A lot of people have trouble understanding all the blogging concepts, lingo and jargon—domains, hosting, blogging platform, WordPress, huh? It's a bit confusing. Or a lot confusing, depending on where you're at in the process.
But lucky for us, blogging is like ice cream.
It's true…but I'm getting ahead of myself. So before we talk about blogging, let's talk about something we all know.
Let's Make Ice Cream
Imagine we're going to start our own business. In fact, we're going to open our own store. But before we get started, we'll need a few things:
- A location. We've gotta have an address for our store right? When we're telling people about our store, they need to know where to go. A high-traffic, easy-to-find location is key.
- A landlord. We could buy our own property and build our own store with our own bare hands, but who needs the stress? So next we need to find someone from whom we can rent space. We need a place where we can set up shop.
- A store. So we've got an address and we've got some space. Now we need to put our store together.
- A product. A store without something to sell isn't a great idea. What should we sell? I choose ice cream.
- An ice cream-making machine. I don't know about you, but I don't want to make all our ice cream by hand. So, let's find a good, efficient ice cream-making machine, shall we?
- Ingredients. We'll also need some delectable ingredients. Throw those babies into that machine and out comes the world's best ice cream.
Our customers are so smitten with our ice cream, they come back again and again. And we become gazillionaires!
Sound good? Good.
Now let's talk blogging.
Let's Start A Blog (or Website)
We're going to start our own business. In fact, we're going to start our own website. But before we get started, we'll need a few things:
- A location. We've gotta have an address for our website. When we're telling people about our site, they need to know where to go. Our website address is called our domain (ex. BloggingWithAmy.com or AmyLynnAndrews.com). A high-traffic, easy-to-find location, or domain, is key. See: How to Choose a Domain: 12 Tips.
- A landlord. So we have a domain, but now we need to rent some space on the internet — a place where we can set up our website. Our "landlord" on the internet is called our host. We purchase hosting from our host.
- A store. So we've got a domain and some space on the internet (hosting). Now we need to put our site together. Our ice cream store is made up of bricks & mortar; our website is made up of files. We decorate our ice cream store; we design our website.
- A product. A website without anything on it isn't a great idea. What should we put on our website? I choose a blog. A blog is a type of website.
- A blog-making machine. I don't know about you, but I don't want to code our blog by hand. That is, I don't want to tell the computer to make our blog understandable to humans using only 0s and 1s. So, let's find a good, efficient blog-making machine, shall we? This is called our blogging platform. There are many blogging platforms from which to choose. Blogger and Typepad are popular choices. But I choose WordPress. It's flexible and expandable and easy to use (not to mention the rockstar of ice cream making machines, I mean, blogging platforms).
- Ingredients. Now all we need are some blog ingredients. This is our content — our words, our images and our brilliant ideas. Throw those babies into WordPress and out comes the world's best blog.
Our customers readers are so smitten with our blog, they come back again and again. And we become gazillionaires! (In theory.)
Sound good? Good.
Read my How to Start a Blog or Website series.