This is actually a long overdue article that I should have published a long time ago but I decided to research a bit more and make this step by step guide a little bit more comprehensive to help those who wants to know how to start a blog from scratch. Anyway, whenever you’re ready to start, here it goes, and just a word of caution: 7000+ words!
- Lesson 1: Choosing Your Publishing Platform
- Lesson 2: Hosted Versus Self-Hosted WordPress
- Lesson 3: Choosing A Niche or Niches?
- Lesson 4: Choosing Your Domain Name
- Lesson 5: Where Do I Register A Domain Name?
- Lesson 6: Where Do I Get My Hosting?
- Lesson 7: How Do I Change My Nameservers?
- Lesson 8: Installing WordPress
- Lesson 9: Choosing A WordPress Theme
- Lesson 10: What Are Plugins? Which Ones Do I Need?
- Lesson 11: What To Do Before Creating An Article?
- Lesson 12: It’s Time For Your First Post!
- Lesson 13: On-Page SEO
- Lesson 14: Promoting Your Blog Post
- Lesson 15: Monetize Your Blog
- Lesson 16: Other Tips To Consider
- Lesson 17: Where Can I Get My Ideas?
- Lesson 18: The Dreaded Writer’s Block!
Why You Should Start Your Own Blog
Blogging gives you an exclusive opportunity to make your voice heard in the herd of masses looming throughout the Internet.
A blog is a haven of all the accumulated experience and knowledge you have collected during your stay on this planet and with that in mind, it’s no wonder that blogs are so popular nowadays, with thousands of new ones popping out like mushrooms after rain each and every day.
There is a thin line between a blog that one could consider good and one that never captivates the eye of the reader and with many wanting to succeed but not having the tools or the skills required to do so, I have decided to create this comprehensive guide that will hopefully be of help to anyone trying to get their hands dirty in the world of blogging.
This tutorial will prove to be of special use to starters and newbies who would want to set up a blog, making it possible for them to make the most out of it.
There are a lot of topics we will be covering today, all of them being very important factors in creating a thriving blog.
Let’s get right into it!
Lesson 1: Choosing Your Publishing Platform
Starting off with the basics, we first have to decide upon a platform which will serve as a skeleton for our blog, providing us with all the tools necessary to jumpstart our blog into existence.
There are many publishing platforms available to choose from, with the most popular and revered among the lot being WordPress.
Others that also deserve a complimentary mention for being a viable alternative are Joomla, Drupal, Wix, Squarespace and Medium.
All of the aforementioned blog platforms do their job, but none can even being to compare with the power of WordPress, who as of now powers over 40% of ALL the websites on the entire Internet!
What makes WordPress such a fan favorite and why has it been able to consistently outperform all the other platforms?
First and foremost, WordPress is written in open source, meaning that one can always access and view the code that is running their site or the site of their competitors.
This does pose some security issues but they are easily overshadowed when one considers just how attractive it is to programmers and coders alike, creating a sense of community and a congregation of knowledge easily available for the eye to see!
This brings me to my second point, the community.
While other publishing platforms might have a team of experts working on constantly upgrading their service, WordPress is ENTIRELY built within the community!
That means that WordPress is ever evolving, with a million minds being able to accomplish much more than a handful of experts.
Additionally, WordPress is basically made for newbies, giving them an easy and comprehendible way to build their first website, without delving into complicated programming language they would have to spend months to learn
What gives WordPress blogs even more of an edge in this field is the DEPTH in which one can modify their pages, without EVER having to touch code in their lifetime!
Search engines love WordPress!
Don’t be mistaken, it isn’t just the popularity that’s driving those ratings up, but the simplicity and ingenuity of the platform.
When a user visits a website, they want a clean, fresh and smooth experience on hand and WordPress enables just that!
Last but no least, what definitely catapults WordPress to the top of the list in our minds, is the sheer amount of modifications this platform supports
With thousands of plugins and themes, no one website is alike, so it gives the user the opportunity to make their brand unique and suited to their needs
I think that I have said more than enough and that my recommended choice over which platform to use was never out of the question (WPisLIFE is actually on WordPress, duh!):
Go with WordPress, you will NOT be disappointed!
Lesson 2: Hosted Versus Self-Hosted WordPress
I know what you might be thinking, here comes the hard part, the chunks of text that I will have a hard time following along…
Don’t worry! While it might sound intimidating at first, everything written in this tutorial is easy to understand and if some parts require extra attention to be given to, I am adamant to do just that!
When it comes to the quality of choice, one would always pick self-hosted WordPress, as it allows the user so much more than the limited hosted version.
So what’s the catch?
You have to pay out of your own pockets and chose a hosting provider on your own, while with the free version found on wordpress.com, you avoid all the hassle.
You also don’t have to do any maintenance, as all the inner workings such as updates and backups are handled automatically.
What this portion of the article is going to focus upon is why one SHOULD pay for the self-hosted version instead of opting for the easier solution.
A. No plugins for you!
Do you want to make your website shine with the newest plugin all of your competitor’s websites are using?
I’m sorry, we are not fine with that, you will have to stick with the bland outlook we have provided you with but be happy, it’s for free!
However, if you want some plugins to be installed, I guess that we at wordpress.com can handle that at a small fee of 2500$/month for up to five sites with our special VIP program.
This is only scratching the surface of the problem, a bizarre problem, the dilemma of upselling and fear mongering among the Internet community.
Read on and it will become clearer to you.
B. No money for you!
You worked hard on your website and have made sure that everything is in line and that each and every section is appropriate for the optimal user experience and now you would like to get paid for all the rough work you did?
I’m very sorry, but we don’t support that option!
Unless of course, your website gets more than 25000 page views a month, we just don’t want to hear from you!
Oh, and also, you have to split all the earnings with us on a 50/50 basis, thank you for the free money sucker.
C. No visitors for you!
This is the part that grinds my gears, this is the element of the trade which makes my skin crawl:
It’s impossible to complete option b) on our list with the free, hosted option.
The reasons for that are simple, ranging from the various downtimes your website would experience if you were to put such a strain on the weak servers they provide you with (they are free after all!) to the atrocious page load times your poor readers would have to deal with if they had to share the website with another 24999 users.
I think that you get the gist of it, unless you upgrade your free hosting account to one of the OVERPRICED, UNDERDELIVERED and SLIMY services they offer, you will never amount to anything!
This begs the question:
What difference would it make for me to choose the self-hosted option in the first place?!
D. No themes for you!
This just adds insult to injury.
You see a theme while snooping around the web and have already envisioned all the awesome things you could do with the design and colors BUT a surprise follows suit once you start creating your dream page:
The hosted version only offers a handful of themes in their repository and if you don’t like them, you can always get yourself some new ones for only 30$/year.
You can also purchase some of their overpriced premium themes, you are a newbie after all, they can sell you anything they want you to buy!
I’m aware that I had some emotional investment while writing this piece, but all which was said is true and much more.
The sad state of affairs is as follows:
You are new to websites and hosting and all these convoluted terms and at such times, it can be easy to just let it all flow and let yourself be guided by someone else.
In this case, a company that has their own interest in mind much more than yours, as you get ALL the benefits that they seem to offer in their arsenal with the self-hosted version at a much lower price.
The only difference being that you have to acquaint yourself with some new terms and believe me, this article will do more than that for you.
It will create a user that will not let himself be dissuaded by the bleak look of things, it will create a fighter, someone that absorbs knowledge while he is on his voyage towards constructing his first website.
Lesson 3: Choosing A Niche or Niches?
So you opted for the self-hosted version, which will get more attention in the upcoming chapters but before that, we have to do our due diligence when it comes to picking a niche(s) that suits us best.
This will also help us in choosing our desired domain name later on!
The main difference between all the blogs could be simplified by dividing them into niche blogs and general blogs.
Our first option goes for a single topic, focusing on just that one brand.
The second option prefers to widen it’s scope, becoming a magnet for a much larger user base but losing credibility in the sense of the smaller focus on any particular topic.
To decide upon which way you want to go, let’s look at some of the pros and cons both of them offer:
- Lets you show your expertise on your topic of choice.
- Attracts a loyal and engaged user base.
- Allows for connections to be made between users and other blogs, considering the proximity of interests.
- Gives you an opportunity to become an authority in your field, as it is much easier given the smaller competition and the depth in which you talk about the subject.
- Whilst choosing a domain name, you can seize a phrase that reflects what you write about.
- If you want to write about something else, you are advised against doing so as your audience is there to read about one thing only.
- Coming up with new topics can become a hurdle as your scope narrows with each article you churn out.
- Boredom and blandness can become an issue as you spend months talking about the same thing over and over again.
- Moving on means abandoning your blog.
- Write about anything, anyone, at any time
- Have the ability to partner with lot’s of people from a variety of backgrounds
- Never run out of topics or things to write.
- Attract all kinds of different readers.
- Harder to monetize, as advertisers most often search for a targeted group to offer their services to.
- Harder to rank, as there are other blogs whose entire existence is focused upon the one topic you are trying to cover.
- Harder to optimize efficiently as your blog grows bigger with the vast amounts of content it requires.
- Harder to brand yourself as an expert on anything, as you mostly cover things loosely and superficially.
Ultimately, your choice should depend on your own personality and the amount of time you want to spend on your blog.
If you are an adventurer and like to have a word in every discussion, then a general blog is recommended.
Just be aware of the fact that you will have a much harder time than someone that talks about one topic only.
If you manage to pull through, however, the payouts are going to be worth your while!
On the other hand, if you are a professional in your field, go for a niche blog as you will quickly find yourself surrounded by like-minded individuals that cherish you for the value you offer to them!
Lesson 4: Choosing Your Domain Name
This might very well be the most important station of this article as so much depends on your domain name and it’s ability to become a brand!
We will kick it off with some general tips:
A Domain Name Should Always Be Catchy
We are not asking you to become the lord of click baits, but ask yourself this question before proceeding:
Would you rather visit a domain that goes by youcanbuycoucheshere.com or CouchBuy.com?
You need to attract your readers, as there are thousands of competitors fighting for that one view alongside you!
No Longer Than Ten Characters Please!
A domain name should always be short and to the point, there are many reasons for that, we will just name a quick few:
- It helps you in search engine rankings
- Users are much more likely to remember your domain name
- Users are much more likely to trust your domain name
- Users are much more likely to share your domain name
- It gives you extra points in your ability to create a brand
- Gives you extra authority in the eye of the beholder (refer to our example above)
As Much As Possible, Avoid All But .com Extensions
Whilst it might seem like a cool idea to get yourself a cool extension like .today or .me, upon further inspection, it can and will lead to disaster.
Although the internet has been around for over twenty years, people still associate the .com extension with the one and only extension that should be used and trusted.
There is nothing wrong with the other ones actually, but considering the fact that most people aren’t tech-savvy (think of your grandma not knowing how to ‘remove’ the virus Google from her homepage) they want to feel safe and secure.
You make sure to give them just that by going with a .com extension and the rewards you will reap will soon start to show themselves.
Make It Brandable
I would be bookmarking that site at the drop of a hat!
I would be so much more inclined to share it with a friend of mine and maybe even with other users on the Internet.
Brandability is so important for a domain name that no one other factor can match it.
Let’s take a look at why that is the case, shall we?
- You have thousands of rivals competing along your side and the number of visitors is limited, the brand always takes the cake!
- Successful companies that have established themselves as a brand don’t have to spend a cent on advertising (think of Coca-Cola)
- New users always flock to brands, despite the obvious lack of quality (think of GoDaddy.com in this business)
- Brands are always trusted and advocated, in contempt of their competitors.
Later on, we will teach you on what makes your domain a brandable one while also recommending you some tips and tricks in order to give your domain that extra inch of confidence, in the eyes of your users!
Be Aware Of Copyrights
This one is almost always overshadowed among all the others as most if not all of us never even begin to question ourselves:
”Are we infringing on another company with this domain name?”
and even when we do, we don’t think any harm will come our way if that were to happen.
Don’t be so sure of that, as Mike Rowe learned that the hard way with his site MikeRoweSoft.com once he got a cease and desist letter from Microsoft themselves!
Not only is it common courtesy among fellow humans to respect the rights of others but it also does you no good in terms of trust among your users, if the only thing you aim to do is to leech from another, more successful company!
Now that we have the basics out of the window, let’s try and give an answer to another dilemma that opens itself up when getting yourself a new domain name:
Should I focus on brandability or making sure I exactly match the keyword I’m trying to target?
Exact match domains (called EMD’s in the SEO community) were a big thing back in the era when Google gave special privilege to domains that contained the phrase a user was searching with their engine.
This all changed in 2012 when an update by Google shook the entire community centered around EMD’s – The glory days were over, they had lost their authority.
The reasons for that are aplenty, but the most prominent answer and the one that most experts agree upon is that EMD’s are not only seen as spammy, oftentimes, little work had to be done in order to rank such a domain which was contralateral with user experience on the site.
Google, as the most popular search engine, BRANDS itself on user satisfaction so the operation was quickly shut down.
To not completely dissuade you from EMD’s, they still enable you a higher CTR (Click-Through Rate), a higher payout when it comes to AdWords and high relevancy when it comes to the targeted keyword.
No wonder they were so heavily abused.
Nowadays, EMD’s are almost impossible to obtain and even if they were, their infamous past puts a stigma on their place which holds itself true till today, that is why we recommend brandable domain names.
The biggest asset of a brandable domain name is the ease in which you can get yourself one of them!
Many inexperienced users pay thousands of dollars for a domain name while not knowing that it isn’t the keyword their users are going to be remembering them by but their BRANDING.
Another thing about branded domains is that they stick with the user, making them much more likely to come back to your page and share it with their relatives or friends!
Furthermore, branded domains allow you to focus on more than one keyword, giving you freedom of expression and allowing you to expand your existing business!
Lastly, branded domains face no penalties from Google, as they conform to the norms and expectations from the company.
The main disadvantage of a branded domain name is the long time it takes to build a brand and the amount of work and effort you will have to put in order to be noticed by search engines.
This only proves to be a hassle to those who are either very impatient or who on the other hand, want a quick way to succeed.
Let’s be clear on one thing:
There is no easy way when it comes to building a website, you have to bide your time and be willing to endure the tough times, as that will become the bastion once you have established your website.
If we had to make a choice, we would definitely opt for a branded domain name.
Sure, it is a long term investment and you will have to grind into it but the rewards are more than worth it!
Lesson 5: Where Do I Register A Domain Name?
We put much emphasis on brands and how well they do for companies and website alike.
This is where you will see how a brand shines in action, despite the big companies not always delivering the best product and sometimes slacking off to the extreme, with users feeling more like tools rather than paying customers.
You have surely heard of GoDaddy, haven’t you?
Who wouldn’t, as they spend millions of dollars on advertising each year and even have managed to grab themselves a spotlight at the Super Bowl.
Many newbies are swayed by their flashy offers but with time and experience, one can find even better deals at hand by digging deeper in the mud and giving less popular domain provider a chance to prove their worth.
I actually started with Godaddy, but along the way, I learned of other cheaper alternatives, that is why I transferred majority of my domains to Namesilo, who have done their best to treat me like a king and give me special promos and offers including free WHOIS privacy (use the code wpislife1 to get $1 off your purchase).
Another thing which surprised me the most was the customer service that consisted of professionals, not some third-world rut that doesn’t even speak the language!
What I personally liked about Namesilo the most was how credible they were once it came to paying:
There were NO hidden charges and I had an overview of EXACTLY what and how much I paid!
To keep it short, stay away from big names to whom you don’t mean much as they got a million other customers to cater to and go with Namesilo, they have a lot to offer and one surely won’t find himself disappointed by giving them a go!
Want to search for a domain name? Check if your domain name is available by entering it below (in case you decide to purchase, use the coupon code wpislife1 to get $1 off):
Lesson 6: Where Do I Get My Hosting?
This is where we expound on the ‘self-hosted’ section.
New hosting providers are spawning like crazy and many of them have a lot to show for but as in the range of domains, always remember to try and move away from the mainstream providers, as they are mostly oversaturated and have zero inclination to keep you as a customer.
Some of them have abandoned customer satisfaction and retention in favor of customer captivation!
When choosing a hosting provider, you have to make sure that the servers are fast so that your users don’t have to wait for more than a second to land on your page.
You also have to make sure that the hosting provider engages with you on a personal level, so that your needs and wishes can be met.
Also, please don’t make the beginner mistake of singling out the cheapest provider among the lot and picking them, as there is ALWAYS a reason for that.
So after you have picked up your domain at namesilo.com, go for someone that cares about you as a person, go with SiteGround
It was actually just an accident where I stumbled upon SiteGround while searching for a fast web hosting in google and BOY was I in for a ride!
- I wrote them a ticket inquiring about some technicalities and I was answered in FIVE MINUTES!
- It was MADE for WordPress, with over three million apps being updated each year!
- Their security is top notch, as they have their own Firewall which filters out vulnerabilities in a heartbeat!
- My website was NEVER shut down.
- My website was lightning fast;
To summarize, never tighten your belt when it comes to hosting providers and always go for the best choice on the market, that being SiteGround for now!
Lesson 7: How Do I Change My Nameservers?
Once you have bought your domain, you will have the capability (and need) to change your nameservers to point to your web server.
But before moving on, what are nameservers?
Without delving into it too much, nameservers are basically the phone books of the Internet, meaning that if someone were to try and find about your websites state of residence or place of being (hosting), they would be using nameservers!
You have a dedicated server for your domain name, handling inquires about your domain name at any times, automatically!
So how do I change them?
Luckily for you, with namesilo, things were made to be as simple and beginner friendly as it can be!
Use our images for reference if you ever get lost in the pool of info.
7.1 You will have to locate your Domain Manager (make sure that you are logged in!)
7.2 Among your domains, choose the one you want to modify by clicking on the appropriate box next to it!
7.3 Locate the keyword ACTIONS for Selected Domains, and from the list select ‘Change Nameservers’.
7.4 REMOVE all existing Nameservers prior to entering you new ones!
7.5 In the ‘NameServers Entry’ box, type in your desired nameservers pointing to your webhosting. (You will get your new nameserver once you have signed up for a web hosting. Your web hosting provider will give you your new nameserver, in this example, I pointed my new nameserver to my SiteGround web hosting.)
That wasn’t too hard, now was it? Changes will be noted shortly and you can expect them to be updated within one hour, just keep in mind that it can take up to 24 – 48 hours for changes to propagate
Lesson 8: Installing WordPress
We got our nameserver going, now it’s time to install WordPress!
For a new user to do it on his own, it could become a bit challenging and quite often, daunting, but I have made a comprehensive WordPress installation tutorial that even a baby can find it easy to accomplish!
If you have any further questions about this section, please feel free to contact us whenever you please!
Lesson 9: Choosing A WordPress Theme
At this point, we can finally start building our first website.
You must be pretty excited, I remember I was!
Even if you already have a theme in your mind, I recommend reading on as some of the tips offered here might help you make a more informed decision.
The fact of the matter is that most freshlings are overwhelmed with the vastness of themes available so here are some factors to narrow down your decision!
Simple Is Better
Nobody wants three million popups scaring the living hell out of them when they open up a page of yours, so a theme that is simple and easy to navigate is the one for you!
Also, it doesn’t help your page speed, which after all is a crucial factor in ranking your blog on Google!
Phones Are Now In!
We spend much more time on our phones than we do on our computers and moving from there, we can conclude that most of our users are going to be on the lookout for a smooth and polished mobile experience so make sure your WordPress themes are mobile responsive!
This is absolutely pivotal to any WordPress page, plugins!
No matter how shiny a theme looks like from afar, if it doesn’t support the plugins you need to make your site a monster, don’t even bother with it!
Search Engine Friendly
Your website could offer the most impeccable of all info available on the Internet, but what use does it have when search engines aren’t giving you the spotlight you deserve?!
That is why you should always opt for a theme that search engines love to crawl!
We are aware of the fact that this might be a bit too much to handle for now, so we made sure to find you a theme that offers brilliant coverage of all the above points and much more!
That being the Genesis Framework by Studiopress – Easy, secure, SEO friendly, supportive.
That is all you need to jumpstart your page to the top of the list, despite your limited knowledge on the subject!
Lesson 10: What Are Plugins? Which Ones Do I Need?
Plugins are the heart and soul of WordPress and the reason behind its ever growing popularity, enabling you to add completely new features to your website, making it special and unique in the process.
Installing them is quite painless and here is how you do that:
10.1 Make sure that you are logged in as an Admin on your website then hover to ‘Plugins’ tab then select ‘Add New’ from the drop-down menu.
10.2 A screen will pop-up, with all the featured plugins being shown to you.
10.3 From here, you will see a search bar on the far right corner. Click it and type in your desired plugin.
10.4 After reaching your desired search query, simply install it by selecting ‘Install Now’
10.5 You can always check your already installed plugins right under the ‘Plugins’ menu!
If you are not too keen on which plugins to install, we have compiled a list of the most valuable free ones for a budding web page which you can find by clicking the button below!
Lesson 11: What To Do Before Creating An Article?
In order to create a compelling and engaging write-up, that will captivate your audience and bring them back to your website for more, you have to follow some steps and rules in order to accomplish not only that but also make your article RELEVANT in the eyes of Google.
Here are the top things to keep in mind when you are thinking of scribbling something on your website.
Tip #1: Be Unique!
Not only in content but also in the name you want to birth your article in.
Not only is unoriginal content viewed as spam by search engines but you also run the risk of getting your domain penalized and in the worst case, blacklisted.
That would be a disaster for your website, as you would lose all of your visitors from search engines!
Tip #2: Do Your Keyword Research
If there are a million articles on the topic of ‘how to sleep’, you will have to do better than that if you want to rank in the eyes of Google.
Be warned, only the first 10 results on Google get any visitors at all, meaning that if you slack off and fall down the drain, you will be left without anyone to read your article and your website will begin to falter!
To accomplish a higher ranking, I recommend researching your keyword first to see what kind of competition you are going up against, as to not end up in a situation in which you are competing against ten companies that you have no chance to win!
The best way to go about this is to use a keyword research tool, My personal endorsement, which I am actually using right now goes to KWFinder as it offer the most accurate and updated data on all the keywords you could think of.
My favorite thing about this keyword research tool is that you can try it out for free, as they give out three keyword related searches every day, so be sure to check them out!
Tip #3: Research For Long-Tail Keywords
Long-Tail keywords are clear-cut, longer phrases of the keyword you are aiming to position on the first spot!
Long-Tail keywords are especially good if you are targeting a keyword that would otherwise be too hard to rank for!
Let’s take the example of ‘how to sleep’, instead of using such a common and saturated search term, we can rank much higher and rake in MUCH more visitors by trying to face off against competition in the ‘How to sleep if there is too much noise!’ range.
To help you out in your endeavor, KWFinder is perfect to use for long-tail keywords, as it was specifically designed to captivate the lesser searched terms in search engines!
Tip #4: Avoid Pointless Articles
By pointless, I mean articles that people don’t want to read!
If you have a website on shoes, it would be more than fruitless to write about elephants, wouldn’t it?!
Your visitors would quickly leave and in haste, proclaim you a lunatic!
Tip #5: Research Your Topic
There is nothing worse than having to read a 4000 word article and in the end, realize that you have learned absolutely nothing at all!
Readers are always searching for value on the Internet and if your website cannot provide it, they will find one that will!
Lesson 12: It’s Time For Your First Post!
We’ve finally got ourselves a functioning website and now the only thing left to do is fill it with lots and lots of engaging and unique content!
Your hand must be itching for the keyboard but you will have to hold on tight for just a minute.
Let us wholly demonstrate to you on how to create your first post in WordPress!
12.1 In your WordPress menu (you have to be logged in!), locate and find the ‘Posts’ option. Click it.
12.2 From the drop-down menu that appears, choose ‘Add New’.
12.3 From here on out, you should arrive at this location, shown in the image below.
- The top field is reserved for the title of your article
- bottom field, for the main content.
- In between these two fields, you will see a tab that lets you format your text the way you want it to be!
From italics to bold dashes, it resembles MS Word in almost every sense!
If you are in need of more options, you can always click the last icon on the tab, called the ‘Kitchen Sink’!
12.4 Now write whatever you have envisioned on the dedicated field
Many inexperienced WordPress users would now tell you to just publish the thing like it is, but we would like to see our readers succeed and that is why we will list a few more things you can do to make your post shine among others!
Create A New Permalink
Permalinks determine what each and every post will look like once it is added to your domain.
Nobody wants to read a post from abc.com/477866/ but if that were to be changed to abc.com/how-to-sleep, you would gain so much more credibility and trustworthiness, and search engine friendly as well.
To edit your permalinks, go to hover your mouse to ‘Settings’ then pick ‘Permalinks’ from the drop-down menu
After that, I recommend that you change your permalink to this:
Add Images To Your Content
An image says more than a thousand words and readers just love them, as they can demonstrate what you cannot put into words so effortlessly that one would be a fool not to use them!
Just locate the ‘Add Media’ button, click it and you can upload or select the images in your library and you are good to go.
For image sources, you can actually get free high resolution images from Pixabay.
Add Categories And Tags
Not only does this help you prioritize and keep things clean, it can also affect your overall user experience on-site, so make sure to categorize each and every of your posts!
To do so, take a peek at the right side of your screen and click the ‘Add New Category’ button from the Categories menu.
Lesson 13: On-Page SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website ‘perfect’ for search engines to display in the many queries they get.
For a website to be even considered for ranking, it is crucial for it to be search engine optimized so that it may attract the loving shoulders of Google.
There are two types of search engine optimization:
- On-Page, tweaks you can do on your site to rank for your chosen keywords, and
- Off-Page, external factors that you can do to rank in the search engine for those same keywords.
In this tutorial, I will try only focus on on-page SEO, the one which you need to take care of before anything else.
The most important factors of On-Page SEO are:
We have already mentioned that users want a fast and smooth experience and search engines make sure to deliver just that!
Besides choosing a good hosting provider, like siteground, you can make your page faster by avoiding too many plugins and using extensions that make your website load slower
Always make sure that your content is unique, provides value and that the users on your site WANT to read it!
We delved into that in detail in the previous paragraphs
The first paragraph of every article is always given special attention by the search engines, as they always provide the user with a snippet of your article in the search queries.
That means that you HAVE to make sure that you include your desired keyword(s) in that first header to be able to rank higher for it!
But don’t overdo it, keep it natural and most importantly, readable.
Link To Link
Internal linking is something you won’t see many novice websites do but it helps a website out so much that it is unavoidable if you are serious about this
You basically refer the user to another article on your website, making them stay longer on your site while giving your other pages a place to shine.
This also makes up for much better user engagement as nobody wants to click through and search for related terms millions of times, you can do that for them by linking your own posts
A special mention also goes to title tags and URLs, which were already clarified in the previous sections.
Lesson 14: Promoting Your Blog Post
Besides creating an awesome and brandable blog, one can also give extra juice to their post by promoting their posts on various social media accounts.
Most notable and redeeming among them being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and in recent times, Snapchat.
You can also try and reach out to other blogs, in hopes that they might share or feature your post on their blog.
This can also help you in making friends and acquaintances down the road but make sure not to sound spammy or send too many requests, as this is seen as unprofessional!
The third thing I would definitely consider is building an email list, as one can drive users back to their blog.
This is a very viable strategy, as most users forget what blogs they have visited in the past and if they liked the content you have bestowed them with, they will surely want to be a part of that list.
Lastly, encourage your user to SHARE, SHARE and SHARE!
Some might see this as too imposing, but believe me, most users don’t think that far and would be happy to help out a blog that was of value to them.
Ask politely and never solicit, you are bound to get great returns on that!
If you believe yourself to be having a post that could potentially go viral, there is nothing stopping you from paying someone to promote your article
This might be a bit risky as there is monetary loss to be had, but fortune favors the brave and the possible returns could be gigantic!
Lesson 15: Monetize Your Blog
You have an engaging audience and after months of hard work, you want to earn something in return?
Here are the best ways to do to make money blogging:
If you haven’t heard of AdSense then you must have been living under a rock as it is the most popular way for bloggers to earn their fair share of a coin.
It’s easy to set up and get approved and once you are in, you can watch the dollars sweeping in!
Just make sure that your particular blog complies with the Terms of Google AdSense before proceeding.
I am doing some of that on my own, remember us recommending Namesilo?
You basically get a cut from each paying customer that buys a product from the target website THROUGH your affiliate link (that you get once you sign-up on an affiliate program).
The most popular among the list of affiliate programs surely has to be Amazon.
The great thing about them is that they give you an opportunity to grow as an affiliate, as every milestone you surpass gives you a higher commission!
Your Own Products/Services/Courses
If you want to keep all the profits to yourself and have the expertise and knowledge to create your own products, feel free to do so just like me, I have my own online store
You can offer up a monthly subscription to your membership and make them pay to read some of the premium content on your website.
Just make sure to be positive that the course is worth your customers money as you don’t want to disappoint them: A disappointed customer is a lost reader and a huge blow to your reputation (which you are trying to build up!)
Alright, we get it, your love for writing exceeds all possible realms of normalcy.
Don’t be offended, we are on the same page!
If you like to scribble each and every day and have a nose for the subject to be covered, there is nothing stopping you from making a killer passive income, without having to do any maintenance at all!
I recommend KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for such an adventure, as it is the easiest way to upload an ebook and make it available for millions of readers to behold!
Lesson 16: Other Tips To Consider
At first, writing for your blog will be a lot of fun and you will lose hours exploring all the different options available to you.
With time, the novelty of it all will fade and your enthusiasm will diminish.
In order for your blog not to become another abandoned wasteland, here are some tips and tricks to keep yourself sane and your blog alive:
Step Off The Pedal
You don’t have to work on your blog each and every day, take a day off and enjoy yourself.
In return, this will make you much more eager and fruitful once ‘blogging day’ is up again!
It’s Okay To Have A Change Of Heart
If you realize that the blog you have started is not something you want to do long term, it is much better to abandon it right this instant and get yourself a new domain name that suits your interests, rather than having to endure the pain of writing on something you don’t want to write.
We have mentioned this briefly in the ‘ranking tutorial’ of this write-up but it cannot be stressed enough:
If you don’t have the patience and tolerance to grow a blog and wait for nature (or the Internet) to takes it’s course, then blogging isn’t for you!
Try Not Forget To Have Fun
This has happened to many friends of mine that have been able to succeed in the world of blogging:
Once they had monetized it, they felt as if they had got themselves a second job on their backs.
If you prioritize money over fun, blogging will quickly metamorphose itself from a quirky activity to your worst nightmare!
Socialize On The Internet!
If you change your scope of vision from ‘they are my competitors I have to rank better than all of them!’ to ‘this is a blog in the same niche as mine, let’s say hi to them!’ you will have a much higher chance of not only succeeding but also creating bonds that could last a lifetime!
Lesson 17: Where Can I Get My Ideas?
Although you got your niche down and your website is ready to be visited, you just cannot come up with a thing to say or write.
I will share with you some of my own insider information on how to get the most out of your mind:
Other Blogs In Your Niche
Visit some of your neighbors and read some of their articles and you will quickly come up with ideas on what they might have missed!
My life revolves around music and I especially prefer to listen to some good Mozart or Beethoven (I love Symphony #9!), they always get me creative!
There is also a lot of science to back my claims up, as classical music stimulates certain regions of your brain associated with mental activity.
If you like reading in general, this won’t be much off a tip to you but make sure that the thing you are reading is actually related to the object you intend to showcase to your audience.
I know that some might imagine that I’m playing jokes on you but simply taking hold of a pen and paper and putting my thoughts down for me to behold on an eye level, helps me immensely as I get into what I call the ‘writing groove’
Lesson 18: The Dreaded Writer’s Block!
We all have to go through with that at one point or another and instead of just listing down the many things one can do in such a scenario I will share with you the one thing that helps me out of such a meager situation without fail!
And that is:
I enter a dimly lit room in my apartment, make sure to tone down all the noise that could be of hinderance to my concentration and just breathe the heavy air in and out. In and out.
This puts my mind at ease and my body at rest, allowing for newfound productivity to enter my realm of existence and fueling me with the desire to produce and to share my knowledge with the humans around me.
To summarize what we have learned today, we now know how to:
- Choose the right hosting provider
- Avoid getting scammed by greedy big-named corporations
- Choose a niche that is best suited for us
- Choose a domain name
- Optimize our blog
- Create engaging content on it
- Earn money from our labor
And so much more. If I were to list everything down, I would have to write a freaking book! (isn’t it already??)
All in all, blogging is made for people that like to inspire and change the outlook of those around them.
It is for those that are willing to learn whilst teaching, for those willing to listen while being listened to and for those that stand strong when times get rough!
It is a titillating experience, a fascinating builder of character and a way to expand your mind in spheres you wouldn’t even think of.
Blogging is the single most underutilized medium of the 21st century, as I believe EVERYONE to be capable of building and maintaining a blog.
I also believe that we all have a story to share and someone out there is willing to listen to our side of the equation and that is why I cannot fathom the vast amounts of people that ignore blogging!
Don’t be one of those! Join the ranks of bloggers that are here to be of help and that give power to people through intellectual, cultural, educational and other means.
Show your worth and make your voice be heard, with this comprehensive guide that won’t prove to be an inconvenience, as you are equipped with the most updated and professional knowledge written by someone that have been in the field for almost a decade (as of this writing)!
I guess thats all for now and I wish you the most of luck and hope to catch your blog online as I stroll through the vast space of the Internet.
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Have I still missed something? Share your comments below