A straightforward jargon free guide to setting up a blog.
Quite frankly when I first set up my blog I hadn't got a clue what I was doing. No idea whatsoever. I had baked all my life and my ambition was simply to share and store my recipes on my own blog/website. Actually making that a reality was a huge uphill climb. Even though I am pretty computer literate in a "normal" sort of way this was one whole new world...but a deliciously exciting and rewarding one.
I want to write a brief introduction therefore for those of you who are also new travellers to this wonderful world. The sort of whistle-stop guide that I feel would've been a huge help to me had I can it all that time ago!
SETTING UP A BLOG GUIDE
Please note that this guide contains a sprinkling of affiliate links throughout, but only from those brands that I endorse, trust and have used myself. If you do click on the link and make a purchase I will earn a little bit of money, which helps to fund the work I put into my blog, so thank you in advance if you do.
Much of the information I speak of here I had to forage for on the internet. The dance of two steps forward and one step back was one I followed for a VERY long time.
Then, as with most newly learned skills, once you finally get it, you wonder why it took you so long to actually get it in the first place!
Part 1: Getting yourself started
So you have decided on the area you want to blog/content create about, ie you have nailed down your niche.
Great stuff, and we're off!
A domain of your own
Next you need a name for your blog/website, aka a domain name. I recommend going for a ".com". This tool will check availability of domain names available:
Once found, you need to go ahead and register your domain name. All you are doing at this point is taking ownership of your domain name and preventing anyone else from owning it. I recommend using Bluehost to register your domain name as well as your hosting (more info below on that), if you are new to all of this as they offer a great service and the cost is low.
Next, your domain needs somewhere to live. Somewhere that will give it a bit of storage space and where you can build your website around it. That is called a host. Think of your domain as the address and your host as the land it sits on. Again I recommend Bluehost, setting up with them is so easy. Further down the line, if you decide the blogging life is definitely for you, then it's a cinch to move to a bigger host as your needs grow.
This link will allow you to register for hosting with Bluehost.
Once my blog grew a bit I switched to Big Scoots for hosting. Mostly because website speed performance is better. Customer service is second to none. You get an almost instant response to a problem, I actually don't think anyone ever sleeps there.
This link will allow you to register with Big Scoots for hosting.
So you're off to a good start!
You have a name and somewhere to live. Now you need to furnish your new home. You need to set your blog website up.
Both of the hosts I recommend above will allow you to do this. They will give you access to WordPress through their site, as will most hosts.
WordPress is the best platform to use for setting up a blog.
- A whopping 90% of all websites are created via WordPress.
- It offers an extraordinary amount of free and paid for themes (templates to complete to set up your website).
- It is easy to learn, once you've grasped the general principles of using it.
- It offers a huge amount of plugins (plugins are add on software programmes that allow you to do more with your site, such as ones offering added security protection, adding social media icon links etc).
- You do not need to have a qualification in web design to use it! It is made for us normal people to use!
- It is totally customisable to your needs
- If you do want to grow your site you will find other platforms are very limiting, so start with WP from day one an you never need to wade through the hassle of swapping later.
I could list all the other reasons and benefits regards using WordPress to set up your blog/website but you get the idea!
One More Thing ... but probably the most important to help you on your journey
These groups are FANTASTIC.
They offer tonnes of advice and support and someone will also be there to answer your questions. They also offer a much needed community to participate in, blogging is a solitary and onerous little world and reaching out to those that know, understand and help is vital.
Another which is hugely helpful is Blogging for New Bloggers.
For now good luck with taking the first steps to set up your blog.
Coming Up: Part 2 Setting Up Your WordPress Website.