The software used to manage your blog is called a content management system (CMS) or a blogging platform or website platform. In the early days of the web, there were clear distinctions between the software used to manage a blog and the software used to manage an entire website. Those distinctions have disappeared over the years so that now, blogging software and website software are the same.


The SmallBusiness.com Guide to Starting a Blog is sponsored and provided by GoDaddy.

Introduction

  1. Name your blog and register its domain name (web address).
  2. Choose a blog platform.
  3. Choose a web host.
  4. Connect your domain name to your blog.
  5. Design your blog.
  6. Publish your first post.
  7. Promote that post and publish your second post, etc.

Download a Free eBook: 25 Experts Weigh in on Building a Successful WordPress Blog


Choosing a Platform or Content Management System

There are many different brands of blog platforms, but the most popular, by far, is WordPress, an open-source software. Depending on the way it is measured, WordPress is used by up to 60 percent of websites.

Other platforms| Joomla, Drupal, Blogger (Google), Magento, TYPO3, Bitrix, PrestaShop, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and more


Why use the paid version of WordPress?

Free versions of WordPress, an open-source platform, are available, but remember: You get what you pay for. A paid version is not too expensive, and it probably includes some features you’ll need soon. The smartest thing to do is to invest a few dollars each month on using a paid theme hosted on a secure and reputable hosting platform like GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress solution (more on website hosting in Step 3).

 

The benefits of using WordPress themes, whether paid or free

  • You can customize your blog by changing the background color with a click.
  • You aren’t limited to just a few design themes and styles.
  • WordPress offers hundreds of free themes and premium themes so you can fashion your blog exactly the way you want.
  • WordPress offers community support in the form of forums and tutorials where you can get free how-to guides.
  • The ability to easily and inexpensively add e-commerce capabilities to your blog using the WooCommerce plugin.

Need more help?

GoDaddy, the sponsor and provider of this guide, always has friendly helpers standing by who can chat online or talk on the phone 24/7 at: (480) 505-8877.


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Step 3 | Choose a blog host

The contents of this guide were developed and sponsored by GoDaddy.
It may include opinions other than those of SmallBusiness.com.

4
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 3 | Choose a Web Host

With so many web hosting companies out there, how do you choose the one that will meet your needs when you don’t know yet what your needs may be.

5
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 4 | Connect Your Domain Name to Your Blog

This may seem to be the most techie step, but it’s really a snap.

6
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 5 | Design Your Blog

With pre-designed themes, you have access to countless design styles and layouts without needing to be a graphic designer.

7
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 6 | Publish Your First Post

Once your first post goes live, you are officially in the blogging business.

8
How to Start a Small Business Blog, Step 7 | Promote Posts and Post More

It’s time to set up an editorial calendar of topics that will make your customers smarter.