My blog, Lifestyle by Janet, is just a little over 3 months old, although I started blogging (inconsistently) with a different blog a couple of months before that. I have gotten a whole lot of questions about my blog and about starting a blog in general. This post is an attempt to answer those questions and also share a few blogging tips.
If you have gone through my blog and you like the way its set up, then here are some essentials for you.
1. A Domain name:
This is like the ‘street address’ of your blog. It’s where people can find you on the WORLD WIDE WEB. eg
You can purchase your domain online with a debit card (visa or mastercard), at least that was how I purchased mine. There are several sites that are authorized to sell these domains, but a few of the trusted ones are:
Tips: When choosing your domain, pick something that suits what your blog represents because your domain name cannot be changed. If you are not sure of a domain name yet, then just hold on till something suitable comes to mind. Better still, you can just use your first and last name eg. Marywilliams.com Choose a domain name that can be easily spelt and remembered. Avoid using words that can be spelt in more than one way.
My previous blog was phiephiee.com but there was another blog; phiephie.com that was owned by someone else. So when people tried searching for me, they often found the other blog and not mine. Needless to say, I learnt from my mistakes.
2. A blogging platform:
This is like the key card you need to access your blog. You need it to build your site; customize your theme, write posts, publish posts, add media, and monitor your blog statistics. There are two major/popular blogging platforms:
Personally, I think wordpress is better than blogger but you can read up on the two and select your preffered platform. When you see a site like www.newblog.blogspot.com it means the person is using the free features of blogger, while www.newblog.wordpress.com also means the person is using the free features of wordpress. If you are using any other blogging platform aside these two, it’s ok, just work at improving what you have.
This is what puts your site online. This is not compulsory for every blogger. In fact, there are many successful bloggers who have done without webhosting. But as I mentioned earlier, if you like the way my blog is set up, then continue reading.
There are several webhosting platforms out there…several. In fact, the options could be overwhelminng but it’s not too difficult to sift through them all. You just have to note down what you would prefer your webhost to have; it could be:
- low cost
- unmetered bandwidth
- unlimited email accounts/storage
- unlimited websites/domains
You can also read reviews for the different webhosts that suits your preferences before you finally decide on one. Then pay for webhosting with your debit card, you do not need a middle man to get this done.
NB: Don’t fall for the traps of these business men who would ask you to pay some outrageous amount of money for them to set up your blog/website. It’s not a difficult task, you can do it yourself.
If you are just starting out and all these seem like jargon to you, it’s ok. There are legit people out there whose job it is to set up websites for those that don’t have the time for all the “hassle”. My advice though is to attempt doing it yourself. There’s no harm in trying right!
4. Passion and Determination:
Where do I even begin with this point… You NEED to be passionate about blogging in order to succeed, if not, you may just get tired and give up.
It may seem all fun and exciting at first but trust me, there are those times when you just want to push everything aside and carry on with your life. This is where determination comes in. At those low points, you remind yourself of the reason you started in the first place.
When I started blogging, I didn’t want friends and family to know. I actually thought about having one of those anonymous blogs where I share all my opinions without the fear of any confrontation from those that know me. But I’m so glad there’s a face to my blog. I think it allows your readers to relate with you on a different and more personal level.
Blogging is something I’m quite passionate about, so I am constantly trying to improve my blog. There are times when you are under some form of pressure and you decide to take a shortcut but in your spare time, try to rectify those things to perfection (or at least your version of it).
When you see a blog in which the owner spent time to set up & also spends time to maintain, you can easily tell. And blogs like that are always pleasing to read. It might be as little as ensuring there are no grammatical errors anywhere on the blog. I read a post on kacheetee.com, you can also read it here; you need to read this if you want to improve your blog. I agree with her, there are a few things we tend to overlook as bloggers but they are quite important details that if used properly could make our blogs better.
Thanks for making it to the end of this post. I hope you learnt a thing or two from it. What do you think are some of the essentials of blogging? Or are you a blogger with a few blogging tips to share? Please leave your comments in the ‘leave a reply’ section below. Have a fun-tastic weekend.