Set Up Your Blog in 3 Easy Steps
You decided to start a blog because you have a gift to share with the world.
Now, how the heck do you get started?
Hold on, wait a minute…
Let’s give this a little thought. I know you want to jump right in and get your message out, but let’s slow down. We’ll move this along as quickly as possible.
Pick your domain name. The domain name is how you can be found online.
You need hosting.
Sure, you can use free services like Weebly or wix, and everyone knows those are free services especially because your website looks something like mysite.wix.com instead of just mysite.com. Let’s have you looking more established than using free services right out of the gate. You’re better than that. Hosting a private website is not expensive – especially if this is something you’re going to use to make money. If you want to be a pro, you’ll want to look like a pro. So…
Grab your credit card and be prepared to pay for your hosting.
You have options.
Set up your Hosting
Again, you have options. There’s GoDaddy and others. I use Bluehost and am an affiliate (which means I make a small commission if you use my link to get your hosting – and it won’t cost you any extra). Here’s a link to use Bluehost at a discount.
Register your domain, choose your plan, and finish your registration. If you are registered somewhere else Bluehost makes it easy to transfer services. Need additional help? See the resource video.
Don’t worry. This is easier than you think.
- Visit www.mybluehost.com and enter your new login and password.
- Click website under hosting
- Click install
- Under “Do it yourself” click “Install”
- Select your domain
- Click “Check domain”
Design your Blog
You get to do this by selecting a theme.
If you need ideas to get started you can use Thrive Themes or Divi. I am an affiliate for both.
This is where you make your blog look how you want it to look.
Log into WordPress and upload your theme. It’s easy.
Go to Appearance > Themes and click the “install themes” tab followed by “Upload” and “Choose File”. Select your theme, then “Install Now”. Upon completion click “Activate”.
It’s time to celebrate!
Now you’ve celebrated let’s finish this up.
You need to install plug-ins. Plugins are like apps for WordPress that help you do the things you want to do. As you can imagine, there are tons of things that a site can do, so there are zillions of plug-ins available.
There are only three I will recommend.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast is the de facto standard SEO plugin for WordPress. For details and everything you’d ever want to know about WordPress SEO read Yoast’s Definitive SEO Guide.
- Google Analytics by Yoast allows you to track your blog’s traffic easily and with lots of interesting data: overall traffic, traffic sources, views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.
Your theme may come with other plug-ins and I recommend you stay with those. Don’t go loading a bunch of new plug ins because they may not play well with your theme. Do this slowly, maybe one a day so you know what to deactivate if the plug in and your theme do not get along well. The wrong plug-in may cause load time to be slow or other problems you don’t want to deal with. Keep it super simple.
Here are some other things you may want to consider as you build your site and your brand:
- Consider adding a photo of yourself, especially if your brand is personal.
- Develop a logo, if that’s part of your brand.
- Play with colors and codes or hex codes of color so that your brand is always the same everywhere.
- Find free photo sites like DeathtoStock, Unsplash, or Shutterstock to create graphics for your blog posts. Don’t Google your photos. Other people own them and they deserve credit for the photos they’ve used. There are plenty of good ones for free and no one will come claiming copyright infringement.
- Establish a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, or the platform of your choice. Don’t try to be everywhere all at once. Develop a presence in 2 or 3 areas and find people who are in your niche (that’s your target audience).
- Write new blog posts and publish them.
Soon you will need a mail service and set up auto responders. We’ll talk about that next.
For now, celebrate, and tinker with it until you are happy.
Celebrate by telling us your blog is live in the comments. Add your celebration song so we can dance with you.