4 basic tech steps to follow when you want to start a new blog

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During the last minimum 2 years, I have been learning so much stuff about the technical part of creating and setting up your own blog, that I became a small guru of blogging IT tips & tricks. I have been forced actually because I couldn't and still cannot afford professional services from a specialized company and if I think about it, I don't need them anymore because I like the geek stuff and I got pretty good at it.
Background photo by Dustin Lee on Unsplash
But I know that not everyone enjoys this kind of things, so here is a quick guide to help you how to start your own blog when you have zero knowledge about how this works. This is really basic information to help you set up a place for you to write, share your experiences and eventually transform it into a profitable business. There is a long way till there, but for that, you need the small technical part done to get you started.

step 1: Pick a blogging platform

I have always been a blogger.com fan. Yes, I know, this is quite an old blogging platform and maybe not so user-friendly, but actually, when I started digging, it grew on me. I tried WordPress as well, but giving that I didn’t have a budget to invest and the cool stuff on WordPress are to be paid, I stuck with Blogspot and learned it’s all secrets.

One other reason why I decided to go with Blogspot is that you are allowed to use AdSense ads whilst you cannot do this on a free version of the WordPress platforms. I still cannot invest in other ads providers, so good old AdSense is great for me.

Don’t worry if you are not an expert on this cool blogging platform! There are so many tutorials on the internet that even the most non-techie of you will get the hang of it. Plus, I will be sharing my own experiences in the future posts.

step 2: Choose a domain name + (free) hosting

Yes, that is right! You can have your own domain with free hosting from blogger.com. How cool is that? I was surprised when I first found out, but I was more than happy to get rid of “.blogspot.com” from my blog’s URL and have my own customized link. And the best part? I was able to save some money by paying just for my domain.

Usually, it’s cheaper if you buy them as a package from the same provider. Or you just use the cool feature of blogger.com with free hosting and your own domain.

Currently, these are the most popular places where you can buy a domain and host:

GoDaddy - when I made my first purchase I paid 1.19$ for one year, so it was really a great deal. The renewal was a bit higher, but I didn’t want to change to another domain provider.

- Bluehost - didn’t work with them, but the basic package of hosting starts from 8$ per month. I believe the domain is free. I cannot find the option to buy just the domain from them, please correct me if I am wrong.

- Squarespace - this platform is really user-friendly, but too expensive for my budget right now. The yearly fee for your own domain is 20$. Not sure I will ever afford them, but they offer high-quality products and services. I was writing few times for a Squarespace hosted blog and I really liked how easy it was.

step 3: Install a blogging theme

This is the best part of creating your own blog. If you have no idea of what you want, then you have a problem: it will take you a long time to decide because the internet is full of beautiful themes. Before starting digging all the places, create a must-have list of features for your new theme. For start, make sure your theme is in line with your blogging approach and niche topics. Everything needs to match your branding strategy. Don’t you have one? Here is a post to help you create your own brand strategy in 5 simple steps. Visualize how would you implement your content before making any purchase decision!

The most important thing you have to take into consideration is that your blog theme must be responsive! This means that it will be automatically adjusted for mobiles and tablets which makes your website more user-friendly. - click to Tweet

There are several places where you can find free blog themes like Sora templates, Btemplates, PBTemplates, and Themexpose. Of course, if you just google “free blogger templates” or “free WordPress templates”, you will find thousands no matter the blogging platform you chose. The disadvantage of free blogging themes is that usually you have no customer service so you need some basic HTML knowledge to customize the theme according to your needs and probably in the footer page you have the author’s data (which can be removed, but I advise you not to because of copyrights).

You can always invest in a paid blogger or WordPress theme. Usually, the free ones allow you to buy an upgraded version or you can just look on creativemarket (affiliate link), thehungryjpeg (affiliate link) and etsy.

I have put together a short tutorial for you on How to install a blogger.com template. Check it out now in case you need some help!

step 4: Customize your website

After you choose your theme and installed it, you have to customize the menu, create your pages, personalize the sidebar and your social media links. Also, during this step, you can install whatever widgets you want to have and few Google AdSense (or other ads provider) and set up any affiliate links/badges you want to use. Now it is also the time to adjust the font and colors according to your branding and communication package. Just make sure everything is connected to your niche topics and it makes sense for the blog you want to build.

You are done! Start writing!

Make sure you share your new blog in the comments area and I will have a look at it immediately! I would really like to see the result you envisioned for your blog.

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