So, you’re ready to create a self-hosted wordpress blog but you don’t know where to start. Yes, it can be very intimidating and at first you will feel like you’re all thumbs but the best thing to do is just get started. Over time, things will eventually fall into place.
The following steps will guide you through getting your WordPress blog set up. If you’ve never done this before, this might seem a little overwhelming, but just stay committed and take it step-by-step. Remember, you don’t have to be a “techy”, just be willing to listen, learn as you go and apply yourself.
Step 1: Get A Domain Name
Go to http://www.GoDaddy.com (or any other domain service) and buy a domain name for your blog. If this is a ‘personal branding’ blog, I suggest using your full name or something similar.
Step 2: Set Up Your Hosting Account and add WordPress to your New Domain Name
Sign up for a hosting account if you don’t already have one. There are many different hosting services you can use and any of them will do. I have an account with Host Gator. Once you do that, login to your account using the details provided in the welcome email. You will be taken to your hosting c-panel). From here, you will click on ‘Fantastico Deluxe’ under ‘Software/Services’. Over on the left hand side under Blogs, click on ‘Wordpress’. Then click ‘New Installation’ and choose your domain name for the ‘Installation Location’. Leave the directory blank and create a username and password. Fill out the nickname, email address, site name and description and click ‘Install WordPress’. After that, click ‘Finish Installation’ and you’re done!
Step 3: Login To Your WordPress Dashboard
Step 2 might take a few minutes to process, so after it’s done, you’ll want to go to http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin (Insert YOUR domain name). This is where you can login to your WordPress dashboard with the username and password you created in Step 2.
Get familiar with your WP dashboard and then go to ‘Settings’ on the left hand side of your screen. Fill out your blog title, tagline, url, email address, and the rest of the settings on this page according to your preferences.
Basic Cleanup: You’ll keep most of the default settings as is but there are 3 things you’ll definitely want to change.
#1. Clean up Permalinks
#2. Under Posts – delete the post wordpress created
#3. Links – Select all, Delete and Apply
Step 4: Pick A Theme
Next, you’re going to want to pick a theme. The theme of your blog is the design or the overall look and feel of your site. You can either pay for a premium theme or you can use a free one. I use and recommend ElegantThemes. You can find free themes by going to http://www.wordpress.org, and clicking ‘Extend’ and then ‘Themes Directory’. If you find a theme you like, you can click the orange download button and save it to your computer. A great free theme to use is ‘thematic’.
Next, go back to your WP dashboard and click ‘Appearance’ in the left sidebar. Then click ‘Themes’, ‘Add new theme’, and then ‘Upload’. Click ‘Browse’ and find the theme you just downloaded and click ‘Install’. Next, go back to the ‘Themes’ section and activate it.
Step 5: Create Your Blog Pages
Pages are static parts of your blog where you can have information about you, your company, and recommended resources and products. See my pages at the top to give you an idea.
From your WP dashboard, click on ‘Pages’ on the left hand side and then click ‘Add New’. Type in the title of your new page in the titles section and then fill in the content you’d like to have in the body of the page. When you’re done, just click the blue ‘Publish’ button and you’ll see it live on your blog.
Some important pages to have and add any additional pages that you would like:
1. About Me
2. Work With Me (Or Partner with Me/ Join Me)
3. Recommended Resources
4. Contact Me
Step 6: Add Widgets
The widgets section of your blog is the sidebar either on the left or right depending upon your theme.. To fill in your widgets, go to ‘Appearance’ in the left sidebar of your dashboard and click on ‘Widgets’. You will see a number of different available widgets for you to choose from. You just click and drag the widgets you’d like from the left side over the right under ‘Sidebar’.
Step 7: Add Plug-ins
When you first install wordpress, it comes as a blank slate. Plug-ins add the desired features and functionality you’d like to have on your blog. There are thousands of plugins out there. Some will be relevant to you and add great value and some won’t. For a list of recommended plug-ins, go to http://laurampaulson.com/my-top-10-favorite-wordpress-plug-ins
NOTE: The very first plug-in I suggest you install isn’t on the list but it’s the ‘One Click Plugin Updater’. This plug-in is essential and will save you a lot of time because you’ll be able to install new plug-ins from your dashboard instead of having to open up your FTP client every time.
Step 8: Create Your Categories
Go to the ‘categories’ section of your dashboard and add the categories you would like to blog about.
Step 9:Writing Posts
Okay, now you’re ready to start adding some great content. Go to ‘Posts’ in the left sidebar of your dashboard and then ‘add new’. Enter in the title of your blog post and fill in the content. Make sure to add tags (keywords that describe your post) for your post over on the right and select the category your post falls under. Then click the blue ‘publish’ button when you’re done.
There you go! Success! Now, spend some time filling up your blog with some great valuable content.
For more detailed training on marketing your blog, please go to http://laurampaulson.com/join-my-free-newsletter and opt in to my free newsletter. I will keep you updated on the most successful marketing techniques and strategies to help you truly become a master blogger and marketer.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. I look forward to seeing your new blog and helping you more in the future. Please leave a comment below and share your new blog!
To Your Success,