This 2 part series will guide you in how to start a WordPress blog and get your first blog post published!
The popularity of blogging is at an all time high and shows no signs of slowing down. Not only does this popularity bring more soon-to-be bloggers to this growing industry, but it also ferries in an additional wave of competitors who are vying for the opportunity to earn your business and get you to use their blogging-related products. This competition is great for end users cause it creates choice and promotes the creation of more advanced and user-friendly products, but it also can cause a little ‘head-scratchin’ as to exactly how to get your blogging show on the road!
Perhaps I can help.
In this 3 part guide to WordPress I will cover the basics of using WordPress and provide some links to additional resources in order to help you get heading in the right direction. This blog series will cover the following:
- How and why to start a blog with WordPress
- Finding blog themes and plugins to meet your needs
- Publishing blog posts and uploading pictures and videos
With a growing number of people and businesses looking to the Internet to setup blogs, the options for blogging platforms have increased dramatically. If you are a frequent flyer of the Internet like I am, then you have undoubtedly come across many different blogs and larger websites that run on blog platforms. Therefore, you have surely stumbled upon two of the most popular choices out there; Blogger and WordPress. I, like many professional bloggers, am a big advocate of WordPress and I highly recommend it to bloggers of all experience levels use it. Here’s a few reasons why:
- WordPress is an Open Source software which allows it to be used free of cost.
- User friendly interface means you don’t have to be an experienced blogger to use it
- Great theme support. You will never run short of templates when using WordPress.
- Plugins, plugins, plugins! WordPress plugins allow you to do just about anything that you want and can be installed easily.
- Great Community. The large WordPress user community backing the development of this software is very helpful.
Who uses WordPress? Darren Rouse of Problogger.net, Brian Clark of Copyblogger.com, Chris Brogan of ChrisBrogan.com, eBay, Yahoo, Wall Street Journal, NYTimes, CNN and millions more.
Ready to get started?!
Step 1 – Get a domain, web hosting and install WordPress
Haven’t got that far yet? No problem. Check out this video tutorial on how to intall WordPress.
Not sure what web hosting is or why your need it? Read What is Web Hosting then come back here to complete the setup process.
Step 2 – Install WordPress theme
Flexible WordPress Themes
The WordPress theme you choose for your blog will go a long way to establishing the look and feel of your blog in the eyes of your readers. Regardless of content, many readers will make an almost immediate decision about your blog simply based on its layout and design. Having a generic blog design that is hard to navigate through may discourage people from reading your blog despite your wonderful content. By taking the time to find an appropriate theme that meets your needs and goals, you will save yourself some potential, future headaches and get your blogging started on the right path.
Once you have WordPress set up on your server the first thing you will need to do is find a theme for your blog. There are literally thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. I personally use the Atahualpa theme on my blog and it is free. This theme is the most advanced, free theme I have found and continues to serve me well. If you are interested in creating a business with your blog you may want to consider using some more advanced themes that will extract a few bucks from your wallet but will be well worth the modest investment. In order to help you out with your search I have provided a few links to some great themes that are used by novice and professionals bloggers alike. Below is a short list of some of the more popular WordPress themes.
- Atahualpa WordPress Theme (free)
- Directory of free themes from WordPress.org
- The Thesis Theme for WordPress (aff). This is a very popular theme used by many blogging professionals.
Here is a quick video tutorial created by iThemes on how to upload WordPress themes to your blog.
After you choose your theme, the next step(s) you should take is to download some basic, yet vital plugins that will help you enhance your blog and make it a more highly functional platform. In the next part of this WordPress guide I will cover plugins and why they are the best thing in blogging since sliced bread!