How to start a blog

Curious and Geeks
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I have been thinking about blogging for quite a while but only recently decided to start. I was astonished by how easy it was. 
If you too are thinking about it, that’s awesome, and you shouldn’t hesitate any longer.
The following post will list basic steps on how to start a blog.

Step 1: Decide what you want to write about

You have decided to start a blog, great but what are you going to talk about?
You can create a blog about almost everything but to be successful you will need to consider the following:

  • Choose something you enjoy writing about: Consistency is key in blogging, and you will be writing frequently, so choose a topic that you enjoy or are curious about.
  • Choose a topic other people are interested in: To be able to build an audience, you will need people sharing the same interest. You can look up on Google Trends to see what others are interested in.

Step 2: Choose your domain name

The domain name is the URL or the address to your blog, it is usually www.yourblogname.com.
You should take your time to thing about your blog name as you are likely to have to pay extra fees if you decide to change it later.

It is recommended to go for:

  • a short name that people can remember.
  • a name without hyphens or number.
  • a name that won’t change in the future.
  • a trustworthy domain extension, .com, .co.uk, .org. These are usually the most popular and easy to remember.
In case you are struggling with a name, try using these name generators and play with them to get some inspiration, Instant Domain Search, Shopify name generator.

You can either register your domain with namecheap or 101domain as they offer some very competitive pricing, or wait until you choose your hosting platform.


Step 3: Choose your hosting platform and your plan

The hosting companies are companies that will lend you the servers, your blog is going to be running on. They will also help you with the security aspect, the performance, the back-ups.

There are a ton of different companies, and loads of sites with useful comparison. Take your time, read and compare the different options. Beware of the hidden costs and make sure that some basic options like the SSL are included in the monthly price displayed.

Here, at Curious and Geeks we opted for SiteGround, because of their uptime and their customer services.

  • Select the plan you are interested in. You can start with the Startup and upgrade the plan later.
SiteGround wordpress hosting plans
  • Enter your domain name if you bought one previously or register a new domain directly with SiteGround.
SiteGround Domain Resgitration
  • In the next screen, you will be asked to enter your personal details, payment information and the billing period. 
SiteGround purchase information

Well done! You can now start installing WordPress


Step 4: Install WordPress

Good news, Siteground hosting and many other hostings come along with a WordPress auto-installer.
All you have to do, is login to your webhosting site, find the link to the cPanel and look for WordPress auto-installer.

Cpanel view in SiteGround

You will then be prompted to enter the Sitename, the admin name and passwords.
Save your admin username and passwords as you will need them to access your blog.

It is recommended to choose an https protocol for security reasons.

Congratulations, you now have a blog!!


Step 5: Customize your blog

You can access your blog thanks to the username and passwords you saved in the previous step.  Use the address https://yournewblog.com/wp-admin and enter your details.

Wordpress login

Choose a theme for your blog

Usually the first step is choosing your theme. This can be very time-consuming as there is a very large choice of themes to choose from. You can pick a free theme, buy one or even design one yourself (if you have the skill set and the right tools).

If you want to buy a theme, there are different spots where you can find themes to choose from:

  • Elegant themes
  • Theme Forest – This is a very popular site that has thousands of themes
  • Pipdig

For this blog, we chose to go with a free theme that we customised.

Install the theme on your blog

To install your WordPress theme, go to Appearance > Themes and click “Add New.”

Wordpress Add a theme screenshot

From here, you will be able to:

  • Search for a free theme by name and click install.
  • Upload the zip file of the theme you bought.

Customise your theme

If you want to personalise a bit more the theme you selected, you can head to Appearence > Customise and play with the different options provided. You will be able to see the changes in real time but the changes won’t be live unless you press the publish button on the top left.

Congrats, You now have your own theme and are ready to start posting!


Step 6: Create your first post

Excited to write your first post? You should be and it’s pretty easy.
You can create your post in the classic editor or with the Gutenberg plugin – you should try to play around with Gutenberg as it will become the default soon.
First, head to Posts > Add New and select the option you want to use.

Using the classic editor

Wordpress classic editor screenshot

The classic editor is pretty straight forward. You enter your text as shown in the screenshot above and you play with the format as you would in Word. 

Using Gutenberg

With Gutenberg, you will be creating blocks than can be dragged and dropped. You can create customised blocks in html and save them.

To publish your post, simply click on the Publish button and you’re done!


Next steps

Now that you know how to create posts, you are off to a great start. Here are some steps to follow before launching your blog and telling the world your amazing stories:

  1. Organise your blog: Think about what you want to write about and how to best structure the themes and categories you are going to be using.  Once decided, create categories in Posts Categories.
  2. Create your pages: Create your About us and Contact us pages as well as your privacy and disclosures policies. Do not forget about GDPR.
  3. Install plugins: Go to  Plugins > Add New and install the plugins you are interested in. 
  4. Social media: Create accounts on the social medias you want to use. Most bloggers use Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Youtube…
    The bigger your presence on social media, the more chance you have to reach the public, but do not underestimate the amount of time you will need to be spending on each one.
    Once you have chosen the platforms, link your addresses back to your blog.
  5. Read about blogging: There are a lot of good free content out on the web. 
Thinking about starting a new blog? Read more to find the six steps that will help you start a blog from scratch


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