If you’ve been following this blog lately, you know that Fridays are dedicated to my writing on Social Media. I believe that leaders need to blog. It helps clarifies their thoughts, help them process their experiences, and inspire their followers!

Still, if you’re not convinced you need to blog, please read Build a Blog.

I would also request you to read the following articles as preliminary information you need.

build-a-blog

Start with Why

Know Your Audience

Amplify Your Message Online

Build a Blog

For many would-be bloggers, two things that deter them are time and cost. They feel that blogging is time-consuming and that they could not make any more room in their busy schedules. They also believe that they need to spend a fortune just to get started with blogging. I might not be able to help you in carving more time in your already-busy schedule, but I can definitely help you to build a blog without spending a cent!

Just a caveat: If you want to pursue blogging in the long term, I strongly recommend getting your own domain name (like www.yourname.com or like mine: http://transformationalleadership.ph) and your  own web hosting account. How much would it cost? About $80 (PhP 3,500.00). Sure it’s more challenging. You’ll need to Google a lot of information to keep it going and troubleshoot it. But the learning and the experience is totally worth it! Don’t worry, that’s what I’ll cover next week!

STEP 1: Make sure you have these:

Although you won’t need to spend a dime, you still need several things before you can actually build your blog. So, before sitting down in front of your computer to build  your blog. You will need:

  • A computer.
  • A good Internet Connection.
  • Your first blog blog about the main topic you will be blogging about.
  • Ability to click and read instructions.

That’s it! If you have these, you can set up a blog fairly easy.

STEP 2: Decide on your blogging goals and the niche you want to write about.

Why do you want to blog? Is it to make money off of the Internet? Is it to polish your writing skills or showcase your portfolio and your professional services? Or is it to develop your online personal brand?

Niche refers to the topic you want to write about. You can write a personal blog where you post what you eat for lunch. Or where you went over the weekend. You should be passionate about the niche you choose because it won’t be easy to change it once you’ve set it up.

STEP 3: Choose a cool, brandable and memorable blog name.

It can be hip. Cool. Or it could be totally out of this world. You can even choose  your own name as the name of your blog. That is, if you really want to be associated with what you write online.

STEP 4: Decide on a blogging platform.

The most popular blogging platforms in the world are: WordPress, Blogspot, and Tumblr. There are many others. But these three are the most popular at the moment. Here are some helpful information you need about each one.

wordpressWordPress.com

WordPress is THE most popular blogging software around the world today. You can just head over to WordPress.com, sign up and start writing. If you a simple way to blog, WordPress is the best there is. It’s also a good training ground if you intend to build a self-hosted WordPress blog in the future.

But WordPress has a big letdown? You cannot install Javascript, which means that you cannot place Google Adsense Ads in the website! Bummer! So if you want to start making money off your blog, it’s better to head over to Blogspot.com

Btw, Google Adsense is perhaps the most popular and the easiest online advertising network there is. A good number of bloggers around the world are earning money through it. One of the top leadership blogs out there is on WordPress: http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com. Go check it out!

blogspotBlogspot.com

Blogspot is also known as Blogger. Since it’s owned by Google, you can integrate a lot of Google products into Blogspot. You can easily install Google Adsense codes. I personally prefer WordPress in terms of its functionality and powerful way of organizing content. But Blogspot has caught up and offers many great features as well. A friend of mine actually feels that Blogspot is simpler than WordPress.

tumblrTumblr.com

Tumblr is the new kid on the block. It’s not just a blog. It’s also a social network. With tumblr, you can easily Reblog stuff that you like–photos, articles, videos, whatever! And the more followers  you have, the more they will reblog your content. However, if you want to protect your content and not allow people to reblog it, then this platform may not be for you.

STEP 4: Publish your first blog post.

Write your first blog post. It could be as simple as a Hello World, this is my blog. 

 

Final words:

If you created your blog today, Congratulations! It’s a great journey! Sometimes frustrating. A lot of times, it’s rewarding. It really needs work though. My mistake with my first blog back in 2006, was that I did not choose a good niche right away. I kept changing my blog topic until I grew tired of it and shut down the blog after four years. But that’s another story for another blog post.

Questions, Suggestions?

Need some help in setting up your first blog? Leave a comment below or chat with me via skype: mightyrasing. I will gladly help you out.

 

Image credit: widez.com