Introduction

I have been building many websites, starting in 1996.

I started this blog in 2010 under danielclasson.com, but changed it to danielengberg.com last year, because of my marriage.

During the years I have received a lot of questions from people in the industry regarding how to start a blog.

Why it is important for you to have a blog

For me, the main reasons for starting a blog include:

  • Personal branding
  • Information keeping
  • Learning
  • Receive feedback on your work
  • Sharing with the community

Personal branding

In today’s gig economy, personal branding is crucial. The best way to stand out is by having a strong personal presence.

Apart from having a blog, I highly advise leveraging the following social channels:

Information keeping

I started out my blog in 2010 as a way of keeping notes. I thought instead of keeping the notes to myself in a Word file or similar, I could share what I learned with others.

Learning

Blogging is like being a teacher, as you will need to verify that what you are saying is true. Sometimes, however, you are wrong and someone might point it out :). It’s important to not be intimidated by this.

Sharing with the community

I think most people would agree that working in IT, or in any other field, Google is your friend.

Going to a reputable source such as Microsoft is always good, but if you want to have real-world examples, your best bet is finding it on a community site.

Instead of just consuming other people’s content, position yourself as an expert within your field.

My tips for blogging

My tips for blogging:

  • Embrace the imposter syndrome
  • Be consistent

Embrace the imposter syndrome

The imposter syndrome is a state which often occurs to people skilled in what they do.

If this affects you, you may feel that you are an imposter and that someone will call you out as a fraud.

I don’t think this ever goes away, but it’s important to continue carrying on.

Be consistent

This has been my main issue during the years, being consistent.

What differentiates the top bloggers within any field is the consistency of publishing new posts and updating old ones.

5 easy steps to starting your own IT blog (or any other niche)

Ok, so now you have decided to start your own blog. What now?

These are the steps for setting up a blog, start-to-finish:

  1. Register a domain name
  2. Select a web host
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Install a theme
  5. Publish blog posts!

Step 1 – Register a domain name

This is the first step, picking a domain name.

Here are my recommendations for picking a domain name:

  • Do not include a product name in the domain name
  • Use your real name if possible
  • Keep it short

You can register a domain name at Misshosting, Bluehost, or any other web hosting provider.

Do not include a product in the domain name

The reason for not having a product name in the domain name is that products may change names. And yes, my domain is a very poor example, since I changed my name :).

Use your real name if possible

If you are not building a business, but a personal brand, use your real name.

Keep it short

Keep your domain name as short as possible.

Step 2 – Select a web host

Finding a web host can be quite an ordeal.

If you are starting out, I would recommend going for a shared hosting service. These are cheap, and good enough to get started.

I have 5 websites running on the same shared hosting service, for only a few dollars per month, with no major performance issues.

I am using Misshosting, which I decided on based on positive reviews and the pricing.

Other popular web hosting solutions include:

Another popular web hosting service is Bluehost.

Select a plan that fits your needs. If we look at Misshosting for example, you could start out with the Basic plan.

Misshosting - Web hosting plans

Step 3 – Install WordPress

Most web hosting companies, such as Misshosting, or Bluehost provide a login feature called cPanel. In cPanel there should be a one-click-installation for WordPress.

At Misshosting, it is super simple to install WordPress:

The installation of WordPress should be finished within a few minutes.

Once the installation is finished, go to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and log in.

Step 4 – Install a theme

The next step is finding a theme.

With WordPress, there are free and there are premium themes.

From the start, I would say that you can use a free theme, but once you have some traction, consider purchasing a premium theme.

My recommendation as far as premium WordPress themes go is the Newspaper theme.

To install a theme, go to Appearance -> Themes and press Add New

Step 5 – Publish blog posts!

The last step is to start publishing blog posts!

Don’t think too much, just start publishing. You can always update them later :).

Summary

Starting your own blog is a great way to build your personal brand, get feedback on your work, and have fun!

Are you planning on creating a blog? Please leave a comment below!

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