The most common question about blogging is, “How do you start a blog?” For this post, I will show you how to start a successful blog (a professional one) in easy steps. You will do this if you know how to click a mouse and use the internet. Do not be afraid if you have never done this before or feel you are too technologically challenged to do it because you can. How do I know? I’ve technologically challenged myself, yet I still did it. But you have the advantage of not having to make the same mistakes I did by learning from my mistakes.
Picking A Topic
Pick a topic you know about or like a lot. Pick something you’re passionate about. You don’t need to be an expert on a subject to Blog about! You can even blog about things you hate as long as you’re passionate.
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Some blogs have “how-to” tutorials, and some have photos, animations, cartoons, and videos as their content. The most popular blogs are non-fiction and “how-to” blogs. Blogging about something you know a lot about or love will encourage regular posting; therefore, people will most likely return — and reduce your writer’s block.
Doing What You Love, Know, Or Hate Is Great, But Is There A Market For The Topic You Want To Blog About?
Do a Google search or use Google Keyword Tool to determine if people are searching for your topic and related terms. Google Trends helps determine how popular a search term or word is. Market Samurai is a great tool for finding a detailed analysis of the topics and markets I want to get into. Forums are also a great source of information to determine what the market needs. Users there might tell you what information or product they are looking for or willing to pay for. Or you can ask on the forums what people are after.
Choosing a Blog Which is Best: WordPress or Blogger?
Call me biased because I’m using WordPress, but I’ve used both of them, and WordPress has impressed me the most — don’t hold it against me, almighty Google. WordPress has better and more plugins to make life easier, and I am all for it because I’m so lazy and technologically challenged. Before you rush off to sign up for an account with WordPress, if you plan on making money out of your Blog or if it’s for a business, you would want to look professional. URLs such as yourwebsite.wordpress.com/yourentry don’t look professional and are difficult to remember. To get a free blog with WordPress.com, tell your audience your Blog is just a hobby.
To get your URL or domain, such as YourWebsite.com, for example, you need a hosting provider to host your domain. Hosting packages usually cover the registration of the field. Okay, I’ll admit a little secret: I didn’t even know what a hosting provider was or what it did when I began. Yes, the words technologically challenged come to mind.
I have used several hosting providers, and some good ones are out there. So far, the ones I like have to be Bluehost and Siteground. I use both of them. Bluehost offers fantastic, 24-hour online support. I’ve had some lame newbie problems in the past, and they have always been there to help me fix the issues — without making me feel like a noob. Bluehost support is fast and reliable. Their prices are pretty average. Not the most expensive, but not the cheapest either. But you will get good help with them — so for someone new to blogs and websites, they are a Godsend.
Siteground is cheap and cheerful. The prices are lower than Bluehost, but for a good reason: their support is elusive. If you’re confident with websites and blogs, then consent doesn’t matter. To get hold of a Siteground customer service rep online is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And Siteground has slightly fewer features compared to Bluehost. But what they lack in features, they make up for in price and overall performance. If you are on a shoestring budget and want affordable hosting, Siteground is the way to go.
So which host is better? It all comes down to your budget and support preference.
Hosting Your Website
- Before registering your domain and hosting your website, have some backup UURLsor domain names in case the one you want is already taken.
- Go to Bluehost or Siteground and type in the available URL you want. Sign up, make payment (credit card or Paypal), and receive a welcome email with your website login details. It’s worth paying that little extra $10 a year for the WHOIS privacy protection so people can’t find your details when they look at who owns the website. And to prevent them from spamming your email.
- Sign in to your website by visiting your hosting provider’s website and logging in with your account details.
Here is where you will easily install WordPress with a few clicks:
- For Bluehost > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click on Simple Scripts > Under the Blogs heading,g click on WordPress, > Click Install > Fill in details > Bookmark your website’s WordPress login URL — now you have a WordPress blog on your domain!
- For Siteground > Go Account Section > click CPanel > click Access CPanel Normally > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click on Fantastico De Luxe > Under Blog,s click on WordPress > Click on New Installation > Fill in details and click Install WordPress > Bookmark your website’s WordPress login URL — now you have a WordPress blog on your domain!
Pick A Template (Design) For Your Blog
Many people get worried that they need to know how to design a website to have one. But there are templates (for WordPress and Blogger) that are free — with all the design and work done for you. To pick a free theme, log into your website’s WordPress account (the URL you bookmarked after WordPress was installed), which I’ll refer to as the “WordPress backend” from now. On the left panel, under the Appearance tab, click on Themes, click on the Install Themes tab across the top, tick the boxes you want or put in the name of a design or word, and click Find Themes. Once you have found and settled on a theme, click Install, click the Install Now button, click Activate, and your music or design should be live on your website.
Please check it out by typing your website URL into a new browser window and looking. If you do not like it, you can search for another theme and activate the new one instead. You can even find the names of the articles you want by doing a Google search. Type “Free WordPress Themes pink” or “Paper WordPress Themes” with a short description of the style or color you want, and you’ll get lists of themes to choose from. Customize your Blog to the colors you want with your logos, etc.; I’ll cover that in part three of this post series, “How To Customize Your Blog.”
Adding WordPress Plugins To Make Your Life Easier
What are WordPress plugins?
WordPress blogs are okay for blogging, but your site will be pretty bare and simple in function. Unless you are a programmer who can code everything you need, you will want some plugins. Best of all, these plugins are free. What are these plugins, and what on earth do they do? The question should be, what don’t they do? From helping your site run faster to helping you add contact forms, insert ads, have slide shows, help Google find your site, let you have customized sidebar or menus, embed videos, kill comment spam, make your site prettier, and much more! Many programmers have spent the time to make these handy plugins to make our lives easier so we can have more interesting and better websites – so a thank you to all you WordPress plugin programmers out there.
To add new plugins to your WordPress backend (without having to install them manually), on the left-hand panel under Pthe plugins tab, click Add New, type in the name of the plugin or the function tou want, and click Search Plugins. Find the plugin you wish to use, select Install Now, and click Activate Plugin to begin using it.
Those Are My Pinnacle 13 Endorsed WordPress Plugin.s To add:
Advert Inserter (via Igor Funa) — works with Marketing Manager underneath. It will simplify your life while you monetize your website online with commercials. The closing aspect I need to do is figure out how to code the ads to make them repeat or take a seat in a favorable region on my website. This plugin makes adding commercials easy.
Marketing Supervisor (by way of Scott Switzer) — works in tandem with the Ad Inserter above. This beneficial plugin controls what number of ads to show so that you do not get bitch slapped by Google Adsense. Google handiest allows 3threecommercials per page, so this plugin does everything right for you, so you don’t fear compliance!
Akismet (by Automattic) — weird call, but it’s miles reachable to kill off traumatic comments who depart unsolicited mail for your website! This is already pre-established on all WordPress debts; you seed to set it off using by signing up for an API key. MMulti-functionalSeo P.C. (by way of Michael Torbert) will help optimize your website for search engines like Google and Yahoo (that’s important, however greater than in any other post).
Comment Link Supervisor (by way of Weber Website hosting) — will make your lifestyles less difficult using letting you control the hyperlinks left by commentators. Clean Privacy Coverage (by Kevin Sparrow) — a need for websites wanting to get on the coolest aspect of Google Adsense. This might not guarantee you will get authorized, but it positively facilitates a little. Plus, it’s constantly expert to allow your website visitors to recognize how you will guard their non-public records (and I hope you suggest it!)
Speedy Secure Touch Shape (via Mike Challis) — enough said! Constructing net bureaucracy aisan ache inside the butt, and this plugin does it for you and gives you the flexibility to personalize it if you wish. And it’s Comfortable, so it makes me experience all fuzzy and heat. Now you have a “Touch Us” Form; how professional! Google XML Sitemaps (with the aid of Arne Brachhold) — aids search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to index your website online asap – that’s essential if you need to be determined.
Robots Meta (with the aid of Joost de Valk) — search engines like Google muse crawlers, net spiders, or net robots to “move slowly” your internet site’s pages. This plugin points the bots to the pages that rely upon and aavoidsthose that aren’t. Horny Bookmarks (by Shareaholic) — if you look below, you will see a social networks panel for human beings to proportion this newsletter (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.). This is first-rate to inspire people to inform their pals and family about your website or articles.
Subscribe to remarks Reloaded (with the aid of Camu) — this sort of small characteristic, yet it can be useful. It leaves a touch box for commentators to tick if they wish to follow remarks with different commentators’ aid. What does that suggest, and how does it benefit you? By subscribing to comments, they must peer what others say and return to your website! Encouraging readers to come back returned is a notable thing to have!
W3 General Cache (by way of Frederick Townes) — Makes your weblog load quicker! And that in itself is awesome because Google takes that into account when ranking one’s website. So the faster your website loads, the better it looks in Google’s eyes. WordPress Database Backup (by Wustin Matzko) — This would not require an explanation. The name tells you only how crucial it’s far to back up your website if your PC crashes or you, by chance, mess up your internet site.
If Your Theme Needs Extra Basic Features
If you like your theme, it is missing some essential elements — like menus, etc. These plugins might help (remember these are optional, so check your piece first): Menubar (by Andrea Tarantini) — some theme developers forget to put in a menubar. If your music is one of them, this will do the trick. Page Link Manager (by Garrett Murphey) — if your theme is missing a Menubar, oou have no control over which links sappearin your navigation menu/menubar once you add one. HThisplugin will help decide which pages or categories show with a few clicks.
Now, What Do I D,o Zoe?
You are starting wto writeand pputcontent in! WordPress automatically installs a pre-written first post for you. You can either delete it by writing over it or select Add New under Pthe osts tab on the left-hand panel.