Are you a passionate writer and want to share your opinions with the world but don’t know where to start from?
Do you want to know how to start a blog for free?
Then, you’re at the right place.
Here, you’ll learn how to start your first blog for free using WordPress.
Bur before starting the learning process, let’s get some brief insights about the term ‘blog’, blogging statistics, and the famous free blogging platforms.
What is a blog?
A blog (a truncation of “web log”) is an online journal where a writer or a group of writers share their opinions or information on various subjects. Blogging has become a popular way to make money online, to market a product or service, to get reviews and suggestions, and to share opinions on the on-going trends.
According to Statista, there are over 700 million blogs on the internet today and 77% of the internet users read blogs. Millions of microblogs are also running on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This rise in the market of blogging is because of the endless opportunities and benefits a blog provides to the writers, entrepreneurs, and web users.
Best Platforms to start a blog for free
The two most famous of the free platforms include WordPress.com and Bloggers.
WordPress is the most famous open-source content management system on the internet and around 37% of all the websites are made through WordPress. WordPress.com lets you start your blogging journey with zero investments of money. It offers a range of attractive themes to make your website or blog more appealing to the visitors.
Bloggers is an SEO-friendly and easy-to-use platform that is also preferred by the beginners.
In both these platforms, you don’t need to purchase a hosting server or a domain name and so starting a blog through these platforms is completely free.
But before starting a blog you need to identify the purpose of your blogging.
Whether you’re starting it as a hobby or to share your thoughts with the world; to write in detail about your services or products; to reach more audience; to write reviews, or to monetize your digital skills- deciding the purpose of starting a blog should be the first step in your blogging journey.
If your purpose of starting a blog is to share your opinions and write reviews, then you can opt for the platforms that provide free packages to make a blog.
A beginners guide to start a blog for free with WordPress.com
This is a step-by-step guide supported with screenshots to help you start a blog for free with WordPress.
Step 1: Getting started
Visit WordPress.com and click on the “Start your website” button.
You’ll be directed to a ‘create your WordPress account’ page.
Step 2: Create your WordPress Account
Enter your email address, a unique username, and a strong password. You can also sign-up using your gmail or Apple accounts.
After filling in the details, click on the “Create your account” button.
Step 3: Select a domain name
This is the name through which web users can search your website or simply it is the name of your website. It should also be unique like your username.
I’ve entered ‘justtsaying’ and the search has resulted in several names with various extensions. Every extension offers free registration and a monthly renewal fee except the ‘wordpress.com’ extension. Choose the free plan and click on the ‘select’ button on the right side of your chosen website name.
Your domain name would be ‘domainname.wordpress.com’ like my domain name is ‘justtsaying.wordpress.com’.
Step 4: Choose the plan
The next step shows four plans to select from. Each plan has its features and benefits but we don’t need to select any of these plans as we’re making a free blog.
Click on the link ‘Start with a free site’ present at the top of the page.
Your website will be created within a minute.
Click on the ‘visit site’ button at the top-right corner of this page to view your website.
This is how your website will look in the beginning.
Step 5: Verify your email address
Click on the verification link sent to your email address by WordPress and start designing your blog.
Notice the message displayed at the top of your website:
Your site hasn’t been launched. Only you can see it until it is launched.
This means that your blog is not on the internet now. You can add it by clicking the ‘Launch Site’ button at the top-right corner of the page but design your blog before launching it on the internet.
Step 6: Design your blog
Go to the main page of your website and select ‘themes’ under the ‘design’ tab at the left panel.
It’ll take you to the page of the recommended themes to select. You can choose the one that fits the niche of your blog.
After selecting a specific theme select ‘activate this design’ as shown in the screenshot.
Select ‘Yes, activate ThemeName’ from the pop-up message.
Note: It’s not necessary to select a theme. You can design your website in your desired way too.
Step 7: Customisation
Select ‘Visit site’ from the pop-up and proceed with customisation by clicking on the ‘customise’ link at the bottom-right side of the page.
From the customisation panel at the left, select ‘site identity’ from the list.
There are 5 things in the Site Identity menu:
Logo: You can upload the picture of your logo by clicking on ‘Select logo’ or create one by choosing the ‘create logo’ button. You can also skip this section if you don’t want a logo for your website.
Note: You can create amazing logos at Logomakr. It’s free and easy-to-use.
Site Title: Write the title of your blog. It’ll appear at the top of every page.
Tagline: Write one sentence that describes your blog.
Site Icon: Select an icon for your website. It is the icon that’ll appear in the browser tabs and bookmark bars. Click on the ‘select site icon’ to upload it. It is better to use your logo as a site icon.
Footer credit: This is the line that’ll appear in the footer section of your blog. Select ‘Blog at WordPress.com‘ from the drop-down list.
Go back to the customisation panel.
The next comes the menu in the list.
Select ‘Primary‘ from the list. Here, you can add/remove pages, posts, or categories to your menu and reorder the list according to your preferences.
Note: To add a drop-down menu, drag the drop-down item, and place it under the main page. For instance, if your blog has categories like fashion, food, travel, etc. you can make a page for each and add them under the ‘Blog’ section.
Select ‘social‘ from the list. Here, you can add the links to your social media accounts. You can also decide where this menu will appear on your website.
In the widgets section, select ‘add a widget’. From here, you can add any widget like archives, categories, comments, calendars, etc. to any page of your blog.
Homepage settings are important. Here, you can select whether you want a static homepage like many of the websites or you want your latest posts to appear on your homepage. Mostly, bloggers select the latter as they want their latest posts to appear on the homepage.
Here, you can also select which page should be your home page and on which page your latest posts will appear in reverse chronological order. If you select ‘Your latest posts’ in your homepage displays section, then the next two choices will disappear.
One of the most important thing in a website or a blog is to make it responsive i.e. it should be designed to appear perfect in all devices – laptops, tablets, and smart phones. To see and edit the appearance of your blog for other devices, select the ‘phone’ or ‘tablet’ icon at the bottom of the customisation panel and edit your design accordingly.
Click on ‘Save Changes’ at the top-right corner and close the customisation panel.
Step 8: Editing
Beside the customise link at the bottom right corner of your website, there is an ‘Edit’ link. Click on that.
The editor will appear on the screen.
On the right side, there is a settings panel while on the top-left corner there are shortcuts to add or edit the blocks. A block is anything on your page like an image, a headline, a paragraph, etc. To edit a block, just click on it. Its settings will appear on the right panel and shortcuts will appear on the top-left corner of that block.
To replace the image, select ‘upload‘.
To edit the text, simply click on the text and edit it.
To edit a button, click on the button and edit it from the block settings.
To add links to any block, select ‘link’ from the shortcuts.
To change the colour of the text, select ‘custom colours’ from the block settings.
To order your blocks navigation, select the last icon from the shortcuts.
After editing the page, you can view it by clicking on the ‘preview’ button on the top-right corner of the page or save it by selecting the ‘update’ button.
Edit all other pages in the same way.
Step 9: Manage your blog
Visit ‘my sites’ link at the top-left corner. Here, you can add or edit posts and pages, change themes, log in to your Admin dashboard, and manage your website.
Step 10: Launch your website
Select the ‘launch website’ button at the top-right corner and you’re done with your blog.
Write your thoughts regularly and enjoy blogging.
Pro-tip: Visit Awwwards to find award-winning websites. Select your favourite and edit your blog following that design.
For any kind of assistance to make a WordPress.com website contact us here.
You can also contact us if you want us to make a website for you.
Good Luck with your blogging journey.