FACT: I started my first blog in 2007.
I started that blog as a way of keeping my family up to date on college life in San Diego and eventually my trip to Spain.
From 2007 until the launch of the UNexperts in the Spring of 2010, Stephanie and I both shared our lives with friends and family through our personal blogs. Blogging has become one of the easiest ways to keep loved ones up to date- heck our cute little tortilla makin’ Grandma even reads this blog!
Want to join in the madness? Here’s how to get set up. Warning though, this is going to seem like a lot, but it is meant to help you get your blog set up right.
NOTE: We suggest using a free WordPress or Tumbler blog. Both are easy to use, personalize and interact with. Today, I’m going to explain how to set up a free WordPress blog.
How to Set Up a Personal Blog with WordPress
1. Go to WordPress.com and click “Sign up Now.”
2. Fill our your account information and confirm through email.
3. Get your blog set up by getting familiar with the “back end” hehe.
Steph and I always laugh when we refer to the “back end” of our blog. But anyways, this nifty interface is where all of the blogging magic happens. Allow me to give you a tour of important features you will want to customize for your blog.
This is what the “back end” of your blog looks like… (Okay I promise I won’t say back end ever again.)
SETTINGS > GENERAL
- Depending on your site theme, your SITE TITLE will be displayed in your blog header along with the TAGLINE.
- Having accurate TIME SETTINGS will help if you ever choose to automate the publishing process of your post.
- Here you can also upload a BLOG PICTURE/ICON that will be displayed across WordPress.com when you comment on other blogs, as well as will show as your favicon (that little icon that shows up next to the URL in your browser).
SETTINGS > READING
- The next important settings for you to customize are in the reading section.
- You can choose what your FRONT PAGE DISPLAYS, it can either display a running list of your blogs or a static page such as an “About” page with your bio and favorite pictures.
- You can also choose how many blog posts you want to show on each blog page and whether you want the FULL TEXT or a SUMMARY of each blog post to show in the main blog feed.
SETTINGS > DISCUSSION
- I suggest that you moderate comments for your personal blog, only letting approved comments appear to the public. To do this, simply check the box that says “Before a comment appears… AN ADMINISTRATION MUST ALWAYS APPROVE THE COMMENT.”
- Take a second to explore other options within the Discussion Settings panel.
SETTINGS > PRIVACY
- Here you choose who you want your blog to be viewed by.
APPEARANCE > THEME
- Scroll through WordPress’ gallery of free themes. Items to take note of when choosing are the number of columns and the ability to customize the header. Click preview to well, preview and click activate when you’ve decided on your theme.
APPEARANCE > WIDGETS
- You decide what features you show in the sidebars and footers of your blog. To add a widget to your blog, simply drag the widget to the sidebar that you choose. You can add your favorite quote, Twitter feed, and favorite blogs quickly and easily…
APPEARANCE > HEADER
- If your theme has a custom header option you can set that up here. Choose the image file that you want to use as your header (920 x 180 pixels is the size of the image will be displayed. If you need help re-sizing let us know!) and click upload.
- You can also customize your TEXT HEADER on the bottom of this page.
PAGES > ADD NEW
- Pages will show up as tabs on your blog that display static information. These are perfect places to share about yourself, keep a running list of goals for the year, or a list of favorite quotes.
- To add an image simply click the square icon next to UPLOAD/INSERT. There you can choose the file on your computer and insert it into your post.
- Click PREVIEW on the right hand side to get a glimpse of what your page will look like.
- Click PUBLISH when you’re done.
PAGES > PAGES
- Edit your pages at any time here. Click EDIT beneath the page you wish to edit.
POSTS > ADD NEW
- You can approach a new post just as you would approach a new page. Enter the text and images you want to post, PREVIEW it and PUBLISH.
- Add CATEGORIES and TAGS in the right side bar. Category examples are “Food, Style and Beauty” while Tags are more specific like “Products We Swear By.”
Stephanie and I have both had so much fun exploring the blogging world. If you’re interested, take your time to go through these steps and try a blog out for yourself. When you do, let us know so we can check it out! And if you have any questions along the way, we’re always here to help!
DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A PERSONAL BLOG? HOW’S IT GOING?
ARE YOU AFRAID OF BLOGGING? WHY?
WHAT ARE YOU LOVING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BLOG?