Should I sign up for a free blog on blogger, wordpress.com, tumblr or other blogging platform or should I go straight to a self-hosted site? A common question among those who are planning to set up their blog/websites ask themselves.
When I started blogging, the first platform that I used was LiveJournal (long deleted). Then I created a Tumblog back when I was practicing photography and blogger for personal stuffs before finally settling in my self-hosted WordPress blog.
Shifting from the blog platforms listed above, I know I have finally found home in WordPress. Let this post convince you why. Why bloggers use wordpress.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM
You can sign up with Blogger or WordPress in no time or go straight to a self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). If you plan to make a career out of blogging, the best option for you would be to go straight to a self-hosted WordPress site. It would allow you more freedom and more flexibility to customize as you please. Some advertisers also prefer sites that have their own domain and are self-hosted.
TIP: If you are planning to make blogging your career, you might want to check Camie’s entry about the nitty-gritty of blogging.
DEFINE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Decide on what you are going to call your blog. Amy offers some great advice on choosing a domain name.
SET UP HOSTING
I previously hosted my site at Stablehost but now I use Domain Wink because they are a local company and can be reached easily. Another factor is that their customer support speaks Tagalog. Not that it matters but I guess supporting your fellowmen is a plus. I’m really satisfied with them and haven’t had any issues with them so far. They reply to my inquiries promptly so I’m sticking with them.
DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL WORDPRESS
Most hosting sites offer quick WordPress installations so you wouldn’t have to download it from wordpress.org but if they don’t, download WordPress and install it in the control panel of your hosting or have a Web Developer do it for you.
INSTALL A THEME FOR YOUR BLOG
Theme Forest is a pretty popular website to download themes but I suggest that you get a web designer for your site to have full control on the blog’s design.
INSTALL GOOGLE ANALYTICS
I cannot stress this further. I had the mistake not of installing it before. I had installed it just recently and my life has never been easier. Once you start getting traffic, you’ll want to know where it is coming from, how often people are checking your blog, the average visitors you are getting, what content they are digging and what ever data you might want to know. You can set up your account here. If you plan to cater Google Ad Sense ads, this is a MUST.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Three social media platform that every blogger should have. Other sites that you might want to check out are Google + and Pinterest. Social Networks helps you reach a wider audience and gives additional traffic to your site aside from search engines. They also help you interact easily with your readers and fellow bloggers. Network, network and network. 🙂
P.S. If you need help in hosting and web design, you can shoot me an email and I would be glad to be of service. I do hosting and web design too. 🙂