Let’s just be honest: starting your own blog and/or online business is not a small task. There are SO many tutorials, advice and videos out there on what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be, that it can be completely overwhelming and stop you before you even pick up your mouse to begin a click.
Don’t freeze, or let it make you just click over and open another tab and start browsing recipes on Pinterest to make for dinner (me- totally do this too much). The hardest part is just starting, and you my friend YOU’RE DOING IT!
When I started my blog I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I just knew I needed a creative outlet where I could share my pictures of the family. I wish there were websites like this back in the day, as that it would have saved me some very late nights and a few grown-women-tantrums.
Don’t freeze, don’t waste time and just DO! Keep reading because I’m going to make it much easier than you had thought.
Ready? Let’s do this blog thang!
9 steps to creating a blog post
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I promise that I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used. Thank you so much for your support!
Here are the 9 steps we will cover in this tutorial.
- Decide on your niche. What do you want to write about?
- Pick a blog name. Choose something that relates to your overall niche.
- Get your blog online. Register your blog and get hosting.
- Install your blog. Get WordPress the best blogging platform.
- Set up important pages. Essential WordPress pages for your website.
- Write & publish your first post. Yay the fun part!
- Install a theme. Customize it with a free template.
- Install Must Have plugins. Install plugins to make blogging life easier.
- Publish. Launch your blog post!
Are you wondering how to start a blog? I’m glad you’re here! In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to create your own blog and publish your first post, no technical experience required. This is the site I wish I had when I started blogging almost 10 years ago. If you need to back up and review how to setup your website, you can find those steps here.
STEP 1: DECIDE ON YOUR NICHE
What do you want to write about? Are you a fashionista? A foodie? Or do you want to be the next Joanna Gaines? The options are endless. My one piece of advice is to write about something you’re passionate about!
When I first started blogging, I decided to write for stay at home moms that were dying to find themselves again and get back their mojo. My focus has turned into educating women who want to turn their creative hobby into an online business.
STEP 2: GET DOMAIN AND HOSTING
If you are a newbie, then I’m guessing you were like me and understanding the industry lingo can be confusing. So let me drop some helpful knowledge of some words you’ll hear and use quite a bit….
A domain name is a term used for your website address. For example, my domain is lolaceleste.com
Website hosting is what powers your website to be seen on the Internet. Without it, no one will be able to see your website. All blog owners must pay for their domain and hosting. The great news is that it’s inexpensive.
Website hosting is one of the most critical elements of your business and one which is taken for granted by a lot of new website owners. I LOVE that my domain name AND hosting account is all in-house with SiteGround. I can’t stress enough how important a good hosting provider is for a successful online business. Believe me, select a bad hosting provider and you will quickly feel the pain.
STEP 3: GET YOUR BLOG ONLINE
For all the deets and steps for signing up with a web host AND purchasing your domain name, pump your brakes before you go any further in this tutorial and CLICK HERE to get you caught up.
Web host? CHECK
Domain name? CHECK
WordPress installed CHECK
Now let’s dive into creating your very first blog post…
Login to your WordPress
Enter your saved username and password to access your WordPress site.
Click login button.
And now you can see your new WordPress dashboard.
Feel the power of the online opportunities yet? Oooooh, just you wait; you will 😉
STEP 4: SETTING UP PAGES
Now that your site is set up, it’s important to add a few essential WordPress pages.
The following pages are important and your site needs them to establish credibility and authority for your visitors, Google, and your other social media properties.
- About Page – This page tells your visitors what you and your site is about. It lays the framework for your site and can include a mission statement and more. Include a photo and brief bio, and explain why you’re blogging and why the reader should care.
- Contact Page- Every site needs a Contact Us Page. It shows you can be contacted and have an open line between you and your site visitors. Nothing fancy if you chose; just tell your readers how best to reach you. Do not put your full email address on here. Spambots will get a hold of it! NOOOO! What I do is just spell out my email address whenever I need to display it. Example info(at)lolaceleste(dot)com. Not the sexiest thing, but better than receiving spam day and night in your inbox.
Go to dashboard > POSTS > ALL PAGES.
You will see what pages are already there that came with your default theme. Every new WordPress blog has an About page already set up, but we want to edit and customize it.
Click edit under the about title.
You will now arrive at the edit page screen. The title area (which includes the word “About”) and a text area, which also contains the theme’s default will be shown. Waiting and ready for you to customize it.
You can also see here that the Status is showing as Published. That means it’s live on the Internet for all to see.
Click on the large text area and type in your contact information. Hit the UPDATE button to save.
Want to see what this page looks like live? Click on the View Page link just under the title. This should open up a new tab with your new live edit page.
Now go back to your dashboard and repeat for your contact page and any additional pages you wish to create.
STEP 5: CREATE YOUR FIRST BLOG POST
The time has come! You’re going to create your FIRST blog post!
First, click on “Add New Post.”
You will notice there’s already a post WordPress started you with named “Hello World.”
You can delete this. To delete it click “Trash” just under the post.
To begin writing a new post, click the “Add New” link (found in either the left menu or next to the word “Posts”).
Once you’re inside, you’ll notice it’s similar to using your favorite document editor.
Here, you enter a title, add some images and text. When your post is ready, simply hit the “Publish” button and BOOM you just shared a blog post with the world.
STEP 6: INSTALL A WORDPRESS THEME
The design of WordPress blogs run on “themes.”
WordPress software uses themes to create the graphics and layouts you see on all those blogs. Through these themes, you can customize your new website.
It’s incredible how many free themes are available for WordPress. Remember that little learning curve I talked about earlier? This is where you will need to be patient with yourself and learn the ins and outs. I strongly suggest you get cozy with the default theme before moving on to a more custom free theme or purchased premium theme.
When you are ready to find that gorgeous new WordPress theme, I recommend taking a look at Creative Market. Tons of gorgeous WordPress themes by really creative artist. Sign up for free here. Another huge theme website is Studio Press. All their themes are built on the Genesis Platform, so be prepared to purchase Genesis software in addition. The investment is minimal compared to all the themes that will be accessible to you then.
How to pick a new WordPress theme:
In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Appearance > Themes.”
On the next page, you’ll see all of your installed themes. You can search for new themes by clicking on “Add New” at the top of the page.
Here you will see several options to search for a new theme.
Search and try not to get obsessed with all the pretty themes. I’m SO guilty of this!
Found a theme? Simply hover over the theme you like and click the “Install” button.
Congratulations! You just installed your first WordPress theme!
Make it yours and click the customization button and play around.
STEP 7: INSTALL ESSENTIAL PLUGINS
What are WordPress plugins? Technically speaking, WordPress plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site.
Real talk, they are goodies you add on to your site or blog that make things easier to do. Want to display your posts in a grid format like Pinterest? There’s a plugin for that. Want to make sure Google knows your site exists and tell the world every time you post something?
There’s a plugin for that too.
Kind of get the idea?
Take a minute and go back to your dashboard.
Navigate to “Plugins > Add New.
On next page, place the following must have plugins (in my opinion) in search box one at a time.
MUST HAVE PLUGINS:
- WordPress SEO – by Yoast
- W3 Total Cache – website load
- Updraft Plus – back up website
Type the plugin name in search box. Once it turns up the correct search, click INSTALL NOW button.
Now Click ACTIVATE button and you’re all good.
Repeat process for additional plugin installs.
Pour yourself a cocktail and pat yourself on the back. You created your first website and blog!
STEP 8: LAUNCH
The Final Step in the process is to “officially” launch your blog. Let people know about it on Social Media and if you already have a mailing list, let your subscribers know too.
There are a lot of ways to launch your site. You can go big or you can do a soft launch and let your blog grow before you do any grand announcements with Press Releases, etc.
The bottom line is your blog is here and it’s ready to go.