First things first. If you’re a blogger and think you know everything there is to know about blogging (well, at least you think you do), then this article is NOT for you. Instead you’d be better off reading How writing blogs generates leads or How to make your business blog better. So, who is this article for then? Well, it’s for those of you who want to start a blog, but don’t know how. But first, why blog?
In my wise old eyes there are 2 reasons to blog. Sure there are many genres of blogs, but essentially people either blog for fun or for business. Regardless, the goal is to create valuable content that is searchable and useful to others online. We try and mix the 2 here at the office, with 80% being in the “for business” blog bowl. Either way you have to decide which side of the fence you want your blog to be on, but most importantly it needs to have a purpose.
So for those of you who are yet to start a blog or are stuck trying to decide what to blog about, here’s a quick step-by-step guide that should help get your blog up and running in no time!
Deciding What to Blog About
Picking a blog topic is key. Without knowing the answer to this then you’re kind of stuck. However, one trick is to blog about what you’re interested in. Some friends of mine blog about their adventures traveling the world. Others about music and sports. For us, the 2 Web Design blog is focused on providing web design and online marketing advice to businesses. So before you even start thinking about the next step, I suggest spending some time deciding what your blog is going to be about.
Choosing the Right Blogging Platform
There are a variety of free blogging platforms out there, such as blogger.com and tumblr.com, but the most popular is WordPress. At the last time of counting WordPress has been downloaded 65 million times. So why is it so popular? Firstly, it’s super simple to use as you can easily add text and images to your blog, but secondly you have the option to choose from many different layouts and themes. However, if you don’t want to use one of the WordPress themes/skins then you have the option to implement your own design. Although if you’re just starting out with your blog, then I wouldn’t go down that road just yet.
Domain & Hosting
What else is important to consider when choosing the right blogging platform is whether you want to self-host your blog with your own unique domain or not. With free platforms like blogger.com and tumblr.com your blog is hosted for free, but there’s no option to have your own domain. Instead you get stuck with myblog.blogspot.com and myblog.tumblr.com. However, with a WordPress blog you can self-host using your own domain.
On average a single domain costs a couple of dollars a month, with hosting ranging anywhere from $4 – $12 a month. My advice would be to purchase your own domain and self-host the website (there are a ton of these companies that offer great deals on domain and hosting, such as GoDaddy). But why, you may ask? There’s just something slightly more credible with a www.yourname.com address. However, if you do decide to go down this route make sure your domain is short n’ snappy and reflects the tone of the blog too.
By using these 3 steps you should be able to setup your own blog within a matter of minutes, just as long as you know the answer to the first step. Like I mentioned before it is a key part of the setup process and without it you have zero direction. I should also point out there are many more aspects of the blogging process that aren’t mentioned here. However, my aim was to provide a simple and straightforward process on how to start a blog.
If you found this article useful or want some more advice on how to start a blog, including how to implement your own design on your blog, feel free to contact myself or any member of the 2 Web Design team. Also, if you feel there are some important elements I have missed that would be useful for beginner bloggers, feel free to share your thoughts and comments below!