This lesson will step you through creating a Free WordPress blog.
I’m someone who survived 12 weeks in USMC Basic Training (bootcamp), so I can say with 100% certainty that Blogging Basic Training will be much easier.
What To Expect in the Training
Blogging Basic Training lessons will be broken up into three phases beginning with “Phase One” which will cover 5 easy steps that will have you blogging in no time.
Then in later lessons, we’ll cover steps for the setup and configuration of WordPress Analytics, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other more advanced blogging features and techniques used on personal blogs setup outside WordPress.com (such as on HostGator).
For now we’ll stick to the basics in phase one and get you blogging ASAP.
Step 1 for Starting a Blog (choosing a topic and blog name)
Decide what you want to blog about…
The first thing in setting up a blog is to decide if you are just creating a personal blog for yourself, or if you are blogging for a business. The reason being a personal blog can be completely ahoc in design because you are writing for those you know, or yourself, whereas a business blog is to promote a business and will require more planning that is not covered in the post.
For example: The topic of this blog is about “teaching people how to start a blog” and the title is “Blogging Basic Training”, which is also the domain I registered on GoDaddy.
An acronym I recall from my Marine Corps bootcamp training was “KISS” – keep it simple stupid!
Keeping it Simple
Once you have a topic then you need a blog name. Lets keep the blog name simple and use your name if it’s available (i.e. JohnSmith), but keep in mind if your name’s already being used by someone else when we tried to register it on WordPress.com, you’ll need to get creative.
Also, try to keep the blog name you choose short since it will be followed by Example: (Your Name).WordPress.com.
FYI – If you want to have a domain name such as (YourName.com), then you will need to register the domain name on GoDaddy or HostGator and you will need to purchase a hosting package. How to register a domain name and hosting package will be covered in another blog post.
Step 2 for Starting a Blog (picking a blog platform)
Once you have a topic and name for your blog, you will need to decide on the blogging platform to use. For the purpose of this lesson and to speed the process up ( and because there are too many blog platforms to choose from), I will help you and suggest either a WordPress blog from WordPress.com or a WordPress blog created at a hosting company such as GoDaddy (like this one) or HostGator.
WordPress.com will be the easier choice but will offer less control later on if you want to customize your blog. This training will only cover creating a blog at WordPress.com (free blog site) to keep things fast and simple, OK!
Step 3 for Starting a Blog (creating a blog on WordPress.com)
First you will need to signup on WordPress.com. (Click to create a WordPress account) then fill in the form. (see sample below)
Note: These instructions only cover setting up the free WordPress blog, however, WordPress offers another choice for a Premium blog which is also outside this training lesson.
Example: Filled out WordPress form for “Getting Started Blogging” Blog.
Note: I already have a WordPress account so my form looks slightly different. The main items for you will be to fill out the form as described above then click the bottom right orange button to create the blog.
Check out the Example Demo Blog: Getting Started Blogging created for this post.
The next step is to choose a theme.
For the demo blog I will choose the default theme by clicking the bottom left “No thanks, I’ll just stick with the default theme for now!” link.
You can take as long as you want to choose the theme you want from the 100’s of WordPress themes available.
Yahoo! At this point your blog is created and you should have something that looks like the “Getting Started Blogging” demo blog I have created (see below).
Step 3 for Starting a Blog (basic blog configuration)
To configure your new WordPress blog move the mouse pointer over the the upper left and hover over the title of your blog in the admin bar (see below). Once the menu drops down you will then click the word “Dashboard” which will open a dashboard page.
Take a look around then we’ll click the “Settings” link, then “General” link (see screenshot).
Configure the general settings to suite you, then click the blue “Save Changes” button at bottom left. (see screenshot)
Hang in there, we’re almost done setting up the blog!
Step 4 for Starting a Blog (clean up)
Now let’s do some clean up because WordPress likes add a “Hello World” post which you will want to delete and then start an “About” page which you will need to replace with your description “About” your blog.
To delete the “Hello World” post navigate to “Post“> “All Posts” > then click the “Trash” link below the “Hello World” post as shown below. The post will vanish which is what you want.
Now navigate over to the “Pages” > “All Page” and click the “Edit” link under the “About” page. (see screenshot)
Once in the page editor you can edit the “About” page then “update” the page by clicking the blue “Update” button.
Navigate over to the “Posts” and click “Categories“. Let’s create a “Stories” category for your blog as shown in the screenshot below. Once you have filled in the “Name” and “Description” fields just click the “Add New Category” button.
Note: you can call the category what you want.
Step 5 for Starting a Blog (writing your first post)
We’ve finally made it to the point where you can begin blogging.
Step by step for writing your first WordPress post:
Navigate your mouse over to the “Posts” and click “Add New” and a new post windows will open. Just enter a title, write your blog post, select the category and click save. Once you have saved your post you can click the preview changes button in the upper right to preview the post.
Review your post and make any edits. I had to correct some grammar errors on mine (see the final post below).
Visit this link to view the demo page for this post on WordPress.com. (Blogging Basic Training Demo Blog Post)
To recap what we’ve covered in the phase one lesson for starting a blog:
- Choose a blog topic and name.
- Pick a blogging platform. For this lesson we chose WordPress for our blog.
- Next we went through the steps to create an account, creating a blog at WordPress.com (free blog site), which was followed by choosing a blog theme.
- Once our blog was created and had a theme, we did some cleanup and tweaking to prepare our blog for our first post.
- Finally in step 5, we wrote our first blog post and associated it with our “Stories” category.
We only touched the surface of what you can do with your WordPress blog. Don’t be afraid to dive right in an make more changes as you experiment with the many links in the dashboard.
This concludes this training lesson on how to start a blog and should get you started on hopefully many hours of writing your own blog.
Please share your comments and feedback below. Thanks!