Create Your Own Blog (With a Newbie)
Newbie4newbie Series: What I’ve Learned Part 1: (The Basics)
Well, it’s been a crazy 3 months learning how to blog from scratch. I’d say that I’ve learned quite a lot. With that said, however, I've also stepped in it in some areas. Big time. But after I clean off my shoes, every day I consult a guide from a more established blogger or read a new E-Book and learn something new. I decided to make a Create Your Own Blog Guide, where I can share what I've learned with my fellow new bloggers and we can learn together.
I’ve spent a lot of time watching Youtube, reading the blogs of some of the most famous bloggers and with each tip that I read, I find that I have to go and update my blog. This is a good thing, though. Because for every mistake I correct, my blog gets better and better.
I’m learning so much about the blogging community and how supportive bloggers are of each other. Truth be told, like most bloggers I want to be able to make this a living in the future. In the spirit of trying to enter the blogging community, I want to document my steps as I grow to be a better blogger. And I hope that I can help other bloggers in turn. And maybe you guys can help me too.
So far these are the steps that I have taken. Don’t start salivating yet to hear my mistakes just yet. They will also get their moment in the series. So let’s start from the top.
One of my favorite travel bloggers is Mark Weins. His positive energy and love of food is infectious. He has a wonderful step by step guide that helped me immensely. You can check it out here. After, of course, you’ve read mine posts. Don’t run away just yet! https://migrationology.com/how-to-start-a-travel-blog/
One thing to consider is if you want to use a free hosting site such as Blogspot or a self-hosted site like WordPress.org (not .com as that is their free site). I chose to use a self-hosted site because mainly because that allowed me to make my blog domain name sound more “serious”. Many pro bloggers recommend this option as it is more professional. Especially if you will be selling products.
I signed up my domain at Godaddy.com. From Mark's site, I was able to get a coupon code to use. And I paid about $2.99/month. The prices seem to change a fair bit and there are a lot of promotions. I paid for the full year upfront. It's a well-known site and I recommend giving them a try. Alternatives include namecheap.com or registering your domain with you web host. I know HostGator allows you to do this.
Hostgator has a feature that many other hosting sites have called “1 click install” which made installing WordPress easy and quick. Once that was installed I chose I free theme. I most recently upgraded to a paid theme through Themeforest.
But if you are just starting, there are plenty of nice free themes you can install from inside WordPress.
Bluehost is also a great option and is the one that i see most top bloggers promoting.
Say Yes To Plugins!
Hello, I'm Sherisse and I’m a plugin-aholic! : I'm a total geek for plugins and apps and anything techy so naturally, I filled my theme up with tons of plugins. DON’T Do this. I had to clean my theme up quite a bit to get my site to work properly as some plugins conflict with others.
A good way to find out what plugins a site is using is www.whatwpthemeisthat.com. It'll not only tell you the theme they are using but what plugins. If you like a website’s functionality you can check out the plugins those sites use easily on this site.
These are the first plugins that I installed. Many plugins I found by checking out other blogs that I liked and using the method I mentioned above.
Contact Form 7: A basic contact form. Allows readers to contact you at the email address of your choosing with directly giving your email address.
Youtube: If you are like me and are also a YouTuber, this is a handy plugin to add. It allows you to show you videos in the sidebar.
NextGen Gallery: Easily the most popular photo gallery plugin. Has a free and paid version.
Instagram feed: A useful app to show off your photography and gain followers
SumoMe: Easily adds an email subscription pop-up to your site. It also places your social media share numbers on the side of your page and makes it easy for others to share your content.
Shareaholic: Adds social media icons that make sharing easy. Also, has a ADs feature I have yet to explore, but will allow you to monetize your site.
Yoast SEO: One of the best plugins for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Helps you optimize your site so that it will rank in Google searches.
Clef Two-Factor Authentication: A great security plugin that also comes with an app to allow you to log into your WordPress site without a password and prevents hackers from being able to log into your site. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Jetpack by WordPress.com: Speeds up the overall site and allows you to view stats.
This concludes part 1 of the series. I hope this has been a help to any newbies like me. Please subscribe for updates and the next parts of this series. Please comment with suggestions on what I can do better and feel free to offer tips. Let's help each other, huh?