A blog is a simple website, written in the form of a diary. The simplicity in its structure its what makes it stand out from the rest. Blogs have become very popular in the last couple of years. Many existing websites have changed their whole structure into a blogging one; This change leads to many benefits, including better management, easier content publication and better search engine optimization.
To start a blog, you have many free options, but I personally recommend you host your own blog, instead of using free
blogging websites. My recommendation comes along with my personal experience blogging. Many free blogs, such as the ones found in wordpress, blogger, etc. are limited to the user’s agreement from each blogging service, and therefore, could limit your ability to monetize your blog. After all, who doesn’t like to be paid for one’s efforts even if its a hobby? That’s the main reason I recommend you own your own “dot com” blog and not host it with free services.
How to start your own Dot Com Blog?
Step 1. You need a domain name – You can get cheap domain names online. Try Godaddy for example, and search for coupons online to get discounts for your domain registration.
Step 2. You need a hosting account- The hosting account is a server space or computer you rent space from, so that your website files can be stored and everytime a person types your blog’s address, they see can actually see your blog. You should get cheap hosting first (under $ 5 a month with Hostgator) until you need more power to run your blog (while your blog keeps growing, the number of visitors will increase and you will need a better hosting service). Until then, stick with the shared hosting environment, it should keep your blog alive for at least a year.
Step 3. Now that you have a domain name and a hosting account, you need to configure your domain name server, so that it points to your hosting account. In your domain registrar’s account, you should be able to change your “Nameservers”. This is a short url your hosting company assigns you in order for the domain to point to their own servers. Simply input your hosting name server address (NS1 and NS2 in most cases) and you should wait 24 hours or less until they propagate and you will be able to start using the account.
Step 4. After your name servers propagate, you will now need to login into your control panel (cpanel -usually located at yourdomain.com/cpanel). Once logged in, the easiest way to install the WordPress Blog Platform is through “fantastico”. Fantastico is a neat little tool found in the cpanel, that allows you to install the whole blogging platform with a single click. Now look for the fantastico icon and click on it. You will see a menu on the left side with various software categories. Locate the Blog category and look for “WordPress”, click on it and install it. type your blog’s address in the browser to ensure it installed correctly.
Step 5. Now that your blogging platform is installed, you may now proceed to log in to your blog’s administration and get to know the interface. To add a new post, simply click on the “add new” under the “Post” submenu at the left. Once you open it, you will notice it is very similar to any word processing software. You can add text, change the text properties, size, color, and font. You can add pictures, position them and resize them. Write a test post and click the “publish” button to make it public.
Step 6. Congratulations on your new blog! Now go ahead and change themes to make it look better (tons of free themes at wordpress.org) and customize it with widgets, plugins and most importantly, add new fresh and original content every week.