Why on Earth Would I Start a Blog?
There are a number of reasons really. Your new blog can become your new hobby. It can allow you to connect with like minded individuals. It can easily become another source of income, and who knows what else. You could even change the world with just a single blog.
First Things First
The single hardest step when creating a new blog is to actually come up with a name and an idea. There are millions of blogs out there today and you’ll need to find a way to set yourself apart. However, the biggest concern at this point is finding a topic that you are knowledgeable and passionate about. For example, you wouldn’t start a blog on how to cure the poison from a poison arrow frog if you’ve never even seen one. Stick to a topic that will interest you as well as others.
Finding a Domain
Now that you have an idea, you’ll need to find a domain name. You want to find a domain that is relevant and easy to remember. Ideally, you’ll find an open domain with keywords in the name. For example, if you start a blog on making money selling birdhouses, you’ll want a domain name like profitfrombirdhouses.com or buildandsellbirdhouses.com. Domains ending in .com are considered to be more professional, but .net and .org domains are perfectly acceptable alternatives.
The domain registrar I prefer to use is www.GoDaddy.com. Their customer service is excellent and their prices are hard to beat. You can follow the link above or the banner below and start searching for your perfect domain.
Return here after you’ve purchased a domain name.
Setting Up Hosting
Now, you have an idea, topic, and domain name. All that’s left is a host to store all of data. I strongly recommend using HostGator.com for all your hosting needs. Their customer service is fantastic and I’ve never had a problem that took more than 15 minutes to resolve. They will also install the blogging platform WordPress for you instantly and free of charge.
Follow the link above and you’ll be taken to four hosting choices. If you’re only planning on owning one domain name, then the Hatchling plan is for you. It has everything you, as a beginner, would need. The only drawback is they require a year’s worth of hosting ($83.40) up front. If you have plans for more than one blog, I recommend using the Baby plan. You only have to pay $9.95 per month and you can host an unlimited number of domains.
Return here after you’ve purchased a hosting plan.
Changing the Nameservers
One of the last steps we need to do is to point the domain name to the hosting plan. This is accomplished by logging into your GoDaddy account and going to the domain control center. From there, select the domain name you purchased and click on the Nameservers tab. All you have to do is edit out the default nameservers with the ones provided to you by HostGator, which is usually NS###.HOSTGATOR.COM. Approve the changes and you’ll be good to go. Note that you may have to wait a few hours for the Domain Name Servers to propagate.
While you’re waiting for the website to go live, you can use this time to install WordPress. Login to your control panel at http://www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel and click on the Fantastico icon. From there, select WordPress, configure the options, and click install. It’s as easy that.
Well Now What?
Write, find a theme, grow a community, and get your name out there. The biggest piece of advice I can tell you is to not get discouraged. It’s a lot of work to become a popular blogger, but you have to keep at it.
If you hit any snags throughout the process listed above, send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll personally help you get setup.