I suppose the nature of this articles doesn’t really need me to tell you that I like cooking. Good food is very important to me; cooking nutritious dishes is so easy and you don’t then subject your family to the unnecessary sugars, salts and preservatives of ready-meals (Although like most men I still indulge in the odd takeaway).
I’m not sure how we got into it, but I started chatting with my teenage daughter and she suggested I started a blog. Firstly, I didn’t really know what she was talking about, but when she explained that it was a type of website where I could share my recipe ideas and advice with lots of people, I decided she was on to something.
She helped me look through all types of sites to find the right advice. We searched the internet. She had heard of GoDaddy and we found other similar companies who would build the blog for a fee, but I decided to first try with some free advice. I read lots of different versions – many sharing little to no traction with me, but the one which made most sense to me is “How to Start a Blog” by Neil Patel. He includes all the information needed to get yourself up and running in a short space of time and I was amazed at how easy it really is – after all I am somewhat of a technophobe for the most part. Anyway, having seen how easy it was, I decided to share what I have learnt, so here goes:
The first thing to do is to think of a name for your website and create a domain name. Mine is referring to the easy recipes I include! There are two different ways of getting the blog onto the internet; either using a free-hosting company or, the second option, where you ‘self-host’ which means you must pay a hosting company. If you go for the free option, you are restricted to the content you can put onto your blog. You will only have certain themes and plugins available and if you want a wider choice then you will have to pay for them. It is like renting as opposed to owning your house. A free-host is your ‘landlord’ and you are therefore accountable to the host. The big problem here is that they can cancel your blog if they don’t like it and then you would lose all the work you’ve spent hours creating! You will also have to add their name to your domain name (i.e. mydomain.hostname.com)
If you use the self-hosting option then you own your own website. You’ll have more options available to use when designing your site and you won’t have to include their name on your domain (i.e. mydomain.com). In return for all these benefits you pay the host company a small fee each month. If you are creating a business blog then possibly this would be a more professional option, however, for my recipes I decided to stick with a simple version using the free-host company.
Once you have your domain name and hosting company set-up, you can go ahead and create your website. This is the best part because you can test your writing skills and ‘inner-designer’. I learnt from the advice blog that it’s best to keep things simple. This way my readers can find their way around the blog easily. If it isn’t easy to navigate then they won’t investigate thoroughly or even worse – they won’t come back. I would like to think that my readers will want to visit often, keeping up with new recipes (Thanks to Ultimate Recipe) etc., so taking time to come up with something suitable is very important. I also learned a bit about Affiliate links which are well worth learning about for anyone who wants to make a bit of subtle income from their blog.
An ‘Affiliate Link’ is where I can add a link re-directing my readers to a business website and, if the business makes money from that introduction, they will pay me a small commission.
For those of you who aren’t afraid to embrace your more ‘modern gentleman’ side, I’ll let you know what the site is when it’s up and running more and also feel free to dabble into WordPress blogging and start your own one to share your passion.