If you are a beginner, of course, it’s scary to get started on a new online business. Everything is new, and it will seem that you have so many things to do. where do you start? Well, first, let me tell you – sit back, calm down, and don’t be worried. It’s easy and painless, I promise! For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that you want to start blogging, and to earn some money through advertising, OK?
First steps first, you need to have a place to put up a blog. There are lots of free blogging platforms out there like Blogger, Blogspot, Blogster, WordPress.com, and many others. However, I do not recommend having a hosted blog! What I recommend is having your own blog and hosting it yourself on your own server. I would bet that 70% of people who start up blogs do so on some hosted free blog service like those I mentioned, so why shouldn’t you do so? Well, I have a number of reasons, let’s look at a few:
- If you are putting up your blog posts on somebody else’s service, without a doubt you are giving up some of the ownership of your post. You are freely storing the info and publishing the info on somebody else’s platform, and thus they get some ownership of the information you post. If you get your own hosting account on a shared server, you rent the space, and this has some ownership of the space. The service provider does not own the content- you do.
- Think about this – let’s say that you build up a blog that becomes popular and influential. A lot of people know about your blog and follow it regularly. I have a number of blogs that fit this category. Then, let’s say that the blog hosting service you are using goes out of business. Or, what if you post something on your blog that is against the terms of service of the host, and they kick you out of the service? Your blog is gone. Sure, you can move to your own server at that time, but how many of your loyal readers will find you? It’s like starting over, and you may never build up your blog to the point where it was.
- I always prefer having control over my activities, not letting others have control.
So, because of these, I simply believe that it is best to go on your own. So, what steps are involved in getting started with your own blog on your own server? Let’s look:
- Choose a domain name. This is simple, choose a domain name that fits in with the topic you want to blog about, or just with you. For example, I have a blog about Mindanao, and my domain is “Mindanao.com.” I have a blog about Living in the Philippines, and the domain is “LiveInThePhilippines.com.” Choose a name that fits in with what you want to talk about, or a very generic name that can be used for everything. Another way you might do is to register your name. For example, although it’s already taken by somebody else with my same name, I could have registered “BobMartin.com” and then I could have even had multiple blogs on that domain. Let’s say I wanted to blog about fishing, I could have then started a subdomain for that blog: fishing.BobMartin.com, etc.
- After choosing what domain you want (and making sure that nobody else has it yet), you will need to register that domain. There are many places where you can register a domain, I use a company called GoDaddy.com. For under $9 per year, they will register the name for you. It’s cheap, and their service is very reliable in my experience.
- Next, you will need a host where you can put up your blog. I use a company called ServInt.net, but they are mostly for people with needs for a bigger server than you will probably need. You will want a Linux server, in my estimation, because if you want to run WordPress (the blogging software that I prefer) it runs on Linux, not Windows. You can get a web host for anywhere from $3 to $10 per month. Look for somebody who has a one button installer for WordPress, a program like Fantastico would be very good for that. With Fantastico, you can install WordPress (and other web software) at the click of a button.
- Once you have your domain name and hosting in place, you are ready to go!
OK, that’s going to be it for this post. You have enough to do with getting everything set up! On the next post, let’s look at the next steps in starting up with blogging.
Good read, Bob.
I was just looking into different hosting companies this week and I saw that Bluehost and Lunarpages looked pretty good. Your hosting company was rated good also.
I’m going to invest some time into learning the web page software Rapidweaver. This program will let me create a blog page. The only down is that the commets are through another program.
Great site, keep the info coming.
I’m enjoying this new site. It helps me with some ideas I’ve had for myself.
My current site ,www.mackyart.com, is a geocities/yahoo site that i pay about $9 a month. I use the iweb program on my mac to design it and upload the design via ftp, This way, I keep control of my template and content.
I’m not sure if this method is a bad way to get traffic. But I do not intend to make money off it at the moment, just a showcase site (my agent’s website is the main advertising page for my work). Maybe sometime I will add a “store” link when I decide to create merchandise from my art (cafepress.com, a site that creates personalized merchandise, offers a free account that links up a personalized store page to the account holder’s website).
I am curious about what you think about my approach since I only know enough about the net to get my work done. Like I said, I’m not that blogger that you describe (looking for income from ads or traffic), but do you see holes in this method?
Hi Bob, I am 100% ignorant about bloging until I found your site (www.mindanao.com) which is very useful and the one that I just looked for. From there, you introduced your new one-Vertual Earner, this is the one (article of today)from among your future’s article that I expected (if I may say so)-strikes my ignorant boldly about blogging.
But if you allow me, I have just registered a so called domain, and I did not do it myself. Now, I want to have a full control over it-manage, and more importanly, to edit some pages and contains…What would you recommend, I mean how to do it?
Thank You for your time..!
Great post as normal. Can I ask you how you rate stand alone web sites as apposed to a blog?
I think this is great what you are doing, however I still think its all beyond me!! My killer question is, and I understand if you do not want to answer, how much do you actually earn from blogging? If I pushed myself I might do it one day to earn a little extra but I have no idea what the earnings are.
Hi Kevin – Yes, ServInt is excellent, and I recommend them highly if you need the service they provide. They don’t really provide low end hosting accounts, they specialize in the VPS (Virtual Private Server) and Private Server markets, so it’s not cheap.
Honestly, I would highly recommend that if you want to do blogging, go with WordPress. Not only is it excellent software, but the learning curve is practically nil, and also it is the de facto blogging platform for the vast majority of the blogging community. With WordPress you will always find support, and plenty of people around who can assist you.
Hi Macky – Yeah, I think you are going in the right direction. You could probably get more for your $9/month than Yahoo is giving you, but still, it’s not a big deal. You are safe there, and have no worries. I am familiar with Cafe Press, and I’ve been close to getting a setup with them several times myself. I would like to create some “Mindanao.com” t-shirts and things along those lines.
Hi NKG – Stick around, if you read this blog regularly, I promise that you won’t be ignorant about blogging and other types of online business after a while. It is my goal to really keep what I write about very simple so that it is helpful to newcomers to the trade.
OK, so you have registered a domain. Do you have a hosting account anywhere yet, so that you can put your domain to use? That is your next step. If you are still shopping for hosting, try to get somebody who offers “C-Panel” and “Fantastico” – these two packages will make managing your web server very simple.
Hi Graham – Really, I don’t feel there is a huge difference between a blog and a stand alone website. You can use blogging software to make a website! Really, in my opinion, all that a blog is is a system set up to create a website, update it easily, etc. I guess my feeling is that a blog is a 2007 version of what a website was in the 90’s and early 00’s.
Hi Phil – Blogging and other types of web business can be very lucrative. I try to be pretty transparent, and while I won’t give out my exact earnings online, I will give you an idea. I basically make money on the web through two different sources: advertising on my blogs, and also through e-commerce. Right now e-commerce is my biggest revenue source (I’ve been doing it for a long time, compared to blogging) and I it varies in income, but sometimes I earn in the 5 figures per WEEK through e-commerce, although the average week is a little less than the 5 figure mark in a week. Through advertising revenue on my blogs, I only started doing this about 6 months ago, and it is in it’s infancy and still growing. Through the blog ads (which includes many different ad companies), my total earnings are usually $40 to $50 per day. My goal this year is to build up the blog earnings to about three times what they earn now.
Thanks for your information to date. This is an area that interests me and one that I really have no idea about. I think your blogs are very useful in “sending me down the road in the right direction”.
I hope to develop a blog/internet site in the near future so your posts have been useful information.
Adelaide South Australia.
Is that “5 figure mark in a week” in pesos or dollars. I assume dollars. I also assume that it’s gross not net income.
Hi Eric – I am happy to help! Anytime you have a question, just let me know.
Hi Kevin – Yeah, that is in dollars, not pesos. It’s gross, but really there are so very few expenses in the business of blogging and such that there is not a huge difference between gross and net.
Does the domain name have to come from the webhosting organisation? i.e. if I register a domain name with XYZ Company can I use this domain name with ABC webhosting company?
Hi Eric – Thanks for visiting! You can register the domain with any domain registrar, and you can host it wherever you choose to do so. The two functions are independent of each other. Some registrar companies will try to make it tricky for you to host elsewhere, but it can be done. The reputable registrars will make it simple. I recommend GoDaddy.com for registration, alhthough there are plenty of places to do so.
I have looked for a domain name at GoDaddy. Can’t decide yet.
It seems their low end hosting doesn’t have c-panel.
I did a Google for cpanel webhosting and found a a few reasonably priced ones. It seems fantastico is used to install Word Press et al.
Are there any gotchas to look out for like number of domains or subdomains allowed?
I’m not to geeky on this stuff although I am trying. I have about 6 Windows machines around the house and I just bought a new iMac. More things to learn, but that is part of the fun.
I also downloaded Ubutu about a week ago, I noticed Dell puts that on some machines.
I will try installing Ubutu sometime, unless you can suggest something better for the same price.
I guess a webhosting company is a roll of the dice. I don’t need dedicated or virtual service.
Hi Dan – You are right, GoDaddy, even on their high end accounts does not offer CPanel, and I really recommend a CPanel account! It makes management much easier.
Certainly, the more domains you can host on a single account the better it is for you.
For Linux use, I am using Mepis version 6.5, and I love it! Ubuntu is nice too, but I just prefer Mepis myself. It’s really a personal choice.
I use ServInt.com for webhosting, and I love them. But, they offer only higher end packages, so unless you are really going into this full scale, it’s probably not the right host for you. If you don’t mind spending a minimum of $50 per month, though, you can’t go wrong wtih ServInt.
This feed was recommended by Christian Dillstrom, the mobile and social media marketing visionary, so you must be doing a great job.