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How to Set Up a Blog The Easy Way

11/2/2012
Earlier this year, we covered blogging basics and outlined the do’s and don’ts. Now it is time to discuss just how easy it is to get a blog started. You don’t have to have a webmaster or programmer on hand either. You can do it yourself, its cost-effective, quick, and might even be fun too. How, you ask? WordPress.com is a great start. WordPress.com is the hosted version of sister-site WordPress.org, the incredibly successful open-source blogging platform. Through WordPress.com, you can start a FREE blog in minutes without any technical knowledge. You also have the ability to purchase a dedicated domain name to allow for SEO and branding purposes, and can purchase a la carte options to provide a level of customization. WordPress.org requires additional upfront time, code, and a Web server, domain, and hosting. The main advantage though is increased flexibility and complete design control.
 
Assuming you don’t have the extra time and would like to get a blog started as efficiently as possible, WordPress.com is the way to go. Check out my step-by-step guide:
 
1. Go to WordPress.com and click “Get Started!”
 
2. Set up your account, including username and blog address. Any blog name ending in .wordpress.com is free, with additional annual charges for sites ending in .com, .net, .me, org. At this point, you need to decide what you are using your blog for. If your answer is to boost SEO and brand awareness, purchase a domain name and be sure it includes your company name and can be easily tied to your main website.
 
3. Choose your blog theme. There are more than 210 themes to choose from in the Theme Showcase. Remember, this will be the face of your blog so choose wisely and make sure it reflects your brand identity.
 
4. Time to customize! Most themes allow you to modify your color scheme, upload custom header images and backgrounds, and add content — think Twitter stream, recent comments, photos, and more — to your sidebars with widgets. For a few extra minutes and dollars, you can also update fonts and utilize CSS to change things around a bit more. For more help on customizing, check out WordPress’s tutorial.
 
5. Start creating content. Now its time for the meat of you blog, the content. Unique content is what draws readers to blogs. Create a monthly editorial calendar for your blog and start writing. Think about what topics your customers and potential customers would want to read about. Keep it informative, fun, conversation, and interesting. You can create a new post in a few ways. From your WordPress blog dashboard, select Postsà add New or go to QuickPress. Or, you can select “New Post” on the home page. Posts are listed in reverse chronological order on your home page, or on a separate “Posts” page if you’ve created one. Posts can easily incorporate photos and links.
 
6. Build pages. Pages are static on the top of each page and host information such as, the standard, “About.” There is no limit to pages so create as many as you feel you need to in order to house and organize your blog’s information as you wish.
 
7. Publish! Once you have content you are happy with, publish your blog with a click! Start putting your blog link on your marketing material and incorporate it into your main website.
 
8. Go Social. WordPress makes it easy to push your blog to Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, using the Publicize tool.
 
There are a lot of other very useful tools and features that WordPress.com offers and they add more all the time. This site is a great way to get your feet wet in the blogging world. If you want to want a more detailed, customizable, technical blog, then stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post where we’ll give into the details of WordPress.org.
 
Have you used WordPress.com for your blogs? What feedback do you have?
 
Have you created a YouTube video for your business? What types of videos are you creating and sharing?
 
Do you still have questions about online marketing?
 
Contact Realware today and ask about our array of website services.
 
Grow your business today!

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