Where do you start blogging?

It must be the one question that many wannabe-bloggers are asking themselves. I know one friend who just didn’t know anywhere else apart from Blogger itself. But if you want to have a real blog, Blogger is just not the best place to start. Even if it is the most obvious.

If you are deciding to blog, then you need to consider what your priorities are. Having blogged on and off since 2005, I think that they can be boiled down to five points

1. Goals – These are often the most obvious, and they are often met with blank stares: I just want to have a blog. But what is your blog for? Who do you expect to read your blog? What do you expect to put there? There are a million answers available for each question. If you’re not sure, perhaps look around and make a list of things you think are important.

2. Expandability – Often when you start with a blog, you’ll find that you may want to have two or three blogs or that your blog takes off in a totally unexpected direction. With many hosting plans, you can be sure that you can have the additional resources for expanding your online presence without adding much cost.

3. Platform – Choose a broadly supported package or platform to support your blog! When you face problems, you will find it easy to get support, both free and paid-for support. Choosing one of the lesser known platforms will make things a lot harder when you have issues or bugs. Also, choosing a broader platform will mean more choice over plugins, themes, and additional services.

4. Pricing – If you are starting out blogging, affordability can often be a problem. Decide what your budget is for hosting. Don’t expect to make much or any money at the beginning. If you do, you’ll only be disappointed. Really. By choosing a host with room to grow, you’ll also avoid future extra costs should your site become popular.

5. Reliability – I was quite happy with my original host for a long time, but then we started to have lots of issues with their servers. While they were forthright, and I felt comfortable staying with them, not all hosts are able, or willing, to fix the issues as responsibly as mine was.

These concerns will surely be uppermost when you start to seek out your own web hosting however you decide to do it.