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As a new blogger, you’ll read how easy it is to set up a blog.

Let’s look at WordPress. Their homepage says:

1. Find a Web Host and get great hosting while supporting WordPress at the same time.
2. Download & Install WordPress with our famous 5-minute installation.
3. Consult the Documentation and become a WordPress expert yourself.

Or, for the ultimate in ease of use, get a free blog on WordPress.com.

Blogger (Google’s free blog), reads similar:

Create a blog in 3 easy steps:

1. Create an account
2. Name your blog
3. Choose a template

Create your blog now

A fee based blog, like TypePad, says the same

TypePad is the premier blogging service, hosting the world’s leading blogs and small business websites. Whether you’re a first-time blogger or a seasoned pro, TypePad can help you create a great-looking blog in minutes

Today’s Lesson

Create a blog in minutes? Minutes? Who are they kidding?

First of all, you need a domain name. Finding an available one, could take hours.

So after registering your domain name, you might have access to a blog in minutes, but that is not the same as blog “creation”.

It’s at that point when you’re sitting in front of your computer screen saying, “now what?”.

I remember when I set up my first blog. I got my domain name from Yahoo. Then I signed up for BlueHost, as my web host..

That was my first mistake.

I couldn’t access my blog, didn’t know why, and then found out I had to “point my browser” (whatever that meant), to BlueHost. Had I signed up for the domain name with BlueHost, I would have alleviated that problem.

It was a frustrating experience, but in the end, it all worked out.

I still look at these “ads” and become concerned. Why? Because for anyone like me, it’s not easy.

Anyone who doesn’t find it easy, should know they’re not alone. If they can’t figure it out right away, doesn’t mean they’re stupid or unequipped to have a blog.

It’s typical advertising. It’s a quick sell.

Today’s Assignment

Did you find it easy to set up your first blog?

Are you still trying how to set up a blog?

What hints or tips can you share with new bloggers that would make it easier for them to set up a new blog?

Do you know of any web hosting companies that will hold a new blogger’s hand?


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Look Who's Talking
  1. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara, get topic!

    As you know I own a web hosting company called eVentureBiz and anyone who hosts their website with our company can get their blog installed for free anytime (including plugins and a template they like). I personally will install it for them.

    Taken straight from our homepage we state:

    We take web hosting a step further to build meaningful relationships with our clients.

    I administer our community forum where customers can reach me with questions and more help (or just email me). And if what I’m saying just isn’t sinking in, I can access client’s accounts (with their permission) and tweak their site for them.

    Throughout my life people have helped me and it is only fair I do the same (notice my avatar – I help you, you help me, we all grow).

    I have some great picture-guided tutorials people may find useful. It shows how to install a blog, forum, secure form, set up your email and more. If it’s ok, here’s the link:
    eVentureBiz Tutorials.

    If anyone wishes to contact me, just use the Contact Us menu to contact John.

    As for finding it easy to set up my first blog – no, it was rough the first time for me, too LOL.

  2. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I don’t have my own domain and just use blogger, so it was relatively easy to begin my blog, but I am still perfecting it 6 months later. The other night I was talking with a group for local small business women a belong to and they were telling me I could get a domain for a small fee and all I had to do was point my blog to the domain. It was at that point my eyes glazed over. I heard the words, but I really don’t understand. I don’t know where to find a domain (they did mention GoDaddy) and pointing my blog to it? Huh? Right now, I just don’t have the energy to figure that out. So, I agree, it’s not hard to sign up, but actually getting up and running and successful is hard and time consuming and takes patience. You need to find someone (or many someones) that are willing to help you. You hear it is free, and it can be, but sometimes you have to fork out a little money to move up the line. I’m not ready to do that, yet, but someday maybe.

    The group also told me that finding a domain can be difficult because some people tend to hoard them. Maybe so they can sell them for a higher price or maybe because they have some plan in the future, but it can take a long time to find a domain that you like.

    As for your question on web hosting companies … huh? Eyes are glazing over again! You’re on your own, there.

    Debbie Yosts last blog post..Fickle Feedburner

  3. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I first set up the blog I have now on a free blogspot. It was silly to choose free really, as I already had accounts with 2 different hosts. But a) I wasn’t sure if I’d like blogging and b) I’d tried to install wordpress and failed several times.

    In the end – I discovered that if I signed up to bluehost, I could have wordpress installed with the flick of a button. This worked well and I would recommend it to any new blogger.

    The only problem is, on high traffic days, I do get some downtime. Also, I have discovered that several other sites are hosted on the same IP as my blog and I worry that one of these low quality sites could affect mine, if they’re banned from Google or something.

    I would really like to switch but I have a few different sites hosted with three different companies, so it would be quite time consuming.

    John seems to offer a great value product and professional service. And if he’s going to install the blog, new bloggers should consider giving him a whirl.

    @ Debbie – re the domain hoarding – some people have thousands. I have a few – mostly impulse buys that I thought I may use at some point. Like many others, I won’t be renewing some of them this year. So if you’re looking for something specific, it may well be available in the future.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..43 Amazing Resources For Writers

  4. Setting up a Blogger account is pretty easy, but I found setting up a self-hosted blog to be pretty hard, and I wondered if the average person would have enough patience to work their way through it. I guess the only advice I can offer is that you have to either be willing to learn, or find someone else to do it.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..More Bang For The Buck: High ROI Opportunities

  5. Barbara –

    I’ve technical background so it was not hard for me. I now am getting constant spam attacks, though. So, I needed to figure out what to do to stop this vicious attack. I’m not a popular blogger so it amazes me as to why someone targets me on a daily basis.

    Is anyone having similar issues?

    Shilpan

    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..3 Guiding Principles to Find a Life Long Purpose

  6. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    i think if you just want a blog, then it is very easy to set it up. it is that simple, especially with blogger. however as you grow and learn more, you might realize that you need and want more = own domain name, your own hosting, you want control. for people who don’t want to be bothered with the behind the scene workings, some of these programs are good for them. if you don’t want to pay for a domain name or even hosting, then you’re not totally without something. i don’t think it’s a scam, i think it all depends on what you’re looking for and many times people don’t know right off the bat

    Did you find it easy to set up your first blog? yes

    Are you still trying how to set up a blog? no

    What hints or tips can you share with new bloggers that would make it easier for them to set up a new blog? read. read. read. then decide.

    Do you know of any web hosting companies that will hold a new blogger’s hand? no, but i am a fan of blue host, i use them.

    Naturals last blog post..What’s In Your Wallet?

  7. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    Where were you when I was setting up my blogs?

    I like how you are paying it forward with your company, making it easier for those of us who are technologically challenged. I’ve looked at what you’re offering and it’s a complete package.

    Much success!

    Hi Debbie,

    Yeah! “Point your browser” will get us every time. 🙄

    Domain names do get bought up, and it can make for finding a good one difficult. The sale of domain names is actually big business.

    When you’re ready, John’s company would be a good one to consider.

    Hi Catherine,

    Like you, I use the Fastastico service BlueHost offers to upload WordPress. I remember trying to do it myself, and I was completely in the dark. It failed.

    The shared IPs is an issue, however, it hasn’t caused a problem for me yet. I do remember you saying though that some that share yours aren’t the best.

    I can see where switching multiple domains could be a pain, especially if they “expire” at different times. (and you’ve paid for a year’s service)

    Hi Hunter,

    That’s good advice “be willing to learn”. With blog addons and upgrades changing so fast, it almost becomes essential to force oneself to learn it, which is not always easy.

    Hi Shilpan,

    Re: Spam. I have seen a huge increase recently. I’m getting over 100 a day. Fortunately Askimet is catching them.

    I don’t think the spammers care if you’re big or small, they’re just looking for clicks to generate revenue.

    Hi Natural,

    Now I know why I call you 4.0 point. Not only do you complete each “assignment”, you are also a whiz when it comes to blogs and websites. 🙂

    I agree, reading up on blogs is so important prior to starting one. As easy as it may be to click on Blogger and get a blog, you then need to know what to do with it once you have it.

  8. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I made all those mistakes! But I didn’t really know what a blog was, let alone what it would entail.

    But I suppose you have to start somewhere with anything. I did like the 1-2-3 of blogger to set one up.

    And those early decisions could have cost me if I was actually looking at it from an income/business viewpoint. Which I suppose sub-consciously I was.

    I must post something – my output has declined! Although it’s the opposite with the “day-job” blog at the moment!

    Ian Dennys last blog post..Service Targets – 7th May 2008

  9. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ian,

    You do bring up a great point.

    The 1-2-3 blogs are great for someone who just wants a blog. These would be good for family “watering holes”, sharing photos, etc, and…you don’t have to go public. But, if you was to make a future (of some sort) with a blog, it then becomes vital that you look at all of your options.

    As with most things in life, we do get what we pay for. i.e. free is not always the best route.

  10. The best advice I ever heard was from Skellie. She says make sure you have written 5 articles and have 20-30 more ideas for articles before you even think about getting a domain name. And don’t launch your blog to the world until you have at least 5 articles published on it.

    @Shilpan – you sure are everywhere for a blogger who’s not popular! Askimet picks up all the spam that I get at the moment.

    David | beplayfuls last blog post..Catalysts of Creativity

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi David,

    That is fantastic advice.

    As with anything, it’s important to have a plan.

  12. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara – thanks for the recommendation. This is definitely a post and comment section for me. Seeing people overcome life’s little bumps in the road is a great feeling and even better if I had a hand in helping.

    Where was I when you started blogging? Probably changing a poopy diaper!

    @Cath Lawson – I have a blog article in the works about maximizing the efficiency of your website/blog that you might find somewhat informative – especially for high traffic days. The other options you have which I’m sure you know of is either going with a semi or fully dedicated server. This can be a bit more expensive, though.

    On your shared hosting account, you’re probably only alloted somewhere between 4%-10% cpu time – this is probably what part of your problem is. With a semi dedicated server, you’d get more like 25%.

    @Debbie – yes, when you’re pointing your web address hosted with one company to a web hosting account hosted with another company, there’s an extra step or two involved there.

    For now, it’s just important to first understand that there are 2 things hosted when it comes to having a website: your domain name and your files.

    You can think of your files being hosted like a hard disk you store all your files on. Then when you *point* your web address to your stored files, your website becomes visible.

    @Shilpan – Askiment is your first plugin you must have. Second, install a plugin called Bad Behavior – it stops spam before it even hits Askiment.

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for coming back and sharing more information with us. Your input has added tons of value and will hopefully help those who have questions.

    You mentioned to me that you have a forum on your blog. Do you address all of these issues on there as well? If so, that may become a favorite hang out for me.

  14. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Well I have a forum on my website, not necessarily my blog, but yes, I’m open to any chat, questions, remarks, rants, smack in the head (oh, wait, not that one!).

    It currently only has a few members, but like blogging, you gotta start somewhere. I use my forum to post on topics that has already been blogged about 10 million times (like seo, wordpress stuff, the P’s of marketing, etc.).

    I don’t need to frustrate blog readers with the same content written over and over again; however, every day someone new comes online and needs to know this stuff – so I stick it all in there and they can ask away.

    If there’s a topic that requires a new forum spot, I’ll just create it.

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  15. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks John,

    I’ll come by and check it out. Maybe I can find something to rant about. hehe

  16. Barbara, since I’ve been doing web development & design for awhile, setting up the blog was easy.

    But, the customizing took many, many hours. Getting the right theme, getting it to work across all browsers, getting the right plugins, all of it took a lot of time and effort.

    Now that I’ve setup a handful of blogs on WordPress, each install gets quicker and easier.

    sterling | bizlifts last blog post..Magento – Revolutionary eCommerce for Small Biz

  17. Wendi KellyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I am on a free wordpress blog and I have about one toe in the water about to jump off into self-hosting. The only reason I am getting enough courage to do sois because the Men with Pens have been awesome about talking to me about all the details that it takes and they will be helping me. If I had to do it by myself, I think I would never have the courage. Honestly twitter is to complicated for me!

    This is a great topic and I am very interested in what everyone else has to say.

    Wendi Kellys last blog post..Listening With Ears Wide Open

  18. Hahaha I clicked and thought “Oh My GOODNESS! The poor new bloggers!”

    And you’re right!

    It IS a scam

    are you kidding me?! It took me FOREVER to set InMyHeels up. For.Ev.Er.

    In fact, when loved ones say “ooh JEMi will you teach me how to set up a new blog – they say it can be done in minutes” all I want to do is sigh 🙂

    JEMi | Tips for Life, Love, Yous last blog post..What Keeps YOU Young?: An InMyHeels/Lipton FUJI Crosstown Bike Giveaway!!!

  19. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    @JEMi – it really is made out to be much easier than it is, isn’t it?

    @Wendi – those MwP guys are good guys.

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  20. Magic… I hear our name… and I come…

    No. Setting up a self-hosted blog is not that easy. Free options like WordPress.com and Blogger.com sincerely SUCK from a business point of view. Sorry, but they do. How can anyone take you seriously if you can’t take your blog seriously?

    And yet… self-hosting. Design. Complicated. Scary. Difficult.

    No. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are people who care and who want to help the small guy get ahead without scamming and gouging. There are people who believe in the lone person who needs help.

    1 – John Hoff. He cares.
    2 – Cath Lawson. She cares.
    3 – Wendi Kelly. She cares.
    4 – The Men with Pens. We care.

    Most of our focus is on helping people do better business online so they don’t get screwed. We hold hands. We give free advice. We answer our emails. We help. We make sure that people ALWAYS have support and have a place to go to when they have a question.

    This is what community is. We all make sure nothing is scary. Because it isn’t scary when you’re empowered and when someone takes the time to make sure you understand and are ready to fly.

    James Chartrand – Men with Penss last blog post..A Tale of Customer Service

  21. John HunterNo Gravatar says:

    Yes I setup my first blog in minutes using blogger. It was very easy – I didn’t get a domain just for that blog. After about 6 months then I decided I wanted to use WordPress and get domain for blogs. Working with WordPress and a web host was not nearly as easy but just to get things up and running the total time was probably a few hours.

    I really do wish upgrading wordpress was easier – though it looks like they may finally have such a solution in place (automated upgrading self hosted blogs).

    John Hunters last blog post..Continued Credit Card Company Customer Dis-Service

  22. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    @John Hunter – nice name! 😉

    I think there is something to be said that if someone wishes to use a free blog, they should use WordPress. Two reasons in my eyes:

    1) Blogger’s user comments process is like me trying to figure out how to build a space shuttle.

    2) When you do plan to upgrade to your own domain, you most likely will want to use WordPress, so it’s best to already know how to use it.

    That automatic upgrade plugin WordPress has is
    here
    .

    I use it and it’s easy.

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sterling,

    Knowledge is key, isn’t it? And practice makes perfect (most of the time).

    It’s a comfort to know that even you get miffed with customizing, adding plugins, etc. Now I don’t feel so bad. Thanks for that.

    Hi Wendi,

    How’s my NBOTW doing?

    That’s exciting that you are going to self hosting. It can be challenging, but you’re surrounded by many who are willing to help. As you found out from Men With Pens, all it takes is to “raise your hand”, and ask.

    Hi JEMi,

    You make me laugh with your “expressions”. I can just hear you saying that…For.Ev.Er. (And I’ve never heard you talk. 🙂 )d

    Hi James,

    Welcome to my neck of the woods and the community here at BWAB. I’ve been on your blog, and have seen your work on Catherine’s and Hunter’s blogs… Very impressive!

    Let me add….

    5- Barbara Swafford @ Blogging Without A Blog – She Cares

    It is all about community, isn’t it? Extending a hand, and helping each other.

    Re: the free blogs. For a business they have many downfalls, but for those starting out, they do offer a free alternative. Having said that, there’s much more to blogging than just “signing up”, and I hate that people are mislead into thinking “it’s a cake walk”.

    Hi John Hunter,

    Welcome to BWAB’s community of bloggers.

    Upgrading WordPress still intimidates me. I wait until Fastastico has the update, unfortunately WordPress updates their updates quite frequently, and Fantastico lags behind.

    I, too, heard about the automated updating. That would be awesome.

    Hi John Hoff,

    I agree with you on the commenting process of Blogger blogs. There’s so much room for improvement, but I toil through it as many of my favorite bloggers use Blogger.

    I didn’t know the upgrade was a plugin. Thank you for sharing the link. You’re good. 🙂

  24. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    I’m just waiting for a wordpress plugin that will make my coffee for me!

    If anyone has that link send it my way, please.

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John Hoff,

    I can lead you to a “buy me a beer (or coffee) plugin. It’s used in place of a donate page/button.

    It might not make your coffee, but could make you a few coins.

    (It’s in my plugin “category”…. if you’re interested)

  26. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    This was the most comforting thing I’ve heard in a long time! – “Anyone who doesn’t find it easy, should know they’re not alone. If they can’t figure it out right away, doesn’t mean they’re stupid or unequipped to have a blog.” 🙂 If anyone wants to read more about my first experiences they can see my welcome post to my new blog. It was even harder, but in different ways.

    What hints or tips can you share with new bloggers that would make it easier for them to set up a new blog?

    My answer to that is marry a computer nerd like I did. 🙂 (BTW he likes being called a nerd.:) )

    Jennifers last blog post..Drumroll, please……..

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Does he have a brother? Just kidding. I’m happily married. 🙂

    Now I’m curious. I’m headed over to read your welcome post.

  28. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    @Jennifer – nice blog!

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  29. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I found you over at Harmony’s and thought I’d stop in and pay you a visit.

    This topic, Ha! Near and dear to my heart. Well, let me tell you, setting up my site on WordPress on my own domain, was one of the hardest things I have ever done! I knew nothing about FTP and all of that jazz. I even had the WP set up a basic site because I didn’t get how to do it.

    It took me TWO weeks to get everything up and running. And then I had to figure out how to install all the plugins. Man, it just burned me out.

    I wrote a complete tutorial on it, too. It isn’t a prominent post, in fact it was the first one I did on my WP site. I wanted to share it with everyone because I wanted to go through it step by step, and this information is hard to find on the Net, or even in books. I even bought WP for Dummies.

    But yeah, it isn’t easy. Maybe for techies, so they think way above most people regarding this information.

    Thanks for this.

    Ellen

    Ellen Wilsons last blog post..With Love from the Louvre

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ellen,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    I think you and I walked in the same shoes. Like you, I had no clue was FTP was or how it worked. Plugins? Yes, that was another one. 🙂

    I like the fact you wrote a tutorial. I’ll be over to come check it out and read more of your blog.

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Hope to see you again soon.

  31. Blogging? Easy?

    Hahaha. Funny. Practically nothing is easy in life.

    Blogging Tips And Trickss last blog post..An Easy Free Backlink With Your Site’s Favicon

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Blogging Tips and Tricks,

    It’s great to see you here at BWAB!

    Glad to see you feel the same way.

    I’m off to check out your blog.

  33. I’m a noob too. now I used my own domain (before it I use blogger). I think installing WP on my own hosting is better than must be host on their hosting even if its free.

    Drunken Dragon’s last blog post..WordPress 2.6 Got Hacked

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Drunken Dragon,

    Like you I prefer my own host. It does cost money, but has more advantages.

  35. KarinaNo Gravatar says:

    Oh goodness, it took me days to set my blog up just right. And then, just as I published my About Me page, everything was gone. All my posts to that date, all my tweaks, everything. It was so frustrating I wanted to just be done with the whole blogging thing right then and there. I tried contacting wordpress and hostgator, I posted on different forums asking for help, but after a couple of days of trying to get everything back, it just wasn’t happening. So, I did it all over again, from the start. It was frustrating, but I really wanted to blog, so what was I going to do?

    In any case, it is definitely not as easy as people make it out to be, but I think it’s worth it. 🙂
    .-= Check out Karina´s awesome post: Putting your life into perspective. =-.