Blogging and online writing both look like massive elephants on the supper table. The tasks seem so big that you have no idea where to start. I had a conversation with a great friend who faces this task and she told me I needed to write some Beginner Basics for those that literally have just pulled up to the table. My expertise lies in the words and not in the technology, but I promise to do my best to share a little of the first bites of blogging and online writing.
URL – when you type in a name of the website where you want to go then your computer reads that and translates into an address for that site. This Uniform Resource Locator makes sure you end up in the place you want to visit.
Domain Name – for the most part, people are talking about the second-level of domain when they are discussing names. You have to find a unique name and registered it with an accredited ICANN registrar. Most of the sites that you purchase from will be able to do this. Although people refer to “buying” a domain name, you are more renting than buying. You will have to renew the domain name through the company every year.
Redirect – this is a handy little tool that allows you to have multiple domain names that always come back to the same main site. To avoid the hassle and expense of multiple sites you can redirect the user to the site you have built. Think of it as redirecting your mail. You tell the “post office” that anyone coming to address B or C should be sent to address A.
Getting Your Name
“What’s in a name . . .” while Shakespeare would have you believe that the name is not important, there is a reason companies spend millions of dollars on research and development of the name. You need to think a little about how you will name your brand – and in the case of writing you are typically the brand we are talking about so you have a little help.
Visit one of the domain companies. Godaddy and I have been involved since the beginning. They are easy to use and to search and I have cached away some great domain names to launch down the road. Look for your name first and purchase that .com first. The .com is considered the gold standard of website names.
You may also want to think about investing in other versions of your domain name choice. I skipped this step when I first launched and thought I could always go back and purchase the .net or .org of my name. Someone else beat me to it and I regret not making that minor investment. The company where you first purchase your domain name will usually offer to let you also purchase other versions at the same time. Keep in mind that you can always redirect these domains back to your .com once you are up and running.
Now you have your name. The next bite we will take involves getting set up on a hosting site. Think of this as setting up your mailbox so that the mail will have a place to go.
What are you biggest fears about starting a blog or launching an online writing career? Share now or send me a comment and I will address that in a future post.