If you are reading this, you probably know the importance of having a personal or business blog, so I will go straight to the point of setting up your blog within the next 24 hours.
But, if you are still looking to find out why you should have a blog, you should read the detailed post. Alternatively, you can quickly ask Bill Gates why he started GatesNotes in 2009 and still maintains it in 2023.
I have seen a lot of people complain about websites not ranking on search engines after putting a lot of effort into SEO. But when I take a close look, I see that 75% of the time, they are serving their website on cheap web hosting.
Just like the supermarket gets more visits than a kiosk, so does a faster-loading website. Websites that take time to load are not always favored by search engines. Even when the blog gets visitors, it is easy for other blogs with similar content to outrank it because it’s a fast-loading website.
The purpose of this post is to help anyone who has a limited amount to spend on fast, secure and free web hosting to start a blog that ranks on Google as preached by EBB.
Start a Blog Using Free Hosting
Table of Contents
There are 2 big providers of free hosting for a blog, Google’s Blogger.com and WordPress.com. But for this article, we will focus on “blogger.com” because of the following:
- It provides a high storage limit
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Ad-free experience
- At no point would they upsell you anything
Blogger comes with a free domain name (your-business.blogspot.com) and you can get started with that, but it has a huge downside.
- When you have built your brand around the free domain, another person can acquire the proper domain of your business.
- If you are able to acquire the primary domain name when you grow, it will take another long jump of updating brand documents and
- You’d likely lose the domain authority that you built around the free domain
- Blogspot is overrun by spammers these days and it is difficult to differentiate yourself from them
- If you are blogging about business, it is very difficult to establish credibility with a blogspot.
The list can go on and on, but I know domain names are not so expensive that you can not afford one.
Domain Name Registration
You can register your domain name with any registrar. But just be sure the provider has easy-to-manage DNS settings.
As a beginner, going to a platform like ResellerClub.com to register a domain might increase your dilemma when it comes to DNS settings, whereas it is a favorite for a geek.
Practically, what I mean here is that you should go easy on yourself by choosing a platform that is non-geek-friendly. Or you could ask the domain name provider to do the settings for you ~ if they offer such support.
Namecheap is a great option and live chat is always active.
At this point, I assume you have chosen a name for your blog and you have registered the domain name.
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Creating Your Blog
Head over to https://blogger.com. On the screen that loads, click the button that says “CREATE YOUR BLOG”, or click the “SIGN IN” link at the top right corner of your screen.
This will redirect you to the Google login screen. You can log in with your favorite Gmail account. You can create a new email if you have no Gmail account at this time.
The next screen is to enter the title of your blog, in my case “Thriving Smart Blog”, then I will click the “NEXT.”
Then the next screen would be to choose a URL for the blog, and in my case “thrivingsmartblog”, the field will have .blogspot.com suffix and I do not need to repeat that. Then I will click the “NEXT”
The next screen is the display name, in my case I will enter the same lines as I had in my title. This is the last step of the onboarding, so I will click the “FINISH” option.
Now, I am taken to the dashboard of my new blog. I have added arrows to areas that I think are very important.
NEW POST: This is the button to create and publish a new post to the blog.
POSTS:This is the default dashboard of the blog. It lists all the written blog posts, it is blank in my case because I have not written or published any blog post on it.
SETTINGS: This is where you do most of the technical settings that your blog will need, including the blog description, and the custom domain that we are going to setup.
Setting Up Custom Domain on Blogspot Blog
Click the “Settings” from the side menu, then scroll to the “Publishing” subheading. Click the “custom domain” and a pop-up will show where you will enter your domain name.
In my case, I have a corporate website on my primary domain and would like my business blog on a subdomain like blog.enterpreneurbusinessblog.com
In your case, you probably need to enter your domain name like “you-blog.com”, except you intend to use the blog like I do too.
Enter your domain name and save the changes.
If you are on a new domain name, google will generate 2 CNAME records that you are required to add at the domain registrar.
Where your domain has started with www.yourname.com
And xxxx and xvxrandom are random records that are unique to each domain name.
The next step is to point the domain name or subdomain to the blog. In my case, I already verified ownership of my domain name under the same Google account through Google Search Central, so the error pop-up won’t be shown to me.
So, I will only need to add the CNAME record for ghs.google.com
Head over to your domain registrar and go to “Manage DNS” settings of your domain name. Create a “cname” that points to “ghs.google.com”
Note that this interface might not be the same for your domain provider, but the process is the same.
When you have entered the CNAME record as supposed, then save your changes.
Allow for a couple of minutes, up to 60 minutes for your DNS changes to be propagated and then you can continue to blogger.
Repeat the steps of adding a custom domain name and save. No errors should be shown at this time.
Toggle the options that are marked with a green checkmark. Then refresh the page at intervals of 15 minutes.
Only toggle the “HTTPS redirect” when the “HTTPS Availability” status changes to “Available”.
At this point, your blog is ready and will be served on a custom domain name with limitless speed and bandwidth.
What we covered is enough to get you started, but it is not everything you need to run a successful blog on blogger.com. Take your time to look through all the subheadings of the “Settings Menu”.
Also, navigate the other menu options on your dashboard. Most menu options and settings have little details that would guide you to what you intend to do. But when in doubt, ask in the comment box and help will come.
The fact that you are running a fast-loading blog from a free hosting offered by Google doesn’t mean you are free to post whatever you like.
Take time to read their Terms (https://www.blogger.com/go/terms) and their Content Policy (https://www.blogger.com/go/contentpolicy). This is important so that you do not wake up to the nightmare of your blog being deleted.
Even though Google offers a very generous limit on blogger.com that is enough to get you started and to land you clients, you are limited to customizations that you can make on the design and you can not use most marketing plugins like you would on a self-hosted blog.
Have a contribution or a question?
Write in the comment box and I will respond at your earliest convenience and even get on your screen to help.
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