Doing anything for the first time can be intimidating. Starting your first blog is no different. You already know that there are millions of blogs on the web all competing for attention.
It might be helpful to remember that even the most successful bloggers had to start from scratch.The one thing they all have in common is that they started with a vision and persevered. You can do that too.
Choose a Domain
Before you choose your domain name, you need to know what your blog will be about, what your reason for starting it is, and what do you hope to accomplish. A domain is your unique Internet address and should reflect the topic you are covering.
For example, if you want to write about your favorite recipes and your name is Sally, you might want your domain to be something like “CookingwithSally.com”. There are other available extensions such as .net, .co, and .us, but .com is the most common.
Your domain is important because it:
- Defines your brand
- Serves as your website visitor’s first impression of you
- Affects your search engine rankings
If the domain name you want is available, you should purchase it. You will then need to know what to do after buying a domain name.
Choose Your Platform
The next decision you will have to make iswhere you will build your blog. Your best choice is to use the largest blogging platform in the world. That platform is called WordPress with over 82 million active users.
There are many reasons why WordPress (WP) is a robust option. Some of the reasons are because WP is:
- Free to use
- Easy to setup
- Supported by a massive support forum
- Easily shared on social media via plugins
- Continuously updated
- Highly customizable via themes, plugins, and widgets
Select a Web Host
Your domain is your web property address and your hosting account is akin to paying rent for your property. You can either choose to host your domain at the same place where it was purchased or from another hosting company.
If you select a different company, you will need to transfer your nameservers to your hosting account. Hosting costs vary depending upon your needs. However, for first-time bloggers, you will be able to get an inexpensive plan for beginners.
Design Your Blog
This can be a fun step for creative folks. There are so many different designs and layouts you can use as is or customize with your favorite colors, images, fonts, and designs. WordPress has a ton of free themes you can choose from inside your dashboard.
Go to “Appearance”, then “Themes”, select one you like and install it. There are also many premium themes you can purchase if you decide you want something different.
If you choose a theme and decide you don’t like it, WP makes it simple to select a new one to replace your original choice.
Create Your Pages
By default, WordPress comes with two different content types. Pages are where content is added that are not part of your blog post scheduling. Posts are where you write your blog articles.What are the most important pages you need to have on your blog?
- Contact page: You want to have a way for your readers to get in touch with you, whether they are potential business partners, blog readers, or advertisers. Many bloggers include their phone number, email address, and social media profiles on this page. Others also include a contact form so that visitors can send you a message.
- About Page: This is where you tell your visitors a little about yourself, the reason why you are blogging, your purpose, your mission, and what readers can expect to find on your blog. This page helps you connect with your readers by giving insights into the person behind the blog. You will also build trust with your audience.
- Terms of Service: This page is required for those blogs that have an online store or sell services. It is a legal document. You can check online for templates you can use to make sure you include all the necessary information.
- Services and/or Products Page: If your blog is intended to sell, you will need to have a way to display what you are selling and a way collect payments. WordPress has many plugins to help you set up your page correctly.
Once your blog is up and running, now it’s time to start writing the content of your first blog post. You can write what you know about, do research to get additional information, and be sure to link to external sources when you are using data to back up your points.