I sometimes get requests about website design, platforms, and for tips about blogging. I put my replies together in a short article in hopes it will help others get started.
Before getting started, you must choose a web host, which charges a small fee to host your blog. There are a number of platforms you can choose, but Free WordPress is a good platform, and it is a great way to get started. The paid upgrades aren’t that expensive and have more features. It is important to have an uncluttered website which goes along with the theme of your posts. I think it is a good idea to choose a theme and stick with it so that people who visit your site will recognize it immediately and be able to navigate it easily.
Here is some advice I gave a friend of mine:
> Have a son who designs web sites. :>) He solves most of my problems.
> Have patience. If you have a quality site with good information, your readership will grow and people will return.
> Do not allow trolls to post comments on your site. Delete personal attacks and obviously false assertions.
> Use all of WordPresses’ Spam Filters. At first I was delighted to get comments, even with a web address attached. I edited each. Then I started getting dozens a day and was overwhelmed so I installed Askimet, Bad behavior, and Captcha – they are available as free Plugins. Send a little payment to the plugin sites you use. They deserve it and make your site much better.
>Be sure to use strong passwords and get a security program for your site – I use Better WP security. Install it before you post much. It once locked me out of my site and I would have lost all my work had my son not saved me.
> Think about posting a few articles on Ezinearticles.com. They give you some exposure and let you link to your own site.
> Put a copyright notice on your articles. That keeps others from legally copying your articles and using them without your permission. (C) 2014 Your Name – is adequate.
> Check into a translator such as at the top of my site. There is a Plugin that does it. I get many more hits from other countries now – but I cringe a bit at the idea of how things may be translated. Machines are not as good as people at translating but the main ideas get through.
>As to ideas, I usually read something that sparks my interest and I write a title and a few short paragraphs to start. My articles are usually based on research so I then begin collecting articles and references on the topic and write short descriptions of them. When I get enough information to be clear on the topic, it is just a matter of arranging the data and adding the background and a narrative to keep the reader interested.
> Write, write, write – but be sure to pay attention to your family. My wife does a lot of art on her computer, so she is understanding – yet sometimes she claims my computer has stolen me away, and refers to it as “that redhead”.
Best wishes and good luck.