I was just asked by a client what types of considerations they should take into account when starting a personal blog, and I realized that it would make a great blog post for aspiring bloggers!
I think it’s a great idea to start a personal blog. It’s a place for you to share your thoughts and experiences in our your own voice, aside from the brand that you might work for or any other publications you might write for. Plus, it’s fun!
So, you want to start a blog? What’s first?
1. Decide on a topic or theme.
It’s your blog, but people are drawn to blogs that have a certain theme or niche. It could be anything from something you do for your career to a hobby that you’re very passionate about. Either way, make sure to make that theme clear and promote it as such.
2. Buy a domain name.
Depending on the topic or the purpose of the blog, the domain name should be thought out carefully. It shouldn’t be too long, and it should be relevant to the topic at hand. You can use a catchy phrase, or you can use your own name. Up to you!
3. Pick a Content Management System (CMS).
I might be a bit biased here, but I will always recommend WordPress. It’s easily optimizable, there is a huge development and support community, multiple add-ons and much more. There are two types of WordPress sites: WordPress.com, which is fully hosted by WordPress, then WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted version. Check out this post for the main differences:
Between the two, I definitely recommend a WordPress.org site, but, unfortunately, if you don’t know what you’re doing (like me!), you’ll need help from a developer to get your site staged and set up. For cost effective option, I’d recommend having a developer friend do it for you or post your job on Elance.*
However, there are a couple other options for easy to setup personal blogging sites, including:
*For some tips on how to use Elance, check out the second section of this infographic tips post.
If you do decide to go the WordPress.org route, you’ll want to think about hosting. For all of our clients, we use WPEngine, which has 24 hour support and backups. But, if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, here’s a great post from Lifehacker:
With a WordPress.org site, half the fun is being able to pick your website theme! One of the greatest places to find WordPress themes is Themeforest, a repository a themes for all types of sites.
When picking a theme, keep these things in mind:
- Make sure that you pick a theme that will be supported by your CMS platform. A WordPress theme won’t be supported on a Tumblr blog.
- To avoid the headache of optimizing for mobile, tablet and desktop, select a responsive theme that will adjust for all three.
So, there you have it! Have you ever wanted to start a personal blog, but haven’t?