Since 1996, I have built many websites, within many different genres.
I started this blog in 2010 under danielclasson.com, but changed it to danielengberg.com last year, because of a change of my last name.
During the years I have received a lot of questions from people in the industry regarding how to start a blog.
Why it is important for you to have a blog
For me, the main reasons for starting a blog include:
- Personal branding
- Information keeping
- Receive feedback on your work
- Sharing with the community
In today’s gig economy, personal branding is crucial. The best way to stand out is by having a strong personal presence.
Apart from having a blog, I highly advise leveraging the following social channels:
I started out my blog in 2010 as a way of keeping notes. I thought instead of keeping the notes to myself in a Word file or similar, I could share what I learned with others.
Blogging is like being a teacher, as you will need to verify that what you are saying is true. Sometimes, however, you are wrong and someone might point it out :). It’s important to not be intimidated by this.
Sharing with the community
I think most people would agree that working in IT, or in any other field, Google is your friend.
Going to a reputable source such as Microsoft is always good, but if you want to have real-world examples, your best bet is finding it on a community site.
Instead of just consuming other people’s content, position yourself as an expert within your field.
My tips for blogging
My tips for blogging:
- Embrace the imposter syndrome
- Be consistent
Embrace the imposter syndrome
The imposter syndrome is a state which often occurs to people skilled in what they do.
If this affects you, you may feel that you are an imposter and that someone will call you out as a fraud.
I don’t think this ever goes away, but it’s important to continue carrying on.
This has been my main issue during the years, being consistent.
What differentiates the top bloggers within any field is the consistency of publishing new posts and updating old ones.
5 easy steps to starting your own IT blog (or any other niche)
Ok, so now you have decided to start your own blog. What now?
These are the steps for setting up a blog, start-to-finish:
- Register a domain name
- Select a web host
- Install WordPress
- Install a theme
- Publish blog posts!
Step 1 – Register a domain name
This is the first step, picking a domain name.
Here are my recommendations for picking a domain name:
- Do not include a product name in the domain name
- Use your real name if possible
- Keep it short
Do not include a product in the domain name
The reason for not having a product name in the domain name is that products may change names. And yes, my domain is a very poor example, since I changed my name :).
Use your real name if possible
If you are not building a business, but a personal brand, use your real name.
Keep it short
Keep your domain name as short as possible.
Step 2 – Select a web host
Finding a web host can be quite an ordeal.
If you are starting out, I would recommend going for a shared hosting service. These are cheap, and good enough to get started.
I have 5 websites running on the same shared hosting service, for only a few dollars per month, with no major performance issues.
I am using Siteground, which I decided on based on positive reviews and the pricing.
Other popular web hosting solutions include:
Select a plan that fits your needs. If we look at Siteground for example, you could start out with the StartUp plan.
Once you have decided which Plan to go for, you need to pay for the web hosting. I recommend paying for 12 months as it usually gives you a lot of bang for the buck.
Step 3 – Install WordPress
Most hosting providers offer a one-click-install of WordPress. At Siteground, it’s extremely easy to set up.
The installation of WordPress should be finished within a few minutes.
Once the installation is finished, go to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and log in.
Step 4 – Install a theme
The next step is finding a theme.
With WordPress, there are free and there are premium themes.
From the start, I would say that you can use a free theme, but once you have some traction, consider purchasing a premium theme.
To install a theme, go to Appearance -> Themes and press Add New
Step 5 – Publish blog posts!
The last step is to start publishing blog posts!
Don’t think too much, just start publishing. You can always update them later :).
Starting your own blog is a great way to build your personal brand, get feedback on your work, and have fun!
Are you planning on creating a blog? Please leave a comment below!