The hard part is over. You’ve decided to start a blog and I’m going to assume you know what you are going to blog about 🙂 Now, let’s focus on the 5 steps for an easy blog setup and get you headed towards your first post.
Step 1: Go out and get yourself a domain name
So, now, let’s figure out what you are going to call this blog and find you a domain name. Choosing a name is so important as it will help create your brand. If you don’t already have a name in mind, then check out this article from Unsettle.org for some guidance. I like to use hover for finding and registering a domain name. I like to keep my domain name registrations separate from my web hosting arrangements. Hover may not always be the cheapest method but we’ve been using them for 7 years and like the ease of managing our domains and the all-in pricing. For $15 or less, in most cases, you’ll get your domain for a years and whois privacy. Whois privacy hides your personal information from the public. Many other companies make you pay extra for this service.
Step 2: It’s time to find a home for your blog
For my own blogs, including this one, I use Siteground hosting. You can get started for under $5 a month. How many businesses can you start for such a low cost? The best part is you can begin with the “start up” plan and then scale as your blog scales. No point signing up for higher monthly costs until you are bringing in visitors and income.
Step 3: Easy blog setup – installing WordPress
Once you sign up for web hosting you can usually install WordPress easily with a one-click installation or wizard set-up process. With siteground, it is super easy plus they offer a number of videos and tutorials to help get your website up in minutes. Easy blog setup is what it is all about.
Step 4: Design/pick a theme
WordPress is one of the most popular and easy to use blogging platforms. If you choose to use WordPress you will still want to personalize it with a really great theme. There are lots of different options out there. I highly recommend considering using the Genesis Framework + child theme. The Genesis Framework was created by StudioPress and they refer to the framework as the frame and body of a car. Wordpress is the engine and the child theme is the “paint” job. Depending on your blog topic, there are a number of really great child themes that you can purchase.
Before you purchase, check out this checklist of things to consider so that you don’t have buyer’s remorse.
Need help setting up your theme and customizing it? When you purchase a theme from StudioPress or 316 Restored you will receive set up instructions that will help you get your site up and looking beautiful in no time.
Step 5: Add plugins
Plugins help you easily expand the functionality of your site. Take some time to research and think about what functionality you really need as too many plugins can cause performance issues and sometimes certain plugins won’t play nice together.
Some common plugin types include:
- social sharing – makes sharing content really easy for readers (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Flipboard, etc)
- newsletter signups – start building your email list
- search engine optimization (Yoast SEO is one of the most popular)
- google analytics and adsense
- security, spam and backup
Jetpack by WordPress offers a lot of functionality all wrapped up in one plugin. It is a good starter plugin until you get your feet wet.
Take your time playing around and getting familiar with WordPress. It will become intuitive over time and there is a vast number of resources and tutorials available on the internet.
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