If you are thinking about starting a blog on the Internet, the first thing you will need to do is to find a web host; that is to purchase space on the World Wide Web. Start by purchasing your own blogging domain which is the unique name you have chosen, and once registered is yours to keep as long as you pay the renewal fee. Your domain name is not tied to any hosting company, which entitles you to move from one blog host to another if you come across a better deal, you are not getting the services you expected, or the performance of your web host has declined, and your blog traffic is decreasing because your blog host’s server is exceeding its capacity.
As an aside, you can always start with a free platform, but anyone serious about starting a blog is advised against it. More importantly it is next to impossible to get free search engine traffic to free blogs. There is virtually no support if you have technical difficulties, the blog can mysteriously disappear at any time, and you will have a hard time moving the blog if it takes off – even losing all search engine value.
There are several types of blog hosts, but no matter what or how you intend to proceed; the following qualifications will serve you well for the future of your blog:
- Consider costs and search several blog hosts and which service matches your needs. Many new bloggers will ask other bloggers what host they use or search the web for current reviews.
- Reliability is of prime importance. The up-time offered by your blog host can make the difference if visitors stay with your blog or get tired of waiting for access. Click on other blogs, and see for yourself how quickly they load. There’s no better way to test the waters than to stick your toe in first.
- Gauge data transfer limitations and how much data you can transfer. You will want the transfer limit to be high enough to accommodate all the data you publish.
- Make sure that support is available at all times to help.
Blogging isn’t just a “one size fits all” kind of writing or marketing tool. A casual blogger can progress from a beginning writer to the ultimate professional blogger who earns a living. The blogging market is made up of content, writing skills, and will build brand recognition and a visitor’s awareness of value you bring to yourself and to your product or service. Statistically 90 percent of bloggers who start out are disappointed when reality hits them that blogging is hard work, and not just reserved for a Sunday afternoon. Briefly, let’s review blogging and what a blogger needs to set one up:
- Have a theme and work on content. Don’t use a ton of graphics because a blogger wants visitors to read – not look at photographs.
- Set up an “about page” so readers can become familiar with you.
- Write about products and services you believe in. Use a banner in the sidebar about those specific products or services as well as other products you offer.
- Write relevant and interesting content.
- Have an opt-in on your sidebar for new subscribers.
- For each post, share with your contacts and use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.
- Allow comments and feedback.
- Be consistent and post regularly.
Once you own your domain, some blog hosts will provide free software or open source licenses which can be used, modified and redistributed. Most popular weblogging applications are free and open source including b2 evolution, Drupal, Live Journal, Simple PHP Blog, Textpattern, TypePad, and WordPress. Different blog applications can be specific for different themes. Others have proprietary software that must be licensed. All weblog software supports author, editing, and the publishing of entries in the following format:
- Permalink (URL of individual article)
- Post date (Date and time of published post)
Options include comments, categories or tags, indexes, trackback and pingbacks. Other common features include a web based control panel, which controls emails, databases, access sites, checks statistics, etc. Fantastico adds on to cPanel with just a click of a few buttons and automatically installs 40 different open source programs including blogging packages, mailing lists, discussion boards, e-commerce, and customer relations software.
And the relevancy to the title of this article; if it hasn’t been mentioned, the chances are you aren’t going to miss it, but here are just a few suggestions what makes it better:
- Linux servers make the processes run smoother.
- Apache is stable.
- Have FTP Access to install plugins and themes.
- Even though Control Panels are not necessary, it makes it easier to maintain databases and makes the overall process easier.
- Check and recheck storage and bandwidth for your blog so it can grow, and you have enough space for images and audio files. After all, you are going to be a successful blogger!