Sunday, 6 January 2019

January 06, 2019

How to connect your blogger account to a custom domain.

If you want a professional looking site, you need a dot com address. Here is how to make your blogspot blog redirect to a custom url.

How to connect your blogger account to a custom domain | blogging with wisdom

If your blog is yourname.blogspot.com but you want it to be yourname.com, in this post I am going to show you how to do that. Let me show you how to connect your Blogger.Com account to a custom domain.

Should you buy your domain from Blogger or an independent hosting company?

Although, Blogger does give you a custom domain for a little fee, I highly recommend you buy it from somewhere else. Why put all your eggs in the same basket, right?

Also, it is a lot cheaper.

Please note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I make a small commission if you click through and buy from my links.

Where to get a Custom Domain

Getting a domain is very simple. You just have to search on their site if the name is available and then follow the steps to pay for it.

So go to namecheap.com or godaddy.com or bigrock.com (like I did! my favorite people <3) or any place you like.

In this post, I am going to show you how to use BigRock because that is where I bought my domain from but you can try anyone else you like.

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BigRock is my favorite place because I have been using them for a very long time and they never gave me any trouble. I bought my first domain and hosting from them in 2012. Since then, I have bought 3 sites with them and by far, they are the least hassle.

For hosting too they are very reliable and easy to manage. I've tried a lot of different hosting companies in the past 12 years but for domains, I stick to BigRock.

GET 25% off on BIGROCK with my COUPON Link


How to move your blogspot blog to a custom domain

In this post, I am going to show you how I redirected this very site from being bloggingwithwisdom.blogspot.com to being www.bloggingwithwisdom.com

How to move your blogspot domain to a custom domain

After buying your domain, open blogger.com in another tab. Sign in to your account and go to settings.

where to go in blogger to change your domain name blogging with wisdom

In the settings tab, go to Basic settings and see your blog address in the publishing area. (see picture above).

Change the address in third party settings to yourname.com. Click save. It will say 'We have been unable to verify your settings', followed by the missing records.

missing records in blogger Where to find CNAME settings in blogger bloggingwithwisdom

Switch back to BigRock and scroll down to find DNS settings. In that create a CNAME record


How to create a CNAME

You have to grab these CNAME details from blogger first. 

where to find the cname settings in blogger | blogging with wisdom

When you changed your domain from yourname.blogspot.com to yourname.com and clicked SAVE in Blogger, you may have seen the above screen.

These are your DNS settings. You have to now go to BigRock and fill in these settings so that BigRock directs your blogspot traffic to the new blog address you have bought. It is like telling google that 'Hey this is my new address. Please send traffic here from now on.'

So let's go to BigRock and find your DNS settings. 

Where to find your DNS settings

Select your domain name on BigRock dashboard. 

buying your domain from bigrock and moving blogger blog to custom domain | blogging with wisdom


When you click your domain, you will find yourself on a page with all the settings. Scroll down till you find DNS SETTINGS on the right side of the screen. When you click that a new page will pop up.

how to change cname settings in bigrock

Click CNAME Records to see the above picture. Click Add a CNAME record. This is where we will fill in the details that blogger had given us.

You have to create two CNAME records. 

Let us do the first one first. Fill in www in the blank for Host Name

how to fill in the cname records on bigrock | blogging with wisdom
For the Value, copy from your blogger settings or just type in ghs.google.com

For the TTL, write a number like I have done. TTL is the number of seconds it takes before your site is checked again. (You can copy the same number I have written, no problem.)

Click save. You have created your first CNAME record. You should see this picture below.

what a CNAME record looks like

Now, you have to make another CNAME record for the second values.

Just follow the same steps as above.
  • Click add a CNAME record and fill in the values but this time in place of www, you will fill in the second hist name that blogger gave you. 
  • In place of ghs.google.com you will fill in the second value. 
  • Write the TTL just as you wrote the previous one and then click save.
Switch back to the blogger tab. Hit save to that box. This time it will show this screen.

moving your blogspot blog to a custom domain bloggingwithwisdom

Your site will not INSTANTLY start working. It will take a few hours (1-24hrs) to populate. Come back after sometime. Generally it starts working after 30 minutes to upto an hour. (Don't panic unless it has been 24hrs!)

If for some reason it hasn't redirected, check the above steps to see if you followed them correctly or not.

That is it. YOU are now yourname.com. Congratulations!


How to direct your blogspot blog to a custom domain | blogging with wisdom

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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

December 04, 2018

How to start a blog for FREE


Do you want to start blog but don't know where to begin? This post is to answer all the questions that newbie bloggers have on how to start a blog for free.

How to blog for free blogging with wisdom

There are many reasons to want to start a blog but the biggest remains that there is a budding writer in all of us. Whatever your reason may be, I hope this post will help you learn how to start a blog for free.

I have been blogging since 2003. It has been 15 years! I started just after my graduation and today, I really wish I had known that my hobby would become my profession and the means to earn from home while I sleep! Literally.

Fast forward to now, I am starting this new blog to teach people how I do it -Blogging with Wisdom. No need to get overwhelmed, work 24hrs a day or be frustrated that you are making no progress. Let me show you how to blog for years to come.

Should you start a hobby blog or a professional one?

For first time bloggers, who are stepping into this new adventure, I always advise that you start on a free platform. 

Professional blogging takes money, time and lots of hard work to make it successful. If you are not careful, you can spend hours on it and expect no returns. I have seen many bloggers walk away from blogging or shut down their blog after a few years because either their life changed or because they were unable to keep up with the expenses. 

Related content: 12 Things to Know Before you Start a Blog.

The start up cost isn't much but then, the next year when you have to renew your site, it drastically increases. If you haven't made any money off your blog that year then you will be paying out of your pocket. This will continue until you actually start making money or quit. 

 So… I recommend that you start free - get the hang of it and if you want to continue, invest in yourself by doing courses and learning the real language of blogging. 

Now, before you start a blog, I want you to be very clear as to why you are doing it. Also, blogging has now advanced to include social media too. Do you really want a website? Is there no other platform that can fulfill your needs? You can blog on Facebook and Instagram too. This is called microblogging by some and has become quite popular. It is a 'micro' version of blogging. Same techniques but at a very small level. 


Are you ready to build a blog people will love to follow?

Grab this essential first step that will help you start on the right foot!
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    Download the free worksheet with this post and fill it up. I hope it helps you think and plan clearly.

    What you need to start a blog:

    Now that you have decided that you are ready to have a blog, let's get to the basics. Here is what you  need:
    1. A hosting
    2. A domain
    A hosting is the place where you will build your blog. Think of it as the land on which your home (blog) will stand.

    A domain is the URL that you type to go to your blog. It is the address of your blog. It is exactly that: - your address.

    The important difference between starting a free blog and a paid one is the hosting and domain. You can have free hosting or a shared one. It depends on what you want.

    What kind of blog do you want - free or 100% self owned? 

    There are two types of blogs - those that are on a free platform and those that are self hosted.

    Free platform: 

    You can start a blog for free on Blogger, Wordpress.com, Squarespace, Medium, etc. You can even start a blog on a social media like Facebook or Instagram. Yes, as I was saying above, even social media supports microblogging.

    Free hosted blogs have some limitations like for instance, you don't own your site completely. It is like renting an apartment. The furniture is yours, you live there, you have an address but you don't own the place. It is the landlord's building. :)

    You can buy a domain and give yourself a proper address but still the place is rented.  If you break something and get into trouble, they close you down. It happens very rare (in the past 15 years I have heard of only 1 person who had that happen!) but... it happens. 

    Some shared hosting don’t allow you to earn from your site but some let you. Think of it as not being able to put hoardings on your building or even your own satellite dish! Some say 'yeah... you can have a home based business', some say No to everything. 

    Self hosted: 

    Self hosted blogs are those that are 100% owned by you. They are run on Joomla or Wordpress.org. You have to buy a domain and a hosting and know at least a bit of technical stuff to work on it. 

    Since you are buying a domain, you have the address on your name. The hosting means you can build your home on it from scratch. Your 'building' is made out of Wordpress.org or Joomla. 

    The furnishing and all the stuff in your house (blog) is yours to keep. If you move to another host, you can take it with you. It is legally yours. You can do whatever you like on your property.

    Difference between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org

    I should mention here about the most common confusion among bloggers - Wordpress.com or Wordpress.org?

    Wordpress.Com is a FREE site. They will host your blog for free but your domain will be yourname.wordpress.com. Read more about Wordpress.Com below.

    Wordpress.Org is a CMS (Content Management Software). It is for self-hosted websites. You have to buy a domain and a hosting and then download wordpress.org software on it and then you can start blogging. It will be a 100% paid site.


    Blogger Vs. Wordpress.com : Which and why

    blogger or wordpress which is good for free blog | blogging with wisdom

    If you have been following me for sometime and hearing me talk about blogging, you will know that I support Blogger.com more than Wordpress.com. Here's why:
    1. Search engine optimized. Blogger is owned by google. That means blogger blogs are favored by google in search rankings. If you want to be found on google, choose blogger. I blogged on blogger till 2013. When I moved my blog to self hosted, I was surprised that how my very little SEO knowledge was enough to help me rank! The posts that I had written on a blogspot blog were perfectly SEOd even without the hassle of plugins. Blogger made it so easy for me.
    2. Easier to monetize. You can earn off it. Blogger lets you place ads. In fact they support you by recommending that you place Adsense ads where as Wordpress does not. For a long time Wordpress did not even support affiliate links either. That means no earning from amazon or any other affiliate product at all. You also cannot sell from them. I had been earning through ads and affiliate products on blogger well before buying my own site.  
    3. Blogger is easier to personalize. They give you excess to the code that helps you personalize it so much that you can't even guess that it is free hosted. Your blog will look professional and pretty with just the very basic HTML knowledge.
    4. They follow best practices and you don't have to break your head on google changes. Let me give you an example, when the GDPR changes happened earlier this year, those of us on self hosted went crazy trying to get the legal things right. Blogger people calmly clicked one button and they were done. (Well… most of them did.)
    5. You don't have to bother with SEO details. Meta description on posts, Titles… image optimization… they handle it all. You just do what you are good at and make sure you fill all the boxes they give you.
    So all these reasons and more, I highly advise that you start on blogger. Let me show you how easy it is.

    How to start a blog for free on Blogger- step by step.

    It is as easy as following the steps on each page. Blogger makes it very easy for you. There is no guess work or technical know-hows needed. I am writing the steps below with pictures so it is even easier.

    1. Go to Blogger.com. Log on with your Google username and password or just click the start a blog button. You are in.
    How to start a free blog on Blogger Blogging with Wisdom

    2. Choose a Display name. This is the name that you will be known as. You can choose either your name or a pen name.

    What is your blogger display name | starting a free blog on blogger | blogging with wisdom
    3. Create a new blog. Click the big orange button that says Create new blog
    Click on a start a blog to start making that blogger blog blogging with wisdom
    4. Choose a title. This is the name of your blog. 

    Choose a blog name and title for your blog on blogger | Blogging with Wisdom


    5. Choose an address. This is the URL of your blog. The address that people type in to go to your blog.

    Since you are hosted on blogger, your address will be yourchoosenname.blogspot.com

    All blogger hosted blogs have the .blogspot.com at the end.  If you want a 'dot com' address you have to buy your domain name. (Details about that in the next post.)

    If the address is available it will show a blue tick at the end. If it shows that it isn't available, try another name. I also recommend to look on google if {your name dot com} is taken. Because most of the times someone may have already chosen your name so you may not get a 'dot com' version of it.
    choosing a blog name on blogger is it available | blogging with wisdom

    6. Choose a theme. This is what you want your blog to look like. Think of it as a dress for your blog. You can change the theme as many times as you like… later.

    That is it. Your blog is ready.

    What to do after you have created your blog

    Most new bloggers that I know think that once you have a blog created they should do a Hello post. :)

    Well... hold right there young lady! I understand you are very excited to write your first post and hit publish but is that really a good idea... just yet?

    What generally happens when people land on your blog is that they want to look around to know you better. What good is it if people hop on to your blog, see your Hi and then leave. Don't you want them to keep coming back?

    Yes, give them something to keep coming back!

    Coming up in the next posts, I will show you how to make your blog pretty. In the meanwhile, let's start planning those first posts. Download the FREE worksheet below and fill it in. You will need it time and again to remember why you are starting this blog.

    GRAB THE START A BLOG PLANNER 

    Do you have any questions? Leave it in the comments!

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    December 04, 2018

    12 Things To Know Before You Start a Blog


    Do you want to start a blog? Here are 12 things that I want everyone to know before they start blogging.
    How 12 things to know before you start a blog | blogging with wisdom

    15 years ago, on 23rd October 2003, I set out to become a blogger. I had no idea that years later, I would have turned my hobby into a full time job. I have already written about my journey into Blogosphere here. Today, I am writing for those of you who have asked me about Blogging and shown interest in wanting to start a blog themselves.

    So you want to be a blogger? Here is what you should know.

    What is a blog? 

    When I first started blogging, blogs were called as a weblog and that is what they really were - a log of thoughts on the web. Bloggers wrote about their life, their daily struggles, ideas they had, intellectual discussions and debates. They were budding writers, amateur artists and some professionals too! There were scientists, students and mathematicians! Weblogging was their platform for ideas that they wanted to share with the world.

    We used it to practice what we learnt at school, we shared our crafts and passion or stayed in touch with loved ones through it and then some more.

    There was only one rule to weblogging - the blog be updated regularly. (That rule still holds.) The more popular blogs were those that were updated frequently. People were really that crazy enough to update them every few hours too… but then google became intelligent and bloggers tired off their hobby blog and started to slack off.

    Most of those bloggers quit but then some smart ones saw a future in their hobby... They played it right, learnt the ins and outs, taught themselves and their readers about the internet and their skills. Those that pursued became Problogger and Neil Patel. The rest of us either retired or we didn't 'see it coming'.

    The reality to blogging that most new bloggers don't realize is that blogging is not all fun and glamorous. There is a very hardworking person behind it who spend days and nights chipping away at the rock to create the gem.

    12 Things to Know BEFORE you start a blog

    Here are 12 things to consider before you type that first post.

    1. Readers don't magically appear. 

    So you have put in all you have got and written a stellar post. It has great pictures, awesome quotes, some amazing details and you have managed to be funny too. Fantastic! But… so far in 2 days, there have been only 5 visits on it. 3 of them are yours and the other two are your best friend and your sister in law. You wait three more days and after 29 visits, you still don't get any comments. What are you doing wrong, you wonder. Where are all those readers?

    Umm… that’s the reality. Readers won't magically appear. Somebody (like Google for example… or Facebook…) will have to send you the traffic. Google will only find you if their robots can find your content. So… you will have to SEO your content. Optimize it for the google bots to read you.

    2. People won't magically fall in love with you. 

    Sorry. That’s true too, you know. We expect people to tell us how awesome our content is or at least follow our blog… but they won't follow you and they don't want to talk to you … How will you make them keep coming back if you don't even know who visited?

    3. There will be haters. 

    When there are comments, they may tell you they don't like your post. Oops! How will you handle that?

    4. Blogging is never a part time job. 

    Writing isn't the only thing you have to do. You will have tons of behind the scenes jobs like making graphics or working on your technical things and then… marketing that post!

    Post to Facebook 3 times a day, twitter multiple times, pin on Pinterest , other social media, interact with your audience, think about what to write about next… take pictures… get them to look good… how many hours can you take out of your day for blogging?

    5. You won't always have things to write about.

    There may be days when you have no post to publish. Blogger's block… it is real. You better be well prepared for the no-ideas days. 

    6. You will not sell your product like hot cakes. 

    SO you started a blog to promote your product but… you have to promote that blog first before you promote your product. :) 

    7. Brands will not send you free stuff. 

    Wait! I should go back and put this as number 1! Most wannabe bloggers, that I have met, ask me what stage is it that brands start sending them products. Umm… well…

    8. You will not know how where to make money from.

    They said put ads on your site and sign up for Amazon. Ads and affiliate marketing income isn't really that much. In fact, I know many bloggers whose affiliate account was cancelled because they didn't make any sale at all. Adsense was sending them cents…

    9. Your blog will not look beautiful all by itself. 

    First you will try to do it yourself, then you will hire people and then you will delete it all. You will buy themes that you don't like. Even stay up for hours trying to understand one line of code. The logo isn't right. Two column or no column..? How you wish it was easy as just painting it all with a brush!

    10. You will tire off blogging and will want to quit.

    There will be tears. Yes. It has happened to too many of us. You will think about quitting.

    11. Keeping a blog is expensive. 

    Some day at the end of the first year you will wonder how you will pay for the hosting. Should you renew it… your spouse will want to know if what you are doing is really worth the investment.

    12. You will have to do courses, read books and train hard to keep your hobby alive. 

    Blogging is not a hobby. It’s a profession. You will spend more money on books and courses about blogging than you make from it.  

    That's 12 things to know before you start a blog. 

    This post was NOT written to scare you or make you want to run away from the thought. I am only stating the facts so that you know what you are getting into right from the start. It is always good to know the real picture.

    Blogging has changed a lot from when I started to blog. 15 years ago there was no social media. Most of us started our blogs because we needed a place to share our pictures, our stories and recipes. Now we have social media - Facebook for our status updates and Instagram to show what we are proud of. 
    Blogging is now being replaced with microblogging. If exposure is what you seek, find the right social media for it. 

    Nowadays, blogging is a place to show what you are an expert at. A blog is a place where you come looking for solutions. If you go on google and type in a query, the pages that you see below, they are the answers to the question you asked. Your blog, if it shows up there, it is because you had the answer to that person's question. If you want to start a blog, think about what problems you are going to solve through your blog because if not, it is a very expensive hobby that costs not just money but also time. 

    Why do you want to start a blog? If you can answer that question in one sentence, I guarantee you: you are going to be successful. 

    Tell me in the comments: Why do you want to start a blog? Need help thinking it through? Download the planner that I share below. It will help you get your thoughts on paper. Even if you are a not new, it will help you write better.

    FREEBIE!! Grab this START A BLOG PLANNER and get blogging.