How To Start A Blog


If you've ever thought about starting a blog, I hope this basic outline comes in handy.  When I decided to start mine, it was on a whim.  I was at the local bookstore looking for a book on soap and a blogging book was misplaced.  Intrigued, I picked it up and immediately knew I wanted to start one.  I purchased the book, went home, and within 3 hours had a blog, photos and posts up and running.

Maybe you're interested in starting a blog to share information and photos with family and friends.  Or maybe you'd like to connect with others who share your interests.  Or you may have a business that you would like to promote through a blog.  Whatever your reason, blogs are a relatively simple online journal to start and maintain.  And it can be done for free!

If you use a pre-made template {Blogger, Wordpress}, it won't be necessary to know HTML.  You can certainly use it to add additional features to your posts and blog, however, the template will be easy to use without any knowledge of computer jargon.  The template will give you text color, text size, and linking capabilities.

There are several things to think about prior to diving in:

What Will You Be Blogging About?  Who Will Your Audience Be?
Determining these two things will help you start to think about the look and feel of your blog as well as the path you'll take on the next couple of questions.  Is it a blog about bits and pieces of your life?  Is it a lifestyle blog?  A craft blog?  Who do you want your audience to be?

What Will Your Name Be?
This is one of the hardest parts of starting a blog.  Even if you're starting a blog for family and friends, it may turn into a way to connect with others of similar interests so you'll want the name to reflect what the blog is about.

Will You Purchase Your Blog Address Or Go With The One You Get Through Your Blog Host?
Initially, I went with the dot blogspot dot com address because I started my blog simply as a space to share our lives with family and friends.  As I made new friends and was blessed with more followers, I wanted the address to be easier for others to remember and purchased a dot com address.

You can purchase a dot com or dot net address even if you use Blogger or Wordpress.  It's not something you have to determine initially - you can always add a dot com later {at least through Blogger - I'm not positive about Wordpress or Typepad} but if you know you don't want a long {dot blogspot dot com} address, go to godaddy.com or a similar site to check and see if the name you're interested in is available and what the annual cost will be.  {I know Blogger will walk you through how to add a dot com and I'm assuming Wordpress does as well, but I'm not familiar with Wordpress set-up.}

What Will Your Platform Be?
Where do you want your blog hosted?  Do you want to self-host, or would you rather have a pre-made template?  For the pre-made templates you can join Blogger or Wordpress.com for free.  Wordpress.org and Typepad.com both have a fee attached but offers many more options.

Some advantages and disadvantages to think about:
Self-Hosted advantages are you have full control and can build it how you want.  Disadvantages include it can be a difficult set-up depending on your level of knowledge regarding the technical side, there are no automatic updates and you may have additional costs.

The Pre-Made/Developer Hosted advantages include an easy set-up {it literally can take minutes}, easy to use features and automatic updates.  Disadvantages include limited customization's and lack of control.

Next is the fun part.  
What do you want your blog to look like?  There are tons {TONS!} of free templates, wallpaper, buttons, etc. on the internet.  It can be overwhelming.  The easiest way I have found to determine the look you want is to think about what you like on blogs you admire.  You don't have to copy anyone exactly, but it will give you direction.  Are you more attracted to solid backgrounds or patterned?  When you're scrolling through blogs to determine if you'll visit again or not, where do you look for their information and what do you look for?  Make a list and add that design to your own blog.



Now you're on to making a title/banner for the top of your blog to let your audience know what your blogs name is.  Picmonkey.com is an easy and free photo editing site you can use for this.

Set up your profile - the "about me" page to introduce yourself to visitors, and link an email to your blog so people can email you for more information.

Just think - in a few hours you'll be a blogger!


Additional Posts:
How To Add A Pin It Hover Button To Photos
Blogger:  Adding To Your Sidebar and Bypassing The Title Field
Writing A Blog Post Part 1
Writing A Blog Post Part 2



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

5 comments:

daisy g said...

What a fabulous post! I'll bet you'll be encouraging lots of folks who never thought they could have a blog. Kudos to you!

Rachel said...

Great post! I wish I had come across this when I first started my blog 9ish months ago. I still have much room for improvement, so thanks for sharing this! My photo editor (picasa) is no longer running on my computer for some reason, and I was wondering about picmonkey.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much Daisy and Rachel! I thought it was so much harder than it actually is so I wanted to share that with others who may be a bit intimidated by the idea. :)

Michele Yates said...

My husband has been encouraging me to start a blog (we are recently into chicken keeping and more recently have purchased mountain property to eventually move to) but I don't think I am quite there yet with the commitment. Your post was very interesting and informative, however, and makes it sound much easier than I thought. I have been enjoying your blog for several months; thank you!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Michele I hope you do start a blog! It really isn't hard at all and I think you'll find it a great way to touch base with others and share ideas. Please let me know your blog address when you do start one - I'd love to follow you, and feel free to email me with any questions you have. :)