You’ve finally decided that you want to start a blog for your business or nonprofit. You’ve outlined a blog strategy, defined specific goals, decided on topics, and have determined who will publish content.
So what are the next steps? Where would you begin if you wanted to start blogging today?
Starting a blog is not as hard as some people make it seem. Generally speaking there are ten steps to getting started:
- Choose A Hosting Provider. There are many differences between a WordPress.com (free) and a WordPress.Org blog. You want the .Org – the hosted blog. WordPress has a great list of hosting providers that support a 1-click install of WordPress.
- Pick A Domain. Picking a domain will be one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your blog. You want to pick a domain that is short enough for people to write down, but long enough to contain a keyword or two that you want to rank for on Google. Finding a domain name that isn’t taken yet will take some patience and creativity, but f you choose to use a Subdomain for your blog, you can pick whatever URL you like.
- Install WordPress. If you’re not that technical, go with the 1-click install of WordPress as demonstrated in this video.
- Choose a Theme. There are hundreds of free themes and a few very good premium Themes (Headway is what I use on all my blogs). The main difference between free and premium themes is design flexibility. Premium themes will give you many more design configurations to choose from as you and your blog grow. Free themes give you less choices.
- Tweak The Theme. Set up a few basic design configurations, like font type, background colors and site dimensions. You can make tweaks along the way, but it’s a good idea to choose some basic aesthetics. I do this early on when I implement blogs because having a nice looking blog is motivating.
- Setting Permalink Structures. The default permalink structure in WordPress relies on the post ID, which is a unique number for each post.If you want to get found on Google, post ID is not the way to do it. Choose a permalink structure that is keyword rich, like categories and post names. If you’re not sure how to do this, watch “How To Create SEO-Friendly Permalinks“.
- Add Essential Plugins. There are a gazillion WordPress plugins out there to choose from, depending on what your goals are for your blog. A good list of essential ones can be found here.
- Create Basic Pages. Create a few basic pages in your blog. Pages, by the way, are different from Posts. The basic ones to start with would be an About Page, a Contact Page and a Subscribe Page.
- Set An RSS Feed Service. You’ll want to use a service like Feedburner or Feedblitz, which are both free. These services add social media and promotion elements to a basic feed.
- Start Blogging. If you’re scared, read Michael Martine’s series on dealing with Blogging Fears.
Check out Start Blogging Today