Start a Blog
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A Fresh New Blog
When I moved into my new place, I stumbled across a box labeled “Journals”. A flashback of my younger years came to mind. All through my childhood I had always kept a journal. I wrote about what made me happy, what made me sad, what got me angry, romance, adventures, thoughts, and generally life.
I first read about starting a blog about five years ago. As an adult I had gotten away from my childhood hobby of writing in journals. I guess I was just too caught up in the responsibilities of being an adult. A blog reminded me of a journal. A place I could record my thoughts and experiences. A place that was all mine.
So I started a blog.
Growing up, there is so many things that I’ve learned, I want to share them with the world. Just like my journals, a blog is my place to write what I want, to write about my experiences, to write about life.
If you have ever asked yourself, should I start a blog? The answer is yes.
It is rewarding to have a place all to yourself to rant about life.
When I first started blogging, it took me a while to learn all the ins and out of the blog-making process. While it is a relatively simple process, there was quite a few things that I had to Google. I wish I had a step-by-step manual on how to start a blog.
So I made this step-by-step manual to help you.
Where to Start?
It is really simple today to start a blog. First, think about what you will want your blog to be about. It can be a simple journal of your every day life or it can be tailored to a specific topic or a mix of both.
If you are trying to start a profitable blog, you will want to narrow your topic down and focus on something specific. If you don’t care if its profitable, then feel free to talk about anything.
Regardless what type of blog you are creating, you will need 2 things.
- A domain name
A domain name is where your blog will be found. Think about it as your address. The domain name usually looks like www.myblog.com and it is where people can find your site.
Hosting is like the city you live in. If a company is hosting your website, it means it is allowing you to put your website along with thousands of other websites on their server so it can be live on the internet.
How to Pick a Domain Name
The domain name should be something related to your blog or to your life. For example, if you want to talk about living room designs on your blog then something like Livingbydesign.com would be a great name. You don’t have to make it about what your talking about in your blog, but you may want to make it close to it so your readers don’t get confused.
Your domain name, while unique to you, should be something that will be easy to type in so readers can find your blog. Usually a domain name with .com, .org, or .net will make your blog easier to find as these are common endings.
Personally, I like to make a list of all the potential domain names that I can think of. I will research them to make sure they are available. Then I will choose an available one that best represents my site.
Find Hosting for your Blog
There are several companies that offer hosting. I recommend Bluehost as it is one of the top rated companies. They have hosting for a few dollars a month and it comes with a free domain name and a free site builder.
Check here to see if your domain name is available:
Bluehost is great because on their $3.95/mo plan it gives you 50GB of storage which is more than enough to run a blog, as well you can have up to 5 parked domain names. For only two more dollars a month, the $5.95/mo plan gives you unlimited parked domain names and unlimited website space and bandwidth.
Once you have chosen your domain name and set up your hosting, install WordPress on your blog using Bluehost one-click WordPress install.
Congratulations! You are now ready to start blogging.
Now that you have WordPress installed, you are ready for the fun part – Starting your blog. After WordPress is installed, go to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin and sign in using the credentials you created when you installed WordPress. This will be how you access your blog and make posts.
You can start by using a generic theme as you will want to get a feel for how your blog will be set up first. I would make a post or two before you consider changing your theme.
How to Change Your Theme
Your theme is the look and feel of your blog. I usually spend the most time picking a theme out because I want my blog to be simple and yet have functional design elements.
In WordPress, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
Here under Filters you can search for themes based on certain criteria. If you want it to have certain functionality such as Custom Menus or Custom Options, check those. You can choose the number of columns you would like, or even pick a theme with a certain color scheme.
Once you have filtered your theme, chose a theme that comes up. You will have to install the theme before you see the Live Preview. The Live Preview will allow you to see the theme you chose with your current postings and widgets.
In order to have more functionality, it may be worth it to install a premium theme. These usually have a one-time cost associated with them but it will give you many more options on customizing your site to have the look you want it to.
I usually purchase my themes from Themeforest as they have the most up-to-date selection and are always getting new themes. They also offer support in case you had any questions about the theme.
You can filter the types of themes so you can find one that works well for your blog. I would suggest using a theme under the category Blog, Personal, or Magazine. The theme I chose for this blog is called Suzette.
Once you have your domain, hosting, wordpress, and a theme, you can start your blogging adventures. If you need more help on WordPress and how to set up menus, posts, and pages, there are some great tutorials on YouTube. As well, I have some useful information on my sister site, Revolves Around You, which talks about setting up your blog and giving it personality. There you can learn about what plug-ins to install, how to set up menus and widgets, and what to do next on your WordPress site.
If you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment or send me a message.