Blogging is pretty crucial to business these days. You need the content to be relevant in Google. I always cringe when I hear people say they don’t have time start to blog. I feel like blogging is more crucial than any other form of social media because it gives your customers a reason to keep coming back to your site. I went to a conference this weekend, and I had so many people ask me how to start a blog, that I decided to write a post about it!
As I started writing this, I realized just how much is involved in starting a blog. If you have any questions, go ahead and leave a comment…everyone’s site is different, and this is a very general guide to starting a blog. I’ll be adding more to this series as time goes on!
First things first…
If you have an online store through Shopify or Squarespace, you can start a blog through those platforms. It’s super easy (although, read on for why I choose WordPress for my sites). If you have an online presence through social media, but do not have a website already, then you need to start with step one.
STEP ONE: Get a Host
Before you start a blog, you need a place to host your site. I use Orange Geek. I never have any down time, and if I need anything, they respond very quickly. However, it is pretty pricey, especially if you’re just starting out. I would recommend beginning with a less expensive host like Bluehost and when your business is more profitable, make the switch to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) like Orange Geek.
STEP TWO: Install WordPress
I will always recommend WordPress over other platforms. I do love how easy Squarespace and Shopify are for e-commerce, so do your research before deciding. However, I love how much I can customize my sites. I can install plugins that help with the function of my site (like the share buttons, featured post widgets, plugins that help with SEO).
You can install WordPress through your host dashboard. Click on the WordPress icon, then follow the steps until your site is installed. Keep the email with your username and password handy!
STEP THREE: Install a Theme
I use the Genesis Framework. They’re inexpensive, beautiful and easy to install. I hardly did any customization for my current theme and had it up and running within minutes. I did a few more for my Strawberry Mommycakes theme because a lot of people I know use that theme.
I’m a huge fan of Pretty Darn Cute Design and Restored 316. I use Pretty Darn Cute’s Pretty Happy theme for Printable Crush and the Fun Theme for Strawberry Mommycakes. I installed another theme for my mom’s blog from Restored 316. PDCD’s themes are a little more modern, which is why they work well with my style, but Restored 316 has some gorgeous themes that worked well if you want a more feminine look. If those aren’t your cup of tea, take a look at the other themes Genesis has to offer!
Genesis will give you instructions for downloading the framework and child theme to your WordPress site. Follow the instructions EXACTLY and you shouldn’t have any problems 🙂
STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Pages
Go to the pages tab on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. Click Add New and type in the title and content for your page, and then press PUBLISH. Do that for every page. You will also need to create a page titled “BLOG,” but leave the content blank.
Now, go to APPEARANCE and click on CUSTOMIZE. Here, you can change your header image, colors, and site layout. You’ll need to go to STATIC FRONT PAGE. If you want your blog to be the front page (the page that everyone sees as soon as they get to your site), press the radio button for LATEST POSTS. If you would like your front page to be your HOME page, click on A STATIC PAGE, then select the page you’d like to be the home page and the name you want for your blog.
STEP FIVE: Create a Blog Post
Click on POSTS on the left-hand side of your dashboard, then ADD NEW and start typing up your post! You can add categories and tags right in your post, schedule a time for it to go out and set a featured image. Click on PUBLISH when you’re finished, and you’ve officially started a blog! If you need help with brainstorming blog post ideas, check out my Blog Post Idea Printable.
Congratulations! You’ve finished the easiest part of blogging! The best thing you can do now is be CONSISTENT. If you can only post once a week, post once a week. Just make sure you are delivering quality content, get your newsletter going (more on that later) and post what your readers want to see.
If you have any questions on how to start a blog, please ask away! This post is the first of many in my blogging series, so I’d love to hear your what you want to know!
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a little commission off of your purchases from my link, with no extra charge to you!