I’ve already shared with you my reasons that you need a blog to complement your TPT store. Here are some instructions on getting a blog setup today. I truly think it’s one of the most valuable things that you can do as a TPT seller.
The easiest way to make your presence felt on the internet is to start a blog. They are used to share ideas, reflect on thoughts, promote a topic or business, and can even aid in making money. Most people don’t realize that setting up a beautiful looking blog is very easy to setup and this tutorial will show you provide you with a step-by-step process to have your very own domain and WordPress blog setup within about 15 minutes.
In order to setup a blog you need to have three things.
1. A domain name
2. A hosting account
3. A blogging platform.
Before we get started I will mention that there are many different domain and hosting options. I am only going to be talking about GoDaddy and BlueHost during this tutorial, because that is what I have been using for the last eight years. You can buy a domain from one company and have it hosted somewhere else, but I recommend that you purchase them from the same place to make it a little easier.
Domain Name for Your Blog
The domain name is what the user will type in the address bar of a web browser (ex. www.tptschool.com). You can search and purchase a website domain at either GoDaddy or BlueHost. Many domains are already taken, so it may take some effort and creativity to come up with one that you like. Keep the end-user in mind when picking a domain name. It’s much easier to remember a 1-2 word domain than a really long domain like www.ckeslertheonethatteaches8thgradescience.com As I mentioned previously, it will be easier if you purchase your domain and hosting from the same place. I recommend GoDaddy or BlueHost.
The next thing you will need is a hosting account. This is where your website will “live”. All of the data for your website will be stored on a server in another location and will be maintained by that company. Just think of it as the cloud. I personally use BlueHost for all of my hosting needs, but GoDaddy is a great option too.
I should mention that free options exist, but they come at a cost that I’m not willing to put up with. Free hosting accounts are highly limited and almost always plaster your website with advertisements. I prefer to be in full control over what is shown on my website. In my opinion the free hosting options look junky and unprofessional. See the infographic below (from WPBeginner) for more details. The biggest drawback for me of the free site is losing control and not being able to work with WordPress plugins which are crucial in my goals for the blog.
WordPress or Blogger
I have used WordPress sites since 2005 and feel that they are superior to Blogger sites in many ways. Wordpress is hand down superior for more advanced blogger and allows much more control than a blogger site does. However, you can still have a nice looking blog by setting it up on Blogger. I would definitely suggest still buying your own domain on BlueHost or GoDaddy so that your domain doesn’t look like domainname.blogspot.com. Your domain will be much easier to remember if it doesn’t have the subdomain on the front of it. It’s a very cheap investment and makes you look a lot more professional. You can setup Blogger with your own name by following these instructions.
How to Install WordPress on Your Website
Once you have the domain name and the hosting setup all you need to do is install WordPress on the site. This process used to be reserved for only tech savvy individuals, but most hosting companies now have a one-button install process that makes it very easy. Wordpress is the blogging platform that is kind of like the skeleton for your website. It is the structure that makes everything pretty and organized on your site. Wordpress allows you to focus on the content that should go on your site rather than have to worry about HMTL and CSS. That said, WordPress is highly customizable, and it is the blogging platform that many of the top bloggers use. Here is a great article on the top 10 reasons that you should use WordPress.
I am providing a video that shows you exactly how to install WordPress on your BlueHost site once you have the domain and hosting setup.
I have also included a video for GoDaddy hosting and WordPress setup.
Change Your WordPress Theme to Make it Shine
Once you have WordPress installed in your hosted website you’re ready to start having fun! Login to your WordPress control panel. This will look like www.domainname/wp-admin (replace domainname with your domain name). You will use the user name and password that were provided to your after you installed wordpress on your hosting account.
The first thing that you will probably want to do is to change your theme. Themes are the look and feel of the website. There are thousands of themes available and many of them are totally free. Here are some of the more popular themes.
From within the wordpress admin panel you will go to the Appearance menu option on the left>Themes>Intall Themes. From there you can search for themes and chose to intall them. You can easily switch from theme to theme and not lose any of your posts. They will show up in the newly themed format. Here is a more detailed post on installing themes.
Create Your First WordPress Blog Post
We’re all set to share with the world! It’s time to write your first blog post. From the left hand side of the WordPress admin panel you will choose Posts>Add New. You will then be prompted to write a title and post. Once you have completed the post you can choose to save it as a draft of to go ahead an publish it to the internet. Here is an excellent starting point for WordPress.
Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins extend the functionality of WordPress. These are some of my favorite WordPress plugins that I install on all of my sites. Here is a tutorial of how to install them.
SEO Yoast – This plugin allows you to Search Engine Optimize (SEO) your site. Long story short, it allows for search engines (namely Google) to find you easier so that it can put you into organic search results
Akismet – This plugin does a great job of blocking comment spam which is a problem for many bloggers.
Google XML Sitemap – This plugin provides a map for Google to use when it crawls or indexes your site. It helps with search engine rankings
Google Analyticator – This plugin allows you to see how many people are visiting your site along with a ton of other analytics that will help you find out how people use your site.