Nowadays, everyone with just the most basic computer skills can create a successful blog. To help you have your professional blog in the twinkle, here you have some tips and a step-by-step guide.
Even though writing your blog posts can take a considerable time and maybe even research, in the end, you will be able to share your ideas and thoughts with so many people. To make it easier for you, we will walk you through all the processes, step-by-step, to avoid the mistakes that beginners are most likely to do.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
1.Pick a topic for your blog.
The first thing to do is to choose your blog’s topic. This is such an important step that determines your blog’s future. You have to focus on one thing you are passionate about, so that you can help others through writing good articles and blog posts about it.
Here are some tips for choosing a blog topic. If you are an expert in something or you are learning something new, you can share it with the world via your blog. For example, if you are obsessed with health care or beauty tips, you can freely share your suggestions related to this topic and you will probably get clients or many people with similar interests who will read your blog. The best would be to have a concrete idea for your blog, so you can focus on it, and do your best to create good content.
2.Decide the Right Platform for your Blog.
Self-Hosted or Free Blog?
There are so many platforms for free blogging that you can use to sign up, such as Tumblr.com WordPress.org, etc.
But before you decide, take a look at some of the disadvantages of free blogging services:
- You have limited monetization.
- You also have limits on customization and traffic.
- Having no total control over your blog.
- You’ll pay more when you upgrade to a self-hosted platform.
Down below are some of the reasons why we suggest you have a self-hosted blog:
- You have no limitations regarding the content of your blog.
- Your blog will be more professional.
- It will look so much better graphically.
You should also decide which platform you will use for your blog. You have a wide range of platforms to choose from, and depending on their flexibility or learning curve, you can choose the one that fits your needs.
Here we have some of the best blogging platforms in 2021:
The best content management system for your blog post is definitively WordPress. It is very popular and powers more than 30% of all websites on the web. Here are some other reasons why WordPress is your best choice:
- It is open-source and very flexible.
- It has numerous free and premium blog themes.
- Allows you to fully control your blog.
- WordPress is free software.
- It is regularly improved & updated.
- It is safe and secure.
But what is the real cost to host a WordPress Blog?
As we mentioned before, WordPress is a free open-source platform, but still, it has other costs attached. So, buying a new domain name and web hosting will cost you in total around ~$60 per year, the investment is nothing when it comes to creating a successful blog. If you suddenly regret and want to quit blogging, you can cancel your web hosting services and you will have your money-back guarantee within a time frame of 30 days (many providers offer this).
As for the domain name, usually, it can not be refunded, but it will eventually expire as you do not pay for it anymore.
3.Put up your Blog choosing your Web Hosting & Register your Domain Name.
To start with your self-hosted WordPress blog, you need to choose a WordPress web hosting company and buy and register a domain name for your website.
For that, we recommend Bluehost because you can sign up and activate your account instantly. Also, the domain name it’s free for the first year and the hosting plan comes with an SSL certificate. Web hosting costs around $2.75 per month. You can simply download and use WordPress, it’s just one click away. Also, you get email accounts for free, for example, [email protected]
To make it much easier through the process, we recommend you choose one-click platforms for your blog. After you made up your mind and decided on Bluehost, you can easily get your WordPress blog installed.
The first thing to do to install WordPress on Bluehost is logging into your user profile. After that, you go to the Home page and then click on the “WordPress” blue button, starting so the installation. This will take you 10-15 minutes and when it’s completely done, Bluehost will let you choose your admin login name and WordPress password.
4.How to configure your WordPress blog?
The next step after setting up your admin account for WordPress is visiting your new dashboard to customize your blog. This is how your dashboard will look like:
First: General Settings
To set your “Site Title” and “Tagline”, go to the left sidebar then click on Settings-General.
Site Title is of high importance because it’s the first thing visitors see and get to know about your blog. So you have to make sure it worthily represents your business.
As for the tagline, it has to do with what your blog is about. It should be a general summary; short, clean & clear. For example, “Easy beauty tips at home, for glowing skin”. Also, here you can check your URL (blog address), set the language preferred and the time zone. As soon as you are ready to go live with your blog, don’t forget to turn off the “Coming Soon” feature that is set in the last General Settings section.
Second: Google visibility
At very high importance, is also the need for Google to index your blog, so it won’t end up being invisible. So immediately go to Setting-Reading and then click the field labeled “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” and make sure it remains unchecked like so.
A permalink is an individual URL that is intended to remain unchanged for many years in the future. They are often rendered simply, in order to be easier to type and remember.
So, to create one, go to Settings-Permalinks, go ahead by setting your permalinks to this variant: “Post name”, as down below:
5.How to design your Blog using themes?
Even if you’re not a good designer, you can make your blog look “first-class”. And this thanks to thousands of themes that WordPress provides. It is good to know that many of them are free. You can easily customize them not knowing a thing about coding. In order to do that, you go back to your WordPress dashboard, click Appearance-Themes, and then “Add New”.
The best of all is that you can do it just with one-click.
6.How to change structure, colors and add a logo?
WordPress already comes with a specific pre-configured design, but anyway there are some parts that you can change the way you like. You can easily do that, just go to Appearance – Customize and there you are going to see the WordPress Customizer.
Each theme has different options referring to the changes you want to do, but usually, they all include:
- ‘Site Identity’, where you can set the title of your blog, add your logo image and a site icon.
- ‘Menus’, a tool where your readers can navigate and find all the pages you have created.
- ‘Background’, this is where you can set how your background will look graphically, the image and color.
- ‘Header’, here you can set the header image/ graphics.
- ‘Color’, is used to adjust colors while designing.
- ‘Widgets’, small blocks of content that are implemented to perform a specific function, depending on the theme you are using.
Down below you will have all the options explained:
First. Adding your logo and favicon
After setting up your site title and tagline, you are going to add your company logo and favicon.
To add your logo, you can just click on the “Select logo” button, and then WordPress will show you the sort of graphics that can be accepted for logos. Before It’s visible to everyone, you have the chance to see how it looks like thanks to the preview window. As for adding your favicon, you just click the button under the “Site Icon” selection, labeled “Select image”. This image appears on the main top bar next to the title of your blog. It has to be specific, original, and represent in some way your website and let the readers know the content of this blog.
Second. Changing your blog colors
You can make your blog look unique by customizing colors depending on the theme you choose. By playing with the colors that this section offers, you will be more in tune with your brand.
Third: Add a header graphic
This section also depends on the theme you are using. You can add a header image or graphic, or why not, a header video of high quality. Just click on “Add new image”, shown down below.
Forth: Changing the background.
Here you can set the main background with a solid color or different effects. You can also set a custom image for your whole website.
7.Adding or Writing New Blog Posts & Pages
After you have done all the above, you can now start to create content for your blog. To make your blog as professional as possible, you will probably need some of the pages below:
- Blog, which is created automatically by WordPress, where your posts are going to be shown.
- About, the readers will know who is behind the blog and what is it all about.
- Contact, from here visitors can contact you directly.
- Services or Products, it’s a list of products and services and reasons why people should buy them.
- Testimonials, reviews from previous customers of your blog.
- In Portfolio, you present your work in an attractive way.
First: Creating new pages
After having a general idea on your mind about what pages you need and want to add, let’s start to create them. When creating a new page in WordPress, the process remains the same whatever the page is about. So, to do that, you have to go to your WordPress dashboard and then go to Pages-Add New. While doing this, the main editing page of WordPress will look like this:
Your page would be visible to people after you click the button labeled “Publish”.
Second: Adding Blog Posts
WordPress has a separate section for creating and publishing your blog posts. To do this you go from the main WordPress dashboard sidebar to Posts.
This works the same as creating new pages, except that posts are going to be displayed automatically, unlike pages that you need to add to a menu or navbar so visitors can easily find them.
Third: Adding a navigation menu
A navigation menu helps your readers to find the pages you have created so far on your site. Menus are the best tool where you can look at all the available pages. It’s typically for all blogs to have a main menu navigation bar. To create a menu, you just have to go to Appearance-Menus. After you go there, you just click the checkboxes you want in your menu and then click add menu. Immediately, in the right section, you will see the list of your pages. You can realign them easily by drag and drop.
After finishing this step, you can select one of the checkboxes placed under “Display location” as below. You can only set your menu after clicking on the main “Save Menu”.
Fourth: Changing your sidebar and footer
Always referring to the theme you have chosen, you can have plenty of sidebars available, and also a customizable footer. You can customize your sidebars depending on your content or how you want to organize your pages and WordPress offers you all these different widgets that you can use:
- Archives- here you can find a list of your past blog posts.
- Categories- this is a list of the categories of your blog.
- Search- a search bar
- Image- you can choose an image.
- Recent Posts- the latest posts that you published on your blog, etc.
You can place all these widgets in the sidebar, or the footer, both are called ‘predefined widget areas’. There are other available widgets that you can easily drag-and-drop to your pages on the sections that the theme you have chosen gives you.
Ready to launch your Blog and Keep improving
Now you are ready to launch your blog and share your thoughts with everyone. Keep in mind that you can change how your blog looks anytime you want.
We hope this article was helpful and happy blogging!