How To Start a WordPress Blog
→ a Comprehensive Step by Step Guide for Beginners ←
The popularity of starting your own blog has gone viral… it’s more popular than ever, to create a blog, monetize it and make a good side income with it – OR, maybe even a thriving online business.
Did you know that any person who shares information via the social networks is a form of blogger?
– Those that have written content on Facebook and received Likes or comments is a blogger.
– If you’ve shared a comment or short sentence on Twitter and hit the send button, you are a Micro-Blogger.
The only difference is that you are using someone else’s platform to send a message or create a conversation.
You too can create your own blog… here’s how!
There are 6 Steps Needed to Start a Blog:
- A Domain Name – this will be the name of your blog, just like PoorManBlogger.com
- A Web Hosting Account – this will be the home for your WordPress blog
- Install WordPress – this is the blogging software for creating your blog
- Get to Know WordPress – we will explore some of the main features of your blog
- Pick a Theme – a Theme is the visual design/appearance of your WordPress blog
- Your UN-Divided attention for 30 minutes
Ready to Get Started? → Click this Link for a 60% off Discount Coupon for Web Hosting ←
– If you want to skip the Introduction to Blogging, then Click Here to move on to Step 1.
– If you want to learn more about blogging, the different blogging platforms, how to choose a Topic for your blog, choose your domain name, then continue reading.
What is a Blog – AND Why is There So Much Hype Around Blogging?
The word Blog is short for Web Log… it is a website that holds content entries listed in reverse chronological order.
The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on December 17th, 1997. The short form, “blog”, was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999 ~ Wikipedia.
The original idea behind the creation of the WebLog was to create an Online Diary that a person could write daily entries.
The Blogs of today are websites that focus on written content, also known as blog posts. There are many sites in cyberspace that you would have never known are an actual blog.
Bloggers will usually write on a personal level, which will allow them to connect with their readers.
The majority of blogging platforms will have a Comments section where the reader can interact with the writer or other readers of the blog. Interacting with your readers via the comments section will help further your connection with your audience.
This connection with your audience is one of the main benefits to starting a blog. It will allow the site owner to interact and share ideas with other like-minded readers… it will also build a trusting relationship and loyalty from your audience which will open the door for making money from your site.
I’m here to show you that you can start, and have a successful blog on virtually any topic.
Worried that You’re NOT a Techie?
Not a problem!
The majority of bloggers don’t understand the First Byte of programming language. The developers of the blogging platforms know this and have created the CMS (Content Management System) to be super user-friendly.
So user-friendly that my mother, at age 76, used to operate a WordPress-based blog for her Bed and Breakfast, which has since been sold.
What’s the reason I am telling you about my mother’s blog? To let you know how easy it is to operate one.
You see… my mother is the type of person that can open her laptop, turn it on and log into her email account, all without any curse words spoken… well, sometimes.
Starting a Blog can be one of the easiest ways to build your own website – And, it is very quick, easy and inexpensive to set up.
How do I get started?
I know that starting a blog can appear overwhelming and intimidating to say the least, but with today’s computers and the Internet, anything is possible.
Creating your own blog has never been easier, a few clicks of the mouse, minutes later, there’s your website.
Whether you are 12 years old or 82 years young, you can have your own blog up and running in no time. And, I’m here to show you how easy it actually is.
I promise… it will be simple, I hate the Technical Jargon too!
Thoughts on Creating your Brand
One of the misconceptions about having a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful.
People scour the Internet in search of blog sites that have a personal perspective about certain subjects, so the majority of bloggers write in a very informal setting, and laid back conversation style of writing.
The other misconception is that you need to be an expert on the topic of your choice in order to have a successful blog. Readers are looking for authenticity in writing styles. They are looking for the person that has been there, done that, mistakes and all.
When it comes to choosing your blog’s niche, there are a few key questions to ask yourself.
Do I Enjoy This Topic?
If you don’t have a love for the subject you choose, it’s going to show in your writing style.
Whatever topic you pick, you will need to have a natural curiosity for it, if not, running out of ideas to write about – is going to become your reality.
Most importantly, you won’t be able to consistently create content that will build your audience.
Do I Have a Passion for This Topic?
Passion is key when it comes to sharing your knowledge with the world. Choosing a topic that you are passionate about makes the process of creating a successful blog, and making some money from it, much easier.
As long as you are writing about topics that you are genuinely interested in, your passion will shine through, and keep your readers interested, which in turn will create a group of loyal followers.
If you want to build your own blog site, you should find the passion that burns within you!
Ask yourself the following questions…
- Can I talk about this topic for years to come?
- Do I feel an excitement about helping people on this subject?
- Is this topic something I think about often?
- Can this blog become my life’s work?
Remember that no idea, no matter how good, is truly unique.
But, you have one thing others don’t have… unique experiences. You also have a voice like no other, along with a personality that will attract others similar to you.
Are There Other Blogs Doing What You Wanna Do?
Of course there are… one thing to keep in mind is that if there are others out there doing what you want to do, that shows that there is a market for it.
The Blogging Platforms
One of the biggest mistakes the newbie blogger makes is choosing the wrong blogging platform for their site.
If you have an interest in creating your own blog to monetize it and create a passive income, do some freelance work similar to coaching or a virtual assistant, or maybe even turn it into a business to sell your own products, then it makes more sense to use WordPress.org, which is known as self-hosted WordPress.
Why you ask? It’s free, you can install virtually any type of Free Apps, which are called plugins, customize your site design, and most importantly, make money from your blog without any restrictions.
If you have the interest in making some money with your blog, then I would suggest that you Do NOT waste your time with Blogger, Weebly, Wix or WordPress.com.
Remember, you are an Entrepreneur now, a Professional. Act like one and use the software that successful people use, not the cheapy, hobbyist version.
Here’s why… commercial platforms like Blogger and WordPress.com usually begin with a free version and begin to sell you on upgrades, which are very limited.
– In fact, your website’s address name will end up with something ugly and unprofessional like yoursitename.blogger.com or yoursitename.wordpress.com.
– Also, with their platforms, you will only be able to use their small amount of plugins and tools, which are very limiting.
Long story short… If you want to have full control and full functionality of your site, own your own domain name, etc., then stay away from the commercial platforms.
And – this is worth repeating and important to understand – these commercial platforms own your site and control your content. They can choose to change the rules or shut you down at any time.
Being on one of their platforms is similar to renting an apartment compared to owning your own home. With an apartment, you are at the whim of the landlord, compared to owning your own home and being in complete control of what you do with your property.
Obviously you should own your own blog, so commercial platforms are an absolute NO-GO for launch!
I personally recommend being self-hosted using the FREE software available on WordPress.org.
WordPress is not just your typical blogging tool, it is highly flexible and very easy to use. It does not require any understanding of complex coding or any other scripting knowledge.
Even better… it is an open source project software, meaning it is completely FREE! It is a non-profit software platform which uses the extension WordPress.org.
As the screenshot below shows, this is the industry standard of today, used by millions.
Image Courtesy of BuiltWith.com
One cool thing about the WordPress platform is that there are 1000’s of mostly Free plugins, offered through WordPress.org. These plugins are not available on the commercial platforms I mentioned above.
To get started, you will just need to pay a few dollars per month for web hosting, but the income that you will generate will eventually make up for any expenses incurred.
Step 1: Finding Your Blog’s Name – Your Domain
Your domain name is what people will type in the browser address bar to get to your website. It’s your website’s address on the internet.
This will become your identity for many years and define your blog and what you stand for.
Although this is an exciting part of the process, don’t spend too much time on your domain name, because you can always change it later.
A couple of things to consider when choosing your domain name… is it brand-able and is it user-friendly. In other words, is it easy to pronounce, remember and spell.
If you are having trouble coming up with a name, here are a couple of domain name generator tools for you to try:
Once you find a domain name that interests you, use one of the links below to see if your chosen name is available.
If your chosen name is available, you can buy it from the registrar, or register it through your web hosting account which will save you some time (recommended).
NOTE: If you buy your domain through a registrar like GoDaddy, you will need to redirect your new domain name to your hosting account, which could take upwards of 24 hours to take place. If you register it with your hosting account, you can begin working on your blog right away.
If your name is not available, use the tools above to try and find a variation that works. One thing to keep in mind is to go for a “.com” extension if you can; and also, do your absolute best to avoid dashes between words in your domain, the search engines don’t like them.
If you still cannot come to terms with a domain name, don’t let that stop you. Find a name that you can be happy with for the moment, then change it down the road when you find your dream name.
Step 2: Choosing Your WordPress Web Hosting Plan
If you haven’t heard of “Web Hosting” before, it’s a storage space for your website. A Web hosting company is an organization that leases memory space on its servers.
You will basically be paying a small fee to keep your blog up and running on the Internet.
Keep it simple and cheap. Sign up with shared hosting.
What’s the Most Cost-Effective – Officially Recommended by WordPress.org – with a customer satisfaction rating at 98% – Hosting for WordPress?
I personally use SiteGround, because:
- SiteGround is Engineered for Speed, Built for Security, and Optimized for WordPress.
- Your site will run faster than most other hosts (which is a big deal to Google).
- Their support agents are available 24/7 by Phone, Chat or Ticketing support.
There are cheaper hosting companies, but you won’t find anyone as inexpensive and trouble-free as SiteGround. Remember the old saying… “You Get What You Pay For!”
I don’t know about you, but paying a $1 per month more is worth a Frustration-Free and Trouble-Free website!
If you want to get started now and save BIG on web hosting, you can get it for as little as $3.95 a month, through my partner link below.
To be honest, you really don’t need any fancy web hosting at this stage. Once you have over 10,000 visitors per month, you can consider upgrading, and SiteGround will scale with you.
Click Here to Get Your 60% OFF Discount Coupon.
Once you land on SiteGround’s site – choose your plan.
Enter Your Domain – this is where you can register your domain – as I mentioned above.
Where it says, “I already have a domain,” that means you have it registered (purchased) somewhere else like GoDaddy.com.
Add Your Account Information.
Add Your Payment Information.
Choose Your Hosting Services Plan – if you decide to change your plan to the next one higher, click the button shown by the arrow.
Same with the Data Center – choose the one closest to where you live.
For the Extra Services – it’s not necessary, but if you are up for the most security possible for your site, go for it! You can always add it at anytime, down the road if you choose.
Confirm that you have read the Terms and Conditions – Click PAY NOW!
Now that You Have Your Hosting – It’s Time for the Next Step
Step 3: Creating Your Blog – Installing WordPress
Time to Install: 5 Minutes
To install WordPress using the SiteGround Wizard, first you will need to access your Customer Area.
After you signed up for your WordPress hosting package you should have received all the necessary information you need to login via the email you typed into the form.
When you login to your Customer Area for the first time, you will see a pop-up asking you if you want to Start a New Website on your account. Select that option and click on the WordPress button.
A new section will appear where you should enter the login information for your new WordPress application. Once you are ready click on the Confirm button.
Next, choose what Enhancements you wish to add to your account – if you want to add any. When you are done with this step – click on the Complete Setup button.
That’s it… you are all set up ready to go with WordPress!
You can now go to the front page of your site by clicking on the ‘Proceed to Customer Area’ button, and check out the newly installed WordPress application.
But… Before You Do!
Did you register your domain name with SiteGround while signing up for Web Hosting? If so, you are good to go, no further steps are needed – Follow the link to move onto Step 4. Getting to Know WordPress.
If your domain name is registered with another source like GoDaddy.com, you will need to point the Nameservers from your domain registrar to the SiteGround server.
It sounds complicated, but it is super-simple to do.
I’ll use the example for GoDaddy.com.
Virtually any registrar is similar to GoDaddy. If it’s not obvious when you log into another registrar account, you will need to contact their support to help you point your domain to SiteGround.
For now, let’s walk you through pointing your domain for a GoDaddy.com account.
If your domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, head on over there now.
NOTE: If your domain is not registered with them, follow along with the instructions anyway to get an idea for what you need to do with whomever you have your domain registered with.
Go ahead and log in to GoDaddy…
The first page should be your Products.
Find your domain name and click on the ‘DNS’ button.
The DNS Management page should appear as follows.
What you’ll want to do is to scroll down the page until you see Nameservers.
Click on the Change button.
After clicking on the Change button, you will then need to “Choose your new nameserver type,” by clicking on the drop-down box as indicated by the orange arrow in the image below.
Choose ‘Custom’ from the drop-down… this will open the following window to where you will add your custom nameservers from SiteGround, as indicated by the arrows at the bottom left.
For your next action, you will want to open a new tab or window and navigate to your SiteGround cPanel. Login to your cPanel which should look similar to the following image.
As you will see when you login to your SiteGround cPanel, the nameservers will be right in front of you as indicated by the orange arrow.
With your mouse, highlight and copy each individual nameserver and paste them in the nameservers box as shown in the above GoDaddy image.
When you are finished adding the nameservers in the box as indicated by the above image, click on the Save button.
It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 24 hours for the Nameservers to find their way to the SiteGround server, but your part is done.
If something unexpected were to happen during your setup with SiteGround, contact their Technical Support.
Talking to a person by phone would be better than using the chat window, all for the reason that you can have the person on speaker phone walking you through a process.
If you live in the United States, you can call 1.866.605.2484. SiteGround will have access to your account which will help solve any issues you may have.
Step 4: Getting to Know WordPress
During your sign up with SiteGround, you were given a WordPress admin username and password, which you should have also received in an email.
It’s time to log into your WordPress blog and have a look around.
To get to your login page, type ‘YourDomainName.com/wp-admin’ or just copy and paste the link you received in your email.
Of course changing ‘YourDomainName.com’ to your blog’s domain name.
Next, you will enter the username and password you were given:
The next screen you see will be your WordPress Dashboard.
This is your control center for virtually everything for your WordPress blog.
On the left of your screen you will see a black vertical sidebar with many options.
The default color of your dashboard will be a black sidebar… if you want to change the color similar to the screenshot of PoorManBlogger.com as shown above, click on ‘Users’ from your sidebar, then ‘Your Profile’, then click on any of the ‘Admin Color Scheme’ options to see what is offered.
If you like the color you chose, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the ‘Update Profile’ button. Wa-La!
If you just can’t wait any longer to see what your site looks like right now, live on the Internet, click on your blog’s name in the upper left hand corner as shown in the screenshot below.
Clicking on this link from your dashboard will give you the finished look of your site. It will be what others see live on the Internet when they enter your domain name or click on a link from a search or elsewhere like social media.
Right now, your blog looks very plain. Keep in mind that this is the plain Jane, default theme that comes with WordPress, but that will soon change once we install a WordPress theme of your choice in the next step.
To return to your dashboard, click on your blog’s name in the upper left hand corner and choose Dashboard from the drop-down menu. Pretty simple huh?
NOTE: The black bar you see at the top of your blog will not be seen by your visitor – only by you when you are logged into your dashboard.
For now, let’s talk about some basic WordPress functions, and not worry too much about your design.
If you haven’t gone back to your dashboard already, click on your blog’s Name > Dashboard to navigate back to your control center.
WordPress Posts and Pages
Let’s begin with the meat of your blog… Posts and Pages.
A Post is a blog article which, when you have multiple articles, will be listed in reverse chronological order on your site.
Your posts will usually come with a Date, Comments and Author link directly under the title of your article, which will give your reader some basic information when and by whom the article was created, and how many comments the article has received.
A Page is static… a few examples would be: ‘About the Author’ page, ‘Contact Form’ page, ‘Terms of Service’ or maybe even your ‘Home’ page if you choose to set your blog up that way.
If you were to click on the Posts link from the left sidebar of your dashboard, the next page will show a list of Post articles that you have written.
Your list will show the: Title of the Post, the Author, the Category and the Date the article was written, or last modified.
Listed under the Posts link on your sidebar will show: All Posts, Add New, Categories and Tags.
Add New is self explanatory… Category is just a way of placing your Posts into different subjects, like a folder.
A Tag you can look at as a way of using them as keywords used for topics discussed in a particular post.
A Page won’t use Tags or Categories… as mentioned before, a static page will simply have content for informational purposes.
In order to create a Post or Page, simply click on the Add New button at the top or left side bar. You will then be led to an Edit style box where you can add your content, similar to a Word Document.
All of it is pretty self-explanatory… once you’ve written some content, you can click on the ‘Preview’ button (upper right corner) which will open a new tab so you can see what it would look like as a finished product.
When you want to add an image to your article, place your cursor and click your mouse where you want your image to appear within your article, then click on the ‘Add Media’ button at the upper left of your Edit box. This will create a Popup window for you to find your image within your computer to add.
If you haven’t finished your article and you want to save it for later, simply click on the ‘Save Draft’ button.
Your article will not be live on the Internet just yet… if you like what you see, then and only then, will you click on the ‘Publish’ button.
Clicking on Publish will make it live on the Internet for the World to see, and of course you can always modify and update your article any time you choose.
The Appearance Link
This is a menu option that in turn will be one of the most important areas for the design of your blog.
This is where you will upload and customize your blog’s Theme, create menus and many other cool features.
The items under your Appearance Link will vary slightly depending on which theme you end up having for your site.
Similar to an App for your phone, plugins are for adding features to your blog, like a Contact page, social media buttons, design features, or search engine optimization tools, etc.
If you can think it up, someone has created a plugin to work with WordPress.
Virtually every plugin is free, and can be installed directly from your WordPress dashboard, using the Plugins link on your sidebar.
The Users Link
This is the area that has many different levels of permission for your site. The highest position is the Administrator, which has unlimited access to every part of your blog… that’s YOU!
Let’s say you wanted to have a person design your blog for you. You would add this person giving him certain permissions to modify your site.
If someone if offering to write for your blog, you would add them as a Contributor to start, moving them up the levels to an Author or Editor upon proving themselves.
The Settings Link
These are additional customization features similar to, how many articles do you want to show on your front page, etc.
All the features are pretty self-explanatory. The best thing to consider is taking a peak around after you install your theme to get a better overview of what is there.
This may seem like a lot and slightly overwhelming, but once you spend some time playing around in your newly installed blog, it will become second nature, easy and intuitive.
It’s Time for the Visual Design of your Blog…
Step 5: Picking a WordPress Theme
Now that you’ve had a look around your blog’s control center, known as the admin dashboard, it’s time to start designing your site and creating your very first blog post.
What’s a WordPress Theme?
If you are not familiar… a WordPress Theme is: a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface design for a Blog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site looks and functions, without modifying the underlying software.
Now, for the non-techie version. A Theme is the “Face” of your blog. It’s the overall, what I call, look and feel of your website. It’s what your visitor’s will first see when they come to your site.
One of the greatest parts of owning a self-hosted WordPress site is that you have full control in virtually every aspect of what you do with your site. You can change the look and feel, how it functions, improve on its performance, or virtually anything else you can imagine.
Here’s one of the main problems with a site that is so versatile… plain and simple, too many choices!
Right now, the subject we are on is a Theme for your site, and there are thousands upon thousands of them to choose from.
If you were not born with a tech gene, you are going to want to look for a theme that is adaptable and easy to work with… what I call, user-friendly.
Before we begin, let me be clear about one thing… the content that you write on your blog matters more than anything else.
It wouldn’t matter if your site is one of the ugliest on the Internet, if you have great content, you will get repeat visitors. The opposite is also true… you can have the most beautiful site on the planet, but if the content sucks, your visitors will say to themselves, hmm… beautiful site, then turn tail and run, never to come back.
That said, you have a couple of options when choosing a theme, the Free version or the Paid version.
A Free theme can give you a basic beginning.
A good place to start would be the Free themes that WordPress.org recommends. They have a large collection of themes, with the option to upgrade to the premium, paid version.
For most newbies, this is more than enough to get the ball rolling, especially if money is tight.
If you are like me, you will not want to spend a bunch of time learning one theme, then down the road, deciding to upgrade and having to learn another. I have always been the type of person to find a happy-medium, as it’s said.
The Premium WordPress Themes
So… when I first started blogging in 2009, I decided to invest in a premium theme… one that I can learn and grow with.
One of the greatest advantages of owning a premium theme is the support you get if you need it.
On that note… let’s start with the Simplest Option: Elegant Themes, the theme that runs this site.
The Cost: $89 (87 Themes to choose from plus Marketing plugins for the 1 Price)
Here are the Elegant Theme highlights
- Divi Theme, the most popular WordPress Theme on the planet ~ BuiltWith.com
- Divi comes with a visual drag & drop page builder – design anything you can imagine
- Monarch software – a Social Sharing plug-in that’s customizable and looks great
- Bloom software – a simple, yet functional APP for building your email list
- Extensive Library of Video and Written Tutorials for every module of your themes and plugins
- The Divi theme receives regular updates and support, making it easy to stay up to date
This may seem like a high cost right now, but the clear advantage of Elegant Theme’s and their Marketing plugins are that they are an ‘All-in-One’ package price.
Elegant Themes, Divi in particular, are the perfect package (The Ultimate Toolkit) to get your online business up and running. It’s the main reason they have become the most popular company building themes on the market, with over 500,000 paying customers.
If you decide to head on over to check out Divi, be sure to watch the videos on the Elegant Themes Home page.
The bottom line:
If you are wanting the most user-friendly solution that will last you for years, and doesn’t require the tech gene, then Elegant Themes is your ticket to Stardom.
You can check them out Here.
Another premium theme supplier that many popular bloggers use and come highly recommended, is StudioPress. Like ElegantThemes, StudioPress themes are professional and designed for speed and beauty as well.
The Free WordPress Themes
Next… let’s walk you through the second option… the Free WordPress.org Themes.
To start, log into your blog if you haven’t done so already.
While in your dashboard, click on the Appearance link, then the Themes link.
Once you get onto the Themes page, click on the Add New button as shown by the arrow.
On this page you will find the Featured themes that WordPress is recommending.
You can click on any preview at any theme, or go one step further and filter your search for a theme to match your certain criteria, by clicking on the link as shown by the orange arrow.
On this next page you can choose different features and layouts to narrow down your search.
Once you’ve check-marked the boxes that you want, click on the Apply Filters button to bring up the available themes with this criteria.
Once your page is brought up, click on any image that suits your fancy to see the available preview.
If you like what you see, and you would like to install this theme, click on the Install button at the upper left corner of the browser window.
To activate the theme you just chose, click on the Appearance link > Themes link.
Once on this page, hover over the image of the theme that you would like to active, and click on the button.
To customize your theme, click on Appearance > Customize. This will bring up a box on your left side with a menu of areas for customizing. Just play around with the different links and it will show a live preview of your changes.
Something to keep in mind… each theme will have different customizing links. If you don’t like what you see, go back to the Add New area in your Themes page and search for other themes to play around with until you find one that you can work with.
Now that you are up and running, be sure to concentrate on a few things.
1. Become an Expert at Your Style of Writing
Do you recall what I mentioned in the beginning of this article? “Most Bloggers write in a very informal, laid back style of conversational writing. Their readers are looking for authenticity in the blogger’s writing styles; the person that has been there, done that.”
Be Your Own Voice – Be an Authentic YOU!
2. Become as Knowledgeable as Possible for Your Chosen Topic
Research, research, research! Do tons and tons of research about your blog niche.
While doing your research, subscribe to at least 10 relevant blogs within your niche, so you can get a sense of what works to run a blog successfully.
Pay close attention to the bloggers that you are subscribed to, not just to their blog posts and their writing style, but also, very importantly, how they write emails to you.
Out of the bloggers that you follow, do you relate with any of their particular writing styles?
When you receive emails, do you notice any special form of writing compared to other blogger’s emails?
Do you like how they approach you in the email, are their emails lengthy, what is their closing style of wording, do they leave links to related articles at the end of the email. What is their call to action (words that urge the reader to take immediate action such as, “To Learn More – Click Here.”)
How do you feel after reading their emails? Do you feel pitched, as if they were trying to sell you something, or did the email come across more like they wanted to help you?
3. Start building relationships with influential bloggers.
Don’t wait for anything, start writing… have fun with it.
Don’t worry about followers and subscribers at this point, just enjoy the ride!
Something to remember… you are a newbie blogger, just enjoy blogging, the subscribers and money will follow.
Don’t ever lose sight of your passion… AND, the reason you started your journey.
The beginning stages of blogging can be difficult at times… it may take you many months or possibly years to become proficient at the art of blogging, so try your best to focus on what matters and what your end goal is.
Remember… this is a marathon, not a sprint!
Good things take time to develop, grow slowly.
Difficulties, failures and frustrations are going to happen… roll with the punches.
It’s a part of life and certainly part of business.
Take one baby step at a time, building yourself a solid foundation as you learn… enjoy the journey.
“I’m not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” ~ Thomas Edison