How do you start a blog? Honestly, starting a blog a decade ago could have been a difficult task. However, it isn’t anymore. With the existence of free hosting sites, you do not have to be an elite computer scientist to own a blog of your own. As you might have heard, people like to talk about self-hosted or free blogging platforms. And why is that? What do they have to do with how to start a blog?
Self-hosted blogs have several advantages against free blogs and bloggers who own them enjoy more latitude such as the ability to create and sustain a professional image. On the contrary, a free blogging platform is just what it is. It is free to sign up, set an account, obtain a domain name and set up your website. So, this difference between free and self-hosted blogs must be clear to you. It is where you need to begin from before doing anything else in your effort to create a blog of your own.
Why Start a Blog?
There are quite a number of reasons why you would prefer to create your own blog, and here are a few examples:
• Become your own boss and make money at home. You may not make more money overnight through blogging, but so is the case with formal employment. Moreover, the barrier to new entrants is low and the risks are not just minimal but manageable.
• Become an author and sell your ideas while making money in the process. Today’s publishers do not prefer working with authors who have no online presence.
• Market your business online and get more customers. There are many potential clients online than you might know. So, take the opportunity and take your business beyond the confines of your neighborhood.
• Write articles about things that affect the community. If this is your passion, then why wait? By sharing your story, you will encourage others and build the community you want.
Of course, there are several reasons why you might need a blog. So, how do you start a blog of your own? What are the important steps that you need to follow?
1. What Type of a Blog Do You Want?
As we have explained above, there are only two varieties to choose from and they define how to start a blog. You either go with self-hosted blogs or free blogging platforms. A free blogging platform comes with advantages such as zero initial costs and the hosting platforms have easy-to-manage programs such as WordPress and others. A domain like www.example.blogpost.com may not appear professional as such, and your inability to control other aspects such as video bandwidth, graphics and memory space can be frustrating. On the contrary, self-hosted blogs have initial costs and paid-for hosting services but they come with a higher degree of latitude that gives you full control of your site.
Hence, the decision to own either free or self-hosted blog must be informed by such realities. So, choose wisely.
2. What is Your Blog About?
After settling on a given type of blog you want, the next step is to decide what the blog is about. So, what is it about? Are you an organization, a business or just an individual? The blog you create must align with the services or products you offer, or the causes you promote.
If the blog is for your personal use, then you are good to go. You will have more flexibility in deciding on what the blog is about. However, you need to evaluate all scenarios before-hand in order to avoid mistakes that cost you fortunes.
3. Choose a Blogging Platform
You do not have to pay initial costs if you don’t want to. And even if you are capable of paying such initial charges, then worry not. There are good blogging platforms outside there and WordPress is one of them. We recommend WordPress for you since it is the most popular and widely used. First, it is flexible, easy to use, has high functionality and efficiency. Two, many people use it, and that means that there are a community of users who share ideas and tools that will help you understand how to start a blog.
With WordPress, you can choose WordPress.com (which is hosted) or WordPress.org (which is self-hosted). For a free WordPress site, you must visit WordPress.com, sign up and start designing your website in just a matter of minutes. It is good to note than even as your site will be hosted for free, the experience may not be that good. Free things are costly in away like we have just explained.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, offers the software in full. For that reason, you will have to part with some cash. But remember, the advantages of such a platform are quite numerous since you will have full control of the site.
4. Find a Host
Why must you find a host for your website? The main reason for this is that it puts your site on server where everyone can find it. In other words, your website will be put on a server instead of your personal computer where search engines can access it.
Like blogging platforms, there are quite a number of hosts outside there, and you should select one that offers quality services. Every host will require you to choose either “Plus” or “Prime Plan”, and you should settle on the one that comes with unlimited features. And that is prime plan.
5. Pick Your Domain Name
This is the final stage in the entire process. I know you may not be conversant with the term, so what is a domain name? Domain name or just domain is nothing but a web address such as hostingboo.com. It is what distinguishes your site from others. Hence, you must obtain one before your site can be hosted.
So, how do you do it? If you already have one, then that is ok. But, if you don’t, then you must first create one. After creating it successfully and, by the way, it should be unique to others, then your next task is to register it with any domain register of your choice. For me, I would choose NameCheap for good reasons, of course. Or, you can register your domain name with GoDaddy and others. If done correctly, then your blog will be created and hosted in a few minutes.
At this stage, we can say that you are free to go because your site is ready for use.