Welcome to part two of my series about starting a blog. Last time I looked at things you should consider before writing your first post. Once you’ve decided on your topic, niche and so on it’s time for the next step. Namely getting everything in place.
Choose a name
The name you settle on is so important. You need something that will instantly give people an idea of what your blog is about. After all, if you’ve decided to share your thoughts online you clearly want them to be read.
Furthermore, if you decide to monetise your blog in future, SEO will be vital. I’ll deal with that in a future post but, for now, I recommend including something that you would consider to be a keyword. For example, it was essential to me to have the word ‘dad’ somewhere in the name.
You may already have a name in mind, but make sure that nobody else has already had the same idea. I originally wanted this blog to be called Dawn of the Dad, but somebody else had beaten me to it.
Choose a platform
There are several blogging platforms available including Blogger, two versions of WordPress, Tumblr and Squarespace. I’m not going to recommend any of them over others as it’s a personal choice, but here’s what to consider.
Regardless of which platform you choose, there are two kinds of blog out there. Free and self-hosted.
Free platforms such as Blogger and WordPress.com provide everything you need to get started at no cost. They’re great for trying your hand at blogging if you’re not sure about spending anything on your new hobby yet and you can always move at a later date. The downside of free platforms is that they would own your content.
Self-hosted platforms such as WordPress.org require you to buy hosting. As this would make you the owner of the web space you’re using, ownership of content would be yours alone. There are numerous hosting providers to choose from, so shop around and choose the best deal for you.
I started on a free Blogger account but later moved to WordPress.org. This was because I wanted complete ownership of my content. Also, WordPress seemed much more versatile in terms of design. As I wanted to make money out of blogging, it was important to me to have a more individual look.
Consider buying a domain
Even if you don’t intend to make money out of blogging, I think it’s well worth investing in a domain name. It doesn’t cost a lot, but gives you a web address that’s easier for people to remember.
You can buy them from the same companies that sell hosting and it’s easy to set up your new URL to redirect to your free address.
Register social media accounts
It may seem a little early for this, but I strongly recommend making sure you get your social media accounts registered at this point. You may not intend to use them until you start writing posts, of course, but you don’t want to miss out on your preferred handle.
Ideally, you want the same one on every platform. Register on any that you think you might use, but prioritise a Facebook page as well as Twitter and Instagram.
That’s that for getting everything in place. Next time, I’ll discuss designing your blog…