A friend of mine sent me a question about how to get started with blogging. I am sharing my reply to him with all of you, I hope you find it useful!
Just got back from Mexico a few days ago, and am cleaning things up and transitioning back to being here! By the way, you can read about my traveling in Mexico at journal.dougs-travels.com … I’ll be adding to that site for quite a while.
Anyhow, of all my websites, the ones that I have put effort into promoting have all achieved a PR of 4, which I am really happy about! Traffic is increasing, I would not say it is a lot yet, not enough yet to generate significant income, but that will come. I’m on the right trajectory, so if I keep doing what I’ve been doing, and learn to do it better, I will get there alright!
WordPress is easy to use. That does not make it easy to set up in just the way you want. If you like it “out of the box” it is easy, and if you can find a template you like, it is easy to switch the template. Modifying a template or customizing WordPress is more of a challenge, depending on your background. So if use an existing template, you really don’t need to know HTML or programming.
WordPress is very flexible when it comes to changing the layout. Again, if you can’t find a template that does it for you, then you need to roll up your sleeves and get into HTML, CSS and programming (or pay someone to do this for you). Probably this is not necessary when you start out, the first thing to do is generate traffic. I did lots of work on my website, but that’s because doing this sort of work fits in to my big picture plan.
WordPress is open-source, so the software itself is free. The cost is for your server, and your personal time to learn how to use it. There are additional costs to customizing it, either your time, or paying for someone else’s time. I would say on a comparative basis though, it is about the cheapest option for a blog.
In terms of how long it would take to get a blog up and running? Depends on your experience. I could register a domain, and likely have it working with WordPress within an hour, and it might take me a few hours or days to customize a template with which I am already familiar. But it took me years and decades to gain general computer experience, and weeks and months to learn the inner workings of servers and WordPress.
I don’t know how savvy you are with computers. It could take you days or weeks to get started, depending on what you know. Don’t worry if it takes you weeks, that in a way is a good thing, it means you are learning a lot!
Hope all this helps!