How To Start A Blog

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One question I get asked a lot is How do I start a blog? Well, I’m here to tell you! It’s not as difficult as it sounds and just about anybody with general computer knowledge can do it. If you fall a little behind, there are always plenty of people out there more than willing to assist you.

I started my first blog back in 2002 before it was fashionable. I wrote about general teenage angst and it slowly morphed into college drama, job drama, and my former weird fetish for the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore. I now blog about technology, my kids, and trying to stay sane in this crazy state.

Why are you starting a blog? Some blogs stand alone and are used to talk about hobbies, family, etc. Other blogs are used for business and may only encompass a small portion of business website, such as posting occasional business updates and happenings. Ask yourself, I want to blog to…

Pick your subject(s). Blog gurus preach the importance of picking a narrow topic for the subject of your blog. However, I like to suggest that you pick a ‘medium’ topic and slowly funnel down into a niche since your writing and views will probably change overtime. Pick a niche gives you enough wiggle room, but isn’t too broad that you’re trying to appeal to everybody. I want to blog about…

Pick your platform. If you don’t want to jump into the paid area, consider blogging with Blogger or WordPress.com. We’ll assume you’re super adventurous and want your own URL. Continuing on…

Register & host your domain. Bluehost is a great place to purchase a domain and have your website hosted. They offer hosting that is specifically optimized for WordPress blogs. Alternatively, Totalchoice Hosting is phenomenal. I’ve hosted many sites with them and they have provided great support along the way. When deciding who should host your site, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

  • Price. The cheapest option isn’t always the best. Likewise, the most expensive one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best either.
  • Customer satisfaction. Google the company’s name for ratings and reviews.
  • Features. Many hosts limit features, like the number of e-mail accounts you can have. Compare the monthly bandwidth and storage space offered.

Install WordPress. Logon to your host’s control panel. For Totalchoice Hosting, it’s yoursitename.com/cpanel. Check your host’s welcome email for instructions if you aren’t sure. Once you’re in your Cpanel, select Softaculous Apps Installer.

softaculous install

From there, hover over the WordPress logo and click install.

wordpress logo install

Begin filling in your site information. Make sure to remember your password! If prompted, you can also choose a free theme to install, too. Finally, have the installation details e-mailed to you. Click Install.

wordpress installation

For more in-depth instructions on installing WordPress, this video may be helpful.

Plan your writing. You may have a list of topics you want to discuss and that’s a great start! Before officially launching Surviving Alabama, I had a handful of posts planned so the site wouldn’t seem to bare. I recommend the same. Also helpful is to make a calendar of your posts so you’ll know what to post and when.

…and Go!

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Emily is the person to blame behind Surviving Alabama. She is a nerd, a mother, and sometimes pretends to be a writer (although there was that one legit writing job for a few years...). When she isn't writing, repairing computers, or designing websites, Emily is happily raising three children with her very understanding husband.

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