Note: If there are steps in this guide you don’t understand how to do, there is a guide in the Simply Blogging Support Group on Facebook with resources that will help and break things down in each step you take.
1.Get Domain And Hosting
It is better to buy a domain than to use a free blog name. Some ad networks won’t accept you with
a free domain, and it gives your blog a better look to have .com/net/org etc. Also, using a self- hosted WordPress blog is the best way to start your blog.
I highly recommend Siteground for blog hosting and domain. They offer free site security certificates (SSL), have a good support team that will even help with tech stuff, offer reasonable pricing for their hosting and domain packages, and the service is superb. I don’t experience website down time with them.
2. Install And Log In To WordPress
Once you have purchased your hosting and domain, it is time to install WordPress. There are different ways to go about doing this, but Siteground has put together a great tutorial to help you with this. For the first time logging into your new blog, you will do it through your hosting provider account.
3. Blog Layout And Design Set Up
Now, it’s time to install a template or theme to set the stage of your blog. You can use a free theme or template for starting off.
You will want to make sure the template you use is mobile responsive. This means that it will adjust to match mobile screens, as most of your blog visitors will be view your blog from a mobile device. In this step make sure to set up your blog header section with your blog title/name and maybe your tagline.
4. Install Plugins
Plugins are softwares created to work with your WordPress blog to enhance it’s performance and functionality. Here are some I recommend that you install:
Askimet– Gets rid of spam comments.
Yoast– Helps with search engine optimization.
Google Analytics By Monster Insights– Tracking your website/blog traffic.
Wordfence– Protect your blog from hackers.
Remove Admin Bar– Get rid of the default wordpress admin bar at the top of your website.
WordPress Supercache– For keeping your blog up to speed.
Headers And Footers– Inserting necessary htm codes in the future.
Classic Editor– So you don’t have to use the new and complicated wordpress post editor.
Contact Form 7- To provide a way for people to contact you.
5. Create Necessary Blog Sections
It’s time to create the basic sections on your blog by creating pages and putting the necessary content on them. You will need an about page. This doesn’t have to be elaborate in the beginning stages of your blog, but you’ll want to make it known on this page what you blog is about.A contact page is necessary too. This is how your visitors will know how to contact you. You can choose to use the WordPress Contact Form 7 plugin (or another plugin), or you can just place your email address on that page. You’re also required to have a privacy/disclaimer page.
6. Set Up Social Media Platforms
You might not be ready to use all of your social media accounts when you are just starting out with your blog. But it is wise to secure the social media handles that matches your blog name. The social media platforms I recommend are:
You can always use other platforms, but these are a few I definitely love.
7. Get On Pinterest
Even if you are not ready to use all your social media accounts, you want to START PINNING NOW. Pinterest has the audience for almost any niche, so that is where you want to put your content to get traffic.
In my opinion, my blog is incomplete without a traffic source. It makes no sense to me in having a blog that no one reads. Pinterest is one of the easiest ways to get free traffic to your blog. So set up Pinterest while setting up your blog, or even before. You can use other traffic methods too. But Pinterest is one of the main traffic source for most successful bloggers.
The thing with Pinterest is that you need to have a profile with momentum before you can start getting traffic. That is why you need to be pinning daily while you are setting up your blog.
This will allow your profile to start growing while you build your blog and be in a better position when you are ready to starting putting your content on Pinterest. You will want to create about at least eight boards, set up your Pinterest title and description and get pinning.
We will be going in all the Pinterest details in another lesson, so you will become good at Pinterest.
Also, start applying to group boards. This can help you in to grow your blog traffic.
You should be well on your way now with setting up your blog and Pinterest account.
The next lesson will cover what you should be writing about to get people coming to your blog, and the whole art of reciprocation and writing content that is working for others, or content that have worked for you already.