How To Blog For Beginners
Let’s face it, you want to start a blog, but you’re not computer savvy. That’s ok, it’s pretty easy these days, we don’t all have to know advanced coding, even thought I’m familiar with coding languages, I haven’t been using it much with WordPress. This step-by-step guide will get you ready to create and write your blog posts in no time, no coding involved!
1. Choosing your Company Name
Now before you start buying anything, it would be a good idea to nail down what you want your blog to be named, and also secure your domain name. Domain name is the www.domain.com address that people will type in order to come to your website, just like you had to type/click on www.glowseeker.com for mine!
2. Hosting: Choose the price plan for you.
If the goal of your blog is for pleasure and you’re not looking at making money with this blog, then blogger or thumblr are free and might be just what you’re looking for in terms of budget.
If you’re planning on having a professional blog and would like to monetize your blog then you should purchase hosting and work with WordPress. Hosting is where you’ll Install your WordPress website/blog. Think of hosting as a piece of land.
My recommendation is Dreamhost, I’ve been with them since 2008 and haven’t had any complaints with them ever. It’s a great company that has 24/7 support and has an easy 1-click WordPress install(it used to be a little bit more tricky back in the day!). It costs 119.40 a year but with my past experience with them, it’s worth it.
If you’re looking for a less expensive option, then I would recommend BlueHost. They’re a great start up choice, they aren’t ideal for when you start to grow in potentially a year or two but again, for beginning your blog journey, this can be a fine choice. 2.95$ a month for 36 months is a pretty good deal for starting a blog from scratch (you’ll have to pay all upfront).
Below is a comparison table of a couple difference you’ll find at both companies:
3. Installing WordPress
You’re so close to starting your blog! Now that you have your hosting all paid up, it’s time to get WordPress installed. WordPress is what you’ll use to create your blog with. It’s like the foundation of your house, where you’ll build over it and make and shape it into your blog.
- Once you’re in your Dreamhost/Bluehost cPanel (a link will be provided to you in your welcome email), you simply need to find and click on the image that says ‘One Click Install’ for Bluehost and look under Goodies for Dreamhost.
- Locate the blog section of the One Click Installs and there you’ll see the WordPress icon.
- Click on the ‘Start’ button. This will begin the installation.
- While it’s being installed, you’ll be prompt to select the domain you’ll want to install WordPress on. Click on the dropdown menu and select the domain you would like to use(it’s probably the one you signed up with)
- You’ll see ‘Advance Options’. You’ll choose your username and password in here which will be for your WordPress website. While still in the ‘Advance Options, you’ll want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation”, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
- Click ‘Install Now’.
And that’s it! You now have a hosted WordPress blog. You can access your blog at www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
WordPress and Themes are a powerful package; the great thing about WordPress is that you don’t need to know much coding, if at all. Themes will make your website look a certain way, depending on which theme you choose, it’s like a skin that you apply to your website, or a phone case that you add to your phone.
Themes I recommend:
- Free: WordPress offers free themes for you to pick from. This could be the solution for you until you start making money from your blog.
- Basic: I spent $60 on the Avada Theme. It’s a beautiful theme that will let you do a lot of modification without knowing coding. I highly recommend this theme because if you can’t do what you want with this theme, a web designer will have an easy time modifying your theme for you.It also has a Facebook Support Group and support!
- There are many other themes out there, it’s hard to tell you which to pick but do some research and pick a theme within your budget and one that you like.
5. Creating graphics for your posts
Next up, you’ll have to add graphics and photos to your blog post to make them visually appealing and to help tell your story. You don’t have to be a Graphic Designer or Photographer. You don’t even need to purchase expensive programs like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, or even purchase stock photos from iStock. You can simply use the below resources that I’ve gathered for you until you start making money with your blog.
- PicMonkey for your graphics – With PicMonkey you can easily create the graphics that you’ll want to create for your blog. (You could purchase their $33/year plan to unlock extra features, but it’s not necessary at the moment)
- Pixabay and Unsplash are two website I personally use for stock photography. It isn’t the greatest photos, but you can work with them while building your blog income.
Email list builder
Lastly, you’ll read around the web that you should start building your email list right away. I will vouch for this, building your email list from the start is the way to go in order to attain long term readers and grow your audience. Below are my recommendations and what I personally use:
- MailChimp is free for your first 2000 subscriber, which is a great way to ease into e-newsletters. But I’ve never got the hang of MailChimp and so the price is right if you’re up for the challenge of learning on how to use this tool.
- ConvertKit is the only e-newsletter tool I’ll ever use, it’s so easy to use and even though it’s $29/month, I’ve managed to change some of my spending habits in order to allow me to make some room in my budget for this expense.
With these steps that I’ve laid out, you now have a good base in order to start your blog. Once you have your blog all setup, leave a comment with your link, I would love to see what you’ve created!