If I could give you just one tip that will help you become an expert in any topic beyond your certification exams and possibly even land your dream job, this would be it. But before we dive into that, let me tell you a story about how Serpros started, and I promise this is key.
Many years ago, I was studying for an exam called The Cisco CCNT. For those of you who haven’t heard of the CCNT, it was an exam you could take before earning your full CCNA, so it was kind of the halfway mark. It was great because you didn’t need to learn everything all at once, and you had a certification to keep you motivated and to put on your CV. Unfortunately, Cisco did decide to remove the CCNT, and now your only option is to get the full CCNA, but that is not the point of this story.
While I was studying for my CCNT, I remember watching some training, and I think it was Jeremy Chara who said something along the lines of, “If you want to fully understand something, you need to explain it to someone.” Or something along those lines. Anyway, so that is exactly what I did. I started writing my notes and putting them into a blog. Now, I thought this would help my studies and may even help one or two others as well.
The beauty of doing this is it forces you to understand a topic fully before being able to write it down in a simple, easy-to-understand blog post. Put it this way, have you ever thought that you understood something, but when you came to explain it to someone, they started to ask questions, and then you realized you didn’t know it quite as well as you thought? I can’t tell you how many times I thought I had a topic nailed, and when I came to write about it, I actually found myself learning much, much more than I would have if I didn’t sit down and write it in my own words.
I called that blog “Complex IT Learning,” and as you can see, it definitely has some surprise elements to it. After blogging for a bit, I also added a YouTube channel to create some tutorials as well. That YouTube channel became the channel you’re watching today. You can even go back and watch those early videos, and trust me, they are worse than you can imagine.
That blog and this YouTube channel have helped me in ways that I had never thought possible. This has genuinely changed my life, and this is the tip I have for you. Whether you’re starting out, looking to upskill, or transitioning into a new field, starting a blog could be a game-changer for you. The benefits are endless. It forces you to learn topics thoroughly by thinking about all of the different aspects and questions that a reader might have. It will also set you apart from everyone else.
Now, I’m not a hiring manager, but I have seen tons of CVs and applications, and to be honest, most are the same standard CVs that we’re all taught to do. When up against hundreds or even thousands of other applicants, you can easily get forgotten unless you do something to make yourself stand out. Having a great blog gives you an edge. Not only will it show your technical skills, but it will show your passion and your willingness to go the extra mile.
So, having a blog will help you with your studies and make you more desirable to employers—win-win. The best news is you can start a blog for free, or if you want a nice professional-looking blog (which I definitely recommend), it won’t cost any more than a few dollars. It doesn’t even take that long to do, and anyone can do it. Let me show you exactly how to get started in just a few minutes.
Step 1: Web Hosting
To get started, you’ll need a couple of things. First, somewhere to host your website, and second, a domain name for your website. Luckily, most web hosting providers will provide you with both of these.
Let’s start with hosting. There are so many different web hosting options, and it can be daunting. The good news is the team at Hostinger has partnered with Serpros to provide you with web hosting at a fraction of the cost, perfect for starting your tech blog without breaking the bank.
To get started, browse to Hostinger’s special offer for Serpros or use the link in the description. You’ll find a page offering you the hosting deal. You can also see how well-rated these guys are on Trustpilot, Google, and WP Beginner. Clicking “Claim Deal” will take you to the plans.
There are a couple of options here, but the one you’re probably most likely to want is the “Premium Web Hosting.” It comes with up to a hundred different websites, 100 gigabytes of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain, and even free professional-looking emails. Click “Add to Cart.”
Now, you can choose your hosting period. To save the most money, select 48 months for just £2.59, which is less than the cost of a coffee per month. To save even more money, make sure you scroll down and click the coupon button, and type in “serpros10” to apply that for even more discount. Then, input your card details and submit the payment.
Once you have purchased the hosting, you’ll be taken to your admin dashboard where we will set up your website.
Step 2: Claim Your Domain
The first thing you probably want to do is claim your domain. So, click “Claim Domain,” and here is where you’re going to choose the name for your website. You can try your first name and last name for a personal blog, but if that’s already taken, you can mess around with some of the extensions or shorten or lengthen the name. Another option is to go with a completely different name like “Complex IT Learning” or “CertPros.com.”
Once you have your domain, we can come over to the Premium Web Hosting. All we need to do is click the “Setup” button, then click “Start Now,” and Hostinger will ask you some questions to guide you through the setup. For us, we’re going to click the “Skip” button at the bottom.
Now, this is going to be a brand new website, so we’re going to select “Create New Website,” hit “Select,” and it’s going to give us two options. We can either have WordPress or a personalized website built with AI. For this task, I recommend you go with WordPress. WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, perfect for blogs and websites just like this one. Select “WordPress,” and then it’s going to ask us to input a password to log into our WordPress account. You can make one up or generate a secure one and store it in a password manager. Then, click “Continue.”
It’s asking us if we want to install any plugins. We’ll skip this for now, but I’ll show you how to do this later on.
Step 3: Choose Your Theme
Now comes the important part: we need to choose the theme for our website. This is how our website will look. As you can see, there are quite a few
different options. All you need to do is find one that you like the look of. I’m going to choose the “Slick Blog” because it looks pretty simple and is designed for blogs. So, I’ll press “Select.”
It’s going to ask if we want to automate any content creation using AI, but we’ll just go ahead and skip this.
Now, we just need to choose that domain name. If you already created that domain name, you can select it from here like I have already, or if you missed that step, you can go ahead and claim that domain here. So, I’ll select my domain and then finish setup.
Hostinger will get to work setting everything up for us, and this will only take a minute or two.
Okay, now everything is set up, and we can go directly to our website by clicking the “Edit Website” button here.
Step 4: Exploring WordPress
Here it is, our brand new website. This is where we will build our blog. This isn’t going to be a full WordPress tutorial, but I will show you around.
This is the main dashboard where we will manage our blog. On the left-hand side, we have the menu where we can add posts, pages, view comments on our blogs, and even add plugins. Let’s take a look at each of these.
- Pages: Pages are static pages like a home page or an about page.
- Posts: Posts are the articles or blog posts that we’ll write for the website.
Let’s start by looking at Pages. Here, you can see a policy page and a sample page. Yours might look slightly different. You can edit a page by simply hovering your mouse over it and clicking “Quick Edit.” To edit the page fully, click the “Edit” button.
To add new pages, go to the top of the screen and click “Add New.”
Now, let’s look at Posts. Click the “Posts” button on the left-hand side. Posts are where the magic happens. This is where we’re going to write all of the content for our blog. Let’s create a new post. Click “Add New” at the top.
Let’s say we’ve been learning all about the TCP and UDP protocols. In my own words, I’d come here and write down all about how TCP and UDP work and their differences. Once we’ve written our article, we’ll want to add a featured image to our post. This is what will be displayed on the website.
Go to “Featured Image” and select “Featured Image.” You can get free images from places like Pixabay or Unsplash, or even create your own. Once you’ve chosen an image, click to set the featured image.
The last thing we want to do is add a category. WordPress uses categories to organize posts into topics. Let’s add a new category by going up here and adding one for “Networking.” Then, select the category.
Double-check all of your work to make sure it’s factually correct, and then click the “Publish” button at the top of the screen.
Step 5: Viewing Your Blog
To view your website just as the visitor would see it, click the website name at the top left, and that will take you to the website. Here it is, your beautiful blog with all of your posts.
To go back to your posts, just click the button in the top left corner.
While we’re here, let’s go ahead and delete the “Hello World” sample post by hovering over it and clicking the bin button.
So, after studying and writing posts on everything you’ve learned, this page should start filling up.
Step 6: Plugins
Now, let’s explore plugins. Plugins allow you to add functionality to your website or blog, from contact forms to fully functioning e-commerce stores. We already have a few installed automatically, but to add more, click “Add New” at the top.
There are tens of thousands of plugins to choose from, but one I recommend you install right away is called “Wordfence.” Wordfence is a security plugin that will help protect your site by adding a firewall, limiting login attempts, and allowing you to add multi-factor authentication. Once installed, activate the plugin.
You will need to get your Wordfence license, which is free. Just input your email address and follow the steps.
Wordfence will take you through some settings, but make sure you go to the login security and set up multi-factor authentication.
When updates are available, make sure you keep everything up to date to keep your blog secure.
So, there it is—your brand new tech blog that will help you master the topics you’re studying, stand out to employers, and land that dream job. And all for the cost of less than a coffee per month.
Remember to go to Hostinger and use the code “serpros10” for even more savings.
Of course, you can always start a YouTube channel, and I definitely recommend you do. However, YouTube comes with a big learning curve, like recording your videos, editing, uploading, and all of that good stuff that comes with a YouTube channel. The problem is this will all take time away from your studies. So, I definitely recommend you start with a blog first.
Good luck with your blogs, and I’d love to see what you create. You can either post them in the comments or send them directly to me. And who knows, maybe it will change your life. It did for me.
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