How to Create a Blog in Under an Hour, and Make It Look Like World’s Top Blogs
In this post, I’ll show you how to create a blog in under an hour, and make it look like world’d top blogs.
This may sound like hype, and you might think that this would be hard to do.
And you would be wrong!
In order for your blog to look great, you DON’T need expensive tools. And you certainly don’t need an expensive web designer.
You can do this with less than a $100.
Of course, making your blog look like top blogs doesn’t automatically means your blog will be one of the best.
To achieve that, you have to work on some other things:
- create a high-quality content
- learn more about your audience
- learn how to get traffic
- learn how to convert that traffic, etc.
But, this is a completely different topic, and requires more than just a post.
Here, we’ll show you how to setup a foundation and how to make you blog look great.
So, what do the worlds’ top blogs have in common (in the terms of design)?
First, what do I mean by “top blogs”?
In this case, by “top blogs” I refer to a blogs that have loyal readership, and preferably have a business built around a blog.
Example of these blogs are:
So what do these blogs have in common (beside a great content)?
First, all of them have a clear goal in mind: to get your email address (and maybe your first name).
So, in order to achieve that goal, almost all of these blogs have a feature box on their homepage.
Also, you’ll notice that they have opt-in boxes in sidebar, above the post, and after the post.
Next, you’ll see that most of them have a very simple structure:
Small header with a small navigation bar, blog post area, sidebar with no more than 5 items, and a very simple color structure. One color for links, one for text, and maybe 2-3 other colors for branding.
And we are going to make exactly that!
Here are the things you’ll need and the tools you’ll use:
- Domain name
- Self-hosted WordPress blog
- Memento WordPress Theme
- About an hour of your time
So, let’s start.
STEP 1: How to install WordPress
If already have a WordPress installed and you just want to start creating a blog, skip this step and go to the step 3.
The easiest way to install a WordPress is through Fantastico tool on Hostgator.com, great hosting service.
You can also get a domain name on Hostgator, if you don’t have one.
So, when you get a domain name and a hosting account, login to your Hostgator admin panel, and look for Fantastico De Luxe.
Click the icon, and you’ll see a window like this:
Choose WordPress on the left, and in the next section choose New Installation.
On the next section, enter some information about install, and click Install WordPress.
Now just click Finish Installation, and you are done.
And now that you have WordPress installed, login to your WordPress dashboard and let’s start building your blog.
STEP 2: Install Memento WordPress Theme
Head over to Appearance >> Themes.
Click Add New and after that click Upload Theme.
Now just find where you downloaded Memento Theme and install it.
OK. Now you have everything you need. Now the real fun starts.
STEP 3: Create new page
We are going to use this new page to create a homepage for your blog.
So, head over to Pages >> Add New.
Next, enter the title of your page, and hit Publish.
Last thing you need to do is to choose Frontend Builder tab and hit Edit page.
STEP 4: Create a homepage layout
From now on, your creativity and and imagination are your only limits.
But for this tutorial, we are going to pick this structure:
- Navigation bar with logo
- Some introduction header text
- Feature box with image background, freebie image on the left and optin form on the right
- Latest log posts
OK, let’s start.
First, we are going to add feature box, recent posts, and a sidebar. We’ll edit the navigation bar and a footer later.
Your page should look like this:
Click +Add new row, and choose Full width.
On the right side, you can see various options for the row. We won’t be changing anything for this row now, but you can if you want.
On the left side, grab the Heading block and drag it to the row.
On the right side, you’ll see a text box to enter your text, and various other options.
Now, let’s add feature box. Click +Add new row, and choose Two halves.
We’re going to add image background to this row. Here’s that option on the right side.
On the left, grab the Image block and drag it to the left column.
Upload an image of a product that you are offering for free.
Now, grab a Text/HTML block and drag it to right column. Do this twice.
Use the upper block to say something more about your freebie, and lower block to add optin form.
Now, it’s time to add latest posts. Click +Add new row and choose Two thirds + One third.
To find recent posts block, change the block group.
Grab Recent post block and drag it to the left column.
On the right side, you can setup how many posts to show, excerpt length, colors, etc.
Change a block group again and choose Sidebar block. Drag it to the right column.
On the right side, you can choose which sidebar to show, and you can add or remove items from WordPress dashboard.
OK, that’s it. Now just click Save Page in upper left corner and go back to WordPress dashboard to edit some other things.
STEP 5: Set this new page as homepage
Head over to Settings >>Reading.
From Front page displays, choose A static page and from a drop down menu, choose the page you created.
Click Save Changes.
STEP 6: Add navigation menu
Go to Appearance >> Menus
Here, add pages/links you want to show in navigation bar, and hit Create Menu. (Keep it simple.)
Now, go to Manage Location and choose this new menu as Primary Header Menu.
Don’t forget to save.
STEP 7: Add logo
Go to Appearance >> Memento Options.
Here you’ll see bunch of options for Memento. For now, we’ll need just General Settings, but you play with other options as well.
Now just upload your logo here, and click Save.
STEP 8: Change permalink structure
In order for your link to look nice, and be user and SEO friendly, go to Settings >> Permalinks.
Choose Post name, and click Save.
STEP 9: Add widgets in your sidebar
Head over to Appearance >> Widgets.
Here, just add the widgets you want and need, and remove the ones you don’t want/need. And again, keep it simple and keep it minimal.
And that’s it!
Your blog is finished!
All you have to do now is to fill it with high-quality content. And how to write high-quality content is a topic for another post.
For now, all you have to do is grab your copy of Memento WordPress Theme, and build your blog with this tutorial.
And if you find this tutorial useful, share it with your friends.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.