It no longer takes landing a journalism job or finding a publisher to have your voice heard. Thanks to the internet anyone can start a blog, express themselves on a daily basis and find their audience. If you already know what you want to write about, and feel you are passionate enough about it to write consistently, the hard part is over. Designing and creating the blog itself is a simple process. There are a lot of choices to be made as far as hosting services and website design, but it is possible to design a simple blog, get it up online and start writing all in the same day. Here are a few easy ways to create and design your own blog.
Your first step is to pick a domain name. The domain name is the address people will type into their browser in order to visit your blog. It is also the first thing search engines will look to when suggesting your site to web surfers. When it comes to domain names, you want to keep it short and sweet. Make it obvious and related to your subject matter, difficult to misspell, and as short as you possibly can keep it. It should be memorable, and avoid using dashes or numbers if at all possible.
Next you’ll need to choose and set up your web hosting service. The web host is where your blog actually lives online. There are several well-regarded international companies that specialize in web hosting, and until you set up your account you won’t be able to see your blog live online. This is the only piece you absolutely must pay for, but if you keep your requirements low, it will only cost you a couple of dollars a month. Take the time to research your options, because there are literally thousands of companies that advertise hosting services, and most of them you wouldn’t want to work with. Check out the options your web host provides as well, as you may want to take advantage of some of them. You will find you can set up dedicated email boxes for your blog, organize your posting schedule with calendar services, or even pay to promote your site online. You probably won’t need any of these to get started, but it’s a good idea to know what’s possible anyway.
Now that you’ve got your hosting paid for and set up, it’s time to choose the blogging service you want to work with. There are also hundreds of options here, but your best bet as a beginner will be working with WordPress. It’s probably the most popular system used for blogging, as it’s very easy to set up a professional-looking site without having to know anything about programming or coding. WordPress is also free for all users, and comes with hundreds of pre-loaded templates you can choose from. The back end is intuitive as long as you’re basically computer-savvy, and it allows you to type your blog just as you would in a word processing document. You can easily add photos, videos, links and tabs for additional pages, and choose what you want on the menu bar.
With WordPress, you won’t spend much time in design. Chances are you’ll pick one of their layouts and just go with it. There are a few things you can impact, however. You can pick the major color scheme and choose an image for the header. If you want to get more involved in the design of your website, you can hunt down other layouts created to work in WordPress. Some are free, but many of the great ones come with a one-time fee. If none of them are appealing to you, you could hire a website maker to design something more custom for your needs. But as a new blogger, your best bet is to use something stock, and adjust it as you gain experience and readers.