WordPress: How to Start a Blog

(What’s a ‘blog’? Leah Noble at Dream Big Cape Breton has the answer.)

In addition to something interesting to say, you’ll need:

  • Internet access and a computer, both of which are available (usually free) at your local C@P site;
  • an email address, freely available from Web-based services like GmailHotmail, and Yahoo;
  • and a freely available blog-publishing service like WordPress.

Ready?

  1. Visit WordPress.com and click “Sign Up Now”.
  2. Pick a username. (Later you’ll be able to pick how your blogger name is displayed.)
  3. Pick a password. Don’t just pick “password” or your birthday or your dog’s name. Pick something no one can guess but that you can remember. Four generic random words works well.
  4. Provide your email address. At the end of the setup process, WordPress will send you a confirmation email. Also, if you ever forget your password WordPress can send it to the email address you provide here.
  5. Click the box beside “I agree to the terms of use” and click the “Next” button.
  6. Pick a domain name. Your blog’s domain name – which you’ll sometimes hear referred to as the URL – is what visitors will type into the address bar in their browser to be taken to your blog. Since you’re signing up for a free blog, WordPress will give you a free domain name within the main directory of WordPress itself, meaning your blog’s domain name will be something[dot]wordpress[dot]com or whatever. Try to pick something catchy, preferably short and easy to remember.
  7. Pick a title. While your domain has to be something no one else has already chosen, the title can be anything. You can call your blog The New York Times if you want. But don’t.
  8. Click “Signup” and then check your email inbox for a message from WordPress.
  9. Open the email and click the link to activate your blog.
  10. In the page that opens, click “Login”, and enter your username and password.
  11. You’re ready to go! Welcome to the WordPress dashboard, where you can write and edit your blog posts. In the sidebar on the lefthand side of the page, click “Add New”. The interface should be familiar enough if you’ve used email: give your blog post a title just like you would give an email message a subject; and write your blog post just like you would write an email message, but instead of clicking “Send” click “Publish” (over on the righthand side of the page).

To view your blog click the link at the top of the page that says “Visit Site”. Welcome to the blogosphere.

PS: I keep a more in-depth guide for WordPress users here: WordPress User Manual