How to start a blog
You like to communicate with others, one of your main passions is writing and you are fascinated by the world of technology. Well, then tell me why you haven’t thought about starting a blog yet? I assure you that it is one of the easiest things in the world, and it is also possible to do it totally free. How do you say? Does this intrigue you but you don’t know how to start a blog? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.
I can explain everything you need to do to start a blog. In today’s guide, I will guide you in choosing one of the many blogging platforms currently available on the Web, through which you can start building your website. Opening a blog has recently become extremely simple and within everyone’s reach; now there are several tools that accompany you step by step in the creation of a blog and its optimization. It is no longer necessary to have technical or IT knowledge.
So if you are willing to start a blog, my advice is to get comfortable and take a few minutes to read this in-depth article in complete tranquillity. I will tell you in detail about which are the best free services dedicated to blogging. Specifically, I will explain how to start a blog using a CMS, software for creating a blog and for its configuration (CMS stands for Content Management System, but also how you can create it using proprietary web platforms of companies such as Google and Twitter, which will allow you to customize blogs in an extremely immediate way.
Each blogging platform has its own peculiarities, its pros and cons. If you want more information about it and you want to find out which is the one that best suits your needs, continue reading, you will find everything explained below. I bet you will be amazed by the simplicity with which you will be able to start a blog and thus be able to communicate your thoughts to the public. But now enough chatter and let’s take action!
Start a blog with CMS
If you want to start a blog, one of the most complete and used platforms that you can use is WordPress. It is a free and very functional CMS (Content Management System) that can be customized thanks to the use of plugins developed by third parties as well as thanks to the numerous themes available.
If you want to start a blog with WordPress for free, you can take advantage of the free hosting space offered by the WordPress.com site. Clearly, since this is a space offered at no cost, there are some limitations (such as the inability to insert advertising in the blog). In any case, if you have no special needs and it is the first time you open a blog, starting a blog with WordPress is one of the best choices. Your blog domain created with WordPress.com will be [domain name] .wordpress.com
If, on the other hand, you already know the basics of WordPress and want to have your own domain, you can buy a wordpress.com hosting space. The prices for the purchase of hosting with the domain included varying according to your needs: starting from $ 4 per month up to $ 25 per month, with annual billing.
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In addition to wordpress.com there are many other web portals that offer hosting with paid plans for all budgets and needs, to host a blog in WordPress. It is also possible to purchase a domain and hosting space on sites other than wordpress.com, but this requires some computer skills to be able to install WordPress via the FTP panel. In reality, however, nowadays most of the operators offer simpler pre-installed configurations, through software such as Softaculous. To learn more, you can read my guide on how to start a blog with WordPress
How to start a blog with a proprietary service
If you want to start a blog and you have extremely basic needs, instead of using a CMS, you can choose to contact a proprietary service. One of the most famous and simple is Google’s Blogger. The main feature of Blogger is in fact its simplicity of use, but its direct integration with all the services of the Mountain View giant is also noteworthy. In fact, it is a free space where everyone can start their blog and publish it in an extremely easy and fast way, without having to know programming languages or having to buy hosting on the Web.
Unlike WordPress, Blogger cannot be used in self-hosted mode (so it cannot be installed on a separately purchased webspace, even if you can purchase a custom domain and use it as a “bridge” to your blog created with Blogger) Furthermore, it is not possible to use plugins for advanced blog customization. On the other hand, Blogger allows users to monetize their content and thus earn money with a blog, thanks to the use of AdSense banners, Google’s online advertising service.
To start a blog on Blogger you need to go to the official website and create or connect a Google account that will henceforth be associated with your blog. Once you’ve signed up, click the Create Your Blog button to proceed with creating your blog on Blogger. You can then start your blog on Blogger completely free of charge, you can insert advertising banners and customize the aesthetics by installing themes.
At this point, if you have correctly performed all the steps I have indicated, you should be in the Blogger administration panel. Then press the New blog button, type the title and address you want to assign to your site (the final address will be [name] .blogspot.com), choose the graphic theme you want to use on its pages and click the Create blog button to complete the operation.
Mission accomplished! You now have a blog on Blogger and can start posting your content online. How? Simply by entering the administration panel of the service and clicking on the New Post button located at the top of the left sidebar. The other options in the same menu are those that allow you to manage pages, comments, advertising campaigns, page layouts, etc.
If you are interested in the aspect of monetizing content, consult the tutorial in which I showed you how to make money with AdSense.
One of the proprietary services that I recommend you use to start your blog is Tumblr, a service owned by Yahoo which, as far as starting a blog is concerned, is set up as an online space halfway between a blogging platform. and a social network.
In fact, Tumblr was born as a social network for sharing images, videos and GIFs, then extending to the possibility of creating a real space for sharing personal textual content. As a blogging platform, Tumblr allows you to post short articles, photos, videos or quotes. These contents are also available to other users registered on the service. Everyone can see and share them on their blogs (called tumblelog) or add them to favorites.
The blog created on Tumblr will be an “atypical” blog designed mainly to share your thoughts with the social network community. Since Tumblr started out primarily as a social network, there will be no excessive aesthetic customizations to be done on your Tumblr blog. All you have to do is write your articles, perhaps more concisely, but on the other hand your article will be richer in multimedia elements such as photos and videos.
To register for free on Tumblr and start your blog, all you have to do is connect to the main page of the service and click on the Get started button. Then fill out the form in the centre of the screen with the email, username and password you intend to use and click on the Register button to go on.
Tumblr does not allow you to monetize your content directly and cannot be installed on an external webspace, however, you can purchase a custom domain and use it as a “bridge” to your tumblelog. For more information see my post on how to use Tumblr.
Other proprietary blogging platforms
The ones I told you about are the most used proprietary blogging platforms. For the sake of completeness, however, I want to dedicate additional lines to tell you about other platforms similar to those previously indicated that will allow you to start a blog for free. I’m sure you will find the right one for your blog.
- Virgilio MyBlog: as you can easily guess from the name, this is Virgilio’s blogging platform. It is based on WordPress, is extremely simple to use and allows you to monetize your content using AdSense banners.
- Medium: a blogging platform born from the same authors of Twitter. It has many social components but stands as a more “refined” solution than Tumblr. It is in fact designed to highlight very long content and has a unique, very elegant style, designed to make your blog more professional. It does not provide for the monetization of content and cannot be installed on an external webspace (there are also many themes for WordPress that perfectly match its style).
Other popular CMS to start a blog:
If you already have some IT skills and want to create a blog independently, my advice is certainly to use a CMS. As an alternative to WordPress, I want to show you a list of other popular CMSs below:
- Joomla!: Joomla is one of the most popular content management system (CMS) software platforms for building websites. Joomla is a platform written entirely in PHP computer language that allows numerous customization options thanks to the installation of themes, extensions and plugins.
- Drupal: among the content management platforms there is also Drupal which allows the creation and distribution of dynamic websites; a platform aimed at users with greater needs.
- Microsoft SharePoint: a software platform developed by Microsoft, a CMS mainly used for the creation and distribution of corporate Internet sites. The main feature of Microsoft SharePoint is clearly the integration with Microsoft services, including the Office package.
- OpenCms: it is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) based on the Java platform and XML technology.
- Mezzanine: a CMS platform for the creation of websites that is written entirely in Python computer language.