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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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