Definitive guide

Start a blog and skyrocket to 238.950 visitors in 12 months

How to start a blog in 2022 with/without a web designer

Professional Website Example
Ralph de Groot

Let’s make building your blog as easy as possible. Welcome to my guide!

After years of trial and error I can confidentially recommend you the following when it comes to building a website.

My name is Ralph de Groot. I’m the founder and author at My Codeless Website. Wake me up for a great web design!

Here’s what you’ll learn.

#1 What is the best blogging framework? And why should you care?

Divi is the world’s most popular website builder. It allows you to build drag & drop websites on the free WordPress system.

Before I show you all the cool things it can do, let me show you some numbers.

  • Worldwide over 2.5 million websites have been build with Divi. It’s a popular theme, with a reason.
  • If you get the Divi theme builder, you can build an unlimited number of websites with 1 Divi Theme license
  • The Divi theme comes with 46 free modules you can use to build your website
  • You can try the Divi theme 30 days risk free. If you don’t like it, you’ll receive your money back
  • Divi has 157 pre built templates you can use for free to build your website
  • Divi has an active Facebook group with over 50,000 users who help each other

Bonus articles
🚀 Read my full Divi review
🚀 10 cool web design tricks you can only do with Divi

#2 Blog examples you’ll be able to build

The first example I’d like to share with you is the one I love the most. It’s the website of Divi itself. It has great animations and feels incredibly smooth as you scroll down. Have a look and see what’s possible.

#1 Elegant Themes

The first example I’d like to share with you is the one I love the most. It’s the website of Divi itself. It has great animations and feels incredibly smooth as you scroll down. Have a look and see what’s possible.

Need more inspiration? Have a look at my list: the best blog examples ever.

#3 Get Hosting

I assume you want your website to be visited by thousands of people around the world.

That’s why you need to publish your website on the world wide web.

You can do this by getting a hosting company to publish your website. Over the past 5 years I’ve tried dozens of hosting companies.

Why did I switch that much? Because many of them suck.

Many web hosting companies are only after your money and don’t care if your website gets hacked or has bugs. Sure, they’ll look into it – for a few hundred bucks.

But one of them caught my attention.

I’ve experienced this web hosting company to be extremely helpful. They have a 24/7 support which helps you with basically everything. Alongside, they’re cheap too!

The best part? It has a one click WordPress install, so you’ll be live within 5 minutes.

Follow these 4 steps to set up your hosting account:

Step 1: Open the website of Bluehost and click ‘get started’

I arranged a nice 50% discount for your entire hosting plan.

Step 2: Select your hosting plan

Depending on how many websites you’re planning to host, you can select your plan. If you only need to build 1 website, you can select the cheapest one.

Step 3: Find an available domain name

Here comes the fun part. Play around with the domain name checker and find one that’s available. Click ‘next’ if you found one.

Step 4: Enter your details and confirm the payment

#4 Install WordPress 

Now you’ve registered with Bluehost, it’s time to install WordPress. Luckily for you, this is the easiest part. Bluehost offers a one-click install for WordPress.

Here’s what you need to do:

In the control panel on your left  side, click ‘My Sites’.

From here you can launch your WordPress website by clicking on ‘Create site by WordPress’.

That’s it. It’s dead easy.

 

#5 Download Divi

Now you’ve registered your WordPress website it’s time to install the Divi theme builder. Follow these 4 steps:
Step 1: Go to the website of Elegant Themes and click on pricing

Step 2: Select the plan which fits your needs

I would recommend to take the lifetime plan, but if you’re short on cash or doing a short-term project the annual plan is obviously fine as well.

Step 3: Fill in the payment details

Step 4: Log in to your account and go to downloads

Download the Divi theme. If you do this, you won’t need the Divi builder plugin. All its features are included in the Divi theme. 

#6 Upload Divi Theme

Now you’ve downloaded the Divi theme it’s time to upload it to WordPress.

Uploading a theme is very simple. Here’s what you got to do:

Step 1: Go to your WordPress dashboard

Step 2: On the left side, click on ‘appearance’, and then on ‘themes’

Step 3: Click on ‘add new’ and go to ‘upload theme’

Now select your Divi Theme file and submit it.

Step 4: Click ‘activate theme’

That’s it. Divi is installed!

#7 Creating a Page (about us/ contact)

If you completed all the previous steps, it’s time to create your first page. Exciting!

Step 1: On the left side, click ‘pages’ and ‘add new’

Step 2: Add a title to the page and click ‘use Divi builder’

Step 3: Now you will be taken to the page and a popup will show up.

It’s a message from Nick Roach, the founder of Divi. I recommend you to follow his tour as he will explain how to use Divi in a few minutes.

Step 4: Once you’re done with the page, hit the green ‘save/publish’ button on the top right corner.

Your page is live!

Now repeat this process and create all the pages you want to include in your website. A few pages I recommend are:

  • Contact
  • About us

#8 Creating a Menu

Now you have your first page, it’s time to structure your website. The best way to do this is by adding a menu to your website.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Go to your dashboard, click on Appearance and select ‘menus’.

Step 2: Now you should see an overview of preset menu items.

Add, edit or delete each item by clicking on them.

Step 3: Once you’re done, hit the save button

#9 Creating a Homepage

Now you learned how to create pages, it’s time to select a homepage. WordPress’ default setting for the homepage is to show the latest blog posts.

Personally I’m not a big fan of that. I mean, you just want to tell your visitors what your business is about, right? By having one static page, you make sure all your visitors get the right introduction to your business instead of your latest blog post.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Open the page you want to set as your homepage

Step 2: In the top bar, hover over your website name and press ‘theme customizer’

Step 3: Scroll down and go to ‘homepage settings’

Step 4: Change the homepage display to ‘a static page’ and select the right page as the home page

Step 5: Hit the blue ‘publish’ button  in the top corner

Congratulations! You just set your homepage.

#10 Customize your blog

While changing your homepage in the ‘customize’ section, you probably noticed there are tons of things you can customize in your website.

Take your time to explore each tab, as this is where you get to control your websites. Here are a few examples of things I like to adjust on my blog while I’m setting things up:

How to change the name of your blog

  1. Go to customize > general settings > site identity
  2. Give your site a nice site title
  3. Add a cool tagline
  4. Upload a site icon (optional)

How to change the font of your blog

  1. Go to customize > general settings > typography
  2. Change the header font (headlines)
  3. Change the body font (normal text)

How to change the font color of your blog

  1. Go to customize > general settings > typography
  2. Scroll down and change the header text color
  3. Change the body text color
  4. Change the body link color (this will be the color for all the links in your text)

How to change the footer of your blog

  1. Go to customize > footer
  2. Here you can change the footer colors and your footer text

#11 Responsive Blog design for Mobile / Tablet

Now in the title of this guide I promised I would teach you how to make your website responsive.

Well..

I have some good news for you.

Divi already took care of this. Here’s how you can check if your Divi website is responsive:

Step 1: Open the page or blog post you want to check

Step 2: Enable the visual builder and click on the purple icon with the 3 dots in it.

Step 3: In the top left, click on the mobile icon to see the mobile view

Step 4: In the top left, click on the tablet icon to see the tablet view

Do you want to change the responsive layout of your divi website? Here’s how you adjust it:

Step 1: Click on the content item you want to change (for example: text, image, button)

Step 2: Click on the settings icon

Step 3: Click on design and select the thing you want to adjust

Step 4: Go to the section you want to adjust, and hover over it. By now, you should see a mobile phone icon. Click on it.

Step 5: Click on mobile or tablet and change the color/size of the item you’re changing. Hit save and refresh the page.

That’s it! You just customized your Divi website using this Divi guide.

 

 

#12 Divi Conversion Strategies 

#1 Make your headline as concrete as possible 🎯

The headline is the most important aspect of your website. It’s the first sentence you read on your homepage.

This sentence will decide whether a visitor will continue or bounce.

That’s why you need to be VERY clear about:

  • What do you do
  • For who are you doing this

Bad example: Welcome to company X. Our mission is to make your life healthier and better with our proven methods.

Good example: Fitness club for students based in New York.

#2 Add call to action buttons 📲

The call to action, also known as your money button.

The call to action button leads your customer to the part of your website where you want them to go. It’s the most important part of your entire website, since this is where your visitors turn into customers.

Depending on your type of website, it could redirect to a contact form, a shopping cart or a newsletter signup.

On every page you design on your website, make sure to have an appealing call to action button.

#3 The text on your call to action button should mention the perfect outcome 🔥

When creating a call to action button I have a trick for you. Think about what it is, that the visitor of your website wants. Let’s say you own a fitness club and you’re trying to acquire more fitness members with your website.

What should your call to action be?

Well – let’s think about what a potential fitness member wants. He probably wants to try your fitness club before getting a subscription. In this case my call to action would be:

I want to ‘Sign Up For A Free Introduction Class

#4 Make your call to action buttons visually appealing 👋

Call to actions buttons should be notable. It’s the part of your page which should draw the most attention.

You can accomplish this by:

  • Use a slightly bigger font size
  • Use a notable background color (anything flashy)
  • Use an engaging text which ‘seduces’ the visitor to click on it

#5 Remove all unnecessary menu items 😎

Distraction is bad for conversions. Let me give you an example.

Scientists once researched the impact of choice on buying decisions. They opened a brownie store with 24 different types of brownies.

Then one week later, they tried it again but with only 6 types of brownies.

What do you think?

The second week they sold more than twice as much. It turns out, people don’t like to choose.

Therefore, get rid of all the unnecessary items in your navigation menu.

#6 Add testimonials to your site 

Sure, your company has the best product and the best customer service.

But why would a visitor who never heard about you before trust you? You’re nothing but a stranger to them.

That’s why you need to add testimonials of your clients. It builds trust and shows social proof.

To get a great testimonial from your clients, you should ask strategic questions:

  1. Before you became a client, what were your doubts about this product/service?
  2. How did you experience this product/service?
  3. What results did this product/service bring you?
  4. What type of people/businesses would benefit from this product/service?
  5. Do you have any other nice things to say about this product/service?

Pick the best ones and summarize them to a short and powerful testimonial.

#7 Add logos of existing customers to your site 👀

Testimonials create credibility, but so do big brands.

Is Apple or another big corporate one of your clients? Perfect. Add a section called ‘Some of our satisfied customers’ and display their logos.

The more relatable these logos are to your visitor, the better. For example, if you’re creating a website for kitchen supplies, a logo from a restaurant magazine is more powerful than one from Apple.

#8 Social media buttons shouldn’t dominate your site 💣

So you want to have more followers on your social media?

Great.

But unless you’re some sort of an influencer, this probably isn’t your number one business goal.

Don’t add social media follow buttons in prominent places of your website, these should be reserved for your call to actions.

Of course you should add social media follow buttons on your website, but add them to your footer.

#9 Use storytelling in your text 💡

Nobody likes boring texts.

Your visitors want to feel like you’re talking to them.

For example:

Version 1. “Our processes are optimized to guarantee permanent support to improve your kpis.”

Version 2. “Your company was built with blood, sweat and tears. We respect that, that’s why our team is available 24/7 to help you in any way we can. Yes, we answer the phone during christmas eve”.

Which one is more appealing? Which one would make you pick up the phone? I bet it’s the second.

It’s talking straight to your visitor and tells an appealing story.

Now you know how to convert your website visitors into paying customers, it’s time to flood your website with traffic.

#13 Divi Website Promotion Strategies

#1 Go viral with this viral giveaway tool 🔥

Viral Loops is a referral marketing tool which helps you to explode your website with new visitors.

We’ve used Viral loops to create virality with multiple websites. It allows you to build a sustainable referral scheme which helps you to grow your website rapidly.

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/try-viral-loops

#2 Write blog posts on topics people are searching for 🔔

Semrush is a SEO tool which helps you to get more free traffic from the search engines.

We’ve used Semrush for many projects to get over 100.000 monthly visitors to our websites. For free. It’s great for keyword research, backlink building and rank tracking.

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/try-semrush

Click here to read the full strategy guide on creating blog posts which get traffic.

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/more-visitors-website/

#3 Share posts on social media with a custom call to action button on it 📣

Sniply adds your custom call-to-action to any page on the web, allowing you to engage your followers through every link you share. For example, you can attach a button to the page that links to your own website, so that people can discover you while they read.

https://snip.ly/

#4 Have other people create viral content for you 🚀

Don’t have the time to edit a viral video? Or don’t know how to create an awesome infographic which will grab the attention?

Fiverr is a digital marketplace which allows you to buy logos, animations and more for low prices.

We’ve used Fiverr to get cheap logos, backgrounds and much more. Fiverr is full of professionals offering photoshop services, video editing services for incredible prices. Check it out

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/try-fiverr

#5 Do a press release 📺

Yaiks! A press release? That’s not for small businesses, right?

Well. It is actually. Journalists LOVE small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them. It makes sense – if you’re at a birthday party, friends are probably always asking how your business is doing.

Everybody loves entrepreneurs.

Write a press release about a milestone your company achieved. It doesn’t really matter what it is your company did, just make it juicy and interesting.

Create a list of journalists and reach out to them. The key in this process is the followup. If you’re just sending them one email you’re probably not going to have a lot of success. Remind them at least once over the period of 7 days.

#6 Publish research on your industry and reach out to journalists 🔍

Journalists are always on the lookout for interesting stories. If the story is backed up with real numbers it’s even better.

Thinking about your business, what interesting data do you gather? Can you write an interesting story about it?

Write a nice article about it and reach out to journalists and industry leaders. Tell them they can use your article + data as long as they mention you in the article. That’s a lot of free publicity!

#7 Automatically publish your blogs on twitter 📲

Twitter is great for sharing thought bubbles and even breaking news. But if you have to tweet everything manually it will become very time consuming. There are many tools which can do this automatically for you.

But if you use it for marketing or sharing your content and do it manually it is very time consuming. There are many tools such as Social Oomph which can do this for you.

#8 Collect email addresses from your website visitors 📧

Did you know 98% of your website visitors never return? That’s a shame. Sumo is an email capture tool which allows you to collect the email address of your visitors. This way, you’re able to reach out to them in the future.

https://sumo.com/

#9 Leverage Quora to get website traffic on auto pilot ✈

Quora is a famous Q&A website which allows users to ask and answer questions. Find relevant questions to your niche and take your time to write great answers. This will bring your referral traffic on autopilot.

#10 Publish your blogs to content curation communities 💥

There are quite a few platforms out there that are looking for bloggers to submit content that they deliver to their audience. This is another great way for you to get your posts in front of new eyes, but only if the content is truly exceptional

https://triberr.com/

http://blogengage.com/

#11 Use a LinkedIn bot to generate traffic on autopilot 🔥

Allright. You’re now probably thinking one of two things:

  1. That sounds spammy. I’m not going to do that.
  2. A bot? How does that even work? I’m not a scientist.

Trust me, I thought the same as you. But it’s not as sketchy as it seems.

Dux-Soup is a LinkedIn tool which allows you to ‘look’ at 100 LinkedIn profiles per day.

This tool automatically visits LinkedIn profiles of people of your choice. In the past, I’ve used this a lot to get in touch with business owners.

I would have Dux-Soup open the profiles of 100 business owners per day. 

It’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Download the Dux-Soup tool
  2. Open your LinkedIn account
  3. Search for ‘business owner’ or any other job description’
  4. Click the ‘Visit profiles’ button.

Now here comes the important part: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized.

This means:

  • A good looking profile picture
  • A good tagline which describes what you do
  • A great profile description which demonstrates your skills as a web designer
  • Some nice portfolio websites on your profile

Let’s say 20% of every profile visit converts into a ‘return-visit’. That will mean 20 potential business owners who look at your LinkedIn profile every day.

That’s 600 potential leads in a month.

#12 Pay your friends to bring you traffic 💸

Now your friends wouldn’t be your friends if they didn’t help you to promote your business. Right?

Wrong.

Your friends probably have many things going on in their life and aren’t naturally ‘trained’ to promote your business.

But there’s a way to change that. 

Give them a 10% commission cut on every customer they bring in. Now suddenly they have something to gain. Therefore they’ll remember to promote your web design agency. 

They earn a nice side income, you build your business. Win-win!

#13 Use retargeting advertisements to win back customers 💌

Imagine.

A potential client is looking for a product you offer and stumbled upon your website. But after scrolling through your website for 30 seconds, he or she got a phone call from a friend. After calling for 20 minutes they forgot about your website and they close down their computer.

Auch.

That’s why I use retargeting advertisements to bring back these lost leads. Just install a Facebook pixel on your website to target all your website visitors with an advertisement on Facebook or Instagram.

#14 Leverage Facebook and LinkedIn groups 👫

Did you know there are Facebook/LinkedIn groups for literally every niche? Find the right ones and share your story.

Just make sure not to spam these groups as they’ll have no problems kicking you out.

#15 Translate your website to other languages for maximum traffic 🌎

WPML is our go-to translation plugin if we’re building multilingual sites. 

WPML is a plugin which allows you to build multilingual websites. It’s easy to install and enables you to translate your website fast and easy. WPML detects the language of your visitor and shows the right version of your page automatically.

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/try-wpml

#16 Use email automations to drive traffic to your website 🏂

Convertkit is an email service provider which helps you to send automated email funnels to your customers.

We’ve used Convertkit to convert leads into paying customers. Their features are incredible and their support is insane. Best of all – you can try it for free!

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/try-convertkit

#17 Convert your blog traffic to your sales page 🎯

Rightmessage is an optin tool which converts visitors into customers.

This tool allows you to create customized customer funnels based on the behaviour of your visitors. This is popup marketing 3.0.

https://mycodelesswebsite.com/try-rightmessage

Now you’ve learned how to start a blog,

here are your next steps.

Ralph de Groot

1

Find a web designer, or do it yourself.

The team at My Codeless Website offers high-quality websites for fair prices. We partnered up with a professional web design agency to deliver jaw-dropping websites that are not just good-looking, but conversion-focused.

Proven track record of over 300 websites built
Organized, easy-to-follow process from start to finish
Experts guide you through the architecture of your website

2

Website hosting that I recommend.

Where should I host my website? After trying many hosting services we found 2 which stand out.

Great for hosting a single website
Cheap
Great support

Great for hosting multiple websites
Free migrations

Ralph de Groot
Recommended Page Builder

3

Selecting the right page builder.

Analyze the best examples on this page and select a page builder that is powerful and isn’t buggy.

Here is the one I recommend.

4

Grab my install guide.

Analyze the best examples on this page and select a page builder that is powerful and isn’t buggy.

Here is the one I recommend.

Recommended Page Builder
Recommended Page Builder

5

Best Practices (BONUS).

Claim the right domain before it’s gone

Spend your money wisely.

We recommend Divi, it’s great for beginners and allows you to customize everything.