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7 Things You Need For Setting Up A Blog

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012

7 Things You Need For Setting Up A Blog

How are ya, guys?  If you have been following my blog for the last seventeen months, then you know that from time to time, I come back to the subject of blogging itself.  This post is my third in my “Start Blogging” series, and is all about actually setting up a blog.  Otherwise, I will assume that you have found your way to this post either through a link I published on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Digg or StumbleUpon, or because you were browsing through Google, researching the topic of how to actually set up your own blog.  However which way you found this post, I’d like to take a moment to thank you for clicking on my link and I hope that you’ll find here the answers that you’re hoping to find.

The last time I visited the topic of blogging, I presented the option of polishing your writing skills (Practice Makes Perfect) and getting a feel for the whole blogging experience before actually committing to it, especially if you are still unsure about your capabilities as a new blogger.  My intention then was to perhaps provide some pointers on how to better assess if blogging is really something you can see yourself doing for the long haul.  Keep in mind that blogging isn’t just about the writing skills, nor is it only about how many site visitors one has every month.  It also involves time, commitment and patience.  Practicing by means of freelance or guest-blogging for someone else is one good way of helping you make a decision on whether To Blog Or Not To Blog.

 

Setting Up A Blog: Let’s Do It

So now, let’s assume here that you are reading this post because you have finally decided to go for it.  Your next question now would be, “How do I go about actually setting up my blog?”.  In this post, I will go over a basic checklist on what you need to have and do in order for you to have your blog site up and ready to share with the world in no time.  No, I’m not here to walk you through the technical step-by-step process of installing a WordPress theme or anything like that (Let’s leave that to the techie bloggers, which I most definitely am not!).  Much of what had to happen behind the scenes before my own MyMy Blog went live was set up by my dear ol’ hubby, Rick Upshaw.  Much of it I didn’t (and still don’t) understand  (Now, for THAT, I’m REALLY thanking God for Hubby!), but that’s only because my blog’s design is a little bit more complicated and advanced than I originally thought it would be.

(Did you catch that?  There’s one really good tip right there!  If you want a more advanced look to your blog theme, and you aren’t a techie yourself, try to make a connection to someone who is, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help – even to pay them to do it.  Just be sure you see some other examples of their work, and that you can confirm that it is, in fact, their work!)

Otherwise, the process ought to be fairly simple.

 

Your “Getting Started” Checklist For Setting Up A Blog

1.  Domain Name and Blog Hosting Site

If you’re working on a tight (or non-existent) budget, or if you really want a good place to “practice” before “jumping off the deep end”, so to speak, when it comes to setting up a blog, one good place to start is to create your blog for free with either Blogger or WordPress. They are both very easy to navigate and come with really nice free basic templates or themes.  The only difference between Blogger and WordPress, I believe, is that the former is more “idiot” friendly, while the latter is more preferred by HTML geniuses (go figure, haha!).  I personally like the appearance of WordPress better.  That’s why all my sites are powered by WordPress (not that I am an HTML genius by any stretch of the imagination, but because I have a geek hubby to do the dirty work for me, hehe!).

7 Things You Need To Set Up A Blog

After creating an account with either Blogger or WordPress, you’ll be prompted to choose your template at some point.  This should be easy, as there wouldn’t be much to tweak, except probably for choosing which color and font you want for your template.  The templates will surely come with the necessary widgets and plugins for the most part.  Otherwise, you may install other plugins (I would suggest that you ask somebody more knowledgeable about this first, or that you research more on this before installing any plugins to make sure that you install it right and that you install only what you need).

One of the drawbacks of using the free versions of either Blogger or WordPress is that you don’t get to have your own unique domain name (e. g. “MylaUpshaw.com“).  Instead, you will only have your blog name as an sub-directory of the Blogger or WordPress primary domain (e. g. “Blogger.com/MylaUpshaw” or “WordPress.com/MylaUpshaw” ) or as a sub-domain (e. g. “MylaUpshaw.Wordpress.com“).  If you aren’t OK with either one of those, then you have to purchase your own domain name.  GoDaddy is a good place to purchase your domain.  Come up with two or three alternatives to your original choice, in case your first choice is already taken.

2.  Your Profile Photo/Avatar

When choosing your profile photo, you must make up your mind about what image you are trying to establish with your blog.  For example, if you are trying to establish yourself as a successful woman entrepreneur, but have a “provocative” photo for your profile that leaves nothing to the imagination, that may not be such a smart idea.  I would suggest a good quality (i.e. not blurry or grainy, and without a distracting background) shot (from the chest up would be good) for this purpose.

3.  Your Bio

In four sentences or less, compose your bio statement. Don’t hesitate to be creative, or even humorous in wording it.  You want to get the attention of your visitors and entice them to stay on your site to explore more of your pages.  If they find your bio intriguing, they are more likely to read your post(s) and pay more attention to what you have to say.  If they find a post highly informative or entertaining, they are likely to return to your site and/or read more of your posts.  Moreover, if your post stirs their curiosity, they will surely want to get to know the author behind the blog, so just to reiterate, you need to be prepared with an interesting bio or “About Me” content.

4.  Social Media Accounts

To start a blog and not utilize the power of social media to spread the word about it is a sure way for your blog to crash before it even takes off.  It’s just a given these days: if you’re setting up a blog, you gotta have a Facebook and a Twitter presence, too, at the very least.  Take the hint from all the blog sites you’ve visited.  I’d bet 99.9% of them have both the Facebook and Twitter buttons somewhere at the top of the home page, eh?

7 Things You Need To Set Up A Blog

So, if you don’t have it yet, go and sign up for a Facebook account (it’s free, in case you don’t know yet), a Twitter account (also free), and if you’re planning on posting video tutorials or any video that you created, then a YouTube account (also free) is also a must. Those three at the very least.  Digg, StumbleUpon, Instagram and Pinterest are popular social networking sites also that you might want to also create an account for.  In creating your accounts on these social networking sites, use the same photo you chose for your blog, and the same bio content, for consistency.  This is a good strategy especially if you’re considering building up your blog as your own personal brand (otherwise known as “branding”).

5.  Content! Content! Content!

7 Things You Need To Set Up A Blog

Ideally, you should have at least three blog posts saved on your computer and ready to be published as soon as your site goes live.  The reason being that you want to be able to direct your readers to another post within your site in case they still want to read more (which is a good thing…and which is what we all want as bloggers).  Remember, whether you’re looking into monetizing your blog at some point in the future or not, nothing brings traffic to your blog better and quicker than good quality content.  So for now, focus on what you will offer your readers as far as content goes, rather than obsessing over the number of followers or amount of money that you want to make from your blog.  Quality first, numbers later.

6.  Camera/Resource For Images

No, you don’t have to go out and purchase the most ridiculously expensive DSLR camera that you can find in the stores just to get started on your blog, unless you also happen to be very serious about developing your photography skills far beyond what is really needed only for blogging.  Yes, for the sake of visual presentation and all, it is very important to have good quality photos on your posts.  However, a regular point-and-shoot camera will do the job. Any brand over 12 megapixels should give you pretty good quality photos – certainly good enough for blog photos.  I personally use a 14 megapixel Polaroid point-and-shoot for most of the photos I use here on my blog.

7 Things You Need To Set Up A Blog

If you don’t have a camera, or you just can’t shoot your own photos for a specific post you’re about to publish, you may get your images from sites that offer free stock photos such as FreeImages.

7.  Courage To Invite People

It’s the birth of a new blog — YOUR blog!  Don’t hesitate to invite people to share in this momentous event with you!  Tell all your friends and relatives about your new blog.  Ask them to share it with their friends, and their friends’ friends by reposting your link on their Facebook walls or tweeting about it.  If you feel a bit hesitant to do this, though, don’t worry; you aren’t alone.  To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of “tooting my own horn”, either, when I started up my blog.  However, after many discussions with my marketing-pro hubby, I came to realize that if I don’t do it, no one else would, either.  If you don’t spread the word about the existence of your blog, then how in the world do you expect to get any traffic into your site? Again, going back to the importance of the content, if you offer valuable and sensible information on your blog, there’s no reason for you to be ashamed to talk about it.  Even your friends would be happy and proud to share your link with their friends, right?

 

You Got Yourself A Blog!

Congratulations!  You’ve accomplished setting up a blog!  You are now officially a blogger.  :)

Now that you’ve followed the steps on the checklist above, please feel free to share your new baby with me below in the comments section.  Include the link to your new blog when you post your comment in the comment box below so I (and fellow MyMy Blog readers) may show you some support.  Good luck! :)

Conditions For Allowing Link:

My invitation to post a link to a new blog below should not be construed as an excuse for spammers to spam the heck out of this post to their heart’s content, or to post links to anything other than a new blog.  Specifically, here are the conditions of my invitation:

  • The link you provide must be to an actual blog, and not to any other kind of site.
  • The link you provide must be to the home page of the blog, not to any sub-page or sub-domain, unless that sub-page or sub-domain is your home page on someone else’s website (such as the examples I cite above).
  • One link per site.
  • No links to other content about setting up a blog.
  • No links to immoral or unethical sites, including – but not limited to – gambling sites, porn sites, dating sites.
  • Your blog must, in fact, be a new one in a way that is obvious to me.  If it’s set up on your own domain, we must be able to independently confirm that the domain is new using tools such as DomainTools.com
  • I reserve the right to reject any link or comment at my sole discretion (another great aspect about setting up a blog for yourself… you call the shots!  :-)

 

 


 

About The Author: Myla “MyMy” Upshaw

Myla “MyMy” Upshaw is a stay-at-home mom who prides herself on her status as a Filipino Christian wife and mother and “domestic goddess”. She blogs about popular subjects for stay-at-home moms such as fashion, family, beauty, relationships, entrepreneurialism (“mompreneur”), movies, self-improvement, health & wellness as well as about her faith as a follower of Christ.

To learn more about Myla Upshaw, please click here:

 


 

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One Comment

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  1. hero

    i agree what we do with our blog, thank’s to remember it

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