If you want to start a blog, WordPress is probably the easiest and friendliest application you can use. There are even simpler options – like using a free online blogging service like Blogger.com, but then you don’t really have much control over your own website.
With WordPress, you get the best of both worlds – an easy-to-understand platform and unlimited features that let you grow your blog and add bells and whistles as you learn.
First, let me point out that there are two WordPress. They are run by the same company, but WordPress.com is a service that hosts your blog for you – like Blogger, Tumble and other third-party sites. These are often referred to as Web 2.0 sites. There’s nothing wrong with creating your blog this way, but it does limit you in some ways.
When you use WordPress.com or any Web 2.0 site, you don’t own the blog.
You simply rent space on it. This means that the host can remove your blog at any time. This happens if you are deemed to be in violation of any TOS (terms of service). It’s amazingly easy to do this, even without meaning to.
For example, WordPress.com does not allow you to make your blog commercial in any way. So if you want to start a business or even earn a few extra dollars every month, this is not the way to go.
Another reason why WordPress.com and other such sites are not ideal is that you will have a harder time with SEO and generating traffic than if you owned the blog. That’s because most of the “link juice” generated by your article will go to the host rather than to your specific website.
That’s why WordPress.org is what I’m going to focus on here. This is when you buy a domain, get hosting and start your own blog.
Choosing a Domain and Web Host
Your domain is your URL – the address of your website or blog. If you haven’t chosen one yet, you’ll need to do this first. If you don’t have internet hosting either, you’ll need this too. You can combine these if you want. Many web hosting companies offer you a free domain when you sign up for hosting.
When choosing a web hosting company, it is good to choose one that has a lot of experience with WordPress. If you really want to be sure about it, you might go with WP Engine, a company that specializes in WordPress. They are, however, a bit more expensive than most web hosts.
If you want to save money, you can still find a good website that can support your WordPress site. Blue host, for example, is highly recommended for this. They are even recommended by WordPress itself.
One suggestion I will make here is that, whatever web host you choose, try to choose a plan that gives you unlimited domains/websites. Sometimes one host will offer several different plans. The difference in price is usually only a few dollars a month.
The point is that creating WordPress blogs can be addictive! You probably won’t want to stop with one. So you can also have a hosting plan that allows you to create as many as you want.
When choosing a domain, try to keep it short and simple.
If you want your blog to rank well in the search engines, choose some good keywords in the title. These are words that people will actually search for when looking for information.
If your domain is something like Bobsblog.com or Marysblog.com, you will have a custom name but not one that is likely to help you with SEO (search engine optimization). This is especially important if you intend to sell something. If you just want a blog to share with your friends, family members, coworkers, etc. then it doesn’t matter.
How to Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is pretty easy with most major web company name to domain api. You usually use a script installer like Fantastic or Softaculous (your web host probably has one of these -look on your control panel). You can then install WordPress with a few clicks.
I don’t want to waste too much space here describing the steps to install WordPress, as you can find this at your web hosting company. There are also many articles and videos on this topic.
What should you blog about?
This doesn’t seem to be a problem, but many people experience “blogger’s blogging” after writing a post or two. I assume you have already chosen your topic. After all, if you can’t even think of a topic, it’s still not a good time to start a blog!
But even when you have a topic that interests you, it can be challenging to think of actual posts to write. For this, you may need to do some research for inspiration. Here are some ideas.
Set up Google Alerts – You can receive emails from Google that will deliver news to your inbox based on a few keywords you choose.
Amazon – Check what books are popular. Check out their magazine too!
Other Blogs – check out Google Blogs and see what others in your niche are writing about. You don’t want to copy them, but you can get ideas that you can put your own spin on.