A simple guide to blogging

Today’s guest blog post was written by Hope Hanson-Baker of The Purple Teacup Co. Hope has helped ‘400 bloggers build their dreams into WordPress reality’.

Blogging can be one of the most gratifying, but frustrating forms of social media for most entrepreneurs. Unlike going onto Facebook or Instagram, you can’t have a website up in a matter of minutes and simply start adding content. However, having your OWN social media platform can be an incredible tool in growing your business and your following. It becomes the “one stop shop” for your client to find you and follow you funnels.

So, let’s talk about the steps to setting up a website for your blog.

Maybe you have already begun to brand yourself, and you have a clear idea who your target market for your product and your blog are. For some people, going through the process of creating a blog actually solidifies this for them. If you need help picking a name for your blog check this out (link to https://courses.thepurpleteacup.com/how-to-pick-the-perfect-blog-name ) This is a free mini guide to help you pick a name for your blog name.

One you have your blog name, you will want to check if it is available. A great online service is NAMECHECKR.com You can check what social media is available under that name as well!

Now, that you have your name, it is time to start building your site. There are a lot of hosting companies out there. Some are better than others, but in my experience “you get what you pay for” is something that happens a lot in the internet world. You can save a few dollars a year, but when something goes wrong (and it does) you are going to want to use a good provider. I have used SiteGround for years, and find that their customer service is beyond amazing, and the fact that all the things you NEED are included (techy stuff like SSLs, Backups, and CDNs) really make your life easier. I would recommend the GrowBig Plan shown here.  Buy it for as long as you can afford to help save money! Also, having your domain name (your internet address) and your hosting in the same place, is much easier.

You are going to need to install WordPress now. SiteGround has a number of training videos to help you out, or if you talk really nicely to their support team, they will do it for you.

Next you are going to pick a theme. This can be VERY overwhelming. Pick something that is simple and speaks to you. You do not need a tonne of bells and whistles to start with. This can cause you to become overwhelmed and never launch your blog.  SiteGround has a number of free themes that come with your package. These are GREAT starter themes. They let you get your feet wet.

Now, customizing begins. You are going to add plugins (these are like mini apps for your website) that do special things like advanced SEO – Search Engine Optimization, plugins to make your images better, to share your content on other social media sites, and even to collect email addresses so you can start building an email list. The sky really is the limit on what you can get your website to do. Google will be your best friend in finding what you want.

“Hey Google – find me a plugin that can add a newsletter subscription box to my WordPress website”

Once you have your site up and running, it is time to add content. Content really is King/Queen in this world. You want to make sure your articles are a minimum of 500 words long, and any article that is over 1000, I recommend splitting into chapters.  Your reader like to digest things in easy, bite sized time pieces.

Then comes promoting. You will want to tell people that your blog is up and ready to go, you will want to keep sharing your posts on your social media feeds! This is why CinchShare is one of my favorite tools as a blogger! I can schedule posts out in advance to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, then even pin to Pinterest.

A lot of people ask me why I recommend WordPress over a platform like Wix, Weebly, or even SquareSpace. Each of those platforms are proprietary, and gosh forbid, something was to happen to those companies, you could be in real trouble. And while Wix and Weebly appear free to start, once you start adding functionality like in WordPress, you are going to start paying hefty monthly premiums.

If you are looking for more help, we have our amazing NOBS – Not your Ordinary Blogging School, that has something for EVERYONE in the blogging world. Visit NOBS for more information on how we can help you!

Tea Drinking, Website Geek
The Purple Teacup Co