Getting started with a business blog can be both exciting and time-consuming.  With a bit of foresight and following some best practices, we can help craft a plan to get your professional blog up-and-running in no time.  In this post, we’ll outline some essential resources for bloggers to review and to gain knowledge on what’s up ahead.

There are several ways one can get started blogging, even if it’s just writing down notes of the day.  Ultimately, when you’re ready to make your first move, we suggest getting started with a self-hosted WordPress site.  Working with WordPress, there’s two approaches to getting your blog up and running.  WordPress.com is a blogging service you can subscribe to and start blogging on their web domain, username.wordpress.com. But WordPress actually allows users to download their software for free and create your own blog management system on one’s own domain and web server.  Sounds complicated, I know but actually it’s pretty simple with some help from a few good friends. :)

Here’s where you’ll want to get started.

1. WordPress.org

Visit WordPress.org and read though the installation guide on how to get started. It’s actually pretty simple if you read how to get started.  If you get stuck, contact us!

2. Installation Guide, Plugins and Themes Pages.

While you’re on WordPress.org, check out all of the cool plugins and theme you can download for free.  While we wouldn’t want to overwhelm you, this can be a great place for inspiration on how your site could look.  Just remember, plugins are ways to extent the function of your web blog, themes are how you want your blog to look – or –  the public-facing side of your WordPress site.

3. Chicago WordPress Help

If at any point along the way you get hung up on something, don’t get frustrated.  We’re here to help, visit our partner site Chicago WordPress Help and we’ll help make the connection. Heck, maybe you’ll even want to sign up for a study group session or a 101 WordPress training course.

4. Front & Social Chicago

Once your site is fully installed, Front & Social Chicago can help you craft that blog plan and assist with your editorial plan and blog strategy.

5. Chicago WP Meetup Group

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Chicago WordPress Meetup Group for great networking opportunities with fellow Chicago WordPress users and some great topics on day-to-day WordPress questions.

 

This post originally appeared on the Chicago Blog Tutor on 9/14/11.