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So you want to start Blogging with WordPress!

wplogo1I decided to write this article after someone on FaceBook asked me to give them a hand with WordPress; it was a request from someone in business who had never got into Blogging but had an interest in WordPress. Truth be told I was a bit flattered because I am not an expert by any means, but then I thought to myself “I used to be this person” and let’s face it everyone has to start somewhere. Unfortunately I just don’t have the time to take someone by the hand and guide them step by step, but what I will do is explain as best I can how I started out and where I am today.

New Beginnings

When I first started online I had no intention of blogging what so ever, I was just feeling my way around, seeing what was on offer. Initially I started out with Jimdo a small German web company that had a very simple concept to deliver a website that was easy to setup and that suited me right down to the ground. My first website domain was called Maxhomebits and it was my first foray into Internet Marketing.

I stuck with Jimdo for about a year learning all I could from the experts in blogging and marketing, you know what it’s like, just soaking up everything I could find. While I was with Jimdo I signed up to BlogSpot and later on with Wordpress.com to get my first taste of blogging. These services suited me at the time because I was new to blogging and it was a great way to gently introduce myself and expand into more subjects.

Another aspect about these free blogging services is you can pretty much make as many mistakes as you want without your site going down, well nearly!  It’s part of the learning process; unless you have someone to take you by the hand then you just have to research and learn for yourself. I am a great believer in researching and studying to better myself, and it’s all out there folks.

Eventually I tired of Jimdo mainly because of its constraints with hosting; I wanted to go self hosted and have complete control over everything. So I terminated Jimdo and setup shop with Hostgator and have never looked back since.

The Power of WordPress (Self Hosted)

Installing a WordPress blog for the first time was an inspiration to me; I just couldn’t believe how easy it was. Of course Hostgator like many hosting companies make the process so easy with Fantastico automatic install. This application handle’s all kinds of open source scripts and installs a raft of publishing platforms, you can even set up public or private forums, it really is an amazing script and without it I would have struggled. My first self hosted WordPress Blog was called Maxengage which is now an e-commerce site for the UK market, I can tell you this domain name went through so many changes and I even considered trashing it but I am glad I didn’t.

Getting to grips with self hosted WordPress

As with anything in life that you make mistakes and I made plenty, but that’s all part of it, isn’t it! The biggest lesson I learned was to backup my data bases and backup frequently, I found out the hard way that as much as Hosting Companies preach about reliability they DO GO DOWN, and the consequences can be disastrous if you haven’t backed up your data bases. Thankfully WordPress gives you many options through plugins that can automatically backup your blog on a scheduled basis.

Rinse and Repeat

Once I had got to grips with setting up my first WordPress Blog I just repeated the process. I went through many WordPress Themes, some good some bad, I have now settled on Atahualpa which is for me the best FREE WordPress theme on the market if nothing else but for sheer diversity in editing and layout options. Another lesson I learned was to be as unique as possible with my blogs, I might not quite be there yet but getting better all the time. It seems to be header graphics and design that I struggle with at the moment, and since designers are pricy I have to muddle on with my own creations using graphics editors like Paint.net and Gimp.

Ongoing Quest

Today my little blog network has grown to around 50 blogs and their all WordPress self hosted. Creating a network of WordPress blogs has its own problems and needs constant attention on my time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The challenge for me as an individual is to maintain my network and find ways to streamline the daily process of marketing and earning a living online. I make use of many tools to help me on that journey and this is a message to all the developers especially WordPress, “Keep it coming” and Thank you all for your hard work and devotion.

What best describes your current situation?

If you are looking for a quick fix solution for setting up a blog then you will have to buy your way to success. Unless you’re an expert you will have to find your own way, that being said there are countless forums with like minded people that you can talk to.

One thing to remember: There will undoubtedly be disasters along the way and you will make mistakes but you will get better. And last but not least ENJOY YOURSELF

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