By James Tredwell
Blogging takes time. Successful bloggers devote a considerable part of their time to their blog. Everything from growing the reader base to marketing the blog requires deep understanding of how blogging works and impacts your users. If you are still on the fence about starting a blog, review these 10 important questions. If you’re ready to get started, then read on. This post will walk you through the steps for getting a blog up and running on WordPress.
Choose Between Free or Paid WordPress
Free WordPress accounts are good, but they lack the uniqueness that a paid domain name and web hosting account will get you. So if you are into it for serious blogging then consider choosing a domain name and finding a web host for your blog. Web hosts can cost anywhere from $3 to $20 a month, and your domain name will cost you around $10 a year.
If you plan to eventually earn through your blog, then this investment will help you gain the returns you are hoping for. On the other hand, if blogging is just a hobby and you don’t intend to monetize it, then a free WordPress blog is just fine.
Why pay for a web host and domain name?
- A free WordPress blog will have an address that looks something like this: yourblogname.wordpress.com. It doesn’t quite catch the attention of your readers and looks amateur.
- You will not be able to customize a free blog to great extent. This will limit your ability to being unique among bloggers.
- Your free blog will be subject to WordPress’ terms and conditions.
Tips for choosing a domain name:
- Keep it short – since single words are mostly taken, make it catchy and easy to remember.
- Your users should be able to pronounce and spell it easily. This way they can enter the address without errors.
- You can change it later, so if you are just beginning with blogging and can’t find the best domain name for yourself then choose what you have in mind for now and change it later.
Tips for choosing a web host:
- For starters, pick a web host that has reasonable plans, but provides the option of scalability when your blog begins to grow.
- Don’t spend too much at this stage. Take a simple plan and understand which features you would like to add before you scale up.
With your web host and domain name all set, you can proceed to installing WordPress. This can be done through your web host, just find WordPress on the cPanel (control panel) inside your hosting panel.
The installation process will also include the process of setting up your domain name on WordPress.
Customize Your New Blog
With your new blog all set up, you will be able to log in to WordPress. You will find yourself on a blank WordPress site accessed through the username and password that you would have recently created. There are many themes available for you to make your WordPress site look more attractive than what it is right now. But themes can be changed so you do not have to worry about finding the right one just when you start.
Begin by logging in as an administrator. For this, you must visit: yourdomain.com/wp-admin. WordPress will ask you to login using your credentials. This part is easy enough.
You will now reach the dashboard which you may find somewhat difficult to understand at the first look. Don’t sweat it, because with time you will automatically get more accustomed to this place. For now, choose a theme from the Appearance section of the left side menu. You can go surf the themes that come up or click on “Add New” and find thousands more themes to choose something that resonates with your blog’s personality.
Preview the theme you like and then install it if you are satisfied with the way it would make your blog look.
Click on Customize to personalize the theme to your expectations from the blog. Remember to enter your blog’s name along with a tagline using the option that says site identity in the customize menu.
You can now write your first blog and publish it. If you’re having trouble coming up with blog post ideas, try these or these to get inspired. Remember that consistency is important when it comes to blogging, so create a schedule and stick with it.
These steps will help you start a new blog, but it’s only the beginning. Eventually, you will be required to optimize your blog for SEO, to make it more readable for your users, and you will begin to understand your target audience more clearly which will help you optimize your posts, too.
For a more comprehensive look at what it takes to get up and running on WordPress, read this guide from WPBeginner.