What is a blog?
The ultimate goal of my website is to promote retired minds and reveal ways of making money online to supplement pensions, savings, and fixed income. A blog, in its infancy, was a person’s daily journal called a web blog.
“Web logs” or “blogs” as they are known today quickly became a platform for entrepreneurs to make money online. In this post, I will show you how to start your own blog for free and why it matters.
Why should I start a blog?
Since this is a site about making revenue in retirement it really seems obvious why I would write a post about how to start a blog for free; to make money, right? Well, there is actually more to writing a blog than just making money.
Here are some reasons why you should start a blog?
Tell the world about yourself: Blogs started out simply allowing people to write about their daily lives. And, you can still start a blog and share your story with the world every day. It’s a great was to interact with people who have the same interests as you.
Success recognition: Blogging can bring you recognition in whatever you do. This can be on a personal or professional level.
Community interactivity: The best thing about blogging is writers and readers can interact with each other. This allows like-minded groups and communities to teach and learn from each other.
Make money online: And finally, many bloggers build websites that allow them to share their expertise and experiences online to engage with audiences that make purchases.
What do I need to start a blog?
The first thing you will need to start a blog is an internet connection. For that part you will need to pay for your connection unless you plan on using free public WiFi which is obviously unrealistic.
You will also need a domain name which is registered and hosted online and a platform on which to write your blog. Let’s look closer at these three elements you need to start a blog;.
Choosing a domain name: Your domain name is unique to your website and blog. There are things to consider when choosing a domain name. This list should help you in your search for a great domain name:
- Try to keep the name short: The longer your domain name is the greater the chance a user may not type it correctly.
- Use easy words to spell: Avoid using abbreviations or words that contain two spellings (IE: adapter/adaptor or ambience /ambiance). One misspelled word, and a user will not land on your site.
- Use keyword(s): Use words that describe the blog you are writing. For instance, if you want to blog about woodworking, you could use woodworkingonline.com.
- No hyphens and numbers: If your name has a hyphen in it a user may leave it out accidentally or place it in the wrong place. Numbers are confusing because users don’t know if they need to spell the number or use the actual number when typing.
- Use your physical area: If you are blogging about experience in and around a specific geographical area use that area’s name in your domain name, IE: richmondwoodworking.com.
- Use the right name extensions: Extensions are the letters that come after your domain name preceded by a period. They can be, .com, .net, .co, .org, .biz and others. This could be information for another post. Just know that the best extension to use is .com.
- Do your research: To save yourself a lot of legal trouble make sure your domain name is not already copyrighted and not being used by another business entity.
You will also want to check your chosen domain name to make sure it is not already being used. Here are some sites to check on both copyright, trademark, and domain name availability:
Copyright – United States Copyright Office
Legalzoom – Check for trademark
Name.com – This is the best site for checking domain name availability. Simply type in your desired domain name and it will instantly return whether that name is available, and if not, will give you several other suggestions for names that are available.
Registering and hosting your website
So far, the only money we have spent to start a blog was paying for internet connectivity. Next, you will need to register your domain name and host the website on the world wide web.
Unfortunately, these are just things that will require a monthly or yearly fee, unless, you join Wealthy Affiliate. ( more on Wealthy Affiliate later )
The cost of registering and hosting your domain name varies from company to company. You should research and shop around for deals when registering and hosting your new domain name and website.
Here are some great sites to start your search:
Best platform for writing a blog
There are many platforms that will assist you in creating a blog. The best for blogging is Word Press which is free to download and use. Word Press was created by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg in 2003.
Now, Word Press is the most recognized content management system in the world and most used by bloggers. The software is free to use, customize, and distribute. Word Press was created to assist non-technical people with writing blogs.
My experience with blogging
I had no experience with writing blogs until I joined Wealthy Affiliate in June 2018. I’d like to give you a short review of Wealthy Affiliate here so that you will know it’s benefits and importance for writing blogs.
During my post, I have shown that creating a blog is relatively cheap and the platform to write your blog is even free to use. The costs to you will depend on how much you pay for your internet service provider, domain registration and website hosting.
The most expensive of these is internet service and website hosting. Generally speaking, website hosting can cost as much as $50 per month and domain registration renews each year on average for about $10 – $15.
I joined Wealthy Affiliate for free, that’s right, no credit card needed to join. I will say, however, after spending a few days clicking around and seeing all the benefits I decided to go Premium. Because I upgraded to Premium in my first 7 days as a member I only had to pay $19.99 for the first month.
So, after the first month, I owed $49 a month going forward. Then, at Thanksgiving of last year, I decided to upgrade to yearly during the Black Friday Special. I then paid $299 for the next year. Normally, the yearly Premium price is $359. So I saved $60 on the yearly fee. By going yearly, members save $299 per year.
You’re probably wondering why I am discussing Wealthy Affiliate in a post about starting your own blog for free. Well, I want to show you some of the things you get for $49 per month when joining Wealthy Affiliate Premium:
- Website hosting
- Website backup
- Secure site package (SSL)
- Create up to 50 websites
- Multiple training courses
- Jaxxy keyword research tool
- Live Chat
- Live training webinar every Friday night
And many other benefits!
I hope this post has shown you how to start a blog for free, and why it matters. Blogging is a way for a person to express themselves and tell a story. Also, blogs allow people to work online from home and earn money. I wrote another post about blogging on my website onlineretirementrevenue.com.
A lot of people think they can’t write, when in reality, as you sit down and start to write, the thoughts come to you and ideas turn into paragraphs and many paragraphs turn into a post.
Please feel free to share this post on your social media platforms and leave comments. I will reply to your comments as soon as possible.