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Planning Stage: 10 Minutes
There are many options to consider when you begin to establish your new blog, and the best way to work through them is to take a minute to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this going to be a personal blog, professional blog, or some other kind of site?
- Who will your target audience be?
- How frequently do you plan on updating it?
- Are you going to be selling anything on your blog, or do you have plans to place advertisements on it?
The most important question is whether your blog is personal or professional. When choosing web hosting companies and website templates in the next few steps, there will be options best suited to either type of blog, so be sure you have the answer at least to this question before proceeding.
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Naming Stage: 5 Minutes
One other aspect you should decide before you set the blog up is what its title will be. For businesses or professional individuals, the best option is typically to use the proper professional name so it will be easily located by clients. However, other types of blogs, such as personal or entrepreneurial blogs, generally benefit from short, unique, or witty names that are easy to remember and give the reader some information as to what the blog is about. Some real examples include “The Final Word,” a freelance editors blog and “The Casual Gardener,” an eco-activist’s blog. If you are at a loss for what will work for you, try brainstorming adjectives that relate to your blog's purpose, along with potential song names, lyrics, famous phrases, or well-known literary characters.
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Web Space Stage: 10-20 Minutes
The foundation of your blog will be its hosting space. There are two basic choices for finding hosting space: free or paid.
Free blog hosting space is a fast and easy way to set up your blog because everything you need is prepackaged for your convenience. At sites like Blogger and Wordpress, all you need to do is create an account, pick a template, and start blogging. For this reason, free space is great for personal blogs. However, free sites typically aren’t the best choice for businesses as they offer limited flexibility for design, storage space, and naming convention. Domain names for blogs hosted at free sites are often the username followed by the site name, such as www.metrocoffeebeans.wordpress.com, which is not optimal for most businesses.
Paid web space can be bought from companies like GoDaddy or BlueHost for between ten and twenty dollars a month. It comes with templates, how-to guides, and the option to choose your own domain name, along with customer service and huge amounts of storage space. A nice aspect of paid space is that easy to use blogging programs like Wordpress can be uploaded to jumpstart blog creation. However, the cost and hassle of maintaining a paid space is not recommended for personal bloggers who are not using their blog as a storefront for their business or online resume.
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Design Stage: 10 Minutes
Once you have register your web hosting space, it is time to choose a blog template or theme that fits the purpose of your blog. One great resource to explore is the Wordpress website, which offers over five thousand free pre-made and easily applied blog themes. Depending on your hosting service, a variety of other options will also be made available for you.
When you choose your theme, consider your audience and what you want your blog to say. There are many fabulous templates available, but not all of them are appropriate for all situations. For example, if you are creating a professional blog you probably wouldn’t want to choose a theme that featured skulls and crossbones or Japanese cartoon characters. Similarly, if you are writing a love blog, you would want to use a template that had a pink color scheme instead of a simple corporate blue theme.
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About Stage: 5 Minutes
One of the things that is universal to all blog themes is the “About” section. In this section, you should provide basic information on who you are, what you do, how to contact you, and what the purpose of your blog is. Readers respond better to blogs when they understand who is writing it and for what aim – pictures also help readers connect with you and your writing.
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First Post Stage: 10 Minutes
The final step to creating a blog in one hour or less is to write your first post. Your first blog post doesn’t need to be long, fancy, or complicated. A simple welcome message between two hundred and five hundred words where you elaborate on what you plan to accomplish with your blog and who you are will do just fine. Give readers an idea of what to expect from your posts – will they have video clips, pictures, poetry, corporate advice, or opinions on politics? End by encouraging readers to contact you, participate in discussions, and tell their friends.
Congratulations – you have just created a blog in 60 minutes or less!