I would like to share with you how to create the perfect blog.
In this post, I intent to provide you a step-by-step guide to start your blog or personal website without having much or any technical expertise.
Why do I need to create a blog / personal website?
Let’s take an example over here: Sharmila is a home maker and loves cooking various types of Indian dishes. She started cooking out of necessity at a very tender age but later on it turned out to be her hobby and passion. While observing her interest in cooking, her husband suggested her to share recipes through an online platform. Probably a blog or a personal website.
Thus Sharmila came up with her website about Indian Recipes & Fine Cooking and today her recipes are being watched by many cooking lovers across the world.
Millions of people like Sharmila are entering into the digital space to create a blog or personal website which portrays their professional portfolio, skills, hobbies & passion. Its your independent space where you can share what’s on your mind with the entire world wide web.
How much does it cost to start a blog / personal website?
Before we go ahead with the price estimates, we need to understand the primary components you will require to create your blog.
1. Pick a Domain Name &
2. Choose a Blogging Platform
3. Choose a Website Hosting Platform
1. Pick a Domain Name
Every blog needs a unique web address. This can be free or paid. Free ones are like:
HTTP://CREATIVEMOZ.BLOGSPOT.COM OR HTTPS://CREATIVEMOZ.WORDPRESS.COM
Note: Above 2 URLs are free blog addresses which I created in 2 different platforms and they are marked in red color for you to recognize. You may create a blog with a free address & hosting like this but as a rule of thumb, I would suggest you to avoid free blog addresses. Why? It’s because free blog platforms with a free blog address has its own limitations. Let’s review some of them:
- Free Blogs don’t give you the full access to your blog. It’s free after all with loads of free layouts/ themes to choose from.
- Your Free Blog may be turned off at any time. Believe me, I had created several blogs earlier and after sometime these blogs were removed by the blog provider for some reason or another.
- Free Blogs generally restrict you from putting ads in your blog. Thus you cant make money if your blog gets famous and you would like to run ads and make money.
- The blog address looks quite long and a bit confusing.
It’s free after all and you will always have to live with its own restrictions. If these restrictions don’t matter to you then you can go ahead and sign up for a free blog.
Below is a list of 5 hand picked free blogging platform where you can get started in a few minutes:
- Blogger.com (Owned by Google)
If you are one of those passionate people who would like to build and scale a powerful money making blog, then you definitely need to take a unique web address i.e., A Domain Name
A domain name can be defined as something like:
In general, a domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP)resource, such as a personal computer used to access theinternet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web siteitself or any other service communicated via the internet.In 2015, 294 million domain names had been registered.
Got confused? In simpler terms domain name is your website address like www.creativemoz.com where “creativemoz.com” is a domain name and if any one types this domain name in their web browsers, they will reach this website.
[clickToTweet tweet=”How to create a blog or personal website for beginners” quote=”How to create a blog or personal website for beginners”]
How to choose a domain name?
Choosing a domain name is quite fun in itself. However you need to be clear about your objectives.
As a rule of thumb, there are 8 rules to follow while choosing the right domain for your business that works for better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Branding.
Make it Brandable – Does it sound like a brand? Is it easily memorable by anyone? Is it Unique
Make it easily pronounceable – Can you easily say the name? Are others easily able to guess how to say it on the first try?
Make it as short as possible – The fewer characters, the easier to type, write, share and say.
Get a .com domain extension – .com is still the most recognized, easiest to remember TLD (Top Level Domain) I’m not in favor of getting domain name extensions like .net, .biz, .co or country based extensions like .co.uk (United Kingdom), .ca (Canada), .us (United States)
Completely avoid names that infringe on existing trademark or brand.
Make the name instantly intuitive
Use Broad Keywords when sensible, but don’t stress on too much keyword inclusions
If your name .com domain name isn’t available, try adding certain suffix or prefix
|Searching for your Domain Name? Try this search box below:[ajaxdomainchecker width=”500″ height=”300″ button=”Search”]|
How much will a domain cost for my blog?
A .com domain name costs around $10/year. Many hosting companies add extra charges to provide additional features but you may skip them.
2. Choose a Blogging Platform
I think you need to be clear with your hosting requirements in terms of technical expertise, budget and scalability for the blog before you make the final choice.
In this blog, I’m emphasizing the use of WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) to power your blog or personal website.
Here are top 5 reasons why we choose WordPress:
Famous for 5 minutes Free Setup – WordPress is an open source blog management tool that’s FREE to use & easy to setup.
- It’s Beginner User Friendly – WordPress was created in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing. With that said, If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you already know how add your own content.
Small or large site? Awesome for everyone – WordPress allows users to install multiple helpful features into your blog / personal website. This is done by installing integrate the use of multiple plugins and tools.
- It’s Responsive – Your blog / website will instantly be responsive right from the beginning, thus looking great on desktops, mobile or tablets. And you do not have to hire any web developer to get it done.
- Huge Support for Developer Community – WordPress is powered by millions of websites today and it’s easy to find QUICK help whenever you require it. Still not sure? Go to YouTube.com and you can find loads of DIY (Do It Yourself) videos for all the nitty-gritty about WordPress.
Below are some of the top branded websites being powered by WordPress:
3. Choose a Website Hosting Platform
If you know how to configure a website in a dedicated or shared web server, then you can just go ahead and download the WordPress installation files FREE of charges and get started. You may also use SSH for Linux based servers to directly deploy & install WordPress files and initiate the setup process.
If you are beginner with limited technical experience and trying to create your website with a limited budget then go for Managed WordPress Hosting. Managed WordPress Hostings is a custom hosting solution provided by many hosting providers which handles all the technical issues of configuring and troubleshooting issues in the web server while you can concentrate on your blog writing.
Below is a list of 5 hand picked managed wordpress hosting providers where you can get started in a few minutes and of-course with a reasonable budget:
- Wordpess.com – With $2.99 /mo, you can launch a website with a FREE custom domain name & 6 GB storage space in web servers specially built to host wordpress powered websites. You can also get email & chat support from WordPress team to maintain your blog hassle-free.
- Godaddy – Godaddy offers Managed WordPress hosting with prices starting at $3.99 /mo and includes 1 FREE domain name and 10 GB storage.
- Netfirms – With unlimited disk space & bandwidth as USP, Netfirms offers affordable WordPress hosting with prices starting at $4.45 /mo including 1 FREE domain name.
- Hostgator – Hostgator provides Managed WordPress hosting service at $5.95 /mo including 1 FREE domain name and 50 GB of storage. It also includes 1 GB automated backups which ensures that your website data stays backed up even if you aren’t tech savvy.
- Amazon AWS – Amazon offers WordPress hosting solutions for $40 /yr i.e., $3.33 /mo. Their hourly plans might sound very expensive to you as a beginner. So you can get started with a monthly or annual plan.
There are two possible ways to install WordPress, and I love the 2nd one because its easy and hassle-free.
1. Manual Installation of WordPress
Here’s the quick version of the WordPress Installation instructions for those who are already comfortable with performing such installations.
a) Download and unzip the WordPress package if you haven’t already.
b) Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL database user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
c) Find and rename wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php , then edit the file wp-config.php and add your database information.
d) Upload the WordPress files to the desired location on your web server:
- If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (excluding the WordPress directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
- If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your website (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), create the blog directory on your server and upload the contents of the unzipped WordPress package to the directory via FTP.
Note: If your FTP client has an option to convert file names to lower case, make sure it’s disabled.
e) Run the WordPress installation script by accessing the URL in a web browser. This should be the URL where you uploaded the WordPress files.
- If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/
- If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog
[clickToTweet tweet=”Wordpress Installation Checklist for beginners” quote=”Wordpress Installation Checklist for beginners”]
2. Use Managed WordPress Hosting & Installation
I will be using Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting as an example for hassle-free start up process. Below is the list of steps you need to do once you have purchased your hosting plan.
- Log in to your GoDaddy account and go to My Products. Next to Managed WordPress Websites, click Manage.
- Click on + Add Site button inside the section Setup your site
- Choose the first Radio Button option I’m building a brand new site.
- Enter your custom domain name which you have already registered with Godaddy or any other domain registrar. If you haven’t purchased any domain yet, dont worry, Godaddy allows you to continue with the setup process by using a temporary domain. In this case, I chose a temporary domain.
- Choose a data center. In my case, I chose North America since I believe most of my visitors would be from North America.
- The next step is to set up my desired WordPress User Name & Password which I will require to moderate and maintain my blog / personal website.
- Click on Start Wizard to set up your custom WordPress installation
- Choose the first option Website + Blog as Type and then enter the details of your desired Industry, Title & Tag Line. These fields are essential to setup WordPress but you can change them later.
- Enter the contact details of your website. Your website visitors will use this information to reach you.
- Pick your desired theme. For your convenience, Godaddy has created a set of WordPress theme which you can choose and install in your website for FREE. You can always change the theme later.
- That’s all. Your Managed WordPress Hosting by Godaddy is ready to use. You can go ahead and click on the Posts at the left side bar and get started with your first blog post.
Isn’t that easy?
Most Popular Blog Topics
Honestly, you can start with anything you feel. It’s your own platform. Be straight, sober, descriptive and most importantly creative. Neil Patel in his blog post says that “Blogging with a purpose increases market share, consumer engagement, revenue growth, and ROI”. But that’s again for the advanced bloggers who want to go to the next step of scaling up and turning their blog or website into a money making machine. Below are some of the suggested blog topics which might interest you and your visitors and help you get started as a beginner.
- Beginner’s guides to anything!
- Do it yourself stuffs
- Life experiences
- Products or service reviews
- Travel Experience
- Personal Stories
- Jokes & Humor
- Overcoming illness
- Global Warming
- Health Tips
- Making money online
Looking for some good blogs? Try Blog Search Engine[clickToTweet tweet=”Beginner’s guide for blogging ideas” quote=”How to find Blog Post Ideas for Beginners”]
Did you like article? Did it help you get started with the creation of your blog? Got some better blogging ideas? Add your comments below Or email me at rahul [at] creativemoz.com for assistance and I’ll be eager to hear as well as help you.