Blog Week, Volume 1
Okay, let’s start off blog week at the beginning. For those of you who don’t have a blog - this is specifically for you. How do you even get started?
Step 1 is deciding on a platform for you blog. The three big platforms for bloggers are: Blogger, Wordpress, and Squarespace. I have personally used all three of these at some point in my blogging journey (starting with Blogger, moving to Wordpress and then over to Squarespace where I am now). They each have pros and cons so here’s a quick look at those, from my opinion:
Blogger. Pros: It’s free. And if you’re just starting off as a blogger and aren’t certain how much you’ll use it, you probably don’t want to invest in much. It’s also pretty user friendly. Cons: You don’t have much in the way of customization options to make it look pretty. Also, it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the others.
WordPress. Pros: A lot of people LOVE WordPress and you can do a lot with it. They have what are called “plugins” that essentially let you add in extra options to your blog without you needing to know how to code. There are a lot of templates you can purchase to make the site look more personal for yourself. Cons: I find it a bit less user friendly and slightly confusing when you’re just starting out. I’ve also always found the backend kind of clunky to work with.
Squarespace. My personal preference and the platform I use for both my personal blog and the magazine. Pros: It is SUPER user friendly. You basically drag and drop elements into your site to get them to look how you want - no coding required. The templates you can choose from are all really beautiful. Their customer service is unparalleled. They’re always available and SO nice and helpful. Cons: You have less customization options unless you know how to code, but the templates are so beautiful that you often don’t need many more options.
Clearly, I prefer Squarespace. But it’s an entirely personal decision. I’ve designed sites for other platforms (like Wix) but I’d encourage you to check out one of these three first.
Next up, you’re going to want to get your own domain. What’s a domain? Think of it as your website address - so, like hollandlanemag.com. That’s our domain. Without a domain, your website address will read something like: hollandlanemag.wordpress.com. No one wants to type all of that in and it won’t be memorable. Domains are really cheap (I’m talking around $10 per year) so make sure that you spend the money to get one that is personal to you. Make it something easy to remember and type.
I personally use Go Daddy to host my domains, but I know there are other places. Another pro with Squarespace is that you are provided with your own domain when you sign up if you don’t already have one. So everything is easily integrated and you don’t need to pay a separate fee to get your domain and figure out how to link it.
So, if you don’t have a blog/website yet. Start there. Do some research on these three platforms today and figure out which is right for you. I believe they all have free trials as well, so take the chance and sign up today. And if you have any questions, leave them in the comments!