How to Start a Blog with WordPress

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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.

 

get_started31step1_wordpress

 

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.

choose_themecustomize_theme

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.

create_first_post

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.

post_examplepost_example1

 

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.

wordpress.com  stats_wordpress

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.

dashboard_screenshot

Let’s take a closer look to each section of the dashboard.

dashboard_screenshot2

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.

10 Responses to “How to Start a Blog with WordPress”

  1. stine1 Says:

    Reblogged this on Zizzling Zazzle – Home of stine1 on Zazzle and commented:
    This is a very comprehensive and simply awesome manual on how to set up your own blog about Zazzle or anything else. Great blog post!

  2. Dino Dogan Says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    This is an interesting direction Zazzle is taking in terms of content. And it makes perfect sense to focus on helping people start their own publishing empires in order to sell Zazzle products and more. Kudos.

    The next logical step in the series might be on how to promote your blog posts once you have the blog. I’d love to help you write that article if you’re interested. Email me dino at triberr dot com.

    • Elizabeth, Associates Mentor Says:

      Hi Dino,

      Thank you for the offer. I’ll definitely think about creating a post on ” how to promote your blog.”

      Thank you!
      Elizabeth

  3. justathought Says:

    Just a heads up: last time I made a wordpress blog to promote my Zazzle stuff, after a few weeks wordpress deleted my blog because they said it breached their Terms and conditions by being “too commercial” / promotional. This was a year ago but if the rules are the same I believe the free wordpress blogs aren’t meant for commercial promotional use and they will delete blogs that are like this if you are unfortunate enough to be picked up on their sensors, and then all your hard work goes down the drain.

    It is possible that your free blog will be safe if you make an effort to make it less commercial – with lots of non-commercial articles alongside the ones promoting products but I’m not sure. Personally I’d buy a website space where there is zero risk of your website being deleted without notice.

  4. Fliss Says:

    Thanks for the information; this is something I need to find the time to do

  5. Debi Dalio Says:

    I used to have a free WordPress blog. They removed it on me suddenly because I had some Zazzle and Amazon advertising on it. If things haven’t changed in the past couple of years, the WordPress folks frown on any advertising on free blogs. If you plan to advertise Zazzle (or any other) stuff on a WordPress blog, read the fine print about accepted blog usage first, and pay for the blog if you have to.

  6. Nicholas Says:

    If only it were that simple.

    Yes, building a blog is extremely useful in getting more sales but it’s not as simple as it sounds.

    I would definitely recommend getting your own domain and hosting as not only is it better for search engine optimization but it also means that you will never be at risk of losing your site or your traffic if the people who own your site decide to change things, shut down or close as in the case of Yahoo Geocities and Google Blogs many years ago.

    For this reason Wordperss.org is superior to WordPress.com as recommended in this article. It is also more customizable should you ever become big in the future!

    But setting up your blog the right way from the start doesn’t have to be hard.

    There are places online (like what I do – yes I’m plugging my service but it is relevant and helpful) that will set up your site for you for free, provide free video training and other resources to really maximize your branding and interaction with customers to get the most out of blogging and maximize sales.

    Feel free to reply to this message if you want more information about blogging and I will gladly follow up.

  7. 123nick Says:

    If only it were that simple.

    Yes, it is true that blogging is an excellent way to promote your brand and make more sales but if only it were that easy.

    I definitely recommend that you get your own domain name and also your own web hosting because not only does it improve your search engine rankings but it also means that you won’t lose all the hard work you put into building your blog and traffic if the owner of the site (wordpress.com) decide to change the rules, shut down or close as in the case of Yahoo Geocities and Google Blogs some years ago.

    For this reason WordPress.org is a better platform then WordPress.com (recommended in the article) plus you will have full ownership, no third party ads, unlimited design options and it is fully customizable should you become big in the future!

    WordPress.org may take a bit longer to set up on your own but here is a secret work around to make it super simple…

    Search for places online (like what I do… yes I am plugging a site but its helpful and relevant) that will set it all up the right way for you for free, provide free video training (which you don’t get with wordpress.com) and other resources to help you effectively interact with your customers and make more sales!

    If you have any questions about how to blog the right way feel free to reply to this comment and I will happily get back to you.

    Good luck!
    Nick

  8. Elizabeth, Associates Mentor Says:

    Hi everyone,

    If anyone is interested in starting out with a WordPress.com blog and then moving to WordPress.org, this is a great article on how to make that transition: http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth P.

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