Creating your own blog is no big deal anymore. All you need is some time at hand to think about a topic that you want to write about. I found out that it works best with topics that you are passionate about.
You can of course write about other topics but it is in my opinion much harder to output regular articles in a niche that you do not like or know that much about. I'm also only talking about blogs that focus on textual contents, not about video, audio or image blogs.
Here is a short list of things that you need to start writing your first articles:
I favor a domain name over a free sub-domain or virtual solution because it simply looks professional.I suggest you take a look at hosting solutions that offer domain names as well if you have no intention to expand the amount of websites in the future. It is easier to maintain and everything is setup the way it should be this way.
A good website with lots of information and user reviews about various webhosts is web hosting reviews. Most new users fall in the trap and rent a hosting package that is way to big for the kind of site they want to run. A blog does not need much space even if you add the occasional screenshot to your articles. You probably do not need 60GB of space, 1000 pop3 email accounts and the like. Some trusted companies are Hostgator or Polurnet. Every shared account that is offered at both hosters is able to run WordPress without problems.
You should still compare the offers with the minimum requirements of WordPress just to be sure everything will work out fine (PHP version 4.3 or greater, MySQL version 4.1.2 or greater at the time of writing, check the link above).
It is normally no problem to start with a minimum account and upgrade the account to the next level if traffic to your site reaches the threshold of the current account. Take a look at bandwidth for example: About 10000 visitors come every day to my website and I use about 1-2GB per day in traffic. It normally takes a long time to get there but you should be prepared.
Disk Space itself is not a matter at all. My site is about 1 and 1/2 years old and I'm using not more than 25 megabytes of space. Lots of high quality images would make a difference though. If you want to create a blog with many images (photoblog for instance) you should consider this and get more disk space.
My advise for finding a good host would be to read user reviews on various websites and Google groups for instance. It is not a good sign if you see many bad posts about a company.
I want to close part 1 of how to create your own blog with domain by adding a few thoughts about the domain name itself. People are used to .com, .net and .org domain names. I suggest you use one of those extensions unless you want to publish for a specific country, in which case you may want to use a country code domain instead.
Every web hoster offers a domain search engine. You enter a possible domain name and it displays if the domain name can be used or not. The most obvious ones are taken most of the time, sorry no business.com for you today.
A good domain name would be as short as possible but at the same time descriptive. The only other possibility I see is by branding a domain name that has nothing to do with the subject you are writing about. Google or Yahoo anyone? Using about 5-12 chars in a domain name is a good idea. If it gets too long users will have troubles remembering it and it is harder to brand the name.
You should calculate about 40-50$ per year for one domain name and hosting. It is absolutely possible to make that amount of money in no time by using various means of advertising on your website. It probably takes some time but if you are passionate enough it will pay off in the long run.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.