BECOME A BLOGGER: FREE BLOG SITES VERSUS SELF HOSTED

[tps_header]Blogger Basics - How to choose between being self hosted or blogging on a free blog site. Blogging tips from GnomeAngel.com[/tps_header]

The fundamental feature of being a blogger is to have a blog. (Uh der!) But how do you get a blog started?

The first thing to do is; don’t panic. (Good advice that’s applicable in so many situations!) Don’t let all the techie speak get you in a spin, if you can microwave popcorn you can start your own blog.

I’m going to walk you through the options available, demystify the technical and give you some helpful links for further reading.

It’s time to become a blogger!

Hopefully you’ve asked yourself the 2 questions you need to have answers to before you start a blog. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about take a quick minute to go back and have a look at this post.)

Got your answers? Awesome.

While you’re in the thinking mood I’m going to drop the hardest question I know on you…

What are you going to call your blog?

Now, this is a great example of do what I say, not what I do.

When I started my online life back in 2002 on LiveJournal I just went with the handle I’d been using in IRC (did I just make your eye twitch with all the nerd speak?). Basically I used the nickname I’d been using to chat (hide behind) online with.

It seemed like an easy thing to do and at the time I didn’t think much past the 2 minutes it was taking me to sign up to LiveJournal.

Now, all these years later (lets not count how many years exactly!) I wish I’d given it a tad more thought. Even when I registered my domain in 2008 I didn’t think much past moving my online journal to my own space.

There’s been lots of times (an embarrassing amount of time has been spent debating my online name) when I’ve wished for the ability to change my blog name, and in January 2014 I came really close to ditching GnomeAngel and going with something else that I felt was more fitting.

In the end I stuck with it because it’s become part of who I am (to the point where I have friends who only ever call me gnome).

The main problem with my blog name is that it really doesn’t tell you anything about me (other than I’m no angel and I have a thing for gnomes) or the niche I write in. This has been both handy (I’m prone to change my niche at a moments whim) and a bit of marketing nightmare.

So, in an effort to help you learn from my impulsiveness I’ve collated some handy reading on the topic of naming your blog:

My advice: At the end of the day you just have to go with something that you’re not going to cringe when you say it to a complete stranger and then own it, own it, own it.

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10 Comments

  1. leanne October 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    great post Angie – full of great advice – thanks 🙂

  2. Leah October 9, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Feedly only showed the first page of this post, so I was all set to tell you the story of when I had to introduce myself to about 30 people as ‘warthog’ after an ill advised name choice. But then I discovered the rest of your post… And it was great.

    1. GnomeAngel October 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Yes, sorry about that – for some reason the page aggregation doesn’t work as a feed. Works on bloglovin’ but everything else is cactus. Trying to find a fix for it. (It’s on my to-do list.) Will need you to elaborate on the “warthog” incident please. 🙂

  3. Bendigo Lioness October 9, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Hi Sweet, great article thank you. I started up a blog just a few months ago, link above

    1. GnomeAngel October 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Hello! Thanks for the link – have been over and checked it out and added you to my bloglovin’ feed so I can keep up with all your amazingness.

  4. Tattooed Mummy October 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    having had a read of this you’ve half convinced me I need to move to self hosted and use wordpress but I don’t want to lose all my work and stats so I don’t know if it’s worth it. hmmm

    1. GnomeAngel October 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Hello! You can import really simply from blogger to wordpress once you’ve made the move. Not all your formatting may come across, and some images may not be transferred, but the content will come across. If you’re using google analytics (and if you’re not you should be 🙂 ) you won’t loose your stats – you just put the same code you have on your blogger blog into your wordpress blog. The brilliant thing about wordpress is there’s millions of tutorials (and video tutorials at that) available that can help you with almost anything and when that fails there’s a tonne of groups/forums that can help too. Not to mention if you put a call out on twitter for help heaps of people will volunteer advice and fixes. The internet is a most wonderful place for helping. 🙂

  5. Zehrina October 8, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Angie that was great,real lesson about blogging. Just few days ago I swapt from Blogger to WordPress. So much easier than Blogger. Or maybe I was problem,what ever I tried to do it didn’t work…hm. Then I read and compere blogs and decided to switch to WordPress. It is few days now that I’m using new blog and still have things to organise but I’m happy.
    Thanks Angie:)

    1. GnomeAngel October 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Zehrina – I’m so glad there was useful information in this post for you. I hope you love using wordpress as much as I do, it’s so great being able to customise and tweak. I loose hours playing with the site. Let me know if you need any help with anything, happy to help where I can. 🙂