Do-It-Yourself Blog Set Up: Eight Easy Steps
Starting Off on the Right Track
For those who are technically savvy, blog set up may seem like a no-brainer, but optimizing your blog still requires a certain degree of expertise. Here is an easy-to-follow guide to get you started on the right track and ensure your blog maximizes its potential both to generate readership and improve your search engine optimization.
- For future support and easy installation of WordPress.org blogging software, make sure GoDaddy handles all your domain name registration and website hosting. GoDaddy provides the least expensive hosting costs and offers up to 25 databases at no extra charge. Ask for their special deal on website hosting, usually 50 percent off, and make sure you receive your own personal IP address.
- GoDaddy will help you to modify your control panel to automatically install WordPress.org blogging software, integrated with just a few mouse clicks. Installing the software on your own website will ensure you receive all the benefits from the content you create. Before you initiate the installation, tell GoDaddy you want the blogging software uploaded to your root directory into a folder titled “blog” (the word “blog” needs to be typed into the sub-directory in the control panel). When properly executed, your blog’s public address should be www.yoursite.com/blog.
- Before you hang up with GoDaddy’s customer support, make sure you can sign into your blogging software. That is, when you type www.yoursite.com/blog/wp-admin, you need to establish a sign-in name and password. GoDaddy will also help you to do this.
- After signing in to your blog, you will be sent to the dashboard where you can execute all administrative functions and add entries to your blog, generally known as posts. First, however, you must select a theme to create your preferred structure and color background. Click “appearance” on the navigation bar on the left side of the dashboard, then select “themes” in the sub-navigation. Scroll down, and you will see a box titled “Add theme” with a plus-sign in the center. If you click on the sign, you will see hundreds of themes to choose. The most professional themes generally offer two columns, a wide one for your blog entries and a narrow one for “widgets” and other promotional material.
- Next, you should access widgets, also in the sub-navigation under “appearance.” When you click here, you will see at least two columns, with the heading “available widgets” over one. Simply click and drag the widgets you want into the column(s) denoting your theme’s sidebar(s). Most blogs generally publish widgets including a search box, archives, categories and a text box to include photos and information about your company.
- The final blog structure to consider during set-up is called a plug-in. These structures are specially designed by developers to increase WordPress functionality and are one reason why WordPress.org is preferred over all other blogging software. You will also find this option in your dashboard’s left navigation bar. Click on it, then “add new” to get a search box. Enter “Akismet,” “WordPress SEO,” and “ShareThis,” to install software for spam protection, search engine optimization and a social sharing bar, respectively. If you search Google for “WordPress.org plug-ins,” you will find a lot of other recommendations as well.
- Now, you can start creating entries at a recommended length of 200-to-300 words each. The frequency should be at least once a week though many add a blog post every day. After compiling 10 entries, submit your blog for listing at Blog Flux, Get Blogs, BlogCatalog and Globe of Blogs.
- Finally, you should promote your blog everywhere: on your social media accounts, your website home page, your email signature and your e-newsletters. Your blog should become an integral part of all your marketing efforts.