This tutorial is part of a series of tutorials on How to Start a WordPress Blog in 5 Easy Steps.
Till now, you have completed the setup of your WordPress Blog. Now, your blog is ready to see your blogging skills. In case you have faced any difficulty. Feel free to send me an email.
Before we move towards writing the first post, it is important to discuss the design aspects of your blog.
Your blog can look the most beautiful and stylish. There are thousands of themes available to style it up.
You can find both free themes and paid themes for your blog. Paid themes would be having more features and customization than the free themes.
WordPress comes with a default theme designed by the WordPress team. They release a new theme every year since 2010. The theme may look simple in appearance. But, the themes are powerful, light and well coded. In fact, the default theme coming bundled with WordPress in 2017 is a bit stylish too. You may look at the 2017 demo site of WordPress.
The free themes are available at the WordPress.org Themes directory. You can also access the library directly from your WordPress Dashboard. Go to Appearance –> Themes. Click on Add new or Add New Themes.
These themes pass through Strict Review Process, before appearing in the directory. Most of the blogs online use these free themes to design their websites.
My suggestion would be to first write some 10 – 15 blog posts before changing the theme from default.
Currently, your blog has no post. The themes which look cool while browsing might not look so cool when applied on your blog. In order to see how does the theme looks on your blog, it’s better to wait and write some blog post and then start experimenting with the themes.
If you wish to apply a new theme, first find a suitable theme and first install it.
Hover over the theme. It will show two buttons, Install and Preview. Click install, if you wish to apply. In case you first want to preview the theme. Click Preview.
Installing a theme does not apply it on your website. Albeit, just the files of the theme would be stored on your blog. You need to activate the theme to apply it. You can install multiple themes on your blog.
Write your First Blog Post
Congratulation, after clearing all the hurdles, you are now ready for writing your first blog post.
Now, at this step, many persons get confused and nervous. The things you are going to write in your blog would be read by thousands of persons.
You would like to make an impression. But, what to write and what not to write.
I would say never think about all these. Think what you want to tell your audience. The best blog post is one which satisfies the expectation of its audience.
Case Study – My First
Blog Posts, Sorry, Article
In 2006, I was associated with a non-profitable organization named GetVidya, working as a moderator of a forum at GetVidya.com. The website was guiding school students for the entrance in one of the most prestigious group of institutions, Indian Institute of Technology. I was just working in a team for answering doubts in Mathematics.
However, I used to regularly find people asking doubts about the whole entrance procedure, time management, etc. But, at that time one could not find any book or reference where details about the whole procedure are available.
One fine day I decided to write a step by step guide myself based on my experience. I wrote an article with a very stupid Title “Notes – How to prepare for IIT JEE “. I posted it in the forum. I had no idea what is blogging at that time.
I just wrote without any fear. My one and only motto were to help the aspirants. I collected all the questions being asked on the forum related to preparations. Based on the questions, I wrote my article.
The result was magnificent. The article became the biggest hit for the forum. Within a week the views on the article were the all-time highest for any single thread on the forum.
Make a Plan
I was never a good writer. Nor, I’m still. But, I do write with the foremost aim to help others.
My point is when you are writing something on a blog, you are writing not with the aim that others will read and admire your writing skills, knowledge or intellect.
The aim is to help, entertain or simply to express the feelings. So, whatever your motto is with your blog. Draw a plan. Jot down what would you write on your blog. Not just in your first blog post. But, on your blog via several blog posts.
Afterward, arrange these points in the order you would like to tell your audience.
Like just visit once again Step 1 to Step 5 of this series of tutorials on How to Set up Your Blog. There were a lot to write. But, I arranged and presented in a manner which gives a flow to the audience and sub-divided it in various parts.
Once, you are sure about what would be your first post. Start digging deep. Jot down once again what you are going to write in your first post. Just like we plan before writing an essay. You need to make a plan and write the points. You may first write the points and then arrange it.
However, unlike an essay, you may use illustrations to explain your points in a better and attractive way.
Go to Posts –> Add New from your WordPress Dashboard.
A blog post has a title and the contents. First, write the title of your blog post.
On the upper right-hand side of the content section, you may see two tabs, Visual and Text. These are two types of editor. The Text tab will show the contents in HTML language.
Earlier the designing of a web page was done in HTML. Pure codes. You need to visualize while writing the codes and test it in the web browser. However, now the technology has improvised. Now, we can edit the contents of a web page directly in What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor, without worry about even a bit of code. Only when you need some special customization, you are required to see the codes and edit it.
The Visual tab shows a WYSIWYG editor. So, work in Visual tab. Only when you have to do some specific coding which requires working in HTML, use Text tab.
On the upper left-hand side of the content section, you may see various buttons. These are same types of formatting tools which you might have used while working on MS Word.
Lastly, to add an image in the post, take the text cursor to the specific place where you would like to add an image. Afterward, either click Add Media button on the upper left-hand side of the content section. Now, either select the image file or simply drag the image from the location on your device using your mouse and release in Insert Media Box.
Afterward, when the image is uploaded, click Insert into Post.
You can add videos or documents by the same method. You can even add YouTube videos directly in your post.
If you have added any SEO plugin, after the body section you would find various customization option for Search Engines.
On the right-hand side, you may see various blocks such as Publish, Categories, Tags and Featured Image.
Publishing tools give you various option to publish the post or keeping it for review. Usually, It takes me 3-4 days to write a post. So, I click Publish only when the post is ready for the public. Until that time I click Save Draft for saving my work. Luckily, even if you forget to do so, WordPress will save your work after every 60 seconds.
As I mentioned before, you should define a new category or tag only via Posts –> Categories or Posts –> Tags. You can see the list of category available to choose from. Tags need to be typed for adding.
A featured image is used as a default image associated with your blog. It may be shown on your post after or before Title. Further, when someone will share your post on social media, featured image will be taken as the default image.
As a general practice, you should not us the featured image in the content of your blog. It may show twice on your blog, one as featured image and another as image within the post.
A post might look like as given above. You may see the end result of the above post here.
Once your post is ready to be published. First, go through the Preview option in Publish section. It will show you a preview of the blog post live on your blog. If everything looks in order, click publish.
So, the goal to start your own blog has finally achieved. I would love to see your first blog post. It is a humble request to share your first blog post via the comment section below. If you would like to share your experience throughout this tutorial, please share the same.
While setting up your blog, if you had set it up at SiteGround. I would suggest moving your blog to VPS. It would be fast and cheaper. Google loves fast websites. You may find here How to move your website from a shared hosting to a VPS.
I keep on sharing tips and tricks to improve your blog and your blogging experience. Subscribe to my newsletter below to be updated, if you haven’t done so.