When you decide to set up your own website or blog, it’s certainly an exciting time. You finally feel like you are venturing out into the world on your own, and are aware of this great adventure waiting for you.
That being said, there are a few technical bits and pieces that you need to know about if everything is to run smoothly. You are not expected to turn into an expert overnight, but some things are better learned sooner than later.
Take a look at our quick walk-through guide and you’ll be posting in no time at all.
Decide What You Want to Write About
This may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who don’t put enough thought into this step. If you want to start a blog, you need to write about what you know. When you find the right subject, you’ll have the necessary passion and enthusiasm to keep producing high quality posts even when you feel like you’re short on time. And your audience will surely be able to tell if you are writing about something you either know little about, or are not interested in, and that will not keep them scrolling, trust me!
No one likes to follow a blog that only posts sporadically or has bad content, so choose a topic that you care about. That way it’ll easily become a key part of your day.
Pick a Memorable Domain Name
Your domain name is another key thing that many people don’t pay enough attention to. Wherever possible, you’ll want to ensure that you either go for a .com, if you are appealing to a wider audience, or a country specific TLD, if you want to write for a specific region.
You’ll also want to check that your intended name isn’t a spelling mistake away from that of a much bigger site. If it is, then it may be worth changing it as the large site could sweep up a lot of your potential readers by accident.
Choose something that’s memorable and easy to spell. Granted, this is easier said than done, given how many people are now online, but you’re a writer! Exercise your famed creativity and you’ll have a whole host of ideas inside half an hour. Choose the option that best fits what you will be writing about, and make sure the domain name and assorted social media profiles are all free. Only then start shopping.
Choosing a Hosting Service
This is the bit that catches a lot of first time bloggers out. If you want to take your site live, you need someone to host it. Hosting is where you pay a company to give you space on their servers. In layman’s terms, this means that they will allow you to get onto the internet. Every website in the world has a host, so don’t think that it’s just someone trying to sell you an unnecessary bolt-on.
Check what’s included in your intended hosting package and make sure you ask how much downtime they have experienced in the last 12 months. The less the better obviously, but no one is perfect so just try and pick a package that will minimise your outages.
Pick a Platform and Consult a Maintenance Expert
The final thing you’re going to need to do is pick which platform you want to build your website on. Whereas hosting takes your already built site live, the platform is the software you use to build the site in the first place.
WordPress is by far the most commonly used platform because of its high degree of usability and its large suite of functionalities. There are add-ons and plug-ins for just about every type of feature you could want which should give you plenty of scope for future expansion.
One final piece of advice: find a maintenance professional at this point. Every website will need periodic maintenance and the occasional bit of troubleshooting, it’s just the way it goes. Don’t be taken in by slick sales pitches, you’re always going to need a technical helping hand. If you find someone whilst you’re in the setup process, then they’ll be able to confirm that they can support all of the features you’re adding.
Now that you know what to do, all you need to do is get busy setting things up and then brainstorm your first title. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!