It’s Friday, and time to hand out a single tip for amateur bloggers. There’s plenty to glean from the daily crush, but today is my own personal case study: to see if beginner tips are still needed. We’re going to start simple and work our way up. So let’s start at the very beginning.
Twitter Search Enlightened Me
I try to answer questions floating around on Twitter from all sorts of people. Questions about blogging. Anything from “Why don’t I get more traffic? I thought this blog thing was going to be easy!” to “Why can’t I change the style of XYZ on my blog?” After pulling up their profiles and clicking links to blogs, I found that 80% of the questions I run across are asked by people blogging on third-party blog platforms.
Host Your Own Blog
1. Register a Domain
2. Create a Hosting Account
3. Upload WordPress 3.0
4. Import Existing Blog Posts
If you’re still using free blogging solutions like WordPress.com, Blogspot, or TypePad, you won’t always be able to implement these Friday tips or the other ideas you might catch from some of the blog crushes featured here. Some of them simply cannot be implemented until you have full control over your blog.
So if you’re serious… if you will commit to blogging at least three times a week for the next six months… be a good little blogger, scrounge up $9/yr for a domain. I recommend using Moniker for domain registrar. The spend $5/mo for hosting. I recommend HostGator. Most affordable hosting solutions have a simple WordPress installation button. Look in your dashboard. It’s really simple.
Why Spend Money on My Blog If It Won’t Make Money?
There are no guarantees you will make money on your blog. But that’s not why you should take the time to blog or spend the money on hosting and domains. If blogging is important to you, be the best blogger you can be.
No one takes a third-party blog seriously. Your friends might visit, but it’s very difficult for a free blog to gain steam beyond your closest friends and family.
Why? Because you’re using a crappy template and your domain name says randomblogtitle.blogspot.com. That’s a mouthful! It’s not memborable. A memorable domain name will stick in people’s minds. It’ll also look better on a business card. Trust me. Business cards are a good idea. Even if you’re not a business.
The Cardinal Rule
If you don’t care about your blog, why should anyone else? Never forget that. If it’s completely bland without character or voice, DON’T host your own blog. Use the free third-party platform. You won’t care about it, and neither will anyone else.
But if it matters to you… if you have something to say… make it something worth visiting.
You’re Killin’ Me, Smallz
If you refuse this foundational advice, you can still benefit from my site… just not as much as you COULD. You’ll still get tips on writing, voice, and most importantly examples of bloggers who do it well. But if I’m going to care about HOW I write, I wouldn’t waste my killer content on a forgettable, subpar blogspot template. But that’s just me.