How to Start a Blog in 2020 – Easy Guide for Beginners

Hey guys, it’s Scott Chow here from,
and we’re just gonna jump right in to this tutorial on how to start a blog. I’m gonna
show you what the blog looks like first, to start with, when it’s completed, and if you
want to see this blog I’m gonna leave it up here. It’s at You can actually
go visit it and see how it interacts with an actual user on the site, instead of just
watching the video. This is what it looks like. This is just my
kind of sample blog, and you’ll see in the tutorial as we go through it there’s a bunch
of customizations we can do. This is just the way I decided to set it up. You’ll see
there’s ways to change the colors here, the background colors, the text, the pictures,
the whole layout. You know, if I don’t want to have this here I can move it over here.
If I don’t want to have this at all I can delete it. If I want to add some other functionality
to the site I can do that. So just keep in mind that this is not the way your blog has
to look. This is just how I kind of show you a basic blog and how you can set things up
one way, anyway, if you want to set it up this way.
So let’s just go over some of the things that are in this blog. First off, we’ve got this
menu up here which shows a link to the homepage, a link to an About Me page, a link to a Contact
Me page. See on the Contact Me page we’ve added a form here so people can contact you
and send you a message easily. If we go back to the home we’ll see here we’ve got another
menu, this nice drop-down menu which shows my blog posts in the different categories
that they’re in. So here’s all my blog posts related by travels.
Here’s all my blog posts related to photography. In addition we’ve got social links here, so
a link to my Facebook, a link to my Twitter, a link to my Google Plus. You can customize
those, leave those out if you want. You can add in LinkedIn, your Flickr page, your YouTube
page. Whatever it is that you want to add in or leave out, you can do that there.
We’ve also got a nice little widget here that shows my information from my Facebook page.
It lets you like my page. It shows other people who have liked the page. So it’s another way
for people to connect with me once they’ve come to my blog.
I’ve also got a little welcome message here, and really important here is a way for people
to subscribe to your blog. What that does is someone puts an email address in, they
click subscribe, and they’re gonna get updates every time you do a new post on your blog.
So as I go over in the tutorial, that’s really, really important that you have that on there
because a lot of people are gonna – even if they like your blog – they may forget to come
back to it. If you get them to subscribe then they will always get notified, and they’ll
always be updated on your blog so they’ll know when there’s something new for them to
check out there. In addition we’ve got a search box here that
helps us search for any post that might be a little harder to find. So for example, if
I wanted to find my post on Fiji, I don’t see anything on Fiji here, but if you click
here and you type in Fiji in the search, there’s my post on Fiji. It comes up in the search
box. So that’s really useful to have. Also recent posts are all here, and my bigger posts
are here. Then at the bottom here we’ve got another menu here, as well as our social icons.
Again, this is just one way you could set up a blog. If there’s something on here you
don’t like you absolutely can leave it out, and in the tutorial it will become really
apparent and easy to see how you change things and how you add other things in, or change
colors, or change the whole layout and the whole style of the blog. You’re blog can really
look like anything that you can possibly dream of. It’s pretty much just click and drag and
copy and paste type stuff that you need to do. So it’s really something that pretty much
anyone can do. As we go through this video, keep in mind
that this is really designed to be used with the tutorials on So you
see, Check those out. Sometimes they’re a little easier to follow
than a video. I try to go slow, but it always goes a little bit faster. Here we’ve got screenshots
and other stuff like that that’ll make it easier for you to follow along.
Back to the blog here, keep in mind – you see up here it’s So that’s
a custom domain name. I chose that domain name. I wanted my name to be my blog name,
and so that’s what I registered as my domain name. That’s really the first step to creating
a blog is you need to come up with a domain name to use.
It’s kind of a big question: what do I want everyone to know my blog as? If it’s going
to be a personal blog, like mine is, that’s just going to have content related to me – for
me specifically, I’ve got stuff related to traveling or photography and a variety of
other things on the site – I just use my name. I think that’s always a great option.
If you don’t want to go with that option, you can do something else. Maybe you’re going
to have a blog about a specific topic. Let’s say you have a blog about cooking. You can
call it something else. You can call it Scott’s Cooking Blog, or you can leave your name out
of it entirely and just call it or whatever strikes your fancy. But the important
thing to keep in mind is that if you’re picking a really simple common name, it might already
be registered. To check and see if that’s the case, what
you’re gonna want to do is on, if you go to step one here, you’ll see the
first step that I’m talking about is to pick a domain name. Then we’re going to need to
see if our domain is available. So for example, if I want to see if is available,
I type that in, I click check availability, and it’s going to say already taken. That’s
because I’ve already registered it. But let’s say I wanted to do, let’s see, Scott’,
check availability, and domain available. Good, so that means it’s free for me to register.
No one else has already registered that domain. Now that I know I have a name that I know
is available, what I’m gonna want to do is register it, and I’m also going to want to
get webhosting for my blog. So webhosting is the service that actually puts your blog
online. So you cannot have a blog, or any other type of website for that matter, if
you do not have a webhost. It’s really important that you choose a good webhost because that’s
what ensures that your blog is online. If you choose a bad webhost your blog may be
down, it may be running really slowly, it may have a bunch of other problems.
The host that I really recommend that you use is BlueHost, and there’s definitely a
lot of good things about BlueHost. One of them is that they offer you a free installation
of WordPress, and WordPress is the software that I built this blog with. It’s also the
software that I actually use on It’s the most popular blog software on all
of the internet. In fact, it’s something like 23 percent of all sites are using WordPress,
so it’s hugely popular. It’s really easy to use, it’s really customizable, and it’s free.
If you are on BlueHost you can install for free and use it for free.
So that’s really awesome because a lot of the other software out there, they let you
install one page on your blog for free and then they charge you for a bunch more afterwards.
You definitely want to avoid that. I think WordPress is definitely the way to go.
The other reason I recommend BlueHost is that they have also been recommended by WordPress
since 2005, which is a huge deal. You want a webhost that’s really gonna be trusted and
really gonna work well with WordPress. In addition, they’ve got their customer service,
they’ve got their money-back guarantee, et cetera. It’s really quality stuff, and if
you use the link on you get a discount as well.
So let’s look at actually setting up your page with BlueHost. To do that, click one
of the links here on Again, it’s gonna get you the discount, and it’s
gonna take you to this page. Click Get Started and select your package. For new bloggers
I really just recommend this basic package. These other ones are nice if you really know
that you need this stuff, but most people don’t, and in the event that you find that
you do, you can always upgrade later. So select the basic package and then I’m gonna
put in my domain name. Click next and then it says congratulations the domain is available.
We’re just gonna fill out our information here and we’re gonna select our package. I
like the basic package if you’re just getting started, and I also like to uncheck all these
boxes here for these add-on products. Some of these can be useful if you really feel
like you need them, but again, it’s something that I would just recommend that you pick
up later if you feel like you need it. You don’t need to get it right away. You can always
add these things on later. There’s no advantage to getting them now.
So select the basic package, you put in your payment info, and you click submit. And then
once you’re done with that you’re gonna get your confirmation email from BlueHost, and
the next step is gonna be installing the blog software and customizing it.
Okay, now that we’ve got the hosting account registered, and we’ve got the domain registered
as well, we can start to actually install the blog. To do that we are going to go to, and then on the top right here we’re gonna click login. Then we’re going
to put in our domain name here and our password, and the password was sent to you in an email
from BlueHost. Oops, I forgot my password, speaking of that.
So after you register your account with BlueHost, you should receive a confirmation email typically
within about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer just depending on how
things are going with the amount of people signing up with them, but once you get it
it should have the password in there. Then you just go ahead and login just like
I just showed you there. Once you’re in, this is called your c-panel or your control panel,
and you’ll see there’s a bunch of different things you can do here. On my site I show
you a bunch of different tutorials for things like how to setup a custom email account with
your domain name and a variety of other things, but the thing we’re gonna do now is we’re
gonna install your blog and we’re gonna install WordPress, which is the blog software we’re
gonna be using. So we’re gonna click here on install WordPress,
and this is going to take us to the WordPress installer. Once we’re here, we’re gonna click
on install to actually get the process started, but I want to point out – see below here,
there’s several options where you can actually pay someone at BlueHost to do what we’re gonna
do for a fee, but we’re gonna do this all for free. So you’re gonna actually save several
hundred dollars here by following this tutorial. I just wanted to point that out.
We’re gonna click install, and that’s gonna take us to the installer page – or the second
step of the installer page – and then we’re gonna select our domain from the drop-down
here. You probably will only have one domain on your account, but in case you don’t, just
scroll down, find your domain, select it. Now this directory here we’re gonna leave
blank. That’s if you want to install your blog on a subdirectory of your domain name,
but 99 percent of people aren’t gonna want to do that. You’re gonna want people, when
they go to your domain name, when they go to or, you’re gonna
want them to see your blog first thing. So that’s how we’re gonna set it up.
Then we click check domain, and this just takes, like it says, it can take a couple
of minutes while they make sure that there’s nothing else that’s going to prevent us from
installing the blog software. So let’s give it just a second. Okay, now that that’s done,
we’re going to click here on show advanced options, and then you can put in your site
name and title here. I’m gonna leave it like this because we’re gonna actually change that
in the next step when we customize things. You’re gonna also want to put in your admin
user name. This is a new account you’re creating, so you decide what you want that user name
to be. I’m just gonna make mine Scott, and then I will also set my password as something
that I can easily remember, not this crazy one here. Keep that box checked. You’re also
going to check this box here that you read the terms and conditions, and then you’re
going to click install now. That’s going to actually install the software for you.
Now this takes typically 2-3 minutes for it all to install, and then you’ll see a pop-up
that’s going to show you – it’s gonna say install complete, so we’ll see that in just
a second here. Okay, and once that’s done you’ll get a little message here at the top
saying your install is complete. So now it’s time to actually login to our blog now that
the software is installed. To do that, I’m going to go to my site slash
WP dash admin. This is your login URL. It’s a good idea – you probably want to bookmark
this, as well, just so you don’t forget where it’s at, although there are other ways to
get it which I’ll show you later. So go there, and now that we’re in the login screen, just
put in either the email that you put in when you registered the site or the user name we
just created. I’ll just do the user name and my password, and you can click remember me
if you want, and then click log in. Now we’re in the backend of your site.
So the first thing to look at – this is not what everyone else is seeing, this is only
what you’re seeing because you’re logged in. If you want to see what everyone else is seeing,
you’re gonna go up here and then you’re gonna go to visit site, open it in a new tab here.
This is what it currently looks like. It’s pretty plain, just very basic, so we’re gonna
change that here in just a few minutes as we go through. But if you ever need to see
what the site’s actually looking like to other people, you just go up there – when you’re
in the backend, you just go up there to visit site, and you can get a look of what other
people are seeing. It’s important to keep in mind, too, this
is not exactly what everyone else is seeing because there’s a little bar at the top here
that shows a variety of different tools that you have as the administrator. Not everyone’s
going to see this. You’re only seeing this because you’re logged in. So if you really
want to see what it looks like then you would go here and you would logout, and then you’ll
see it without this black bar, but I won’t do that for now.
So let’s go into the backend where we logged in, and this is where you’re going to make
all your changes to your site. So to start with, we’re gonna go to settings and click
general, and this is where we can change our site title. The site title is what you’re
going to see at the top, in a tab, or it’s also what you’re going to see a lot of times
right here. So currently My Blog is listed as the blog title, and the subtitle is Just
Another WordPress Site. So we obviously want to change this. We want
to make it a little more personalized. We want people to know where they’re at. For
the site title, I’m going to make this a travel blog, so I’m going to call it Scott’s Travels,
and you can always change this later, too. And for the subtitle, I think I’ll put something
like Travel With Me. Now next, we have the URLs. So the URL is
just the domain name of your site, and you can change these a little bit if you want.
If you want to remove the www you can, if you want to leave the www in there you can,
but that’s the only change you should make here. If you mistype anything, you know, if
I put another letter in here, that’s basically going to break my blog and not make it work,
and there are ways to fix it but it makes it more complicated. So for most cases I would
just leave that alone. Your email address is the one that we set
up when we installed it. You can change that if you need to, and then once you’re done
making changes you just click save. Okay? So the next change we’re gonna make is we’re
going to go to permalinks here, and permalinks basically dictate the format that your subpages
will be in. So my site is, but when I create a new blog post, it’s going
to be on a separate page. It’s going to be or whatever it is,
and this is where you set the format that you want things to be in for your subpages.
The one option here is plain, which basically just assigns a random number to it, and there’s
a similar option here called numeric. I wouldn’t suggest either one of those because they’re
not very descriptive. I would suggest either picking day and name, month and name, or post
name because those are going to show the actual name of the post and that’s a little more
descriptive for people, and it works a little bit better for SEO in terms of your search
engine ranking. I personally like post name, so I’m going to pick that. I’m going to click
save changes. The next change we’re going to do is we’re
just going to look at users. So we only have one user here because it’s just my blog, and
what we’re going to do is click edit. There’s a variety of things you can change in here.
The only thing I’m going to change for right now is the nickname. So this nickname is what
actually shows up on the site, so when I write a post it will say by Scott or by whatever.
I’m just going to capitalize this because by default it’s set to your user name. I didn’t
capitalize my user name, so I’m going to change my name there. If you want to blog anonymously
or whatever you could just put by blogger, by administrator, or something like that.
So change that, click update profile to make sure those changes go through.
Okay, so now that we’ve got those kinds of administrative things out of the way we’re
going to look at actually creating some content. So the first thing we’re going to do is create
some pages. Pages are different than blog posts. Pages are used for things like an About
page, which is what we’re going to create first. To do that, let’s first get rid of
the sample page that’s in here by just clicking trash, and then we’ll click add new to add
a new page. This, like I said, is going to be about me,
so I’ll just call it About Me and I’ll just put in a little bit of text there. Obviously
you’re going to put in a lot more. As you can see, we set our permalinks to show the
actual just name of the post or page, so it just makes About Me part of the URL, and when
we’re done we’re just gonna click publish. So now, at this URL you will find the About
Me page. So about me, my name is Scott. Again, this is looking really plain, and we’re about
to change that in just a couple of minutes here so just bear with me while we put some
more content in the site. So we’ve got a simple page there. Now let’s go and look to add another
page, a contact page. So I’ll put Contact Me, and this is a page
where people can reach me if they have any questions about my blog or just want to connect
with me. I’ll just put feel free to contact me with any questions, okay? That doesn’t
actually give people a way to contact me. Again, if we look at it now that I’ve published
it, if we look at this it just says this. There’s no actual contact form. So we want
to have a form there, people can fill out their name and their email address, and put
in a little message, and have it sent directly to me.
To do that, we’re gonna do a plugin, and a plugin lets you do a variety of different
things. There’s thousands of different plugins that you can use with WordPress, and they
do anything from adding a contact form, like we’re going to do, to adding maps or photos
or a variety of other things. Plugins are really cool and there’s a lot of different
uses for them. Pretty much anything you want to do on your blog you can do with a plugin.
To add a plugin I’m going to go to plugins and click add new. The plugin I’m going to
do is called Contact Form 7. Now there are a bunch of different contact form plugins
that you can use. You can see there’s this one, there’s this one, there’s this one, but
I personally like Contact Form 7. It’s a very popular plugin, and it works really well.
So I’m gonna click install now, and then I’m going to click activate plugin. So now Contact
Form 7, the plugin is activated. What I need to do next is I need to actually configure
it so that I can use it as a contact form on my site.
We see here there’s already a contact form created for us, a basic one, so let’s edit
it a little bit. Right now it shows the different fields that are here. So there’s your name,
your email, your subject, your message. That’s pretty good. I think I’m just gonna leave
it like that. You can always change these fields around or add other fields in. There’s
a lot of functionality to this plugin, but basically we just want something pretty simple
here. We’re gonna keep it as is. So I’ll go to my contact forms and you can
see there’s a thing here that says shortcode. This is the code that we want to copy, and
then we’re going to paste it into our contact page and it’s going to show the contact form
for us. So just select that text, and then you can either right-click and click copy
or what I like to do is – it’s a neat little trick if you don’t know this – a lot of people
don’t know this. You just hit CTRL+C and that copies the text, and then I’m going to go
back to my page that I created, the contact page. There’s Contact Me, I’m going to click
edit. See the text I added before, and now I’m gonna paste in that text. I’m going to
hit CTRL+V to paste that text. So now that little code is there, then I’m gonna click
update. Now when I go to my contact page and I refresh
it, we see this actual contact form here. So someone can put in their name, their email,
subject, their message, and then they click send and it will get sent to your email. That’s
pretty cool. It gives people a way to get in touch with you outside of the comments
box that you’ll also have on all your blog posts.
So now that we’ve got a couple of pages set up, let’s look at doing some actual posts,
actual blog posts. There’s a sample blog post in here called Hello World. We’re gonna delete
that, and then let’s add a new post. Like I said, we’re gonna make this a travel blog,
so let’s do a couple posts about traveling. We’ll do one about Fiji, and I’ll put in check
out my photos of Fiji. Then, let’s actually add a photo here.
To do that we’ll click add media, and we’re gonna upload files. Click select and then
we’re just gonna pick a file. I’ve already put some into a folder here, and I’m gonna
pick this one, looks like Fiji to me. These are not my actual photos; I just did some
stock photos. By the way, before we add this photo, if you’re looking for free stock photos,
I think there’s a couple different really good websites. You can just search on Google
for free stock photos. This I’ve found to be really good.
There’s a lot of cool stuff there. A lot of really good high-res images. So you see all
of these are totally free to use on your site. They’ve got a variety of stuff. They’ve got
people. There’s food, a lot of nature stuff. So if you’re looking for photos you can use
without having to worry about copyright issues or whatever, this is a great site. It’s also
good to, you know, if you have your own photos, feel free to upload those as well. That’s
definitely best, but if you don’t have any photos yet, feel free to look on sites like
this and find some photos that might be appropriate for your blog posts. Okay, so that’s where
I got all the photos that we’re gonna use in this tutorial.
So I selected this photo to add to my post. Now there’s a couple different settings I
can change with it. I can change the alignment. I can either have it aligned to the left,
to the center, to the right of the post. I’m gonna do center. And I can choose a size.
I can either do full-size or I can do a really small one or a medium one. I’m gonna go medium
You can also choose to have it link to something. So when someone clicks on the photo it’ll
take them to somewhere else. So you can have that setup to send them to a specific page,
maybe, that you want them to go to, or you can have them just go to the media file. Basically
that means that they’re gonna be taken to the large version of the photo, which is great.
So then in my post I can show them the photos in this medium size, but then if someone wants
to see the photo in higher-res, a real big picture, they can click on the photo and they’ll
be taken to the larger photo. So that’s what I’m gonna do for this case. Once I select
my options I’m gonna select insert into post. It’s gonna put it right here. Okay, and with
that photo as well, I’m also gonna set it as the featured image, which is down here.
I’m gonna click set featured image, select that photo, set featured image again. So now
when this post shows up in my menus and other things that we’re gonna do in just a little
bit, you’ll see this featured image. It gives people a little preview of what the post is
gonna be like. The other thing I’m gonna do now, and you
should do this for all your posts, is you need to add them to a category, and right
now we don’t have any categories. We only see this one here uncategorized. So what we’re
gonna do is we’re gonna add a new category. I’m gonna call it travels. Then we just click
add new category. There you go. The checkbox next to it is checked, so there we go. We’ve
got our post, some text, we’ve got an image, we’ve got our category, and we set our featured
image. Once that’s done we’re gonna click publish.
I’m actually going to do a couple more of these just to give you a little overview,
so click add new again. Let’s do one on Vancouver. I’ll click to upload files again, select files,
and let’s see. Let’s do this photo, same settings as before, insert into post. Let’s put it
in our travels category, and let’s set the featured image as the same image we just put.
You can add text obviously. I won’t do that for the purposes of this tutorial, but you
can obviously type whatever you want below here, and click publish.
Let’s do one more in the travels section. We’ll do Jamaica, and we’ll upload a file
again. Insert into post, choose our category, set our featured image, and publish.
Let’s do another one in the photography category. So I’m gonna set up a different category that’s
gonna be just pictures, basically, from travels. Maybe your things aren’t gonna be as related
as that. You can have a variety of different categories. Maybe you’ll have stuff about
recipes. Maybe you’ll have stuff about parenting. Maybe you’ll have stuff about just what happened
in your day. So you can set up things in different categories, and it makes it really easy to
kind of review things for yourself later on, you know, when you’re looking for specific
posts, but also for your users. Maybe someone’s just coming to your website because they really
want to see your recipes, and they don’t really want to see your photography or they don’t
want to see whatever else you’re writing about. They can just go to the category that they
want to go to. Let’s create one – I’m gonna do photos of
a lighthouse. So upload files again, same process, waiting for that to upload here,
and then insert into post. Now we’re gonna add a new category, so I’m just gonna call
this photography and make sure that�s checked. Again, we’re gonna set the featured image.
Okay, so we’re all set there, click publish. Now let’s do one more photography, and then
we’ll be done with the posts. Let’s do monkeys. I found this photo on that same free stock
photo website. It’s kind of a cool photo of a little monkey and the mom there. Again,
it’s gonna go in the photography section, photography category, and we’ll set the featured
image again to be the same, and click publish. Okay, so now we’ve added posts. We’ve added
pages. Let’s take a look at how the blog looks right now. So we can see we’ve got our posts.
We’ve got our pictures, but the layouts still kind of bland and that’s what we’re gonna
look at changing next. You can see this is just a lot of white space. It’s very simple,
and for a lot of purposes this kind of blog can be good, but let’s say you wanted to do
something a little bit fancier. So to do that we’re gonna change the whole
design of the blog. The easiest way to do that is to go to appearance here and click
on themes. Themes in WordPress are basically just kind of a code word for layouts or designs.
You can see right now we’re using the 2016 theme, which is the kind of default theme
that comes with WordPress. That’s kind of how our blog looked roughly, what you see
in the preview here. You can see there’s a couple of other ones that are already installed,
but we’re gonna add a new one. So click here to add a new theme, and you’ll
see there’s a bunch of featured themes here. We can also look at popular ones that a lot
of other people are using just to get an idea of what other people are doing for their blogs.
There’s really thousands of free themes. There are also paid themes. Typically I don’t think
those are necessary for most people. I think there’s just so many free things that you
can choose from, you’re bound to find something that really works well for you. Spend some
time browsing through these. Find something that really catches your eye.
We’re gonna do this one, I think. The Hueman theme, it’s a really cool theme. So we’ll
click install, and then we can actually do a live preview if we want, just to get kind
of an idea of what our site would look like before we actually activate it. So if I do
a live preview, this shows me my site and how it would look with the theme. All I did
was install that theme, and now I’ve got a whole different layout here of everything.
It makes it look really cool. I like that, so I’m gonna click save and activate. Now
this is my site. This is This is how it looks.
We still have a lot more customization to do, but this kind of gives us the basic kind
of framework to work with when we’re building our blog. We’ve got our title up here. You
can see our posts here, okay. Now we need to actually customize this. Changing the theme
gives us a cool framework, like I said, but we want to customize it. So we can click customize
here or also from the dashboard. In the backend there’s a customize link as well where you
go to appearance, then you click customize. This is what we call the theme customizer.
So on the left here, this left bar, we have ways to change the whole layout of this site,
and on the right here we can kind of see a preview as we make those changes. A couple
things to note, these little green boxes here don’t actually appear on our live site. So
if I actually go to, you’ll see that you don’t see those little green
boxes there. Those are just kind of helpful tools to show you where different areas of
your site are when you’re in the customizer. From the customizer, let’s go first to content,
and then we’re gonna go to layout options for the main content. In this global layout
section there’s a drop-down box, and there’s a variety of options we can choose from. Right
now what we’ve got is called three columns, content middle. Now what that means is we’ve
got three columns. This is one column here on the left, this is one column in the middle,
and this is one column on the right. So three columns, and content middle means our content,
all our blog posts, are shown in the middle. Now maybe we don’t like this layout. Maybe
I want to do just two columns, and I want my content on the left. So this is the two
columns, content left. So you see my blog posts are all here on the left. On the right
side I’ve got another column, which we’re gonna add things to later. So you can even
do one column where it just shows your content and there’s no sidebars. I personally like
the three column middle, the default one, so we’re gonna keep that. I just wanted to
show you the different other options that there are there.
Then we’re gonna go back here, and now we’re gonna go to blog design and content. So this
is where we can change, another place we can change the heading. So this heading actually,
I think, refers to this here where it says Scott’s Travels, and the subheading is blog.
I’m gonna change that. I’m just gonna put My Blog Posts, and then here I’m just gonna
put a space because I don’t want a subtitle there, so it’s just gonna say My Blog Posts
there. It’s really cool, on this customizer you get to see these things change as you
do them. In addition to changing that, a heading in
this same area, we can also do a featured post at the top of our blog. See this checked
box for featured post on top of your blog is already checked. That’s what this is right
here. So you see this post here is really large, and these other ones are smaller. So
this is the featured post. I want to keep that, and if you want you can choose just
one category to feature. You can choose just posts from your travels, just posts from photography.
I think I�m gonna do travels, just leave that change there, and then you can choose
how many posts you want to feature. Right now we’re just featuring one post. I’m
gonna change it to three posts, and so then what that does is it has these little arrows
here. Those little arrows let you scroll through. You can see my Vancouver post, my Fiji post,
and then back through. Then what I’m actually gonna do is, instead of having people have
to click here to go through the posts, I’m gonna animate it. So I’m gonna click animate,
check that box, and now these posts will cycle through on their own. You see it shifted there.
I didn’t have to click anything for that. It just goes from one to the next. So anyone
who’s just perusing the site, you know, they kinda see that come through. It’s really eye-catching,
and they get to see a variety of your content there instead of just looking at one thing.
So we’re gonna keep that there, click save and publish just to save those changes. Okay,
so that’s all live on the site now. Let’s go back here, and let’s click on header. So
the header design is up here. This is what we call the header of a blog. All right, it’s
this top area that has the title, and you can put other things in there. I personally
like the way blogs look with a text title and a text subtitle, but if you want, you
have the option to add an image here instead. So if I want to I can set a custom header
logo or custom header image. A header logo will just appear right here.
It’ll be very small. Let’s do one. So if I do one from my Blog Starter site, we can set
it like this. I’ll click skip cropping, and then that adds a little logo up here. Again,
I don’t really like how that looks so I’m gonna remove that, but just to show you another
option. You can also do it as a large header image across the whole top, and that’s how
this would look if we did that. It would just be a large header image. So if you have something
you really want to feature on top of your blog, maybe a really nice landscape photo,
or just something that’s kind of representative of you, maybe a picture of yourself, whatever
you feel like fits the feel of your blog, it’s a good place to put it where everyone’s
really gonna see that because it’s gonna be the first thing that everyone sees when they
come to your blog. Again, for our purposes I think I’m gonna
remove that. I like just the text title that’s up here. I think that works better for our
purposes here. So I’m gonna leave it, but I wanted to show you those options there because
a lot of people do like to add those in, and they can look really good just depending on
what image you use. Now we’ve looked at that, let’s go to the
global settings here. Once we’re in global settings, let’s go to general design options.
Now this is a really powerful area as well, too, where you can change a lot of the major
options on your blog. We can change the font of all the text. There’s a variety of different
fonts, and you can just try them out. You’re not gonna know if you like one or not until
you try it out, and it’s so easy to just change. You can see how the fonts change every time
I click. There’s just a variety of fonts to choose from, so find one you like, something
simple and easily readable ideally. And then you can also change the colors of your site.
So again, the theme just kind of gives us the basic framework, but we can change all
these colors. If I don’t like this blue here, see it’s a primary color, so I click select
color, and if I want to change that to red, you know, that becomes red. Basically any
color in between here, I can do anything I want there. So that one’s kind of nice, maybe
I’ll leave that one in there. And then same thing’s true with this color, the secondary
color, I can choose a blue or I can choose whatever, a variety of different options.
I’ll keep that. Same is true for the background color of the
site. If you want to change the top bar background, which would be up here I believe, or the header
background. You can make it lighter or whatever color you want. I’m not gonna change all those
options, but I just wanted you to see that they’re all there. You can play with them,
and the really cool thing about it is if you don’t like it, if you don’t like a change
you made, just change it back, change it to something else. It’s so easy just to click
and kinda see what things are gonna look like and test things out, so you don’t have to
worry about messing something up. So we’ve got the colors, and we’ve kind of
got the basic layout of our site. Now let’s get into some functionality. One of the main
functions that you’re gonna want to have on your blog is to connect it to your social
media accounts if you’ve got them. Your Facebook account, if you use Twitter, if you use Google
Plus, LinkedIn. If you do a lot of photography, something like Flickr. If you’re using your
blog to really promote your work you might want to connect it to your LinkedIn. There’s
really just a variety, hundreds of different social media accounts that you can us. Obviously
the big ones are gonna be Facebook and Twitter and Google Plus. Those are some of the major
ones. What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna click to select
my icon. So I’m gonna do Facebook, and then I�m gonna put the link to my page on Facebook.
I’ve already got a file here with my various pages, and I’m just gonna copy and paste,
again CTRL+C to copy and then CTRL+V to paste. Click add it, and you can see that popped
up right here. So now it says follow Facebook, so if anyone clicks this it’ll take them to
my Facebook page. It also shows up down here at the bottom.
In addition to Facebook, I’m gonna add Twitter, and I�m gonna copy and paste that in here,
click add it. Let’s do one more. Let’s do Google Plus. Copy the Google Plus page and
click add. Okay, so now we’ve got all three of those icons there. You can rearrange them,
put them in any order. If I want Google Plus first, I can put that first. If I want, whatever,
Google Plus last, I can put that last, however you want to rearrange it. So they pop up right
here, which is really nice, so anyone who comes to this page, if they want to connect
with you on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, they can click there. Again, you can add any
of the other social accounts you want. Again, those also are gonna appear down here, which
is a really cool, neat feature of this theme to do. So now you’ve got your social links
added on the site. So the next thing we’re gonna want to do is
we’re gonna want to create some menus. Right now the only way people can get around to
your posts is actually by clicking on this post here or these posts down here. Remember
we created those pages. We created the About Me page. We created the Contact Me page, but
right now there’s no way for anyone to get to those. So the easiest way to do that is
to create a menu for people. So we’re gonna click here on menus, and we’re
gonna click add a menu. Let’s call this menu top menu. No one’s gonna see this title so
it’s up to you, call it whatever you want, whatever helps you. I’m gonna click add items.
The pages that I want to add are here. So I want the Contact Me page, I want the About
Me, and I�m also gonna add the homepage, just in case someone ends up on one of my
blog posts and they want to get back to the homepage. I want to give them an easy way
to do that. I’m gonna click the plus to add the Home, Contact Me, About Me, and you can
rearrange these, too. I’m gonna put About Me second, so it’s gonna say Home, About Me,
Contact Me. So that’s the menu with those links for people to easily access them.
Now I need to choose where I want those links to go. So down here I see menu locations.
You can put those links – or this menu in the top bar, in the header, in the footer.
It’s up to you, or you can do all three if you like. So let’s just take a look. If I
do a top bar, you see it adds this menu up here. If I do header, it adds the menu here.
If I do footer, it’s gonna add the menu down here on the footer. So what I’m gonna do is
I’m gonna leave it here on the footer, and I�m gonna leave it up here, but I’m gonna
get rid of this one here. So there you go, now you’ve got these easy to read links here
if anyone wants to contact you, learn more about you, they can click here.
Again, those are our pages that we created before. So if you don’t like how it looks,
if maybe you don’t want it to say About Me, you want it to say, whatever, About Scott
or About whatever, you go back to your page and you change the title of it, and it will
automatically update here as well as down here in the footer.
So that’s one menu. Let’s also add another menu. Let’s call it category menu. Put create
menu, and we’re gonna add items there, and we’re gonna add our categories. So right now
we’ve just got two categories. We’ve got travels and photography, and remember we created those
posts and we added each one of them to a category. Those are the two categories we created. We’ll
add those there. That gives us a nice, easy way for people to find the specific category
they want. Again, like I was talking about before, maybe someone’s not interested in
my photography, they just want to see the places that I’ve been to. This gives them
an easy way to get to just the posts that are about travels, as opposed to the ones
that are about photography. Again, we need to choose a location for this.
So I’m gonna put that in the header area. That adds it right here. This gives it an
easy navigation for people. As they’re scrolling through the site, they look and see my posts,
oh, I just want to see the ones about travels. Click here and it’s gonna take you to the
posts just about travels. So you can actually see this is how the travels – this says category
travels. It only shows the posts about my travels. You don’t see any of the photography
posts in there or any of the other categories. It’s a really neat feature.
So that’s cool. We’ve got those basic menus, but if we want to take it up a notch we can
also create drop-down menus. To do that we’re actually gonna leave – first we’re gonna click
save and publish so we don’t lose our changes. Then we’re gonna exit out of this customizer
view. We’re back in the dashboard area of WordPress, the backend. What I want to do
now is I want to customize those menus a little bit more, and to do that I’m gonna go to appearance
and then menus, and I’m gonna chose the menu that I want to edit. See, it says select the
menu to edit, and the menu I’m gonna edit is the category menu. It’s already selected.
You see I’ve got the two categories I’ve already added in there, the travels and photography.
Now let’s say I want to make it really easy for people to find a specific post. I don’t
want them to have to click on the travels category and look through all the different
posts that I’ve done about my travels. So to do that, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna
go to posts, I’m gonna select the posts that I want to add in a drop-down menu, and then
I’m gonna click add to menu. They appear down here. What I’m gonna want to do is I’m gonna
want to move them up, and you can actually see how these two actually when I put them
in they slid over and it says sub-item. That’s what we want. We want these to be sub-items.
I’m going to – sorry, this is not working. Here we go. Let’s slide this one over just
a little bit. Now those are sub-items for the travels menu. Let’s do the same thing
for the photography posts that I did. So I’m gonna slide those over and they become sub-items.
Let’s save the menu. Now let’s look at the site. So let’s refresh
this page. We’ve got our menu here, but now you can see when you scroll over it, it’s
got a drop-down box that shows the various posts that go in each category. So if someone
just wants to see just my photography posts, they can just click right here on the top.
They can still do that just like we did before, but if they want to see a specific post in
my photography category, they can click here and find the specific post, okay? So that
makes it really easy. You want to have people – you want to have really easy navigation
so people can find what they want on your site. Now not everyone’s gonna want to read
everything that you write or everything that you post. They’re gonna need to find specific
things that they’re interested in, so you want to make it as easy as possible for people
to do that. Now let’s go back to the home and take another
look at what our blog looks like right now. So we’ve got our menus, we’ve got our title,
we’ve got some blog posts here, we’ve got this cool slider thing that rotates through
some different photos of the posts. We’ve got our menu down here, but right here we’ve
got these two huge blank spaces. There’s really useful stuff that you can put in here, and
that’s what we’re gonna do now. We’re gonna look at putting some useful links for navigation,
as well as just kind of helpful things for people to see when they come to our blog.
So the first thing we’re gonna look at is customizing this sidebar. This is called the
right sidebar. This is the left sidebar. So the things that go in sidebars are called
widgets, and widgets can do a variety of things. Widgets can be just some text. Widgets can
be an image. It can be something else, some other type of kind of plug-in type thing.
So to add those, we’re gonna go back to the backend of our WordPress site, into the dashboard,
and we are going to go to appearance and widgets. You see right here it says primary. That’s
the primary sidebar. This tells us where it’s located. Located in the left sidebar in the
three column layout, which is what we have. We have the three column layout. This is our
left sidebar. And secondary is located in the right sidebar in a three column layout,
so that’s this one. So we’re gonna start with this one.
These are all the different widgets you can add. There’s a variety of different widgets.
So you’ve got your archives, you can add a calendar, custom menu, et cetera. The first
one I’m gonna do is I’m gonna add a search widget. All you do is you click this, you
drag it over, and I want to put it in this area again. I’m gonna click save, and then
when I go back to my site, if I refresh it, you’ll see there’s a search bar here. So that’s,
again, really helpful for people to find content on your site. Say I’m looking for – it’s like,
oh, I heard Scott had a really cool post about monkeys on his site, but I can’t find it.
Well, why don’t I just put monkey in the search bar? Oh, there you go. There is the post that
you wanted. That makes it really easy for people to get to. So that’s cool, and that’s
very easy to add. Again, we just click and add that widget over into the area and then
it shows up on the site. The next one we’re gonna want to do is this
widget called Hueman Posts. So Hueman is our theme, again, and it has this really cool
widget we can add that adds our recent posts. It’s kinda similar to this other widget down
here called Recent Posts, only you also have the option to show thumbnails, which means
thumbnail photos from your posts. So I’m gonna leave it just like this. You can call it different
things – actually maybe I’ll put a title in. I’ll actually call it Recent Posts, then I’ll
click save. Again, let’s go and refresh and it’s gonna
pop up right here, and there you go. Now I’ve got my recent posts in a nice easy to find
format. So if anyone’s looking for what my most recent posts are, they’re right here,
as well as right here. It just gives people another easy way to access things, and it’s
also good – not everyone’s gonna end up on the homepage even if – if they’re reading
this post about monkeys, well here’s my other recent posts that you can easily find right
here. Let’s go back to the homepage. So we’ve got
this area filled in with some nice, helpful things: the search bar, the recent posts.
Now let’s look at adding things to this area. That’s gonna be the primary widget area. Let’s
collapse this. The primary widget area – the first thing I’m gonna add is a text widget,
and a text widget can be anything you want, anything you want to type in there. If you
know any type of coding you can put code in there even. It’s a whole variety of things.
So what I like to do – what I think would go really well in this blog would be to put
in a little text area that just kind of welcomes people to the blog. I’m just gonna say, maybe
on the title I’ll put welcome, and I’ll say welcome to my travel blog. Feel free to have
a look around, and leave me a comment if you find something interesting. Then click save,
and now in this right area here, when I click refresh, I have this little message here.
It really personalizes the blog. If you are doing a blog about something that’s
a little more of a complex issue, maybe you want to explain a little bit about why you’re
writing about it or who you are. Obviously you’re gonna have some of that on your About
Me page, but maybe just a short blurb just to kind of give people an introduction to
your page and let them know what they’re seeing and why you’re writing about it, who you are,
et cetera. So I’ve got that there. Now the other widget I want to add there is
something from my Facebook page, and I want to show my followers for my Facebook page
to let people know I have a Facebook page where they can get other updates as well as
the blog. So to do that, Facebook has a cool plug-in called Facebook Page plug-in. Click
here, it’s the first one here. So this is the Facebook Page plug-in, and a lot of the
other social media networks have this, too. If you want to add a Twitter plug-in like
this, you want to add a LinkedIn plug-in. Again, if you do photography, Flickr is really
cool. You can have a Flickr plug-in that shows your latest photos from that account. You
have a variety of different options. We need to customize this thing. Right now
it’s just showing the plug-in for Facebook itself, so we want to put in our Facebook
URL here. I’ll put mine in. Again, you just use – if you have Facebook, you just put in
whatever your URL is. I’m gonna put that in, so you see it pops up my Facebook page information.
And there’s a variety of different customizations you can do.
You see right now this is kind of giving us a preview of what it will look like when we
put it on our site, and to me this is a little too big. I don’t want my whole timeline from
Facebook showing up on my site. It’s too much going on. So I’m going to delete the timeline
thing there. See that collapses it, and so this makes it a lot more user-friendly. I’m
also gonna hide the cover photo. It looks like this, and I think I will also use a small
header. Okay, so this is really condensed. It makes it a much smaller widget that you’re
going to add into your sidebar. It fits a lot more neatly in there. So it shows my page.
It shows my little avatar here. It shows various people who have liked the page recently.
In addition I’m also gonna change the width of it. I’m gonna change it to 300 just so
it fits in really well into the sidebar there. If it gets too wide it won’t fit in, and again,
you can play with it. If 300 is too wide just go back here and change it. Then when you’re
ready just click get code, and then you’re gonna click the Iframe tab here and select
this code. Again, CTRL+C to copy, and then we’re gonna take that and we’re gonna add
– save this one we already did – we’re gonna add in another text widget. We’re gonna add
it in on top here. Again, you can drag the order of these around wherever you want it.
I’m just gonna paste that code, CTRL+V. Okay, click save.
So now when I go back to my blog, I’m gonna click refresh, that little plug-in pops up
here. Now this is a pretty good-looking blog at this point. We’ve got our social media
network stuff here. We’ve got more social media here, too. We’ve got our menus here
for our posts. We’ve got our pages here, people can contact, a little welcome message, some
good recent posts here, as well as another menu down here and my other posts here, too.
It’s a cool little feature. If you click this it takes you to the top of the page.
The one other thing that you’re really gonna want to add to your blog when you’re first
starting is an email subscription widget, and that’s gonna let people who come to your
blog put their email address in and then they’re gonna get updates every time you do a new
post. That’s really cool because a lot of people will come to your blog, they’ll say,
oh wow, this is great content, and then they forget about it. They’ve got 100 things going
on in their life, they’re not going to remember to come back and visit your blog all the time.
So if you let them subscribe via email, what they can do is – again, they’re gonna get
that notification in their email box, so they’re gonna remember it that way. It’s gonna pop
up and say, oh, Scott wrote a new post. It’s about this, so I’m gonna click on that link
and I’m gonna go visit his blog again. So it’s a great way to keep people coming back
to your blog and keep them engaged. To do that, we’re gonna add a plug-in, and
the plug-in is gonna add a little box right here for people to add their email address.
There’s a variety of different plug-ins that you can use for this. The plug-in I’m gonna
use is called Jetpack. So I’m gonna go to plug-ins, add new, and you see actually it’s
right here, Jetpack, or you can search for it up here. Just search for Jetpack, then
click install now, and activate plug-in. So Jetpack’s really cool. It doesn’t just
do the email subscription, it does a whole variety of other things, and I get into those
on my site a little bit more and at That will show you kind of all the other functionality
of Jetpack, but for now we’re just gonna really focus on that email subscription widget. To
use Jetpack, we have to connect it to, and is different than your WordPress
blog. So you’re gonna need to have another account. It’s a free account, you just need
to create one, and I show you how to do that, again, on my site.
But you can just go in here, and let’s see, I believe my username is Scott14. That looks
like it’s working, yep, there we go. I’ll click skip on this. Okay, so now we’ve got
Jetpack installed, and to add the email widget now it’s really easy. We just go to appearance,
widgets, and now you can see there’s all these other widgets that weren’t there before from
Jetpack. They all say Jetpack, Jetpack, a bunch of other cool widgets you can add.
So let’s find the blog subscription widget, that’s what we want. I’m gonna take that,
I’m gonna put it right below that welcome text that I added, and you can customize this.
You can have it be called something else. You can have some optional text, again, just
play to your readers. I’m just gonna leave it as is, and I’m gonna click save. Then when
I go to refresh here we’ve got this little widget here. So this way people can put in
their email address and click subscribe, and they will get a notification every time that
I do a new post. That’s really it. Again, as you saw, there’s
a ton of other options. There’s a bunch of other widgets. When we go to customize, we
can customize things in a variety of ways. We can add more menus. We can change colors.
We can change the layout. We can even go back to appearance, go to themes, and we can even
add a whole new theme in that will really change up the whole look of our site. Maybe
I want to do this theme here and have that kind of layout, whatever. You can also, again,
with all these you can preview them and kind of see, this is what it would kind of – the
basic layout of how it would look. So there’s a ton of different options. This
is just one set-up, one kind of layout for how we could do this blog. Let me logout,
too, just so you can see what it looks like when I’m logged out. So again, that gets rid
of that top admin bar. This is what everyone’s gonna see when they come to my site. They’re
gonna see this menu up here. They’re gonna see photography and the travel categories.
Again, you got the contact page here with a contact form. We’ve got our little welcome
message here, a way to subscribe easily to the blog so they get updates. That’s really
all you need for a basic blog just to get started.
You can always add things later on. You can take things out later on. As I showed you,
it’s just basically clicking and dragging and putting a little bit of text. That’s all
you really need to do to make changes, so don’t be afraid to kind of start with something
basic and then just kind of build on it from there as you learn more. There’s definitely
a learning curve to this, but once you get it down it’s not too difficult.
Keep in mind, for additional tutorials you can always find those on my site,,
and you’ll see there’s various steps here. I show you how to configure your blog in a
different way in step four on my site with a nice walk-through tutorial. It’s not a video,
it’s just kind of steps which makes it a little bit easier to follow along with, and this
one’s gonna show you how to set up a different theme. It’s a little bit simpler, a little
bit cleaner. So if you prefer something like that you definitely want to check that out.
You also want to make sure, if you haven’t got your hosting and your domain registered
already, make sure to go to step two on and use the special link there to make sure
you get your discount off the regular price. And check out all the other tutorials that
are on The Blog Starter. You can also – I’ve got a ton of other stuff on here. You can
go to the blog page here, and you’ll see there’s specific tutorials: how to start a food blog,
how to start a fashion blog. Maybe you want to create a custom email account that has
your domain. Maybe you want it to be [email protected] So mine would be [email protected], or a
variety of other things, how to start a travel blog. I’ve got interviews with other bloggers
who have used my tutorials to start their blog.
The other thing you’re really gonna want to look into is this one here, how to install
AdSense on your blog. So is the blog that you have, and this is gonna
show you how to setup advertising to run on your blog. If you’re writing good content,
and you’ve got a lot of people coming to your site, you might as well make some money off
it. You might as well show some advertisements and make some additional cash off of it. So
I go over that in step seven as well, how to make money blogging. It shows you how to
run advertisements on your blog. Again, AdSense from Google is the easiest way to do that,
and this tutorial here will show you how exactly to install Google AdSense.
It’s one of those things – you could show ads, for example, on the blog we set up, you
could show an ad right here. You could show an ad up here. Any of those places can show
a nice ad, and anytime anyone clicks it, you’re gonna get paid. So you might as well do it
if you’re writing good content and you’re working hard to get people to come to your
blog. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Let me
know if you have any questions in the comments section, or feel free to shoot me an email
through the contact page on, and make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Thanks for watching.

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