I recently received a comment on one of my posts asking me if I have any recommendations for aspiring writers who would like to start a blog. Instead of commenting back I figured I would answer this question with a post, a sort of how-to on blogging. If anyone reading this posts thinks they can’t be a blogger, think again it’s a lot easier than you may have thought. All it takes is a little inspiration, a love of reading and writing, moderate level computer skills and a lot of free time to dedicate to your blog. The blogosphere is your oyster.
Step 1: Choose a platform
The first thing you need to decide is whether to go with a hosted platform or a non-hosted platform. A hosted platform sits on the platforms server. For example, if you have a blogger blog it will be hosted on the blogger server. A hosted platform is either on your own server or a web host server, which is a third party you usually pay to host your blog.
There are pros and cons for each type of platform.
The pros of a hosted platform are:
They are very user friendly making them easier to get started and they are inexpensive. Type pad offers tiered pricing depending on your needs and some, like Blogger, are free of charge. If your site becomes popular and you begin to get thousands of hits they will actually pay you to put up a few ads on your blog. Hosted platforms are self-intuitive so you will not become overwhelmed if you are not a computer whiz. For example, hosted sites control your HTML and CSS codes for you and offer a tab allowing you o see your HTML code if needed.
The cons of a hosted platform are:
They do not offer domain names. You can change various parts of HTML code but not all of it and your theme customizations are limited as well.
The pros of a non-hosted platform are:
You can control your HTML and CSS codes but you will have to pay for this option. It isn’t very expensive, it only costs about 5$ a month. With a non-hosted platform, you own it, you control it, you do it all this may seem overwhelming for all of you newcomers but don’t fret. There are tons of sites out there ready to lend a helping hand. Sites like Wordpress.org, Codex, Cyberspace, and Wordpress101.org to name a few. The internet is also abundant with plugins and widgets which will help to add functionality to your blog.
The cons of a non-hosted platform are:
The biggest con for this platform is the fact that you do everything. This is not a good way to start as a newcomer.
I started on a hosted platform and found it very easy to get started. As a beginner to the blogging scene you will be able to get a taste of what the blogging world has to offer. Once you have mastered this platform you can buy a domain and move to a non-hosted platform if that is something you are aiming to do.
I hope this post has been helpful for the blogging newcomers. I am going to leave you with a few key words of advice for a new blogger: Write from the heart about things that make you happy and interested. Most importantly, take baby steps so you don’t become overwhelmed and give up. There is a blogger inside each and every one of us, you just have to learn how to let it out.