Start a blog! I am a website-enabler, which means I want everyone ever to start a site. If you are an artist or maker, art teacher or someone who wants to chronicle their daily moments, you’ve probably mulled over the idea of starting a blog, but something keeps holding you back.
Give me about 15 minutes, and I’ll have you up and running with your new blog. I can’t believe how simple they make it nowadays, as opposed to the hours and hours I spent setting up my first blog in 2008. You kids these days have it so easy.
The first and easiest step is to sign up for hosting. You can go here and do that now. (The hardest part is coming up with a name!)
I would suggest plus or prime to start, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space. Do you even see how cheap the monthly hosting is!? These prices are if you pay for the whole year up front, which I always do. The prices are a little higher if you pay by the month.
Once you’ve clicked on the hosting package you want, you will be sent to a window where you can choose your domain name. Make sure you have brainstormed some different ideas up front, so you don’t get the dreaded message that the domain you want is already taken.
(Incidentally I did not buy oodlez-of-poodlez.com, so as far as I know it is still available for you.)
After you create your account, you’ll look at this for a second and get all excited:
Now to set up your shiny new site. You can pick one of the free themes (site designs) here, and you can always change it later:
They automatically install WordPress for you, and your theme of choice. It’s so lovely.
Head on over to your email and you should have: an email from Bluehost with all of your login information. What I love is that you used to have to wait for a while until your site was live before you could play with designing it, but now they magically set you up with a temporary site they switch over to your live site once it’s ready.
You can either stick with your free theme, or you can choose a different theme to make your site all awesome and pretty and awesome. I use and highly recommend Genesis as your theme, and then you can choose a child theme from there.
Genesis is an industry favorite. I’m not going to get into all the reasons to go with Genesis, but you can do some Googling to learn more, or just head to their site and read up a little.
While you are there, you can click the “shop for themes” button at the top of the page to get to the fun stuff.
The price you’ll see is for the theme and framework, which is Genesis and whichever lovely child theme you decide on. It’s realllllly hard to not change your child theme around every 6 months, because there are some stunning ones flying around out there.
Click the top left x to collapse this customizing screen, and hover over where it says “Appearance”, and click “themes”.
Next, click at the top on “Upload”, and then the “Upload Theme” button to upload first Genesis, and then the child theme you bought.
Now you’ll want to play around with setting up your sidebar, homepage, etc. What I loved about the Restored 316, Foodie Pro and Pretty Creative child themes is that they included LOTS of info. and tutorials about setting up the different parts of your site. (I’m using Restored 316 themes on my blogs).
Have fun. Get things set up how you basically want them, and you will undoubtedly tweak the look of your site. Look at other sites you like around the web for ideas for your site.
Some basic things you’ll want to include:
- Social media share buttons
- Social media follow buttons
- About me page
- Contact form or link
- Menu with links to what you write about/ categories
- Search box
P.S. There are zabillions of plugins that are things you upload to provide things on your site like social media buttons, etc.
You’ll find a link to your plugins page on the left side of your dashboard. (Keep Askimet! It will get rid of SPAM comments.)
P.P.S. If you start a site using my directions, I want to see it!!! Contact me through my social media links above, or email me!