How to Create a Personal Website on Free WordPress
You’ve probably heard of WordPress; it’s the most popular blogging platform out there. But did you know that you can use it to create a fully customizable website? In this article, we’ll teach you the basics of creating a personal website on WordPress, and then we’ll jump into the details of building a sleek blog that you can actually use.
Set Up Your Blog With a Beautiful Theme
For someone new to WordPress, setting up a blog can feel a little overwhelming. There are so many different themes and plugins to choose from; where do you start? Fortunately, with so many amazing themes and plugins available for free, you can’t go wrong starting with something beautiful and simple. That’s what we did with this tutorial; we started with the Genesis Theme and then built upon it with a bit of CSS and HTML. After you’ve set up your blog with a beautiful theme like this one, you can start customizing it with lots of options that make it perfect for your needs. You’re not locked into the default themes or plugins, so if you want to change something later on, you can.
Make Every Post Spatial
WordPress allows you to post stories and articles in a variety of different ways. You can use images and video embeds, as well as quote long passages from articles and leave comments on other blogs. While all of these are acceptable methods of posting, we recommend that you do your best to make every post spatial. What does this mean? Essentially, when someone clicks on a link to one of your posts, they should be taken to a new page that shows off the beauty of the post in as much detail as possible. If someone reads an article and likes it, but doesn’t want to leave the page where they are, having the option to scroll through other posts to find what they’re looking for feels like a gift. The more you do to make every post an immersive experience, the more your readers will value your content and want to come back for more.
Add Social Media Buttons
Did you know that you can add social media buttons to your blog? It’s one of the easiest things to do, and it makes your blog look more professional. When someone clicks on a social media button on your blog, they’ll be taken to their respective site and an embedded Tweet, Facebook, or Google Plus button will appear on the page. Adding social media buttons to your site also lets your readers know that you’re committed to providing high-quality content to your blog community. For more information, check out this blog post from the Google team.
Link To Other Blogs And Projects
WordPress makes it easy to link to other blogs and websites; you can even create entire chains of links, which allows you to create a web of ideas that draws inspiration from all the other blogs and websites you’ve linked to. For example, maybe you’ve linked to the Luxury Cotillion blog because they had an interesting take on fashion and style; when a reader clicks on that link, they’ll be taken to a page with a summary of their recent blog posts, a few choice quotes, and a small bio about the blogger. On this page, the reader can get a sense of the kind of content the blog contains, whether or not they want to continue reading, and create a better idea of the blogger’s personalities and styles. If you link to other blogs and websites frequently, it’ll help bring more traffic to your own blog and ensure that people are exploring your content area and considering it interesting and worth their time. Make sure you check out the other blogs and websites you’ve linked to; if someone is reading a blog post and likes it, but doesn’t want to leave the page where they are, having the option to explore other content encourages them to do so.
Monitor Search Queries
Did you know that you can track what keywords people are using to find your blog, and adjust your content and SEO strategies accordingly? This is a feature built into Google Analytics, which you can use to track the keywords people use to find your blog, as well as the number of times those keywords show up in a search. For example, let’s say that you’ve linked to a number of luxury blogs; if someone is searching for “luxury blog inspiration,” your blog may show up as a result. If you want to increase the likelihood of someone finding your blog when they’re searching for something like this, make sure that you incorporate these keywords and phrases into your content; it’ll not only help your SEO, but it can also boost your blog’s discoverability in Google’s search results.
Update Your Content When New Information Is Available
Sometimes, new information comes out that affects the content of your blog. Let’s say that a blog post that you wrote a while back is suddenly becoming relevant again; the information within it may be completely outdated, but it’s still important to keep in mind for future reference. If you want to ensure that your content is up to date, it’s important to remember to check for news articles and other sources of information that could prove useful to your readers. The more you do to make sure that your content is fresh and valuable, the more people will come back for more.
Add Other Useful Blogging Tools
What else can you do with a blog other than write content and post it? You can add tools that can make your content easier to consume or that can enhance your blog’s functionality. One of the most useful tools on WordPress is Sitelock; it’s a free tool that keeps track of which posts and pages are getting the most attention from your readership. You can also use HubSpot’s Free Blog to quickly and easily set up a blog with custom domain and marketing materials — like a logo, color scheme, and theme. In order to use these tools effectively, it’s important to add your blog to each one’s whitelist. When someone visits your blog’s URL on their phone or computer, they’ll see a landing page that gives them more information about the blog and its content.
WordPress is incredibly flexible when it comes to creating a blog; the above tips will only get you so far. Once you’ve reached a certain point, you’ll have to delve into the guts of your blog to figure out what works best for you. Are you looking to establish an authoritative voice in your industry? Are you looking to start a conversation? Or do you just want to express yourself through written words? Whatever your end goal, WordPress can help you achieve it.
Are you curious about setting up a blog with WordPress? Or do you already have a blog and want to know how you can make it better? Give it a shot and see what you can make. You may feel overwhelmed at first, but don’t worry; with a little bit of planning and research, you’ll be able to put this knowledge to good use.