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Thursday, 22 April 2021

WHY YOU SHOULD CREATE A BLOG AND JOIN THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY

_________________________
So below, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do
to get started and set up your own personal blog. Before
we dive in though, I really want to talk about WHY you
should build a blog.

Note: If you already have a solid idea of the whys, then skip
this and go right ahead with the guide.

1. Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways
of communicating and spreading information and news.
There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry,
you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).

2. It’s a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic
way to share information with others.

3. You become a better person and a better writer.

4. The best reason? You can make money doing it!
I bet you already knew all of that, but it’s nice to be
reminded.

One very last thing before we get started:
Creating your own blog can take a little while, probably
up to 30 minutes.


 So grab yourself a coffee or juice
(whatever you fancy) and let’s get stuck in. If you need
any help during the set-up process, get in touch with
me here and I’ll help as best I can and answer any
questions you might have).

Disclosure: This guide to starting your own blog contains
some affiliate links. If you purchase any service through one of
these links I may earn a small commission, this is at no extra
cost to you.

The Steps Covered In This Blogging Guide
It’s nowhere near as difficult as setting up a website from
scratch (there’s very little technical ability needed here). In
fact, there’s no coding required by you. Good news, huh?
How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps:
There are five main steps you need to do in order to start a
blog. If you follow this guide exactly, you’ll have your own
blog set up in 30 minutes or less.

1. Choose a great blog platform

2. Choose a web host for your blog

3. How to Set up a blog on your own domain

4. Design your new blog

5. Useful resources for blogging
So, we made it. Phew. Better late than never! So, without
further ado, let’s jump into step 1.

STEP 1 – CHOOSE YOUR PREFERRED BLOGGING PLATFORM

Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the
first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and
assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I
advocate. It’s massive .
It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world,
with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways
to design and layout your blog.
There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a
lot, basically.


There are other alternatives, however, and they are listed
below:
Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and
very simple to use.
Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than
those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with
WordPress :

1. Super easy set-up and is free to use

2. Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there are
gazillions).

3. There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck
(you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).

4. Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look
Functionality and form – perfect!

5. People can interact with you easily. Your content can be
shared, commented on, and so on.
Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including
WordPress), give it a read:
How to Choose a Blogging Platform – (updated for 2021)
Now , Step 2 (see, we’re moving fast now!)

STEP 2 – SELF-HOSTING OR A FREE ALTERNATIVE?

Whoa, slow down there! This is the biggest decision you’ll
have to make before we go any further. You need to decide
whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.
WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger all offer free blogs for
anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who
aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have
downsides :

1) You won’t be able to get your OWN domain name
On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) will be
butt-ugly. Like, really ugly. In short, create a free blog with
any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:
yourblog.wordpress.com
yourblog.blogspot.com
yourblog.tumblr.com
I know, ugly right?

2) Limits and more limits
There are some limits to free blogs. You can’t fully monetize
it, and you don’t have the possibility to upload all those
videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all
limited. Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free
themes offered by WordPress.

3) YOU DON’T’T OWN YOUR BLOG

It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your
blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can
delete it if they want to. They have done so in the past, and
keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work
on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts
might have vanished within seconds. Sad…
On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own
domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll
be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example, “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it
with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix.
Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images, and
content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.

So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as
you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5
to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which
is less than a couple of coffees.
If you still have questions, here’s some further information
for you to look at:
Should I Choose a Hosted or Non-hosted Blogging Platform?

STEP 3 – START A BLOG ON YOUR OWN DOMAIN

 (if you
chose self-hosting and a custom domain)
I’m going
to push
ahead
based on
the
premise
you’ve
chosen
WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the
best.

If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is,
allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up
for yourself.

You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also
choose a hosting company that can host your blog.
Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website.

Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain),
Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!
Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your
website up on the internet so everyone else can see it.
Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a
computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will
be saved.
Disclosure: I recommend using Hostgator for web hosting. If
you click through one of my links and make a purchase, I will
receive a commission, which helps me keep
bloggingbasics101.com up and running.
Personally, I use Hostgator (for my blog domain and
hosting) , and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about
it.

It’s probably one of the cheapest (less than $3 per month)
hosting providers out there. A domain name will cost around
$10-15 a year, but with Hostgator, you can get that for FREE
first year.
If you do sign up with Hostgator be sure to use the coupon
code BB101 as this will unlock the maximum discount they
offer on all their hosting packages.
:). Big smiles for that!
They’re the providers I use for all of my blogs, including the
one you’re reading right now.
If for any reason you don’t want to go with Hostgator, feel
free to choose your own hosting company. Most, if not all of
them, should have a “ one-click” WordPress install solution
on their admin panel.
That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog.
Did I say it was simple or what?
All you need to do is sign up with Hostgator (or your chosen
provider), choose your hosting plan and a domain name and
look for the one-click WordPress install button on the admin
panel.
If you are getting stuck at any point this guide may help as it
has screenshots.
WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend
whois privacy (that will keep all your personal details private)
and definitely automated backups (that’ll save your website
just in case anything fails or disappears so you won’t lose any
or very little of your blog).
Start a Blog with Hostgator today and get an exclusive
60% discount with coupon BB101
Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to
do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually
www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by
adding a new post.
At the start, the layout looks confusing, but it gets very
understandable quickly. Don’t worry!

STEP 4 – DESIGNING YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG

Now, the fun bit.
Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To
choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance >
Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head
to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a
theme for around $40.
I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty
easy to customize. WordPress also has this awesome feature
that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. So if
you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can
just switch to another one without losing any precious
content or images.
Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and
your personality, but also what the blog is about. There’s no
point having a football-orientated theme if your blog is about
tennis, understand?
On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want
people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move
around it, people won’t stay. After all design is a subjective
art; meaning everyone likes different things.
But no one likes ugly websites, and they especially hate
websites that need a university degree to navigate. Make it
easy for them.
For more reading, I’ve put together 3 blog posts about
designing your blog. Feel free to check them through.
Blog Design: Keep It Clutter Free and User-Friendly
Advice for Blog Design and Blog Goals
Is there any software I can use to make my own graphics,
button, and banner?
Last step! Woo!

STEP 5 – USEFUL RESOURCES FOR BEGINNER BLOGGERS

Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of
online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more
than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more
learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or
you’ve been blogging for years.
These articles may help you avoid some of the growing pains
when it comes to your first blog – enjoy!:

5 Beginning Blogging Mistakes You Can Fix
Choosing a Blogging Niche

7 Ways to Boost your success as a Blogger
And that’s it! I’m more than confident that your initial blog
set up should now be finished and ready to go, and all that
should have been really damn easy (unlike my first time,
lucky you!). If you are having any problems installing
WordPress on Hostgator then this guide may help .
If by some unfortunate circumstance you get stuck or have
any questions for me about how to create a blog, just get in
touch with me or leave a comment below. I’ll help you out
with any problems.
Enjoy your new blog!

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