You just created a WordPress blog, but what do you do next? This article is here to help you so that you can create your blog, smoothly! I decided to write this list of steps when my loved ones decided that they want to start a blog as well.
This guide applies to a blog created with WordPress.org. However, some steps may also apply if you have a new blog on another platform. Please consider that all these steps are my suggestions, and these are the steps I usually take when creating a new blog.
This article contains affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything, but I can earn a small commission if you buy something or sign up on a website. This helps me to maintain the blog. My full disclosure is here.
General Blog Configuration
- Host and Domain name
If you haven’t done this already, find your host and your domain name so you can create your blog. I am personally using DigitalOcean and Namecheap. My friend Stephen recommends Siteground!
Change your permalinks. I choose the option to have them by the name of the post. It’s a good option for SEO. You can do this configuration in Settings > Permalinks.
- Email address
If your host comes with free domain email addresses, you can configure your email, for example, @girlknowstech.com, to transfer the emails directly to a Gmail. Here is the guide I used when I was with OVH. It’s easy to do. If you’re not with OVH, just go in the Settings of Gmail and add an email address to receive emails from.
- Create your logo
And any other graphics you will need for your social media.
- Write a few posts before the launch of your blog
In my opinion, it is important to write a few articles before launching a blog. A visitor usually wouldn’t want to return to your blog if there is only one article that is published. Every visitor counts! Also, if you’re starting a blog for the first time, I would advise you to write a little bit to see if you like to write articles before spending money on anything else.
Make your blog more secure with a few configurations. This blog post from WPBeginner can help you get started!
Choose a theme
In a previous post, I talked a lot about how to choose the right theme. It would be very beneficial to read it to make a choice as good as possible about the first theme of your blog! The first impression of a visitor is very important.
However, be aware that paid WordPress themes are often purchased on ThemeForest or Creative Market. There are also free ones that you can find in your dashboard under “Appearance > Themes.” Some weeks, you can download free themes for free on Creative Market Free Goods.
- Cache: Install a plugin to make your website load faster. The most popular plugins are WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and W3 Rocket. This post compares them efficiently to help you make a decision.
- Comment spam: Install Askimet to block them.
- Backups: Install a backup plugin. I use UpdraftPlus.
- Statistics: Use Google Analytics to get to know your visitors. I am using the plugin Monster Insights to easily connect my GA account with my blog. The plugin is also useful to exclude your own visits from counting in your GA report. I also had to filter my view because I had some random other spams in my data.
- SEO: Some configurations are necessary. Register your blog to Google Search Console and Bing; it’s really important!
- Security: Install a plugin like WordFence
- Multilingual blog? If so, install a plugin like WPML so you can write your blog posts in many languages.
Automating your social media
- Create your accounts on social media
This is a step that takes quite some time, but it is mandatory to reserve the username or title of your blog. Do it even though you don’t want to use the social media account yet. It’s better to do it first, so nobody uses your username in the long run.
- Automation of Twitter
Create an account on Buffer and schedule your tweets. Buffer is free for up to 10 tweets. This helps me a lot to keep a good social presence on social media.
- Automation of other social media accounts
I talked about Buffer before, but I prefer Hootsuite. This website enables you to schedule your content for up to 3 accounts on different social media. Therefore, you can do a lot more on Hootsuite with a free account than on Buffer.
Organization and planning of your blog
- Google Chrome profile
Create a Google Chrome account and put your useful websites in your bookmarks bar, so you don’t forget any of them. It’s very helpful!
- Editorial calendar
Create your account on Trello or any other project manager, so you can create an editorial calendar to plan your blog posts. It’s important to publish new posts regularly, so your visitors want to come back to read your new content.
- Correcting your English texts
Install Grammarly if you write blog posts in English. It’s an excellent tool to have!
I hope this article helped you perform some critical steps in developing your new blog. Do you think I forgot an important item in this list? Leave me a comment to let me know!