This article will provide you with the steps you need to take in order to start your own aviation or travel (or any other, for that matter) blog. While not completely related to aviation, I have been asked this question a couple of times, and I thought it might be a useful read for those of you that are considering sharing your aviation photos or stories with others through your own website for one reason or another.
Disclosure: The post below contains affiliate links for which I may receive compensation. That said, I only recommend and provide affiliate links to products that I personally use, and all of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
The Two Parts of Running a Blog
There are basically two sides to starting and running a blog – the technical side and the content side.
The former is, of course, the “meat” of the blog and will highly depend on your preferences. You have to decide what you want to write about and what you want to focus on. Whether it is news from your local airport or reports from your trips.
The technical side is, for many, the “necessary evil” that has to be taken care of to present the content. To me, both the content part and the technical part are enjoyable, and that’s why I decided to write this post explaining how to get a blog started – from the technical point of view.
While there are multiple ways to do a blog, the below covers the “self-hosted” way – where your blog will have its own domain (e.g. mynewaviationblog.com instead of mynewaviationblog.blogspot.com).
How to Start Your Blog
Step 1: Decide on a Suitable Domain Name
Before you setup your blog, you need to think about a name for it and a relevant domain name – the website’s address. Of course, the domain name you come up with needs to be available.
To check availability of domains, you can use the Bluehost (KNAviation.net’s web hosting provider) tool below. Just type in the domain name (e.g. “mynewaviationblog”), select the extension (e.g. “.com”), and click “check availability.”
If the domain is available, it also allows you to purchase the domain with hosting right away, but more about that in step 2. If not available, it suggests other, similar, domain names that are available.
Step 2: Get a domain and hosting
Once you have the name and the domain decided, it is time to actually purchase the domain and also a webhosting to go with it.
There are plenty of webhosting providers. Personally, I use and suggest Bluehost which offers a “basic” package for less than 5 dollars a month. It comes with a free domain and 50GB of space – more than enough to start with. Their responsive and helpful live chat support team is a plus as well.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Once you have your domain and your hosting, it is time to install a blogging platform. The “de facto” standard is WordPress. Nowadays, many hosting providers including Bluehost offer a one-click installation which simplifies the process a lot.
Step 4: Select Your Theme
With WordPress up and running, it is time to choose a theme – the look – of your blog. While there are many paid themes out there, there are equally as many free themes. To start with, I suggest you choose one of the free themes available in the WordPress theme library.
Just as a sidenote, the theme I use here at KN Aviation – Pinboard – is a free one as well.
Step 5: Start Posting Your Blog Posts
The final step – and perhaps the most difficult one, but definitely the most fun – is to post your first, second, third, … post. What you post will solely depend on the focus of your blog, and it could be anything ranging from your daily spotting reports to the world’s latest first class product reviews.
This post covers the very basics of starting a blog – from the technical side. As explained above, first you will have to decide on your blog’s name and domain (web address). Then you need to check if your selected domain is available, and finally you will have to buy the domain as well as a hosting package.
There are plenty of hosting providers. The one I suggest and use is Bluehost.
Once you have your domain and hosting, you will need to set up your content management system – generally WordPress.
With all that done, you can start blogging.
Of course, depending on your aims and needs, you might want to customize your theme, create basic pages such as “About Me,” and install some basic WordPress plug-ins, but that is for a separate topic.
If you have any questions related to starting your blog, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected].