Blogging Toolkit – How to start your own blog
Starting your own blog can feel like a real challenge. Today sees us sharing with you part 1 of our 3 part guide to getting started with your own WordPress blog. We are going to talk you through how to purchase your own domain name, how to obtain web hosting and how to get started with creating your WordPress blog. Coming up in parts 2 and 3 we have got guides on how to build your audience and most importantly, how to earn the most money you can from your blog.
Starting with a quality domain name, obtaining reliable web hosting and setting up WordPress is just the beginning to making your own blog. These are the very basic steps towards creating a successful blog but ultimately they are some of the most important steps that you will take.
Buying a domain
The first step to creating your own blog is choosing a domain name. Your domain name is going to become the basis for your website. People will get to know your domain and if you have a catchy one it may even stick firmly in people’s minds. Be sure to put thought into your domain name now, rather than risk having to change it in the future.
With millions of websites already in existence you may find that the first option you decide on has actually already been taken. Try not to be disheartened by this and consider using a synonym for popular words or just starting again with an alternative name. Be sure not to use the name of a trademark brand as this could potentially be a problem for your domain in the future and ruin any branding that you have created.
When choosing your own domain name be sure to think what your website is going to be about. If you are going to be blogging about money then try and sum this up in a catchy domain name. If you are going to be creating a parenting blog then try and think of the future also. While you may be a ‘Mum of one’ now in the future you may have more children and changing the domain name of your website, while quite easy, can have an affect on your Google rankings and popularity for quite a while. If you use a more general domain name then try to ensure that it is still catchy.
Obtaining web hosting
There are a wide variety of companies out there offering web hosting. It can be easy to be lured into choosing the one with the very cheapest prices. However, like a lot of things in life you really do get what you pay for. If you want to be sure of a reliable service, that isn’t going to see your website crashing frequently, then you want to look at UK Based Kloudhost.
All of the web hosting packages that Kloudhost offer come with a free domain name and their prices start from just £2.99 per month. You can start out with the cheapest package and as your website grows, and becomes more popular, it is simple to just upgrade to the next hosting plan with next to no effort.
With 24/7 UK based support available you will always be able to get help with any issues that you might have. Your website will also be backed up everyday, completely free, as part of any Kloudhost package. This means that if you website is hacked or you make a mistake when working on your theme files that you will not lose your entire website. This is a great confidence boost as it will allow you to experiment a little more and if you make a huge mistake you can just have your backup restored.
When it comes time to renew your web hosting packaging always ensure that you call them or use live chat to negotiate a discount on your renewal. Discounts are usually available and you may be able to get yourself a discount on the overall price or even free months of hosting for each year that you sign up for. As the old saying goes – if you don’t ask you don’t get!
STOP PRESS! If you use the code “TMS” at the checkout on Kloudhost you will get 20% off your hosting costs!!
Kloudhost also offer free website migration for all customers who already have a website with another web hosting company. This is a fantastic way for you to make the switch over to Kloudhost and to allow them to take care of everything for you.
Setting up WordPress
WordPress is the software that you use to post your own blog posts and set up your website theme. It is incredibly user friendly and you can download 1000s of plugins to help make creating a personalised website even easier. There are lots of free tools for WordPress users and it can take just minutes to get your first website created and start working on your first blog post.
Setting up WordPress may feel a little daunting, however, thanks to Softaculous you can install wordpress with just one click! It takes just seconds to get WordPress installed and begin creating your own posts. WordPress is very user friendly and most of the available options are self explanatory. There are fantastic toolbars on offer, when you are writing a post, to allow you to add links, format your posts and insert images. All of the buttons are easy to understand and it is straight forward to create a blog post and have it looking fantastic in just a matter of minutes.
WordPress has 1000s of website plugins that allow you to make a number of amendments to the theme of your website. You could add links to your social media channels, display your most popular posts, add sidebars, headers and footers to your website. You can also use plugins to allow you to avoid spam comments ending up on your website, to check how your search engine optimisation is and ensure that you rank as highly as possible on Google.
With more than 60,000,000 users WordPress is forever evolving and becoming easier and easier to use. There are many fantastic books available to help you learn more about WordPress. This one is a great option for new users and this one is a great option for more experienced users.
The right tools for the job
Now that you have seen how easy it can be to start your own WordPress blog let’s talk about using the right tools for the job.
Firstly the best browsers for using WordPress tend to be Chrome on Windows laptops/PCs and Safari on Macbooks/Apple devices. These are both designed to work fast and allow you to see your formatting in previous mode as it will appear on your website. This allows you to see any potential mistake that you may have made and fix them before your blog posts appear live on the internet.
Having a laptop will allow you to work on the go. This means that you could be working on your next blog post in your lunch break at work, in a coffee shop or even as a passenger in a car on a long journey. There are lots of fantastic laptops on offer to suit every budget. Whether you are looking for an entry level, mid range or higher level laptop there is something for everyone. You will not necessarily need a fancy device to allow you to work on your own blog, however, if you want to make the most of your time then you want to go with a device, such as a Macbook, that works fast, is ready to use in seconds and has a very long battery life.
This week we have covered the very basics needed to get your blog started. By now you should have bought your domain, web hosting and set up WordPress. You may have even got your first blog post published already.
Next week we will be talking about the next step in running a successful blog. Having unique content is what is going to make your website stand out from the rest. Next week’s post will have tips that allow you to learn about creating unique content and how to ensure that your posts are reaching the right audience.