Blogging With WordPress: The Basics

I’ve been blogging (a.k.a. sharing my thoughts on the Internet for everyone to see) for give or take six years now. In that period, I’ve done it ‘professionally’ (which means I got paid) but for the most part, it’s really been just for the fun of sharing. So I can say I pretty much know my way around it already. And after switching between platforms, I can say that blogging with WordPress is the best experience.

Of course, this is based on my preference and how it’s worked for me. But if you’re interested to get started blogging with WordPress, this can hopefully help you out.

Is blogging on WordPress free?

Yes and no. If you’re going to blog on WordPress.com, it’s free. But you have to note that this will mean that your blog will have ‘wordpress.com’ affixed to it. If you want to use a domain you’ve already bought or want to buy it through WordPress, there’s a fee for that.

Blogging with WordPress using self-hosting is not free. Self-hosting is when you run your website through private web servers. If you’ve seen ads for Siteground, Hostgator, Bluehost and more, you’ve seen ads for hosting services. These companies are the ones that ‘host’ or carry your website. If you don’t avail of their services and blog on WordPress.com, WordPress hosts your website.

Here's what you need to know about blogging with WordPress.

Free or self-hosted?

It depends on what you need! If you’re just trying to figure out how the whole blogging thing works, I suggest starting with a free account first so you can familiarize yourself with how to use the WordPress CMS (content management system). Where do you add new posts? How can you format your blog posts? Can you insert videos or images into your blog posts? These are just some of the questions you can answer by exploring the free WordPress option.

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If you’re someone who’s already familiar with the WordPress CMS though and are looking to have more control over your website, then self-hosting is the way to go. With a self-hosted site, you’re free to customize your website exactly how you want to (of course, there may be some features that still need to be purchased such as plug-ins and more). I have a self-hosted site just because I like having the liberty of doing whatever I want with it and see it grow. (I use Siteground, by the way. Will share more of my thoughts on their service in another post but they’re the best!)

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Can you make money blogging on WordPress?

One of the most pressing issues now when it comes to blogging with WordPress — or any platform for that matter — is if you can make money out of it. And I totally understand! Blogging, while it may seem like an easy thing, actually entails a lot of work. Good quality content doesn’t just come out of nowhere. Those who are serious about sharing their knowledge and expertise about a topic go through a lot of research on the topics they write about, fact-checking plays a part too, not to mention the more creative side of it such as taking photos and styling, and more. It really is a job! So of course you’d want to get paid.

In the past, one of the major reasons why people opt for self-hosting is so they can put ads on their WordPress websites. Now, you can put ads on a website that runs on WordPress.com too through their AdWords service. You can learn more about it in the video below!

If you run a self-hosted website, you can enter different ad networks that can help you achieve your monetization goals (or you can also offer your own ad service). Here are some of the more popular ad networks/ad services if you are blogging with WordPress on a self-hosted site.

  • Google AdSense
  • Mediavine
  • She Media
  • Ezoic
  • Infolinks
  • Media.net
  • Innity (for Southeast Asia)
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Is Blogger or WordPress better?

I’ve tried both and, based on experience, WordPress is better. But do take note that this is all a matter of preference. What has worked for me may not work for you and vice versa. The main reason why I think WordPress is great is personalization. There are so so many things you can do on WordPress, even with the free version.

The block system for its CMS has been incredibly helpful for creating rich content, like if I need a table or a list or columns and so much more. You can just choose a block for these things, fill out where needed or upload an image and you’ll get exactly what you need!

Customizing your website is great too with the help of different plugins. There’s one to help ensure your stories are optimized for search; there’s one that helps you resize your images for faster loading; there’s also one that’s good for automatically inserting internal links to your articles, and more!

I hope this helped you decide whether or not to pursue blogging with WordPress. Leave me a comment if you have questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them!

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