So you want to join the exciting world of blogging – welcome! If you want to start a blog but have no idea where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Creating a blog is actually really simple and can even be fun! To help you along the way, I’ve come up with a step-by-step instructional process for getting your new blog up and running. So, here are a few easy steps on how to setting up your new blog:
Pick a Subject
First things first: pick a topic that you’ll be blogging about. Some people call this a blog niche. The possibilities are endless! There are specific subjects like blogging about food or music, or maybe you’re creating a lifestyle blog in which you’ll be blogging about a bunch of different things. If you aren’t quite sure what you want to blog about, take a few minutes to think about some of your hobbies and interests. It is important to write about something you love because it will make writing fun and exciting.
Choose a Blog Name
Now that you have a subject you can choose a blog name. Many people pick names that are related to the subject of their blog in some way. Others choose to simply use their own name. Choose carefully during this step because your blog name will become your “brand” and can be hard to change once you have accompanying social media names that match your blog name.
Choose a Host
Now that you’ve done the preliminary steps of picking a topic and a name, it’s time to get down to business. When choosing a host there are two routes you can go: free or paid. let’s look at both options:
Free hosting for your blog:
Free blogging means that your blog will be hosted (aka where it lives) for free by a company that offers customers a free platform to set up their website/blog. This also means that your blog/website name will be attached to a free blogging service URL. For example if you were using Blogger your url would be [blogname].blogspot.com (often you will have the option to upgrade to a .com address for your blog for a yearly fee).
Free blogging hosts are very convenient for beginner bloggers because the hosting interface is usually very intuitive to use and is set up to make blogging a very simple process. Some possible blogging services include Blogspot, Wix, Tumblr, and Weebly.
Having experienced each of these, finding the bet one for you will depend on what type of content you want to put on your website and blog. I would recommend:
- tumblr for a less-professional blog – something fun and personal! This is a great option for connecting with others as tumblr has a great “reblog” system that allows you to follow other users and interact with other users’ content.
- wordpress.com – wordpress.com (which is different than wordpress.org) is a free hosting and blogging platform that is great for people who are most concerned with having great writing, tagging, and formatting freedom.
- Blogspot if you want the option to get into deep personalizations via html – blogspot free layouts are very simple, but if you are willing to learn html, it is a great option for personalizing your website’s layout.
- Wix is a very popular free hosting option and often used by people who have no experience at all. Wix offers a “drag and drop” set up for creating layouts but their blogging platform leaves much to be desired.
- Weebly if plan on having a store connected to your website
Free hosting invloves:
- Creating an account on a free hosting website
- Customize your blog/website layout
- familiarizing yourself with how their content management system works aka how their blogging platform works
- Begin creating posts for your blog
- Optional: pay for a premium subscription to unlock special options such as dynamic layouts and custom domain names
Paid hosting for your blog:
Paid blogging involves paying for a hosting service and then for a dedicated URL. A blog with paid service usually has its own URL such as [blogname].com. This option can be more difficult because the set up can be more complicated and less intuitive if you don’t have a background in setting up websites.
The major advantage is, of course, having your own URL but also means that you might have to do some extra learning to get used to a more advanced interface. The most popular paid blogging service is through WordPress.org (it’s what this blog is hosted on!).
Paid hosting involves:
- paying for hosting services from a hosting website
- paying for a domain name (these are often also offered by hosting websites but can be purchased separately)
- installing a CMS (content management system) aka the software that will be used to create and manage the data or your website. The most popular CMS for writers/bloggers is WordPress.org
- installing/creating a layout onto your CMS
- Install the necessary pluggins, fonts, page, etc. that will make up your website
- Begin creating content for your website’s blog
As you can see, there is a lot more technical involvement with paying for your own hosting!
Install a Layout
Both free and paid blogging services include simple layouts and templates, which makes it super easy to start blogging right away. Feel free to start out using a free and simple layout while you get comfortable to blogging.
Once you develop your blogging style, writing voice, and online persona you can update your blog’s layout to match those qualities. If you want to make your blog stand out more and match your unique style, you can do that with more complicated layouts. This process will vary depending on what service or host you are using for your blog. If you want a specific layout but aren’t sure how to install it or get started, there are many services online that will provide installation services or even free tutorials that will provide steps for specific layouts.
So now you have a blog name, a writing niche, and have set up a blog on either free or paid hosting. Now, you can set up your blog with pages. The main page of a blog is dedicated to the blog itself, where the posts you write will appear. Other pages that you can create could be an about page, a contact page, and a categories page. On the about page, you can write a little about yourself so visitors can learn more about you. A contact page usually includes an embedded contact box where visitors can enter their contact info and send you a message [check out this sites contact page for an example]. Finally a category page could include links to help visitors see the different types of posts that are on your blog. Once you have hundreds of posts, this will help visitors find specific posts.
Congratulations! You have successfully set up your new blog. Now, all that is left to do is start writing! If you aren’t sure how to come up with content for your blog, no worries. Check out this blog post about starting the writing aspect of your blog.