These days, it’s very easy to get started with your own professional looking blog. While there are a number of ways you can create an online blog, having your own website not only gives you the most flexibility and control over what you post online—it also gives you a more professional appearance and allows you to be found more easily in the search engines.
Although you can find many helpful blogging tools on the market, you really only need a few basic ones to get started quickly—and you don’t need to spend that much money either. Here is a quick six step list to get your new blog up and running.
1. Choose your Domain Name
Your domain name is the URL or address of your website. Most website owners still prefer a .com domain, but there are now many more options available. The good news is that you can usually get your domain free when you purchase your web hosting. See below.
2. Purchase your Web Hosting
You need web hosting to make your blog available on the internet. There are a ton of web hosting options that are available these days. See our sidebar notes for some suggestions to get you started.
3. Install WordPress
Because WordPress has become so popular, almost all web hosting plans include it. Some web hosts will even pre-install WordPress for you. But even if your plan doesn’t include pre-installation, don’t worry. Installing WordPress is very easy to do.
4. Choose your WordPress Theme
WordPress comes with a default theme when you install it. However, since your theme determines how your blog appears to your audience, you’ll probably want to distinguish your website by changing to a different theme. You can find many different themes available within the WordPress repository itself. Or, for a more customized solution, you can purchase a theme from a company such as StudioPress.
5. Add some WordPress Plugins
Plugins are separate add on programs that extend the functionality of your WordPress blog. Once you get WordPress installed and running, you might find that there are certain functions you want to include with your blog. Like themes, you can find plugins from within the WordPress repository.
6. Start Blogging
Now it’s time to get started blogging. Start writing, write more, and write often. It’s your blog, so you can write as often and about any topic you want!