Blogging is a way to share your idea with people across the globe.This is the reason why more and more people have started to blog. It is not at all necessary that your blog has to be intricate or costly. Almost every second person has a blog of his own nowadays. Blogging is medium of communicating with other people and improvising the knowledge about the topic for the convenience of one’s own self and others too.
In fact there are millions of blogs available on the internet covering almost all the genres of life that you can solve almost all the issues using them. This proves to be the best way to express your own self and helps you to become a better expresser and as a person too improves you a lot. The best reason being you are actually making money through it.
Starting a blog could be a bit tricky as you have to take care of a lot of important steps. Also through this guide, you will be guided from staring to end process of the blogging process. You don’t need to know any sort of program coding for your blogging process.
So if you are just a beginner in the field of blogging, then this article is at your rescue. So to start a blog there are mainly three steps required:
- Choose blogging platform
- Choosing between Self Hosted and Free alternative
- Setting up a blog on your custom domain
Each of the above points is explained below
1. Choose blogging platform
The blogging platform is the first and foremost thing you should start from while starting blogging. There are various blogging platforms available which are loaded with amazing features enough to confuse you. So again to save you from the trouble you can refer to our article on choosing between the top ten blogging platforms. For more refer here.
For starting to blog you can choose among any of the above-stated platforms. For this article, we are taking the reference of WordPress. It provides you with the best support for blogging and is one of the oldest blogging platforms available in the present scenario. It is the world’s biggest blogging platform providing you with innumerable add-ons and plugins. You can choose from the wide variety of options to design the layout of your blog.
You can actually see the popularity of WordPress from the wide number of active users of WordPress i.e. more than 82 million. With its free to use simple setup will win your heart. To add the cherry on top of the cake you will have loads of themes and layouts to choose from in order to enhance the visual beauty of your blog.
Interaction with the people is made quite easy like people can add comments, share your stuff, etc. Apart from that your blog will run quite fast. You will be influenced by WordPress’s form and functionality along with the support forum to help you whenever you are struck somewhere.
Some of the famous platform alternatives apart from WordPress are like Blogger, Squarespace, Medium, Weebly, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Wix, Hubpages, Posthaven.
Blogger or Blogspot is the second best Blogging Platform available to the public. It is free, includes hosting and is meant for absolute beginners.
Tumblr is another free platform which is mobile friendly and at the same time includes hosting. There are more than hundred designs available for the users with a very high ease. It is just perfect for personal blogs, Microblogs, Creative/Artists people and Absolute beginners.
For more information refer here.
- Taking the big decision of Choosing between Self Hosted and Free alternative
Now apart from choosing which platform you need for blogging you also need to decide whether you will pay for your blog or not. Of course, everybody prefers a free service but if you need some features for your blog then you have to pay for them. So depending on one’s need you will have to decide on the kind of hosting needed.
There are various brands that offer you with free blogs like Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, etc. It is just the best choice for beginners and non professionals. But still there are various other downsides of using a free hosting like
a) No Unique Identity
You will not have a unique identity for your blog. The URL or the domain name will be consisting of the words like “wordpress.com”, “blogspot.com”, “tumblr.com”, etc. So in short your blog does not have its own domain name identity.
b) Filled with limitations
With every good thing you have a small glitch as well. So for all the free services you don’t have the independence of handling your blog activities completely. Like you cant upload all kind of photos, videos on your blog. It’s a bit limited. Also you do not have the access to all the themes provided by WordPress free of cost.
c) Not the Complete owner
Although you are the one who is writing the blog, who is the main mastermind behind the thought, still you are not the one who owns it. Basically, your blog is not your own. It is being hosted on some other’s internet place and it is their wish to keep it or delete it from there without any need of intimating anyone.
But there are some good points too with the free alternatives like
a)High security and uptime
c) Better Editors
d)No tension of Downtime
e)If you have any budget problem then free alternative is your best shot.
The self-hosted platforms give you the independence of changing your blog according to your own need and wish. The self-hosted platforms are best suited where you need to have the best functions and styles to have the best accessibility.
The hosted platforms don’t give you this facility of changing anything you like on your blog. You will not be able to upload any plugins or themes and finally no code level access. Yet these free hosted platforms are simple to set, have managed server, support staff and do have a managed server.
Everything has its own pros and cons. So now generally it is preferred that you go with the self-hosting options as you will be getting the complete control of your blog. You can use the custom domain along with the facility of applying the necessary plugins and tracking codes, monetizing in your own way. You can extend your website to any wanted limit. In all, you are the one controlling your blog completely.
You will have a big plugin and themes library, have code level access, customize designed sites, customize anything and everything, etc. But there are some cons too related to the self-hosted
Platform like you have to manage your own server, resolve the plugin conflicts, have just only the forum support available, finally have to install and upgrade on your own.
- Setting up a blog on your custom domain ( For Self-hosted)
Now after you have chosen about your platform on the basis of free or self hosted the next step is setting up your blog. It consists of various steps like buying the appropriate domain, the correct web hosting, pointing the NS(Domain name server), Installing the chosen CMS, basics of WordPress like creating a post , creating a page , uploading image, etc.
a) Buying the Domain
Here we are going to tell you about the self hosted platform blog setting up settings. Get the appropriate domain is a bit longer process as it is going to decide about your blog popularity and is going to stay with your blog forever like its identity.
So it must be catchy, easy to remember and related to your blog. Also you should take care of the TLD’s as this will decide the category of your blog whether it is for organizations, companies, etc. Generally to cover it all and simple you can go for “.com” Top Level Domain. For more detailed study you can refer our Web Hosting guide.
b) Buying web hosting
Web hosting providers are the service providers who basically host your blog or we can say are the ones who actually store your blog making it available to the people on internet. There are many web hosting service providers, enough to drive you crazy and confuse you. All the hosting’s are good in a certain way and fulfill the requirements of different type of clients. It depends on you to choose your suitable service provider and then that too with minimum cost. For this you can refer here.
You will be getting exactly what you will be paying for. So please do take precaution while choosing the web hosting service provider and the suitable plan. Also you should not be cheated by some of the companies which are not that famous and will just vanish in the air overnight.
c) Pointing the Name Server(NS)
Now after registering a domain name and getting a web hosting account for placing your website so as to allow people to view your blog online. So after signing up for a web host you have to associate your domain name with your website. Find out the list of the name servers that are being used by the web host.
Basically the name servers also called as the DNS servers are responsible for translating the domain name used by you to the location where the website is actually stored. Name servers actually translate the domain name used by us into the numerical IP addresses which are used by the machines on the web.
Your domain name is found out on the internet only when you have linked your domain to the respective web hosts name server. You just simply ask the web host servers for your domain’s name server. After that, just go to the domain registrar page and log in the system.
Look for the option to change the domain name server or to set up the domain name server. This method varies according to various registrars. Then enter the details like “Tertiary Name Server”, “Secondary Name Server”, “Primary Name Server”,etc. The domain name will have at least two name servers associated with them. This whole process takes up to 3 days to complete the process of changing the domain address.
Let us understand this using an example. Suppose your domain is registered with the same company as was your website is hosted with. Now to set up your Nameserver for the registered domain name log into your account and then in the Domains section click on the manage option.
For GoDaddy we will explain you the procedure here. If there are less than 7 domains in your account then select the domain name which you want to use through settings where you will click on the Manage DNS option.
Then under the Nameservers click on the Change option and then select Default option placed under the tab Choose your Nameserver type and then finally click Save.
If there are more than 6 domains in your account then select the domain name which you want to use. Then under the Nameservers click on the Manage option. Select Standard under the Setup Type tab and finally click on Save.
d) Installing the CMS
After completing all the above steps now you must go to the control panel which is generally cPanel. Now there are various platforms available but we have followed WordPress as majority of the public follows WordPress. It is simple to follow here.You can perfectly manage your blog from back end using WordPress finally getting your blog according to your own needs.
Login to your web hosting account and then got ot the website builder area. Click on the logo of WordPress. Now click on the free option “Do It Yourself” and then finally click “Install”. Choose the domain name and check for the domain name availability by clicking on the “check domain” option. Carefully go through the terms and click the option “Install Now”.
After the process is completed a message is displayed “install is complete”. Next click on the button “view credentials” then you will see the details like your Username, password and Admin URL. Note down these details and you can rectify these later. Now log in your blog.
e) Install Themes and Plugins
Now you have reached to the step where you will decide as to how will your blog look like and the way it will be presented to the people. In this step you are going to choose the theme and related plugins for your blog. You are going to turn your dream into reality. Sounds good, right?
There are many ways to design your blog. Start with choosing the chosen blog theme. There are many good free themes provided by WordPress. Also you can purchase some good themes for your blog according to your requirement. Some of the famous theme resources for WordPress are StudioPress Theme, Thesis Theme for WordPress and WordPress themes. After choosing the theme you can finally start blogging.
Now there are some famous plug ins provided to you in order to enhance your blog and make your work easy. These are some of the provisions that help you in adding the functionality which pre exists in WordPress. WordPress provides you with certain good features so as to allow the users to rectify their sites according to the need. Some of the famous plugins are All in One SEO, TablePress, Google XML Sitemaps, etc.
All in One SEO
This plugin is used for optimizing your website for the search engines. You can improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by submitting your sitemap to BIog and Google. It has google analytics support as well as offers support for the SEO on the various Custom Post Types. There are various other advantages of AIOSEO. For more information go to the link.
You cannot have tables to your article without using TablePress. You can insert feature rich extremely beautiful tables into your pages and posts without any need of any sort of coding. The table data is edited in spreadsheet interface. The table could contain any data type, formula’s, etc. Also there is provision of adding various features like filtering, pagination, etc to attract greater traffic. For more information refer the link .
Google XML Sitemaps
To have better indexing of your blog for the search engines like Yahoo, Ask.com, Bing and Google, the plugin Google XML Sitemaps will help you in the perfect way. For better option refer the link.
f) Basics of WordPress
After completing all your settings now open a new tab on your browser and open the login page. Enter your username and password which you had received through email. The window is then redirected to the dashboard. Now here you will be working on your blog’s back side i.e. how exactly will your website or blog will look like. Now proceeding further to publish the article follow the following steps
i) Creating a post
On the left side of the dashboard hover your mouse on the Posts option and click on the sub-menu option “Add New”.
Next add the title of the post in the first tab and in the second tab enter the content of the article.
After the page is loaded click on the “View post” option to have the preview of your blog page.
ii) Creating a page
There is as such not a large difference between page and post. Basically in a post you can add comments while in case of page we use it to show information. The information could be like contact information, etc.
Now to create a page just go to the Page option on the left side of the dashboard and click on the “Add New” option.
Then do the changes according to your need and save them.
iii) Uploading image
Now to increase the interactiveness of your post you can add various options like images, video links, etc. Now to add any image click on the option “Add Media”. The media can be added by either media library or upload the file from your computer.
For being a starter it is quite necessary that you have the proper guidance, else blogging could prove to be a nightmare for you. So to save you from all the troubles we presented you with the best possible way to start your blogging from scrap to a final beautiful blog.