Thinking About Starting Your Own Blog Site?

by Laura Wallis | Follow Her on Twitter Here

starting your own blog siteThinking about starting your own blog site?

Itching to make your mark online?

First you need to ask yourself a few key questions.

  •  Do you just want a blog for family and friends?
  •  Or are you thinking you might like to look into building a business online?

There are two popular roads you can take that sound quite similar.

  • WordPress.org
  • WordPress.com

What are the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, you ask?

They sound almost the same.

But, there are big difference between the two very similar sounding names.

WordPress.org is Ideal for Business

If you are interested in starting your own blog or site for business, it really is best to create your own self hosted website using a content management system or CMS like WordPress.org.  WordPress.org is an open source (translation: free!) platform that can be used to create both a blog. but it offers the functionality to also build out a more service based business or ecommerce site.  It can be designed so you can easily maximize traffic with search engine optimization and social media.

With this option, you will need to find and pay a small fee for your own hosting, but your site is yours to do with it as you please. Bluehost is an good hosting option and can start as low as $5 a month.  You can always download a beautiful free theme like Twenty Thirteen from the WordPress.org site, and there also are many different paid themes available for WordPress.org. This site is built on The Thesis Theme for WordPress (proud affiliate!).

Other popular themes for a fee are Genesis, Headway and WooThemes.  I generally recommend purchasing a theme because using a paid theme will generally assure the developer is updating the theme as needed.  Also, never Google “Free Themes” out in the wild, wild West of the open internet. There are a lot of black hat types out there that bait people with free themes only to inject malware into the software.  You don’t want dirty files corrupting all your hard web work!

Yes, there is a more of a learning curve when creating your own self-hosted site,  but there are many free tutorials around on how to use WordPress.org.  There is a ever growing worldwide community of WordPress fans and a very active and supportive forum on WordPress.org with lots of free training.  There is also a wealth of free training around the web.  Just Google “WordPress tutorials” or “WP tutorials” and you will find quite a few… especially on YouTube.

WordPress.com is Ideal for a Personal Blog

WordPress.com, along with Typepad.com, and Blogger.com are examples of blogging platforms that will host your site for free, but keep in mind that even though they are free they may not be the best option if you want to grow your personal blog into a business some day. These type of free hosted blogs are very limited in terms of what you can do with your site.  They are fine if you just want a blog that family and friends can view.  If you want to eventually sell products or services then you want to make sure to opt instead for a simple self-hosted site for the functionality it provides.

And you need to consider that any one of the free hosted sites could potentially (and suddenly) decide to shut down at some point or start charging a fee. Since you don’t own it, you are at their mercy.  It is true, however, that there is really only a small learning curve when creating any of the sites that offer free hosting.  Additionally, there is often a built in community to build upon.

An additional caveat for free hosted site to consider: if you are looking for a lot of viewers, I have found these free hosted platforms aren’t necessarily set-up to create traffic for your site.  The sites that offer free hosting are set up to drive link juice to their individual umbrella platforms, not your individual blog.

So if all you need is an easy platform to connect with friends and family or a hobby type of blog, then a free hosted site on WordPress.com, Typepad or Blogger should meet your needs. But, if you want to keep the option to turn your hard work into a possible business venture someday, then opt for a self-hosted WordPress.org site.

Not a techie?

I am not a techie, but if I can do it, you can, too!

As mentioned, they are lots of free tutorials around, and I offer set-up and training options, as well.

If you do decide to create a blog and or site to meet your business needs,  please check out my online marketing site called webnavigatorgal.com.  where you will find a lot of free and valuable content on how to create your own site and/or optimize your online and digital presence.  I also send out a free newsletter with up-to-the minute information.  You can sign up for in it the opt-in box on my home page or here.

Or, just email me or contact me via the contact page if you feel you need additional information, and would like to work with me.

Either route, the online community is a vibrant and exciting place to be whether you start your own personal blog or have ideas on creating a business.

If you are starting your own blog site, would love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melanie December 6, 2012 at 6:03 am

Thanks Laura! Very helpful tips that will come in handy as I start an online presence. Look forward to more posts from you.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Next post: