The easiest guide to starting a .com blog

To my friends who would like to start blogging on their own terms and get a .com of their own…

It does take a little bit of effort and the initial information overload might make you reconsider. There’s just so much uncharted waters (especially for the technologically challenged, like myself) that it can get overwhelming. Hopefully though, this guide will help ease you into it the pool and start swimming 🙂

You do not need a .com to start blogging unless you want to go pro, I was with blogger.com for the longest time before I made the switch. I took the plunge because I wanted to take blogging seriously. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into your posts when you’re on a free platform because it will never look as professional as a .com. But, if you’re planning to start a blog as a hobby or to test the waters — sign up for a free blog and start from there.

But if you’ve decided that you want to go down the path of a blogger, then the first obvious step is to name yourself. There are plenty of self-titled blogs, such as my own… But if you rather not, think of something that will convey what your blog focuses on. Domain suggestions: jacketsandjeans.com or dressedinink.com for the edgy fashionista, wanderqueen.com for the female solo traveler, reveriemaverick.com for the whimsical soul…

Whatever you choose to go with, make sure it passes the radio test. It was something I found out about after I’d already established myself. While I could have undergone a rebranding, I was far too attached to Veyroniqa – ‘vey, ronica, q-a, dot com’.

The radio test is calling up a few of your friends (without their prior knowledge) and telling them about the domain name that you’ve chosen. If they get it straightaway, then congratulations, it’s a shoo-in!

Now that you’ve got your name all picked out, remember that your domain name is your virtual address, and the server is your virtual house. You need both to have a working blog. I use a local service called MyDuniaHosting simply because they are the cheapest on the Malaysian market and it came recommended. Many web hosts provide a domain as part of their package, but you might have to get it separate, depending on which provider you choose.

I don’t know all the steps involved and how it actually works – but I followed their instructions and balla-bing balla-bong: my blog went live after a short while (might take up to half a day to get your blog up and running, but if it takes longer than 24 hours, it’s time to call support)

Before you dive into writing your first post, you should set up an about me page.

Three crucial things to include in your introduction:

  • Who are you – so you’re no longer a stranger
  • What your blog focuses on – so readers know what to expect
  • Why? – because humans are a big fan of why and it gives people perspective
  • Bonus: When you update – because we are creatures of habit and routine

Now that that’s done, one extra tip that I learned is not to host images or videos on your web host. When you upload a picture onto your blog, it is hosted on your server and when people hotlink you (link your images on their sites), they’d be eating up all of your bandwidth (which will crash your blog). I use photos.google.com for all of my images so link away 😉

If my guide is any help, feel free to drop your new blog’s link in the comments below. All the best!

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