Because my pants are just a tad too snug, I thought I’d forgo the usual Fryday post and share some blogging wisdom instead. I’m a pretty new blogger myself, but figure I’ve still got a few helpful tips worth sharing. I’m all about encouraging others to hop on this blogging thing, and if even one person finds something on this list helpful, I’ll be happy.
For this first post and soon-to-be page, I’m sharing some quick thoughts on domain names, hosting, design, and a couple pieces of suggested reading. Let’s get started.
I’m a firm believer in the importance of a real-deal domain name. Mine brings me a sense of legitimacy and ownership way more valuable than the $10 a year (sometimes even cheaper if you find a coupon) that I have to pay to keep it up. If you haven’t already, you’ll be much happier once you’ve dropped the .wordpress or .blogspot from your web address. Believe me. So pull the trigger and go! Check out GoDaddy to see if your dream domain is available.
Once you have your domain name, the next step is hosting. Hosting your site will give you more stylistic freedom. I use Just Host for my hosting needs. It’s nothing fancy, but I like it because the WordPress setup takes only a few steps, it’s cheap and doesn’t compromise on customer service. If I ever get a bigger following (fingers crossed), I might need to switch to something else, but Just Host is great for now. They’re constantly offering special deals, so make sure you check RetailMeNot for coupon codes before you purchase anything.
I’m a big proponent of a custom design too. If you like what you see here, you can thank my dear friend Megan Reddish for her stellar design skills.
Megan is a designer by trade, a really great one, but web development and programming are not her fortes. One can only be excellent at so many things. So I took her hard work and found a developer over on Etsy to install the theme to WordPress. If you prefer a one-stop-shop, there are plenty of Etsiers out there who offer custom design and development packages. I just knew that Megan would give me her best work and went with her even if it did end up costing me a little more. Money well spent.
If blogging is something that really interests you, I highly recommend Blog, Inc. It’s a blog how-to book written by the incredibly talented Joy Cho from the Oh Joy! blog, a personal favorite of mine. The book covers all the basics on how to get started, and includes dozens of interviews with seasoned bloggers. I love this book so much that I’ve bought it six times and counting. Once for me and five times for friends. I firmly believe blogging is the answer to all of our problems.
The last bit of reading I’m going to recommend today is Pinch of Yum. Not only is it one of the best written and best photographed food blogs out there, but its writer Lindsey and her husband Bjork are true advocates for budding young bloggers. They’ve got all kinds of helpful resources, offer great insights into the business of blogging with their monthly traffic and income reports, and you can sign up for their weekly blogging tips email. It’s a lifesaver.
Alright, that’s it from me for today. This post will also become a living, breathing Blogging Wisdom page that I’ll continuously update. You can get to it by clicking on the icon on the sidebar. There’s plenty more where that came from, so please check back again.
Have a great weekend!