How to Start a Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide

So you want to start a blog? The task is exciting and can infuse energy into your small business, but it can also be overwhelming and those prone to “analysis paralysis” may find themselves stuck in a sea of decisions that get you nowhere fast.

I hope by sharing this step-by-step guide you’ll feel empowered to start your blog and never look back!

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1. Choose a Platform – You’ll need to make a decision about which blogging platform to use. At Showit we recommend using WordPress.org, although there are many other blogging platforms to choose from. WordPress.org is the most popular by far… and the one that our team here at Showit recommends.

2. Choose a Host – Some platforms like WordPress.com will include hosting for your site in a monthly fee you pay. However, to have the most control over your blog you’ll want to use a platform like WordPress.org that requires that you provide your own hosting.If you are a subscribed Showit user, free hosting for one blog is already included as a benefit of your monthly subscription.  You can request to have a blog added to your existing Showit account here. If you’re not a Showit user you can host your blog with a number of different hosts like Bluehost.com or GoDaddy.

Learn more about FREE Managed WordPress Hosting for Showit subscribers here.


did-you-know-23. Install Your Blog
– Once you’ve selected a platform as well as a host it’s time to install your blog. This is where the “techy heavy lifting” can get a little overwhelming. If you’re a subscribed Showit user our Support Pros will actually take care of this part for you. (If you already have a blog they can also facilitate the migration of your blog from your current host to Showit hosting. Request that by logging in here: Showit Account Login).

4. Choose a Theme
– This is where your creativity and vision as an artist comes in to play! It’s time to select a theme for your blog. Naturally, you want to select a theme that aligns with your brand and your website. While blogs are a wonderful way to highlight your recent work and to give clients a behind-the-scenes look into your life, they serve a different purpose than your website… which is your first impression and introduction to potential clients. I’ve always thought of a website as your front porch. It’s a place where people stop in to peak in the windows and maybe sit on the porch awhile to say hi. Your blog is the invitation to come inside for a cup of coffee. Of course, when you invite your new guests in for that cup of coffee you want the house looking nice. That’s where the look and feel of your theme comes in… it’s the framework of the style of your house. Be careful not to get overwhelmed once you’ve reached this step!

There are so many places to find a theme for your new blog! A google search of “wordpress themes” returns more than 84 million results. 84 MILLION!! A more narrow search for “wordpress themes for photographers” results in more than 1 million sites. Far less than the first search, but still too many to sort through in a lifetime… and that’s just for WordPress.

So here are a few of my favorites places to find WordPress.org themes:

If you’re looking for a theme that pairs with a Showit design you’ll definitely want to check out the themes from our Showit Design Partners:

5. Customize Your Theme – This is where the fun and the frustration can sometimes collide. Customizing your theme isn’t always as easy as you’d like it to be. The ease of drag & drop design you might be accustomed to in Showit doesn’t exist at the same level in WordPress (but our team at Showit is working on a super awesome super secret project that we hope will someday alleviate this pain!). As you work through the process of customizing your theme you’ll want to be sure to maintain consistency throughout your design using the typeface and colors you utilize in your website, online and print branding. Here’s a great article about making your site and your blog design cohesive.

 

Now that you’ve got your blog started, lets get organized to help make your blog a success!!

LiveOnShowiteer_Katelyn_James_organize_blog

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