Ever since Internet has been introduced, the world has evolved at faster rate. Internet has become a medium for information as well as social communication. This has given to the rise of new web tool called Blogs. What are Blogs? In simple terms, Blogs are informational or discussion websites consisting of entries/posts in reverse chronological order with the most recent appearing first. There are millions of blogs live on internet which in itself has introduced an all new world called Blogosphere. So, before entering into such world of blogging, you should make yourself clear with a very old theory which I call it as the “WHow theory“. Instead of just only knowing “How to start your blog”, you should first ask yourself “Why should I start it?”.
Why should I start my blog?
Blogs were initially introduced to express and share information on internet. Blogging (an act of writing blog) has become a trend nowadays and people are great in following such trends. Sometimes we follow trends without knowing even its purpose, in the same way people are starting up their blogs. The top most reason why people start their blogs is to earn money. Blogs as a source of media can connect with large number of audience across the globe with the power of internet. Such wide exposure makes your blog enabled for monetization. But earning money by just starting a blog is not a piece of cake, it requires real hard work and dedications, along with some great ideas.
So here are some questions which you need to ask yourself before starting a blog,
What kind of blog you want to start with?
Blog can be a personal blog or a collaborative blog. Personal blogs are written by individuals as an online diary or to expose themselves to the world whereas Collaborative blogs are written by group of people open for discussion or an organization to share information on their desired niche. For eg.: aseemgirkar.com is a personal blog while engadget.com is a collaborate blog.
What topics will my blog relate to?
I have seen people starting a tech blog and sharing general stuffs in it. This shouldn’t happen as this will decrease your audience. Always write on topics which your blog relate to. For eg.: If you want to start a tech blog, then share posts on mobiles, gadgets, robots and more. If you want to start a sports blog, then share posts on cricket, football and stuffs related to sports.
What are your areas of interest?
Before writing any post, ask yourself is this related to your area of interest? If the answer is no, then never write on such topics. Always write on topics which you are interested in. This will allow you to share better information and increase your audience. If you have no idea what the topic is about and you have decided to write on it, then you will either fell short of audience or you will need to steal some other posts to write into your blog (this is strictly prohibited in blogging).
If you have answers to these three questions, then you should know the benefit of starting a blog.
- Blogging allow you to share information with wider audience interested in your topic.
- Blogging improves social communication.
- Blogging let people/organization grow their business.
- Blogging lets you earn money by monetization i.e showing advertisement or promotions in the blog.
- Blogging helps you become a better person.
- Blogging make your life simple and allow you to help people
How to Start your own blog?
These are the five steps which need to be followed to start a blog.
- Choose a proper blogging platform.
- Choose a best web-hosting solution
- Choose a domain name.
- Setup your blog.
- Design and use the blog.
1. Choose a proper blogging platform
Since, I have stated that choosing a proper blogging platform as the first preferred step, then this is something where people should look more into and they might go wrong in taking a correct decision. Blogging platform or you can say a CMS (Content Management System) platform are the web-based platform through which contents are maintained and published on blogs. Some of the most popular blogging platforms includes WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, Drupal, Medium, Squarespace, WIX etc.
Out of these, WordPress is among the widely used blogging CMS platform all across the globe. WordPress offers user control over every aspects of websites and comes with variety of themes and plugins which ease work even for people with less coding knowledge. WordPress comes in two ways, firstly, as WordPress.org which is a self-hosted solution which requires a suitable web-hosting as well as domain and secondly, as WordPress.com which offers blog hosting service for free with limited features which can be enhanced by using its premium service.
If you are a newbie and you are stepping into blogosphere without making much investment, then Blogger.com can be one of the preferred option. Blogger owned by Google comes with limited templates and is available for free and if user wish to have their own prefered domain, then they can easily set it up. There are variety of solutions on web for Blogger templates customization and hence, newbies can easily settled into it. But due to lack of features and customization capability, people later switch from Blogger to WordPress.
Joomla and Drupal are similar to WordPress, they both offer self-hosted solution which requires a suitable web-hosting and domain service. Out of all these, Drupal offers the best security protection. But since it requires a lot of technical skills for customization and setting up, people usually prefer WordPress over Drupal.
Note.: Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.com as a free blogging platform provides limited access for monetization and customization. They cannot be self-hosted on a web-hosting solution, but can have a custom domain name.
2. Choose a best web-hosting solution
If you have decided your blogging platform, then next important step is choosing an appropriate web-hosting solution for your blog. Why can’t we go with any web-hosting solution? Well, I have an answer for this question as web-hosting provides us with a virtual storage space, bandwidth, hosting services, Control Panel and also, each of them comes with different pricing and types of hosting, making a proper decision is must.
If you are a newbie blogger then you can go ahead with shared hosting and if the blog grows and started gaining high traffic, then you can upgrade to dedicated hosting or VPS hosting.
Decide your web-hosting depending on bandwidth and server reliability or server uptime. One will always desire to have a hosting with 24×7 uptime, and it always recommended to have a web-hosting having uptime above 99%.
Since, as a newbie it is usually recommended to go ahead with shared hosting as it fairs cheaper in terms of pricing. However, the same shared hosting can be charged higher on renewal, therefore, it is recommended to know an expected renewal cost before purchasing a new shared hosting. Bloggers nowadays switch into new web-hosting once the current web-hosting is about to expire. Note, this won’t work often as it may sometimes create a serious issue with blog data.
Apart from these, storage space, bandwidth and other hosting services play a vital role in deciding best web-hosting solution.
3. Choose a domain name
A domain name is your website/blog name. It is the url/web address which user will visit through web. Choosing an appropriate domain name can help you a lot in business. If you are starting a personal blog, then you can go purchase a domain name of your name or if you are starting a collaborative blog for your organization/business purpose, then you can make a purchase of domain name related to your business.
Nowadays, domain name comes free while purchasing a new web hosting or else it comes in a cheaper price, when you purchase from some of these two hosting sites: Godaddy and Namecheap.
Note.: A domain name must not be long and should be clear enough to relate with business.
4. Setup your blog
Once you have a decided your blogging platform and purchased a proper hosting and domain name, then you can go ahead by setting up your blog. After purchasing a web-hosting solution, you will be provided with a cPanel for managing your blog. A cPanel is equipped with number of hosting services which can be used to setup the blog.
Select your desired hosting service such as blogging platform eg. WordPress by clicking on it. Follow the steps, connect your domain name with the desires blogging platform and once done, your blog is set up and ready to go.
5. Design and use your blog
Now since you have finished setting up your blog, then you can go ahead for designing it. If you have less technical knowledge, then you can go ahead with themes which are available in web and which are equipped with blogging platforms. Also, they come with plugins and add-ons which provides enhancement to blog.
Once designing and customization is done, you can go ahead write the contents you desire and publish it into your blog. Who knows your article might change someone’s life, so think before writing it.
And if you are done with these five steps, I have something to say to you “Welcome to the world of blogging“
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