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Starting a WordPress.Org Blog

Walk Through the Quick and Easy Steps to Setting Up a Monetized Blog

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I've started a series of articles about bringing another revenue stream into your arts and crafts business by starting a monetized blog. In an earlier article, I discuss Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org, explaining that while .com is free, you can only have a monetized blog using .org.

I got off my duff and set up my domain name and blog hosting with DreamHost, which is one of the hosting services recommended by Wordpress. I've since received a few emails from DreamHost advising on my next steps to get my monetized blog up and running. I've set aside a day so let's get going!

Picking a Blog Host

The fact that I went with DreamHost is not a recommendation on which host you should choose as there was no particular reason why I went with DreamHost although they are one of the hosting companies recommended by WordPress.org for their 5-Minute Installation. Much appreciated, each step I needed to accomplish was sent to me in different emails by DreamHost. That provided a paint-by-number system for me to follow.

The first step was to set up my email accounts and change my FTP password. Selecting the Create New Email link, following the instructions on the screen, it's very easy to set up email boxes and have the email from this account forwarded to an email account I regularly check. Next, it's time to change the FTP password by selecting Manage Users on the web panel > Edit.

WordPress.org User Admin

The next email from DreamHost gives info about setting up the Wordpress.org user admin. Clicking on the link in the email I received took me to the 5-minute Wordpress.org installation page.

As I am somewhat apprehensive about new processes, I opted to read and print the Readme documentation before I got started. For new tasks, such as this, I set up a binder system with all related emails, instructions and passwords that I keep for as long as I feel is necessary - sometimes I never get rid of the documentation.

It's a fine line between hoarding and erring on the side of caution! As I am not updating or migrating a blog, I skipped that part of the read me documentation and moved onto the task at hand - my 5-minute install.

Logging Into WordPress.org

Within a couple of seconds, the WordPress.org log in screen for my blog appears. Wow - that was quick! After logging in I was taken to the WordPress.org dashboard to get started setting up my blog.

Walking Through the WordPress.Org Dashboard

While it is tempting to just get started, I recommend you select Learn more about getting started, which is located on the right-hand side of your dashboard. This walks you through your first steps using WordPress. Unless you are already familiar with WordPress.org blogs, I recommend you print and read through this tutorial.

Make sure you check out the Planning Session and Using the Information sections. The information contained in each will help you with your next steps which are Customize Your Site and Add an About Page. While I have been procrastinating setting up this blog, I have in my spare time written a few blog posts (although actually, my time would have been better served writing my About page).

Having a strong About page, is akin to having good descriptions for your arts and crafts products. Customers love a back story. Presenting in a cohesive fashion information about yourself and the purpose of your blog is key to attracting and keeping visitors to your blog.

Customizing Your WordPress.org Blog

I recommend you select change your theme completely and browse through the available themes. WordPress.org allows you to look at a Live Preview of each. While you're considering your theme, think about a strong tagline. A tagline is a short descriptive slogan or phrase about your blog. A good tagline is memorable, witty and somewhat descriptive of your blogging purpose.

Fine-Tuning Your WordPress.Org Blog

The next page in this series of articles about starting a WordPress.org blog gives tips and techniques for fine-tuning your blog such as adding pages to your header and registering it with search engines.

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