The first blog was started in 1994 and to be honest blogging has grown from strength to strength. It can now be a way to share your hobbies, make new contacts and of course make money! Even in todays world where social media is such a massive platform for reaching people, blogging is still popular! This post is all about staring a blog for beginners.
Choose a name and a domain
A domain name is basically your web address i.e. what people type in to find your site. Its most common that your domain name and site name are the same. Strangely domain names aren’t owned by you, you effectively rent it for as long as you pay for it.
Generally, a yearly fee is paid and then you get to use the domain name exclusively for this period of time. There is never really a problem when it comes to renewing it as people rarely want to steal someone’s domain name, so as long as you keep paying for your domain name then you own it.
What you want to call your blog is up to you, it can help to write out what you want it for – is it a personal blog, if so do you want to be anonymous or not? If not you could simply call it your own name. Likewise, if its a business blog then naming it after your business would be a sensible choice.
I buy all my domain names from SiteGround and they make it easy by not just telling me when a name isn’t available but they give me alternatives as well so I’m not left scrambling around trying to think of a new name. With Siteground you buy the hosting and the domain name separately. There are other companies like Blue Host where you get the domain names included in the cost of your hosting which is a pretty good deal!
Sign up to a hosting site
Using a big site for your hosting is the best way to go. There are a few cheaper sites out there but it’s worth paying a bit more to be hosted with a bigger site as you know they aren’t suddenly going to disappear and take your site with them.
I use Siteground for my hosting and a basic package costs around £5.99 a month.
The only other hosting site I would recommend would be BlueHost. It costs around £3.05 at the moment as it’s on offer.
What made me choose SiteGround? Ease and Passivity. I used to host this website on WordPress for free but I was limited with what I could and couldn’t do with it. I didn’t want to lose any of my site but I lack the technical knowledge and inclination to learn how to do it myself.
SiteGround took care of the whole thing for free and they are always on hand to help me with coding issues and silly things like spelling mistakes in my domain name!
Get WordPress and a theme
Installing WordPress onto your blog no matter what your hosting site is, is essential. WordPress started as a blogging tool it has now evolved into a content management system not to mention a powerful website builder.
Forget about all the other features for now as most you will probably never need to use! After clicking the install WordPress, you just need to fill some details in and it auto installs it for you! I’ve heard people pay someone to do this step for them – crazy!
At first look, your new website isn’t much to look at but that’s ok. WordPress comes with plenty of free themes for you to install. Just head over to Appearance – Themes and then browse till your heart is content and you find the perfect theme for your blog.
Start to write
Content is king in the blog world so the last step is to get writing! Content creation can be as complicated or as simple as you make it.
I’m a procrastinator so I can easily spend hours planning out all my content from what I’m writing about the images that accompany them!
Don’t worry too much about your writing style and voice at this stage as both of these will come to you the more you write. Writing is best left till after you have chosen your template as then you can concentrate solely on wiring without having to them get the template to suit how you’ve already laid it out.
There are also a few other bits and bobs that are useful to have in your toolkit when you start your blogging journey:
Yoast SEO – Yoast quite simply gives you real time data on how search friendly your post is. Try not to get caught up in this too much. Its good to know what you need to work on without getting too hung up on it. I have mine there to give me some useful insight without letting myself get caught up in trying to make every post perfect!
Jaaxy – The worlds most advanced keyword tool. This one is useful if you really want traffic to your blog without having to pay to crack the Google algorithm only to find that the next update has undone it all! Jaaxy helps you drive traffic organically and allows you to keep doing that no matter what version of Google gets released.
JetPack – Jet Pack is coined as the “ultimate toolkit for WordPress” what that really means is that you get a lot of free themes, images and better security for your site without having to pay. There is the option to upgrade but I’ve never felt the need to.
Begin your blogging adventure
Starting a blog is something simple that everyone can do. Blogging should be fun and can cover any subject you like from your personal life, hobbies, business or anything else you can think of!
If you would like me to check out your blog, offer feedback or even just pop by the say hi then please put it in the comment below and I will check it out!