Are you an expert on some topic? Do you want to connect and share ideas with a community of like minded people? Have you been thinking about starting your own blog but are not sure where and how to start? Well, you have come to the right place!
In this blogpost I will tell you how to create your free blog on WordPress.com. But first let us answer a few basic questions.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source Content Management System (CMS). In simpler words, it is an easy and powerful tool that can be used for creating blogs and websites.
Why should I use WordPress?
WordPress is the most commonly used blogging platform in the world. It has good support from a large community of users. Broadly speaking it is the easiest and most powerful blogging tool available.
Is WordPress Free to use?
WordPress comes in 2 flavors, both of which are technically free to use.
WordPress.com lets you create a free WordPress based blog (It is hosted on WordPress). It also gives you the option to choose a free WordPress domain name like yourwebsite.wordpress.com, or purchase your own domain name. You do not have to pay for hosting or manage a web server and it's really quick and easy to setup.
WordPress.org needs to be self hosted on a web hosting site like Bluehost. Although WordPress.org itself is open source and free to download, you would have to pay a fee for the hosting provider for storage and server space. However, using the downloaded version of WordPress provides you with greater control and flexibility.
You can read the detailed differences on the official WordPress site.
Which one should you use?
Well the answer really depends on your comfort level. If you want to pursue blogging as just a hobby, or are just starting out and are unsure of how to write a blog, or if you think you might not be able to keep at it over the long term, perhaps it would be best to start out on WordPress.com.
WordPress.com comes with a basic set of functionalities. These are generally sufficient for starting out, but eventually almost everyone who is serious about blogging ends up moving to the self hosted version. If you already have some tangible ideas for your blog and would like to move at a faster pace you would do better to start with a self hosted wordpress blog.
This blogpost is about starting a free blog on WordPress.com and just test out the waters. I will be writing a detailed post on how to start a self hosted wordpress blog very soon.
How to start your free WordPress.com blog?
Step 1: Find the right domain for your blog.
You should take some time and think of a name you like. Some of the names may not be available, so this step might take some time. You can get a free domain name which would be a sub domain of WordPress like youwebsite.wordpress.com which is good enough for starting out.
Step 2: Choose a WordPress plan
My recommendation would be to go with the free plan, since the upgrades do not have that much to offer. The free plan gives you basic tools to start your blog. You can always upgrade later if you want. However, it may be better to move to a self hosted WordPress account in that case.
Step 3: Create a WordPress.com account
Enter your email id, username and password. Click on create account. WordPress will send you an email to verify your address. Confirm your email address and you are ready to go!
Once you login, you will be redirected to the WordPress Feed. Click on My Site tab on the upper left-hand corner. You will see your wordpress account.
Step 4: Write your first blog post
In the “Publish" section, click on the “Add" button next to the "Blog Posts”. Write your first post. There are a bunch of other options to play with. You can add Categories to better organize your posts and Tags to make your content more searchable. You can also add images and play around with formatting to make you blog more readable and appealing. When you are satisfied with the changes hit the “Publish" button.
Congrats! You have just started your own blog! Easy Right? 😉
You can now go ahead and customize the look and feel of your blog. You can choose a theme of your choice from the many available free and paid options. You can create menus to help people navigate your site’s content. And a bunch of other stuff.
Please feel free to leave any feedback or questions in the comment box.