Starting a blog is a fantastic way to promote your products, your brand and yourself. Did you also know that writing a blog is also a great way to connect with your fans and customers?
Today, we’ll show you how to create your own blog on one of the most popular and easy to use platforms – WordPress.
1) Create your WordPress account
To create your account go to http://www.wordpress.com and click “Get Started”. Next, fill out your email address, choose a username and password, and pick your blog domain address. WordPress will let you know if the domain address that you choose is taken, and will also show you suggestions for similar domain name options that are available. If you want a free blog, your blog address will look like this: http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com. You can also choose to pay for your own domain name, for your own website address that is powered by WordPress. That blog address would then just be the name of your website: www.yourblogname.com. Direct domains are better for SEO (search engine optimization.)
Once you choose a domain name, you will be prompted to enter your blog title, tagline (a brief description of your blog,) and if you like, a blog post goal.
2) Choose and customize your theme
Choose a theme (a template) that goes best with the type of content you will be sharing. Will you mainly be posting pictures and videos? Then choose a theme that has a lot of room for images. Will you be mainly writing stories? Then a choose theme that’s more text heavy.
WordPress offers free and paid theme options, as well as the ability to change your theme.
Once you choose a theme, you will have the option to customize your theme with different background colors, header, etc. Remember, you can always change your theme, so you can try out a few before you create too many posts, and see which one you prefer.
3) Create your first post
You can choose a format for your post by picking text, photo, video, quotation or link. Not sure what you’d like to post? Take a look at the “Inspire Me” link which directs you to other people’s content. It’s a great way to get fun and fresh ideas.
Below is an example of what a photo/image post looks like with the PinkTouch2 theme. Underneath your post, you will see that there is an “About the Author” section which shows a description of the author that you can fill out in the public profile section. The post will also show any categories or tags that you added to the blog post. Categories are a great way to keep your blog posts organized. Tags are what make your content searchable on WordPress.
4) Review your Home Page
Your homepage is a place to check the latest posts from your blog and the blogs you follow. You can also view your statistics, where you can see how many visitors, views and comments you have on your blog. This helps you see which blogs posts perform best and during what times/days of the week.
You can search for various blogs from this page by searching for different “tags” or viewing the “You May Like” section.
5) Review your Dashboard
The dashboard can be overwhelming at times, but once you know what each section is, it’s lot easier to work with.
Your dashboard will have “screen options” which let you choose what you’d like to see on your dashboard. You can set your preferences to have “Stats” and “Quick Draft” on your dashboard page, for example.
Let’s take a closer look to each section of the dashboard.
A. Home: The home section shows you everything that’s on the home page including blogs, posts, comments, and stats. You can use Omnisearch to search through all your blogs, comments, pages and images.
B. Store: The store section allows you to add a store to your blog for $99.
C. Posts: The posts section lets you see all of your posts with the option of viewing by categories or tags. You can also copy posts in this section.
D. Media: The media section houses all of your images and videos.
E. Links: The links section shows all of the links that your blog links back to.
F. Pages: The pages section shows all of your blog pages. For example, if you have an “About Me” page on your blog, it would show up there.
G. Comments: The comments section shows all of your comments and lets you search your comments as well as filter them.
H. Feedback: The feedback section is where you can find all of your feedback from readers, see your blog ratings, and create and view polls.
I. Appearance: The appearance section is where you can customize your blog with options to change the header, background, etc.
J. Users: The users section is where you can add new users to your blog, as well as view your profile and personal settings.
K. Tools: The tools section is where you can add the “Press This” bookmarklet to your browser so you can share content from the web on your blog faster. In this section you will also find the website verification options for Google, Bing, Pinterest, Twitter and Yandex.
L. Settings: The settings section is where you can find all of the options for writing your blog, your reading preferences, email preferences, etc. You can even set up push notifications for yourself if you’d like to be notified each time someone leaves a comment for example.
There are definitely many parts to starting a blog, but once your account is set up, it’s really easy. Are you ready to give WordPress a shot? Go here to get started.