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Are you ready to create a blog?
Do you want this blog to be your best but have no idea where to start?
I remember years ago when I first started exploring the idea of starting a blog. I had no idea where to start. However, I did my research, launched a blog, and then quickly realized how overwhelming it is in the blog world. I started a blog (a different one) and expected instant success. I wasn’t aware of all the work that went into it or all the different components I’d have to utilize.
So guess what?
I walked away, better yet I ran away. I gave up on the whole idea of blogging and moved on to something else. There was just too much too learn, too much to do, and I simply couldn’t see myself being successful at blogging.
No matter how far I ran, I could not shake this desire to blog. This desire to share my thoughts, experiences, and help people in this journey of life. I tried to stay away but I couldn’t, so after years of running I buckled down and was determined to learn all I could about blogging so I could succeed this time. So I did my research, and decided to commit to this journey, and launched my revamped brand and blog one year ago.
I must say these past couple years have been a learning experience, but now I feel I am at a point to share my knowledge with you.
This blog post is different than my usual posts, but I have decided that I needed a section on my blog where I can share all I learn about blogging, SEO, social media marketing, etc. It would be selfish of me to keep this information to myself especially if my knowledge can help someone in creating their unique plan for success. Also, I want to help anyone that is interested in blogging or may have tried blogging before but feel this is overwhelming.
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So here it goes, here are the ways you can start to create your best blog:
First things first I need you to take a few deep breaths. Relax. You don’t have to figure it all out overnight. The key to success is taking baby steps. One of the mistakes I made was trying to figure it all out in one day. There were so many different parts to learn, and silly me, I tried to learn and do everything in a matter days. I also expected too much too soon and became discouraged when nothing was happening with my blog. I made several mistakes as a new blogger, and even though I am still relatively new, I feel I have a better grasp of “Blogville” So I encourage you to relax and be patient, this will take time.
Choose the Right Platform
Second you need to choose the right platform for you. WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are examples of different blogging platforms. I personally use WordPress because it is relatively easy to setup and it has many themes and customization options.Using WordPress will truly give you the ability to make your blog your own.
Next you have to decide if you want to use a free blogging platform like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com or if you want to use a self-hosted blogging platform like WordPress.org. When starting out, some bloggers prefer to choose a free platform, they do not want to bother with choosing a domain or pay the expense of finding a hosting provider.
Personally, I chose to go with self-hosted blog using my own domain name from the beginning. In doing my research, I realized I will have less of an expense by starting with self-hosting from the beginning instead of trying to switch platforms later. From my research, trying to switch my content over from a free blog to a self-hosted blog later was not worst the time, potential frustration, or the expense. So I chose to go with WordPress.org from the beginning.
Now, if you choose to go with a free platform, simply go to the site and follow directions and set up your blog. If you chose to use a self-hosted platform, you will now have to choose a domain and a hosting provider.
Choosing a domain is as easy as figuring out the name of your site and making sure the domain is available. Your domain is your web address. When choosing self-hosted platforms, your site will be www.fillinyourdomainname.com. Most people choose “.com”, but depending on your needs you can also choose “.org”, “.net”, or any other variations available.
Domains are relatively cheap around $12/year, however some hosting providers provide free domains when you choose their hosting service. I personally use NameCheap for domain registration. When I initially researched domains, I came across pros and cons of having your domain and hosting service through the same company. I made the choice to use separate providers, but again this was more so a matter of personal choice.
One of the most important choices you make is a hosting provider. Hosting is basically the home of your blog. You have decide which company you will trust to house your domain and care for all of your content that you will produce. The costs of web-hosting varies, but below are a list of different hosting providers.
- Hostgator– this is the provider I use and I do not have any complaints. When I started different blogs year ago I was always drawn to Hostgator. The customer service is great and it is easy to install WordPress.I have never had any problems with my site.
- BlueHost– I have heard great things about BlueHost and if I ever switch providers Bluehost would definitely be my choice. They offer free domains with hosting as well as easy install of WordPress. They have a powerful hosting service for only $3.95/month (introductory offer).
- SiteGround is another hosting service provider. They do not offer a free domain however you can purchase your own domain and use it on SiteGround. They offer fast loading speeds and site security is one of their priorities.
- DreamHost also provides quality hosting service. They are one of the largest and established hosting companies. They offer unlimited websites, free SSL certificate, and best of all WordPress is already pre-installed.
- WP Engine is a great hosting provider. This company differs from the above companies because WP Engine is a managed hosting provider while the ones listed above are shared hosting providers. The main difference between managed hosting and shared hosting WordPress providers is that managed hosting is dedicated strictly to WordPress. This has advantages such as increased security and blazing fast speeds. The downside is that you will pay a more for managed hosting vs. shared.
All of the above are great choices for hosting providers. The decision on which one to use comes down to your personal needs and desires. I recommend you explore each hosting provider and make the best decision for your blog.
After you choose a provider you will have to install WordPress and select your plugins. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information at one time, so I will cover these steps in a later post.
The decision to blog and build a website is fun and exciting. There is a ton of information on the web to make your beginner blogging days much easier and less overwhelming. I suggest you learn all you can and research any topic you are unfamiliar with to make your blogging days easier.
As always you can contact me with any questions, comments, and/or concerns. Also, subscribe to my blog for the latest updates.