The secrets to designing your blog are found in themes, the pre-designed outer-layer appearance of a blog, and plugins, which are easy-to-add codes that enable custom features and functions on your blog.


The SmallBusiness.com Guide to Starting a Blog is sponsored and provided by GoDaddy.

Introduction

  1. Name your blog and register its domain name (web address)
  2. Choose a blog platform
  3. Choose a web host
  4. Connect your domain name to your blog
  5. Design your blog
  6. Publish your first post
  7. Promote that post and publish your second post, etc.


Visit GoDaddy’s WordPress Themes Gallery


Themes allow you to focus on blogging while the software takes care of your blog’s appearance.

Almost all web platforms have theme options. But if you choose WordPress as your blog platform, you can choose from thousands of themes, including those on display at the GoDaddy Managed WordPress Themes Gallery, which includes:

  • Thousands of themes for all types of blogs and websites
  • Eight pre-built pages for the most common page types
  • Easy drag-and-drop creation for page building
  • Access thousands of feature-WordPress plugins
  • The ability to chose free or more feature-rich paid theme

Tips for choosing your first WordPress theme

Above | The Twenty Seventeen theme, the default WordPress theme of 2017.

Here are some helpful tips for choosing your first theme, shared by Nile Flores, a professional blogger and WordPress designer and developer.

1 | Choose a theme that has a design format you like.
2 | Make sure the theme is currently being developed and regularly updated.
3 | Choose a theme that has a lot of excellent reviews.
4 | Don’t choose a theme just because it looks like it has all the bells and whistles.
5 | Choose a theme that comes with documentation to help you set it up right.

Whether you go with a free or paid theme, be sure to pick one that reflects who you are and what you do. You want it to be stable, clean and easy to work with. For the purposes of getting your blog up and running fast, however, just pick a basic theme to get rolling. You can customize it later.


Download a Free eBook: 25 Experts Weigh in on Building a Successful WordPress Blog


Add features and functions to your blog with plugins

Plugins extend the capabilities of WordPress. You can think of them as upgrades or add-ons for your blog. To get started, you can find almost 50,000 plugins available for download at the WordPress Plugin Directory. Here are six categories of plugins that are good for a beginner blogger. Select one from each category:

1 | A security Plugin: Wordfence
2 | A backup plugin: Updraft
3 | A contact form plugin: Contact Form 7
4 | A social share button plugin: AddToAny
5 | An SEO plugin | Yoast SEO
6 | A traffic tracking (Google Analytics) plugin | MonsterInsights

Need more help?

GoDaddy, the sponsor and provider of this guide, always has friendly helpers standing by who can chat online or talk on the phone 24/7 at: (480) 505-8877.


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Step 6 | Publish your first post

The contents of this guide were developed and sponsored by GoDaddy.
It may include opinions other than those of SmallBusiness.com.


7
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 6 | Publish Your First Post

Once your first post goes live, you are officially in the blogging business.

8
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 7 | Promote Posts and Post More

It’s time to set up an editorial calendar of topics that will make your customers smarter.