This is the second installment of my Blogging 101 series. I’ll be posting on alternating Wednesdays here and addressing a few different topics:
- 3 questions you should consider
- The simple steps to getting a blog
- A closer look at stats and how to improve
- Four strategies to stay sane
Today’s topic covers the simple steps to getting a blog.
1. Pick your platform.
The platform is the back-end that you’ll use to publish your content. Here are the two I have experience with (and the mention of a third):
Blogger - I spent many years on Blogger, and in fact, this blog is hosted on Blogger. It’s easy to use and easy to get started with. If you decide to move to another platform, it’s relatively easy to migrate your posts, but you could start and stay with Blogger, I think. It’s also tied in with Google, so there’s search engine optimization that happens automatically (or so they say).
WordPress - WordPress has really become popular in the last couple of years, and it’s because it is a very versatile platform for websites in general. There are a lot of free templates to let you choose and customize how exactly your blog looks and a great community of helps and tips. Highly recommended as a website solution. It will probably take a little getting used to and need you to read or watch tutorials.Other Platforms
I don’t have any experience with any other blogging platforms, but TypePad always seems to make the top three lists and seems to be easy to use and to make a nice finished look. If you have other recommendations for blogging platforms, please include them in the comments!
2. Choose your hosting.
Do you want to have your own website (which costs money) or just use the free service? If you want a custom website address (also known as a domain name or URL), you’ll have to spend some money for hosting.
You can register your domain name and do an installation of the full version of WordPress with both of these providers. You may also opt to have custom email (i.e. YourName@YourWebsite.com) hosted as well.
In both of these providers (and probably any others you’ll find), you have the option to have a “site builder,” which is a guided set-up process and helps you learn the ropes.
3. Do what you do → WRITE!
Yes, there is a bit more to it than just that, but only as much as you want there to be. You can have fancy sidebars with blogrolls and even widgets of content. But you don’t have to.