Just like the song “Everyone’s a DJ“, these day’s everyone’s a blogger.
But, if you want to be a successful blogger that makes money, has visitors and is perceived as legitimate, then you need to set it up the right way from the start!
There are a number of free blogging services out there that make it very easy to set up and manage your own blog. These include; Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr just to name a few.
This website is build on the WordPress content management platform using the Thesis framework. Wordpress is fast becoming the de-facto standard in web publishing due to its ease of use and flexibility.
Hosting your blog on someone else’s domain name
I’ve seen a number of relatively popular blogs out there build on the back of WordPress or Blogger as subdomains.
These are easy to set up, cost nothing, and simple to maintain. So what’s the catch?
The catch is that you don’t own or get to keep your brand and reputation. All of the links, reputation, authority, comments and history are going onto the WordPress domain name – not to yours.
Why wouldn’t you buy your own domain name and keep all of this to yourself?!
I figure the reason is because don’t know how to do it!
Don’t worry, I’m going to give you a guide on how to set up your very own WordPress blog on your own domain name. I’ve chosen Wordpress as I think it’s the easiest and best blogging platform out there.
Step 1 – Register your own domain name
This is the fun part – you get to choose your domain name for your blog. A good domain name typically is:
- Short in length
- No hyphens
- Easy to say
- Reflective of your brand
There are quite of few domain name registrars out there. It’s so easy these days to buy a domain name – usually for around $10-15 you can have a .com.au domain name registered for a year.
Here are some good domain name registrars:
Step 2 – Set up hosting
You have just bought your domain name so now you need to set up some web hosting to send your blog live to the Internet.
I’d recommend going with the basic hosting package as you can always upgrade the amount of storage and disk space if you need it later on! Here are a couple of recommended hosting providers:
To make this as simple as possible, I would recommend having your hosting and domain name with the same company.
This way you won’t need to work about setting up and playing with domain name servers (DNS), delegation, MX records or anything like that.
Step 3 – Install WordPress on your domain name
Here’s where it gets a little trickier, but it is still quite simple. Now you need to actually install WordPress onto your new domain name.
Once you have purchased a hosting package, and email will come through with your login to Cpanel (control panel for your website) where you’ll find an Installatron or Fantastico deluxe “one click install” button.
This “one click Installatron” makes it very easy to install the WordPress content management system onto your domain name. There are user guides within cPanel that show you exactly how to do it, as well as plenty of support by a quick Google search.
Step 4 – Choose a design or template
Now you have Installed WordPress on your domain name, the next thing to do is to choose a design for your new blog!
The best thing about WordPress is that there are so many pre-packaged designs, templates and themes to select from. You just need to choose one that you like. They all have great support forums and it is very easy to find help if you need it.
Excellent templates and frameworks can be found at these websites:
I recommend actually purchasing one because a lot of the free themes out there can be coded poorly and do not give you same flexibility and control as the paid ones.
Step 5 – Get a logo
This will cost you $50-$200 to get a professionally designed logo which makes your blog look more legitimate. Here are a couple of great design websites:
Most of the themes I mentioned above make it extremely easy to upload your logo file into the header section of your chosen template.
You can then style your blog’s colour scheme to fit in with the colours of your logo to keep it consistent!
Step 6 – Install Plugins
Plugins are a great way to extend your blog without having to learn or understand any code which leaves you more time to do what it is you like doing….blog!
Here are a couple of must haves for your WordPress blog to make it more usable, and easier to track what your visitors are doing on your site:
Step 7 – Start blogging
Sounds simple! But a rule of thumb for blogging is to post 2-3 times a week with 300-500 word articles at a time. There are a number of great websites and posts out there that can guide you on your blogging journey such as:
So get to it!
- Choose yourself a domain name
- Buy some hosting
- Install WordPress
- Choose a logo and design
- Install plugins
- Start blogging!