If it isn’t clear to you why to have a blog versus just keep sharing only on social media, I provide my best explanation for why it is potentially valuable to you.
Okay, here’s the 9 ingredients for your blog that you’ll need to gather to get going.
- Photo. Square is best with a minimum size of 256 by 256.
- Bio. Keep it short and around three sentences. Go ahead and humble brag.
- E-mail address. I figure you already have one by now.
- Mobile phone. I didn’t want to say this, but just in case.
- Desktop or laptop computer. This will be handy if you want to tweak things – which you will want to do. A website is a house. Not a tent.
- Have a starter site name in mind. You’re not picking a domain yet so don’t worry too much. If you already own a domain, then you’re already ahead of me so just hold onto it until I do my advanced lesson series. Do think of a definitive name that makes sense when you’re describing it to people — this will help you as you get going. Being mysterious is cool, but the algorithms of the Web aren’t culturally minded.
- Have a value proposition in mind. What’s the deliciousness that you’re going to give to your audience? This is also called a “tag line.”
- Have a few digital photos ready. And they are preferably high resolution — which means they don’t get all blocky and funky when you zoom them up after just one click. Don’t worry if you don’t have any photos as there’s tons of license-free photo sites out there.
- Have some text ready. I mean blog posts. This isn’t easy to do because writing isn’t everyone’s forte. And please don’t just copy and paste someone else’s blog post out there and label it as your own – that’s called … plagiarism. If you give them credit when you pull out and excerpt it and then link to their site, that’s a common web etiquette thing to do. In the event that you don’t have any of your own words ready, we’ll just put up some imaginary content for now until your words catch up to you.
In the latter half of the video I speed-drive you through creating an empty WordPress site with the Independent Publisher 2 theme installed and a few settings that are good for beginners. Note that I intentionally didn’t start with Independent Publisher 2 so I could show you how to switch to it in the event that you didn’t start with it. The general steps to do what I show you in my 5-minute dash (expect to take more like 15 to 20 minutes if you are new to WordPress):
- Delete all the site pages (with the exception of the one page in there that corresponds to your blog**) and blog posts.
- Delete the main menu in the site and make it so that all top level pages get added.
- Set your sharing buttons to use the blue Facebook share button and disable sharing buttons on pages.
- Set your timezone and the language you want the blog to operate in.
- Set your discussion settings so that comments and email notifications on activities are turned off.
- Set your theme to Independent Publisher 2.
- Clear out any widgets inside the theme.
** That one page in your site pages that corresponds to your blog posts is an artifact from the history of WordPress that its best to just accept and not wonder about.
Here are a few quick interviews you can use to make a few blog posts.
Blog Post 1
Title: “Who am I?”
What prompted you to start a blog?
Do you have a favorite website out there?
What about that website is interesting to you?
Blog Post 2
Title: “Media Matters”
Do you prefer fiction or non-fictional stories?
Tell me about a movie you’ve recently seen or a book you’ve recently read.
Blog Post 3
Title: “My Favorite Eatery”
What’s your favorite drink?
Can you include a photograph of it?
What’s your favorite thing to eat?
Can you include a photograph of it?
Lastly, can you suggest a restaurant for readers out there?
Blog Post 4
Title: “Getting Serious: Role Models”
When you were younger, what did you want to become?
Who was your role model back then?
Who is your role model now?