Create a Professional Blog
In my article outlining the problem with free blogs, I outlined the reasons why you need to think carefully before creating your blog.
This is especially true if you want to create a professional looking blog. Blog readers are very observant these days, and they notice everything.
They will notice if your blog is hosted with a free blog service such as Blogger. They will notice if your blog doesn't have its own domain name. And they will notice if your blog looks the same as 90 percent of all the other blogs out there.
Do you need to create a professional looking blog? Perhaps you'd like to earn an income from your blog? Whatever the reason, you will need to be prepared to outlay at least some cash to set up your blog.
Cost vs Earning Potential
Now, before you start groaning at me, and telling me you don't want to spend anything on your blog, just think about this...
By spending around $5 or $6 per month, you could have your own professional blog, capable of earning you thousands of dollars per month. Blog hosting is very cheap these days, and the cost is nothing compared to the earning potential of a typical blog.
The only other cost is your domain name - around $2 or $3 for the first year if you register it via ZappyHost with your blog hosting.
You need not outlay any more money to keep your blog running. This is all you need. In fact, the reason so many people can earn a living from websites and blogs is due to the low cost of web hosting.
The easiest way to create a professional looking blog is to use what I call a "pre-installed blog".
By this I mean, a web hosting account that includes a blog. The blog software has already been installed by your web host. All you need to do is choose a template and start blogging.
ZappyHost offers pre-installed blogs from just over $5 per month with their WordPress hosting.
Alternatively, Quick Blogcast might interest you. Actually, these blogs are more than just blogs. Called "Quick Blogcast", they also include a podcast - the ability to broadcast multimedia files (such as audio and video) over the internet for playback on computers and mobile devices.
This means you have even greater flexibility in how you present information to your users. Providing a podcast could give you "the edge" over your competitors!
If you're more technically inclined, you might prefer a self-installed blog.
A self-installed blog is where you download blog software (also referred to as "blogware") and install it on your own server (or hosting provider's server).
This option gives you the most flexibility in managing your blog, but you do need to know what you're doing.
Even if you do decide to choose the self-installed option, you still need to open an account with a hosting provider. Once you've done that, you can download and install the blog software of your choice.
If you need a web hosting account, try ZappyHost. Hosting plans start from around $5 or $6 per month. As well as blog hosting, you will receive email accounts, forums, and much more. In fact, it even includes blog software, so you won't need to download the software yourself.
Once you've opened up a hosting account, you can install the blog software. If your hosting plan doesn't have blog software ready to install, you will need to download the blog software yourself. Some of the more popular blog software products include WordPress and Movable Type.
Here's more information to help you decide which blogging option is right for you.
- Create a Blog Explains the various options you have when creating a blog.
- Create a Website - FAQ Explains some of the key concepts about web hosting, domain names, and websites in general. Although it is geared towards creating a website, most of the information is also applicable to blogs. This is because, technically, websites the same as blogs.
- Blog Hosting Explains two types of blog hosting and where you can find a good deal.
- WordPress Hosting Discusses hosting for WordPress - the world's most popular blogging platform.