Welcome to the online world of blogging.
I believe you are looking out for a guide that could you help you to gear up with the necessary information required to create a blog.
Let me cut straight to the chase and explain what you need to know to get your first blog up and running. If you are still confused and thinking why you should blog then take a quick look at why people blog and then read the rest of this article.
Creating a blog is quite simple but doing it the right way will save your time, effort and money so let’s get started. It’s highly recommended that you spend considerable amount of time in each and every section.
1: To Create a Blog know your Niche
The very first thing that you need to know before you create a blog is your Niche. Niche is a technical word for “Topic”.
What is the topic on which you are going to blog? The question to this answer should always be answered by you. What are you passionate about?
If you ask me, I am a movie freak and love technical stuff so my Niche would be either Movies or Technology.
But again Movies and Technology are very broad topics, so i can narrow down to a specific area in these Niche’s and try to create a blog around it.
For example, movie is a very broad topic so I can either review new movies released or write about the best movies that have been so far released or simply write only about horror movies. Hope you got the idea.
2: Selecting a domain name
Domain Name or commonly known as the ‘website name’ is like your mobile number; it’s unique and helps people to reach your blog. Domain names are memorable unlike mobile numbers.
www.google.com is a domain name that helps you to identify Google.
Selecting a domain name is a crucial step since you are known to the entire world by your domain name. It’s very important to choose a simple and memorable domain name which is related to your niche.
If you are blogging about food, it could really help a lot if the word “food” is part of your domain name so that both search engines and people can really understand what your blog is all about by looking at the domain name. See below examples:
I buy all my domain names from Namecheap.com and i strongly recommend them since they are very friendly and provide very good support.
3: Blogging Platform
A blogging platform is nothing but a tool or software that will help you to write and publish your content/articles. Just like Microsoft Word / Open Office helps you to write documents and save them, a blogging platform will help you to write articles, save them and publish them.
You could also use plain HTML to write articles but it’s a tedious process to edit and update so it’s always better to use a blogging platform.
There are myriad blogging platforms available online but the most commonly used and highly recommended one is called WordPress. WordPress will do all the heavy lifting for you, which gives you ample time to just focus on writing content and that’s exactly what you would love to do isn’t it?
I will explain in detail how to use WordPress meanwhile let’s just move on to the next important stuff that you need.
Now that you are clear about what topic you are going to write about and selected a domain name for your blog, the next step is to host your website. Hosting allows your blog to be accessed all over the world.
All the articles that you write basically needs to be placed “somewhere” so that it can be accessed over the web and that “somewhere” is technically called a web server.
You can create free blogs using WordPress and Blogger but it’s a big “NO” because of the disadvantages it holds, I have listed a few of them here.
- Your domain name will end up with either blogspot.com or wordpress.com which looks very unprofessional.
- You cannot customize the look and feel of your website the way you wanted.
- No custom email address, you need to use your own email address.
- You blog can be wiped out completely one fine morning without any reason or prior warning.
The above points are not listed to scare you but to explain you what’s in store when you take that route. If you are not planning to create a professional blog, you may very well start with a free blog.
The other option is to buy hosting and install WordPress on it and start using it. If you are really serious about blogging then you should buy Hosting from some reputable hosting companies and start using it, this is called Self-Hosted.
I have been using Dream Host from 2012 and so far have not had any issues with them.
You can use this link to get $50 off on shared hosting for the first year alone.
Follow the below steps to buy hosting from Dream Host, it will cost you just $69.40 instead of the regular $119.40, you save $50 🙂
- Click on this Dream Host Promo link.
- Once you have reached the Dream Host website, click on the Get Started Now button.
- You will be redirected to a page to create your account, enter your email address and a password and click Continue button.
- You will now be asked to specify the domain details. Select the “I’ll set this up later” option and click Continue button.
- Now you have to choose your plan, select the 1 year $69.40 option and click Continue button.
- In the Additional options page you will see two checkbox options one for MySQL VPS and the other one for installing WordPress. Do not select those boxes, just click on the Continue button.
- Next, you will be asked to enter your personal information like Name, Address, City, State, etc. Fill in all those information. Next enter your credit card details by clicking on the Add credit card button. Finally click on the Place order now button to buy the hosting.
That’s it you have everything you need to proceed to the next step.
5: Create a blog using WordPress
I am now going to show you how to perform a one click install of Word Press. IMHO I would highly prefer that you learn the ropes of installing WordPress manually which i will cover in a separate article. It’s pretty simple and will also help you in future. For now let’s quickly get started.
Before installing WordPress we need to connect the domain that you purchased from Name Cheap and Dream Host. There are just 3 more steps involved to create your first blog
- The Name Servers of your Domain in Name Cheap should point to Dream Host Servers
- Add Hosting to the Domain in Dream Host.
- Create a blog using one-click installer.
Pointing Name Servers to Dream Host
- Login into Name Cheap.
- Click on the Domain List from the left navigation.
- Click on the MANAGE button against the domain that you have bought.
- Under Domain tab, NAMESERVERS section change the Namecheap BasicDNS dropdown value to Custom DNS
Enter the below name servers in the text box and click on the Save tick mark.
That’s it you have now pointed the Name Servers to Dream Host, the next step is to Add hosting to the domain.
Add Hosting to Domain in Dream Host
- Login into Dream Host Panel with the email address and password that you had provided earlier.
- Once you are logged in, you will land on the Dashboard page. On to your left, click on the DOMAINS, which will expand other options below it. Click on Manage Domains.
- In Manage Domains page click on the Add Hosting to a Domain/Sub-Domain button.
- In the Fully Hosted page, fill in the below details:
- Enter your domain name without www in the Domain to host textbox. For example if your domain name is www.yourdomain.com then just enter yourdomain.com
- For, Do you want the www in your URL? Ensure that Add WWW: Make http://yourdomain.com/ redirect to http://www.yourdomain.com/ is selected.
- For, Run this domain under the user: Ensure Create a New User (Recommended) is selected from the drop down and just below the drop down enter a ftp user name and note it down.
That’s it leave all other options as it is and click on the Fully host this domain button.
You should see a message as shown below,
Make a note of the ftpuser name and password separately.
Now take a little break for 5 to minutes for the changes to take effect. In order to verify if all the settings are in place, type your domain name in the browser and you should see yourdomain.com is almost here! Message.
Create a blog by installing WordPress
That’s it you are just one step away from creating your first blog, are you excited?
- In Dream Host from the left navigation click on the GOODIES -> One-Click Installs and click on the WordPress
- A popup window will be displayed in which select the domain name in the Install to drop-down box.
- In Select Database ensure Automatically Create Database is selected.
- Uncheck the Deluxe Install checkbox and click on the Install it for me button.
You should see a success message stating that the WordPress will be installed in 10 minutes and you will receive an email with further instructions.
Shortly if you check your email you should have received an email from Dream Host team with username and a link to set your password. Reset your password by clicking on the link and login into your newly created blog using the username and password.
Ta Da, You have successfully created your first blog.