Blogging with WordPress is as easy as childsplay

Ok, so I have not been great at posting regularly on this blog, but you know how life gets in the way of doing all the things you want to do?

Setting up a blog really is easy – in fact it was easy enough for my nine-year-old to do this week with minimum help from me. Just follow these steps and you can’t go wrong..

1. Choose a blog name

There are a range of blogging platforms available that are free and easy to use. I like WordPress, so I have based these steps on it. Visit www.wordpress.com and start trying out names for your blog. You’ll find that lots of obvious names and phrases are already taken, so try combining words together. Make sure that the blog name reflects you and the topic you will be blogging about.

You will be prompted to select a domain name to buy. If you do this you will have a website address without WordPress in the title. If you don’t do this you will have a longer address – for instance this site would be http://www.kookyhome.wordpress.com rather than http://www.kookyhome.com. Unless it matters to you I suggest you go ahead initially without buying a domain name – you can always do that later.

2. Choose a blog theme

WordPress will suggest some template themes (layouts) for you to select from. They have different sized images and a different number of column widths. Choose one which will work with your subject matter. For instance if your blog is going to be image-led then pick a theme/template that shows large images in the posts. There are lots of free themes, which offer a paid-for option with more features, or you can select a paid-for theme straight away. Unless you have a specific need (eg you are desperate to have a particular font style that isn’t available in a free theme there are few reasons for you to pay for a theme.

3. Personalise your theme

You can change the heading, sub-heading, colours and images within your theme. To load an image up first make sure that the image is saved to your PC and is good enough resolution so that it doesn’t pixellate. Be careful about image rights as you may get charged for using an image that you don’t have permission to use. You will be asked to crop the image to the right size for the header image on your site, so move the grid until it shows what you want to have displayed. Save and return to your WordPress dashboard.

4. Add your first blog post

WordPress adds a sample post which you can delete and replace with your own. Click on the crayon icon top right and start writing. To add imaages click on the ‘media’ button and upload from your PC. Save and preview your post before you publish it to the world, so that you can correct spacing or other errors. Press ‘Publish’!

5. Your blog is ready!

That is your wordpress blog set up and ready to go. Your address will be http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com – and your admin dashboard can be accessed through http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com/admin
Remember to post regularly and to let people know about your blog. There are lots of ways of building traffic to your blog which I will cover in a future post. Come back to your dashboard regularly to filter comments – you will find that they are mainly spam, but there will be the occasional genuine comment!

So, it’s as easy as childsplay, and here is the evidence – my 9-year-old daughter’s own blog www.purpleshiningstar.wordpress.com

How did you get on with this tutorial? Is any information missing that you need? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks, and happy blogging!

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