Getting Started With Blog Posting:
Once you have WordPress installed and ready, your can head over to your URL to log into WordPress. There should be a link to your WordPress login from your hosting account (usually it goes to your-url.com/wp-login or wp-admin or something similar). Use the admin name or email and password that you created when setting up your information for your hosting account.
WordPress is highly customizable (in fact it is 100% customizable as it is open source software), but for the purposes of this guide I am referring to the settings accessed via your WordPress dashboard. If you hover over the Settings Menu item in your sidebar you will see a number of options.
It may look a bit of an overwhelming list but it doesn’t have to be – there are only a few main settings on these pages that you need to concern yourself with at this stage. Let’s go through each in turn.
General WordPress Settings
On this page the most important settings are the fields to enter your Site Title & Tagline. You can come back and change them at any time, but it is a good to have an idea of what you want to use for these from the beginning for consistent branding. The Title will probably just be your site name, brand or your name (if it’s a personal blog), so that’s easy. For your Tagline think about what your wanted to start a blog in the first place. It should describe what your blog is about. You can also change the date and time format from this page if you so wish.
Writing WordPress Settings
In this section you can set a Default Post Category & Post Type for your articles. Seeing as you haven’t started blogging yet, this is a section you can return to at a later date. It’s not a crucial step though it can help speed up the blogging process by a couple seconds if your edit the defaults to your liking.
Reading WordPress Settings
From the reading tab you’ll want to set what Your Homepage Displays. Based on the theme you’re using you may want to use your latest blog posts or a custom static page.
Discussion WordPress Settings
This page contains all settings relating to comments on your site. At this time your main considerations should be as to whether or not you will allow people to post comments and if comments must be manually approved. There are other options you can skim through, though most default settings should work fine
Media WordPress Settings
This is where you can find cropping options for the media (images) you add to your website. WordPress includes options for thumbnail, medium and large image cropping sizes. You can just leave these be or customize them if you want to use the pre-set sizes in your posts.
Permalinks WordPress Settings
Permalinks are what appear in the browser address bar when a visitor is on any given page on your site – it’s your url plus the unique page or post identifier. For example the permalink for this page is “get-started-wordpress-blogging”.
On this settings page you’ll be presented with a list of different permalink formats. By default WordPress is set to use the post id which isn’t very pretty. Instead we generally prefer and recommend the Post name option since it’s easy to use, is visually appealing and it’s an extra boost to your SEO (using your keyword in your slug is typically a good thing).
Note: Once you select a permalink structure and begin publishing posts you shouldn’t change it without some prep. Switching permalink structure without proper planning and execution can result in broken links and 404 errors on your website so please use caution.
Choose a WordPress Theme to Start a Blog
This is where most new bloggers get tripped up – they spend hours and hours in search of a perfect theme. So let me take a load off your mind: your theme is not that important when you are just getting started. Your sole focus should be creating content and getting it out there for people to see. Don’t worry about your site’s design too much until you have a sizable audience to tell you whether or not they like it.
By default, you’ll see the yearly WordPress theme active on your website. Automatic (the folks behind WordPress) release a new one each year and each one is geared towards bloggers. Each year this new theme is typically more than suitable for those just getting started with WordPress to start a blog.
At this point your blog is almost primed for content production and there are just a couple more things to take care of. The first is getting rid of the sample post, page and comment that WordPress includes by default.
Delete the Sample Page & Post
First click on the Pages menu item in your sidebar. On your brand new blog you’ll see just one sample page which you can delete by hovering over each and selecting the Trash option.
For now you don’t need to create any new pages, though you may want to come back later to create an About or Contact page at some point. We’re currently focused on getting your blog going which doesn’t require anything except posts. So click on Posts in your sidebar and just like with your pages delete the sample post which is titled “Hello world!”
Now your blog is fresh, clean and ready for your words of wisdom.
Create Your First Post
Let’s take a look at creating your first post. Just navigate to Posts > Add New via your sidebar and you’ll be presented with a screen similar to that shown below:
There are three key points you need to get your first post out into the open:
- Create a title for your post: This goes in the field directly below “Add New Post.” Make it clear, concise and catchy. It’s also a good idea to include your keyword.
- Write your content: This goes in the main text editor box that takes up the majority of the screen. This is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor (WYSIWYG for short), meaning you can see the changes you make with the editor when using the included options (bold, italics, font sizes, links, etc) or inserting media (images, video links, etc).
- Featured image, category & tags: If you want to add a featured image now is the time to do so. We also recommend using categories (broad groupings of posts) and tags (specific, niche descriptors) since they make it easier for readers to browse your website later on when you have hundreds of posts on your blog.
With those three points covered, click the Publish button. That’s it – creating content in WordPress is that easy! While there are a number of things you can do to optimize and better present your posts, the key to getting started is just that: getting started. Worry about the fine print later on, but for the time being get some content out there!
What Are You Waiting for? Go Start a Blog!
Getting started with blogging really is as easy as the above five step process, and the learning curve to start a blog is shallow if you start by paddling rather than jumping in at the deep end. There is plenty of time to obsess over minor theme tweaks, new plugins and optimizing your SEO but successful blogging almost always comes back to the content that you produce.
For the most part visitors aren’t going to care nearly as much about your design or fancy plugin functionality than they do about your content. So embrace the heart of blogging, get creating and start a blog!
Create an Account
Mailchimp’s features and integrations allow you to create great looking campaigns and manage your audience.
In this guide, you’ll learn what you need to get started with Mailchimp, and how to sign up for a free account.
Before you start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- Mailchimp is a web-based application. While it doesn’t require you to install or download software, your web browser needs to meet our requirements.
- You’ll need to provide an email address that will be associated with the account. We will use this email to communicate with you, so it should be an email address that you have access to.
- Your Mailchimp username must be unique, and cannot be reused.
- You must include a physical mailing address in all emails. This can be any address where you can receive mail, like an office address or P.O. Box.
- All accounts start on our Free plan, so you don’t need a credit card to sign up. If you choose to purchase add-ons or upgrade to a paid plan, we’ll need your credit card information. We can’t accept bank transfers, e-checks, or checks from users outside the United States.
Sign up for an account
To create your account, follow these steps.
- Navigate to Mailchimp’s signup page.
- Type in your Email, Username, Password, and click Sign Up.
- Next we’ll display a confirmation message. Check your inbox for the account activation email to complete your account setup.
Activate your account
After you receive the account activation email from Mailchimp Client Services, you can complete the account setup.
- Open the account activation email and click Activate Account.
2. On the Confirm Humanity screen, click I’m Not A Robot to get started.
The signup process
In this section, you’ll learn how we use this information.
The name associated with your account profile. The profile is unique to you and can have access to multiple Mailchimp accounts.
- Email Address
The email address where we’ll contact you. Make sure it is an email address you have access to. The reply email address that you use to send emails can be different from this email address.
- Organization Questions
Details about your company. These help us provide relevant content and guidance.
- Organization Name
The name of your company or organization. It will appear on every email with your physical mailing address.
- Website URL
The website URL for your company, organization, or personal website.
- Physical Address
The mailing address where you can receive mail. A physical address is required by law on any email you send out. Ideas for a physical address include your personal address, business address, or a P.O. Box.
After you type in the information, follow the prompts to finish the process and log into your new Mailchimp account.
Import Contacts to Mailchimp
Our import tool helps you add contacts to Mailchimp. Upload a comma-separated value file (CSV), copy and paste contacts from a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or type info directly into the import table. You can also auto-update multiple existing contacts at once.
Before you start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- To get started, you’ll need a blank sheet in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, saved or exported as a comma separated value (CSV) file.
- Certain fields, like birthday and date, must be formatted in a specific way. Make sure you’re familiar with our format guidelines before you import your file.
- In Mailchimp, you can categorize your contacts based on their email marketing status, like subscribed or unsubscribed. You can only import to one status at a time.
- If you’d like to send postcards to your contacts, check out our article on how to import mailing addresses.
- If your import brings your total contact count above the limit of your pricing tier, you’ll be subject to an additional contact charge.
Import new contacts
The file import process has two parts: First, you’ll prepare your spreadsheet of contacts outside of Mailchimp and save it as a CSV file. Next, you’ll use our import tool to upload your file and add your contacts to your Mailchimp audience.
Prepare for Import
To prepare your file for import, follow these steps.
- In a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets, open your blank worksheet.
- Create and label a column for Email Address. This is the only field we require.
- Next to your Email Address column, create and label additional columns for First Name, Last Name, and any other information you want to import to Mailchimp.
- Paste your contacts’ information into the relevant fields in the spreadsheet.
- Save the file in CSV format. This option can usually be accessed from the File menu in your spreadsheet program, labeled as “Export as .CSV” or “Download as .CSV”. Different spreadsheet programs will vary a little bit.
Import to Mailchimp
To import your contacts to Mailchimp, follow these steps.
- Click the Audience icon.
Click Audience dashboard.
- If you have more than one audience, click the Current audience drop-down and choose the one you want to work with.
- Click the Manage Audience drop-down and choose Import contacts.
- Choose Upload File.
- Click Continue to Upload.
- Click Browse and choose the CSV file from your computer.
- Click Continue to Organize.
- Use the Select an audience drop-down to confirm the audience you want to import to.
- Use the Select a status drop-down menu to choose the status of the contacts you’re about to import.
- The available statuses for contacts are:
If you import subscribed contacts, be sure that you have permission to send them marketing.
- If your audience has groups, you can import your contacts directly into the group of your choice. Navigate to the Select groups section and check the box next to each group that applies.
- You’ll only see this option if you have groups in your audience.
- If you want to update contacts that are already in your audience, check the box next to Update any existing contacts.
- Click Continue to Tag.
- If you want to assign tags to all of the contacts in your import, click the drop-down menu and choose or create tags as needed. You can also choose from popular tags.
- When you’re ready, click Continue to Match.
- Match the columns in your import file to the fields in your Mailchimp audience. We’ll automatically match some columns for you. For example, the column that contains email addresses will match the required Email Address field.
- Click the column header to choose a different field type for the column or to create a new field. Repeat for all unmatched columns that you want to import. Any unmatched columns will not be imported.
- Click Finalize Import to review your import settings.
- If everything looks good, click Complete Import.
- Imported subscribers don’t go through the signup process, so you’ll need to verify that you have permission to email them.
- When you import contacts to an existing audience, we won’t include any duplicate, bounced, or unsubscribed addresses that are already stored in the audience.
- Because all audiences in Mailchimp are independent of each other, we can’t detect duplicates, bounces, or unsubscribes across multiple audiences. If you have duplicate contacts in different audiences, you may find it helpful to combine your audiences into a primary audience that uses groups or tags.
Update existing contacts
You may need to update your contacts’ data if they’ve been in your audience for a while. Use our import tool to quickly update multiple contacts at once.
This option replaces existing audience field information with new information from your import file. You’ll follow the same process to import new contacts, but there are a few extra things to consider.
- When you prepare your spreadsheet, verify that your column names in your import file match the fields in your Mailchimp audience, and that no columns are left blank. Blank fields overwrite and erase existing contact data.
- You can only update subscribed or non-subscribed contacts with this method.
- Imports won’t update the email marketing status of contacts already in your Mailchimp account.
Proceed with a file import, and follow the steps to upload your file and match your columns. On the Organize step of the import, check the box next to Update any existing contacts.
That’s it! When you import, we’ll handle the rest by scanning your contacts and updating their information.
Create a Regular Email
A campaign is a marketing message that you share through email, ads, or some other channel. In Mailchimp, a regular email is a bulk email campaign sent to many contacts at once. When you create a regular email, you’ll use a checklist-style campaign builder to add recipients, choose your settings, and design your content.
Before you start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- To send an email, make sure you have subscribers in your audience. If you don’t have subscribers in your audience, import your contacts or invite people to subscribe with a signup form.
- Be sure to verify your email’s domain before you send your first email.
Create an email
To create a regular email, follow these steps.
- Click the Create icon.
- Click Email.
- On the Regular tab, enter a campaign name and click Begin.
This will take you to the builder, where you’ll choose your settings and design your content.
Setup and design
Our email builder is designed to let you work on the different parts of your email in the order you choose, and review everything at once before you send.
There are four main things to do before you can send.
- Add your recipients in the To section.
- Add your from name and from email address in the From section.
- Add your subject line in the Subject section.
- Design your email in the Content section.
As each task is completed, a green checkmark will appear next to the corresponding section.
You may also want to review your tracking options and other settings.
To choose your recipients, follow these steps.
- In the To section, click Add Recipients.
- In the Audience drop-down menu, choose the audience you want to send to.
- In the Segment or Tag drop-down menu, choose All subscribers in audience, Group or new segment, or one of the available saved or pre-built options.
- Optional: Check the Personalize the “To” field box to display the recipient’s name instead of their email address. This is more personal and may help you avoid spam filters.
After you check the box, you’ll choose a merge tag that corresponds with the data you want to display in the “To” field. For example, if you choose *|FNAME|*, a recipient named Bob will see “To: Bob” instead of “To: [email protected]” The default options are *|FNAME|*, *|LNAME|*, and *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|*, but you can click Custom to enter an alternate tag or text.
- Click Save.
Add from name and from email address
To set your from name and from email address, follow these steps.
- In the From section of the email builder, click Add From.
- Enter your from name and email address.
You may be asked to verify the domain in your email address.
- Click Save.
To set your subject line and optional preview text, follow these steps.
- In the Subject section of the email builder, click Add Subject.
- In the Subject field, enter a subject line for your email.
- In the Preview text field, you can enter up to 150 characters that will display next to your subject line in recipients’ inboxes. This field is optional.
- Click Save.
Whether you’re an expert or a novice in email marketing, Mailchimp gives you tools to design beautiful campaigns. You can choose to work with the new inline email builder or use our drag-and-drop classic email builder.
To design your email, navigate to the Content section and click Design Email.
Then, choose whether you want to work with the Classic Builder or New Builder.
Here’s an overview of each option.
- Classic Builder Use our classic builder to work with our many email template designs, e-commerce features, and Creative Assistant. Drag and drop content blocks as needed, or custom code from scratch. To learn how to use this builder, check out Design an Email with the Classic Builder.
- New Builder Use our new builder to add and edit content directly to your layout in a refined interface. To learn how to use this builder, check out Design an Email with the New Builder.
After you choose the same email builder twice in a row, it will become the default builder. You can manually set or change your default email builder in your Account Details.
Settings and tracking
When you create a regular email, we enable certain tracking options by default. This includes open and click tracking, as well as e-commerce tracking if you have a connected online store.
To edit your tracking options, follow these steps.
- Scroll to the Settings & Tracking section and click Edit.
- Check the boxes next to the tracking options you want to enable.
- Click Save.
You can also choose to manage subscriber replies with your Mailchimp Inbox, and auto-convert embedded videos.
After you’ve completed the To, From, Subject, and Content sections of the email builder, you should see a green checkmark next to each. That means your regular email is ready to schedule or send immediately.
If you’re ready to send the email to your subscribers, click Send. Then, in the Review Your Campaign modal, click Send Now to confirm your send.
Your email is on its way!
Your email can’t be stopped or edited after it’s sent. However, Premium accounts have the option to cancel sending for emails with more than 10,000 recipients after they’ve begun sending.
You’ve sent a regular email in Mailchimp. Nice job! Now, you can view your report to watch the data roll in.
When you’re ready to create your next email, you may want to try an A/B test to learn more about your contacts’ preferences. You can also add a social post to your email to coordinate multiple marketing efforts at the same time. To learn more, check out these articles.