Many people want to start their own blogs but fear that they lack the technical skills to do so. If you fall into this category, you’ll be glad to know that there are several options that allow you to create a compelling, professional looking blog even if you’re not a techie. In fact, you don’t have to know anything more complicated than how to log onto a website and click a few times with your mouse. The following are a few of your best options to start blogging as quickly as possible.
Sign up for Web Hosting and Purchase a Domain
If you don’t yet have a domain or web hosting, this will be your first step. This is not absolutely essential, as there are free blogging tools that allow you to blog using a service such as Tumblr, Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Even if you use one of these, however, there are advantages to owning your own domain. It allows you to brand yourself. It’s also better for SEO purposes, allowing you to rank in the search engines.
You can purchase a domain from many domain registrars or through web hosts. You simply need to find a domain and extension that is unique and that expresses your blog’s main topic. The extension is the part of the domain that comes after the dot, such as .com, .net or .info. Many web hosts provide you with a free domain when you sign up for hosting. If you plan to use a third-party blogging service, you will not need web hosting as they’ll be providing the servers.
Use Your Web Host’s Website Builder or Blogging Tool
This is one of the simplest ways to start a blog. You sign up for web hosting, get your domain and use a simple click-and-point system for creating your blog. Most web hosts provide this type of tool. They use what are known as WYSIWYG or “what you see is what you get” editors, which makes it easy to create and edit posts without any programming. You can also insert elements such as images and videos into your blog posts. To utilize this approach, simply follow the instructions provided by your web host.
WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform. This is another option you can use to start blogging without any technical skills. While expert WordPress users can do all sorts of things, you don’t need to be intimidated. It’s easy to start out with very basic functions and learn as you progress.
All major web hosts provide script installers, such as Softaculous or SimpleScripts, that allow you to install WordPress with one click. You must also choose a theme and learn how to use the basic settings. You can start with a free theme and simply fill in the fields under Settings on your WordPress dashboard. There are clearly marked settings, such as “create new post” or “create page” that make it easy to perform these and other tasks.
Free Blogging Platforms
If you want to bypass the need for hosting altogether, you can simply go to Blogger.com, Tumblr.com or WordPress.com and use one of these services for your blog. There are others as well. WordPress.com is the same company as the WordPress you install from your web host, but it’s a separate service that does not require your own hosting.
With any of these blogging services, you can use their domain for free. As mentioned, there are advantages to having your own domain. For a few dollars per month, you can use your own domain on these platforms and have your own unique URL, such as www.myblog.com. These services are set up to be newbie-friendly. There are simple instructions for creating blog posts, editing, inserting media and other tasks. There is also support available if you need help.
Tips For Starting Your Blog
Regardless of which option you choose, there are certain guidelines you should follow when starting your blog.
- Be Clear About Your Topic and Focus – If you’re ready to start a blog, you probably already have a topic in mind. You may, however, need to fine tune your choice of subject or narrow it down. For example, if you want to have a blog about fitness, you may want to hone in on a particular area, such as weight loss for woman over 40 or how men can bulk up and build muscle. It’s up to you what direction you want to choose, but it’s good to be clear about this before you start.
- Identify the Purpose of Your Blog – Is your blog for your own self expression, to make money, to build a mailing list or to get publicity for your business? Your approach will depend on your goals. For example, if you want to build your brand, you should have plenty of calls-to-action in your posts, which might mean encouraging visitors to fill out an opt-in form.
- Connect Your Blog to Social Media – It’s simple to integrate a blog with social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others. You can build an audience by connecting your blog to your social media pages. For all of the blogging options listed above, you’ll be able to find instructions on how to install social media buttons. These make it easy for people to share your content on their own social media pages. Whenever you make a new blog post, you should let your social media followers know.
- Post Diverse Content – To make your blog interesting, use different types of media. In addition to text posts, you can add images, embed videos and possibly use slideshows or infographics. This is a way to make your blog more visually interesting.
- Be Interactive – It’s important to encourage your readers to leave feedback. Pose questions in your posts and be sure to answer when you get replies. Polls, surveys and contests can also be used to encourage people to participate more in your blog.
Starting your own blog does not have to be a difficult endeavor. With today’s technology and platforms, anyone can get started without the need for any advanced technical skills. Blogging does, however, require a certain focus. You have to identify your goals and be consistent about posting to your blog. That way you can build up an audience that grows over time. You’ll also learn a great deal as you proceed from one step to the next.