Starting a Blog
Friends and family members often ask me how to start a blog, and I always enjoy explaining the advantages of a blog over a traditional website, but it is a lot of information to take in over dinner. I thought I would document the process to make it easier to understand.
Decide What You Want To Blog About
There are a lot of bloggers on the web already. If you want to attract readers, you are going to need to establish your credibility. Don’t just blog about anything. Pick a topic you are passionate about. Something that you have lots of experience with.
Decide: To Host or Not To Host
When it comes to starting a blog, your biggest decision will be whether you want to host the blog yourself, or use a free blogging service that is hosted for you.
Free Blogging Services
Yes, it’s free, but nothing is really free. When you start a blog with a free blogging service, you don’t get your own domain. You get something like mygreatblog.blogspot.com (where there are a million other blogs at blogspot.com) and you don’t actually own the blog. If you ever do decide to move to your own domain, you have no way to take your readers with you, because you have no control over the site.
Cheap – Host your own blog using WordPress free Blog software
This is the method I suggest, because it offers much more flexibility and freedom to do what you want. You will have your own domain name, like mygreatblog.com. You can get this for as little as $30 per year. In my experience, WordPress is excellent free blog software that allows you flexibility and room to grow.
If you want to go the free blogging service route, check out links to free blogging services.
Free Blogging Services
WordPress is one of the best, and most flexible blogging platforms. As well as distributing their blogging software, they also offer free hosting at wordpress.com. There are books galore that can teach you how to setup full blogging, website and even an eCommerce site using WordPress.
Start a blog at WordPress.com
Blogger.com by Google
Blogger.com is probably the most popular free blogging platform. It’s easy to set up, and easy to start blogging.
If you want to host the blog yourself, read on.
Start by finding a Domain Name
For me this part is fun. You know what your theme is already, so now you have to find a good domain name. Choose one that is easy to remember and self explanatory.
Find a Web Host for Your Blog
By far, the easiest way to get a website is to go with a hosting company that offers single-click installing, or instant installations for Blogging and Forum software. Blogs and Forums make it possible for someone with no experience to get good started fast.
GoDaddy Blog Hosting
Another great blog host I recently learned about is GoDaddy. They have a ‘one click install’ Economy WordPress hosting plan that is really a great deal (as low as $3 to $5/ month (that’s $36 to $60/ year) depending on how long you sign up for). Go to GoDaddy to check it out.
Prices start at free and go up from there. Usually a monthly charge.
Most hosting companies do this for you.
Choose a WordPress theme
This is the fun part, picking a WordPress theme and telling it to install
There should already be 2 theme folders in the themes folder, “classic” and “default”.
Just drop your new theme folder in with them. (remember, it must be unzipped first)
But do realize that today there are literally thousands of free themes and even more that will cost you from minimal to large $$$. You are bound to find one that will fit your theme and your budget.