Starting a WordPress Blog
There’s never a perfect time to start a blog because there are plenty of things to blog about in the world.
Oftentimes people are intimidated when they see other peoples blog designs, wondering how long it took them to get everything setup.
It actually doesn’t take too long to start a blog; but it takes a degree of time to design your blog to perfection — perhaps even years. All accounting for traffic, user-friendliness and aesthetics — but let me not get ahead of myself here.
This blog post is going to give a short guide on how to start your blog on WordPress through self-hosting. Stick around, you might just learn something 🙂
A few housekeeping questions:
Why are you recommending WordPress?
I would be worried if you didn’t ask me this question; because it’s a good one. There are a number of reasons I recommend WordPress over other blogging platforms.
First, if you’re not self-hosting, you have an option to go on a free plan. Which offers anyone new to blogging an opportunity to test the waters before fully committing.
Second, there are so many themes on WordPress; some of them are free as well. This ensures you’re able to form an identity for yourself without having to open your wallet first; which I think is a fair deal.
WordPress is user-friendly compared to other platforms, and its wide range of plugins offers so much utility and control.
Also helps that WordPress is popular. You are sure to gain a following in no time.
How long does it take to create a blog on WordPress?
Starting your blog shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. It entirely depends on you and how much time you want to spend perfecting things.
As stated before, this blog post will talk about self-hosted WordPress blogs (WordPress.org) and not WordPress.com. If you’re curious about the differences between the two, I will be publishing a post regarding it in the future 🙂
The short version is WordPress.org (self-hosted) offers more control over your blog and a tougher learning curve. WordPress.com on the other hand makes it easier to start a blog but relinquishes control from the user. It goes deeper than this, so keep an eye on the blog until I post the differences for your viewing pleasure.
Initial setup of your WordPress Blog
A few pre-requisites before building your masterpiece of a blog:
- You will need a domain name, which costs roughly $10 annually
- A theme to make you stand out. Like I said before, there are many free themes on offer. Premium themes come with an average price of $60
- Plugins to help add features to your blog e.g donation (these are unavailable on a free plan). There are more than 50 thousand plugins, some free and some costly.
On with the proceedings…
1. Get a Domain Name
Think of your domain as your home address on the internet. If you want people to find you, you give them your address — email or otherwise.
Naturally, you’re going to have to name it. It’s best to think ahead about this; after-all, the name you choose will carry your brand or image forward.
Friendly reminder to be creative in thinking of a name because a lot of names have been taken — just like a lot of physical addresses have people living in them. To check the availability of and register your chosen domain name, I recommend Google Domains.
2. Create a Hosting account
Some people get confused with this part, no one’s judging, ‘cause it can be a little tricky; but we’ll get through this.
With your domain name acquired, you need web hosting to help serve your content to people all over the world.
There are many web hosts available however I would advise choosing Web hosts that help your site load quickly and has minimal to no chances of downtime. No one wants to follow a blog that loads slowly or is prone to crashing unexpectedly.
3. Install WordPress using your Web host dashboard
Using your chosen web host’s dashboard you should be able to install WordPress; which should help in building the website.
In choosing to “Create a new site” you’ll get a prompt to create a plan, this part requires payment. Once done, you can link your WordPress Domain to your chosen Web Host.
4. Go To Your WordPress Dashboard
With your web host setup, it’s time to check out the WordPress dashboard; you can think of it as the Admin of your blog operations.
To make it easier, if your blog name is Myblog.com you can simply navigate to your WordPress dashboard by typing Myblog.com/wp-admin.
It’s important to know where the WordPress dashboard is because that’s where you can:
- Schedule blog posts and manage any of your content
- Change your blog theme
- Manage your blog functionality (Plugins)
5. Setup your theme
It goes without saying how important themes are to the image of our blogs; particularly blogs that have a brand to uphold. If you’re looking to earn customers you will most certainly be judged by your cover.
You can change your theme by going to your WordPress dashboard:
- Clicking Appearance
- Going to Themes
- Choosing from a wide selection of available WordPress themes
- Pressing install on your new favorite
6. Spice your new blog with some plugins
Plugins add functionality to your blog and quality of life features for any who choose to visit. Examples include (but are not limited to) donations, contact forms, website performance, analytics and security.
You can find over 50,000 free plugins on WordPress to find what works for you — and yes, all of them can be installed from your WordPress dashboard.
Are you looking for help with your first blog post or getting your voice across?
Whether it’s for the long haul or for an immediate boost in revenue, there are creatives ready to heed your call. This is why if you’re in need of a content writer or copywriter you shouldn’t hesitate to contact me.
It’s natural to feel a little intimidated by copywriters or content writers especially if it is your first time engaging with them. Many people call that skepticism, I like to call it caution — which I encourage — that way no one is exempt from accountability.
I have offered my Blog Management services to many clients and, if you’re curious how pleased they are with my services, you can check their endorsements here.