How To Start A Blog By Customizing Your Design [Episode 4]

This is the 3rd of five episodes of the How To Start A Blog series (Episode 4).  Customize your blog design for your blog using the Content Management System (CMS) WordPress.   Most of the websites on the internet run off WordPress so get familiar with it along with how to install it, themes, plugins, etc.  We talk about Self-hosted a ton because you are in control of your blog.  Take a listen and leave a comment in our private Facebook group below.  Go here if you missed Episode 3.

Resources Mentioned In Episode 4  [Non-Hosted]  [Hosted]

Google Search Console

Broken Link Checker  [WordPress Plugin]

Yoast SEO  [WordPress Plugin]

Private Facebook Group

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Intro 0:04

Welcome to the Niche Blogging Tips Podcast where we help you start and grow a successful blog. And now your host, Andre Vaughn.

Andre L. Vaughn 0:17

Episode four of the Niche Blogging Tips Podcast, we're going to discuss once again, our How to Start a blog series. In this episode, we're going to discuss customizing your blog design. And you're going to do that through the content management system called WordPress.

So just like I explained in a pre in a previous episode, once you get your domain name and your hosting and get all of that stuff, you are going to install the WordPress CMS. Just say install the WordPress we don't have to go into content management, what that means and all that. But that's what it is content management system, WordPress, and it's very easy to install on any any hosting plan.

If you need some sort of visual, we provide that in our well actually you should find someone on our YouTube channel at Also that hosting service if you're using SiteGround, or any hosting service, you'll find tutorials and all that stuff so it's real easy to install.

Once you install that, there's a few things that that's needed. Also, you're gonna need a theme, you're going to need a WordPress theme there are a bunch of free themes out there. We use us system or blogging system called Optimize Press. And they're like I say there's so many different we use the you know, through Optimize Press to have a bunch of different themes in there. But there's free WordPress themes also and you'll you'll be able to find those also within the the WordPress you'll be able to find those in the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. So most of the the content that you see online, probably about I don't know somewhere in the 60% range run on the WordPress platform might be even higher than that. But you have to get a theme, a theme that fits I guess your look your your colors and all of that stuff so your niche.

Also, real quick, there's there's two different types of there's two different WordPress we have and, you're not going to go on to any of those sites, per se. Like I said, you're going to download, are you going to install WordPress through your hosting account. But this is going to be just to let you know the difference between and is the self hosting site.

That's what you're going to be installing on our through your hosting services, the the difference between the two It doesn't have plugins. And that's you're going to need that. Or you need some of those for the customization of your blog. Also on though on, which is actually an actual site. You want to have limited storage and then you're going to have I'm going to have to pay to remove ads, because you're going to have ads on if on the If you start a blog through it, the You know you control your own ads, you know and you have complete control also over the database and all your different files.

So that's why we always say use the self hosted WordPress, you rather pay for hosting and pay for a domain name than to just go to and start a blog. But I did mention plugins is going to be another way to, it's almost like installing someone's like installing apps on your phone. So that's kind of the best way I can put it. The plugins are going to be your programs, to make your website, do certain things and make your blog do certain things. So kind of look at them like that, look at them as as kind of the apps on your phone, you're going to need those.

So you're going to need a theme, you're going to need plugins, how I look at it is this, you will always want plugins for to help you in your SEO, you want to have plugins to help you with security of your site. You want to have plugins in terms of your images and optimizing your images and things such as that.

And other plugins too, such as Broken Link Checker, you know, just in case you have any links on your site, you'll be notified and the reason you want that broken link, checker, plugin. And a lot of people don't emphasize this, but the reason you want that is because how the search engine especially Google is gonna kind of flag you for that.

So and what I mean by flag, you're not gonna, you know, you'll see it if you if you go into your like your, your Google Google Webmasters was not how Google Webmasters anymore Google Search Console will do a whole nother episode on Google Search Console and Google Analytics. But you'll you'll see, they'll kind of flag you within within that Google Search Console site, they'll let you know, hey, there's something wrong on your site, and you need to fix it. And you know, it's something wrong with this link or what not. But with the Broken Link Checker, if you download that, if you use, use that plugin, they're gonna give you, they're kind of gonna let you know if you have anything wrong with any links on your site. And you can actually fix them or get rid of get rid of the links or things like that.

So you want SEO, plug in Yoast SEO, that's a real good plug in for search engine optimization. And for those of you that, that want to know more about SEO, we'll we'll do a future episode on SEO. And search engine optimization is just It's basically your you're optimizing your site to be viewed favorably by the search engines. So there's certain things that you must do to your site. And there's some things that you want to go on outside of your site. As well also, some things you want to go on tech technically, as well so.

Images, so you want to make sure that you're going to use a lot of images on your blog. So as you know, that takes up space. But you want to make sure that once you upload those images that they're viewed on all types of devices, mobile, obviously, you know, desktop, but you want to make sure that you do there are certain things that you should do also to those images, but these plugins will will take care of a lot of that stuff so and security also security plugin.

There's a lot of different cache, cache or cache. I don't know how you pronounce that. But so many of those different types of plugins. You have WP Cache. You have let's see which one of these things I don't even know which one do I use? Let me let me see on my site. Actually, I use one called Lightspeed I should have I should have known that I know I didn't use the WP Cache anymore. Lightspeed cache and high performance page caching and site optimization plugin so you want to make sure you have that on there also.

So install WordPress install a theme. You're going to need some plugins and you're going to need you're gonna need to set up Some main pages, set up your main pages in terms of customizing your blog, and those main pages or you know, you're always going to, you're always going to have your homepage and you want to make sure you set that up.

Also, you want to make sure that maybe you have some sort of some sort of opt in, on the front page, meaning you are giving away something of value. You're helping your audience of what not, or you readers or what have you, you want to give away something, such as on our site, we give away, we have a Five Day Mini Retreat, which is a Free Mini Course that we offer, we have that on the homepage.

So you can customize your homepage, but you want an about section people are going to want to know about you a little more about you know more about you personally, what do you do? In terms of, you know, how can you help them, you know, they're gonna kind of want to know your story. So, about page, you're gonna want to contact page, you know, if you add you add a Contact page, people want to know, how can I get in touch with you, and a blog, page or blog post page, or what have you, you want to make sure you set that up, and there's a few things that you want to do. While doing that, and we go into more of that. In one of our YouTube videos.

We'll have we have some extra information in in the show notes, as well, that So you'll see if you go to go there, you'll see some, some more information. Even though I'm not going I'm not going into a lot of detail, but I'll provide more detail on in the show notes page.

Also one more thing, um permalinks. So, on the permalinks page, or the the permalinks section of your WordPress dashboard, you want to go to the settings. Go to the settings and then you'll see the load not drop down. But you'll see that thing off to the right hand side. And you'll see both the sixth row or the sixth. Yeah, the sixth row, general writing reading discussion medium permalinks, you want to click on the permalinks.

Settings, you want to change the your permalink settings, you want to you want to make sure you click on where it says post name. And that's because you want anytime you are you're writing your blog, or if you're setting up your blog or setting up your other pages, you want to make sure that your website that reads your as if you made a new page, such as blog, you know, you want to make your blog page. So for example, you can go straight there and see my you know, see the blogs and what not.

And before you put it on post name, it's probably going to be somewhere where it says day and name or month and name. At the end you'll see a whole bunch of you'll see your you might see a date forward slash sample posts, you know all kinds of craziness. But in your permalinks section you want to go to post name, click it and make sure you save it Save Changes at the bottom is going to be very important otherwise, your the way your pay your pages are set up your pages are going to be set up the way it would be set up you're going to be all over the place. So just make sure you do that go to the settings on the side in your dashboard. And go to permalinks to make sure you click on Post name, save changes.

And as other things such as your blogs menu that you're going to have to set up as well and that's kind of like if you go to our website, you'll see where at the bottom where you see our homepage, the blog page, podcast resources, all of that at the bottom. That's a menu you have to set that menu up. You will want that either at the bottom the footer like I have it or you may want it at the top. You'll see a lot of blogs with it at the top as well so that's how it's gonna be viewed on Well, it'd be if you like that on desktop, it'll be a little different on on mobile, but do you need to set up your blogs menu.

Also, I want to talk about the blog pages, you want to put something I guess about your services, also the service that you provide. So make a page about that, whatever, whatever it is, you have, I don't know if you're selling products, or if you are selling services, or maybe you maybe you have a book, so you can make a page about your book.

But check out the show notes at Also, let's keep the discussion going. We have a private Facebook group at So you know, I'm always hanging out in there and you know, looking to meet any of you guys or however many of you guys so always looking to grow that community as well and discuss, you know, have different discussions and see maybe, you know, I'm in there listening to you guys and hey let's see, maybe what new episodes that you guys want me to make or what not. So just let me know down there, that's our private Facebook group.

In Episode Five, step number four, we're going to talk about writing our first blog post and how to publish content so make sure you check that episode out.

Please be kind and leave us a rating and review wherever you're listening to this. I guess on iTunes, Spotify and wherever else you guys are listening to you can leave ratings and reviews that will be so helpful, and it will get the word out about this podcast. Looking forward to talking to you guys in our next episode. Thank you.

Outro 17:14

Thanks for listening to the Niche Blogging Tips Podcast at

Andre L. Vaughn
Andre L. Vaughn

Hello, I'm Andre L. Vaughn and I'm fascinated with Niche Blogging and content marketing in general. I'm here to help you by delivering blogging tips and strategies to help you start a profitable blog in low competition niches. I'm glad to give as much value as I possibly can to help your blog become successful. Come along and let's have fun on this journey!