That is the big question. There are many different platforms and ways to get a blog going but I’m going to talk about how to start a blog that’s a possible income avenue. The way to do that is to be a self-hosted blog. What’s that? It’s a blog you take complete ownership over as opposed to using a free site that lets you write all you want but limits you in terms of design and individuality. This option costs you some money but gives you the control. Do you want to start a blog where you decide everything from design to ad placement? Let’s begin.
Step 1- Pick a Name
That may seem harder than you think. You want something that describes you and what your blog is about, but you also don’t want it to be a mouthful. A shorter URL name works for you as it’s easier for people to enter into a search bar. Once you find a name that you like, you have to make sure it’s not already taken. Google and do your due diligence. While you are there, also make sure the name isn’t taken on any social media accounts. Having the same name on all branches of social media will really help your reach as you are trying to grow your blog.
Step 2- Pick a Platform
The next step is figuring out which blogging platform you want to use. The two most popular are Blogger and WordPress. I use WordPress and I’m very happy with it. Most bloggers I’ve seen prefer WordPress over Blogger but there are many popular blogs that work on the Blogger platform as well. Get yourself familiar with different blogging platforms and see which one you can see yourself working with long term.
Step 3- Find a Host
The next important step in self hosting is finding a place for your blog to live. A host is like an internet landlord, you pay them to house your blog and make sure it stays up and available. There are a ton of options out there but it’s hard to weed out who’s legit and who’s not so good. I would recommend WP Engine. They are a highly reviewed company with a reasonable price for beginner bloggers. You can find more information here. They will help you if you are just getting started or are looking to change internet hosts. They have a super easy setup that gets you started quickly with a free domain name. They also have WordPress right on the setup to download and get going.
Step 4- Pick a Theme
Once you are all set up with your domain name and host, now comes the fun part…customizing! You can go to your Dashboard and look at all the themes and play around with what you like. If you really want to get personal, you can buy a custom theme. There are a ton of website designers out there that sell themes, my theme comes from the group Pretty Darn Cute Design. Studiopress is also a great resource for tons of WordPress themes. You can really play around and get a blog that fits you and your personality perfectly. I will recommend that if you want a great theme, you should purchase the Genesis framework. It’s not required, but it really takes your blogs layout and abilities to a whole new level!
So that’s the basics of Starting a Blog 101. Obviously there is more work to put in but this will get your site up and running. There is a lot to learn but starting at the beginning is the best way to go! Now you are ready to set up for advertising, play around with fonts and really take ownership of your blog.
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