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Nothing is more exciting than trying something new! In 3 Steps I’m going to show you how to start a free WordPress Blog. I would highly recommend blogging to almost anyone I know. It’s a great way to express yourself and also to share what you love and what you’re passionate about. Blogging is an amazing hobby that has the potential to turn into a full-time job.
One thing that needs to be addressed right off the bat is if you want to monetize your blog. If you would like to make money blogging, here’s another guide on How to Make Your WordPress Blog Profitable // COMING SOON. Creating a free WordPress blog means that you cannot advertise on your website… at all. Also, WordPress will own ALL of your content (including photos). Now, this isn’t such a terrible situation for those of you that want to blog for fun or just want to give it a try. Additionally, there is an easy way to transition your blog at a later point so that you can start monetizing if you’d like. Here is my guide to transferring your Blog.
Why you want to start a FREE WordPress.com Blog:
- Let’s be honest, it’s free.
- You want to try blogging, but you are not sure if it’s for you.
- You want an easy way to share information with family (like a year-round holiday card).
- You have a group or club that needs a website.
- Just because you feel like it.
How Blogging can and will Help you:
- I mentioned it a bit towards the beginning, but you’ll be able to express yourself in anyway you want. You’ll be able to share with the world what you’re passionate about and what you love! By doing this you’ll be able to understand your self and develop more self-awareness
- Blogging is a lot of writing… A LOT. If you want to improve your writing skills or simply have a desire to write, then blogging is perfect for you!
- Owning and managing a blog is a great talking point and conversation starter! Whether your just meeting some new friends or trying to land a new job everyone will be impressed. Maintaing a blog is hard work!
How To Start A FREE WordPress Blog
Step 1: Setting Up your WordPress Blog & Account.
Go to wordpress.com and select Create A Website.
Choose a Theme (you can change this later).
Pick your domain – this will be your URL. At this point you should know what you want to name your blog and what your niche is. Here is a super helpful post that will help you choose a name and discover your niche (plus it comes with a free printable) //COMING SOON. Here you’ll also have the option of choosing your domain extension (.com .net .me, etc.) The free option is .wordpress.com, you’ll be able to change this later if you’d like.
Next you’ll be prompted to choose your WordPress plan. Again, select the free option.
Enter your email & pick a password. Select Create My Account.
WordPress will now bring you to your “main menu”. Before doing anything you’ll need to verify & confirm your email. WordPress will have sent you a confirmation email. After verifying your email, you’ll be able to start posting to your blog!
Congratulations! You’ve officially created your FREE WordPress blog! Next, I’m going to walk you through how to use WordPress. This includes creating, editing, and customizing your posts, pages, and layout/theme.
Step 2: Creating New Posts & Pages.
//All of these options are available on the wordpress.com dashboard as well as your WP Admin dashboard. To get to the WP Admin dashboard there is a link at the bottom of the left-hand column.
Select Start a Post.
Add a title to your post and start creating wonderfully creative content! Toggle the advanced settings so you can see them.
There are multiple different headers that you can pick from.
To add a photo, select Add Media – Here you’ll be able to add photos. Choose an image from your computer. You’ll also have the option of creating a gallery.
You can change the size of your photo and it’s alignment, to find these option simply click on your photo.
Next we’ll be moving over the the side bar. Here you’ll find more detailed options for your post! First up, you’ll want to create categories to organize all of your content. Here you can also add tags. (WordPress users use tags when searching for blogs on the WordPress website.)
You will ALWAYS want to set a featured image. This will be the main photo of your post and will be on the homepage of your blog.
Next you’ll want to connect your Facebook, Twitter, ect. This allows you to easily share new posts!
At the top of the sidebar you have the option to preview, publish, and schedule your blog post.
After you’ve Saved for Draft (it automatically saves – or you can manual hit the save button) or Published your first post, Go back to the main menu. Select My Site in the top left corner.
Pages can be edited and created in the same fashion as posts.
At this time I would recommend editing your About Page. This page is already created for you and can be found under the pages tab in the main menu. This post tells you how to make the PERFECT about page.
YAY! You now know how to make posts and pages for your blog! You have the tools to publish your amazing thoughts and ideas! But, theres still one more thing to do. You need to organize the layout of your blog and personalize it!
Step 3: Customizing your Blog.
Next we’re going to be talking about changing to a new theme and organizing the components of your blog. When picking a new them make sure to select a free one! Once you’ve picked one, select Try & Customize. This will open a customization window/editor.
Here you can change the Title & Tag line of your blog. Adding a logo is something else you can do. If you’d like me to design you a logo shoot me an email and we can talk! (there is a small fee) You can also change the colors, background, and fonts if you’d like!
It’s really important to update your widgets right away. I recommend the following widgets in this order (if they apply to you).
- Image – Add a photo/profile picture of yourself
- Follow Button – This lets people sign up to follow your blog
- Search – This allows readers to search your blog
- Top Posts & Pages – Shows all your top posts & pages
- Facebook Page
- Instagram Feed
- Twitter Feed
- Social Media Icons – Provides links to your social media accounts
- MailChimp – Create an email list to send Newsletters (How to Setup MailChimp) // COMING SOON
Save!! If you don’t save, all your changes will be lost! ?
Return to your main menu and go to the Menu tab. Here you’ll be able to edit the menu bar on your website. Right now it just says “About”. Click the little plus next to your about page. Then add an item below or above (wherever you’d like!)
Name the item & choose what you’d like it to link to. I suggest creating an item for each category you create. Again, make sure to save!
And that’s it! Your Done!
You now know everything you need to know about publishing content on your blog and how to organize everything!
If you’d like to know how to setup a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog make sure to jump over to this guide, How To Start a (WordPress) Blog // HostGator
Enjoy your new FREE blog!
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