Blogging is a fun, therapeutic way to talk about what you love and share your ideas with the world. Many people resolve to start a blog during the new year, but blogging is a lot more work than it seems. Because you need some general foreknowledge to get a blog up and running, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up if you don’t know what you’re getting into.
Never fear! This easy how-to guide will walk you through setting up a free WordPress blog (and keeping it running) in 2018!
1. Sign Up at WordPress.com
Joining WordPress is a breeze. All you need is an email address, a name for your site, and a general idea of what you plan to blog about. The intuitive sign-up process walks you through everything you need to get started, from choosing the right plan for your site to picking an appropriate theme.
2. Pick Your Topic Beforehand
A lot of new bloggers are just so overwhelmed with all the possibilities before them that they fail to designate what their site’s actually about. While lifestyle blogs can be rather broad and discuss everything from music to cooking, there still needs to be a cohesive theme that is evident to first-time visitors.
A good rule of thumb for beginner bloggers is to choose one to three things you’re passionate about and commit to writing solely about them while you find your footing in the blogosphere.
3. Plan Your Posts
Freewriting and fun and exciting, but you don’t want to wing every post on your site. It may be easy to pull ideas from thin air when you’re brand new to blogging, but as you get more comfortable and the newness wears off, you’ll eventually get stumped and worry your content isn’t digging deep enough.
Take some time to discern how frequently you want to update your blog and then plan some posts accordingly. There’s no need for spreadsheets or multi-page outlines; a few bullet points in a notebook will help you get organized and keep your site alive.
4. Build a Brand
You may feel like branding is something that only matters to big bloggers, but if you’re familiar with the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” then this tip will make perfect sense.
The more professional your site looks and feels from the get-go, the easier it will be to build a solid readership. Social media is key to promoting a new WordPress blog, so sign up for Twitter and/or Instagram and create an account that you can use to engage with other bloggers, read about trending topics in your niche and promote yourself.
You can create a logo that can be used across social platforms to help your blog stand out. Sites like Canva make professional graphic design a sitch for even the most inexperienced bloggers.
Facebook also has tons of great blogging groups that allow people to connect with one another, gain valuable feedback, and share their content.
Getting the Most Out of WordPress
WordPress is an excellent starter site for new bloggers; aside from its low learning curve, the site also provides ample opportunity to upgrade your subscription plan as you grow your site. As you embark on your blogging adventure in 2018, be patient and give yourself room to experiment. It’s not uncommon to discover a completely different direction and goal as you unearth your unique blogging style; just remember to stay true to what you love and have fun!