Have you been wanting to start a blog, but the techy part held you back?
Don’t panic. Let’s get you up and running in under an hour. Or maybe under 30 minutes.
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How To Start Your Blog in 5 Basic Steps
We’re going to take the following five steps to your blog up and running and it should take about 30-60 minutes:
- Register your blog’s domain name
- Purchase your blog’s hosting
- Install WordPress
- Install the Divi theme
- Publish your first post
I’m going to assume some facts not in evidence (yes, I’m a fan of Law and Order). I’m assuming:
- you’ve already chosen a name for your blog
- you’ve already decided what you’ll be writing about
There are lots of other things you’ll want to do in time, like:
- How to drive traffic to your blog
- How to use SEO (and what it means)
- Different ways to monetize your blog
- How to brand your blog so you look professional
The truth is, to get started you only need to know the first five things above. The rest of the list you’ll probably experiment with to see what gives you the best results.
Let’s Get Started
Even though you’ll have your blog up and running in less than an hour, this part is just the techy part. Once we’re done with this, you’ll begin having fun writing your posts and sharing your thoughts with everyone on the interwebs.
The terms used in creating a website or blog can be intimidating if all of this is new to you. Since I have a background as a real estate broker, I tend to go there when describing things.
First of all, I consider your blog your #CyberHome. And we’re going to build your #CyberHome from the ground up.
1. Register your blog’s domain name
Getting your domain name can be done at several places. This is akin to working with a Realtor to buy yourself some land to build your home on. You choose a Realtor and they help you find an address (URL also known as your website address) that suits you.
And just like a Realtor, sometimes you find one that holds you by the hand and gets you through with minimal stress, and other ones make you feel like running down the street pulling your hair out screaming.
I’ve used lots of different services over the years to grab a domain name. Please benefit from my experience and trust me when I tell you that everything is easier if you buy the domain at the same place you plan on hosting your blog.
I’ve been creating all my websites in the last few years on Siteground.com because it’s dependable, the speed of the sites are incredible, the customer service is fast, friendly, patient and their prices are the most competitive I’ve found. I guess you can tell, I really like them.
Once you’ve settled on a domain name, head over to Siteground.com, and then click on Services/Domains. You’ll want to click on the bright button on the right that says New Domain.
Enter your domain name (and be careful not to have any typos in it cuz there’s no take-backsies) and you’ll see if it’s available. There are lots of alternatives to a .com address, but I really feel strongly you should get a domain with a .com. I’ve tried some of the fun extensions out there and I realized that I was pushing a lot of my traffic to whoever had the .com because that’s what people remember best.
Once you hit the Add button, have your credit card ready and go through the short purchase form.
2. Purchase your blog’s hosting
Before you call the contractor to build your home, you need to make sure your site has the ability to handle all the amenities you think you might need down the road. If this were an actual home, you’d be thinking of electricity, water, sewer, street cleaning, etc. In this case you should be thinking of customer support ratings, server speed, uptime (the percentage of time the server is working), etc.
After purchasing your domain name, move your cursor back to the Siteground navigation bar and choose Hosting, which is under Services also. You guessed it, click on the button on the right that says New Hosting Plan.
When you’re first starting out I recommend going with the least expensive option, in this case it’s called Start Up. The price is right and you won’t be needing a lot of space for a long while.
3. Install WordPress
Now it’s time to start building your #CyberHome. There are other options in the world, but WordPress is the most popular website platform (CMS) to use and it has the ability to add lots of bells and whistles that you aren’t even thinking about right now. So it grows with you. Oh yea, and it’s free.
Siteground has about the easiest WordPress setup I’ve seen anywhere. Once you’ve paid for your domain and your hosting, you’ll want to go to the Navigation bar and click on Website, then the button on the right that says New Website.
From there, click on Start New Website and below that click on the Select button under WordPress in the Choose Application area.
You’ll have the option to use the Siteground’s WordPress Starter, but Divi is much easier to use (we’ll get to that in just a minute) and creates beautiful pages and posts from built in templates. I recommend going to the left side bar from the WordPress Dashboard and clicking on Plug-Ins. Find WordPress Starter and click on Deactivate.
4. Install the Divi Theme
Divi is a WordPress theme that is like an interior designer for your #CyberHome. It’s what makes your blog pretty. And organized. And Divi makes it easy to change the look just like adding a new loveseat or a new dining room set changes up how your home looks and feels.
Head over to ElegantThemes.com and purchase Divi.
Download the .zip file to your hard drive when that’s done, go into your WordPress Dashboard and choose Appearance/Themes from the side navigation bar.
- Click Add New
- Upload Theme
- Choose File
- Install Now
5. Publish your first post
From the WordPress Dashboard side navigation, choose Posts/Add New. Give your post a name (you can change it later) then click on the purple Use The Divi Builder button. Click on Choose A Premade Layout and prepare to have your mind blown! All those templates are free for you to use and get started.
Well, what are you waiting for? Start blogging!
Do you have any questions that I didn’t cover here? Please let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to go to Twitter and let me know about your blog and the domain name you chose!
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