“Abhishek, i know what blogging is, but I'm confused how and where to get started!” This is the question i often get deluged with, whenever my friends get a chance to discuss with me the ‘abc’ of blogging. So, today I'll be sharing a comprehensive, step by step approach to help you get started with your own blog. Trust me, it’s very easy :)
Step 1: Introspect – What should I blog about?
Introspecting and identifying your area of interest and passion is the foundation of building a successful blog. For instance, It would be pointless for a person with an ineptitude for photography to set up a photo blog just because he’s motivated by his friend’s profitable photography blog. That’s certainly going to fail.
You need to look deep inside you to elicit out your true passion and interest. I’ll make the process easy for you through this simple 5 to 10 minutes exercise:
Make a list of 10 things that you absolutely love doing (no matter how crazy they could be)
Now, narrow down your love list by prioritising those things first for which you think you have enough to share and write about. The final 3 to 4 items are then eligible to become your preferred blogging niche!
Step 2: Free OR Paid blog?
Blogging comes in 2 flavours – free and paid. After identifying your areas of interest, you have to decide whether to go for the free or paid option? To understand the concept and decide better, look at this table…
|Free option||Paid option|
|what’s exactly that?||you are given a free sub-domain(yourblog.blogplatform.com) through any blogging platform of your choice like Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, etc..||you’re given your own domain address (yourblog.com) through a domain registrar like godaddy, bluehost, etc..that can be used with any blogging platform of your choice like Blogger or Wordpress|
|what’s the cost?||FREE forever||you have to incur domain renewing charges per year (can vary from $10 to $15 depending upon your registrar) + hosting expenses per month (only in case you’re with Wordpress)|
|is it for me?||if you want to ‘try’ blogging with zero investment then go with the FREE option (you can upgrade to paid option anytime!)||if you want your blog to look professional + if you’re serious about building a brand image, go for the paid option|
Step 3: Selecting a suitable blogging platform
After deciding whether to go for free or paid blogging option, you have to select an appropriate blogging platform. But what’s a blogging platform anyway?
A blogging platform is an online tool that lets you…
- write articles
- save/edit drafts
- publish articles to your blog’s address
- manage your blog – play with the overall look and feel (themify) & add useful widgets/plugins for the visitors
Blogger and Wordpress are the two most popular blogging platforms. Both are equally good when it comes to ‘free blogging’, however there is a significant difference between them when it comes to ‘paid blogging’. Here’s that difference:
Go for Blogger:
- if you don’t want to pay for monthly hosting expenses because here Google (owner of blogger) hosts your custom domain for free!
- if you can live with limited and not-so-good widgets and themes. Plus, if you’re comfortable getting dirty tweaking html codes (needed for making customizations to your blog’s template – look and feel)
Go for WordPress:
- if you can pay for monthly hosting expenses. Unlike Google, WordPress doesn’t host your blog for free. You need to get your blog hosted through compatible 3rd party hosting companies like bluehost, hostgator and the like…
- if you want to enjoy tons of premium themes and widgets/plugins (WordPress is well known and reputed for its active developer community!)
Final verdict: It’s a matter of personal choice actually. Clearly, WordPress is far superior to Blogger but at the cost of monthly hosting expenses. So opt for WordPress if money is not a concern. Otherwise, prefer sticking with blogger.
Step 4: Time to create your blog
Chosen your preferred blogging platform? Great! Now it’s time to go ahead and create your first blog.
For those who have chosen Blogger:
- Click here to learn how to set up your free blog
- In case you’ve chosen to go for paid blogging, click here to learn how to use your custom domain address on blogger
For those who have chosen WordPress:
- Here’s a guide to help you get started with your free blog
- In case if you’re going for paid blogging, here’s a comprehensive guide by Jeff Bullas
That’s it. You are a blogger now. Start posting great stuff on your blog :)
I hope that you must have enjoyed reading the post. Feel free to share it with your friends who are willing to get started with blogging.
And in case, if you still have any confusion or if something in the post is still not clear, don’t hesitate to drop your questions in the comments below ;)