Starting a new blog is very similar to moving into a new home. The choices you make today impact your future. Here's what you need to know:
1. Location, location, location.
Just like in real estate, where you decide to live (or house your blog) is pretty important. This decision may not seem like a big deal at first. But choosing the wrongÂ location becomes a bigger hassle in the future – when you're forced to move.
You have a few choices:
a. Blogger. Google's platform
b. Tumblr. Many brands use this platform. It's best for short-form content such as images or other small snippets of information.
d. WordPress – my personal preference.
WordPress is like living in NYC. Everyone is there, and you can do almost anything you imagine.
2. Electricity or Off the Grid
Once you know where you want to live, you'll need to choose how to heat it through web hosting services:
Using WordPress.com means relying on an electrical system that's beyond your control. You may be without power and your site may go down. If you're blogging your heart out, consider owning your blog by self-hosting.
Self-hosting on WordPress.org means that your site is independent and not part of the grid system on WordPress.com. Losing electricity rarely happens.
I've been “off the grid” on bluehost.com (affiliate link) for over a year (disclaimer: Bluehost is a client). It only went down once in over a two year timeframe – when I changed my top-level domain when verifying my Pinterest.
Off the grid is solitude with soul.
The fun part of having a home is decorating. Here are a few options with how to decorate your blog:
Putting your blog on wordpress.com is like living in a furnished apartment. It's convenient. But the furniture is not exactly your style:
i. You'll have domain.wordpress.com as your url. Not quite as professional as without the wordpress in your web address.
ii. Advertisements. People sometimes will come by uninvited. They help pay your landlord's bills. But you'd really like to be left alone.
Self-hosting on WordPress.org is the most versatile option. It means choosing your own furniture. And making your house a home. The themes at Gabfire.com (affiliate link) are stunning. Plus there's a special New Year's discount of 50% off going on now.
If you decide to self-host on bluehost.com, installing WordPress takes just a simple click or two in the cPanel.
4. Security Deposit
A 12-month account self-hosting is around $108/year with bluehost. You won't get this “security deposit” returned when the lease is up. But you won't care. Because it's an investment into a home.
Starting a new blog takes a bit of strategic planning. But with the right choices, you'll end up with a beautiful, new home.
What are your thoughts on how to house a blog? Please comment below.