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How to Start a Blog: Step by Step for Beginners in 2016

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Learn how to start a blog by selecting your host and setting up everything you need to start blogging in less than 15 minutes. Starting a blog can be confusing, but this blogging tutorial gives you step by step instructions on how to get a blog up and running and you'll be writing your first blog post that day.

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How to Start a Blog: Step by Step for Beginners in 2016

  1. 1. How to Start a Blog: Step by Step for Beginners in 2016 By Shell Harris Big Oak Studios, Inc. http://www.bigoakinc.com
  2. 2. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Why Blog? • In today’s Internet world there isn’t an easier and effective marketing tactic than writing strategic content that will draw potential customers to your site. And the perfect vehicle for this is the handy, dandy blog. Let’s learn how you can start a blog in 15 minutes or less. • A blog provides more exposure for you and your business and can identify you as an expert in your industry – and everyone wants to hire an expert, right? Your blog can support your expertise and give visitors confidence in buying from you if you can answer their questions on your blog.
  3. 3. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Using This Guide to Start a Blog • If you follow my directions you should have your very own blog. It will be self-hosted with your domain name and you will be using our blogging software of choice, WordPress. WordPress is the gold standard and is the most popular blogging platform on the planet. It is an excellent choice for a easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) if you want to run your entire website using WordPress (and not just your blog).
  4. 4. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Simple Steps to Start Your Blog • Find a host and purchase hosting. As I stated earlier, we strongly recommend Blue Host for this service. There are affordable (cheap) and reliable with decent support and room for growth if your blog gets big. • You probably already have a domain in mind and maybe you have already purchased one. If not, pick a domain name for your blog. • Once hosting is purchased, you’ll need to install WordPress. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through this too. • Get started on creating content for your blog and start using WordPress, which will make adding content much simpler.
  5. 5. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 1: Find a Host for your Blog • Before you can start a blog you need a place to host your blog. What is a host? A host provides server space for your blog. They host your blog site on computers that make your site available to the Internet. It is best to have a self-hosted and not a free blog. • The cost for hosting can be as little as $3.95 per month and this will allow you to use your own domain name. If you are serious about starting a blog and making money with your writing and expertise, this is the only way to go.
  6. 6. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Why do I Recommend Bluehost.com? • Phone Service. Yes, you can pick up the phone and call technical service. That alone is a reason most people who aren’t tech savvy can appreciate. • Quality Customer Service. And if you need to call or email them, they are knowledgeable and helpful. They know what they are doing and have probably assisted someone with your exact issue already. • Works Well with WordPress. They specialize in hosting WordPress sites and understand how WordPress works and when it doesn’t. Support is helpful here as well. • Hosting Multiple Domains. You may just have one domain now, but if you get busy and industrious, you may have two or six or twenty. Bluehost can handle them all for you. • Cheap and Affordable. Whatever you want to call it, Bluehost will save you money and that will be important as you start out. • Allows Easy Growth. As your site gets bigger and starts collecting more traffic, Bluehost can grow with you with multiple plans for larger sites with more traffic.
  7. 7. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. • Click this link to go to Bluehost and purchase hosting. • (Clicking the link will open a new window which will allow you to keep this page open and follow my instructions for signing up.) • Click the green button that reads “get started now.”
  8. 8. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 2: Choose Your Plan • If you are just starting your blog and won’t have much traffic in the beginning, feel free to start with the most affordable plan, the Basic. We started on the Basic package and had no issues while using it. Make your choice and click the green Select button on your plan.
  9. 9. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 3: Choose Your Domain Name When you start a blog you may already have a domain name ready. For example you are on the domain bigoakinc.com right now. This is our domain name. You may have already bought your domain through Godaddy.com or some other registrar. That is fine. You can enter your domain name you own here or choose a brand new domain name in this step.
  10. 10. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Choosing a Domain Name Tips 1. Choose a domain with a .com. It can be tempting to use something else. It isn’t worth it, buy a .com address. 2. Don’t choose a domain with hyphens or numbers. Don’t get cute with spelling. Make it simple and easy to remember. 3. If you are in doubt, think about using your name (personal blog) or your company name (business blog). We had to use bigoakinc.com because bigoak.com was taken. You may need to make a similar concession. 4. If you can’t find your name or company name available, try to use a phrase of no more than three words that describes your content, service or product.
  11. 11. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 4: Enter Your Account Information The next page is where you enter your account information such as name, address, phone number and (most importantly) an email address that you can currently get emails to right now. Only enter an email address that you have access to already. This is where all your login information and support details will be sent.
  12. 12. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 5: Choose the Right Hosting Package for Your Site Under the heading “Package Information” you need to choose your Account Plan from the dropdown choices. You want to choose the account plan that is right for you. They bill in 1-year increments, but the longer the account plan, the cheaper it gets.
  13. 13. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 6: Provide Your Billing Information Fill in your information for billing (credit card number, exp. date and CVV2 code) and confirm you have read the terms of service and all the legal fine print. Then click the Next button.
  14. 14. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 7: Skip the upgrades BUT check your email for the login information • You’ll be asked to add upgrades, but you don’t need them, at least not now. Complete your purchase and then check your email and find your welcome email from Bluehost. This is important and you should keep it safe and probably print it out. It will have your control panel (cpanel) login information. You will need this in the future. Now you get to the more fun part of installing your blog.
  15. 15. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 8: Login to your Control Panel on Bluehost • Please visit Bluehost.com and then click the LOGIN link on the top right corner of your browser. There is also a link to your cpanel in the welcome email that Bluehost sent, as mentioned above. • Enter your cpanel login info that came with your Welcome email. Choose the tab labeled hosting. It may already be selected for you.
  16. 16. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 9: Install WordPress Now that you are logged in, you can click the “Install WordPress” icon/button under the subhead “website builders”.
  17. 17. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 10: Start the WordPress Install The next screen allows you to click the Start button to begin the installation of WordPress. What are you waiting for? Click it.
  18. 18. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 11: Choose Where to Install WordPress You can select your domain from the dropdown menu and I would leave the directory field blank. This means you will be installing WordPress in the root folder, which is where you want it. Then click the Check Domain button.
  19. 19. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 12: Enter Your WordPress Information • Click the checkbox to show the advanced options. Enter your blog/website name which should be the name of your blog. • The next fields are for logging in to your blog itself. Pick a admin username but do not use admin. Choose a username that is unique to you. Then choose a secure password. Then enter your email address where all relevant site information will be sent and click the Install Now button.
  20. 20. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Step 13: Print and/or Write down all login information • Finally you should see a message indicating a successful installation of WordPress. Write down the information on the screen or print a copy for yourself. This info will be sent to you in an email, but having a printed copy will be helpful if you need to contact Bluehost for support.
  21. 21. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Some important points to remember • If you registered a new domain in Step 2… • You can now see your domain by typing in the domain name in a browser. You will see your brand new WordPress site. • You can also click the Login URL link in your email from Bluehost. This will usually look like this, yourdomain.com/wp- login.php. Here you can enter your username and password to see the backend of your WordPress site. This is where you will write posts and pages and make all the changes to your new blog site. • And…next slide…
  22. 22. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Some important points to remember • If you transferred a domain in Step 2… • Your existing domain will not display your new site until you update your Domain Name Servers (DNS). You will need to update the DNS before your domain will show up on Bluehost servers. • After you change your name servers (usually found where you registered your domain, such as Godaddy.com) visitors will be directed to your new site within 2- 24 hours. So, do not change your name servers until you new site is ready for visitors. You can make changes and updated to your new blog by using the temporary URL. This should have been in the welcome email from Bluehost. Please contact them if you didn’t get a temp URL and need one. Their phone number is 888-401-4678. If you are ready to change your name servers to point to Bluehost their nameservers are: • NS1.BlueHost.com • NS2.BlueHost.com • You will change this at your registrar, or where you bought the domain. Contact them directly if you need assistance finding where to make the change.
  23. 23. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Some important points to remember • If you transferred a domain or registered a brand new domain, you will be able to verify everything is successful if you can type your domain name in a browser and you see your site. • Your new blog, using WordPress, is likely very generic and plain looking. But with WordPress you can quickly add a theme and start populating your new blog with content.
  24. 24. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Start Using Your Blog with WordPress • So what’s next? I would begin with choosing a theme that fits the style of my content of my site’s focused industry. You can find hundreds of themes for free online, as well as paid options. If you want to look at some professional themes with online support, you can go to ThemeForest.com. This will give you a design that looks professional. There are free options you can search for online, but usually these have no support and are usually older with limited features. It may be worth paying $50 or $60 for a professionally design and built WordPress theme. • After you have a theme installed, you should begin writing your first blog post or creating your About Page to identify with your readers. There is a lot to do and no preferred way to do it. It is your blog and your decision. But at some point you will need to write a blog post so start thinking about a writing schedule and content plan.
  25. 25. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Start Using Your Blog with WordPress • If you want to learn more about using WordPress on your new blog, here are some good, free resources: • WpBeginner has an excellent one-week approach to understanding WordPress: How to Learn WordPress for Free in a Week (or Less) • WordPress.com also provides good information on using their software: Get the Most from WordPress.com • I hope you found this information helpful. If you are serious about promoting your business, products or services online, you must have a website to do so. Using a blog is a simple and effective way to get started.
  26. 26. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Need Help? • But if all this seems more than you want to manage, please give Big Oak a call and let us help you with you new blog or fix your existing one. Please call me (Shell Harris) directly at 804- 741-6776 x-100. I look forward speaking with you. And if you found this “Starting Blog Tutorial” helpful, please make a comment and share your new blog site.
  27. 27. How to Start a Blog for Beginners from Big Oak Studios, Inc. Big Oak Services • Big Oak also offers the following services for new or established websites and blogs: • Search Engine Optimization We optimize your site and then help increase your company’s brand through strategic link building that focuses on your location and your industry. Read more… • Pay Per Click Management Pay Per Click strategies require careful management to make sure that your money is bidding on the right keywords that provide a healthy ROI. At Big Oak, we work with Google’s AdWords team and we know the best practices to get instant traffic to your website through PPC. Read more… • Content Strategy & Blogging You can’t start a blog and not write. Providing useful content for our clients has always been a part of our offering. Unique content that reflects your brand and tone should fit in seamlessly with your other marketing efforts and sales information. Read more… • Responsive Web Design & Development Don’t let your website hold you back, with 80% of adults owning a mobile phone, you need a website that works on every device and for every person. Read more…
  28. 28. Goodluckinyourmarketingeffortsusingyournewblog. Big Oak Studios, Inc.

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