How to Make a Blog

Creating a blog is an easy way to establish yourself on the internet. Whether you want to attract a wider audience to an online business, make money by providing original content or simply express yourself in a widely-accessible medium, getting started is a quick and easy process, even for beginners to website creation. There are multiple ways to go about doing this. It is an open-sourced platform that allows for control over your content with minimum expense. There are blogging sites that offer free access to a blog space, such as WordPress.com, Tumblr or Blogger, but the downsides can tend to outweigh the benefits. These sites are designed to give less control, you can be limited to the amount of content you can post and even what it is you decide to post. If your blog starts to gain real traffic and/or revenue they have the right to pull the plug, and that’s if they allow ads at all. they can possibly even retain rights to your original content, so it may be best to pay the annual fee for a domain and the monthly hosting to hold on to your freedom as well as the fruits of your labor. WordPress.org is one of the most popular choices for bloggers for its ease of use and open-sourced platform. It is free so the only costs you will incur will be for your Domain (dependent on selection, usually between $7 – $15 for a decent .com, .net, or .org) and your hosting (between $3 – $8 per month).It’s also a perfect choice for those with little to no experience with little to no experience in building a website. Setting up a new blog only takes about 20 minutes and from there, designing your site is a straightforward process of selecting your theme, layout and then adding your content.

 

Purchasing a Domain and Hosting

There are quite a few websites out there to use when selecting a domain and potentially even more for acquiring hosting for your website. A one-stop shop for obtaining both at the same time while providing 24-customer service and integrated functionality is GoDaddy.Your domain name is what your blog will be built around, the first and lasting impression your audience will receive, so make it count. To begin your purchase you just visit GoDaddy and search for a domain that works well with the overall theme and branding of your blog.

 

When searching a potential domain name keep in mind there may be premium domain options that may be out of your price range. If what you are searching for doesn’t give you the results you are looking for, change it up a bit. Add a hyphen if necessary. When determining which one you want to go with, make sure you select a .com, .org, or .net. These all rank equally with Google. Once you have found one that you like, you can enter your personal and payment information and select a hosting plan. From you here, you can conveniently secure a hosting plan via cPanel and buy it all together. Once you have completed the purchase, within your cPanel management, you can install WordPress on your website. You can proceed to ‘My Products’ under your account and then click on the ‘Manage’ button for your new domain.

 

 

You will then want to advance to your cPanel Admin page to install WordPress. WordPress should be an available choice under ‘Your Building Tools’ or ‘Web Applications’. Click the ‘WordPress’ button and on the next page, you can begin the installation.

 

 

Selecting a Theme

Once it has completed installing, type in your domain URL followed by ‘/wp-admin’ (www.yournewblog.com/wp-admin) to access your dashboard and make changes to your site.The first, and arguably the most important thing you will do, is choosing a theme. There are literally thousands of themes and blog specific themes at your disposal so sometimes selecting the right one for you and your brand can seem like daunting task. Remember, you always have the ability to easily change your theme, as long as you don’t do it so often as to throw your off your visitors. There are many themes offered completely free on WordPress and some free with the ability to upgrade to premium features. You can also purchase themes from outside websites, with various other capabilities that may not be available standard with some of the no cost themes available on WordPress. If you are just starting out with a new blog and have not really gained a following just yet, a free theme that is aesthetically pleasing and easily readable should be more than enough to support your need for the time being. To select a new theme, hover over ‘Appearance’ in the sidebar panel on the left side of your dashboard and select ‘Themes’.

 

 

When you first install WordPress on your website it will come with a standard free theme that will be viewable on the Themes Page. To search for a new theme click on the ‘Add new’ button.

 

 

From there you can search thousands of themes available for installation on WordPress by keyword, author or theme name. If you want to see what a theme will look like and get a glance at its responsiveness and functionality, click the ‘preview’ button. Alternatively, if you wish to purchase a premium theme from an independent developer using a service such as themeforest.com, you can click the ‘Upload Now’ button un the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Once you have determined which theme you want to go with, you can then install in seconds.

 

 

Customizing Your Website

Once you have established which theme you will use to represent your blog, the next step will be to customize. On the left sidebar panel, hover over appearance and select ‘Customize’ under the subcategories.

 

From the Customize page, you have the opportunity to make various adjustments to your website:

  • Site Identity – Add a logo, site name, header and site icon
  • Colors – Change the background color of your site, and depending on your chosen theme, header, footer and accent colors
  • Header Media – Upload a video, an image or more than one image to be viewed in your header. you also have the choice to randomize the media viewed when visiting your site
  • Background Image – In lieu of a background color you can elect to instead upload a background image
  • Menus – Where your menus will be displayed on your pages
  • Widgets – Edit the widgets displayed on different individual pages
  • Homepage Settings – Choose if you want your latest posts viewable from your homepage or a static page
  • Theme Options – Contains options within your theme that determine layout, scroll-up, breadcrumbs and more
  • Additional CSS – Add your own customized CSS
  • Featured Content – Edit the appearance and details of your featured content
  • Optimize for All Devices – Adjust for how your website displays on a desktop, smartphone, or tablet

Creating a New Page

Once you have completed customizing your website’s overall visual presentation, you will need structure your pages and menus and move on to adding posts to your blog. To make a page, hover over ‘Pages’ in the side menu and click on ‘Add New’.

 

From here you can add your page title in the first box and any text you would like to be visible on the page in the box below it.

 

 

Make any changes to your heading style form paragraph by clicking on the drop-down menu and making a selection. Here you can also edit your page text style, and page adjustment as well as adding hyperlinks. As you add to your page you can retain your work by clicking the ‘Save Draft’ button. When your page is completed and you want it published to the web, simply click ‘Publish’.

 

 

Adding Media to Pages and Posts

Within both your pages and posts you are able to add media such as photo and video. To add media from your computer you can simply click on the ‘Add Media’ button.

 

 

Under the ‘Upload Files’ tab, you can drag and drop an image or video directly into the box or click on the ‘Select Files’ button. Keep in mind your file must be under 2MB.

 

 

From there, you will want to browse your files to select the media you wish to upload. you also can select multiple images if you wish to. once you have the files chosen, the media library will appear with your new file(s) selected and viewable in 3 different places. When you are satisfied with your image selection click on ‘Insert into Page’.

 

 

Once your media is on the page you can also edit right from the post edit page. If you hover your mouse over your media, an options bar will appear just above, where you can choose the edit option by clicking on the ‘pencil’ icon.

 

 

Another window will appear giving you several options for your image or video:

  • Caption – If you would like a caption to appear under your media, type it here
  • Alternative Text – Alt text is the text that is linked to the image. Having a good description of what the image is will help it to rank better on Google
  • Display Settings – This is the area to change the size, justification and link display of your image
  • Replace – You can use this function if you want to later change and replace the image or video you are editing with another

When you’re done click on the ‘Update’ button to ensure your changes are saved

 

Creating a New Post

Creating a post is essential to your blog, as this is where most of your content will be, all of your blog ‘posts’. Adding a post is very similar to adding a page. In the side menu, you will want to select ‘Add New’ under ‘Posts’.

 

 

From here you can see that the layout has many of the same features as when you are creating a page, title, text, and text edit bar. In addition to the functions available with pages, posts also include format and category options. The format option allows you to choose a layout style in regard to how your post appears on the page. With categories, you can organize your posts in groups so that related posts can be easily found.

 

 

Just like with page creation you have the chance to save the draft or publish at any time, make sure you do this periodically so that you don’t lose any of your work.

Creating a Menu

Once you have your various Pages in place you will want to build a menu so that your users can easily access all of your content. To begin menu creation, select the ‘Menus’ subcategory under ‘Appearance’ in the sidebar panel.

 

 

From the Menus page, you can give your menu a title to differentiate it from other menus you may want to add later, such as a social menu, that links all your social media accounts to your site. You will want to add your selected pages and posts to your menu by placing check marks in the boxes next to the page names and then clicking on the ‘Add to Menu’ button. Within your menu structure, you have the ability to drag the items into an order that appeals to you.

 

 

If you wish to create sub-items for your menu, you can drag an item slightly to the right until it is no longer aligned with the item above it. You can continue to do this to make further subcategories. When you have completed all changes you would like to save, click on ‘Save Menu’.

 

 

Customizing With Plugins

When building your blog, you have tools in place that help you to make your page present exactly how you want it to appear. A plugin is a software you can download to work with WordPress on your site to perform certain functions. Some themes will suggest a particular plugin or multiple plugins to activate to make the theme run more efficiently. To add a new plugin, from the dashboard, go to your side panel menu and hover over ‘Appearance’, then click on ‘Add New’.

 

From there you can search, install and activate any plugins that suit your site. Keep in mind that you want to install and activate plugins that you need or have a purpose that adds value. Installing too many plugins can potentially slow down your site, which could cause visitors to lose interest and leave.

In addition to setting up your new blog, you may want to read our helpful tips when it comes to determining a general theme or niche and providing content for your new blog. This also entails various ways to generate an income stream through your blogging endeavors and inventive ways to attract more visitors or subscribers.

 

 

 

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