You’re ready to begin writing and publishing the contents of your book on the Internet. First, you must create a website where your book will “live.” Don’t worry. You don’t need an actual website. All you need is a blog. Blogs serve as actual websites. Better yet, they are free and easy.
A blog functions as a system for managing your content. It’s an easy way to have control over your website. You can login and add posts, pages, images, videos, and audio on your own without the need to pay a webmaster.
Even a technical delinquent like me can create a blog. I’ve had free (hosted) blogs both on Blogger.com and on WordPress.com, and I created these blogs myself. If I can do it, anyone can do it. More free blogging companies exist, such as typepad.com; check them out as well, if you like. WordPress and Blogger are the most popular.
I prefer WordPress.com, although some people find it harder to use. In my experience, it offers more options and gives you more exposure. I immediately had more traffic to my blog when I switched to WordPress.com from Blogger.com, and I could actually find my blog when I searched for it on Google. I couldn’t find my Blogger.com blog when I searched for it, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since Blogger.com is part of Google.
I also have had a self-hosted blog with WordPress.org, which was set up for me by my webmaster. Recently she converted all my blogs to self-hosted blogs. It’s great to start out with self-hosted blogs if possible, but, if you can’t, the free hosted ones work well until you’re ready to convert. Self-hosted blogs offer you even more options and visibility.
If you don’t understand the difference between WordPress.com free hosted blogs and WordPress.org self-hosted blogs, let me explain a bit further. WordPress.com hosts your blog—almost like a hosting company hosts your website. They run the entire site, which houses blogs from lots and lots of people. You are in control of the content, but your site resides at the WordPress location. All your traffic goes to that location.
WordPress.org does not host your blog; you must self-host it on your own website, which is gets its hosting service from a company of your choice, such as GoDaddy.com or HostGator.com. Your blog lives at your URL.
If you don’t know anything about hosting or about html codes (and you don’t want to learn), you may want to stick with a free blog. If you are willing to learn these things or can afford a webmaster to set up a self-hosted blog for you, choose a hosted blog. You won’t be sorry.
The process of setting up a free hosted blog is fairly self-explanatory. However, I suggest if you are having trouble that you hire my webmaster, www.askmepc.com. She offers on-line tutorials for her clients.
I am not going to go into all the nitty-gritty details of blog construction here. You can find that information almost anywhere. Plus, the blog sites will lead your through the process fairly effortlessly. However, there are several steps to setting up your blog I will discuss.
The first one doesn’t need much explanation: domain name. We’ll discuss this tomorrow.