Meet The Author

Main Uddin is one of the pioneer blogger cum e-marketer from North East India(Assam).He is also a Skilled web Developer and regular columnist for various news portals around the globe.Read More

author

Bloggers or Marketers Must Create and Use Microsoft Word Templates

Leave a Comment
A template is a Microsoft Word document that already has some formatting in place, such as fonts, logos, and line spacing, and can be used as a starting point for almost anything you want to create. Microsoft Word offers hundreds of free templates, including invoices, resumes, invitations, and form letters, among others.

Templates are available in all recent editions of Word, including Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, and in Word Online from Office 365. You’ll learn how to work with all of these editions here. The images in this article are from Word 2016.

How to Open a Word Template


To use a template, you have to access a list of them and choose one to open first. How you do this differs depending on the version/edition of Microsoft Word you have.

To open a template in Word 2003:
  • Click File, then click New.
  • Click Templates.
  • Click On My Computer.
  • Click any category.
  • Click the template to use and click OK.

To open a template in Word 2007:
  • Click the Microsoft button in the top left corner and click Open.
  • Click Trusted Templates.
  • Select the desired template and click Open.

To open a template in Word 2010:
  • Click File, then click New.
  • Click Sample Templates, Recent Templates, My Templates, or Office.com Templates.
  • Click the template to use and click Create.

To open a template in Word 2013:
  • Click File, then click New.
  • Click either Personal or Featured.
  • Select the template to use.

To open a template in Word 2016:
  • Click File, then click New.
  • Click a template and click Create.
  • To search for a template, type the description of the template in the Search window and press Enter on the keyboard. Then click the template and clickCreate.

To open a template in Word Online:
  • Log in to Office 365.
  • Click the Word icon.
  • Select any template.


How to Use a Word Template


Once a template is open, it doesn’t matter what version of Word you use, you simply begin typing where you’d like to add information. You might have to type over existing placeholder text, or, there might be a blank area where you can insert text. You can also add pictures where picture holders exist.

Here’s a practice example:
  • Open any template as outlined above.
  • Click any placeholder text, such as Event Title or Event Subtitle.
  • Type the desired replacement text.
  • Repeat until your document is complete. 


How to Save a Word Template as a Document


When you save a document you’ve created from a template, you need to make sure you save it as a Word document with a new name. You don’t want to save over the template because you don’t want to change the template; you want to leave the template as-is.

To save the template you’ve worked on as a new document in:

Microsoft Word 2003, 2010, or 2013:
  • Click File, and then click Save As.
  • In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the file.
  • In the Save As Type list, choose the type of file. For regular documents consider the .doc entry.
  • Click Save.

Microsoft Word 2007:
  • Click the Microsoft button, and then click Save As.
  • In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the file.
  • In the Save As Type list, choose the type of file. For regular documents consider the .doc entry.
  • Click Save.

Microsoft Word 2016:
  • Click File, and then click Save a Copy.
  • Type a name for the file.
  • Choose a document type; consider the .docx entry.
  • Click Save.

Office 365 (Word Online):
  • Click in the document name at the top of the page.
  • Type a new name.


How to Create a Word Template

Save as a Word Template. Joli Ballew

To create your own Word template, create a new document and format it however you like. You might want to add business name and address, a logo, and other entries. You can also choose specific fonts, font sizes, and font colors.

Once you have the document the way you want it, to save it as a template:
Follow the instructions above to save the file.
Before you save the file, in the available Save As Type drop down list, select Template.
Read More

Instantly Open, Edit, & Convert HTACCESS Files

Leave a Comment
A file with the HTACCESS file extension is an Apache Access Configuration file that stands for hypertext access. These are text files used to invoke an exception to the global settings that apply to the various directories of an Apache website.



Placing an HTACCESS file in one directory will override the global settings that previously flowed down to that directory and its subdirectories. For example, HTACCESS files can be created for redirecting a URL, preventing directory listing, banning specific IP addresses, preventing hotlinking, and more.

Another common use for an HTACCESS file is for pointing to an HTPASSWD file that stores credentials preventing visitors from accessing that particular directory of files.


Note: Unlike other types of files, HTACCESS files don't contain a file name; they look like this: .htaccess. That's right - no file name at all, just the extension.


How to Open an HTACCESS File

Since HTACCESS files apply to web servers that are running the Apache Web Server software, they don't take effect unless they're used within that context.


However, even a simple text editor is able to open or edit an HTACCESS file, like Windows Notepad or one from our Best Free Text Editors list. Another popular, though not free, HTACCESS editor is Adobe Dreamweaver.


How to Convert an HTACCESS File

Apache web server files with the HTACCESS file extension can be converted to Ngnix web server files using this online HTACCESS to nginx converter. You have to paste the contents of the HTACCESSS file into the text box to convert the code to one recognizable by Ngnix.

Similar to the nginx converter, HTACCESS files can be converted to Web.Config using codebreak's online .htaccess to Web.Config converter. This converter is useful if you want to convert the configuration file to one that works with an ASP.NET web application.


Sample HTACCESS File

Below is a sample .HTACCESS file. This particular HTACCESS file might be useful for a website that's currently under development and not yet ready for the public.

AuthType basic
AuthName "Ooops! Temporarily Under Construction..."
AuthUserFile /.htpasswd
AuthGroupFile /dev/null
Require valid-user # Password prompt for everyone else
Order Deny,Allow
Deny from all
Allow from 192.168.10.10 # The developer's IP address
Allow from w3.org
Allow from googlebot.com # Allows Google to crawl your pages
Satisfy Any # No password required if host/IP is allowed


Every line of this HTACCESS file has a particular purpose. The "/.htpasswd" entry, for example, indicates that this directory is hidden from public view unless a password is used. However, if the IP address shown above is used to access the page, then the password isn't required.


Advanced Reading on HTACCESS Files

You should be able to tell from the sample above that HTACCESS files can do a lot of different things. It's true that they're not the simplest files to work with.


You can read more about how to use an HTACCESS file for blocking IP addresses, preventing viewers from opening the HTACCESS file, blocking traffic to the directory, requiring SSL, disabling website downloaders/rippers, and more at JavaScript Kit, Apache, WordPress, and DigitalOcean.
Read More

500 Internal Server Error: Fixing Error Problems on Your Own Site

Leave a Comment
The 500 Internal Server Error is a very general HTTP status code that means something has gone wrong on the website's server, but the server could not be more specific on what the exact problem is.


Are You the Webmaster? See Fixing 500 Internal Server Error Problems on Your Own Site towards the bottom of the page for some better advice if you're seeing the 500 Internal Server Error on one or more of your own pages.

How You Might See a 500 Error

The 500 Internal Server Error message might be seen in any number of ways because each website is allowed to customize the message.
Here are several common ways that you might see the HTTP 500 error:
500 Internal Server Error
HTTP 500 - Internal Server Error
Temporary Error (500)
Internal Server Error
HTTP 500 Internal Error
500 Error
HTTP Error 500
500. That's an error
Since a 500 Internal Server Error is generated by the website you're visiting, you could see one in any browser in any operating system, even on your smartphone.
Most of the time, a 500 Internal Server Error displays inside the internet browser window, just as web pages do.

Cause of HTTP 500 Errors

Like we mentioned above, Internal Server Error messages indicate that something, in general, is wrong.
Most of the time, "wrong" means an issue with the page or site's programming, but there's certainly a chance that the problem is on your end, something we'll investigate below.
Note: More specific information about the cause of a particular HTTP 500 error is often provided when it occurs on a server using Microsoft IIS software. Look for numbers after 500, as in HTTP Error 500.19 - Internal Server Error, which means Configuration data is invalid. See More Ways You Might See an Internal Server Errorbelow for the complete list.

How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error

Like we alluded to above, the 500 Internal Server Error is a server-side error, meaning the problem probably isn't with your computer or internet connection but instead with the website's server.
While not probable, it is possible that there's something wrong on your end, in which case we'll look at some things you can try:
  1. Reload the web page. You can do that by clicking the refresh/reload button, pressing F5 or Ctrl-R, or trying the URL again from the address bar.

    Even if the 500 Internal Server Error is a problem on the web server, the issue might just be temporary. Trying the page again will often be successful.

    Note: If the 500 Internal Server Error message appears during the checkout process at an online merchant, be aware that duplicate attempts to checkout may end up creating multiple orders - and multiple charges! Most merchants have automatic protections from these kinds of actions, but it's still something to keep in mind.
  2. Clear your browser's cache. If there's a problem with the cached version of the page you're viewing, it could be causing HTTP 500 issues.

    Note: Internal Server Errors are not often caused by caching issues, but I have, on occasion, seen the error go away after clearing the cache. It's such an easy and harmless thing to try, so don't skip it.
  1. Delete your browser's cookies. Some 500 Internal Server Error issues can be corrected by deleting the cookies associated with the site you're getting the error on.

    After removing the cookie(s), restart the browser and try again.
  2. Troubleshoot as a 504 Gateway Timeout error instead.

    It's not very common, but some servers produce a 500 Internal Server Error when in reality 504 Gateway Timeout is a more appropriate message based on the cause of the problem.
  3. Contacting the website directly is another option. There's a good chance that the site's administrators already know about the 500 error, but if you suspect they don't, letting them know helps both you and them (and everyone else).

    See our Website Contact Information list for contact information for popular websites. Most sites have support-based social network accounts and a few even have email and telephone numbers.

    Tip: If it looks like the site is down completely and you can't find a way to report the 500 Internal Server Error message to the website, it might help your sanity to keep up with the outage on Twitter. You can usually do this by searching for #websitedown on Twitter, as in #gmaildown or #facebookdown.
  1. Come back later. Unfortunately, at this point, the 500 Internal Server Error is no doubt a problem outside of your control that will eventually get fixed by someone else.

    If the 500 Internal Server Error message is appearing at check out during an online purchase, it might help to realize that sales are probably being disrupted - usually a great incentive to the online store to fix the issue very quickly!

    Even if you're getting the 500 error on a site that doesn't sell anything, like YouTube or Twitter, as long as you've let them know about the problem, or at least tried, there's little more you can do than wait it out.

Fixing 500 Internal Server Error Problems on Your Own Site

A 500 Internal Server Error on your own website requires a completely different course of action. As we mentioned above, most 500 errors are server-side errors, meaning it's likely your problem to fix if it's your website.
There are lots of reasons why your site might be serving a 500 Error to your users, but these are the most common:
  • A Permissions Error. In most cases, a 500 Internal Server Error is due to an incorrect permission on one or more files or folders. In most of those cases, an incorrect permission on a PHP and CGI script is to blame. These should usually be set at 0755 (-rwxr-xr-x).
  • A PHP Timeout. If your script connects to external resources and those resources timeout, an HTTP 500 error can occur. Timeout rules, or better error handling in your script, should help if this is the cause of the 500 error.
  • A Coding Error in .htaccess. While not as common, be sure to check that your site's .htaccess file is properly structured.
If you're running WordPressJoomla, or another content management or CMS system, be sure to search their support centers for more specific help troubleshooting a 500 Internal Server Error.
If you're not using an off-the-shelf content management tool, your web hosting provider, like InMotionDreamhost1&1, etc., probably has some 500 Error help that might be more specific to your situation.

More Ways You Might See an Internal Server Error

In Internet Explorer, the message The website cannot display the page often indicates an HTTP 500 Internal Server Error. A 405 Method Not Allowed error is another possibility but you can be sure by looking for either 500 or 405 in the IE title bar.
When Google services, like Gmail or Google+, are experiencing a 500 Internal Server Error, they often report a Temporary Error (500), or simply 500.
When Windows Update reports an Internal Server Error, it appears as a WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_SERVER_ERROR message or as the 0x8024401F error code.
If the website that reports the 500 error is running Microsoft IIS, you might get a more specific error message:

More information on these IIS-specific codes can be found on Microsoft's The HTTP status code in IIS 7.0, IIS 7.5, and IIS 8.0 page.

Errors Like the HTTP 500 Error

Many browser error messages are similar to the 500 Internal Server Error message because they're all server-side errors, like 502 Bad Gateway503 Service Unavailable, and 504 Gateway Timeout.
Many client-side HTTP status codes also exist, like the popular 404 Not Found error, among others. You can see all of them in our HTTP Status Code Errors list.
Read More

E-commerce shopping portal creation basics in India

Leave a Comment
India’s e-commerce business is set to grow from US $50 billion in 2017 to US$100 billion in 2020 according to a recent estimate! A part of this success must be attributed to m-commerce or mobile shopping. Mobile e-commerce is complementing the online retail industry perfectly and India has become the second largest smartphone market after China. The country had a whopping 450 million internet users in 2017, so the potential can be easily recognized. E-commerce websites come in many different forms and there are many ways to get one set up. So what are some typical costs? It's not an easy question to answer but here's an overview.


Whether you’re starting a brand new e-commerce site or rebuilding an existing one, these are the main considerations that will influence the cost:
  • What are your specific business specific needs?
  • Which platform do you want to use?
  • What expert help is available for you?
Hosted
A hosted platform is a piece of software that runs on someone else’s server. More often than not, you won’t have access to the code that runs your site. Shopify and Squarespace are good examples of this approach.
Self-Hosted
A self-hosted solution is a software that is run on your own machine. You create and see the code and are responsible for uploading and updating it. If you are having any technical problems you are the one who has to sort it or ask someone to help.
The popularity of online sites like Flipkart, Snapdeal, MakeMyTrip.com, Jabong, Myntra etc have encouraged many to tap the e-com opportunity. Besides, this is also a great time for the online retail industry. An account on Instagram or Facebook may be all it requires you to start your very own e-commerce venture, thanks to the introduction of e-commerce tools on social media. A range of solutions like Soldsie, Beetailer, inSelly and many more are also available to set up your social media shop.
We’ll now look at some of the basic requirements of starting a full-blown e-commerce business in India:
What do you actually need?
Think of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) model. This means starting with a basic version of your website. At this stage all you need to worry about is selling to the customer. This helps minimize risks, saves money on unnecessary add-ons, and ultimately lays the groundwork. By starting with a basic, bare-bones approach, you can launch earlier, which means you gain operational experience and gather customer feedback earlier. This will help you figure out the apps and new functions your website actually needs.

Build your Online Store:

We recommend you go ahead and invest in a website because there’s nothing like having your own store. A paid domain and hosting service will improve your appearance in search networks, thus diverting more traffic towards your business.
You can set a free domain on WordPress if you have limited funds while starting-up. You can also look into services such as Godaddy.com or hostgator.com. These providers offer basic website creation and hosting services at competitive rates, along with logistical and technical support. They also help with different aspects such as product catalogs, seller support, customer support, payment gateways, logistical services, etc. You must, absolutely, make sure that your website is mobile friendly!

Get a Secured Payment Gateway:

There are a few basic types of payment gateways available for e-commerce businesses in the country. Compare the various gateways available and choose one which suits your business structure and revenues.
  • Payment gateways integrated with a local bank: They are easy to adopt and a more viable option for smaller businesses.
  • Hosted payment gateways like PayPal Standard or Self/Pro hosted gateways like PayU Money: They are usually easy to implement and the seamless transactions add to a great customer experience.
  • Non-hosted payment gateways or API gateways like Authorize.net – Here customers are not redirected to a different web page or server to complete a purchase.
A small tip: Do not forget to include options for cash payments. Cash payments are still a popular and convenient mode of transaction for many.

Pay Attention to Search Engine Optimization:

Your business will be heading for trouble if you do not implement SEO techniques and strategy across your website. Make sure you optimize every product and section names to help them turn up organically on search engines. Organic searches are one of the driving forces of sales. Take care to use keywords based on trending searches by customers.
Hiring an expert to do this job is always advisable since SEO requires dedicated and skilled resources. Your business must track audience behaviour on search engines to understand audience demands better. You can procure products which you know will sell and also use tags so consumers can discover them easily.

Implement Social Media Marketing:

With 100’s of millions of daily social media users, the social platform is an excellent area to reach potential customers. A recurring presence on social media can help you build your brand, a strong audience base, and a continuous flow of customers. Monitor social conversations and searches related to your business and recognize and capitalize on emerging demands.
Integrate your website with a shop on social media channels to streamline the sales process. Communicating with your customers is integral and social media is a great platform for that. Address grievances, accept suggestions and offer support to your customers whenever possible. Businesses which engage regularly on social media are known to increase the level of consumer trust in their brand and products.

Clearly Specify the Terms & Conditions:

Online stores have significantly notched up their game, vying for customer ‘footfall’ and offering discounts. It is very easy to cause customer dissatisfaction with poor store layout, payment problems and unclear terms of services.
Create a clear section on your website comprising of all the different policies and conditions applicable to customers. Your Terms and Conditions of Service must include the following:
  • Purchasing policies and conditional criteria for purchase
  • Product return, replacement and refund policies
  • Shipping and delivery policies
  • Payment and security policies
So, are you ready to sell online?
  • Building an online store is a fantastic way to make a bit of extra money. But it’s difficult to know where to start.
  • The good news is you don’t need lots of money, time or technical knowledge to build an online store.
  • What you do need to know is what tools to use and how to use them.
Learning how to create an online store from scratch can be daunting (we know from experience). We wanted to build an online store for our business so that it would provide us with a full-time income. But when it came down to it, we had no clue where to start! That’s why…
  • People in all the age groups (from young kids to old age persons) have started to utilize the online shopping platform. There are no restrictions online. You can view different types of products online. Compare the prices with other dealers. Make wise decisions by choosing a good product/service. Most of the giant online shopping websites provide attractive deals & discounts to overcome the competitors. The growing competition denotes that the e-commerce industry is in the healthy trend. With the rise of smartphones, it is even more convenient to shop on the go. Interestingly, 82% of shoppers who buy in-store research their purchase online first. Mobile e-commerce will dominate the online shopping industry because high volumes of users make purchase orders through their mobile devices only.
    Our shopping cart development team can offer you the following functionalities.
    • Professional e-commerce web design and development
    • User friendly interface
    • Secured online payment integration
    • Advanced shopping cart integration
    • Powerful search functionality
    • Social media integration
    • Reliable & easy to use
    • Device-friendly & responsive design
    • Clear navigation structure
    • Order tracking facility
    • Online cancellations
    • Effective product management
    • Shipping method integration
    • List of products with unlimited categories and sub-categories
    Call in the experts
    It’s true that there’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to quality e-commerce websites, so eventually you’ll want an agency to help you out. In the long run, a professional design agency will help you make money by making your website better and by following best practice. They can help you save money too by setting up your website so that it’s easy to update.
    We have a team of professional developers & designers with extensive e-commerce web development experience. We can build custom-made web designs for your business success. Whether you need a basic shopping cart website (usually, for the small retail outlets) or feature-packed e-commerce website (10000+ product pages), we can provide you a complete solution. Our team members are fully-updated in terms of latest technologies and development. Hence we can provide you the complete solution to create an online shopping website. We build corporate websites using various e-commerce platforms such as Magento, NOP Commerce, WordPress, Drupal, etc.
    Contact us to know more about our services.
Read More

Blogging Cycle, Google, Bloggers and Profit Business in 2018

Leave a Comment
I had described blog and blogging several times from 2004 to till date.However, the blogging scenario has changed and Google also has changed it's seo algorithm for bloggers. Let’s begin with some definitions. A bit dry, we realize, but this is a necessary evil. First we’ll define the word this whole site is based around – blog.



So What Is a Blog?

A blog is a frequently updated online personal journal or diary. It is a place to express yourself to the world. A place to share your thoughts and your passions. Really, it’s anything you want it to be. For our purposes we’ll say that a blog is your own website that you are going to update on an ongoing basis. Blog is a short form for the word weblog and the two words are used interchangeably.

Here are a couple of other definitions:

“…the first journalistic model that actually harnesses rather than merely exploits the true democratic nature of the web. It’s a new medium finally finding a unique voice.”–Andrew Sullivan
“[a] collection of posts…short, informal, sometimes controversial, and sometimes deeply personal…with the freshest information at the top.”–Meg Hourihan

Terminology of blog

As so often happens in the English language, many derivatives of the word blog have been created. One who participates in the activities of maintaining a blog is known as a blogger and the activity of keeping a blog is known as blogging. So we could say that the blogger blogs in his blog, but that might cause your English teacher to weep. We are going to use these terms with alarming frequency, so make sure you understand what they mean before you go on.

Blog (noun) – a journal or diary that is on the Internet.
Blogger (noun) – a person who keeps a blog – Bloggers are revolutionizing the way news is shared.
Blog (verb) – to write a blog – I am going to blog before breakfast this morning.
Blogging (verb) – the action of writing a blog – Blogging is my way of sharing my passions with the world.

Originally blogs were known primarily as places for people to write about their day-to-day activities. Their mundane, everyday tasks became fodder for journal entries. Somehow these writers gained a following and the hobby of blogging was born. Today people write about far more interesting topics, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Who Blogs?

So who are these fearless people who would be willing to post about their lives in as public a forum as the Internet? They are people just like you. Once the haven of technical know-it-alls, blogging has suddenly caught-on as a legitimate hobby and has entered the mainstream. Every day millions of people, some of whom have no technical ability whatsoever, write on their blogs.

To meet this demand some amazing tools have been created that will allow anyone, even people with very little knowledge of computers, to have their own blog. If you can find your way onto the Internet and follow some basic instructions you can have your own blog. It’s just that easy.

Why Do People Blog?

So you may be asking why anyone would want to have their own blog. We believe the answer lies in the fact that every human has a voice and wishes their voice to be heard. The Internet is a medium that is unparalleled in its reach. Never before have average people like you or me been able to reach a global audience with so little trouble. Bloggers have the opportunity of reaching hundreds or even thousands of people each and every day.

There are still many people who like to share the details of their days. They may post twenty or thirty times a day, detailing when they ate lunch and when they headed home from work. On the other hand there are bloggers who give almost no detail about their lives, but write instead about a hobby or interest of theirs. They may dedicate their blog to something they are passionate about.

In fact, today’s blogs can provide hair tips, up-to-date news, technical information, celebrity scandal, political rumor, gets people involved in volunteering, advice on investments as well as there being blogs about niche topics like cooking, health, gardening, sport, blogging blogs (this blog) and of course many personal blogs and quite a few strange blogs.

How to Start a Blog

The good news is that starting a blog or adding a blog to your existing site is relativity easy and affordable. There are free blog options such as WordPress.com and Blogger, but to retain control and professional image, consider investing in a domain name and hosting, and installing WordPress or other content management system on your host. Most webhosts offer this.

Once your blog is up and running, you need keep it active with new content to grow your business. While your blog can compliment an existing business, it's also a great way to add additional income. You can promote other companies' products and services in affiliate marketing. You can offer advertising or feed ad networks on to your blog. If you have a service business you're promoting with your blog, you can create your own information products to compliment it.

Or, if you have your own product, you can offer a service.

Finally, like all other business ideas, your success comes from marketing, and letting your target market know about your blog. Great ways to reach your market are through social media, email list, and reaching out to other bloggers, podcasters, and media outlets for publicity.

Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn how you can begin starting a blog in less than an hour. We used this process to create our successful blog, which now has more than 4 million readers and has been featured in the New York Times, TIME magazine, and on the TODAY show.

Starting a Blog in Five Steps:
  1. Choose a blogging platform, domain name, and hosting option.
  2. Design your blog using a simple theme.
  3. Modify your blog to get your desired look and feel.
  4. Select the best plugins for your blog.
  5. Write compelling content that adds value to readers.
How to Start a Blog: Step-by-Step Instructions

So you’re thinking about starting a blog, but you don’t have any idea where to start, right? Guess what—neither did we. We were clueless. When we created this blog a few years ago, we had no idea how to start a blog or how to be a blogger. Heck, we could hardly spell HTML, let alone build a blog.

But good news: it’s easier than you think. We’ve learned a ton of lessons during our ascent to 4 million readers. And now you can learn from our pain and suffering to circumvent much of the tedium involved in setting up a blog.

Here’s how we started our blog, step by step, followed by an instructional video, as well as additional rationale and insights:

Domain and Hosting. The first thing we did when starting our blog was go to Bluehost and register our domain. We didn’t even need to set up a WordPress page first, which is the platform we use, since Bluehost does all that for you. Bluehost’s basic price is $2.95 a month, which works for 99% of people (go to this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain). Then, we did a simple, free, “one-click” install of WordPress through Bluehost. When we had questions we were able to chat with the “live chat” folks at Bluehost for free. They pointed us in the right direction and made starting our own blog super easy.

Theme. A good theme gives you the look and feel you want for your blog, allowing you to make a blog that looks exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (we certainly weren’t), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier. Plus, once you purchase a theme, which are inexpensive for the time they save you, you own it for life. A theme has two halves: the framework (the bones) and the Child Theme (the beauty):

Framework. There are several WordPress theme frameworks on the market, but Genesis is without a doubt the best and most flexible choice. Genesis is the first half of your theme. Many themes merely handle the aesthetics of your new blog, but Genesis provides a necessary foundation for your Child Theme. Simply go to StudioPress and purchase the Genesis Framework.

Child Theme. After you get your Genesis Framework, you’ll want to find the right Child Theme (which is just a silly way to say “blog design”). The Minimalists uses the beautiful “tru” theme, which is available at BYLT, the Genesis Community Marketplace. Head on over to BYLT, browse their carefully curated collection of themes, and find the design that’s right for you.

Modify Your Blog. Once we had our domain, hosting, WordPress, and theme, we spent a lot of time tweaking the theme to get the look and feel we wanted (i.e., making our vision a reality). Then we spent even more time tinkering with the theme and arguing about it and tweaking it some more. Once we had created our blog, we set up a free Feedburner account so people could subscribe to our site via email and RSS subscriptions. And then we established a free Google Analytics account to track our stats. Feedburner and Google Analytics were both easy to sign up for, and we still use both today.

Plugins. We use only a few plugins on our site: “Google Analytics for WordPress” and really simple Facebook and Twitter share-button plugins (since human beings are intrinsically wired to share value, it’s important to make your posts easy to share with others). They take just a few seconds (literally a few seconds, it’s just a click of a button) to install once you’ve started your blog. And if you really want to play around with some cool plugins, check out WPBeginner’s Best WordPress Plugins.

Write Compelling Content. Last, via WordPress, we started writing and uploading the content for our pages: About Page, Contact Page, Start Here Page, Books Page, Tour Page, Archives Page, etc. Next, we designed our logo using free images we found online and text from a regular word-processing program. Then we put a picture of ourselves in the header (this is important because people identify with people, not logos). Finally we started writing new blog posts and publishing them regularly (at least once a week), accompanied by free photos from Unsplash, Pexels, and the Library of Congress. And the rest is history.

15 Reasons You Should Start a Blog

We were inspired to research and write this essay after reading Joshua Becker’s 15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog, in which he discusses 15 great reasons why you should start a blog. Why being the key word here. In other words, he talks about the purpose of blogging, not just how to start a blog. That’s what all these other blogs about blogging seem to miss; they miss the purpose—the why behind starting a blog.

3 Reasons You Should Not Start a Blog

So now you have 15 reasons why you should start a blog, and we’ve shown you how to create a blog, step-by-step, based on our personal experience. But after giving you those detailed instructions, which could save you the hundreds of hours of wasted time, we also want to give you some good reasons why you should not start a blog. (Keep in mind that these reasons are just our opinions, and we do not pretend to offer them up as some sort of collection of empirical blogging maxims.)

Money. You should not start a blog to make money. We need to get that out of the way first. If your primary objective is to replace your full-time income from blogging, forget about it. It doesn’t work that way. Do you think that Jimi Hendrix picked up his first guitar so he could “supplement his income”? No, he didn’t. Rather, he did it for the love of it, for the joy and fulfillment he received, and the income came thereafter, much later actually.

Notoriety. Don’t plan on getting “Internet famous” right away. Not every site grows as fast as ours did, but that’s totally OK. The truth is that we kind of got lucky. We got a great domain name, we cobbled together a logo and site design that people really liked, we write fairly well, and our content connects with people in a unique way. We didn’t start this site to become “famous” though. That’d be ridiculous. Our notoriety and quick rise to “fame” came as a surprise to us, and was a result of a little luck and a lot of hard, passionate work.

Traffic. Not all traffic is good traffic (as we explained here), so don’t worry about getting thousands of readers right away.

The funny thing is that all these things can happen. You could make a full-time income from building a blog. We do it, Corbett Barr does it, and so do many others. And you could become Internet famous like Leo Babauta or Chris Brogan. But if these are the sole reasons why you start blogging, you’ll be miserable, because it will seem like a job, and if it feels like a job you won’t be passionate about it, and so you’ll either (a) hate it, (b) fall flat on your face, or (c) hate it and fall flat on your face.
Instead, write because you’re passionate about it…

Starting a Blog

20 Recommendations for Your Blog

We receive plenty of emails asking for advice about starting a blog, about how to blog, about blog topics, and about creating meaningful content—even a few questions about whether we wear boxers or briefs. These are the answers and recommendations we tend to give.

Find Your Niche. You needn’t have a niche, but it helps. When learning how to be a blogger, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re passionate about. Running? Cooking? Being a parent? Have you found your passion? If so, whatever it is, write about that. If not, then you must first find your passion. (Note: We generally recommend that people don’t start a blog about minimalism or the paleo diet or any other heavily saturated topic. But what we really mean when we say this is: don’t create a blog about something unless you have a unique perspective. If you’ve embraced simple living and have a unique perspective, then by all means have at it. Enjoy yourself.)

Define Your Ideal Readers. Once you’ve found your niche, you need to know who will be reading your blog. For example, we blog about living intentionally. Thus, our ideal readers are people who are interested in exploring minimalism so they can clear the path toward more meaningful lives. If you want to write about your newborn baby growing up, that’s wonderful: your ideal readers are probably your friends and family. If you want to write about restoring classic cars, that’s cool, too. Tailor your writing to your readers (whether it’s your family or local community or whoever else will read your blog).

Add Value. Your blog must add value to its readers’ lives. This is the only way you will get Great Quality Readers to your site (and keep them coming back). Adding value is the only way to get someone’s long-term buy-in. We both learned this after a decade of leading and managing people in the corporate world.

Be Original. Yes, there are other blogs out there about the same thing you want to write about. Question: So why is your blog different? Answer: Because of you. You are what makes your blog different. It’s about your perspective, your creativity, the value that you add.

Be Interesting. Write epic, awesome content. Especially if you want people to share it with others.

Be Yourself. Part of being interesting is telling your story. Every person is unique, and your story is an important one. The important part of storytelling, however, is removing the superfluous details that make the story uninteresting. A great storyteller removes 99% of what really happens—the absorptive details—and leaves the interesting 1% for the reader.

Be Honest. Your blog needs to be authentic—it needs to feel real—if you want people to read it. You can be your blog, or your blog can be you. That is, do you really embody the stuff you write about? If not, people will see through you. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” is the famous Gandhi quote. Perhaps bloggers should build the blog they want to write for the world.

Transparency. Being transparent is different from being honest. You needn’t share every detail about your life just for the sake of being honest. Always be honest, and be transparent when it adds value to what you’re writing. (You won’t ever see pictures of us using the restroom on our site, because that’s just not relevant.)

Time. Once you’ve learned how to start a blog, you’ll learn that blogging takes a lot of time, especially if you’re as neurotic as we are (we spent over 10 hours testing the fonts on this site). And see those black Twitter and Facebook icons in the header? We spent hours on those, deciding what was right for us). That said, once you have your design set up, don’t tweak it too much. Instead, spend the time on your writing.

Vision. The reason our site design looks good is that we have a great host, we have a great theme, and most important, we had a vision of how we wanted our blog to look. Once we had the vision, we worked hard to make that vision a reality. (Note: neither of us had any design experience prior to starting a blog.) It’s hard to create a beautiful blog if you don’t know what you want it to look like.

Find Your Voice. Over time, good writers discover their voice and their writing tends to develop a certain aesthetic, one that is appealing to their readers. Finding your voice makes your writing feel more alive, more real, more urgent. For additional reading, check out Joshua’s essay about Finding Your Voice.

We Instead of You. Use the the first-person plural when possible. Statements of we and our are more powerful than than you and your, especially when talking about negative behaviors or tendencies. The first person comes off as far less accusatory. Think of it this way: we’re writing peer-to-peer—we are not gods.

When to Post. Question: When is the best day and time to publish a blog post? Answer: It doesn’t really matter. We don’t adhere to a particular schedule. Some weeks we post one essay; sometimes we post three. Yes, it is important to write consistently, but you needn’t get too bogged down in the details.

Social Media. Yes, we recommend using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to help connect with your audience and other bloggers, but don’t get too caught up in it. Focus on the writing first, social media thereafter.

Ignore Negative Criticism and Stupidity. Sure, we get a lot of negative comments and stupid questions from ignorant people who aren’t really our readers (e.g., negative comments like “You’re not real minimalists” and stupid questions like “Are you guys gay?”). We call these people seagulls: they fly in, crap on your site, and fly away. But we pay them no mind, because we didn’t start our blog for them. Delete their comment and move on.

Research. Spend time researching what you’re writing about. The reason we are able to use so many helpful, relevant links in our essays is that we put in the time to research our topics.

Keep It Simple. This is where minimalism can be applied to starting any blog, irrespective of its genre. No need to place superfluous advertisements or widgets all over your site. Stick to the basics and remove anything you don’t need. Remove anything that doesn’t add value.

Picture. Put a picture of yourself on your blog. People identify with other people. If two goofy guys from Ohio aren’t too afraid to put their pictures on their site, then you have nothing to worry about.

Final Comments:  If you’re going to have comments on your site, then read The Five Words That Kill Your Blog by Scott Stratten. Live Your Life. You’re blogging about your life (or about certain aspects of your life, at least), so you still need to live your life. There are things that we always put before writing: exercise, health, relationships, experiences, personal growth, contribution. Now that you’ve learned how to start a blog—and why you should start a blog—you can subscribe to The Minimalists via email to receive free essays from Joshua and Ryan. (No spam. Ever. Spam is yucky!)
Read More
Previous PostOlder Posts Home