Tips: So You Want to Start a Blog?

A solid handful of friends have asked me in the past couple weeks for advice on starting a WordPress blog.  Where better than to put my tips than in a blog post here?  Hope these help!

  1. Pick a good theme. Take a look at the “Theme Showcase” and find options that fit your style. Or go to “Freshly Pressed” and check out the top posts of the day, many of which have eye-catching themes. If you find one you like, scroll all the way to the bottom to find the name. Many themes have color options included, or you’re able to upload your own background image, so don’t let that part of the appearance throw you off. Decide if you want a theme that’s more text-based or photo-based. There are good options for each. A side note: not all themes are free. If you’re looking to set up a blog with an easy structure similar to mine, you may want to check out “Something Fishy,” “iTheme 2,” “Quintus,” “Skeptical,” “Mystique,” “Brand New Day,” “Choco,” and more.
  2. Header image. Mine here is a product of my creation, but many themes have pre-matched options to choose from. It’s a bit tricky configuring your own image, because it has to be an exact size, but it’s worth it!
  3. Use widgets. They’re pretty easy to work and arrange and give your blog a personal look. Using my blog as a model, I’m using six widgets in the right column: my image, follow me box, recent tweets, top posts & pages, archives, and stats. I also have another widget area at the very bottom using: categories, Goodreads, Facebook, and calendar.
  4. Pages. Looking at my blog, I have three pages: Home, About Me, and Photo Album Links. On pages, you can basically do whatever you want: have a picture reel, make a page just for random rants, etc.
  5. Be creative. As much as it’s fine to model your blog from other peoples’, make sure to incorporate your own style narrowed to the content you’ll be posting. Make it relevant and eye-catching with colors and style but not over-the-top.

Feel free to comment with any other questions! :)