This is where things get creative and FUN! At this point, you’ve decided on a blog niche, come up with the perfect name, and registered your domain. Now it’s time (race against time phrase) to find a blogging platform so you can start producing content. But which platform is best? My personal favorite is WordPress. There ARE other options including Blogger and Squarespace. I have used Blogger’s free platform in the past, and just (just in case meaning) feel now it’s a bit outdated. Squarespace has BEAUTIFUL blog templates, but it’s not free. And I feel if you are just starting out…it’s best to go with a free option. WordPress has many free templates that are clean, pretty, and easy to navigate. So that’s what I went with and what I will share with you. So let’s get started and discuss how to set up your blog on WordPress!
How to Set Up a Blog on WordPress
I’m going to walk you through this step-by-step. The site (idiom site) is extremely user-friendly, but I will walk you through how to set up your blog on WordPress so nothing gets missed.
Step 1: Visit www.wordpress.com
Step 2: Select “Get Started”
Step 3: Select “Start With A Blog”
Step 4: Give Your Site An Address
So for this step you have a couple of options. At this point, you have already decided on your blog’s name and purchased your Domain Name through Go Daddy. You can either click on the link where it says “Already Own A Domain” and then have WordPress walk you through the process of redirecting people to your blog when they type in your purchased domain. Wordpress will charge you for this and upgrade your blog to WordPress Premium which is $8.00 per month and includes hosting…but it is limited.
What is hosting you might ask? It’s basically renting space on a computer to hold your website (idioms website) and store all of your files. When your blog is small it’s not a big deal, but the more content and followers you have, it’s really critical to find a space to host your blog. And I honestly recommend it from the get go. It just avoids problems down the road (like losing your blog entirely)…who would want that after all that work?!
So…I have chosen to host my blog on Go Daddy. So because I’m taking you through my process to start and monetize a blog step-by-step…I’m sharing exactly what I’ve done! So for this step what I recommend is:
Enter the name of your blog in the box and then selecting the first blog address option that is FREE. This will give you an address with a wordpress.com extension. So for my blog Perfect Little Sunday it would create the blog address perfectlittlesunday.wordpress.com. (see below).
And don’t worry…we will redirect your blog to your purchased domain name…this is just the first step!
Step 5: Select a WordPress Plan
Choose the FREE option as shown below. In the beginning I always opt for FREE. You can always upgrade based on your needs later. Especially once you start monetizing your blog.
Step 6: Create Your WordPress Account
It will now ask you to enter your email and to create a username and password so you can login to your WordPress account from any computer. Super simple step!
Step 7: Select View My Site
Step 8: Your screen will look something like this. Go to the very top left corner of the screen and put cursor over the “My Site” button with the WordPress Icon. A window will slide open that looks like a drop down…click on “Themes”.
Step 9: Select Your Theme
Once you click on themes your screen will look something like this. The first thing you want to do is click on “Free” to the right of the search box. This will pull up all of the free themes. There are other paid themes, but I feel there are enough beautiful free ones to chose from.
Choosing your theme all comes down to personal preference and the goals you have for your blog. You can click on the search box and search blog themes by feature, layout, columns, subject, style, etc. When you click on each theme to preview the theme there will be a description of the theme and who it’s best suited for. This should help you to decide whether the theme would be a good fit.
Some blog themes are best for showcasing photography. Images and photography are a critical element of having a successful blog, but in the beginning don’t worry about this. But if you don’t have great photos to start with, I wouldn’t pick one of the themes that is best for showcasing photography…you know? There are better options.
Some of my favorite themes include:
- Apostrophe 2
Again these are just a few of my favorites. For this blog I actually went with the Redwood Theme by Solo Pines. This theme is not available in WordPress but can be uploaded to WordPress. I will do another post on how to upload a theme if you can’t find one you love (fall in love synonym) in WordPress. But to make it easy on yourself, I would recommend choosing a free WordPress theme.
Step 10: Activate Your Theme
You’re SO close to being done!!! Once you find the theme you love. Click on the “Activate this Design” button.
Okay are you tired yet? Just kidding! That wasn’t that bad was it? You’ve done it! You have officially set up your blog on WordPress. Next we will discuss how to host your WordPress blog on GoDaddy.