You’ve decided you want to start a blog, only you’re a bit lost on where you go after making this decision. What do you need? As in, really need?
- A reason to blog. This is perhaps the most obvious place to start. What do you want to write about? Why? I want to write about blogging because I enjoy blogging, you might want to write about your family so you have a record everyone can look at, any reason you choose is a reason to blog.
- An email address. You’ll need this to sign up to whatever host and/or platform/software you want to use. It might be a good idea to get a specific email address for your blog and any services you might choose to use with it. I would personally recommend Google, they’re free and you can set up some good security on there.
- A blog host. Depending on your blog software you might need to choose a separate blog host, I would recommend BlueHost as they’ve been brilliant with my other blog. Decide what software you want to use and look at what they recommend to host them.
- Blog software. If you are choosing a hosted blog software/platform such as Blogger or WordPress.com then this will be pre-installed. If you are choosing self-hosted then you need to choose your software and install it.
- A domain. With any form of blog you should get a free subdomain (such as rosemaryjayne.wordpress.com). If you are paying for a host you might well get a domain for free (such as RosemaryJayne.com), or blog platforms may offer you the option to purchase one.
- A theme. This is how your blog looks. Every blog platform will come with a theme installed by default, you can choose among the various themes offered or create your own depending on what hosting option and/or platform you chose. I would recommend picking something other than the default theme as a lot of people don’t – and looking exactly the same as everyone else makes you blend in.
- Content. This is the big, must have, part. You need to actually put something on your blog – what that is, is entirely up to you. You can use photos, videos, writing, anything you can upload can be put on your blog.
- A Facebook Page. If you’re intending to monetize your blog at some point, or want to give fans more possibilities to interact with you then you might want a Facebook page. They’re free and easy to set up – just upload an image and remember to update the page regularly.
- A Twitter Account. You may already have one for yourself, you might want to have a separate one for your blog, but Twitter is a great way of communicating with people, and as a side effect you can promote your blog as well.
- A Google+ Page. This is somewhere between a Facebook Page and a Twitter Account/Profile. You can use it the same way as you can Facebook and Twitter.
- Analytics. If you want to track how many people are visiting your blog, which days they come on, which posts are better than others then you want Analytics. Depending on your platform you will probably end up using either Google Analytics, or Jetpack.
- Promotion. This is more if you want to become well-known within your niche, and/or monetize your blog – but promoting your blog can be done in many ways, from Social Media, to Guest Posting.
- A goal. Why are you blogging? This really ties back into the first “necessity” for starting a blog, but do you want to make enough money to quit your current job and just work on your blog? How about promote your offline business? Make new friends around the world? Keep a journal or diary of some kind that you can show to your family in the future?
What would you say are the necessities for starting a blog?