So I’m starting a new series: Tips for Getting Published.
Post #1: why blog?
Well first. What is blogging?
That can be different depending on the blogger. You could have a photo blog to showcase recent works. Or business website, where you blog about tips and tricks on the side. There are motivational blogs cataloguing someone’s struggle through something. There are travel blogs following those who get wanderlust.
There are writing blogs, craft blogs, pet blogs… you name it.
Basically a blog is a place where someone can journal what they learn, what they are working on, and what they are passionate about. It is a way to share what is going on in a more meaningful, interactive, and personal manner than social media.
I heard it put like this: social media is a way to connect, and your blog is the destination.
Blogging is a great way to journal.
You can add pictures, interactive elements like polls, and get people’s input. It feels more rewarding when you see a post on your blog, rather than just typing everything up in a Word doc, and then doing nothing with it.
There’s something crucial about finding community, and getting people’s support and feedback.
So yes, blogging is for everyone, and anyone can blog. Beyond that.
Have something creative you’re working on? Starting a business? Love art? Music?
Blogging is crucial to let people know what’s going on and what projects you’re working on.
The first step to getting a social platform…. is….. drumroll starting a blog and just being present on it.
You can’t have a social platform if you don’t put yourself out there.
So be brave, start a blog, and start posting 🙂
Now how do you start up a blog? Well that’s fairly easy as well. You need to find a host (a provider that will run your website). I use bluehost and am super happy with them. It does cost a small amount per month (around four dollars) but that’s less than a starbucks drink which is gone in five minutes. I’ve had my blog two years now, and the cost is well worth it.
Alternatively, you can just go through WordPress, but your domain will be www.whateveryouwant.wordpress.com instead of www.whateveryouwant.com (like with bluehost). This is because you are making a free site. (I am going to continue this tutorial in regards to how you would set up a blog using Bluehost. WordPress is similar, but they walk you through the steps).
Once you have figured out your domain (the web address either bought from bluehost or obtained for free) then you can get started in creating your blog.
I have wordpress installed on my blog (so I make wordpress blogs, but have paid for my domain and hosting). So I can personally say that the wordpress themes are amazing. Jetpack is a plugin that you install with wordpress (it prompts you to do so, and this is fairly easy and straightforward to do). Jetpack offers even more awesome themes and new features (such as adding photo sliders, carousels, buttons, icons, and others). Through jetpack you can see site stats and monitor spam as well.
Once you have all the technicalities set up, you can get started on the more creative part!
Go to ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Themes’ in the menu, and then find ‘add theme’ at the bottom of the page. They’ll then display featured themes, and you can choose one of those, or just click ‘popular themes’ to browse hundreds of options. Find one you like and click ‘preview’ to explore the theme. If you like it, hit ‘Install’. WordPress will take you to another page where it says ‘Activate’ and ‘Return to browsing’. If you are happy with the one you’ve got, click ‘Activate’.
You will then be taken automatically to the ‘customize’ page, which you can find again later in the main menu. The customize page is where you change your headline text, add widgets like ‘calendar’ and ‘recent posts’, and can add photos, text, you name it.
It is all laid out and labeled to make things easier for you. This is what the screen looks like on my blog:
Once you’re happy with your website, hit the ‘save and activate’ button and give yourself a pat on the back… your website is live!!!
Now you’ll see a screen that looks like this:
WordPress has assembled some easy pointers to help you get started! It’s a breeze from there. Click ‘posts’ or ‘pages’ to create a new post or page for your site, monitor comments, upload media, and personalize your blog to your heart’s content.
If you have any more blogging tips or tricks, or website hosting that you’d like to recommend, let us know down in the comments. 🙂