If you are thinking of starting a blog, for pleasure or business, you will want to really research your choices carefully beforehand. There are many reasons to start blogging. As a creative outlet, it can also become an interactive way to make friends, build a support system, or find others with a common interest. There are so many different types of blogs now, and so many different blogging platforms, site hosts, coding and design options to customize blogs, and other tech tools, that a beginning blogger can get easily overwhelmed.
You can always change your blog, but it will give you peace of mind to have a general plan or vision for your blog before you actually purchase a domain. Pre-planning for your blog includes finding a niche, or an area of expertise that you would enjoy writing about most. For example, there are many sites about books and book reviews, movies, food, politics, art, blogging itself, fashion, and any other topic of interest. Is there a special hobby that you love talking about more than anything else? Something that you are trying to work through on a personal level, like weight loss, parenting, or a sticky divorce that you want a support system for?
You will want to have an idea for the topic or topic range you are most interested in, or that you think is most needed. Choosing a unique niche can really make your blog more exciting, both for you and for your future followers.
Web Host for your Blog
Having a “host” is like having a backup plan and a technical support team all rolled into one. If you buy your domain, you will need to also buy a host. This part of setting your blog up can be a bit more expensive, but a host will also give you more flexibility with the ownership of your blog, and should have a file recovery system for your posts if your site crashes. They will help you archive your posts, and can offer you guidance and advice through your blogging process.
If you use a paid host (which you should), it will likely cost anywhere from 4-20 dollars a month depending on the plan. However, be aware that when you purchase hosting, you will also be buying either a year or two years all at one time, not by month. So, you will really need to take time to research the different web hosts, make sure that you know the one you will enjoy working with most, and then make sure you have at least $200 in your bank account to set up your hosting. Otherwise, you could have a headache locked into a plan you don’t like for around 2 years, or you could also overdraft your bank account. Web hosting is a crucial aspect to blogging, but requires pre-planning.
Something that many bloggers do not even consider when they start out is the possibility of going professional. Yes. There are professional bloggers out there. Even “fun” blogs are able to earn revenue, and there is no reason to put a lot of heart and soul into something that could become your passion in life and your source of income without first learning all about the various blogging platforms, revenue sources, advertising, and ownership rights. For example, WordPress is a great platform to start blogging from, but many people do not realize that if you blog through WordPress.com, you cannot choose which advertisements are placed on your site, and you will not earn any revenue from advertisements placed on your site.
These simple steps will help to ensure that your blog doesn’t “die on the vine.” Plan, publish and invest some time and energy. Give your audience time to find your blog and pour a bit of your soul into the site. Before you know it, you’ll have a platform, an audience, a hobby and a business.
Author Bio:- Jessica Stambaugh is a freelance writer and a contributing blogger at www.insuranceswami.com, and encourages above all, patience when getting your blog up and running. No business or hobby starts out a success; they are built and nurtured into one. Give it time to take hold and you’ll be rewarded the rest of your life.