How to Make Your Own Blog

by Ashley Poland

When it comes to creating your very first blog, choosing from the sea of blogging platforms can be exhausting and confusing. Of all the programs designed for blog management, two stand out: Google's Blogger and WordPress. You can try either for free, though WordPress requires that you choose between WordPress.com, which is more like Blogger, and WordPress.org, which you upload to your own Web space. Remember: you're not married to your blogging platform. If you try one and dislike it, there are ways of transferring your posts to a different blogging service.

Blogger

1

Log in to Blogger (blogger.com) with your Google account. This also links your Blogger blog to your Google+ profile. You can create multiple blogs under one Google account via Blogger.

2

On the Blogger dashboard, click the "New Blog" button. Blogger will ask for a name of your blog, an address -- e.g., yourblog.blogspot.com -- and ask you to select a template for your blog.

3

Click "Create Blog." From there, you can get started with more posts, create pages for your blog, change your settings, and even add multiple authors.

WordPress.com

1

Go to WordPress.com and click the "Get started here" button. You can also click "Sign Up" in the title bar, in addition to the "Log in" button if you already have a WordPress account.

2

Choose a blog name for your URL. WordPress.com domains -- e.g., blogname.wordpress.com -- are free, but you can also purchase a domain name through WordPress.com for a yearly fee.

3

Create a username and password for your WordPress.com account. In addition to logging in to manage your blog, you can also use this WordPress account to comment on other blogs.

4

Click the "Create Blog" button to get started. You can also choose a yearly paid account, but for a first-time blogger, try going free for a bit first. If you decide you don't like WordPress.com, you won't be tied down by a paid account; if you do, you can upgrade later.

5

Choose a pre-made theme for your blog. You can always change the theme later; some themes are free, but premium themes will be marked with a price underneath them.

6

Click the "My Blogs" tab on the dashboard. This shows a list of your blogs. Click "Dashboard" beneath your new blog to manage your blog settings. You can manage posts and comments, change your themes, upload files, create polls, and change your blog settings.

WordPress.org

1

Download the core WordPress.org files. You will need to unpack these files, which come in a ZIP file, and upload them all to your own web space. While this is just slightly more complicated, it also comes with more freedom; you can change whatever you like about your WordPress.org installation, and install custom plug-ins that are not available to WordPress.com users.

2

Check that your Web host meets the minimum requirements to run WordPress.org: it needs to run PHP version 5.2.4 or higher, and offer access to MySQL 5.0 or higher. Check your host's documentation to see if yours does; WordPress.org states that BlueHost, DreamHost, and Laughing Squid all meet the service's requirements.

3

Using the MySQL module in your Web host's control panel, create a new database for your WordPress installation. Write down the database name, your username, your password, and your database host.

4

Go to the directory where you unzipped the WordPress files and find "wp-config-sample.php" in the root directory. Change the file to "wp-config.php" and open it with your preferred plain text editor. At the top you'll see this section:

// MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host // /* The name of the database for WordPress / define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');

/* MySQL database username / define('DB_USER', 'username_here');

/* MySQL database password / define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');

/* MySQL hostname / define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

Change the second attribute in each section to reflect your database details, e.g.

/* The name of the database for WordPress / define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress_database');

5

Fill in the authentication keys; WordPress offers a random generator for these at https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/. Copy and paste to replace the sections in your wp-config file with the generated keys. Save and close the file when you're done.

6

Use your preferred FTP client to upload your files. You can upload the files to your root directory if you want your whole website to be the blog. You can also upload the files to a subdirectory, e.g., yourdomain.com/blog/.

7

Use your browser to set up your blog; go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php to do so.

Warning

  • close Remember that your blog has a way of getting around and is public, so becarefull of the content. Employers or potential employers often will google you to find out more information on there potential employee, this could make or break your dream job.

About the Author

Ashley Poland has been writing since 2009. She has worked with local online businesses, supplying print and web content, and pursues an active interest in the computer, technology and gaming industries. In addition to content writing, Poland is also a fiction writer. She studied creative writing at Kansas State University.