Yes, it really is that quick!
Six months down the line, and I’m knee-deep in ‘Ruby on Rails’ – the software that powers Netflix – and free coding challenges I found online. I’d completely forgotten the reason I decided to learn web development in the first place and I was no closer to launching my blog than the six months previous.
My advice to all those of you who are not tech geniuses- yet – focus on the content creation, not the fancy formatting. In the beginning, creating content for your blog takes precedence over the appearance of your site.
So, how do I get started?
Picking Your Hosting Site
Method #1 – I’m a Lazy Son of a Gun
If you’re anything like me, coding is not your strong suit. That’s why I chose WordPress, as a complete content building platform with a grand selection of themes, fonts, and even beautiful images.
While the WordPress platform is free, domain registration and hosting are not.
So, why do I need them?
Well, web hosting sites are essential when creating content, to safely store all your articles, posts, and video data. You can’t have all that high-quality work just disappearing off the face of the earth – or the internet, I suppose.
It’s important to select the right hosting plan for your needs. Often when starting an online shop you will anticipate customer traffic flocking to your website. In this case, you want to ensure that the page runs smoothly and efficiently so that the customer buying experience is top-notch. Hence, you may have already budgeted for business services, like online payments or tailored advertising that monetise your website.
What’s more, your domain name is what people will see whenever they search for your website or business. Domain names are about £6 to £10.50 to buy and can be renewed each year. I suppose it’s just like paying rent to the internet!
Method 2# I’m Watching my Wallet
For those of you who are still cringing at the idea of spending money on a website hosting platform, I had similar aversions to the idea myself. I would much rather spend it on coffee. Although, I found this article on NameCheap.com pretty helpful to understand the importance of reliable web hosting.
Alternatively, creating your website might be a hobby or creative experiment – and that’s okay! You are likely more focused on building your craft and honing your writing skills, than a fancy page. There’s a multitude of hosting sites out there, including Ghost, GoDaddy, and Bluehost. Squarespace – which Youtube advertises to me about five times a day – is another great option.
After extensive research, Bluehost seems to be – by far – the most popular hosting site, starting at £2.09 per month – you even get a free domain name for the first year. For a first or personal blog, this is a great investment and really is as cheap as chips (from McDonald’s at least).
Selecting a Blog Title
As Cathrin Manning discussed in her video guide to blogging, your title defines you and is the first thing the audience sees when stumbling upon your page. For that reason, I chose my name and my full name at that – you can’t really miss it. But maybe your blog is for you to be anonymous, and speak freely about a number of topics.
The bottom line is: pick a name that you can stick to since you will build your identity around this title and your content will be a reflection of this.
What’s more, Manning points out that your blog’s name will appear on social media outlets and discussion forums, flagged up whenever you comment, like or interact with other bloggers online.
Start uploading content
This is perhaps the most important step. If you are running a blog, you only need three pages:
- About page
- Blog page
- Contact page
One to showcase all your recent updates, another to inform readers of your goals and background, and finally a page that enables readers to get in touch. A simple, easy-to-read format is one that users can get behind.
While the themes and extra features are important these days, it’s the power of your written or multi-media content that speaks on your behalf. So make sure that’s your focus above all else.
And there you have it: how to launch your blog in under 10 minutes – there or thereabouts!
If you have any other questions about this blog, be sure to ask in the comments sections below 🙂