If you have a spectacular way to express yourself, a business to promote, expert knowledge in a specific area, if you`re passionate about something, or maybe you`re just too awesome, then starting a blog is the next best thing for you. But, there`s a difference between being awesome and being noticed, so let us assist you with the right steps needed for your blog to stand out.
STEP ONE Choose your blogging platform
This is the very first thing to consider when starting a blog. The most used platform on the internet, and the one I will advocate for, is WordPress. The fact that over 72 million people downloaded it already, speaks for itself. WordPress is so popular because it is a dream come true for any blogger, providing basically anything a blogger wants:
- different layouts and free themes
- an easy way to write posts and add pictures
- the possibility to categorize your posts
- the possibility to create a custom menu
- people can easily comment and share your blog
- a massive support forum just in case, and many more.
In case you are a skeptic by nature, and the fact that more than 82 million active users prefer WordPress doesn`t impress you at all, then you must know that starting a blog it`s also possible on www.blogger.com or https://www.tumblr.com
STEP TWO Self-hosting and a paid domain or a free alternative?
To pay, or not to pay – that is the question?So basically, what are the stumbling blocks of the free alternative and why self-hosting is the best choice you can make?
Although these are free blogging domains, think twice your strategy. Despite the saying “the best things in life are free”, starting a blog on a free alternative comes with a number of major disadvantages which can turn fatal to your blogging activity. Trust me, later you will want to correct those disadvantages, but it will cost you a lot of money.
- Why not a free alternative?
- You won`t be able to get you own domain
- Starting a blog on a free platform means, among others, that you will not be able to get you own domain. You will get a subdomain. For example, instead of iamawesome.com it will be something like iamawesome.wordpress.com What`s awesome about that?
- Limited themes, limited pluginsAdd to this the lack of different themes and plugins. No matter how hard you will try to make something out of it, in the end the result will be the same, meaning boring. No matter how talented you really are, if you don`t have the tools to express yourself, it`s all in vain, don`t you think?
- You don`t own your blog
You don`t have to be a control-freak to have a problem with the fact that you have no control over your blog. Within seconds, all of your work, all the content can vanish just like that. You`ll sue them, right? Let me save you the trouble. Starting a blog on a free domain can lead to this unpleasant situation. It has happened before, it will be happening again. Since your blog is hosted on someone else`s web property, you don`t have any “legal” property rights. You`re just passing through, and as long as you`re welcome you can stay. Simple as that.
- You won`t be able to earn money via blogging
If you`re good at something it`s only natural to earn money out of it. Starting a blog on someone else`s property is, just like in real life, not a great deal. They will want their cut, which is usually 50%. But it`s free, right? Anyway, in general, these free domains don`t allow you to earn any money at all. So, this is why you should consider self-hosting.
- You will have your own domain
- You`ll look more professional
- Great choice for long-term blogging
- Earn some money out of it
- The maximum amount that you will have to pay is 60$/year, around 3$-8$/month.
STEP THREE Setting up a blog on your own domain (if you choose self-hosting and a custom domain)
In order to fully understand this process, let us remind you that the domain is basically the URL of your website. A domain should be: catchy, easy to remember, unique. And hosting is the company that puts your website on the internet. Feel free to choose your own hosting company, but keep in mind the majority of people starting a blog choose to use (for blog domain and hosting) http://www.ipage.com/ Most of the hosting company have an “one-click” WordPress install. This will automatically install WordPress on your blog and after that all you have to do is sign up with iPage (or other) to choose your hosting plan and your domain name. This may sound a little bit confusing, but it gets really simple once it`s done.
STEP FOUR Designing your blog/Choosing a theme for your blog
Starting a blog was easy. Now, you can get creative and having a lot of fun. Customize your blog by choosing a theme. No matter what kind of look you`re after, remember that the design should reflect both you and the content of the blog. And most of all, it should be easy to navigate. WordPress has tones of themes and it allows you to change your theme with only a few clicks, without losing any content from your blog. Feel free and check them out.