Four steps to launching your blog
To start a blog of your own, go through the following steps:
- Choose a platform for your blog
- Choose a host and a domain name
- Tailor and edit your blog to your desired specs
- Create content, write posts, and upload them
Choosing a platform for your blog
There are numerous blogging platforms from which to choose, including WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and more. However, WordPress is the clear market leader, so we recommend that you launch your site on WordPress.
In addition to being free, you get plenty of themes, custom layouts and plugins, it is easy to set up and secure, and has very rich features that are sure to meet your every need.
Steer clear of free blogging platforms. There are many reasons for this. First of all, the URL you use will not be attractive with words like "freeplatform.com" in there somewhere, so it not only looks bad, but is also difficult to remember. Further, you probably won't be able to run ads of your own on your blog, severely limiting your earning potential. Finally, the ownership of your blog rests with your host. If your blog is to become wildly successful, they own and control all of your following. Do the right thing and go for WordPress!
Choose a host and lock in your domain
Your domain name is how people will find you online, and your host is where your web page will be stored. Most web hosts cost less than $5 a month.
Choose a host after looking at various options and taking the following into consideration:
- Loading times - do pages load quickly enough?
- Uptime - go for 100% if possible.
- Features - do you plan to have data or media-heavy content? Plan text? Can you add, remove, and edit images yourself? What does your host of choice offer in these areas?
- Ease of use - how easily can you get through to customer support, and does your host offer things like managed hosting? What kind of admin dashboard will you be given? Can you learn how to use it quickly enough?
Once you've chosen a host, you now need to choose a domain name. Think of, and register, a name that is:
- Easy to remember
- Is not likely to be spelled incorrectly
- Is creative, as well as descriptive of what you plan to do
- Has a common extension, such as .com or .net
Finally, once you've chosen your name, pick a hosting plan. If your host has a proven track record of serving customers and keeping them happy, any plan that fits your budget should be good enough to start things on.
Making your first page and customizing your blog
Congrats, you now have your own blog! What you need to do now is create your first page or post. Doing this involves familiarizing yourself with your admin dashboard, changing the design or layout of your blog, installing features and plugins as required, and optimizing your site for online search (SEO).
Most admin dashboards have a lot of the same buttons and functions - here are a few of them.
The basic dashboard gives you info on all of your most recent activity, post and page counts, comments, drafts, and current theme.
Click the 'posts' button to create a new post; you can create a title, subtitle, and link to relevant pages as well. The same goes for the 'pages' button, as well as 'drafts'.
'Media' contains all of the pictures, videos, and other files that you've uploaded to your site.
'Appearance' and 'plugins' are what you need to click to either change the theme you currently have active, or to install a new feature - such as a timed slider, or an automated response button. With over 2,000 fully-customizable themes from which to choose, you can play around with the look of your site as much as you want.
So to make your first page, click the 'posts' or 'pages' button, give your next post or page a title, and start writing! You can save drafts, preview how things look, and publish whenever you're ready.
Are you ready to get your blog on?
Blogging has come a long way over the past decade or so. With millions of bloggers creating content every day, blog hosting websites have met the challenge and have delivered on providing effective, easy-to-use blogging platforms for the world's readers and writers to develop and access material that interests them.
When you decide to take the plunge and start a blog, choose a simple, memorable name, go for a host with a good online reputation, and be sure to use all of the features at your disposal to the fullest. Blogs today have so much to offer - custom permalinks, spam filtering, custom fonts, auto-responders, and a wide range of other functionalities. In fact, there is almost nothing that you can't do! Launch your first page today, and slowly develop your expertise to bring life to your blog.