What was surprising about creating a first blog?

What did I learn while trying to get this blog setup?

  • Installation is trivial, but there are lots of decisions to be made after that.
  • There’s a lot of good reference material, but at some point you’ve got to get started.
  • I’m definitely forgetting something…

Pretty much there’s a lot you can do out there, too much if you want to be certain you’re making a good decision. Definitely, look at some of the material you find, you’ll quickly learn a lot that’ll help you understand and make content. At some point though, you have to start writing.

Easy to do, but lots of decisions

Hosting services

One of the first things to do is to find what you’ll be blogging from. It appears WordPress is the de facto standard for blog content management systems. For the web hosting, you can use free services, but if you’re hoping for some professional aspirations, self-hosted platforms that host your blog from a shared server and include purchasing your own domain are universally considered a good choice. I found HostingAdvice.com had a good list, but you’ll find a lot of information and recommendations. Be careful of upsells, you’ll need to decide whether each one is actually useful for you or not.

Domain name

This is an easy paralysis point. If you plan on attaching your identity to the blog name, then you should ensure that the name is also free on social networking. KnowEm can quickly tell you if the name is taken on other networks. For this blog, rakkatama was already taken on other networks, but I didn’t know this until after I set everything up.

WordPress Theme

From here it gets somewhat easier because it’s easier to backtrack on. Changing hosting services and domain names can be done with transfers, so it’s not impossible, I hope. As of this writing, I’m using the Decode theme, but changing shouldn’t be too terrible except for some formatting changes that might need to be required on old posts

What to write about?

The hard part. My opinion is to start small. I don’t actually find the idea of writing particularly pleasant. However, like many things that are unpleasant, it’s good for you. Start small. “Things I Learned” (til) are a good way to start writing short helpful learnings.

Lots of Reference Material

After the hosting services rankings, I read through the First Site Guide How to Start a Blog. Many hosting services will also have documentation and links to how to get started with setting up their services (email, installation of products like WordPress, etc.) and setting up WordPress.

I’m definitely forgetting something

I am definitely forgetting things a first blogger needs to do. I assume it’ll hit me in the next few weeks or months. They might be annoying, but hopefully, they won’t be irrecoverable.

So, this is what stuck with me as I’ve been setting this up. I’d be curious to know if your thought processes and sticking points were different.

Mistakes will be made. I just have to hit the Publish button.

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