Thinking of starting a blog? You’ve probably been putting it off for a while because you think it involves a lot. I should know because I was once there. I thought it would be a complicated process but in truth, it wasn’t at all. In fact, a lot of the work is done for you, what’s critical will be finding the most suitable domain name. Just as it’s easy to have your own website, anyone with similar interests can do so. That freedom has resulted in a lot of “fake” and “misleading” information online.
Starting your own blog goes beyond just having a platform, you have to make an extra effort to make your blog stand out. If you don’t intend to create high quality content then don’t bother having a blog at all because no one will make the effort of coming to your corner. The success of your blog will be directly proportional to the effort you put in; in short, the phrase “you reap what you sow” is quite literal in this case. So, why have a blog?
Benefits of Having a Blog
- Self-employment – Nothing beats being your own boss. You have the freedom to decide what content to/not to include.
- You can profit from online marketing through advertising.
- Creative freedom – Full control of your website implies that you’re at liberty to dictate design and so on.
- It’s your own – there’s some pride that comes with running your very own platform.
Having understood the advantages of running your very own blog, here’s a guide on how to start one.
How can your audience track you online? You’ll need a domain name for that. As expected, almost all the “good” domain names are already taken. Therefore, extra effort will have to be put into finding a name. Like the title of your book or post, the name of your blog has the power to either break or make your site.
Finding the perfect name will require a bit of creativity. You’ll have to go for something unique, capable of making a good first and lasting impression. However, don’t misuse the freedom to think creatively by being too crazy with your name choice. Ensure that it’s both unique and professional, something your audience will be proud to associate with.
Several companies are available that register domain names. It’s not necessary to have the same company for hosting and registering domain name although it’s advisable. Hostgator offers both services. Be prepared to pay annual fees to enjoy using your domain.
Tip 2: Find a Host
As mentioned before, starting a blog isn’t as complex thanks to the availability of hosting companies which have done most of the work for you. Hostgator is a perfect example of such a company. Like renting some space such as an apartment, that’s how Hostgator works. They offer space on a web server; this is referred to as hosting.
There are various plans available which match to the different client needs. Taking Hostgator as an example, they offer 3 plans:
- Baby Plan
- Hatchling Plan
- Business Plan
They are shared-hosting plans which vary based on perks included and price. Shared-hosting simply means instead of having an entire webserver to yourself, you’ll be sharing with others. Being a beginner, a whole webserver won’t be necessary for you and therefore any of the above plans should work perfectly.
So, starting your own blog will require finding hosting space and Hostgator works just fine. Well, you may also not have to hire the services of a web designer thanks to the web builder option.
Tip 3: Identify Blogging Software
Even without detailed knowledge of how blogging works, if you’re someone who spends significant time online, you’ve probably heard of WordPress. It’s a popular blogging option for the majority of professional bloggers. Several blogging websites are powered by WordPress. Other than its ease to use and install; it’s also free.
If you’ll be using Hostgator then you don’t have to worry about which blogging software to use. It offers a list of alternatives which include WordPress. Now that you’ve secured hosting services, have a registered domain name and with WordPress in place then you’re ready to upload your first post.
It’s evident that starting a blog isn’t rocket science, now it’s time to stop procrastinating and get on with it. From my personal experience, once I knew how blogging works and that starting one wasn’t as complicated as previously assumed, I had lots of regret and guilt. I kept on postponing while starting a blog was just so easy. Find a host, register your domain and identify blogging software, that’s all it takes to be up and running with your very own blog. Starting your blog isn’t really the hard part, keeping it running and with an audience is the challenging part. Ensure that your content is unique, original, relevant and entertaining.