How To Start A Blog
This is a little different from my usual posts but is a question I have been asked a lot lately. So you want to start a blog but have no idea where to begin? Hopefully this will answer some of your questions about which platform to use and whether to go self hosted.
Which Blogging Platform Is The Best?
You’ve probably heard of the main contenders: Blogger, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, I’ve also heard good things about Squarespace too (although I’ve never tested it myself). If you start a blog using one and decide later down the line that you want to switch platforms it can be done so don’t feel like the choice you make will have to be set in stone forever. I have used Blogger, WordPress.com and WordPress.org over the past 10 years and personally prefer WordPress.org (this is what we currently use).
Blogger Vs. WordPress.com
If you have a very low budget then something like Blogger or WordPress.com may be more desirable to you, whilst I was at Uni I had a blog via Blogger, it was free and knowing nothing about coding etc. at the time seemed like the perfect choice. I eventually moved to WordPress.com as I found that Blogger had its limitations for how I wanted my site to look, I also found the stats to be a little unreliable.
I personally preferred using WordPress.com over Blogger as I felt it enabled me to create a more professional looking site. WordPress.com offers different packages so if you are looking for cheap packages (or free) then they are worth checking out. It’s been a while since I used both platforms but as far as I am aware you can purchase domain names for Blogger and WordPress.com in fact I think Blogger may even allow you to do this for free.
When setting up Beauty at Brunch we decided that if we were going to start a blog we were going to do it properly, it may be our side hobby but we have always wanted it to look professional and have treated it like our business from day 1. For that reason we chose to go with a self hosted WordPress.org site. WordPress.org recommended 3 hosts on their site: Bluehost, Dreamhost and Siteground.
Beauty at Brunch is hosted via Bluehost which costs us around £100 a year – this price includes web hosting, our domain name renewal, domain name privacy and SiteLock security. It also allows us to create a personalised email address – something every business needs if you want to maintain professional standards. If you are planning on purchasing a blog theme this is another cost that you will have to factor in although this is a one off cost and may last you years unless you decide to give your blog a makeover regularly.
Picking the Right Blogging Platform For your Needs
Ultimately there is no right or wrong choice, all platforms mentioned above will give you a space to write and share your creative content with the world. You will need to figure out what you want to achieve from your blog, how much are you willing to invest monetary and time-wise? Do you have a particular look in mind for your blog?
If this all sounds a bit daunting don’t worry, when we started Beauty at Brunch Lily was totally computer illiterate, wasn’t on social media at all and typed her first blog post in Word which of course nobody but her could access. If she figured it out anyone can!
I have so much more that I could write about how to start a blog but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone who is just getting started so if you would like advice on picking a name for your blog, where to purchase the best blog themes from, which plugins we recommend, how to monetise your blog or any other questions let us know in the comments or send us an email and we can look into covering this in another post.