So you have decided that you are ready to go live with your new blog!
You have spent weeks handwriting, or typing posts on Microsoft (or Pages), or hours writing out your absolutely fantabulous recipes and now that everyone is raving that you are the next New York’s best selling author, or the next Martha Stewart (or Rachel Ray), it is time to get moving!
In this article I wanted to share with you everything that you will need to know in order to get started with your blog right away!
As I have said, you have organized your thoughts, and strategically planned your method of execution, and now all that is left is executing. What should you do?
Honestly, it depends on the platform you would like to go with. For these 5 points, I assume you are going to use WordPress.org. But for those who may decide to use Blogger, please read step #1 before making your final decision.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase. There is no obligation to do so, but I do appreciate the *love* as it helps me to continue putting up FREE content. I would only recommend to you products/companies that I use and trust, and that is irrespective of me earning anything. Thank you so much for the support!
#1 – Select a platform and choose a domain name/host. This step is long, but read it all!
I know that the title sounds like more than one step, but honestly they all go together. The very first thing you need to decide is whether you are going to blog on Blogger or WordPress.
I know that this sounds difficult to choose when you may not be acquainted with either of them, but follow my simple infographic and choose from there.
If you followed the above, then hopefully you picked the platform that is best for you. Now you are ready to choose an available domain name, and host (if applicable)
Note: If you select Blogger.com or WordPress.com you will get a free domain name with an attached .wordpress.com, or .blogger.com to the end of your selected domain name. Furthermore, if you are using Blogger.com or WordPress.com you have free hosting already through the platform. This next part of step #1 is assuming that you want to go forward with a custom domain name which you can use on any platform and/or hosting as is needed with WordPress.org.
If you need a domain name – think uniquely you! You already know your passion because we explored that in the last article, and you already know who you want your audience to be. Select a domain name that represents your passion, tells your story, or represents your “brand”. But select about three, so that you have the highest opportunity of securing one.
Go over to a domain/hosting company like Bluehost, which I recommend, get the $3.95 super deal and sign up! Most bloggers choose to use Bluehost and honestly I know why! The prompts are super quick and easy to follow (I PROMISE!) and if you get mixed up, they have a customer service chatline to help you (which I have used a lot!). The representatives are fast and sweet!
Just click the green button to head over. But make sure to keep this site up for step-by-step guidance.
On that screen, enter the domain you want. most first.
#1- Choose a .com if you can first! and #2- Keep it simple and don’t use numbers!
For the purposes of illustration I used a domain name that is not (and was not registered at the time I created this page), “FudgeandCoconuts.com”. It’s available.
Next, enter your personal information… The form will look like this:
Next, select your package.
Tip: I highly recommend Domain Privacy and Site Backup Pro the most!
From there you are going to enter your billing information, and you are on to step #2 … finally!
#2 – If you are lost from here, get help.
If from here you would like to get help as far as getting your domain linked to your blog and/or installing WordPress, no problem. Bluehost’s chatline can help you! Told you they were that amazing!
If you are not having problems yet, after you have established your account you will be taken to “cPanel”. It will look like this. Click (on cPanel) where you see the arrow pointed in the pic below, “Install WordPress”
On the next page click “Install”
Then simply follow the prompts, choosing your domain as where to install, then under “advanced options”, creating a username and password to keep secure and to maintain access your WordPress.
Then it will start processing your install, give you a “success” message, and you are in business!
It’s quite simple, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!
#3- Getting a Theme!
All virtual homes need decorations!
Just like your own home, you want it to be unique, and truly to represent you! Here is where your creative juices go to work, or you simply imagine it up,and get help :)
If you choose to have help, you will need a blog designer. So if you chose that option, I would love to help you. Whether you simply chose to have a Blogger.com, WordPress.com, or a WordPress.org website, I can help you to select the best design for your blog.
If you considered yourself a techie as above, then continue reading.
For your virtual home, if you are comfortable with the decorating solo, I highly, highly, highly recommend StudioPress themes. There are plenty of themes to choose from but the if you are a foodie like me, I use and do recommend the Genesis Frame work + Foodie Pro Theme.
You can click below to get the theme I am using. It’s seamless, high quality, and if you need help, I am well acquainted with it now :)
Or the ever elegant StudioPress Swank theme, which is flexible and modern, for those of you who are or perhaps who may not even be a food blogger.
These themes are absolutely worth the price and the effort!
So once you have your theme, you are ready!
#4- Upload your theme and add your plugins to WP, or consult with someone who can help.
You will now need to load your theme to your blog and add plugins. A lot of work, but remember – it is worth it! If you are a techie or a semi-techie, then you know just what to do to get started once you log into your WordPress dashboard. The WordPress dashboard can be found at: http://yourdomain.com/
If you are a little lost by this point, it would be wise to consult with someone who works with themes and plugins so you don’t have to stress at all. Remember, your greatest concern is c-o-n-t-e-n-t creation!
#5- Gather your info, snap some photos, start a new post, and type that content we spoke about in the last article.
Once everything is squared away you are ready to write. Remember what I said in the last article though, or refer back to there now because your originality needs to shine!
Also, remember that each post should have a picture at the top, or a featured image. Everyone likes visuals, so snap some pictures if you are a food blogger, or get some royalty free photos if you blog on another topic, and let your imagination run!
Now for the food blogger…
Need help with getting traffic or with food photography? No problem!
Here is an excellent place to go: Food Blogger Pro. When you join, they will not only show you the ropes from here, but they will also cover:
- Building traffic to your site
- Food Photography
- Photo Editing
- Generating Income, etc.
Just click below on the image to join Food Blogger Pro, and become apart of a community of pro food blogging ladies and gents on every level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) who together are learning to make it big with their talent. You deserve it!
Finally on a last note (it’s been a long road), if you don’t need a community and you just want to do food photography, I would recommend you grab a copy of this book!
At only $19.00 you will learn from the best of the best how to take delicious food photography so that you can submit your pics and get approve on top photo sharing sites (which means MORE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE) like: Foodgawker.com, Tasteologie.com, and TasteSpotting.
Now go make us “gawk”!
Thanks a million and let’s guest blog together one day!
If you did not read the first article, read Starting a Blog? Start Here.
If you are looking for what plugins you should download first, read The Top 5 Starter Plugins.