A Guide to Blogging

If you are planning on starting a blog, whether you are doing it for business or just to share your personality with an audience, there are going to be a few things that you should watch out for. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, then you can go to Google and find plenty of different blogs that tell you exactly how you should start. YouTube has videos that will give you a step-by-step guide on how to get started on a blog. This is not what that is, I just want to give you a few warnings about things that you are going to run into. Most of these things are going to have to do with WordPress. The wonderful world of WordPress provides a plethora of different themes to start a blog. That’s not to say that it is always the best choice. There are a few concerns with using WordPress’s platform. Although they do offer a free service, it can quickly turn into something that you have to pay for. It should be noted that since WordPress is the most popular platform for powering websites on the internet, it will also be the biggest target for security risks.

Quick History of Blogging, Kind Of

Alright, I know it says history of blogging, but there are already plenty of people who have spelled this out for you through a quick search on Google. You can look at a Wikipedia page of blogging if you want, or if you genuinely want to know more about the history of blogging, how it got started, where the term comes from, why it is still around? Then, read this article. It does a good job of taking you through the convoluted history of blogging, while providing a few fun facts about different blogging platforms, like YouTube. If you prefer watching videos to absorb information and are here to find out how to begin your blogging journey and are looking for the necessary steps to monetize your website, then watch this video. The most important thing to look at is that since WordPress was created in 2003, they have become the platform that is the most widely used when not only creating a blog, but creating any sort of website. Regardless, WordPress is most likely going to be the platform that you use to create whatever website you are planning to create.

You Will Probably Use WordPress

So, you have read a few different quick start guides on how you are supposed to get your blog up and running in the year 2019. I imagine that most of these guides are going to tell you to create your blog on WordPress, and there is a good reason for that. WordPress is by far the most widely used blogging platform used, according to Kinsta, the website powers over 33 percent of the websites on the internet. WordPress is used to create several different types of websites, things like e-commerce, business sites, blogs, forums, you name it. The White House, Microsoft and The Rolling Stones all use WordPress to power their websites. Being the most popular platform on the internet does come with its share of problems. The biggest problem is that bloggers are not really given that many choices, considering WordPress owns the market.
When it comes to personal blogs, just people sharing their stories and thoughts, the popular platforms are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even YouTube is used for this as well. The social platforms have been used for blogging, and are, honestly a way of blogging that won’t cost money to the user. Twitter was actually founded as a microblogging platform, unique in the sense that users are given a finite number of characters that they are allowed to use in their posts.

WordPress is Not Free.

Well, it is. Kind of. You can go onto WordPress and make a website for free today if you wanted to. However, you are going to be extremely limited and if you decide to continue with the free service, then you are going to hurt your chances at optimizing your website for a long-term SEO strategy. You can create your website for free, but you are limited to not owning your domain name, instead it will be yourblog.wordpress.com, which you may like the way that looks, but most people don’t. For you to get a domain name for your website that doesn’t look unappealing, you will have to pay for it.

Now is probably a good time to mention that WordPress is owned by a company named Automattic. When you set up your website for free through their platform, Automattic is going to make money from ads posted on your websites. That is how they make money. Automattic posts ads on free websites on WordPress. There is a way around this and you may have already guessed what it is. That’s right, you can pay for it. If you add the premium service for your website, you can take the Automattic advertisements off of your website, making it more appealing.

When you set up a website for free through WordPress they are going to allow a small amount of storage on your website for free. The amount of storage that they give to you is around 3 GB of storage, that’s not a lot. It seems even smaller if you are a photographer or planning on posting videos. Again, you can expand that storage if you are willing to pay a little extra every month. You can imagine how expensive this might get if you plan on posting blogs with videos and/or photos. The expense that comes from hosting your website on WordPress is beginning to climb and we haven’t stopped there.

When you are looking at WordPress as a platform to host your blog and/or website then there is going to be another expense that you should watch out for. This may not affect most people, but I figure that it is worth mentioning. There is a difference between the free themes and the premium themes on WordPress. Kinsta again gives some great insight on what to expect when it comes to using either free themes or premium themes. They mention that there are going to be themes that you can download for free that have over a million downloads. Well, at a million downloads, I think that it is safe to say that your theme isn’t going to feel extremely unique from the user’s perspective. Another issue of going with a free theme is that they don’t offer any support, so if you need help fixing an issue you are going to have to rely upon your own knowledge, or the knowledge of forums over the internet, in which you could be waiting quite some time for a reply.

Now what?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use WordPress to start your website, blog, or whatever it is that you are planning. I am saying that if you plan on using WordPress, then don’t expect to get away with successfully using the free version of their service. There are cheaper ways of hosting a website online, but WordPress is, in my opinion, still the best way to do so. If you are willing to pay for it, you are going to own your website and utilize a wide selection of tools to make your website stand out. The problem is that you really aren’t going to have any options that can supplement WordPress.

The problem with WordPress running just over a third of the entire internet’s websites is that there is really no bargaining power from the user’s perspective. If we want to create a website, own the domain and have a vast number of different ways to customize it and make it unique, then we really have nowhere else to go. This might be a problem moving forward as I would see WordPress deciding to increase the cost of their service, or taking away even more options from their existing free version.

For now…

If you are willing to pay the price, and are backed by a reliable amount of internet security, then just use WordPress. The task of creating a website is going to be made a lot easier, and you are going to cause less frustration for yourself later on. Just watch out for the few things that I have mentioned. Bookmark the links and videos that I have posted, as I imagine that these will be relevant for a while. Creating a blog using WordPress can eventually let you earn returns on the investment of creating it using their platform, but these things can take a long time. So, just remain patient, continue to create quality content, and be wary of the few things that I mentioned above.

Thanks for reading.

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