You created a WordPress blog. Now what?

written by Marie Last updated on March 3, 2018

Published on May 22, 2017

how to start a blog

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 SiteGround and Namecheap.
  • Permalinks
    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.Permalinks WordPress
  • 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.
    Gmail Account - how to start a blog
  • 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.
  • Security
    Make your blog more secure with a few configurations. This blog post from WPBeginner can help you get started!

 

Related | How to install WordPress on your OVH Server

 

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.

 

Essential plugins

  • 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.

    – Pinterest
    – Youtube
    – StumbleUpon

    – Facebook
    – Twitter
    – Instagram

  • 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. Buffer for Twitter - how to start a blog
  • 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.
    Hootsuite Dashboard - how to start a blog

 

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.

    Trello - New Editorial Calendar - how to start a blog
  • Correcting your English texts
    Install Grammarly if you write blog posts in English. It’s an excellent tool to have!
    Outils blogging how to start a blog

 

Related | 6 Free Blogging Tools I Can’t Live Without

 

 

Conclusion

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!

You may also like

40 comments

Cass @The Social Mouse May 22, 2017 - 2:37 pm

As a newbie to blogging I very much needed this – blogging for the first time can be a bit overwhelming . I found this right on time , and I thank you for sharing these cool tips and tricks. I do have a twitter and instagram i registered it before someone took the name but never bothered to open it.. knowing it can be automated made me feel that much better thank!

Reply
Marie May 25, 2017 - 7:42 pm

You’re right, it’s overwhelming at first! You’ll get there 🙂 Let me know if you need any help, I’d be happy to assist you in any way I can.
Thanks for your comment,
Marie!

Reply
Sally-Jane May 22, 2017 - 3:03 pm

Thanks for this, well written and informative.
I had my blog transferred for me to a new host, domain and theme by a third party.
It’s great to have a tick list to know that the right things have been done, and what I still have to do.

Reply
Marie May 25, 2017 - 7:43 pm

Hi! Thanks for your kinds words! 🙂
I am always making lists haha, I don’t want to forget things!
Marie

Reply
MAKA May 23, 2017 - 3:52 am

Hi
Point is my english is really bad.. Feel free if you want to laugh to this comment 🙂
I know that my question is unrelated to this article but I’m wanna ask it.

I’m really interested in to know witch programming languages you lean in college or school or wherever .. My mean if teachers teach gonna teach some thing or give a homework project to you what programming languages they expect you to use in your project ..

for example in my country we use C# and C++

– sorry about using a fake make -_-

Reply
Marie May 25, 2017 - 7:45 pm

Hi!

No problem for your English, I understand most of your comment. As you might be aware, English is not my first language either, so we’re in the same boat! For the programming languages I learn at school, it depends a lot on the course itself. We mostly work with Java though. But I had a class with Ruby On Rails last semester. In some classes, students can also choose their own languages. But keep in mind Java is the main language and the most used!

Good luck!
Marie

Reply
Andrea May 23, 2017 - 9:40 pm

Thank you for this! Super helpful for this newbie 🙂

Reply
Marie May 25, 2017 - 7:38 pm

You’re welcome! 😀 xx

Reply
Litto May 24, 2017 - 2:45 pm

Hello Marie,

This is really a comprehensive guide. I am using dynalist.io for creating my do list. I think it is time to switch into the Trello. Thanks for the detailed guide

Reply
Marie May 25, 2017 - 7:40 pm

I’m glad you liked it!
Thanks for your comment!

Reply
Lola May 25, 2017 - 2:04 pm

Hi! Would you mind sharing how you come up with names for a blog?

Reply
Marie May 25, 2017 - 8:15 pm

That is a really great questions! For this blog, I wrote on PAPER what my main subjects would be about (women, tech, blogging), and then I added synonyms to that list (girl, girls, woman, technology, blog, etc). Then, I try to play with those words a bit. I even tried a name generator where you can enter a couple words and it forms a title with it. That’s how I came up with Girl Knows Tech!

I really recommend you to do that on paper. As you might be aware, I’m very digital and usually don’t do much on real paper, but that name finding really took a turn for the better when I gave up and used real paper and pen! 😀

Good luck, hope this helps!
xx

Reply
Dom May 26, 2017 - 4:13 am

Great post with some good tips I can use on my newly created blog! There are a lot of great resources here that I will most definitely use. I love your blog by the way I discovered it a few weeks ago and have been a fan every since. If you are interested here is a link to my blog as well.
http://bit.ly/2qTpOTl
-Dom

Reply
Marie May 26, 2017 - 7:48 am

Thanks! I’m glad you liked it 🙂
How did you find my blog? I’m curious!
Thanks for your comment and kind words
Marie

Reply
Dom May 26, 2017 - 1:58 pm

You were suggested to me by instagram and I found your site from there in your bio I believe.

Reply
Carol Taylor May 26, 2017 - 9:43 am

Hi, I chanced upon you on the Blogging network. I think this is a great easy to understand site. I have an existing WP and want to self-host ( I think). I am not very Pc savvy being self-taught and retired. I opened Trello intending to follow your instructions and set up an editorial chart..It did what it mainly does although my settings are all in English and displayed in Thai. I live in Thailand but do not read Thai. So generally I flit between Chrome and IE which is not always ideal. I have tried googling this but it went way over my head . I have tried to open Ttrello in IE but it knows I have a gmail account and wants me to use Chrome. Can you offer me any advice please ?

Reply
Marie June 10, 2017 - 12:02 pm

Hi! Ok, so if I understand correctly, your problem is that Trello is in Thai, the wrong language?

Follow these steps to change your language:
1. Click on your name with your icon on top right of Trello
2. Click on “Change Language” which is probably in Thai for you, so it’s the fourth link that’s shown on the website
3. Then you can select English in the list of languages that appears.

Does that help? Let me know xx
Marie

Reply
Carol Taylor June 14, 2017 - 9:28 pm

Thank you Marie x All sorted 🙂

Reply
Jessica Oakley May 26, 2017 - 2:27 pm

Thank you very much. Reading this helped me out a lot for I am a new to blogging and learning in increments. Again thanks for sharing the info .

Reply
Marie June 10, 2017 - 11:36 am

Hi! Thank you for your comment! I’m glad I could help.
Marie

Reply
Anna Ottlinger May 29, 2017 - 9:22 pm

Hello! I’m a newbie and honestly, I find even this condensed list overwhelming (although it is helpful!). I started my blog with blogger and I was wondering if you have any opinions on it?

Reply
Marie June 10, 2017 - 11:44 am

Hi! So sorry you feel overwhelm. I will keep that in mind for future blog posts like this one! xxx
Sorry I don’t have any recent experience with Blogger. Last time I used it was… 5 years ago!!
Good luck!
Marie

Reply
Nakeya May 30, 2017 - 8:52 pm

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. You are right about the Peralink tip. I find using the title to be best. Without the date so you can promote it anytime.

Reply
Marie June 4, 2017 - 10:21 am

Thanks! Exactly, that’s why I prefer that permalink!
Have a good day!

Reply
Gabriel Okenwa May 30, 2017 - 9:07 pm

Nice write-up I must say but unfortunately for me am using blogger, sooner or later I’ll be moving to WordPress for sure and I guess that this write-up will definitely help me. Please you can help me review my blog to know if am doing it well. Thanks for the info

Reply
Marie June 10, 2017 - 11:43 am

Thanks! I like your blog as well. You seem to be posting new blog posts very often. Keep it up!
Marie

Reply
BIjou June 2, 2017 - 3:10 pm

Hello! New blogger here! I just found your site link on Reddit, so glad I did! Very informative especially to a newbie blogger like myself. I’ll be taking a lot of what I’ve learned here and putting it to use as I move forward with mine. Thanks!

Reply
Marie June 4, 2017 - 10:20 am

Hi! I’m very glad the post could be useful!
Marie xx

Reply
Sammy June 12, 2017 - 3:47 am

This is a fantastic break down and one i wish i had when i first started Blogging – i will be subscribing to your email list and your info is great and very easy to understand.

Reply
Marie June 12, 2017 - 9:46 pm

Ahh. Thank you so much! 😀
Marie

Reply
BlackgirlZen June 21, 2017 - 9:05 pm

Great contents and useful to new bloggers.

Reply
Marie June 22, 2017 - 10:56 pm

Thank you! I’m glad you liked it 🙂
Marie

Reply
Justen Martian July 18, 2017 - 9:59 pm

Great tips and plugins advice. Do you use the Free or Pro version of UpfDraftPlus?

Reply
Marie July 22, 2017 - 7:55 am

Hi, Justen!
I use the free version!
Thank you for your comment
Marie

Reply
Jessie July 19, 2017 - 12:31 pm

Hi there! I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award! http://www.nerdybooklife.com/2017/07/19/blogger-recognition-award-bonus-post/

Reply
Marie July 22, 2017 - 7:54 am

Hi Jessie! Ahh thank you so much for nominating me, I feel really honored!
I’m glad you like my tech-savvy blog!!!
Marie xxx

Reply
Karen September 24, 2017 - 8:21 am

Super post! I wish more posts were written for those of us who have set the blog upbut need more beginner tips on refining how we blog. Thank you. I will pin this for future reference.

Reply
Marie October 13, 2017 - 8:36 pm

Ahh thank you so much for your kind words! My goal really is to help other bloggers so you make my day!
I should create a Pinterest image for this blog post!!
Marie

Reply
Lisa July 10, 2019 - 9:17 am

Hi! I’m also a very new blogger and think I understand most of that! Will help when looking at it while actually trying to do the things I think. One question, I have Ed created a blog
with WordPress and the domain name is still active, but I let my wordpress subscription expire. I want to start blogging properly now- if I sign up again with WordPress will all my blog design features and existing stuff stay put? Or do I have to start again?

Reply
Marie November 16, 2019 - 10:01 am

Hello!
I’m confused. WordPress doesn’t expire… Are you using WordPress.com? I don’t really know much about WordPress.com. I’m mostly using WordPress.org (self-hosted blog!)
Best,
Marie

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.