Solving Beginners' Problems in Blog Making
This is answering the majority of the questions beginners have about creating their first blog.
In this post, you'll get the answers to the questions beginners have about making their blog. When a complete newbie steps into wanting to create a blog, the problem starts at the mention of "domain name", hosting, and WordPress.
This post answers those questions. From what a domain is up to making the first WordPress blog post. Therefore overcoming the hurdles in making your first blog post.
So, let's get started 🙂
FIRST of all: What is a Blog?
A blog is a site, a journal, a diary, a record that is accessible through the World-Wide-Web (www). Originally known as "weblog", it got abbreviated to "blog" in the 1990s.
Does any of you remember the TV series Doogie Howser MD? (Yes, I must be old... not really!)
In each episode, the young Doctor (portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris) journals his reflections and thoughts from the day he had. He logs in his computer and enters a journal-type entry. Digitally recording his life's adventure as a teenage doctor.
It's not clear if it was a personal or public journal. But for me, this best portrays how blogs get started.
There's a lot of videos on Youtube that give information about what a blog is. But the BEST explainer video I've found on the overview of a blog is the one below.
This is the most comprehensive explainer video about a blog for newbies (video via Edublog). And to better appreciate and remember the overview, below are the highlights for your reference.
Notes and Highlights:
- A blog is the logging of one's thoughts, ideas, experiences and more, all in one place on the web.
- With a few clicks, you can share thoughts, opinions, news, anything! This makes blogs so easy to use.
- The Blog is the staple of who you are. It is the ultimate expression of You on the web.
The THEME for your Blog
- The looks of your blog comes from the theme you choose.
- You choose a theme and personalize it. Just select the color and/or background images you prefer to get the looks you like.
Most Blog Themes Have 4 Main Sections
- The HEADER - is where you'll see the blog's title, logo, and main navigational menu.
- The MENU - is the way your visitor can easily navigate the content of your site. Menus are a natural part of web experience and link the readers to the various contents and pages found on your blogs.
- The SIDE BARs - Blogs usually have these. This area contains the widgets and things you want to highlight. Like your favorite links, your popular contents, recent activity, subscription options, and social media tools.
- The FOOTER - rests at the bottom of your blog. This displays content that doesn't often change but your readers can easily access. It includes links to read more About You, or a Contact Page.
- The BODY - is the most important area of your blog. This is the main content area. This is usually the primary reason people come to your blog. It's where your thoughts and ideas come to life as you share them within your post or page.
Post vs. Page
What's the diffeence between a Post and a Page?
- Pages are different from posts. They're normally static. It displays standard contents such as About Me page and Contact page.
- While Posts are all the good stuff where you publish your thoughts. They appear on the main page of your blog in most standard format. It's usually in the order of the most recent at the very top of the list.
- Blog posts are things like your daily update or news about your niche topic. A new story appears at the very top of the blog for the world to see. This used to be done as journals. Published posts are the live-version of journal entries available for others to see.
- Readers have the option to react in a comment section. Others can add their thoughts to yours, sharing a conversation with you or just providing feedback about your blog. This brings a community element to blogs. Hence, making them a popular medium of expression and information sharing.
Sharing and Media
- Blogs make it easy to share images, video, and other types of media file giving you complete freedom of creative expression.
- The popularity of mobile phone lets people view your blog at any time from anywhere in the palm of their hand.
- People share on blogs everyday. Blogging is a great way to connect with other people and get your ideas out there.
SECOND: What do I need to make my blog?
You Need to Get Your Domain Name
Your domain name is going to be your blog's address in the WWW (World-Wide-Web). It's the home number of your network address. It represents your blogs location. It is how people can search you on the internet.
How to Choose Your Domain Name
Keep in mind how people search on the internet. Your domain name should represent what your blog is all about.
If someone is looking for fresh flower delivery, he would Google: "fresh flowers delivery" + his location. If you're only into tulips, then freshtulips.com would be an appropriate domain name. But freshtulipsbaguio.com would be more targeted.
Let's say you're into pet grooming. Then it would be advisable to get a domain name on that subject. Or similar theme. The petpalgroomer.com can work.
It is however best to consult Google Adwords for keyword ideas and see trends.
This is a great tool not only for deciding on your domain name and blog name but for creating blog posts as well.
The recommended formula is: "Your Product or Services" + "Location" Dot Com. Please take note not to use your company name. Unless the nature of your products and/or services are reflected in your company name, stick with what your business is about.
How Come Others Use Their Name As Domain Name
People do this as branding. They are promoting themselves as a brand. Also, they promote their expertise and what they stand for.
For some, it is the fastest way to decide on a domain name to create a blog or website. They use their name first until they zero-in on the niche they want to pursue. If you haven't decided on a niche, you can use your name as domain name just to get started.
You Need to Get a Web Hosting
Web hosting is getting your storage space and access to the Word-Wide-Web. Your blog cannot be seen on the internet without hosting. While the storage is where all your files (posts, pages, images) are kept.
Where To Get Hosting and Domain Name Registration
You can get web hosting and domain name registration from the following.
- Impact Instruments (Launching on September) - Recommended
- And others you can search through the web. Google for "
webhosting". Just make sure you review the storage size being provided. Don't simply get the one with the lowest cost. Compare the storage space and bandwidth.
THIRD: How do I create my Web Hosting Account?
Some beginners are a bit scared of creating accounts for their blog. So I'll show you the step by step of creating one with HostMonster. Simply because that is the one I'm using. It won't be much different with the other hosting providers.
Go to hostmonster.com
This is what you'll see. Click "Sign-up" button.
Select the plan that suits your needs. Most beginner would be okay with the basic plan for a blog. Notice that website space is already at 50GB. Please do consider that when reviewing the hosting offers. Others may be cheaper but provides lower storage space.
You'll be asked for a domain name. Type in your domain name and click Next.
Provide your account information.
Review what you're buying. Note that the lowest price is packaged for 36 months. It is the best deal. But you can choose other options that suits your budget. You may uncheck the 3 other extra expenses to save.
Fill-up the payment information and click "Submit".
I can't proceed beyond this point since I already have an account. But you'll most likely be offered some other add-on products. Just skip it and head on to finish the transaction.
You'll be asked to set-up an account and password. Make sure to copy this information so that you'll have a reference in case you forget.
They will send you an email about your new hosting account. Open your account through the email link provided. Login to your cPanel with your account name and password.
You have to be in your hosting cPanel because that's where you'll be installing your WordPress.
FOURTH: How do I create my blog after getting my Hosting Account?
You'need to install WordPress to your web hosting account. WordPress is a blogging platform. You do your blog in WordPress.
Here's a short tutorial video on How to Install WordPress on Hostmonster.com It is basically the same even if you have other host provider.
FIFTH: What do I do after installing WordPress?
You now need to install a Theme to your WordPress. The theme you choose will determine how your blog will look like. You cannot start blogging (yet) without installing a theme.
Now, this is where the beginners usually start to feel overwhelmed at creating their blog site. Just consider it as series of steps to take and not as hindrances. You can do this!
Here's a short tutorial on How to Install a Theme in WordPress on Hostmonster. But again it will just be very similar even if it's another hosting.
SIXTH: Okay, I already have a theme. Can I write my blog post now?
Well, yes. But let's get
What are Plugins?
WPBeginner defines Plugin as:
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. In the WordPress community, there is a saying that goes around: “there’s a plugin for that”. They make it easy for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code.
SEVENTH, in addition: What Plugins do I need?
The Plugin is a whole new topic to discuss in detail. Nevertheless, you can refer to and learn about various plugin recommendations from the following articles:
Here's a short tutorial on how to install plugins to your WordPress.
Some of the plugins I have are:
GetDrip Email Automation, and others.
Just don't go overboard on adding plugins because it can slow down your blog. There's a lot of great plugins and you may get carried away of adding this and that. Add only the necessary ones. The ones that will make your blogging process easier and faster. And the ones that make your post safe, reach more, and shareable.
EIGHT and finally: How do I make my first blog post?
Now you have a blog and can start making your first blog post.
Below is the easiest to follow yet comprehensive tutorial on How to Create Your First WordPress Blog Post.
And there you have it! Hence, the problem of making a blog and creating your first blog post is solved. If you're able to follow through from the start 'til here, congratulations! You have made your blog.
However, if you prefer a faster and easier way of starting a blog, watch out for the brand new blogging system to be launched in September. It is an off the box ready to use blogging system. Pre-installed with themes and plugins for less the $1 per month. Click: Project Unity to learn more about it and participate in the pre-launch freebies.
Related post readings:
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Keep learning and keep growing. Simplify and up your value today.
P.S. ->Brand new Blogging System off the box ready to use for blogging is launching in September. Inclusive of pre-installed themes and plugins (ready to use) at less than $1 a month. Click: Project Unity to learn more.