How to Start Your First Blog

by A.D Paterson on 01/09/2009

Starting your first blog can be the beginning to a world of wonder, excitement, and online riches – or at least that’s what many people would have us think – but how do you actually go about getting one setup in the first place?

In this article we’re going to have a look at the essentials when it comes to getting your first blog up and running. We’ll look at choosing a domain name, getting a webhosting site, and then the one key thing you need to do to get your blog out in cyberspace.

What should you think about when you’re choosing your domain name?

Let’s start by saying the reason for looking at the domain name before choosing a hosting site is this: some webhosting sites will offer you a free domain name when you register, so, if you haven’t even thought about what your domain name is going to be, you’ll be delayed right from the start.

Now, let’s move on to choosing the domain name. What you need to do is to think about either what it is you’re going to be selling, or, the type of information you’re going to be giving people from your blog.

If you have a clear idea on where you’re going with your first blog, you’ll be able to map things out a little better i.e. I may want to write about underwater knitting, from that I’ll have a fair idea of what categories are required in the underwater knitting niche, and I can create them based on their keywords – but that’s getting a little ahead of things for the moment.

As an avid underwater knitter I may already know that most people simply want to know how to knit underwater. These are the keywords they use when they do a search on everyone’s favourite search engine, so we want to be right at the top when they get those search results back.

We pick out a domain registration site and type in ‘howtoknitunderwater.com’ and discover it’s still available. Fantastic. We make a note of it and move on to the next step.

What’s the best webhosting site to go with?

This really all depends on what you’re looking for as they all offer different things.

Some will let you pay monthly, while others have a discounted offer and charge you yearly. Some will offer an unlimited number of add on domain names and unlimited bandwidth, while others restrict it.

Again, it depends on what you’re after. If you think you’re going to grow big quickly, they some of the slightly more expensive options offering unlimited bandwidth etc might be the way forward. You can often upgrade or downgrade hosting plans, so that’s not too much of a problem; however, always swapping to new webhosting companies can get messy – as much in transferring everything, if nothing else.

If you’ve picked a webhosting site that gives you a free domain name as well then now’s the time to use the one you’ve researched. If they don’t there are a number of great registration companies out there – possibly even the one you did the research on.

Let’s get to the point of DNS.

The DNS is where you tell the domain name to stop ‘looking’ at the site where it’s being hosted, and get it to send people to the webhost you’re using.

You have to actually ‘connect the dots’ or re-point it. The domain name doesn’t know where you have your hosting, so, you need to physically get into your domain name account and put in the new DNS setting s that you’ll be given by your webhosting site.

Doing this takes no time at all (follow the instructions on the relevant site if you’re in any doubt), but the domain name and webhosting site actually linking to each other can take anything from a few minutes to a couple of days.

Now, let’s get your first blog running on WordPress.

When you login to the CPanel of the hosting site for the first time you’ll see a vast number of things you can do, at the moment we’re only interested in finding the ‘Fantastico’ section.

Under Fantastico you’ll find a section where you can setup a WordPress blog, and the instructions are so easy to follow that they don’t really need any further going over – not in this article, anyway.

There we have it, a rough guide to getting a domain name, webhosting account, and getting your first blog up and running with WordPress.

If you have some idea of what you want to do with the site you can research the keywords to get the best name for it. Pick a hosting site based on the versatility of the plan as much as about the pricing of it. Make sure you tell the domain name where it’s going to send people. And finally, use the hassle free Fantastico system to get WordPress installed in minutes.

In some of the following articles we’ll give you more information on things you can do to improve your first blog.

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