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How To Start A Blog

Recently, I helped my sister start her own blog and she's been hooked on it ever since. That inspired to me write an informative guide for people interested in blogging but don't know where to start! I've broken it down step-by-step. Hope this will help!


1. What's Your Niche?
The first thing you may want to think about is what your blog will be about. Perhaps it will be something very specific, like a blog about fashion or cars. Or, it can also be very broad like mine. I categorized myself as a lifestyle blog because I like to share posts on many facets of my life.

2. Wordpress or Blogger?
There are many other services out there and you don't necessarily have to choose Wordpress or Blogger, but I will focus on those two since they are commonly used by bloggers. For people who are just starting out, the deciding factor may be price. It may be a better choice to go with a free option if you're not sure how committed you will be to blogging. You should become familiar with the capabilities of both services to determine which one better suits your needs. I'll go over some of the basic features of both.

Blogger is completely free and gives you full access to design your blog. Blogger provides a couple templates but they are really hideous. Luckily, there are many nicely designed templates online, both free and paid. I usually google "free premium blogger template". I have also seen many affordable templates sold on Etsy for around $15-$30. The downside of Blogger not having many attractive looking designs is that you need some knowledge in HTML/CSS to implement your own 3rd party template. However, many templates come with helpful documentation that will show you step-by-step how to install your template.

There are actually two different Wordpress services: wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Wordpress.com is the easier one to use because it's entirely free and comes with many pre-made templates to choose from. They are also more aesthetically pleasing than Blogger's templates by far. The downside of wordpress.com is that you are limited to only those templates, and there's no way for you to use custom code. For me, I really don't like that limitation because I like to tinker with code and tweak the appearance of my blog to my own liking.

Wordpress.org is what most ~pros~ use. It is the most powerful of all these options because you can code your blog to look however you want, and there are plug-ins available to make your blog have other capabilities, such as adding a shopping cart to your site. Wordpress.org offers some ready to use templates, or you can find more templates online. Wordpress.org may be the priciest option out of the three, because you have to purchase your own domain name, and get web hosting for your site to work. I think that's what is holding me back from switching over to Wordpress. While I enjoy blogging and have been doing it for a long time, I have never really needed anything besides the ability to publish posts and design my blog appearance. Other features that Wordpress provides just seems extraneous to me as of now.

3. Think of a Blog Name
Once you have decided on what platform you will be using, it's time to register and set up your blog! Honestly I think the hardest part of starting a blog is coming up with a name. First of all, you want to choose a name for yourself that is unique and creative. Second of all, you have to make sure it hasn't already been taken by someone else. This seriously causes so much stress.

If you have a specific topic for your blog, it will probably help you come up with a blog name quite easily. However, if you have a generalized blog, you probably shouldn't come up with a name that's too specific. If I wrote solely about beauty, then a name such as "Natalie's Beauty Blog" would be perfect. Although I do write a lot about beauty, I also write about many other topics, so that name would not be the best choice for me. You don't want to feel forced to write about one topic all the time because that will seriously dampen your creativity and make your blogging experience less enjoyable. If all else fails, just use your name.

I came up with the name "Natalie Inspired" because I thought it was a nice, simple way to summarize my blog, which is about all my little interests and passions.

4. Design Your Blog
During the registration process, you will probably be prompted to choose a pre-made template no matter which service you choose. You may decide to stick with the pre-made template, or you may want to browse online for other ones. I won't go too in depth about this because I already mentioned it in step 2. Just refer to the section that applies to you!

5. Start Writing!
Last thing to do is to just write! Perhaps you may want to make your first post an introduction of yourself to your future readers. Maybe you just want to jump right into a topic that interests you. Just start writing about what you want and have fun with it!

That's all the tips I have for starting a blog. Hope this helped, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me!

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