So you’ve finally decided to start your own blog? Well that’s awesome! You’re now on the same spot as all bloggers were, no matter how big they are now. I started with zero knowledge too and it took awhile before I got the hang of things. Everybody had to start somewhere and to have the initiative to do so shows that you have the passion and determination to become a blogger. Just the thought of writing dozens or even hundreds of articles is enough to scare anyone so you are one tough cookie!
Yes, blogging isn’t easy.. but nothing is simple if you want to achieve success – unless maybe if you won the lottery. You don’t need to learn how everything works right off the bat. Some lessons you will just have to pick up along the way.
A self-hosted blog is where you don’t rely on any 3rd party sites like WordPress.com or Blogger to manage your blog. Instead, you have your own web hosting server which allows you total control on customization and code.
Now that you’re fully committed to begin your blogging journey, let’s talk about what you need. To be clear, it won’t be free but it’s also not that expensive as some may think. Blogging is an investment and if you really want to put your name out there and be able to withstand the amount of traffic your blog can potentially get, then it’s only reasonable to spend a bit. There are ways to break-even though, like through advertisements or affiliate marketing. But make sure you have a considerable amount of site visitors first.
SELF-HOSTED BLOG CHECKLIST
To start everything off, what is your blog about? Are you planning to be a travel blogger? Or do you plan to be more general and talk about different topics? These are some questions that you have to consider because it is important to understand your blog’s purpose as the articles you write will affect its performance in terms of getting people in.
Next, are you blogging for money or passion, or both? If it’s only for the sole purpose of making money, you WILL have a hard time of coming up with quality and original content. You need to know your niche so that you can provide as much information as you can especially if you want your blog to become a authoritative blog. Don’t write about make-up if you haven’t held a lipstick before. Make your readers trust you.
There’s also the goal to land in the top search results on Google or other search engines. If you want to generate income through your site’s traffic, you need to do keyword research for your articles. It’s basically looking into how often your topic is being looked up, the potential ad revenue, and the existing competition.
So choose a topic that you’re comfortable with and you know users would read. However, if traffic or income is not important and you just want to treat your blog like an online diary, then you don’t need to necessarily do any of these.
PRICE – CrazyDomains ₱429/year
The exciting part for every new blogger is coming up with their own domain name. Are you going to use your name like JuanPablo.com or something more creative like JuanTravel.com? Finding the right domain name is important as you want people to not only remember it but establish that it’s about a certain niche. But don’t take too long. I have friends that spend too much thinking of the right name that they eventually lose the interest to blog altogether.
If I could give you some advice, in my case before I would purchase a domain, I would imagine first if it would look good on a shirt or mug. Hahaha yeah, it’s embarrassing and makes you look a bit assuming but remember that the success of your domain can only go as far as you want it to be. Be imaginative as that will eventually help you come up with something creative.
This is also where you start spending money. Don’t worry! It’s not expensive and registrars charge yearly. If you want to spend less, then click here to check out CrazyDomains as their .COM domains only cost ₱429.00 a year, which is almost half compared to other registrars.
If you ever decide to change the name in the future, you can just purchase a new one. I’ve done that multiple times actually before settling down with TheVisayanBlogger.com.
PRICE – Webhostface Face Extra Package ₱1,440/first 2 yrs
Now that you have your domain, it’s time to get some web hosting. Web hosting is where your site will be stored for the world to see. Most hosting providers offer free WordPress installation so that new bloggers don’t need to upload files via the FTP. The price for web hosting varies with every provider. It depends on how much traffic you’re expecting, the drive space you need, and the number of blogs you want to host (some web hosting plans allow you to store more than one blog so it is very cost effective).
There are literally hundreds of web hosting providers out there and looking for the right one can be daunting. Which is why I would suggest Webhostface. They are relatively new compared to other big companies but don’t be swayed, I think they’re excellent and affordable.
To vouch for their service, most of my blogs are hosted by them, including this one. You can pay monthly but you can save more money if you are billed annually. I spent ₱1,440 for a two-year plan of their Face Extra package which cost $1.09 a month for the initial purchase. If you think that’s still too much, they also have a Face Standard package which only cost $0.69 a month but that only allows one hosted blog.
If that is still beyond your budget, there are actually web hosting providers that offer free hosting. However because they are free, they come with heavy restrictions in terms of allowable daily traffic, speed, disk space, and are occasionally prone to down times. That is why it is much better to invest in paid hosting as there are more features and much fewer complications.
Those were the things you need to start a self-hosted blog. Once you have those ready, you are another step closer to becoming the blogger that you aspire to be. I wrote this article for those looking for the most affordable way to create a blog while getting the most out of their money in mind. I will create a separate tutorial on how to connect your domain name to your web hosting server so stay tuned.