Is Blogging in Your Future?

For anyone reading this who is not interested in designing their own website for a blog or a business, today’s post is not for you. In fact, many will find this extremely boring, but I was asked by a follower how to create a blog or a website, so this is my attempt to help provide some guidance. So if you are already a blogger or have no intention of becoming one, I say to you, “Good Bye for now! ” Otherwise, please continue.

I chose WordPress simply because my daughter used it for her business, so I had the ability to pump her for direction and questions. It’s always nice to have an expert to annoy. Here is my attempt to give you step-by-step guidance.

  • Go to https://wordpress.com. At the top, right side of the page, click on “Get Started.” You will be brought to a friendly page: “Hello! Let’s Create Your Site,” where you can choose to “Start with a Blog” or “Start with a Website.”
  • For this tutorial, I am choosing “Start with a Blog.” You can now choose a theme, which is the layout of your blog. Note that you alway have the ability to change if you later decide you do not like your choice.
  • After choosing your theme, you will now need to choose your name. I remember being frustrated when I first did this, because several of my first attempts had already been taken. Be patient and creative. If you don’t want “wordpress” as part of your name, you will need to upgrade to a paid subscription. I did not upgrade until I published my book, at which time I decided that it had a more professional appearance: karenwbobrow.com. However, I felt that for my blogs, having “wordpress” in the URL was a good tradeoff for having a FREE site.
  • Next you will be directed to create your account, which involves simply supplying an email, password, and your name, which will be filled in for you.
  • WordPress will send you a confirmation email. Once you confirm, you will now be able to start posting, although I would suggest that you add some of your personal bells and whistles, beginning with a header photo.
  • On the left side of the page, choose “Header Image.” You may choose several canned photos from WordPress or add one of your own. Follow the prompt to “Add a New Image.” If you want to choose a photo from your own files, you will be directed to “Select Files.” Choose your picture, and then crop to fit. I originally chose a map of the world, but later changed it to a  photo from the National Archives:

  • Next, decide on your title. In this blog, my title is “Do Svidanya Dad.” Hover your cursor over the pencil next to the words “Site Title” and create your own title. Look for “Site Identity” at the top left to change the font and font color of your title via “Fonts” and “Colors and Background.” Play around with this.
  • You can now “Save and Publish” and begin you blog. At this point, you have a very basic blog, but it’s a start. You can fine tune this by adding “widgets.” In this blog, these are on the side and include “Contact Me at,” “Schedule, “Older Posts,” “Recent Posts,” etc. The widgets you will be able to choose is dictated by the Theme you choose.

There is a lot more that you can do to make your blog prettier, but for me, I started with the basics, until I became more comfortable with the process, and then slowly made it fancier.

I would suggest that when logging onto your website to add new posts, I find it easier to work as the administrator. You can access the administrator page in two ways:

  1. Access your page by appending “/wp-admin/” at the end of your URL (https://yourblogname.wordpress.com/wp-admin/)
  2. On the left, topmost corner, click on “My Site,” scroll to the bottom, after “Stats,” “Plan,” “Blog Posts,” “Pages,” etc. Click on the administrator page, and you will see “Posts,” which is where you can add new posts or edit old posts.

Don’t be afraid. I hope that if you try following these steps, you will be able to set up a basic blog. WordPress has a help feature, and there is always our friend Google to help see you through the bumps in the roads which you will experience as a newcomer. Try it. It’s as hard or as easy as you make it.

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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