When I first considered starting a blog, I did a lot of research on the nuts and bolts of blogging. Where do I register a domain name? What’s a web host? What’s the best platform to run my blog on?
Thankfully, there were a few bloggers that took their time to share their experiences and guide me in the right direction. It made me feel good knowing that there is an open and generous blogging community that sincerely supports other bloggers. It’s rare to find that in any community in our hyper competitive world so here is my attempt to pay it forward.
Here is my step-by-step guide of How to Start a WordPress Blog.
- Decide on your WordPress Blog’s premise
The best advice I can give is: Narrow down the premise of your blog. Focus on a niche that you are an expert in, and passionate about. Think about who your target audience will be and what they are interested in. Investigate other blogs in your niche. Take note of what topics and articles that readers respond most too.
The difficult part in deciding on a premise is making sure it’s not too vague or too specific. Try to find the right balance by writing down 50 blog post ideas related to your premise.
If you struggle to get to fifty, maybe your focus is too narrow. If you are way over that number, your premise is too broad. Fifty seems to be the sweet spot.
After you decide what your focus will be, stay consistent with writing posts that relate to your original premise. Things will evolve over time but don’t forget what the original point of your blog is.
2. Decide on your WordPress Blog’s name
Your name should stand out and reflect your personality. It took me a few weeks to land on the name Layupforlife. I chose ‘Lay up for Life’ because I’m a huge basketball fan and my goal is to help people make easy (layup) choices to succeed.
You should do this in parallel with searching for domain names because a lot of domain names are already taken. Some good names are owned by speculators who will sell you a domain name for a premium. It’s up to you to decide how important it is to your brand identity.
Use sites like domainsearcher.com to see what’s available. Also use Google’s Keyword Planner to analyze what names/words get searched the most in your niche. Stick with .com domain names because they are still the easiest to search.
3. Find a Web Host for your WordPress Blog
Now that you have a name, time to buy your domain name and find a good web hosting service. What is a web host?
A web host is a company who sells or leases space on their servers to “host” your blog. The servers keep and upload the content of your blog to anyone who visits. You’re essentially paying “rent” to have your blog hosted on a web server.
Companies like GoDaddy offer competitive rates on domain names and web hosting. You want a reliable company to host your website. This will translate to a better experience for your readers because of reliable uptime (staying live) and fast upload speeds.
Go Daddy offers great rates on domain names and web hosting here —> $.99* .COM Domains! Get going with GoDaddy!
4. Sign up for a WordPress account
Upload your domain to the web hosting service you choose. Sign up for a WordPress account and get started. It took me a little while to learn how to navigate WordPress (not the most intuitive platform if you ask me) but I decided to use it because that’s what most bloggers use.
That being said, once I got the hang of it, I realized why bloggers choose WordPress. It offers infinite customization possibilities, lots of free plugins (ad inserter, popup menus, SEO analysis, etc.), and is supported by most web hosts.
Check out this online course for help with WordPress: Online WordPress Classes at Creative Live
5. Get a logo designed
This is different for everyone but I think a logo helps you establish the ‘brand’ of your blog. It is also a great identifier. Especially if you plan to branch out to other platforms like vlogging, online courses, etc..
Get a graphic designer to help you create a logo that reflects your personality and brand. Find someone who you vibe with and understands your vision.
Shout out to Simple Designs Studio —> simpledesignsstudio.com for creating my logo and designing my giveaways. The owner Sarah made the process pleasurable because she kept me involved throughout the process and made an effort to understand my vision.
A professionally designed logo makes the difference of looking like an amateur to someone who’s serious.
6. Write Content
Writers write and bloggers blog. Commit to a pace that’s appropriate for what your life allows and keeps you writing. I’ve committed to write two blog posts a week, which, is perfect for my work / life balance. Whatever you decide, stay accountable and committed. Your readers are expecting and looking forward to content.
Take a course that can help you on the writing track like this one —> Build a Successful Creative Blog Course at CreativeLive