storage. You’ll want to add-on spam protection and website backup.

It’s best to keep your domain registrar and web host separate. Because if you need to switch to a different web hosting company in the future, it’ll be easier when you have a separate domain registrar.

A Recommended Option to Help Start a Blog

Bluehost is a great web hosting company to use when you’re deciding to start a blog. You can get their shared web hosting plan for 3.95 per month, which includes a free domain name, a free SSL, 1-Click WordPress Install, and 24/7 Support.

Self-hosted blogs like WordPress.org blogs hosted by Bluehost allow you to be in control of what you want to do with your blog. The free blogging platforms don’t allow the freedom to monetize your blog and can shut you down for any reason they may choose.

Start a Blog

Once you’ve purchased your domain name and selected your hosting company, it’s time to start a blog. You can pay someone to create it for you. However, if your funds are limited, WordPress has free themes to help you start a blog.

If you select Bluehost as your hosting company, their one-click WordPress installation makes creating your blog easier.

Set up Your Blog

I’ll walk you through setting up your blog with Bluehost. If you don’t purchase your domain name from Bluehost, make sure your domain name servers are pointed to Bluehost. Domain Name Servers (DNS) maintain a directory of domain names that are translated into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. They’re like the Yellowbook pages for internet addresses.

Bluehost provides you with choices of building your site with their in-house builder, WordPress, or options from the Mojo Marketplace. WordPress was used to build this blog.

You can use the Mojo Marketplace to install WordPress on your site.

1.  Log into your Bluehost account.

Log Into Bluehost Account

2. You’ll see cPanel at the top.

Bluehost CPanel

3. Click on cPanel.

How to Start a Blog

4. Click on Install WordPress.

Then, click Install. First, enter your domain name. Second, you can enter a subfolder like blog in the directory field or leave it blank if you want your site’s main page to be your blog.

Select Domain for Installation

Third, you can edit your email address, username, and password for your WordPress installation by clicking advanced options. Afterward, read through the license and service agreements, check the box, and click Install Now.

WordPress Admin

This is where you’ll go to create and maintain your blog.

At the Top to the Left

You should see My Sites, Bluehost, or Your Hosting Provider’s Name, Dashboard, and Home.

Welcome to WordPress

Updates

You’ll find any WordPress updates and the status on your plugins and themes’ updates in this section.

WordPress Updates

Posts

This is where you’ll find all posts, add new posts, categories for your posts, and the tags you used in your posts.

WordPress Admin Posts

Media

Contains the library of all media found on your blog. Plus, it’s where you can add new media. Media items include images, audio, video, and other documents.

Media

Pages

Has all your blog’s pages and where you can add pages.

Pages

Comments

Contains all the comments on your blog.

Comments

Appearance

  • Has Themes, Customize, Widgets, Menus, Header, and Editor. You’ll get more detail about Themes, Customize, Widgets, Menus, and the Header in the following sections.
  • The Theme Editor section is where you make direct edits to your theme. You’re advised not to edit your theme directly. You should use the Additional CSS section or make a child theme.

Appearance

Plugins

Contains installed plugins, where you can add plugins, and the editor for plugins. Editing plugins directly aren’t advised.

Plugins

Users

Lists all users, allows you to add users, and contains your profile. Your users are defined as Subscribers, Contributors, Authors, Editors, or the Administrator. You’re the Administrator.

You can add users to your blog and change your profile.

Users

Tools

Shows your available tools. It allows you to import and export tools. Additionally, you can export and erase personal data from your blog.

Tools

Settings

Includes General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Media, Permalinks, and Privacy.

General

Contains your blog name, tagline, WordPress address, blog address, email address, blog language, time zone, blog date format, blog time format, and what day you want your blog week to start.

Writing

Has the settings for your default post category, default post format, the ability to post via email, and Update Services.

Reading

This shows what your homepage displays, how many posts your blog pages show, how many items your syndication feeds have, whether to show full text or summary of each article and search engine visibility.

Discussion

Deals with settings involving comments.

Media

Shows the maximum dimensions for images added to the Media Library and uploading files.

Permalinks

Involve formatting the blog post links and options regarding your categories and tags. It’s important to select the right structure when initially setting up your blog.

If you start a blog with categories, follow these instructions for Permalinks. Or if you start a blog and want to use categories as “multiple blogs”, follow these instructions for Permalinks.

Changing your permalink structure on an established blog may cause you to lose your existing SEO ranking and social media share count.

The Privacy section

About your Privacy Policy page. You can edit the draft page or create a new one.

Settings

Permalinks

Your URLs should be readable and allow the user to guess what they’ll see on the page. Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) between words. Make them descriptive and match the page’s primary keyword. Also, use lowercase letters and keep them as short as possible while still describing the contents of the page.

Go to WordPress Admin>Settings>Permalinks.

WordPress Admin Settings Permalinks

Make sure you select the Post name option. Your blog post title will be the post name in the URL. Save Changes.

How to Start a Blog Permalink Post name option

Choose a WordPress Theme for Your Blog

After deciding to start a blog, you can choose a free or premium WordPress theme. Then you can install the theme by using the WordPress Admin Theme Search.

Log in to the WordPress Admin area. Then, go to Appearance and you’ll see Themes.

WordPress Admin>Appearance>Themes

Appearance Themes Customize

Click on Themes. It automatically shows a theme installed. You can choose it or click on Add New to look at other themes.

Appearance Themes Pre-Installed

If you click on Add New, you should come to a page with Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites, and a Feature Filter.  You’ll have the option to search themes.

Appearance Themes Add New

Look through the themes. You’ll want a theme that looks good without compromising usability and simplicity. Also, it should be mobile-friendly, easy to navigate and look good on different browsers. Most importantly, select a theme with good documentation and support options.

Consider Support Options

The downside of using a free WordPress theme is that there’s no guaranteed support. If you mess up, you’ll have to either figure it out yourself or hire someone to fix it for you. However, sometimes you can do an internet search or go to WordPress Support for a possible resolution of your issue.

Take Note of Customizations

If you select a theme and later don’t like it, you can always change it. Beware that some of the customizations you made to your prior theme may not transfer over. As a result, you’ll have to customize the new theme. Anytime you make customizations to your theme, keep a record of it so you can refer to it in case it doesn’t transfer over to your new theme.

Look at the Details

When you find a theme that interests you, look at the details and preview it. Also, check the ratings. If you like the theme, then click on the Install Now button. After you install the theme, you’ll need to activate it and follow any additional configuration instructions.

Appearance Themes Add New Details and Preview

Customize Your WordPress Theme

Now, you’re ready to customize your theme. First, you’ll go to Appearance in the WordPress Admin area. Second, you’ll see Themes, Customize, Widgets, Menus, Header, and Editor. Then you’ll click on Customize.

WordPress Admin>Appearance>Customize

Appearance Themes Customize

It’ll have the name of your website under You are customizing and the name of the Active theme. Your chosen theme may have different customizing options. Each option will give you a description.

Appearance Themes Customize You are customizing

Site Identity

This where you put your logo, blog’s name, tagline if you have one, and blog icon (site icon).

Your chosen theme will suggest the best dimensions for your logo. If you’re skilled at graphic design, you can create your logo using graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator or for free using Canva‘s free elements and software.  Canva has premium elements priced at $1.

You’ll find some websites that offer free logo creation however they’ll charge you to download the logo. Fiverr has different levels of pricing for logo design. Make sure you’re buying the right to own the logo for commercial purposes. See this list of 43 Logo Design Services for other recommended logo design companies.

The Site icon is the image you’ll see in browser tabs, bookmark bars, and within WordPress mobile apps. It should be square and at least 512×512 pixels.

Appearance Themes Customize Site Identity

Colors & Dark Mode

Designate the background color of your blog. White is usually the most pleasing background color. In this section, you’ll have a color scheme and header text color.

This theme has an option for Dark Mode. When enabled, it gives visitors to your site the option of a dark background with light text.

Appearance Themes Colors and Dark Mode

Background Image

If you want a background image, here’s where you would insert it.

Appearance Themes Background Image

Menus

Most templates have two Menus. This theme has a Primary and Secondary menu. It gives you an option to create a new menu and display the menu in two locations.

Appearance Themes Menus

Widgets

The Widgets section is where you can add, arrange, or remove content from the footer. This theme includes three starter widgets: Search, Recent Posts, and Recent Comments.

Appearance Themes Widgets

When you click on Add a Widget, it shows the available widgets.

Appearance Themes Add a Widget

Homepage Settings

Gives you the choice of the classic blog setting with posts in reverse chronological order or a fixed/static page. This blog has a static homepage. To create a static homepage, you’ll need to create two pages: one will be the homepage while the other page will be where your blog posts will be located.

Appearance Themes Homepage Settings

Excerpt Settings

Some themes don’t have this setting. However, if yours does, it allows you to choose how much text to show from your post on the Archive Pages of your blog. The automatically generated Archive Pages show a list of posts under a specific post type, category, or tag.

Appearance Themes Excerpt Settings

Additional CSS

This is where you can add custom code to your blog without editing any theme files.

Appearance Themes Additional CSS

Add Plugins to Your Blog

Plugins are bits of code that adds new functionality or extends existing functionality on your blog. They’re important additions to consider when you start a blog.

The plugin Akismet Anti-Spam comes installed with WordPress. All you’ll have to do is click Activate. Other popular plugins to add are WPForms Jetpack – WP Security, Backup, Speed, & Growth, Yoast SEO, and W3 Total Cache.

  • Akismet Anti-Spam is a spam-filtering service.
  • WPForms primarily allows you to create forms to collect information
  • Jetpack  – WP Security, Backup, Speed, & Growth offers design, marketing, and security. This plugin has a Cookies & Consent Banner widget that displays a banner for EU Cookie Law and GDPR compliance.
  • Yoast SEO provides you with SEO help without hiring an SEO expert.
  • W3 Total Cache improves the SEO of your blog and user experience by increasing website performance and reducing download times.

Other plugins to consider adding when you start a blog:

To add plugins, you’ll go to Plugins in WordPress Admin and click Add New.

Appearance Plugins Add New

Before installing a plugin, make sure it’s compatible with your version of WordPress. The compatibility appears underneath the plugin to the right of the plugin’s reviews.

Plugins Add New

I’ve used most of the plugins mentioned without incurring any issues. Usually, I’m alerted about any plugin updates in the WordPress Admin area. I click on the updates to keep my blog running smoothly. Plus, I only add plugins I consider necessary for my blog because too many plugins can slow down your blog.

Since writing is what your blog consists of, you’ll need the ability to create error-proof pages and posts. The post editor cannot spellcheck. The AI-powered writing assistant, Grammarly, helps you avoid grammar and spelling mistakes. It checks as you write and highlights the errors, so you can fix them.

Grammarly doesn’t come as a WordPress plugin but comes as a free browser extension for all major web browsers and works across all websites. When installed, you’ll see their icon How to Start a Blog Grammarly Icon.

Create Pages for Your Blog

The common pages to add to your blog is About, Contact, Posts, Disclosure Policy, Privacy Policy (a draft policy page is included in the Pages section), Terms of Service, and DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Policy. You’ll use this section if you want to make a static homepage. To make a static homepage, follow these instructions.

Also, you’ll need to go to WordPress Admin>Settings>Reading to make sure your static homepage shows when you’re finished making it.

WordPress Admin Settings Reading

Then under Reading Settings, you’ll select A static page (select below)Save Changes.

Settings Reading Settings

Now, let’s make your first page.

In the WordPress Admin area, you’ll go down to Pages and click on Add  New.

WordPress Admin>Pages>Add New

WordPress Admin Pages Add New

Since this is your first time adding a page, you’ll see a Welcome to the block editor pop-up. You add content to the page in blocks. The pop-up gives you details about the Block Editor. Each block has its own set of controls and all the blocks live in a block library. To learn more about the block editor, click here.

Pages Add New Welcome to the block editor

After going through the pop-up and clicking Get Started, you’ll see the top of the first block, which will be the title of your page.

Top Toolbar

Clicking on the WordPress logo How to Start a Blog WordPress logo takes you to WordPress Admin.

WordPress Admin Pages
How to Start a Blog Add Block Icon

adds a new block and you can get additional information here.

Clicking on How to Start a Blog Top Modes changes modes.

Pages Top Bar Modes
Undo
Redo

Clicking on How to Start a Blog Top Toolbar Details gives the details of the page.

How to Start a Blog Clicked on Gives Details of the Page
How to Start a Blog Top Toolbar Outline Icon

 is the Outline of the page. It shows the List View of the blocks used.

Top Toolbar Clicked Outline

Once you enter text in the blocks, you’ll see How to Start a Blog Top Toolbar Save Draft in the upper right-hand corner.

Clicking on How to Start a Blog Top Toolbar Preview Icon gives the options of seeing how the page looks on a Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile or you can preview the page in a new tab.

Top Toolbar Clicked Preview

When you click How to Start a Blog Top Toolbar Publish Icon , it’ll confirm if you’re ready to publish and the visibility of the page. Or you can cancel.

Pages Top Bar Clicked Publish

How to Start a Blog Settings Icon are the settings and discussed in further detail here.

Clicking on How to Start a Blog Options Icon gives you options. You can learn more about it here.

You can use the mouse to move below the title or press the tab key on your keyboard to move down and start writing on the next block, which is the paragraph block.

Pages Add New Add Title

If you want to add something different, then click on the add new block button on the top left corner of the editor or below an existing block.

Pages Add New Block Button

Clicking on the How to Start a Blog Add Block Icon button will show the add block menu with a search bar on top and commonly used blocks. Click on tabs to browse block categories or type in the keyword to search for a block.

Pages Add New Click Add a New Block

Or you can use a keyboard shortcut by typing / to search and add a block.

Pages Add New Keyboard Shortcut to Add New Block

When you start typing in a block, you’ll notice that it comes with its toolbar which appears on top of the block. The buttons change depending on the type of block that you’re editing.

Title Block

Pages Paragraph Block Toolbar

Each block can also have its block settings in the right column of the edit screen. To the right at the top, you see Preview, Publish, How to Start a Blog Settings Iconand  How to Start a Blog Options Icon.

How to Start a Blog Settings Icon

shows the settings. You have Status & visibility, Permalink, Featured Image, Discussions, and Page Attributes.

How to Start a Blog Pages Title Block Settings

Status & visibility

This section refers to if your blog is visible to the public, published, or pending review.

Click on Status & visibility.

Pages Status and Visibility

Then, click on Visibility.

Status and Visibility Post Visibility

Permalink

It stands for “permanent link.” It’s the last part of the URL and is a user-friendly post name (post slug or slug) that you can edit depending on your Permalinks settings, using the “Edit” button. You can change your setting by going to WordPress Admin>Settings>Permalinks.

Click on Permalink. You’ll See the URL Slug and View Page.

Settings Permalink

You can click on the under View Page to see a preview of your page.

Clicked on Preview Page under Permalink in Settings

Featured Image

Also called Post Thumbnails. An image that represents the individual Post, Page, or Custom Post Type.

Pages Featured image

When you click on Set a featured image, it opens a pop-up that allows you to upload an image or select an image from the Media Library.

Set Featured Image

Discussion

This section allows comments on this page. When you check the box, you allow comments.

Pages Discussion

Page Attributes

You can set a parent page, page template, and change the order of your pages.

Pages Page Attributes

Some themes have additional templates that you can use to create pages with additional features or custom layouts. When you click Default template, you can see if your theme has additional templates.

Pages Page Attributes Template

A Parent Page is a page with other pages under it. However, not all themes display this by default in the navigation menu. In this case, you can use the Custom Menus feature to create sub-pages and customize your navigation menus.

Pages Parent Page

Use Order to change the display order of the pages.

Pages Page Attributes Order

Click on How to Start a Blog Options Icon . It shows the options. You have View, Editor, Tools, and Preferences.

Pages Title Block Options

View

The Top toolbar allows you to access all tools at the top while the Spotlight mode allows you to focus on one block at a time. You can use the Fullscreen mode to work without distraction.

Top toolbar not clicked

Pages View Top Toolbar not clicked

Top toolbar clicked

View Top Toolbar clicked

Spotlight mode not clicked

Pages View Spotlight mode not clicked

Spotlight mode clicked

Pages View Spotlight mode clicked

Fullscreen mode not clicked

Pages View Fullscreen mode not clicked

Fullscreen mode clicked

Pages View Fullscreen mode clicked

Editor

The Visual editor shows the webpage visibility of what you type whereas the Code editor shows the HTML version of what you type.

Visual editor

Pages View Visual editor

Code editor

Pages View Code editor

Tools

The Block Manager tool allows you to enable or disable blocks and search for a block.

Pages View Block Manager

Reusable blocks are blocks that you can reuse. For example, if there’s a particular piece of content you want to add to each of your posts, you can save the content as a block and add it to the posts of your choice.

The Manage all reusable blocks tool is home to the reusable blocks. When you click on this section, you’ll see all the reusable blocks.

 Manage all reusable blocks

Clicking on the Keyboard shortcuts tool gives you the Keyboard and Global shortcuts.

Pages View Keyboard shortcuts

The Welcome Guide tool brings up the Welcome to the block editor pop-up.

Pages Add New Welcome to the block editor

When you click on the tool, Copy All Content, it allows you to copy the entire current post or page to your clipboard so that you can paste it into a blank one.

Existing Content

View Existing Content

Content Copied to New Page

Pages View Content Copied to New Page

The Help tool is self-explanatory. Clicking on it brings you to the WordPress Editor page on wordpress.org for assistance.

Pages View Help

Preferences

Clicking on Preferences provides more options for customizing how the Block Editor displays. It has the following sections: General, Keyboard, Appearance, Document settings, and Additional panels. Each option has a brief description underneath it.

Pages Options Preferences

Paragraph Block

Pages Paragraph Block Toolbar

To the right at the top, you see Preview, Publish, How to Start a Blog Settings Icon, and

Blog Settings Icon

shows the settings. You have Paragraph, Typography, Color Settings,

Text Settings, and Advanced.

Pages Paragraph Block Settings

Paragraph

You’ll see the options for paragraph settings at the top of the Paragraph block.

How to Start a Blog Pages Paragraph Block Settings Top of Paragraph Block

Typography

Clicking on Typography allows you to change the Font size.

How to Start a Blog Pages Paragraph Block Typography

Color Settings

When you click on Color Settings, you’re able to change the text and background color.

How to Start a Blog Pages Paragraph Block Color Settings

Text Settings

Clicking on Text Settings allows you to add a Drop cap, which is a large initial letter at the beginning of a paragraph or a section.

How to Start a Blog Pages Paragraph Block Text settings

Advanced

If you want to be able to click a link to quickly go to another place on a long page (Known as page jumping or anchor links), then you’ll want to add an HTML anchor. When you click on Advanced, it allows you to enter a word or two to make a unique web address for the heading. Also, you’ll be able to add a CSS class or classes.

How to Start a Blog Pages Paragraph Block Advanced

The options View, Editor, Tools, and Preferences are the same as in the Title Block.

The published About Page.

How to Start a Blog Published About Page

Other Block Editor Tidbits

Move blocks by clicking the up and down buttons above each block.

How to Start a Blog Pages Move Block

You can add an image by clicking on the Image Block.

How to Start a Blog Pages Add an Image Block

After clicking on the Image Block, you’re presented with options to add an image.

How to Start a Blog Pages Clicked on Add Image Block

When you select an image, you can add metadata details to the image. Metadata summarizes information about data. Alt Text, Title, and Caption make up image metadata.

How to Start a Blog Pages Add Image Select Image Metadata
How to Start a Blog Add Image Select Image Attachment Details

The Image Block toolbar appears above the Image Block. You can add a caption beneath the image, resize the image, and explore other options regarding the image. Captions allow you to provide additional details for an image. They’re visible to your blog’s visitors, search engines, and screen readers.

How to Start a Blog Pages Add an Image Caption Resize Options

While using the Paragraph Block, you may want to link to a page on your blog or to one on another website. You can do this by highlighting the text you want the link to start from and click How to Start a Blog Link Icon.     

How to Start a Blog Highlight Word Link

Your options include searching or typing the URL, have it open in a new tab, have search engines ignore it, and designate if it’s a sponsored link or advert.

Open in new tab: Internal links should open in the same tabs whereas external links should open in new tabs.

nofollow: Enable this setting on third-party links and any paid or sponsored link.

sponsored: Enabling this setting automatically enables the nofollow setting which discourages search engines from following the link or rewarding the link like passing on PageRank.

How to Start a Blog Clicked on Link Icon

After adding the URL and selecting your options, it’ll look like this:

How to Start a Blog Clicked on Link Icon

Create the First Menu for Your Blog

You’ll go to WordPress Admin>Appearance>Menus.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus

Click on Menus.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Create First Menu

You’ll give your menu a name and set desired settings such as it being the main menu. Then, you’ll click Create Menu.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Create First Menu Name and Settings

Once you create your menu, you can add to the menu from the menu items under Add menu items.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Add Menu Items

I’ll add the About Page to the Home menu.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus Add About Page
How to Start a Blog Appearance Updated Home Menu

The About Page is now on the main menu.

How to Start a Blog About Page on Main menu

Depending on your theme, you may have more than two locations to put menus. You can manage the locations by clicking on Manage Locations.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus Manage Locations

The theme I’m using supports four menus. The locations are the Top Bar, Main, Footer, and Mobile.

Set Up Categories for Your Blog

After deciding on the categories for your blog, you’ll want to go to the WordPress Admin. Then, you’ll go to Posts and select Categories.

WordPress Admin>Posts>Categories

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Posts Categories

Once you click on Categories, you’re able to add a new category, create a slug, create a category hierarchy, insert a description that’s viewable in some themes, and see other categories on your blog. Categories come with the Uncategorized default category.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Post Categories Add New Category

I’ll create two Categories called Current Events and The Strange & Weird.

How to Start a Blog Add New Category Current Events

Now, Current Events are in Categories.

How to Start a Blog Current Events Category Added

I’ll add the Category The Strange & Weird.

How to Start a Blog Add New Category The Strange and Weird

The Strange & Weird is in Categories.

How to Start a Blog The Strange and Weird Added to Categories

Now, I’ll add them to the sidebar of the blog. I’ll go to WordPress Admin>Appearance>Widgets.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Appearance Widgets

You’ll see the Available Widgets.

How to Start a Blog Widgets

Then, scroll down to Categories and drag it up to where you want it to be in the Default Sidebar.

How to Start a Blog Default Sidebar

Click on Categories and select how you want them displayed. Then Save.

How to Start a Blog Display Categories in Dropdown

The Categories are on the Default Sidebar and displayed as a dropdown. Your categories won’t appear in the dropdown until you have posts included in them.

How to Start a Blog Categories with Dropdown

Use Categories to Create “Multiple Blogs” on one WordPress Website

You can use the Categories section to create “multiple blogs” on one WordPress website. You’ll enter information for these four fields: Name, Slug, Parent Category, and Description.

Name

“Title of your blog”

If the search engines index Categories, the archive will have this title. If not, it’ll be for internal use only, but may display in some themes.

Slug

It indicates where you can find the category archive and depends on your permalink settings.

Parent Category

This is optional, depending on the structure you want.

Description

Search engines may index it and it may be visible in some themes.

After completing your new Category section, it’ll appear to the right of the page as a list with subcategories underneath the parent category. I’ll create a “blog” called Get Inspired with the subcategory Your Stories.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Add New Category
How to Start a Blog Add Your Stories subcategory under Get Inspired Category
How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Add New Subcategory Your Stories

Get Inspired is a new “blog” under the main blog. It has a subcategory of Your Stories. You can now put direct links to your “blogs” in the navigation menu of your site. Go to WordPress Admin>Appearance>Menus and select which menu(s) you want to add links to.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus
How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus Add Links

First, you’ll go to Add menu items and find the new Categories under View All. Second, you’ll select the ones to add and click Add Menu. The Menu structure will update. Third, you’ll drag the individual “blogs” you want to be sub-items into place otherwise they’ll be top-level items in the navigation. Afterward, click Save Menu. Menus do not save automatically in WordPress.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus View All
How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus Add Categories Get Inspired
How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Appearance Menus Updated sub-items

Now, Get Inspired appears separately in the Home menu with Your Stories as a sub-item.

How to Start a Blog Click on Get Inspired on Home menu

Clicking on Get Inspired or Your Stories brings you directly to the Category’s page (archive). The categories include a feed of posts. It’ll be like the main blog.

How to Start a Blog Clicked on Get Inspired
How to Start a Blog Clicked on Your Stories

If you don’t want people to see that you’re using Categories as “blogs” in the URL, you can change the permalink structure to something more desirable.

How to Start a Blog Change Permalink Structure for Categories as Blogs

Go to WordPress Admin>Settings>Permalinks.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Settings Permalinks

Under Permalink Settings, you’ll see Common Settings showing the variations of URL structures. You have the option of customizing your permalink structure however you want by scrolling down to Custom Structure.

How to Start a Blog Permalink Settings Custom Structure

Category/Post Name (%category%/%postname%) is the suggested structure for SEO. However, you can just use %postname%. Each post will be whatever you input as the custom structure.

How to Start a Blog Category Post Name Permalink Structure

Now, scroll down to Category base. You’re going to change what WordPress uses for the Category permalink. Then Save Changes.

How to Start a Blog Change Category Base

Now, the URL structure for Get Inspired doesn’t have category.

How to Start a Blog Changed Get Inspired Permalink

Your Stories URL structure:

How to Start a Blog Your Stories URL structure

Create a Homepage for Each “Blog”

Since you have your separate “blogs”, you might want to have separate homepages as well. You can use a page builder like Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin to create a homepage for your “blogs.” WordPress page builders allow you to customize your blog layout without writing any code.

If you haven’t added a page builder plugin, you’ll want to do it now. Also, you can add SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle for additional widgets.

I’ll show you how to create a homepage for each “blog” using the Page Builder by SiteOrigin.

Go to WordPress Admin>Pages>Add New.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Pages Add New

You’ll see a message under Add New Post that states the post type is set to use the Classic Editor by default for new posts. To change to the Block Editor, you’ll need to go to Page Builder Settings and uncheck Use Classic Editor for new posts. I’ll do that now.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Pages Add New Go to Page Builder Settings

Click on the Page Builder Settings link in the message.

Go to Use Classic Editor for New Posts and unclick Enabled. Save Settings.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Page Builder Settings Unclick Enabled

Then go back to WordPress Admin>Pages>Add New.

You’ll see Add SiteOrigin Layout Block.

How to Start a Blog Customize Homepage Click on Add SiteOrigin Layout Block

The URL for my “blog”, Get Inspired ends in /blog/get-inspired.

How to Start a Blog Changed Get Inspired Permalink

I’ll name this page for my homepage, Get Inspired.

How to Start a Blog Name Get Inspired Homepage

Scroll down to the Yoast SEO metabox.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO metabox

Go to Slug and enter the slug for your homepage. get-inspired is my Slug. Then click Publish.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO metabox Entered Get Inspired

Go to WordPress Admin>Pages>All Pages.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Pages All Pages

I’ll select the page Get Inspired.

How to Start a Blog Pages Select Get Inspired

Click on Blog Settings Icon and scroll down to Page Attributes.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Pages Get Inspired Page Attributes

Change the Template from Default Template to Landing Page. Then click Update.

How to Start a Blog Pages Get Inspired Change to Landing Page

Now, I have a static homepage for Get Inspired.

How to Start a Blog Static Homepage for Get Inspired

I’ll need to customize my homepage Get Inspired. Go back to your “blog” homepage. Mine is Get Inspired.

Click on Add SiteOrigin Layout Block.

How to Start a Blog Customize Homepage Click on Add SiteOrigin Layout Block

You’ll see options to customize your page in the SiteOrigin Layout Block.

How to Start a Blog Customize Homepage Options

I’ll click on Prebuilt Layout and find one that I want for my page.

How to Start a Blog Click on Prebuilt Layout

I’ll choose a layout called Modern Design and click on Insert.

How to Start a Blog Modern Design Click on Insert

I chose to Replace current with the layout Modern Design.

How to Start a Blog Replace current with Modern Design

I’ll delete sections I don’t want. Then, I’ll go to Pixabay to find free images and Canva to add words to my images for my page.

How to Start a Blog Delete sections on Get Inspired Page Builder page

After adding images to the SiteOrigin Slider and the SiteOrigin Image widgets, I clicked on Update.

I have customized the homepage for Get Inspired.

How to Start a Blog Get Inspired Homepage

Now, I want to link my homepage to Get Inspired on the Home menu.

Go to WordPress Admin>Appearance>Menus.

How to Start a Blog Appearance Menus

Then, I’ll go to Pages and click on it.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Appearance Menus Click on Pages

I’ll click on the Get Inspired page and Add to Menu.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Appearance Get Inspired Add to Menu

You now have two menu items with your “blog” name like I have with Get Inspired. One is under Category and the other one is under Page. Remove the one under Category. Then Save Menu.

How to Start a Blog Two Menus Items with Get Inspired

Make sure your sub-item stays underneath your “blog” page.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Appearance Menus Get Inspired Page Updated

When you go to your “blog” on the Home menu and click on it, it’ll go to your new homepage.

How to Start a Blog Click on Get Inspired on Home menu
How to Start a Blog Get Inspired Homepage

Create Individual RSS Feeds for Your New “Blogs”

RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is a type of web feed that allows users and applications to receive regular updates from a website or blog. It allows bloggers to automatically syndicate their content so that people can read it in their email, feed reader, and other devices.

Right now, your blog RSS feed shows all the individual categories. Since you’ve separated your blog into “multiple blogs”, you want your subscribers to only receive the RSS feed for the “blog” they subscribed to.

To get a separate RSS feed for each “blog” on your site, add /feed to the end of the URL.

How to Start a Blog Create RSS Feeds

Top RSS feed reader apps:

  1. Feedly
  2. Inoreader
  3. NewsBlur
  4. The Old Reader
  5. Feedreader Online

Create Your First Blog Post

Log in to the WordPress Admin area. Then, go to Posts and you’ll see All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags. Click on Add New.

WordPress Admin>Posts>Add New

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Posts Add New

The blog post setup is like adding a new page.

How to Start a Blog WordPress Admin Posts Add New Similar to Adding Pages

If you installed the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll see its icon How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO iconin the upper right-hand corner of the toolbar. As mentioned earlier, Yoast SEO is great for SEO. It allows you to optimize your WordPress blog for search engines.

Clicking How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO icon reveals its helpful features to use while creating your blog post or page. They use a “stoplight” system to help you get your post or page SEO-optimized. Green lights are the goal.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO on toolbar

Clicking on the star unpins Yoast SEO from the toolbar.

How to Start a Blog Clicking on star unpins Yoast SEO

Focus keyphrase

This is the search term you want a page or post to rank for so that people will find your blog.

Setting a focus keyphrase allows the plugin to evaluate and provide feedback on how to improve your content to increase the chances of a higher ranking for the search term.

Clicking on the question mark gives you additional information on keyphrases.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Focus keyphrase

Get related keyphrases

When you click on Get related keyphrases, a pop-up for you to Log in to your Semrush account to integrate with Yoast SEO comes up.

Semrush allows you to do SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC, and social media marketing from one platform. Free and premium Yoast SEO users have access to the Semrush related keyphrases.

However, only premium users can add a related keyphrase from the list to their post with one click. A free Semrush account allows up to 10 requests for related keyphrases per day.

Additional keyphrases help your content rank for multiple keyphrases. However, it’s optional and not a requirement.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Get related keyphrases
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Semrush pop-up

Readability analysis

An algorithm determines how readable your post is. When you click on it, it gives you advice on how to make your text easier to read and understand. Clicking on the ? gives you more information on Readability analysis.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Readability analysis
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Readability analysis Analysis results

SEO analysis

After entering a focus keyphrase, SEO analysis checks the presence of your focus keyphrase throughout your blog post. First, it calculates the number of words and the frequency of the focus keyphrase. Second, it checks other pages on your blog to make sure you aren’t using the same focus keyphrase twice. Afterward, it gives you suggestions on making sure your post is SEO-friendly.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Seo analysis
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Seo analysis Analysis results

Google preview

When you click on Google preview, a pop-up shows you how your blog post listing will look on Mobile and Desktop.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Google preview
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Google preview Mobile result
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Google preview Desktop result

Facebook preview

Clicking on Facebook preview brings up a pop-up. You’ll need to get Yoast SEO Premium to see how your post will look when people share it on Facebook.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Facebook preview
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Facebook preview Get Yoast SEO Premium

Twitter preview

When you click on Twitter preview, a pop-up comes up. You’ll need to get Yoast SEO Premium to see how your post will look when shared on Twitter.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Twitter preview
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Twitter preview Yoast SEO Premium

Schema

Structured data is data used to describe your blog and make it easier for search engines to understand.

Schema.org provides tags and properties to describe products, reviews, business listings, and other components of websites.

When you click on Schema, you’re asked to select the Page and Article type. This helps search engines understand your blog and your content.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Schema Page type Article type

Page type

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Page type

Article type

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Article type

Advanced

This section determines how search engines crawl and index your post or page.

A meta robots tag tells search engines what to follow and what not to follow.

The Meta robots advanced settings allow you to set the meta robots for your post or page.

A Canonical URL lets you tell search engines that certain similar URLs are the same.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Advanced
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Advanced Meta robots advanced

Cornerstone content

Cornerstone content consists of the most important posts or pages on your blog that you want to rank highest in the search engines.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Cornerstone content
How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO Cornerstone content mark as cornerstone content

Below the Post editor, there’s the Yoast SEO metabox which almost mirrors information in the Yoast SEO sidebar. The only difference is under Google preview. It includes SEO title, Slug, and Meta description.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO metabox

SEO title

The title of your snippet in Google. It consists of the Title, Page, Separator, and Site title.

How to Start a Blog Yoast SEO metabox Seo title

Slug

It’s the last part of the URL and is the post name separated by hyphens.