It may seem a little daunting to start your own blog, but there are tons of free resources out there to help you get started. Also, the WordPress community is pretty awesome and by attending events in your area you’ll be able to learn from those with more experience. I’m going to describe the basic steps I took when creating this site.
- Blogging platform- I went with WordPress.org because it has a ton of great plug-ins to customize your site and has a great community. If you want full control, options, and the potential to make money off your site, this is your best option. I’ve read that WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr are good choices for hobby bloggers, but you will have limited customization options. For WordPress.com, there will be ads placed on your site and you can’t use plugins. Ultimately, I think it comes down your priorities and purpose of your blog.
- Blog name- it can take weeks to come up with the perfect name, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm and research what names are available. You can go to Go Daddy to see if the website name is available.
- Hosting services- If you are using WordPress.org (WordPress.com is a little different) you have to take care of the web hosting yourself. After doing some research, I noticed that most travel bloggers used Bluehost. I’m pretty happy with Bluehost; their rates are good and I haven’t had any issues. (This is an affiliate link, which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through this link. Visit my disclosure page for more information.)
- Blog theme- There are like a million to chose from, so prepare yourself. I chose to use the Genesis framework and Lifestyle Pro child theme because other bloggers raved about Genesis and the Lifestyle Pro layout fit my needs. Also, this is such a popular child theme, I knew there would be more tutorials on customization.
- Social media- set up accounts for all the social media services you plan on using, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat.
- Customization- determine fonts, colors, primary background image, plug-ins. It helps to have some basic HTML and CSS knowledge and there are lots of free courses online to get you started. One of the most helpful Lifestyle Pro theme-specific tutorials I used was from Katrinah’s Youtube video–>>CLICK HERE to watch the video. It takes you through the entire process of customizing your header photo, menus, and much more.