Once you have chosen a niche market (blog topic) and you have already done your research, then you can now get down to business putting up your blog. However, this is not as simple as it sounds.
There are many steps that you will have to complete before you can release your blog into the wilds of the Internet.
Free vs. Paid – Making the Right Choice
When starting your first blog, one of the most important choices that you have to make involves choosing between free blogging services and paid ones.
While many are quick to dismiss one option for a wide variety of
reasons, it pays to have all the information you need to make to right choice when it comes to your blog.
While both of these options have their perks as well as pitfalls, you will need to select the option that suits your needs, technical know-how as well as budget.
If you choose to go with free blogging services, then its main selling point is pretty obvious.
This is by far the cheapest option available for would-be bloggers. After all, nothing is cheaper than a free service.
Choosing free blogging services will save you a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on paying for storage as well as bandwidth for your blog.
With free blogging services, you can also get a domain name for free.
However, this also comes with a huge disadvantage since you are not free to pick any domain name that you want.
Think about it, which one of these domain names is catchier and easier to remember: yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.com?
When using a free blog service, you will have to add the service’s domain to your own.
This makes your domain name harder to remember. In addition to this, it can also make your blog seem less credible and less professional.
Another downside to using a free blogging service is that there are millions of other people using the same service and finding a good subdomain that is still available can be a grueling process.
When it comes to the level of technical know-how required to run a blog, free blogging services are a lot easier to use.
These services often come with easy-to-use interfaces that even a complete novice can easily use.
However, this also means that you have a lot less control over the look and feel of your blog and chances are, you will have a hard time building a unique-looking site using a free service.
Since your blog will look similar to thousands of other blogs and sites out there, your blog may lack the necessary oomph it takes to make it memorable for first-time visitors.
Using paid services means that you will need to pay for the services that you are using.
You will need to pay for the hosting as well as the bandwidth and online storage space that you are using.
In addition to this, you will also need to pay for registering your domain. These days, there are flexible payment terms when it comes to your hosting fees.
This means that you can choose to pay monthly, twice per year, once per year, or even once every two years.
You will also need to pay yearly to renew your domain registration.
While this means that you may incur extra costs in putting up and maintaining your blog, it does come with its advantages.
The first advantage that you get from using paid hosting services is that you are given a lot of extra space compared to free blogging services.
This means that you can post more content online like photos, audio clips, or even videos.
Having the ability to do this opens up a whole new world for your blog and you can easily keep your visitors coming back for more.
In addition to this, you are also given access to more sophisticated and powerful tools that you can use to make a truly unique blog.
This means that you can tweak every single aspect of your blog to your liking.
Aside from tools to change the look and feel of your site, you can also access other tools that can provide you with information about the statistics of your site.
These tools can tell you which sections of your blog people visit most often as well as the total number of visitors that you get each month.
Since you are now paying for your domain name, this means that you can choose any name you want as long as it is still available.
For a blogger that is seriously going into this venture with the intent of earning revenues in the future, using paid services is still the best option. The benefits of using a paid service far outweigh the costs incurred.
Domain and Hosting
Choosing a good domain as well as a good host can make or break a blog.
A good domain name can help in driving more traffic to a blog. In addition to this, domains that are easy to remember have a better track record for encouraging visitors to keep coming back.
On the other hand, a host serves as the virtual home of a blog.
All of the data contained in a blog are stored in a host’s servers.
In addition to this, having a good host also means having good tools that can be used to efficiently manage a blog.
Having a reliable host can also mean less downtime for a blog.
These are just a few of the factors that should be considered when choosing a good domain as well as a good host.
• Choosing the Perfect Domain
While choosing the perfect domain seems like a fairly straightforward affair, certain conventions need to be followed when choosing a domain name.
The first thing that you will have to do is to narrow down your list of keywords.
Start by narrowing them down to ten. Pick the shortest and catchiest keywords in your list. Keep in mind that your keywords should be very easy to remember.
Once you have completed your list, you may also add a few catchy words here and there to make your keywords more unique.
Once you have a list of potential domain names, you can check online to see if they are still available.
While it is generally true that a lot of the really good domain names are taken, you can still find a great domain name that is still up for grabs.
You can also tweak your domain name until you find one that is available.
You can try using both the plural or singular forms of your keywords and see if they are still available.
Statistics have consistently shown that people favor blogs with shorter and catchier domains compared to blogs with long and hard-to-remember names.
After all, remembering a site named yourblog.com is a lot easier than trying to remember a site named yourfirsteverblog.com.
You should also take note that people often prefer domains that end in .com as opposed to sites that end in .mobi, .info, etc.
When choosing domain names, you should also keep in mind that you may be accused of copyright infringement if you choose the wrong domain name regardless of whether this was intentional or not.
This is one of the main reasons why doing your research is so important.
You should also steer clear of using hyphens and numbers in your domain name since this can make things very confusing for potential visitors.
Lastly, it may also pay to avoid using words that can be associated with current fads and trends.
This is because trends and fads come and go and in time, your domain may seem dated to some visitors.
• Choosing a Reliable Host
Choosing a good host for your blog is a process that should be taken very seriously. A good host can make or break the success of a blog.
Keeping this in mind, you can choose from a large number of reputable hosts online.
As with most things on the Internet these days, the first thing that you have to do is to research.
But before you go off looking for a new host for your blog, you will need to learn the language.
For the uninitiated, the terms and concepts associated with choosing a host can seem like an alien language from another planet.
Most of these terms may seem vaguely familiar but you will have to look up most of them so that you know what you are looking for.
Familiarize yourself with the definitions of terms like bandwidth, VPN, SSL certificates, and Total DNS control.
While you may not need some of these things for setting up your blog, it pays to know the language when choosing a host or a hosting plan.