So you’d like to learn how to start a blog?
Maybe make some money? Work for yourself and live life on your own terms?
Sounds like a dream, right?
You may be thinking…
The only bloggers who are successful and making money started years ago when there was less competition or they have high-profile connections who promote their blog.
In other words, not you.
You’ve got to suffer to start your blog in 2019, with all the competition out there.
Or do you?
I’m here to tell you that’s all nonsense.
Best Time To Start A Blog?
There’s actually never been a better time to start a blog than right now.
You don’t need a web design background or any coding knowledge at all.
And here’s a little secret about all that competition. Most of those blogs are either dead or do not publish regularly.
Those bloggers treat their blogs as a hobby. They fit it in when they can.
Let me ask you something.
What would happen if you showed up at your job only when you could fit it into your schedule?
What if you told your boss; “Sorry but today’s not a good day for me. I’ll try to come in tomorrow.”
You’d be fired right?
In effect, that’s what is happening to most of your competition. They either stopped posting, or they don’t post consistently.
Frankly, they don’t take their blogs seriously. So Google doesn’t take them seriously either. In other words, Google is firing them.
More importantly, readers are firing them too. It’s hard to follow a blog that doesn’t consistently help or engage with their readers.
The bloggers that persevere succeed. They keep posting, without fail.
So, post regularly. Promote your content on social media. Engage with your readers in the comments and in your emails.
Treat it like a job and post consistently and you will succeed.
But that’s not even the biggest reason you will rise above your competition.
The biggest reason is – you!
No one in the world is you. You have a perspective that is uniquely your own, and the world needs to hear it.
No matter what topic you decide to start a blog about, inject your personality, experiences, and perspective into your posts and voilà — you’ve separated yourself from the competition.
Not all of your readers will resonate with you. But many will, and that’s all you need. These people will become your tribe.
Some will resonate so completely with your view and style, they will become super-advocates for you and your brand.
Stick with it and you will grow your audience and succeed.
Think of it as the snowball effect. At first, it’s very small and very slow. But as it grows, it reaches the point it can’t be stopped.
And a whole world of opportunities will open up for you.
Why Start A Blog?
There are several reasons to start a blog. Here are a few of the more popular reasons.
- Make money while working from home. I’ve made considerable income over the years blogging, and many others do as well. Many bloggers make $50,000 per month or more (see 15 top earning bloggers here).
- Receive job offers or consultation opportunities. Blogging helps you establish authority and expertise in your field. As you become recognized as a leader in your niche, you may be contacted with offers of employment or opportunities to consult businesses or individuals.
- Become a published author. In 2020, publishers usually want to work with writers who already have a following. They like knowing you already have a built-in audience for your book. Or you can bypass the publisher altogether and self-publish. Again, having your own audience is a huge advantage.
- Get exposure for your business. Maybe you already have a business. Having a blog gives both small and large companies the opportunity to reach a large number of people for very little cost.
- Share your creative work. A blog is a great place to share your writing, music, portfolio and so on. You can share your story and build a community around your work.
The opportunities available to you are plentiful. Still not convinced? Here are 44 reasons you should start a blog.
Do you see how you can benefit from starting a blog?
Are you ready to create your blog and debut it to the world?
Ok, let’s do it!
The 6 Simple Steps to Start a Blog
These are the main steps we’ll cover in this guide. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through each of the steps.
Follow along and complete the steps with me and if you have any questions along the way, contact me. Seriously, if you are stuck or something doesn’t make sense, shout out and I will help you.
- Decide what you will start a blog about.
- Choose a blogging platform.
- Find a host.
- Pick a domain name (Free).
- Install WordPress (1-Click Installation).
- Design and start posting to your blog.
Step 1: Decide What Your Blog Will Be About
What do you want to write about?
Write down all the topics you truly want to write about. Writing blog posts will be difficult if you don’t enjoy the topic.
So write down everything that you would enjoy blogging about and sharing with your readers.
Example list: Travel, DIY projects, habits, productivity, spirituality, your life, your pets, your car, your writing, art, make-up, cuisine, fashion, business tips, social media tips, gaming.
TIP: What type of books do you tend to buy? Draw inspiration from your book collection to remember topics that interest you. Also, consider your favorite YouTube channels or podcasts you listen to regularly. This should help you compose your list of favorite topics to write about.
Next, group your topics wherever possible.
So from the example list above, I might make a group out of travel, cuisine, your life and fashion with the idea of covering these areas during my travels.
At this point in the process, categorize your groups and name them with one word.
Now that you’ve created your groups, think of a word that embodies all the items within each group.
In my group above, I might categorize this group as travel.
So in this case, you have a topic for your blog, travel, and you have the sub-topics, which are now the main categories for your blog; your life (travel lifestyle), cuisine (the food you enjoy on your travels) and fashion (what’s in style in the places you travel).
Continue this exercise until you find a topic and group of sub-topics that you feel great blogging about.
Congratulations, you now have your topic and main categories for your blog.
Don’t worry, you can always change your mind later and pivot.
Remember, it’s easier to steer the boat once it’s left the dock. You can easily pivot and change directions. But you can’t go anywhere if you’re stuck on the dock. The important thing is to launch!
Step 2: Choose Your Blogging Platform
When you start a blog, there are several platforms you can choose from, like Blogger or Tumblr.
I recommend you go with the leader, WordPress.
It’s FREE, it’s powerful, and it’s the most popular blog platform by far.
Why WordPress is the best blogging platform:
- It’s FREE (All you need is a web host & domain name)
- It’s easy to create a high-quality design you can be proud of. In fact, WordPress offers over 5,000 free & paid WordPress themes that can be installed with just a couple clicks.
- They have an expansive support forum to help you at any time.
- They offer over 51,000 free plugins in their database. Want to add an email opt-in form? Want your blog to run faster? With a couple of clicks, you can easily make your blog run smoother with just about any options you can think of.
30% of all sites on the internet are powered by WordPress (source).
In fact, the New York Observer, New York Post, TED, Thought Catalog, Williams, USA Today, CNN, Fortune.com, TIME.com, National Post, Spotify, TechCrunch, CBS Local, NBC all use WordPress (source)
I personally use WordPress because of its full-functionality, flexibility and a large support community sharing tools and ideas. I’ve used WordPress for years and I’ve always recommended them highly.
Important! WordPress offers two options. People are often confused by them so I’ll explain them here:
- Hosted – These are WordPress blogs hosted on WordPress.com
- Self-hosted – These are WordPress blogs hosted on your own domain (i.e. YourName.com, YourBusiness.com)
Start a blog using the self-hosting option.
- It’s inexpensive: The self-hosted option costs a little bit of money, literally a few dollars a month to your web host.
- It’s professional: You can use your own domain (i.e. YourName.com). This looks more professional, and you have so much more control and flexibility.
- It’s empowering: With your own domain and hosting, you have so much more control and flexibility. Want to add a plug-in? No problem. Want to use a custom theme? No problem.
Incomist.com runs WordPress on the self-hosted option and I highly recommend this setup.
Why you should NOT create a blog on a free platform
- Your URL will look amateur (yourblog.blogger.com).
- You will not have control over your blog. If the platform changes their terms of service, that can affect your blog and you won’t have any say. Also, if you violate their terms of service, even if it’s an accident, they can shut you down. It happens all the time.
- You will not have the ability to customize your blog. You won’t have access to all the free themes and plug-ins. How can you stand out if you can’t even use a custom theme?
- You will not have enough space to grow. Most of these free platforms offer 3GB or less of storage. You’re going to want to post pictures and videos and that’s just not enough space.
- Hard to update later. If you change your mind in the future and want to go with the self-hosted option, it can be very time-consuming and costly to move your content to your own domain.
You can see how important it is to start off on the right foot. Give yourself a professional look with room to grow. Go with the self-hosted option and never look back.
Going forward, this guide will show you the steps to start your self-hosted WordPress blog.
Go with WordPress.
Choose the self-hosting option.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Step 3: Find Your Web Host
At this point, you need to choose your web host.
What is a web host?
A web host is simply a company that lets you store your blog on their servers. They provide your site’s connectivity to the Internet so other people can access your site with their computers and devices.
There are thousands of hosts you can choose from. So how do you know who to trust?
That’s a question I faced when I was searching for hosting for my first blog. Ultimately I decided on Bluehost for the following reasons:
- WordPress has long recommended them. Since WordPress is the platform I use, their recommendation of Bluehost means a lot to me. I know WordPress will work optimally with this host.
- They make starting a blog simple. You can have your site online in a few minutes with just a few clicks.
- They have great customer support with 24/7 phone and online chat support.
So, are you ready to create your blog? Let’s do it.
How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
NOTE: Since I’ve used Bluehost for years, I’m confident in recommending them to you. If you sign up using a referral link on this page, Incomist will receive a small commission at no cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). We could get this commission by recommending just about any web hosting company, but I only recommend products and services that I actually use or genuinely believe will be helpful to you.
- Start by clicking here to go to Bluehost now.
This link will also get you a free domain and a discounted hosting rate — less than a coffee at Starbucks.
This discount is exclusive for all Incomist visitors, so you definitely want to take advantage of it.
Next, click the “Get started now” button.
- Choose your hosting plan (pick the cheapest one)
Next, you are going to choose your hosting package.
You’ll see three options here: Basic (Recommended), Plus, and Prime.
I recommend the Basic option because it is the least inexpensive and is perfect for beginners.
I usually go with the Basic option, and then later upgrade to either Plus or Prime, once I need more space or have more visitors. The Plus and Prime also have more unlimited features.
You can easily upgrade at any time for free so you may as well start out with the Basic option and save yourself some money.
Remember, all of the plans come with a free domain for one year, which is a great deal. You can choose a great domain name for your site (more on that in a minute).
Click the green “Select” button for the plan you choose and move to the next step.
Step 4: Pick a Domain Name (Free)
Now you will choose your domain name.
A domain name is your web address. For example, the domain for this site is “incomist.com.” You may decide to use your name as a domain (i.e. YourName.com) or create a brandable name (i.e. BlogName.com) domain name.
Remember, Bluehost offers your domain name for free for 12 months. Don’t worry, it’s only $11.99 a year after that.
Why do you need a domain name?
Your domain name is important because:
- It’s your place of business on the internet. It’s how people find you.
- It reflects your brand.
- It’s the first impression your readers experience.
Maybe you already have your own domain name. In this case, you would’ve previously registered it with a domain registrar like GoDaddy, NameCheap or maybe even Bluehost.
On this step of the process, Bluehost asks you to enter your domain name. If you have a brand new domain, enter it on the left side. If you already have a domain, enter it on the right side.
Here are some tips to choosing a quality domain name
- Make it memorable. Make it easy for your visitors to remember so they will refer you and visit your blog again.
- Make it easy to say and type. The name should roll off the tongue and be easy to type. Avoid using slang spellings like “u” instead of “you” as you might confuse people.
- Make it short. Longer names are harder to remember and spell. Keep it simple.
- Avoid hyphens or numbers. Too often, numbers and hyphens are confusing and misunderstood. For example, someone who hears 19clothing.com might enter nineteenclothing.com or vice-versa. Hyphens are often misplaced or forgotten altogether.
- Use keywords. Keywords describing your product or service are often very good domain names. They help people and search engines know what your site is about. For example, if you groom dogs, you may want to register DogGrooming.com.
- Target your local area. If your business services your local area, perhaps include your city or state in your domain name. For example, DenverDogGrooming.com
- Get the .com extension whenever possible. Other extensions will work (.net, .org, .co etc.), but most people automatically type in .com before trying the other extensions. That said, you can still build an amazing site on other extensions (think of Craigslist.org or SlideShare.net).
- Make it brandable. Brandable domain names are unique and more memorable than generic names. For example, NurseJodie.com is a lot more memorable and brandable than JodiesNursingBlog.com.
- Using your own name is a great place to start. Your name is very effective as a personal brand because you are unique and your brand will reflect that.
Please note: Going forward in the tutorial, I will use instructions to start a blog using a new domain. If you are using an existing name – no worries. You’ll see a couple of slight differences in the screenshots, but it will still be very easy to follow along.
Before you go any further, enter your new or existing domain, whichever applies to you. Then click the blue “Next” button.
Complete your registration
This page is really simple. There are basically three parts to this stage of the process.
- The first part is your account information.
Pretty straightforward here. Just enter your contact information and you’re done with this part.
2. The next part covers which options you want with your hosting.
Under Account Plan, you need to choose the length of your hosting term, either 12, 24, or 36 months. I’m recommending the 36-month option here because it is the best money-saver, but it’s more money upfront. You can save money now, by choosing the 12-month option, just know the monthly rate will be a couple more bucks.
You then have a few add-on features to choose from.
There’s no wrong choice here. Just choose what options you desire.
Personally, I always opt-in for the domain privacy option when I start a blog.
Domain Privacy: This option prevents spammers from, well, spamming you. Instead of listing you in the public database, Bluehost will hide your name and contact information and show their own information instead. You’re still registered as the owner of the domain, but your name won’t be visible in the public database, so spammers can’t contact you. Check the Domain Privacy box if this is something you want. For me, it’s $0.99/mo. well spent.
If you are using a business address, you may not care if it’s visible to anyone who looks up your domain. In that case, save yourself the $0.99/mo. and deselect this option.
The final part of this page is your billing information.
Again, pretty simple stuff here. Just enter your billing info, and you’re done.
If you want to pay with PayPal, just click the “More payment options” link.
After completing the payment process, check your email. You will have a welcome email from Bluehost, which includes your login information for Cpanel.
Cpanel is short for Control Panel, and it’s your command center for your hosting account. So keep your login information safe for future reference. In fact, you’ll need it for the next step.
Step 5: Install WordPress (1-Click Installation)
Congratulations. You now have an online address (your domain) and hosting for your eventual website.
You’re almost done completing all the steps to start a blog.
We’re now ready to start your blog and give you an “internet home.”
The good news? It only takes a couple of minutes.
So let’s quickly install WordPress now.
- Login to your Bluehost hosting account by going to my.bluehost.com, or by clicking the link in your Bluehost welcome email. Use the login information from your welcome email.
- Once you have logged in, you will see your Control Panel. Scroll down to the Website section, and click “Install WordPress.”
- On the next page, you will choose your blog destination URL. Most people simply use the root domain here (YourDomain.com) and I recommend that as well. Just leave the field on the right empty.
NOTE: If you have a good reason to use a subdirectory, then you may want to install the blog in a separate directory page (www.YourDomain.com/blog). In that case, just enter “blog” on the field on the right (or whatever word represents the place you want your blog to live. That said, most people starting out do not need this option and that’s why I recommend leaving this field empty and installing on the root domain.
Hit Next to complete the WordPress installation process.
- Now let’s fill out some basic information about your new web home.
Enter your WordPress user info
- Enter your Site Name or Title. This may differ from your domain name which ends in .com or .org or something else. For example, my domain is incomist.com but the site is called simply Incomist.
- Create a unique login for when you want to login to your WordPress blog and make changes, create new posts, and so on. For security reasons, make sure your admin username is unique (Do not use “admin”). Choose a unique password as well. I recommend using the password WordPress suggests for you. They are optimized to high-security standards and are extremely difficult to crack.
- Keep this login information in a safe place. This will be what you use to login to WordPress.
- Enter your email address. This should be the email address where you want to receive all your site information.
- Read and agree to the terms.
- Complete your installation of WordPress.
Congratulations! At this point, you have completed two very important steps.
You have created your Bluehost account. And you have installed your WordPress.
It’s important to remember that you have two separate logins now, one for each account. Keep that information safe and handy.
- You have a Bluehost account, which you can log into at any time at my.bluehost.com. That is where you will log in to Cpanel to manage your Bluehost account and set up other components to your online presence. For example, you may use Cpanel to install a forum on your domain. You can also set up your email accounts there and have a custom business email address ([email protected]). I encourage you to visit Cpanel after you have completed this tutorial to see all the different options available to you.
- You also have a WordPress account, which you can log in to at www.YourBlog.com/admin-wp (replace “YourBlog.com” with your new domain). You will log in to WordPress to do anything related to your blog. Want to add your logo? Create a new post? Install a plug-in? Respond to reader’s comments? All of this and much more are done in the WordPress admin area.
Step 6: Customize and Choose a Blog Theme
OK, You’ve completed the first 5 steps to start a blog and now comes the fun part.
You currently have a blank WordPress site installed on your domain.
The default WordPress theme is usually a little generic.
So let’s customize it a little shall we?
Customizing the design and feel of your blog is the most exciting part of the process of creating your site.
- You can do it yourself very quickly
- You can get a FREE WordPress theme that reflects your unique personality and the niche you’re in.
- You can always change it later.
Because choosing a theme is so fun, it’s all too easy to spend too much time doing on this step. Don’t overthink the process. Most people do. I’ve been guilty of this as well.
It’s very easy to get stuck in “analysis paralysis,” trying to get it “just right.” This process can go on for several days, weeks, or even months. It even causes some people to lose momentum and stop altogether.
Remember, as long as you own your blog, you’ll constantly be thinking of new ways to make it better. In that way, creating a blog is addictive. It’ll never be “just right.” It’ll just keep getting better and better as you implement new ideas.
That’s why it’s so important to just launch. Spend 30 minutes or less, pick a theme and get started.
You can always change your mind later. Again, it’s easier to steer the boat once it’s left the dock.
What should you look for in a theme?
Here are some things to look for as you choose a theme for your new blog.
1. Responsive: Responsive themes display perfectly on different screen sizes and on mobile and other hand-held devices.
Why must you have a responsive website?
- Most people today access the internet on mobile or hand-held devices in addition to their desktop computers and laptops. These readers should be able to browse your site with ease, no matter what device or viewing size they are using.
- For this reason, Google rewards responsive sites with higher rankings.
These days, most WordPress themes are created with responsiveness in mind. Just do your due diligence and check to make sure they are mobile-ready.
How to test a theme for mobile responsiveness.
A very simple and effective way to test a theme’s mobile readiness is to cut and paste the theme’s demo page URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page like this:
Next, click on “Run Test” and Google will then let you know if the page is mobile friendly or not. You want to see a result like this:
Note: It’s very common to see some warnings here, even if a page is good. As long as the overall recommendation shows the page is mobile-friendly (as seen above), then you should be fine.
2. Browser compatibility: Your blog will display differently on the various browsers out there. So you’ll want to make sure they don’t look broken on any of the most popular browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and so on.
Most developers test their designs in all the main browsers and may even say so on their demo page.
If you’re unsure at all how your site will display on all the various browsers, just cut and paste the URL of the theme’s demo page into the address bar of each of these browsers. It’ll only take a minute but could save you a lot of headaches.
3. Simple design: Remember the main purpose of web design is to help users quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.
You’ll also want to make sure they can easily find your best work, email sign-up form, and your best products or services. Too many components and graphics can clutter the look and make it hard for users to navigate your site.
Best tip: Find a theme that looks good but doesn’t hinder your site’s readability and usability. The perfect theme helps you achieve your goals and your readers achieve theirs simultaneously.
4. Speed: Speed is important for a few main reasons.
- You only have a couple of seconds to capture visitors before they leave. A slow loading page practically ensures they will leave.
- You don’t want your readers to wait to see your fantastic content. Make it easy for them to find your best stuff.
- Since Google is all about user experience, they rank faster sites higher in the search results.
Again, make sure your theme isn’t cluttered with useless components and graphics that slow page loading time. The simpler the better.
How to test how fast a web page is:
The easiest and most reliable way to test the speed of a web page is to go to Pingdom and enter the demo URL of the theme you are interested in.
Make sure the page’s load time isn’t more than 3 seconds. 2 seconds or less is ideal.
So in this case, the performance grade is a solid 89 with acceptable load time. You could use this theme.
Also, you could read the provided notes from Pingdom and try to improve your score.
Or you could simply move on and try to find a theme with a higher performance grade.
5. Security: Some hackers have figured out ways to exploit themes, especially older themes that have not been updated.
This is one reason I go with a paid theme; because I know it’s consistently being updated. Typically, I’ll use a free theme while I launch my blog, and then update to a paid theme once I have some content posted and I’m starting to get traction with readers.
You can easily find a solid theme for free that updates frequently (I’ll give you some recommendations in a moment).
And once you’ve activated your new theme, be sure to update your theme when they become available.
Updating your theme is quick and easy.
Login to WordPress and go to Appearance >> Themes. Find your theme and if there is an update, it will say “New version available.” Just click the “Update Now” link, and you are all set (see example below)
6. SEO Optimized: If you want some love from the search engines, make sure your theme is search engine optimized.
Generally speaking, themes usually don’t hurt your search rankings, but it’s still wise to make sure the designers created them with SEO optimization in mind.
In the theme description or documentation page, look for the words “SEO Optimized” or something similar.
7. Ratings and Reviews: Most people check the reviews when shopping for anything, even if it’s free.
The same rules apply when you start a blog. Make sure the theme you’re interested in has a lot of positive reviews and very few negative ones.
All themes will have some negative feedback, that comes with the territory. But in general, make sure there aren’t too many negative reviews.
The review profile for the GeneratePress theme above is outstanding. 490 reviewers gave it 5 stars. 2 people gave it 4 stars. No one gave it 2 or 3 stars and only two felt it merited only 1 star.
Here are a few free WordPress themes that I recommend.
You can find them all in the WordPress Theme Directory. They are all popular with a lot of positive reviews and meet the recommendation above. They are strong in functionality and responsiveness and will get you off to a great blogging start.
Twenty Seventeen – Created by WordPress themselves, it’s guaranteed to work great on the WordPress platform. It’s updated often. You can’t go wrong.
Hueman – This is a very flexible WordPress business theme. It is very intuitive and you can customize very easily with the options panel. You can choose between single, two, or three column layouts, and includes social media options to make sharing easy.
GeneratePress – This is one of my go-to themes that I’ve used many times. I really like it’s speed and security. It’s also nice that it comes with Font Awesome, which gives you over 600 icons to punch up your content and make it look great.
Kale – This theme just looks great. The demo page shows a healthy food blog, but this theme would make most niches look fantastic. It’s very minimalistic and SEO optimized.
You may wish to choose a paid theme and that’s a solid choice too.
This site uses Genesis by StudioPress, and a customized version of the child theme Parallax Pro.
Stay tuned for an in-depth article about how I use Genesis and StudioPress for this site.
The next step to start a blog is to install the WordPress theme you want to use.
How To Install A WordPress Theme
Here are the basic steps to installing a WordPress theme. We’ll go over each step in depth.
- Log in to WordPress
- Go to the WordPress Theme Marketplace
- Choose the theme you want.
- Install the WordPress theme.
Step 1: Log In to WordPress
Login to WordPress by going to your web address (www.YourName.com) and adding /wp-admin to the end (www.YourName.com/wp-admin).
Step 2: Go to the WordPress Theme Marketplace
Once you are logged in to WordPress, you will see the Dashboard screen.
Next, hover over Appearance and choose Themes.
Step 3: Choose the theme you want
At this point, you’ll be taken to a page that shows you all of the various themes WordPress has already installed on your blog.
Hover your mouse over a theme and click the “Live Preview” button to test a theme and see if it fits your needs.
If you choose one of these themes and want to use it for your blog, click the “Activate” button, and you are done. In this case, you are done installing your theme and you can skip Step 4. Your blog now has a theme.
If you choose NOT to use one of the pre-installed themes, then search for a new theme instead.
Click the Add New button near the top of the screen. You will then be able to browse or search from thousands of themes.
You can browse through the various tabs; Featured, Popular, and Latest. Or you can use the search function.
The Feature Filter option is very helpful in finding the perfect theme. It has several filters you can check or uncheck to choose layout options, advanced features and different color schemes and backgrounds.
Each theme delivers its own look and experience. Test them for yourself by clicking the Preview button next to each theme.
Find the perfect WordPress theme for your blog, then proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Install the WordPress Theme
Ready to install the theme you’ve chosen? Great!
This is gonna be a breeze.
Simply click Install. The installation will begin and it usually takes a few seconds or less.
Then you just need to click the Activate button, and you’re done.
Congratulations, your theme is live. You now have a domain on the internet, with your own blog with an attractive theme to help you showcase your content.
You’ve successfully created your new blog! Kudos are in order. Many people do not get this far. Seriously, you’ve just entered into an amazing journey and I’m truly happy for you.
Step 6: Create a Blog Post and Start Blogging
You’re off to the races now!
You’re ready to publish, so let’s do it.
Let’s start by creating a post. The process is nearly identical for creating a page.
What is the difference between posts and pages in WordPress?
Quite simple, posts are the articles you regularly publish, while pages are the pillar pages of your website, such as the about page and the contact page.
Click Posts or Pages respectively from the WordPress navigation column, depending on what type of content you wish to post.
In this case, we’re going to create a blog post. So in the Dashboard menu, hover over “Posts,” and then click “Add New.”
You will now see a blank composition page. This is where you will create your blog post.
If you’ve used Microsoft Word or Mac Pages, much of this will be very familiar to you.
As you can see from the screenshot, I’ve highlighted all the major tools you will be using to create posts and pages.
Create a blog post using these elements.
- Title – Pretty self-explanatory here, this is where you’ll enter the title for your new post.
- Add Media – Click here to add your pictures, videos, graphics, infographics and so on. Just place the cursor where you want the media to appear, then click “Add Media” and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Formatting Toolbar – You’ve seen many of these icons in word processing and email programs. You can use bold, italics, underline and easily create and customize links. I recommend spending a moment hovering your mouse over each button to see the various formatting options you have at your disposal.
- Visual/Text Tabs – These tabs give you two options depending on how you want to compose your post. The Visual tab lets you create in a WYSIWYG environment. WYSIWYG means “What you see is what you get.” In other words, you’ll see things basically as they’ll appear to your readers. The Text tab is an HTML editor. If you’re familiar with web programming languages, you may wish to compose in this mode. As you might imagine, most bloggers compose in the Visual mode almost exclusively (I do too).
- Composition Box – This is where you’ll write the body of your post, including your words, images, videos, links and so on.
- Publish Box – My favorite part of creating a post – hitting the Publish button. You can also save your draft as you compose (highly recommended)
- Categories Box – Here you can assign a category for your post or create a new one.
Start Your Blog Journey Now
You’ve been through the steps to start a blog and get it online. Your blog is now online and you’ve completed your first blog post.
Let me be the first to congratulate you!
Your boat has left the dock and you can steer it wherever you want it to go.
Your journey is officially underway. You’ve launched your blogging career.
And you’re going to love it. I’m happy for you because, if you’re like me, you’re going to find blogging to be very gratifying. It’s a great thing to love what you spend your time doing.
You’re going to learn more about blogging every day. I still learn new things every day. I love it because it keeps things fresh.
You’ll learn even more about the subject you blog about as you become an authority in the niche.
You’ll create your own opportunities. Even better, you will receive opportunities you can’t even imagine right now.
Please come back and let me know when that happens!
But don’t wait until then. I’d love it if you hit me up in the comments below and let me know about your successes and also any trouble spots you’re encountering. I’d love to help.
Check back to this post from time to time as I’ll be updating it to answer your questions and make it the most helpful tutorial for starting a blog online.
If you’ve found this guide helpful at all, please do me a favor and share on your social media to show others how to start a blog.
You’re going to love this journey and by sharing this resource, you’ll be helping your friends as well.
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