Welcome back! I’ve received a lot of questions on how to get started on a blog, specifically by using WordPress. I’ve created a step by step tutorial that will help you create the perfect blog for you and your brand. Your blog and website is a representation of you, so you want it to be professional but also have a touch of your personality. The beauty of blogging is that you have the freedom to create a site that is everything you want it to be.
I highly recommend using WordPress to create your blog. With WordPress you can post pictures, blog articles, and videos online. The WordPress platform allows you to customize and edit your blog without any coding required. I started off with blogger when I started my first blog almost seven years ago, and back then it was the perfect blogging platform for beginner bloggers. But blogger has limited features and is also now owned by google, and not you. One day google may decide to get rid of blogger, ya never know, so its always best to have complete control and ownership over your blog. WordPress is an excellent choice, and you own the site. You can use a variety of pretty templates too — which is always the most fun part — designing your blog! Let’s get down to the 5 beginning steps:
- Choose Your Homepage Layout – When you first open WordPress.com you will click “get started” and immediately be taken to the Theme layout page. There are four options — Start with a blog, Start with a website, Start with a portfolio, and Start with an online store. Depending on the type of blog you want, you have to choose a layout that goes with your brand. You can always change your layout later.
- Choose Your Theme — My favorite part of having a blog is choosing my theme. You can make it as pretty as you want to. There are dozens of templates built-in through WordPress, but you can also buy other themes through other sites. My theme for example is purchased through pipdig. They have some of the most gorgeous templates to choose from. I also installed Woocommerce, so I purchased a package from Siteground that allowed me to get my domain, Woocommerce and my theme all in one. So keep in mind, choosing your theme all depends on your blog and what you want it to be. (In Part 2 of the post, I’ll get into e-commerce options)
- Domain Name — If you don’t have a domain name in mind yet, be sure to choose something that fits your brand. Domains last for one year so pick a good one. More importantly, be sure that your name is not used by someone else. When I started The Boss Diary there were similar names, but I made sure that @thebossdiary was available on all social media platforms. I knew I wanted the word ‘diary’ in my blog, so I made sure I could use the name I wanted before I purchased my domain. Also, do not use a domain name like janedoe.wordpress.com. It’s ‘ok’ to use in the beginning but I’m pretty sure you want you and your blog to be going places. If you want your blog to grow your domain name should be professional. Use janedoe.com instead – it gives you more credibility and its more professional.
- Choose your blog hosting plan — I would advise you to select the “Free” WordPress plan. The paid options aren’t really necessary and don’t give you many options anyway. If you want to upgrade later on you can. Now, in order to successfully install WordPress, you’ll need your own Server (Web hosting). The beauty of WordPress, is when you sign up for Web hosting, you get a Server with unlimited storage, a 1-click installatoin, and a free custom domain that is already connected. The number one recommended website host is Bluehost. Its free. You can create your own custom domain name, which comes free when you sign up for hosting. Hosting is basically the space that you’re renting from online. The domain name is like your address. Again, using Bluehost is my top pick, but you can also try the following for your hosting plan. You may find that one these suits you better:
- GoDaddy – $5-$15/month per domain
- Siteground – $3.95/month per domain
- HostGator – $5/month per domain, option to get hosting
5. Complete Your Account — (Username, e-mail, and password) Just like you’d set up any other account, you will do the same for WordPress. Once you have everything set up with your login id, you will need to “verify” your account by logging in the e-mail you provided. You’ll be able to log into your WordPress account and open your dashboard.
That’s it! That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you know the first steps in starting your blog.
See ya in the next one loves xo