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Have you seen all those blog posts titled “Start a blog in minutes!”
There are tons of them out there. Run a search on Pinterest, and they make it seem like it can be done during a commercial break of the Sunday Night Football game.
Guess what, folks? It takes longer than a few minutes. Even if you’re not a procrastinator, creating a blog is more of a marathon-like process rather than a sprint.
I’m going to show you my marathon method. I’m still in the process of setting up this blog. I’ll explain the steps I have taken (and am currently taking) to get it functional, in (mostly) simple jargon.
If you’re the sprint-type person who can get everything done in a day, then by all means, go for it. I prefer baby steps. Specific baby steps. Because I’m easily distracted.
Follow these steps, and in a few weeks, you will have a fully-functioning blog.
A quick word about free blogging platforms…
There are plenty of free blogging platforms out there like Blogger.com, Tumblr, and WordPress.com. With these platforms, you can set up a free blog without any cost to you. That’s where the benefits of a free blog end though.
The disadvantages are numerous. They include limited bandwidth and storage, little to no customer service and lack of customization. You also do not own your blog according to the terms of the free services. As such, your blog can be shut down with no warning. Most free services also do not allow monetization of your blog.
On the other hand, with a paid blogging service, you create an account with a hosting service that downloads the software used to run the blog. You own the blog and can customize it however you wish. You can monetize it and grow it without fear of running out of space or it being shut down by the service.
I recommend starting out with a paid service right from the beginning. Even if your goals are not growing your blog or monetization or customization, the investment is so small that it’s worth it in case you change your mind. After a year or so, if you decide it’s not for you, you can always cancel your account with the paid service.
Let’s Do This…
The first step is finding hosting and registering a domain name. A hosting service is the service that allows a website or webpage to be view-able on the internet. The domain name is the internet address where users can access your site. For example, MyAwesomeDomainName.com.
The hosting service I use is Siteground (affiliate link).
There are plenty of hosting services out there, but after doing my research, I’ve found that Siteground (affiliate link) is the best. They have excellent customer service and are affordable. If you’ve already got a site or a domain name, they can do a transfer to their service.
When you click over to Siteground‘s page and scroll down a bit, you’ll see a few different options for hosting platforms. You’ll want Web Hosting; click on Learn More.
You will then be taken to a page where you can choose your plan. The Startup Plan for $3.95/month is sufficient to begin with. Click “Get Started.”
The next step is coming up with and entering your domain name.
Your domain can be your name or something else. Search around if the one you want is already taken. Don’t make it too complicated or too clever. It should be something that is easy to remember.
After entering your domain name, you’ll enter your account information and payment method, and that’s it! You now have a domain and a place for hosting it. Be sure to keep track of your username and password for your account.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help.
Next time, we’ll talk about a couple of features of Siteground. But for now, take five and enjoy the feeling of productivity for getting the first step done.