Giving Birth to Your WordPress Blog

If your stomach wobbles at the thought of setting up your blog, you’re in good company. Most beginning bloggers I know face anxiety at some point in the blog set-up process. This blogger sure did. What I knew about technical issues when I set up my blog could have fit on the head of a pin with room to spare.

For me, setting up a blog seemed like a birthing process. I was eager to bring my blog into the world, but I was afraid I’d have a long and painful labor. Fortunately, giving birth to my blog was much easier than I feared.

Here’s what it was like:

  • I registered my domain name and set up a hosting account at bluehost. The process was simple and painless, and I’m even an affiliate for bluehost now.
  • After setting up my hosting account, I followed the easy instructions within my bluehost control panel to download and install WordPress, which took less than five minutes.

Here’s what the process cost:

  • I paid $10 to register my domain name at the bluehost site.
  • My hosting charges were $6.95 a month (I paid for the year up front).

After my baby blog was born:

  • I read through the WordPress documentation and visited the WordPress forum to learn what to do next.
  • I checked out different themes, and because of my long-term plans for the blog, I opted to go with a paid theme. For me, the right choice was Headway, (I’m now an affiliate), so I downloaded and installed that, which was also easy.

My postpartum depression:
The blog set-up and theme installation was easy, but later, I found myself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. This was my first WordPress blog, and I was unprepared for all the features, options, and possibilities. I played around with plug-ins and widgets, and sometimes things worked on the first try, but other times I wasted hours trying to figure something out. I was not a fun person to be around when this happened.

My playgroup:
Okay, so my playgroup is really a local WordPress class, but I have fun and learn a lot there. Every class leaves me feeling more confident and empowered, and I really enjoy spending time with other people who are growing their blogs.

Giving birth to your own blog:
I’ve had an ongoing debate with myself about putting technical tutorials on this blog. For now, I’ve decided against it because there are such clear, up-to-date instructions at hosting companies like bluehost or at the WordPress site. You’ll be amazed at how simple the process is. If you truly don’t want to touch the set-up process with a 10-foot-pole, don’t let that stop you. You can hire someone or get a geeky friend or relative to do it for you.

However you decide to bring your blog into the world, the important part is to “just do it!” as Nike says. It’s okay to be scared, but don’t let fear keep you from moving forward with your blogging goals.

Your Turn: Did you set up your blog on your own, get help, or some combination of the two? What was the experience like for you? Any recommendations for those who may not have their blog set up yet?

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3 Responses to Giving Birth to Your WordPress Blog

  1. SWrightBoucher June 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    Thanks so much for creating this helpful series. I've been blogging for just over a year and am in the process of narrowing my focus and relaunching my blog. Your advice is solid. Start with a plan and jump right in with both feet. Don't wait until everything is perfect. You can always adjust later on. That's better than never starting…

  2. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Hello, and thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad to hear you're taking steps to move closer to the blog you want. It's definitely a process where we have to relax and be willing to make mistakes. Never starting would be very sad :(

  3. Shirls September 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Jean, this is an awfully late comment, but it is a question really. Where to you write your drafts? In Word first, or Windows Live Writer or straight into WordPress? I know it sounds like a daft question, but I’m sort of nervous about hitting the wrong button!

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