Starting a blog is one of the best things you can do out of the gates. It will take a lot of work to get it set up and learn the mechanics but it won’t even seem like work if you have a blog about a passion like traveling
- keep you accountable and on a schedule
- share and connect with others on a large scale
- helps others find your online identity/brand
- teach you skills on how to build a website
There are many guides out there but this is my take on it. So let’s start, you can either set up a free blog at WordPress or Tumblr. As with free resources, there will be limited options like themes, plug-ins, and options with WordPress but that should not affect you too much if you’re just starting out (you won’t be able to upload any themes you purchase either).
WordPress is recommended since this is a popular platform with high customization and scalability, making it an attractive option. It offers upgrade options should you decide to expand later. Tumblr is oriented more for personal use and sharing media, equating to more for artists/musicians/hobbyists in my opinion.
You can set up a paid one that hosts your WordPress blog like Bluehost, Siteground, or Hostgator. The differences are between free and paid is the domain name, open access to all the functions, and free email addresses under your domain name. Although, it’s highly recommended to buy your domain name off Namecheap instead of your web host. Read on to learn more about the domain name.
I bought spiritedentrepreneur.com for $10.87 which included the one free domain email address. It’s highly recommended that you get your domain name from a domain registration site. Namecheap is the most popular one for its ease of use and advertisement-free sign-up. I’ve learned that migration to a different web host would be a lot easier should you decide to move in the future. The fees for renewal of the domain also is much cheaper.
Domain E-mail Address
Do you also want an email with your domain name in it? It conveys more professionalism and makes it easier for people to remember. Namecheap gave me firstname.lastname@example.org for a year with the price of the domain. You can also set up one on your own through your webhost if you bought hosting. This option is mainly for those who are using domain masking/mapping.
Although I have done this in the past, I bought and had this domain for some time now. For completion’s sake, you have the option of masking your domain name such as I have done with this blog in the past. I mapped out the domain name I bought from Namecheap with WordPress for $13.00. Both address will still link to your site also.
So instead of: http://youwebsitename.wordpress.com
I have effectively eliminated the WordPress affiliation: http://yourwebsitename.com.
Bottom Line: I spent a total of $23.87 for a free blog with WordPress and a bought domain name including a free email address.
- Decide if you want to a paid or free blog. Also, decide if you want a domain name, web hosting, and domain email.
- If you want a free blog, sign up with WordPress.com.
- OPTIONAL: buy a domain name at Namecheap.com and map it.
- Select a name that relates to your interest.
- Select a WordPress design theme.
- Write your first blog post.
- Explore different options with your theme as each is unique.