So you have decided that you want to officially start your blog using WordPress? Now I am no expert at WordPress, and pretty much everything I have done has been through trial and error, but I am going to share with you how to start a blog using WordPress with what I have learned.
Once you have gotten to WordPress.com and had a look around and decided that you want to use them as your platform, the next thing is choosing a domain name. Now in a post that I have written before, once you decide you want to blog you should first choose a blog name, then check to make sure that name hasn’t been taken, next make an email account using that name, and then proceed to setting up a WordPress account using that email addy.
Once you have done this and get to the domain choosing page of WordPress just type in the name you have chosen. It will automatically pull up options for that domain name.
I chose the free option here as I already own a domain through WordPress. If you think that you are going to be serious about blogging then I suggest going self-hosted from the start. But if you are just wanting to get your feet a bit damp then free is the best route. I have still not switched to self hosted with Domesticated Momster and **knocks on wood** have not found a reason why to. I did however, buy my domain name through WordPress.
If you purchase even the smallest package through WordPress it will give you more options in the customization mode but to just get started there are still plenty of options.
Once you are in the custom screen you can re-enter the domain name as you want it to appear on the top of the page. You can also enter a tagline which will appear directly under your title. Tag lines are usually used to describe a little about what your blog is about. For instance, with Domesticated Momster my tagline reads “what happens to mommy when she gets to 3“. For this demo I didn’t choose a tagline.
You can also insert a logo here if you have made one. Logos are great to use throughout all social media as a way of people recognizing you. They are usually created using a graphic designer but if you are like me and familiar with how to use Photoshop then you can make your own. Once you have your title, tag line, and logo all set then just click on the little back arrow just below the X which will take you to more customizing options.
Here you can choose colors and backgrounds. This particular theme only has an option to change the background which I did here to a lovely shade of purple. Some themes give other coloring options such as coloring your titles and links.This theme may also have other options had I purchased a package with it. In addition, being self-hosted gives you a ton of options in how you want your blog to look. But like I said….if you are just wanting to see if you even like the world of blogging than a free WordPress platform is fine. No point in dishing out the expense if you are just going to test the waters.
You can then choose what type of font you want for your site’s titles and body text…
Just click on the highlighted blue line and it will produce a drop down menu with several font options. When choosing one it will then show the examples on your blog page to the right. Feel free to play around with a few. There is also some font type and size options as well.
Next is the widgets section. I know you are probably asking yourself WTF is a widget??? And I asked myself the very same thing and even after a year of blogging, I am still not 100 percent clear on the proper definition but they all go in the sidebar of your blog. You can choose to add however many widgets you would like but I am always about keeping it simple at first and then adding as you go along. As for suggestions on what I feel is important in your sidebar…a picture of yourself and your social buttons are a top priority of mine. Because… well… your readers are going to want to know what you look like and where to find you right? If you aren’t interested in the world knowing what you look like then of course don’t put a pic of yourself but maybe find a free clip art avatar to use. Wordpress uses a Gravatar profile in which you can enter any picture you would like.
Most themes support an “about me” page. I highly recommend having one. You can keep it simple or go into great detail about who the person behind the blog is. If you would like to check out an example you can locate mine for Domesticated Momster here. The about page really helps with your reader’s curiosity about getting to know you. To create the page just simply click on edit from this page and it will take you to a post writing page that looks like this…
Just title It “About…” and start writing then when finished press the blue update button at the bottom. You have finished the first step to starting a blog with WordPress.
In my next series on The How To’s Of WordPress I will explain how to write your first post. So be sure to stay tuned.
Until Next Time,
I am linking this post with the following fab linkys: