Today I want to talk to you about jumping on the bandwagon that now contains almost one billion people. That bandwagon…is also known as the blogosphere.
Stating your first blog can be very exciting, but it can also be confusing if you don’t know where to start. Don’t panic. I will have you going from Zero to Blogger in no time.
Back in the 1990s, starting a blog was a massive undertaking. One had to have technical knowledge and a lot of patience just to get one up and running. Now you don’t need any technical expertise or experience to set up a blog. Thanks to the power of WordPress, anyone can get a blog off the ground in just minutes, and today I’m going to take you through my three step guide to help you do exactly that.
This guide is intended to help anyone and everyone get their own blog up and running quickly, without the headache. So read this article, and then go forth and start your first ever blog! There’s no time like the present.
Why Blogging is Awesome
Starting a blog has many benefits, particularly for the internet marketer. Here are just a few reasons why you should start your first blog right away;
- Starting a blog is a fantastic way to establish yourself as an expert online and confirm authority
- It will also keep you an expert, as you will be keeping up to date with the latest information on your niche
- Blogging allows you to network and expand your audience
- Blogs can produce great virtual income
- Having a place to express yourself can be powerful and therapeutic
- The consequence of blogging is that no matter what your topic, your content will offer information which will help people
Your First Blog: Step by Step
Step One – Setting up Your Domain
The first thing you need to do is decide on a domain name. This is the URL or web address that people will use to get to your website, and is often the first thing people see about your website.
Picking your domain name is probably the most important factor in blogging. Your domain name becomes the permanent address for your blog and reflects the nature of the blog so you need to think carefully before setting this.
Try to pick something that is simple but creative. Most importantly, it needs to reflect your brand and subject.
Here are a few tips;
- Keep it short and simple – you want it to be easy to recollect
- Steer away from using dashes or numbers as it makes it hard to remember
- Pick a domain name that is memorable and spelled as it sounds so it’s easy to find
- Avoid using names or words that are trademarked or under copyright
- Try to use keywords that reveal something about the nature of your blog
Purchasing your domain name will only cost around $20 per year and is an important investment as it will assist in establishing your blog and your brand.
Step Two – Getting Hosting
In addition to the cost of the domain name, you will also have to fork out for web hosting.
Hosting is where your blog will ‘live’. Just like an apartment, you are renting a space on the internet where you will install your WordPress software onto your domain and manage your blog.
The good news is that web hosting is cheap as chips. Most good hosting only costs between $3 – $7 per month which, combined with the domain name cost, gives you a fully functioning blog for around $60 per year, or just over $1 per week.
There is a TON of hosting options online, but you need to choose carefully – not all hosting is created equal.
For your first blog, you are going to want to look for hosting which offers a few crucial things:
- Fast loading
- Online support
- Unlimited bandwidth and disk space (you never know how big your blog is going to get!)
The main thing to take note of is that they offer one click WordPress installation. This is crucial to the success of your blog.
Every good, reputable web hosting company now offers this as a way of installing WordPress with just a few clicks, so make sure your host of choice provides this before you commit to using them.
Step Three – Installing WordPress
While blogging offers its choice of platforms, none of them really hold a candle to WordPress.
WordPress has been downloaded over 100 million times and is the most popular system worldwide. It is the easiest platform for beginners to use and is fully customizable with thousands of themes and plugins you can use to enhance your blog.
It’s free to use, easy to both install and use, and can be customised without knowing any codes/technical stuff. Google also loves WordPress blogs because the sites and the content tend to be cleaner than other platforms.
My advice? If you want to rock your reader’s socks off, then use WordPress. I personally love it and never create a blog without it.
Once you have bought yourself a domain and rented some hosting space, you have two options to install WordPress onto your domain and get your blogging underway;
- One click installation
Option B is going straight to the ‘too hard basket’. All the great hosting offers one click installation and we aren’t going to complicate life unnecessarily. This process used to be extremely difficult, and you had to put some serious geek on in order to pull it off. With one click installation, anyone can now do it in a matter of minutes.
For beginners and those setting up their very first blog, the one click installation will see you through.
Your First Blog: Now What?
What’s a Theme?
Now that you have WordPress installed in your brand-spanking-new blog, you will want to take advantage of all the cool stuff that WordPress has to offer to have your blog looking like a million bucks.
WordPress themes provide the front end styling in your website.
Features of WordPress themes include:
- Overall design for the website
- Font style
- Page layout
- Overall style for blog posts
WordPress has thousands of free themes available, but if you really want your website to stand out you should consider investing in a premium or paid theme. Some paid themes even allow you to design and build your own theme from the ground up so your website can really be one of a kind.
What’s a Plugin?
As if WordPress wasn’t awesome enough, let me introduce you to the world of WordPress Plugins.
Plugins take WordPress to a whole new level. Put simply, plugins are little bits of software that can be added to your blog to expand the functionality of your website. When you start your blog and install WordPress what you have is a nice, simple platform in which to start your blog. What plugins offer are custom functions or features which you can use to tailor your blog according to the needs of your intended audience.
Just like themes, there are thousands of plugins available for free but paid plugins are often the way to go, in order to get the most out of your blog.
So what can a plugin do? If you can think of it, then there’s probably a plugin in existence that can do it. The idea of plugins is that you can customise the technical functionality of your website without having any knowledge of how to actually do so.
Once you have chosen your themes and plugins you are ready to start adding content to your blog.
Now that you know the basics to starting your own blog, I hope that I have motivated and inspired you to get your first blog underway.
Be sure to leave any questions or comments below, and don’t forget to sing out if you need help or advice!