This is the second Wednesday in the ‘So You Want To Blog’ series, whoop whoop! The first one is still here.
Welcome, welcome. I’m happy you are here. 😀
For the next couple Wednesdays, we are here to demystify the process with the inspiration, encouragement, and information you need to start your very own blog. If you’ve been thinking about starting, if you’re a newbie to blogging, you’ll learn more than a thing or two if you stick around 🙂
The big question for today is “Where?”
WHERE WILL YOU BLOG?
If you’d like to blog in the traditional sense, you’re probably considering the most popular platforms right now: Blogger or WordPress, but they aren’t the only ones. There’s Weebly. There’s also Squarespace.
Aesthetically, Squarespace rocks. If you don’t mind spending money on your blog from day 1, you can (and should) host your blog on Square Space, starting at $8 per month. Squarespace has the cleanest templates in the game. It’s much easier to achieve the clean, sleek aesthetic you dream of, with Squarespace.
But, we are here for the basics, right? So let’s stick to the free stuff 😀
Weebly is cute, but it’s not as popular as Blogger or WordPress. One thing I like about it is, you can present your posts in slideshow format, if you like that. It’s an option worth checking out still. #AllOptionsAreValid
SO. BLOGGER OR WORDPRESS.COM?
WordPress, of course. We (as in MeeMee & I) are here for a reason.
When you have a free blog on blogger, your web address is yourblog.blogspot.com, and on WordPress.com it is yourblog.wordpress.com.
If you’re reading this and you already have a blog, do you care to tell us why you chose your platform?
I first tried Blogger when I started blogging. It is easy to set up your account, and put your posts together. But that’s about where it ends.
WordPress is easy to set up as well, and in my opinion, easier to use. The new look it’s got these days, is simple but sometimes, when my brain is slow, I just prefer to use the old admin layout. In terms of appearances, unlike Blogger which offers you a few dead themes- they are templates, really, WordPress has so much more for you to choose from, with even more customizable options if you upgrade.
If you’re a little techie, you can tweak the look of your free Blogger blog with html, download a theme, many designers have themes for blogs on blogger- unlike wordpress.com, where you are limited to the options you can use or buy on the site itself. Some of these Blogger themes are free, but for a nice $30 or less, you can find something really clean. Carrie Loves Design is one of such designers.
As a newbie blogger, I really wasn’t ready to do that. So again, if you’re considering wordpress or blogger, I say, WordPress.com.
Both sites (Blogger & WordPress) have apps for use on smartphones, iPads, tabs, so you can manage blog from anywhere. I love the WordPress app. I use it on my iPhone, and it’s also great on Blackberry.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORDPRESS.COM AND WORDPRESS.ORG?
WordPress.org is for self-hosted blogs and websites. You don’t get free themes- well, there are some free themes but nothing attractive. There, you practically build your site. We are actually moving to WordPress.org really soon. We have been doing this for a bit now, so we think we are better prepared to handle more technical aspects of running this blog. We are also in the process of hiring people to do this and it’s not cheap so, if you can’t do this setting up yourself, you really should enjoy your rent- free stay on WordPress.com. Paid plans on wordpress.com are an option as well. 😀
Update: Here’s this long but really good read on Blogging Thing. There, you’ll find in much detail, all you need to know about choosing WordPress.org or WordPress.com.
You may want to try out the different platforms for yourself, but make a decision soon enough. If you later move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, you can retain your blog statistics- numbers of visitors to your blog, views, all that. If you transfer to Squarespace for instance, or vice versa, you lose your stats and you’ll start over. You might not mind this, but if you ever intend to monetize your blog, don’t wait till you start counting the stats before you move. It can pain.
I didn’t want to talk about Tumblr, I think it will come up later in this series, because it’s more of a “community”. Generally, you have to be a member, I mean- have a Tumblr blog to comment, reblog, make any impact on a Tumblr post. Some Tumblr blogs use DIsqus for their comments- but I think this is getting a little less simple now. To be discussed in a bit!
GET YOUR DOT COM (PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT)
We did this late but thankfully, nobody registered thekinkandi.com before we did.
We had been thinking about this for ages, but #LindaGate was the final push. Popular Nigerian entertainment & gossip news blogger Linda Ikeji was harassed in 2014 or so. Long story but, part of the reason for her stress was that someone had registered lindaikeji.com, and he had been charging her a ridiculous sum of money to release it.
Yes o, I don’t know how that is not some kind of crime. But, on the bright side, let’s say that maybe these people deserve a shout out for believing in your blog before you cared enough to even claim your domain.
KlassyKinks also had a similar issue with her blog. She had to perch over at klassy-kinks.com until she bought klassykinks.com from the shady person who had registered it.
Aaaaanyway. I hear you. You don’t care for a dot com. You’re just trying to do this small thing, just blog, like whatever, what is this stress?
But listen. It’s no big deal. Once upon a time, getting a domain was an expensive thing. Not anymore. You can get your dot com domain on blogger/wordpress.com. It costs $18 a year on WordPress. OR. For a few dollars, you can register your dot com domain on GoDaddy. If you’re in Nigeria, you could easily buy your domain in Naira on one.com. As at today, it would cost you 2,825 Naira to set up. All you need is your card (Visa or Mastercard). You can also set this up at no cost in a way that your (dot com) gets bounced back to your blog. On these sites, you can even get emails set up. It looks good, and it’s well worth the (relative) change. To clarify, one.com is not a Nigerian site, but it’s one that lets you pay in naira, and it’s more straightforward than GoDaddy.
Okay guys. I think this sums up the introductions. Next week, we’ll start talking about your actual content for your blog!
I feel like today’s topic is pretty basic, but it just had to be done. If this helped you, let me know. If you have a blog, where are you hosting it, and why? Do you agree or disagree with anything I have said? Your 2 cents on this particular topic? Feel free to drop it!
P.S. We have an ongoing giveaway on our Instagram page @thekinkandi. Delivery to Lagos only! x