So, you too want to start your own blog? Try something new? Face a new challange? Great!!! I’m glad that you have found yourself here. So, how to start a blog?
Contrary to what you might expect, creating a blog is not that difficult. Your age and skills are not as important as your motivation and willingness. Besides, you no longer need any knowledge about the HTML code, coding or graphics. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Ready to get down to work? You sure are!!!
So, we will start with some basic information.
5 steps how to start your own blog:
1. Choose a blogging platform.
2. Find a host / Get a web hosting account.
3. Pick a domain name / find a domain name.
4. Install free blogging software and set up a blog.
5. Design your blog!
6. Add posts & pages
Step 1. How to start a blog – Choose a blogging platform
I recommend WordPress, which you can download by using a page WordPress.org (don’t do it now, we will do it together in the following part of the article)
- it’s 100% free (you only need a web host & domain name, but this will be discussed later),
- very easy-to-use, especially for beginners,
- very popular (see here: https://w3techs.com/) ,
- the most important thing is that it’is a Self-hosted cms which means that you are the owner of your own content, you are managing it by yourself. No one will remove the content you have created without your permission. You decide by yourself what kind of advertisements appear on your blog or how you make money on blogging. This gives you the opportunity of flexibility as well as the opportunity of controlling your own work, and this is what it’s all about, right?
WordPress.org IS NOT WordPress.com
You want to be a blogger. You want to share something valuable with others and the content is the thing that matters to you the most. It has to captivate the readers and spark their interest.
Don’t let anyone control your content!!!
That’s why you shouldn’t waste your time on free of charge blogging platforms, such as: WordPress.com, tumblr, Blogger, or Medium, especially if you are serious about blogging.
These types of platforms control your content, have a lot of constraints and contrary to what you may think, it is difficult to relocate the content, which you have been creating there for years.
Step 2. Find a Hosting Provider
Hosting Provider is ensuring the server space for your website. If the website is present in the server space, then people can find it on the Internet. In other words, your website needs the server space in order to be visible in the Web.
Hundreds of thousands of web hosts exist, the majority of which meet the basic requirements of WordPress, however finding the best one may prove to be quite a challenge.
GOOD TO KNOW
You can always change your hosting provider and relocate your website.
For the starting bloggers I recommend SiteGround, which is also recommended by the WordPress itself.
SiteGround has tools that make managing WordPress sites easy, which is very useful when you’re taking your first steps in building/creating your own website. It’s quick, cheap and reliable.
Choose a plan which has sparked your intrest. I advise using ‘StartUp’ plan in the beginning – it’s cheap and has all necessary functions which you will need now. You can always upgrade later if you decide you want more advanced WordPress features.
To start click the ‘Get started’ button.
Step 3. Pick a domain name
Apart from the server, you also need a domain: an Internet address under which your readers will find you ( ‘our domain is: fatthemes.com)
Write the name of domain you want to use and click ‘Proceed’. If this name is available, you can register it with your hosting account.
If the domain you wanted to use is not available, SiteGround will show you alternative names – it will suggest using a name ending with .us .net .org.
You can either use one of the suggested names or choose another name, repeating the whole procedure until you are satisfied with an outcome.
Take your time with making this decision.
Already have a domain name?
Just click ‘I already have a domain’, then write it in the provided space, and click ‘Proceed’.
When you chose your domain or used the one you already have and own, provide all the necessary information on the next page.
Enter Account, Client and Payment Information
Make sure you use your active email address, because your personal details will be send there.
Enter Purchase Information
Choose the nearest Data Center and the period of payment, depending on how much earlier you want to pay. SiteGround offers the possiblity of paying in advance for the period of 12, 24 or 36 months. Add additional services if you want but, they are not necessary at this stage. You can skip them if you want.
Confirm that you’ve read the fine print and then click ‘Pay now’ to complete your purchase.
After registering in the hosting packet (Step.3) you will receive all the information necessary to log in the SiteGround Customer Area.
Step 4. Start a blog – Install free blogging software and setup WordPress blog.
It’s time to install WordPress. Log in to your new SiteGround account.
When you first log to your Customer Area, a popup ‘Welcome to our Website Setup Wizard!’ will appear, asking if you want to have WordPress preinstalled on your account. Select that option and click on the ‘Proceed’ button.
Then, enter your login details, which will help you to log in to your WordPress blog.
GOOD TO KNOW
To log in to your website, you will need your Username and Password.
In WordPress,”Admin” serves as a default username of every user, that’s why it’s crucial that you change your name into something more unique for your website’s safety.
Change your username from “Admin” to something more safe.
Next, choose one of the free available themes. It doesn’t matter which one you choose – we will change it together using the instruction provided later in the article.
Click on the ‘Submit’ button.
At the final stage, a brief summary of the process of WordPress installation will appear, containing the information such as username, password and where to find your blog’s dashboard.
You can access your new blog’s dashboard by going to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin (where “yourdomainname.com” is your domain name).
Access to your new blog’s dashboard:
And that’s it. Yay!
Now, you are the happy owner of the domain, the hosting and the website. Easy, right?
You have installed WordPress yourself, as well as configured your blog. Now you know how to create a WordPress blog.
Step 5. Designing your blog
Finally, you can take care of your website’s appearance. In my opinion, this is the most enjoyable part of creating a blog.
In this section, I’ll show you
# How to add or change WordPress Theme
# How to configure your blog to be search engine friendly
One of the greatest advantages of creating your blog using WordPress is that you are provided with free themes and plugins.
Themes are responsible for the website’s appearance, plugins – for its functionality
WordPress offers more than 5000 free themes and more than 53,000 free plugins.
It means that you have a wide selection of options and you will surely find something for yourself.
# Add or change WordPress Theme
Right after you create your WordPress blog, you are already in a possession of either active default WordPress theme, or the one you have chosen in SiteGround Setup Wizard. It’s very easy to change and adjust to your own needs.
After logging to your WordPress blog, you will see the following screen: the main Administration Screen called the Dashboard.
You can log in to your blog by going to
and using the credentials you set up with SiteGround or any other hosting company you used.
Go to Appearance < Themes < Add New
On the right, you can type the name of the theme, which you know from this site: https://wordpress.org/themes/browse/new/ or tag -such as ‘blog’- and search for the most suitable theme for you among the other screened ones.
I start with looking through themes available here: https://wordpress.org/themes/browse/new/
On this site I can freely see Theme Homepage as well as theme’s demo, get to know the author, see his other projects, and read about other people’s opinions.
Don’t get discouraged:)
There are a lot of themes and you can lose plenty of time searching for the perfect one. Choose something that you will love, something that will suite your and your readers’ taste.
After you make up your mind, click Install and then Activate.
And that’s it!!! It’s done!!
What is WORTH KNOWING when you choose a theme.
All themes available on the site https://wordpress.org/themes are free (GPL-licensed), that is why you may want to check, whether a theme which you have chosen is regularly updated, and if it has support in case of any troubles.
Perhaps you are wondering how these authors make money? Some of them sell a Pro version of a given theme with additional expanded functions, others offer payable support and customization of their themes.
You don’t need all of these functions at the beginning. It will be enough if you choose a theme, which you should be able to use easily on your own, without the need to generate additional costs.
# Configuring your blog to be search engine friendly / Using Search Engine Friendly URLs in Your blog
1. Change your permalinks
The next thing that you need to do before you start writing posts is to make your blog more search engine friendly.
It only means that you need to make your permalinks clear and readable.
How can you achieve that?
Enter Settings < Permalinks and choose Post name
2. Set up Comments
Make sure that your blog is free from spam comments, which will make it full with unwanted content. Many companies use automatic spam, leaving comments with links to various sites in order to promote themselves. To control messages appearing on your blog, go to :
Settings < Discussion and choose two options
From this moment you will have to accept the icoming comments, before anyone will see them on your blog.
3. Check your username
If you are not sure, whether you changed your default username ‘admin’ to your own, you can easily check it.
To do that, click Users > All Users
Step 6. Adding Posts and Pages
At this point, you have a fully operational and well-configured WordPress blog with your own theme and your own domain.
You have done so much – I am proud of you :).
Your blog is now ready for work.
Now, it is time to get to know WordPress. I will show you where to start?
In this section, I will show you:
#How to write a post in WordPress
#How to add images, links, pdf files, videos etc.
#How to add tag ang category.
#How to add “About me” page.
# Writing Blog Posts
Navigating in WordPress is very easy. Right after you get to know basic rules, you will learn how to do it.
To add a new post you can do it in the three ways below:
1. Dashboard > Write your first blog post or
2. Dashboard > +New > Post or
3. Posts > Add New
On the next screen, you’ll see user-friendly editor.
I will stop here, so that you have a chance to learn more about all the elements and their functions.
1) Title Area: polish titles
2) Content Area: as the name suggests, this is the place where you put your content.
3) Standard Editing Tools: here you have the access to options such as bold, italic, lists, headings etc.
4) Publish Box: This is one of the most important areas. Here you can save a draft version or publish something by clicking on ‘Publish’ button. You can make your post private or password-protected, so that only your friends could see it. You can also schedule your post to be published later. WordPress is a device used all around the world, that’s why if you want your post published at a certain time, make sure you have set up the right time zone. You can check it by entering Settings > General. You will find more about the ‘Publish box’ below.
5) Additional Options: Here you can find post’s formats, categories, tags and Featured image.
Before you start, make sure you are in the Visual tab, which enables you to easily edit a text (Text tab is used to writing in HTML code).
On the top of the Content area you will find Standard Editing Tools, such as bold, italics, lists, headings, etc. At the very end there is an icon called Toolbar Toogle. When you click on it, you will see options of text formatting, such as text color, underlining, etc. They wil be useful during the editing process.
Now you can start writing your own post.
Add the text of your post in text box and its title in the space above.
GOOD TO KNOW
If you feel distracted by all the accessories available on the website, click on the icon “Distraction-free writing mode”, which is located at the top of the page, on the right side of content area. Everything will become clearer. To return to the normal display mode, simply click it again.
After adding a title, a permalink will appear under it.
Of course, you can edit it by clicking on “Edit” button, but it would be best to do it before publishing your post.
GOOD TO KNOW
Everything that you publish on your website (a post or a page) has its own unique url address (permalink), which makes it visible on the Internet. If you change an url address of an already published post, the previous address, which you might have shared on social media or other sites, will not work.
Be careful about changing permalinks of the already published content.
It makes a huge difference for your browser, whether you will write address such as this one https://fatthemes.com/support/ or this one https://fatthemes.com/supports/. These are two different sites, two different url address.
To sum up:
- To publish your post click the ‘Publish’ button, located on the right side of the Publish Box section.
- To save the draft version of your post click the ‘Save Draft’ button, located on the right side of Publish Box section.
- If you want to make your post private or password-secured click on the link ‘Edit’ next to ‘ Visibility’ and choose the right option, then click ‘OK’ and ‘Update’ button.
- If you want to schedule a later publication of your post in the ‘Publish Box’ section, click on the link ‘Edit’, next to the ‘Publish’ option, and select the right date. Then, click the ‘OK’ button, and the ‘Schedule’ button for confirmation. In the main Administration Screen, enter Settings>General, in order to make sure that you have set the right time zone.
# Adding images, links, pdf files and videos
You should adjust an image before you post it.
Set your cursor over the content area, where you want your image to be visible, click on Add Media > Upload File then Drop files or click the ‘Select Files’ button
Choose the right image. In order to do that, you just have to click on it and make sure it has been marked, as you can see on the picture above (if you click on it for the second time, it will be unmarked).
Fill the Alt Text space as well as Caption. It’s crucial for SEO – (Search Engine Optimization).
At the end, click the ‘Insert into post’ button. And it’s done.
GOOD TO KNOW
Never add images directly from the camera. Before they are added on your website, they should be optimized, reduced and compressed.
The browsers see only the text – they don’t recognize images. Photos are an important part of your content, not just an addition. Always remember to fill the Alt Text – ‘Alternate Text’ space.
Imagine, that a blind person is searching through your site using a screen reader, which will read everything but images. Describe your images by giving them a description using AltText and your whole content will be available for everyone.
Highlight the text you want to link, click on the icon ‘Insert/edit link’. A space will appear, where you can insert your URL address. Click on the icon ‘Link Options’ in order to see all the possible combinations. Fill the right spaces and click ‘Add Link’.
Adding pdf files
Set the cursor over the place where you want a pdf file to appear, and click on Add Media > Upload File. Then upload your pdf file. On the right side you can change your post’s title – and it’s going to be the Post Title which will appear in the place where you set the cursor. Click ‘Insert into post’.
Adding a video
To add a video on your website first go to the individual page of this YouTube video. Click the ‘Share’ link on the right under the video, next click the ‘Embed’ button. Choose options which you find interesting and click ‘Copy’. Follow the same steps, when you are sharing a video from sites such as Vimeo.
Now go back to your own site, go to the TEXT TAB and add this link in a place you find the most suitable.
Note that the link you have copied is an HTML code, so you need to add it in Text Tab, and not in Visual Tab.
# Adding tag/tags and category/categories
Tags and categories help in grouping your content. They make your content orderly, which help your readers with finding articles they consider to be intresting.
But how do tags and categories differ?
CATEGORIES consist of the main topics, which can be found on your blog and which create the your blog’s main structure.
The average blog has about 7-10 categories. It’s not beneficial for a blog to have more categories, because then it becomes confusing and unreadable.
GOOD TO KNOW
in the case of WordPress, categories can be embedded, which means that you can create subcategories of a given category.
TAGS are very similiar to categories, but they serve as a more detailed description of your post.Tags divide your posts into groups, regardless of the structure, which a category have.
Do not create a tag for just one post
Let’s suppose that your blog is about cooking. You are writing an article about a lemon-flavoured sugar-free lemonade:), which you will put it in the category: Refreshments and tag it: lemonade, lemon, sugar-free.
If someone will be interested only in your sugar-free recipes, then they will be able to easily find them by clicking on the tag ‘sugar-free’.
Tags divide your posts into groups, so if you do not plan on publishing more sugar-free receipes (which would be tagged ‘sugar-free’), then it’s better not to use this tag at all. Using a specific tag for only one post doesn’t make sense and only creates a mess.
To add a new category, click ‘+Add New Category’. You can manage your categories by going to Administration Panels > Posts > Categories.
# Adding ‘About me’ page
There are three ways to create a page in WordPress:
1. Dashboard > Add an About page or
2. Dashboard > +New > Page or
3. Pages > Add New
Text editor looks the same as before, so it should not cause any problems 🙂
About me page is one of the most viewd pages, so it should be well-prepared. It’s worth putting effort into it:).