Blogging is one of the best ways to get your content out there where people can see it. Over time your blog will build up a steady stream of traffic and can even earn you a lot of money. It’s a relatively easy process to start a blog and the only fees involved are hosting and domain name registration.
If you’re going to be blogging consistently it’s easier to write about something you are passionate about or at least interested in.
Choosing The Best Blogging Platform
There are a couple of different blogging platforms to choose from. One of the most flexible and widely used is WordPress. There are two versions of WordPress, one hosted on your own servers and the other hosted with WordPress.com. I highly recommend you build your blog on your own hosting account so you have complete control over the content and earnings of the website.
Joomla! is another blogging platform that’s quite popular and just like WordPress there are thousands of extensions and themes you can use to change the functioning and aesthetics of your blog.
Of these two platforms WordPress is probably a little easier to use and the one I build my websites around. Changing the entire theme of your blog can be done with the click of a button and there are many plugins that can add unique features to your blog as well.
Picking A Domain Name
A domain name is a very important part of your business. It’s how people will recognize and remember you. Spend some time thinking about some great domain names that you could use for your blog. Don’t rush into it and pick the first thing that comes to mind. Here’s a few tips to picking the best domain name for your blog:
1) Brainstorm for ideas and come up with a number of domains you like
2) Keep the domain name as short as possible. No more than three words as a general rule
3) Make it memorable and easy to type.
4) Avoid infringing on copyright. Stay away from using brand names or names of movies or games in your domain.
5) Look for the .com version of your domain first. Other extensions are OK but most people will instinctively type in .com at the end of your domain name
If you have a lot of domain name ideas and want to quickly check out which ones are available you can use a bulk registration tool such as the one at DomainCheapsters here. You don’t have to register with them but they do provide a handy tool for checking availability of domain names.
Once you have your domain name sorted out you’ll need to find somewhere to host it.
Where To Host Your Blog
I’ve written a few blog posts about hosting your websites and comparison tests between various hosts so I won’t go into detail about that here. My recommendation and the hosting provider that I use for most of my websites is HostGator. You can check out there plans and pricing here.
Once you have your hosting account ready follow the steps below to get your blog up and running as fast as possible.
So how do you start a blog with WordPress?
Most hosting providers have a two-click installation of WordPress in their control panel. Hosts such as HostGator and Bluehost will set you up with cPanel access. Simply scroll down to “QuickInstall” and click on it.
Next you’ll be taken to the Quick Install page. Simply click on “WordPress” on the left hand side and then press the “Install WordPress” Button.
Next you’ll need to fill in some basic details about your blog. The domain, blog title, admin name, your email address, etc. Choose an appropriate blog title and fill in the rest of the fields. I recommend leaving the “install/path/here” field blank unless you want your blog to be installed in a sub-directory of your website.
In a few seconds your brand new blog will be installed. Congratulations! You’ve just gone through the process of starting up your first blog.
In the next part we’ll look at exactly how to set up your blog, add themes and plugins so that it looks amazing and has the best chance of bringing in traffic and making you money. Click here to see the next part of Making Money With Your Blog with Blog Templates here.