Blogging has become a very popular hobby within the last 5 years. Websites such as blogspot.com and wordpress.org have provided free space on the Internet for people of all shapes and sizes to put their mind on the web. I want to help you get your blog running and looking good.
First you need a good computer–Dell, HP, and Macs all get the job done. If you’re looking for something that isn’t a laptop, take a look at some of the Dell PCs. They are usually your best bet for getting something good for a very affordable price.
Once you have a reliable computer, we can start surfing the web, and looking for a good spot to put your blog. Different options for blogging exist; it just depends on whether or not you want a free blog or a blog that gives you a little more for a few bucks.
For those of you looking to get some practice blogging I would recommend taking a look at free blogging websites like the earlier mentioned BlogSpot or WordPress. These websites give you a free URL and hosting. The only downfall to this option is that you don’t really get your own URL. The URL usually looks something like yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com.
If you spend about ten dollars for a personalized domain you can erase BlogSpot or WordPress’ name from it. You can register a domain at places like namecheap.com, godaddy.com, or register.com to name a few.
After you have registered a domain, you now need to buy hosting. Think of the domain as your house, and hosting as the real estate your house was built on. Some good websites to start out include justhost.com and bluehost.com. They offer great customer support and are pretty reasonable with their pricing. In a nutshell you need to point your domain to the hosting server you decided to rent. Most hosting companies will give you instructions on how exactly to do this.
Now that all the geeky technical stuff is out of the way, you can start creating your blog. The ideal thing to do is to find a user-friendly content management system (CMS). I haven’t used anything else other than WordPress because it has everything a blogger would ever need. Places such as Justhost.com have the option to download WordPress with the click of a button.
Theoretically, once WordPress is installed you have a blog, but I assume that you’re not going to just want to stick with WordPress’ default theme. A theme is a basic layout for your blog. This is what makes your blog unique from other websites. WordPress offers a good amount of free themes, but if you want some nice ones with all the bells and whistles you’re going to have to look elsewhere. Woothemes.com, Studiopress.com, and Themeforest.com are good places to start looking. Expect to spend anywhere from $10-$40 dollars for a theme.
That is about everything you need to know for how to start a blog. I hope you have enjoyed this little crash course. Happy blogging!