Start Here to Start Your Blog

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  • A Place to Blog

The first thing you will need if you’re going to start a blog of your own is a host. If you already have a website  you can install WordPress.

www.wordpress.com (My preference)

  • Set Up a Hosting Account (optional)

You can keep the http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com website/blog name and it is totally free. This is where your blog will live. If you want custom domain name you will need a domain host. I recommend http://www.hostgator.com because they have great support and they are super reliable.

This blogger, Amy, explains Step-by-Step how to do this process. She recommends Bluehost and I am sure she is an affiliate and gets paid when you sign up following her links. Bluehost is good too. I’ve just always used HostGator and they have been good to me and have worked well. At this time I am not a HostGator affiliate. Amy Andrews also has great step-by-step advice on how to start a blog.

  • Install WordPress

Trust me, anyone can do this. When it is done, you will get a Blog URL, Login URL, username, and password. Your domain host will e-mail this information to you, but I like to have a paper backup so printo out the info and keep it safe.

  • Choose a Theme

I choose from the plentiful FREE themes at http://www.WordPress.com. Later, you can get fancy and use Elegant Themes. You can change your theme whenever and as often as you like so, don’t get all hung up on it. Best to pick something and start your blog.

  • Free Technical Support is Plentiful

I am a “self taught” blogger as most bloggers are. I like to use the reference book, WordPress for Dummies “All In One.” I bought mine at the University of Minnesota Bookstore but you can get it anywhere like your local bookseller or Barnes and Noble, etc.

Follow Step-by-Step online video tutorials like “How to Start a Blog on WordPress” and “How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog” with great result.

I subscribe to a Blog at the company called “Elegant Themes.” They send me emails with their blog updates and I read almost every one. I always learn something useful from their blog. Even if you do not use Elegant Themes’ products, their blog is fantastic.

On the Elegant Themes blog is a great post, “How to Start a Blog and Make it Successful.” Read it.

When I have WordPress related problems or when I am completely lost I go to this page on the Elegant Themes blog:

http://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/where-to-find-wordpress-help-when-you-need-a-lifeline

I use www.youtube.com lots and lots and I enter my question in the search box and can usually find 10 or more excellent video tutorials to choose from, created by fellow bloggers around the world, that address my question. It is fun to see how there is a big community of bloggers.

I also use www.wordpress.com and I enter my question in the search box at “Support” and there is usually a video tutorial that answers my question perfectly.

  • Blogging Platforms

I like WordPress.com but you may wish to check out other platforms. For free blog services, consider also:

www.squidoo.com

Squidoo is a place where you can easily share what you’re passionate about with friends and the whole world. Squidoo has paid their users and their designated charities more than $18,000,000. That’s far more than sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which of course pay those that create content nothing at all. 

www.wordpress.org

www.blog.com

www.blogger.com

www.weebly.com

www.blogetery.com

Hard to Read

  • Social Networking Sites

These are “built-in” communities to draw readers to your blog. You can set custom privacy levels yourself.

www.pinterest.com (My personal favorite!)

www.twitter.com

www.facebook.com

www.instagram.com

  • A Picture is Worth a Fortune in the Blogosphere

Remember that lots of times “photos” are usually referred to as “media.” Often, if you see a tool for adding photos usually says “add media.” This can confuse users sometimes. Photos=Media. Online services that allow any blogger the means to share art and photos:

www.flickr.com

Upload, organize, and share images on the web. Flikr also allows feature tools that let you add customized badges to your blogs sidebar that display a gallery of changing photos to your site. Free membership with option to upgrade.

www.picasa.com

www.photobucket.com

  • Find Your Audience

Share your insights and artistry with the world by driving visitors to your site.

www.technorati.com

Register your blog with this service and include a small bit of code on your blog page, track the number of other sites that link to yours, and increase the possiblity of other searchers landing on your page.