The excitement of starting a blog combined with the lack of knowledge means that you have to find some place to start. Choosing where your domain will be hosted is one thing to do. Choosing what you want it to be called is another. Your site’s name will be your brand identity so chose wisely.
Let’s start with the hard part — your brand. This is what your identity will be going forward. It should be simple but reflect what you want your blog to embody. It should fit the aesthetic you want to show — name, design, colors, your logo. It needs to be memorable too. You also don’t want it so generic that people don’t understand what it is you’re writing about . Your concept should be clear to your readers. This will help you in the future with your marketing strategy.
Gather lots of thoughts. Type them out. Start with what you want your site to be called. See how easy or hard it is to type. If it is easy for the fingers to type into the browser, then your readers will find it easier to remember and it won’t be a chore to visit your site or to tell others about it. Here is an example. You wouldn’t want to type “www.hometownchickenrecipes.com” every time to visit a site would you? It’s much easier to type and remember “www.htchicken.com”. You can name your site with a longer version, but make the domain name easy to remember and type. Think “Southwest Airlines”; their domain is simply “southwest.com”.
Once you get a few ideas down, test them out. Ask friends, co-workers, and family what they think. One or two will really resonate with them so it’ll make it easier to narrow down. Now you just have to pick one out that you like best! When I started developing Oinkcooking it started out as two separate words; Oink Cooking. As I started writing more, making social media accounts, and talking more about it, it organically became one single word. Even when building the header to the site, it looked better as one word. Why am I telling you this? So that you realize that you should be flexible and let your site evolve organically. What I initially intended my brand to be is only a small bit of what Oinkcooking is now. It has changed through the process and become something better than I imagined. That happened because I left it open for changes. Be open to change.
Now you’ve got the brand figured out, it’s time to decide where you’re going to have your site hosted.
WordPress vs. Blogger
I initially planned to start Oinkcooking on Blogger. It is free. It is simple to set up. It’s free! I actually had it there, set up and designed. If you Google “oinkcooking” you’ll still see a link to it although it will take you to a dead page. Why did I change? A knowledgeable friend gave me a great piece of wisdom. When I was letting her check out the design on Blogger, I said, “Once Oinkcooking takes off and gets more readership, then I’ll invest and move over to WordPress.” She told me, “If you do that, you’ll lose all your clout with Google and other search engines. You’ll lose all your rankings and practically have to start from scratch once you get a domain of your own.”
That tidbit really spoke to me. OK, it screamed at me. What did it say? It said, “If you really want this, if you really want to succeed at this and make it go somewhere, then you have to do it right from the beginning. No cutting corners!” I Immediately joined WordPress and started researching hosting companies. There are a lot out there. WordPress recommends some. Bloggers recommend some. Articles you’ll find will recommend some. I don’t think there’s much of a wrong answer, just preference. I chose Bluehost to host this site. They had a lot of good options that I liked that allowed your site to grow. Packages that would seamlessly upgrade as you need more bandwidth. I can’t say I’ve had a problem with them at this point, 5 months in. I highly recommend them. Click the banner below to check out if Bluehost might work for your needs.
Now what? You’ve got your ideas on what to blog about. You’ve chosen your site name and now have a hosted page. It’s time to design your blog and show who you are as a brand!