Beginners guide to blogging 

You’ve spent ages thinking about a sassy name for your non-existent blog and you’ve finally nailed it, now what?

I’m no expert but if you’ve found yourself in this position perhaps you’ll find this blog post useful.  I’ve only recently started blogging again and if I am honest then I would have to say that I have probably eaten more mini eggs in one sitting than current followers I have on my WordPress site, but I’m working on it.  If there is one thing you take from this blog post today it’s knowing that building up a ‘readership’ or a ‘following’ takes time.

So, before you start your blog I think it’s important to take some time to consider a few things:

  • Decide what you want to blog about.  What are you passionate about, what excites you?  There is nothing worse than having to create content on a consistent basis about things you really don’t enjoy.
  • Make sure that sassy name you’ve come up with is aligned with what you’ll be blogging about.
  • Spend a few hours brainstorming a blogging plan.  How many times a week will you be posting, what your first few posts be about etc.  Once you have a rough idea or plan you can move on to creating a blog.

Here’s what you need to do to set up your own personal blog:

Step 1 – Choose a blogging platform

There are so many options available out there but for me WordPress really is easy to navigate, it comes with heaps of free themes, you can interact easily with the millions of people already using WordPress and best of all a wordpress.com site is free.

It’s important to point out at this point that although there are many things a free WordPress.com site can offer you it also comes with its limitations. 

Step 2 – Hosting

If you sign up for a free WordPress.com site, your blog will be up and running in no time.  Your blog will be hosted on WordPress and if you don’t purchase a domain your site URL will read something along the lines of mynewblog.wordpress.com (rolls off the tongue really, doesn’t it).  However, if you choose to go down the self hosted route you have so much more control over your blog and what it looks like but this does come at a cost which varies depending on which hosting platform you use. Previously I used Go Daddy but I recently decided to switch over to SiteGround.

I’ll be doing another post soon about the difference between a WordPress.com site vs a WordPress.org site

Step 3 – Pick a Domain Name

Now is the time for your sassy blog name to shine.  If you sign up for a free WordPress site you don’t actually own your blog name and until you purchase a domain name your URL will read something like mynewblog.wordpress.com. I opted for a free WordPress site in the beginning so my URL was beautybagsecrets.wordpress.com until I purchased my domain name (beautybagsecrets.com) through WordPress. I wish I had thought it through prior to purchasing my domain on WordPress as this meant I had to transfer my domain from WordPress to my new host which just added to the delay of getting my site up and running again. So think about your options before you purchase your domain.

Step 4 – Design your site and start blogging

Regardless of whether or not you have chosen to go with a free WordPress.com site or if you’ve decided on the self hosted option you will be able to design your site to some extent via the dashboard.  WordPress.com will be a rather limited but you’ll still have the option to add widgets and menu’s and you’ll have a selection of free themes to choose from.  If you’re not too fussed about the having full control of your blog then a WordPress.com site is for you and you’ll be up and running in no time. However if you want the option of changing the layout and design of your site, giving it a more personal feeling by injecting your creative vision behind the scenes then a WordPress.org site is the way forward.

If you have any other questions just pop them in the comments box below.  I’d love to know which blogging platform you chose and why.  Let me know what you think of the new look of my site too 🙂

Happy blogging folks.

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