Jane Boutique: A WordPress Blogging Success Story
Hey, Jane readers! I’m excited to bring you an update on my blog’s progress – and what’s next for the brand! Let’s get into it.
If you’re new to blogging, you may wonder where you should start from – what platform to use, how to format your blog, what direction to take. Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered on all fronts. Let’s start from the beginning.
After I launched my blog in 2010, I had already experienced the vast majority of blogging platforms. From Weblogger to Blogger, from Movable Type to Typepad – I had tried them all. I had my heart set on creating a full-fledged e-commerce store – but that’s another story. Back then, the options for blogging platforms were quite limited.
WordPress was the clear choice for me. Here’s why:
- Open Source – Every developer’s dream. You can tweak and adjust the code to suit your needs. Plus, there are plenty of third-party plugins and themes to choose from. Not to mention that every WordPress install comes with a fully functioning web server (WAMP or LAMP). Best of all, it’s free.
- Supportive – The WordPress community is always willing to help. There are hundreds of blogs out there that can be used as inspiration. If you’re looking for some help formatting your blog or need some tips on SEO, you’re sure to find what you need in no time.
- Fully Customizable – One of my favorite things about WordPress is how easy it is to completely personalize the design of your blog. You can add fun features like countdown timers, social media sharing buttons, or colorful headers to fit your theme. In addition, thousands of fully customizable widgets can be accessed via a simple click of a button.
- Powered By The Most Trusted Name In Blogging – When you’re looking for a platform that’s been around for years and is used by some of the biggest names in online marketing, it’s a no-brainer to choose WordPress.
Setting Up My Blog
Once you’ve made the decision to move to WordPress, the next step is to set up your blog. It’s important to note that WordPress is a bit more than a blogging platform – it’s actually a CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to create and manage content-heavy websites. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll be focusing on setting up a simple travel blog using the free version of WordPress.
With some careful planning and research, you can put in place the perfect blogging platform for your needs. Here’s my step-by-step guide to getting your blog set up on WordPress in no time.
1. Register Your Domain Name
One of the first things you’ll need to do is to register your domain name. You’ll find many premium and free domain names to choose from. When it comes to choosing a domain name, make sure that you secure it before you release it to the public. Also, make sure that you don’t use hyphens (-) or underscores (_) in your domain name. Underscores are often used to denote words or parts of words in a domain name – so if you use them, it could lead to confusion. As for hyphens, they’re acceptable in a domain name but it’s best to avoid them if you can. Finally, make sure that the extension (.com,.net,.org) for your selected domain name is available – otherwise, you’ll have to choose another.
2. Install WordPress On Your Server
Next, you’ll need to install WordPress on your server. The best way to do this is to use a one-click installer like WordPress Installer by X-Team. This tool will install WordPress for you along with a default theme (in our case, the TwentyFourteen theme) and a few essential plugins (in our case, Akismet, WP-Emoji, and Yotpo).
3. Customize Your Theme’s Look
The next step is to customize your theme’s look. Of course, you can use the included TwentyFourteen theme for inspiration, but you can also choose from hundreds of free and premium WordPress themes to build upon. You can use these tools to change the colors, the layout, and even download additional resources (like PSD files) to help you create a cohesive look for your blog.
If you’re feeling creative, you can even use your favorite tools to build a custom design for your blog. There are dozens of services like ThemeForest that you can use to build a fully-functional website from scratch. Plus, you can sell your finished product (with payment options like Paypal or Stripe) or use the site as a launching pad for your own e-commerce store.
4. Configure Your Blog’s Settings
Once you’ve got WordPress installed on your server and customized with a new theme, it’s time to configure your blog’s settings. Start by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Settings. Here, you can find the basic settings for your blog. It’s important to note that you should only edit the settings for your own blog – you shouldn’t change them for other websites. Click on the Save Changes button at the top to complete your settings.
5. Activate WordPress
Now that you’ve got your domain name and settings in place, it’s time to activate WordPress. Go back to your settings and click on the Activate button to re-enable the plugin. You can now start creating content for your blog!
If you’d like, you can add more functionality to your blog by installing and activating a couple of essential WordPress plugins. There’s nothing worse than a half-functional blog, so let’s make sure that you get everything right the first time around.
So, you’ve got a fully functioning travel blog – what’s next? Well, there are a few things you can do to make it even better. First, you can use Google Analytics to track the demographics and behavior of your readers. You can do this by installing and activating the Google Analytics plugin. This way, you can see exactly what’s working and what needs to be changed. In addition, you can use Google Search Console to set up search notifications so that you can see whenever people are searching for your blog’s name. You can do this by signing up for a free Google account and following the instructions.
Another great way to grow your blog is to use affiliate marketing – where you earn a commission when someone clicks a product or service that you promote in your blog posts. There are hundreds of affiliate marketing networks out there, like Commission Junction, Clickbank, and Shopify – which can be integrated with your blog platform. For example, Shopify have built-in affiliate marketing capabilities accessible from your blog’s dashboard.
WordPress is a fantastic platform for establishing or expanding a blog. It’s free, super-easy to use, and has a built-in community that’s ready and willing to help. What are you waiting for? Begin your WordPress adventure today!