Building a blog is a lot harder and more time consuming these days than I ever remember it being before. Maybe it’s just because I was younger and had less pressing things to do, or perhaps it’s because I’ve built so many that it’s finally wearing on me. But whatever the case, for those coming up who are building a blog for the first time, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go as smoothly as you planned it.
In this guide, I’d like to share a few tidbits of wisdom with you before you embark on your blogging journey. Hopefully these will spare you from learning some of what I had to learn from scratch, enabling you to shoot right past and get started.
What to Consider as You’re Building a Blog
If you’re building a blog, you’re probably hyped to get it off the ground and onto the search engines. But hold your horses, cowboy – you’ve got a few things to do first, like turn off search engine crawling. Head to the privacy settings in WordPress and turn off search engine crawling until you get your SEO friendliness squared away.
Next, remember that the theme you pick has a lot to do with how much messing around you’ll have to do with plugins. Read reviews, look at screenshots, preview the installation and look at its overall compatibility before installing it for good, or you could be messing around with the design aspect more than you’d like – or know how to accomplish.
Building a Blog After Choosing Your Theme
Once you’ve gotten your theme chosen and installed, it’s time to think about graphic aspects. You weren’t planning to keep that default image as the header, were you? As cool as some of those default graphics appear, you need to change them for the sake of branding your blog. While graphics and personalized logo designs can eventually get pricey, avoid the temptation to get lazy and leave graphics until the last-minute.
Next, carefully pick your widgets and plugins. Install them through WordPress, rather than uploading them one by one, in the interest of saving time and hassle. Again, look at screenshots, star ratings, reviews and compatibility comments whenever possible.
If that’s not enough to boggle your mind, don’t forget to play around with your navigation while building a blog. You’ve got plenty of options in the more open themes. Choose between left and right sidebars, top or side navigation, two or three columns, headers above or below your navigation bar – the possibilities can make a final decision elusive. But in the interest of keeping your blog clean-looking and easily navigable, think about having a navigation bar with a two-column choice and no navigation bar with a three-column choice.
So, building a blog doesn’t look so easy now, does it? I tell you all this not to discourage you, but to keep your focus on more than one aspect. In the end, this mindset will make building a blog a piece of cake – more or less, anyway.