If you are a beginner, of course it’s scary to get started on a new online business. Everything is new, and it will seem that you have so many things to do. where do you start? Well, first, let me tell you – sit back, calm down, and don’t be worried. It’s easy and painless, I promise! For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that you want to start blogging, and to earn some money through advertising, OK?
First steps first, you need to have a place to put up a blog. There are lots of free blogging platforms out there like Blogger, Blogspot, Blogster, WordPress.com and many others. However, I do not recommend having a hosted blog! What I recommend is having your own blog and hosting it yourself on your own server. I would bet that 70% of people who start up blogs do so on some hosted free blog service like those I mentioned, so why shouldn’t you do so? Well, I have a number of reasons, let’s look at a few:
- If you are putting up your blog posts on somebody else’s service, without a doubt you are giving up some of the ownership of your post. You are freely storing the info and publishing the info on somebody else’s platform, and thus they get some ownership of the information you post. If you get your own hosting account on a shared server, you rent the space, and this have some ownership of the space. The service provider does not own the content- you do.
- Think about this – let’s say that you build up a blog that becomes popular and influential. A lot of people know about your blog and follow it regularly. I have a number of blogs that fit this category. Then, let’s say that the blog hosting service you are using goes out of business. Or, what if you post something on your blog that is against the terms of service of the host, and they kick you out of the service? Your blog is gone. Sure, you can move to your own server at that time, but how many of your loyal readers will find you? It’s like starting over, and you may never build up your blog to the point where it was.
- I always prefer having control over my activities, not letting others have control.
So, because of these, I simply believe that it is best to go on your own. So, what steps are involved in getting started with your own blog on your own server? Let’s look:
- Choose a domain name. This is simple, choose a domain name that fits in with the topic you want to blog about, or just with you. For example, I have a blog about Mindanao, and my domain is “Mindanao.com.” I have a blog about Living in the Philippines, and the domain is “LiveInThePhilippines.com.” Choose a name that fits in with what you want to talk about, or a very generic name that can be used for everything. Another way you might go is to register your name. For example, although it’s already taken by somebody else with my same name, I could have registered “BobMartin.com” and then I could have even had multiple blogs on that domain. Let’s say I wanted to blog about fishing, I could have then started a subdomain for that blog: fishing.BobMartin.com, etc.
- After choosing what domain you want (and making sure that nobody else has it yet), you will need to register that domain. There are many places where you can register a domain, I use a company called GoDaddy.com. For under $9 per year, they will register the name for you. It’s cheap, and their service is very reliable in my experience.
- Next, you will need a host where you can put up your blog. I use a company called ServInt.net, but they are mostly for people with needs for a bigger server than you will probably need. You will want a Linux server, in my estimation, because if you want to run WordPress (the blogging software that I prefer) it runs on Linux, not Windows. You can get a web host for anywhere from $3 to $10 per month. Look for somebody who has a one button installer for WordPress, a program like Fantastico would be very good for that. With Fantastico, you can install WordPress (and other web software) at the click of a button.
- Once you have your domain name and hosting in place, you are ready to go!
OK, that’s going to be it for this post. You have enough to do with getting everything set up! On the next post, let’s look at the next steps in starting up with blogging.