Welcome to the 7th section of our discussion on blogging success. Here we cover some basic tactics to ensure you get long-term results from your site. If you’ve missed any part of this course, then here’s the link to the other posts.
Today I would like to discuss something that’s going to ruffle a few feathers. You might not agree with me, but at least listen to what I have to say before disregarding it. Specifically I’d like to discuss hosting and your blogging platform. This isn’t a very sexy topic, but I think it’s important to carefully consider the following…
#17- Avoid Free Blogging Services
Remember when I mentioned the importance of treating your blog like a business?
Well, one of the worst business decisions you could make is to host your site using a free blogging service.
I like free stuff as much as the next person. However, I feel it’s important to build your site with a strong foundation. The harsh truth is you don’t really have control when it comes to a free blogging service. At any point they can press a button and POOF… Goodbye blog!
Unfortunately, I know many people use services like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. My advice is to take the hit and start over using something that you host. Yes, it requires some work. The good news is when all is said and done you’ll be surprised at how much more you get out a site that’s under your control.
Now you might have a few questions like:
How do you find web hosting? There are so many options to choose from. I recommend Host Gator simply because I’ve used their services for the last five years. I’ve never had any problems and their customer service is pretty good when I have a question about something.
How do I design my site? This is an easy one which I’ll answer here…
#18- Use WordPress.Org
First, I want to quickly clarify something. There’s a huge difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.Org. With the .com your site is hosted on their services (which we now know is bad). With the .org, you download their blogging platform, upload it to your hosting service and PRESTO… you have a website!
Now I know a lot of people sing the praises of other blogging platforms like TypePad or BackSpace. To be honest, I’ve never used them. So I can’t really comment on whether they’re good or not.
What I do know is WordPress (the .org version) is an amazing piece of software. One installed on your site, you have a program that’s really intuitive. You don’t need to any skill in web design. All you do is type in your post, press a button, and then your content is ready for the world to see.
Another reason I love WordPress is its fully customizable. You’d be surprised at how professional a site can look through this blogging platform. All you need to do is add a sharp-looking WordPress Theme with a few plugins, and you’ll have a blog that looks like it was designed by an expert web designer.
Finally, I want to mention how easy it is to install WordPress. Just find a hosting package that includes CPanel (like Host Gator) and select a few options. Then within minutes you’ll have a fully functioning blog.
I know this might sound a little confusing. So tomorrow, I’ll include a few video tutorials about how to set up your blog.
Like I said… Not a very sexy post. However I do think it’s important to start your blog on the right foot. By doing both of the tips I just recommended you’ll have a site that’s fully in control. The best part is you can have a very professional looking site- Even if you don’t know a thing about web design.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts (or questions) about WordPress or Hosting, please let me know in the comment box below…Take Action. Get Results.