Since I began blogging I’ve received messages asking how I set up my blog. So I decided I’d write a post listing the steps I have taken to set up my blog as well as some helpful links. As you read the steps keep in my mind that I am not an expert at web development, coding, or WordPress. I have learned from reading other blogs, watching tutorials, and good old fashioned trial and error. I am confident that if I can do it, then anybody reading my blog can as well.
1) Read About Blogging
The first thing I did when I decided I wanted to blog was begin to read about blogging and connect with bloggers who were interesting to me and/or had successful blogs. I subscribe to many blogs. Some who are blogging for profit as well as those who are blogging for fun. I encourage you to begin reading about blogging and find other bloggers to connect with.
Links to a few blogs (about blogging) that I read regularly:
2) Decide To Self-Host Or Not
After you become familiar with the terminology of blogging you will need to choose the type of blog you want. A self-hosted blog or a free-host blog. The reason you are blogging will help determine this. If your intention is to eventually earn a profit or establish your personal brand I suggest you self-host. If you are just blogging for fun, for yourself, or your family and friends then a free-hosted blog will do. I chose a self-hosted blog, which means I can have my own domain name as well as set up a WordPress theme (more on this below). Free-hosted blogs will have the name of the web host in the domain name.
Self-hosted blog applications:
- WordPress.org (this is the only self-hosted application I am familiar with and the only one I would suggest)
Free-hosted blog applications:
- Blogger.com (if you already have a Gmail account, then you already have a blogger account)
- WordPress.com (this is different than WordPress.org)
3) Purchase A Domain
If you decide to self-host then you will need to choose and purchase a domain for your site. When doing so please learn from my mistake and consider what you want your blog name to be and represent. Domain names can be purchased for less than $10/year and there are many companies to choose from.
Sites where domain names can be purchased:
- 1and1.com (this is the company I use)
- Namecheap.com (recommended by several bloggers I subscribe to)
- GoDaddy.com (most everyone is familiar with them, but I have found them to not be a fav of many bloggers)
4) Set Up Web Hosting
The next step is to set up a host account. Without getting too technical, your web host is basically where your website is housed. Just like with domains, you will have many choices of companies to host your website. I’ve listed a few below.
Links to web hosts:
5) Set Up WordPress
I don’t know of many bloggers that do not use WordPress and I understand why. WordPress is very easy to set up, even if you do not have any coding experience. Once I made the decision to blog I had my site set up and ready for posting the next day. The biggest delay was the fact that the tech support number for 1and1 was having issues the day I began to set up my site. Once that was resolved, and I was able to reach them, my questions were answered and they helped walk me through the steps while I followed online through their FAQs page.
How to install WordPress links:
6) Select A WordPress Theme
One of the greatest benefits of WordPress is the multitude of availability themes. Both free and premium themes. A theme is basically the design of your website. You can change themes at anytime, which modifies the way the site is displayed without modifying the software “under the hood.”
Links to free and premium WordPress themes:
- Free WordPress themes (this is from the WordPress.org site, a Google search of Free WordPress themes will return a ton of other sites offering free themes)
- BlogPro Free WordPress theme (this is the theme I currently use)
- Genesis & Thesis premium themes & frameworks (come highly recommended by the bloggers I subscribe to)
7) Create Content…Write, Write, Write
Now you are ready to fill your blog with all the wonderful content you have been wanting to share with the world. I have read many blog posts that suggest not going live or announcing your blog until you have 10-20 posts already written and posted. I had been considering blogging for a while, so I had lists of blog post ideas for me to pull from. Once I found out how easy it was to set up my site, I was too excited to wait. I didn’t do a big elaborate “I have a new blog” announcement. I just began writing and began sharing via social media after I had 2 or 3 posts on my site. My suggestion is to block out time daily and begin to write daily. Post to your site based on the frequency you decide will work for you, but don’t announce your blog until you are comfortable with your writing. However you do it, just don’t delay writing and posting.
A few links to help you get started writing:
- The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas
- 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content
- 5 Types of Creative Blog Posts
Establish Your Personal Brand or Advance Your Careeer with Your Blog
If you are considering blogging, I encourage you to move forward with it. Everybody should have a blog today. It is one of the best ways to establish a personal brand and share your message with the world. Blogging gives you the opportunity to control your personal brand or “image” to a certain extent, and can be helpful if you decide to launch a business or find business partners as well as find a new career or advance in your current career.
Decide to Blog and Do It
Unlike 10 (or even 5) years ago, the technology and software applications available today have leveled the playing field. My post gives you the basic know how to set up your own blog. It is now up to you to make the decision and take action. Good luck!
Question: Are you currently blogging? If so, please share your website and a sentence or two about your blog.