Thinking about setting up your own blog? If you are a newbie in the blogging industry, then this simple guide on to get started should help you. Read along and inch your way towards become an expert blogger as you learn the ropes on how to begin.
1. Determine your topic or niche.
The very first thing you need to do is to decide on what you should write about. This step does not have to be tough, particularly if there is a topic that you are passionate about or specialize in. The whole idea is to enjoy what you are doing, so consider a topic or niche that you can relate with quite well. You may also opt for a topic that is unique, which can generate a buzz among the public and arouse their curiosity. Then, be sure that your blog posts are well-written, credible, original and relevant to your target audience. By doing so, they will be motivated to share your writeups to various social networks (and this can help increase your online presence and popularity).
2. Choose a blogging platform.
For beginners, it is more practical to go for free platforms since you do not want to invest a huge amount at the start. Among the different options for free blogging platforms include WordPress, Wix, Tumblr and Blogger. Choose a platform that is user-friendly, particularly when you lack knowledge on HTML. Drag and drop options are widely available for newbies, and these platforms allow you to customize your blog with free plugins, layouts, themes and other useful features.
3. Come up with a domain or blog name.
One limitation of a free blogging platform is the absence of a domain, which means you still have to pay for this part of setting up a blog. Hence, self-hosting your blog includes the exciting, yet tough task of choosing a domain name. Keep in mind that the name should be catchy, meaningful, easy to remember and short at the same time. Next, buy the domain to get started, or you can even purchase hosting and domain in one package to save you more money and stress in the long run.
4. Select a hosting company.
There are several hosting companies to choose from, but what you should think about are the features included in the package. For instance, it is best to go for a hosting company that offers plans including unlimited bandwidth, space, and email accounts, free domain, high percentage of up-time, automated backups and responsive technical support. Opt for an established and reputable company that is recommended by numerous bloggers. This way, you can get the best value for your money and spare yourself from issues including network outages or crashes of servers.
To give you an idea on the cost of setting up a blog including domain and hosting, here is a rough estimate of what you might have to pay per month. A domain may cost you about $15 annually while hosting may go as high as $7 monthly, depending on the company you choose. Just be sure to consider the reputation of the company, as well as one that offers tutorials or startup guide to assist you in the setup process.