How to Start a Blog • The Most Complete Guide Ever

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Welcome to the world of blogging. As someone who’s been blogging for a number of years, I can share how incredibly rewarding it can be as both a full-time venture and hobby. Its benefits are virtually endless. Each day millions of people read blogs for information or post content to their own blogs as part of their daily routine. Blogging is everywhere, and learning the fundamentals of effective blogging is within your reach.

I know, I know… starting a blog can be confusing. When I started my blogging journey nearly six years ago, I remember being baffled about this too. I kept searching through Google for different “how-to” guides, but they were all so technical and hard to follow.

Back then, blogging wasn’t so popular as it is today.

At that time, I just wanted to start a blog and make it successful. Fast forward and 5 years later, I’ve grown many blogs into 1,500,000+ monthly visitors. Obviously, everything didn’t go so smoothly at the beginning. However, during that time – I learned a LOT.

In fact, by following the step-by-step instructions in our Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging, you will be able to create and grow your own blog, avoiding pitfalls and missteps that hinder some novices.. I also wanted to give back a little to the blogging community which has helped me a lot.

Many successful bloggers gain knowledge, friendships, support and confidence by hosting a blog. And some are able to turn blogging into a lucrative business.

Learning how to blog is no easy task. It takes time and commitment to get your blog off the ground. Maybe you want to blog to make money off of it or maybe you’re just trying to network and spread your influence. Anyway you slice it, if done right, blogging gives you the potential to reach the world.

You Are Not Alone

The concept of blogging was studied a great deal when it was first introduced, but less so more recently as the novelty has worn off. This is largely due to the influence of microblogging, but things are coming full swing now that blogging and microblogging are becoming more integrated.

One source, Technorati, a popular online blog catalog, has conducted some very helpful research in the form of annual surveys administered to the blogging community that give insight into blogging and the types of people who blog successfully. According to last year’s survey by Technorati there are four primary categories of bloggers: Hobbyist. These individuals represent the majority of bloggers who are casual contributors.

Their motivation for blogging is enjoyment, not financial gain, branding, or other purposes. Content is largely focused around personal issues or concerns. Part-Timer. This category describes bloggers who spend a significant portion of their time blogging (more than three hours per week).

The motivation for these individuals goes beyond personal issues and blogging helps supplement their income. Corporate: This was the smallest group identified by the Technorati study (Penn Schoen Berland, 2010). Individuals in this category blog full-time but don’t use it as their only source of income.

Many people blog to share their expertise with others in their niche. Self-Employed: The final category includes those who blog full-time or occasionally for their own company or organization. Many own a company and have a blog related to their business. According to the study, self-employed individuals are the most likely to blog about business or professional topics.

If you’re serious about learning how to blog then you’ll want to read this incredible guide by our fantastic team.

If you cannot get your blog online within 30 minutes by following this tutorial, then our expert team will complete the process for you without any cost. Contact us for free blog setup help.

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Which Category Do You Fit Into?

As is true with any type of categorization, your blogging behavior may be a combination of more than one of these types. Regardless, you’re reading this book because you are interested in blogging—and you’ve come to the right place. We’d like to simplify the blogging landscape and focus on blogging for fun and blogging for business. Why? If you’re blogging for business (your own or someone else’s) or pleasure, you’d better be having fun. It keeps you interested in producing new, quality content that engages your readers and helps you grow your online presence. It’s also essential for making money. Trying to make money by promoting products that you would never use or have no interest in selling is like getting a root canal—it’s no fun at all.

Blogging for Fun

Blogging is a great way to express yourself. People with unique hobbies all over the world create blogs to share their experience, artwork, and opinions on a wide variety of topics. It’s a great way to communicate and attract like-minded individuals who share a passion for your specific hobby or niche.

So what should you start a blog about? Pretty much anything! If you’re an avid photographer for example, you can create a blog that uses a portfolio-based theme to showcase your most recent work.

Blogging is an effective way to share photographs with friends and family or others who are also interested in photography. If you love to travel, you can share information about your travels online. If you’re planning an upcoming excursion or intend to go overseas for an extended period of time, you can log all of your pictures and memories on your blog. Blogging can help you stay connected with people back home who you’d like to keep updated on your adventures.

Staying in touch with family members and those interested in the same subject is another benefit of blogging. Long distances often separate people, and you may not be able to see your family or friends as much as you’d like.

Starting a blog about your daily experiences will help keep you connected with others on a much larger scale than just speaking on the phone every few weeks. You can easily post pictures and hold conversations with your contacts, acquaintances, and family members using a well-designed blog. For Justin and me, blogging is a way to be engaged with our passions.

Whether we’re blogging about search engine optimization, search marketing, social media, or any other Internet marketing topic, we’re having a good time. What’s great about having your own blog is that you attract others who share similar interests. You can expand your social network and gain knowledge and expertise.

Blogging should always be focused on a topic or idea you’re passionate about. Without passion, you’ll be one of the many who abandon their blogs and never reach the pinnacle of true blogging success.

Focus on topics that drive you, whether for business or personal reasons. Blogging about something that you have an intimate knowledge about makes the process of updating your site much easier than if you’re forced to write about a topic in which you have little or no interest. I know from personal experience that starting a blog on a topic you are not passionate about results in a blog that is left to wither on the vine. Create blogs about subjects that are important to you or your business.

Blogging for Business

Blogging to grow a personal business or company is a significant driver of the most recent blogging boom. Many individuals and corporations have discovered that blogging is an advertising and communications channel that has multiple benefits. Additionally, companies are using blogs to add content to their websites and attract repeat visitors. Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop operation or a Fortune 500 company, blogging can help you interact with customers, increase sales, and rank higher in search engines.

Blogging opens up a significant communication channel for current and potential customers. By utilizing a blog correctly, companies gain the ability to discuss new business decisions, current events affecting their industry, and news concerning their products or services with interested parties.

A blog can help customers stay up-to-date on what’s happening with your brand and help you stay informed about how they feel about it. This is vital information that’s difficult to find anywhere else. Blogging provides a unique platform for communicating with your target audience and building a sense of community.

The comments section of your blog can provide immediate feedback regarding your business. When customers find your newest product line exciting, the blog gives them a place to voice their opinion. If they don’t enjoy your product, it provides an opportunity for you to gather feedback and understand why customers are unhappy.

You can easily respond and interact with your clientele. Justin and I will show you how to utilize the comments feature inherent in blogs to manage user-generated content to improve the quality of the overall blogging experience. Blogs are an essential part of the online buying experience.

These days, consumers do a fair amount of research before making purchase decisions. They often use search engines to find information about companies and products. If your blog showcases the latest developments in your company and provides an interactive experience for customers, chances are you’ll leave a positive impression, which can lead to sales.

One of the greatest benefits of blogging for business is the affect it has on search engine rankings. By producing quality content for visitors, search engines like Google and Bing are more likely to list your site high in their rankings. With recent updates to the Google algorithm, freshness of content has been elevated in importance. If your site integrates social media and is updated with quality content on a regular basis, Google increases the value of your blog and, in turn, your rankings.

As your blog climbs in search engine results, you will see an increase in traffic, leads, and sales. Ideally, you’ll be able to convert these new visitors into loyal blog followers or paying customers, ultimately increasing your bottom line and growing your business. We’ll show you specific techniques for building a powerful marketing list, one of the most valuable assets your blog can deliver.

The marketing list is essential for anyone trying to generate revenue from a blog. Justin and I use our blogs for much more than generating revenue. In fact, our primary purpose is to establish ourselves as experts in our industry and build credibility among our target markets. This allows us to grow our respective businesses and create value for our followers across a number of different platforms.

Regardless of your goal, keep in mind that being focused on a particular topic—one that you’re truly passionate about—really drives your blogging success.

 

Setting Goals

One of the most essential strategies to launching, building, and maintaining prominent blog is setting goals. If you’re new to blogging, your goal might simply be to launch your site. If you have an established blog, your goal might be to generate $1,000 per month in ad revenue or grow your mailing list to a certain size.

Regardless of the goal, it’s important to have one. When I first started blogging, my goal was to launch a site by a certain date. This motivated me to learn everything I could about different blogging platforms and how best to start a blog. I used every avenue available to plan and build my blog to achieve my goal.

Once the site was up and running, I focused on creating quality content and set a goal of writing one quality post per week. That soon evolved into two or three posts per week, and eventually I took on guest posts from other experts in the marketing industry.

The point I’m trying to make is that you should always operate under the premise of a specific, measurable goal. This practice has kept me going for years and continues to create ongoing profit and success. I encourage you to start this journey by jotting down your top three blog-related goals on a sheet of paper. Your goals should be specific. For example, “Launch a blog by June 30.” I know it sounds simple, but having a goal that you look at every day increases your chances of achieving it.

Additionally, don’t make the mistake I made when I first began setting goals. My first one was to make a million dollars with my blog the same year I launched it. Although it may have been a worthwhile aim, it wasn’t until I started focusing on smaller, more tangible objectives that I saw real success.

Don’t abandon your dream of making however much money you want to acquire, but add supportive targets that can help get you there. Once you’ve recorded your goals and posted them where you can see them on a daily basis, it’s time to get started.

Why You Should Start a Blog ?

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  • Blogging is an adventure. Writing constantly in a blog does not only give you a platform to voice out your opinions but it will also motivate you to try out new things that you may have never thought you’d be able to do. The requirement of updating your blog can push you to go seek out new adventures so that you’ll always have something new and interesting to put up on your site.If you’re interested in gardening you could start writing on your blog about the plants you’re currently taking care of. But eventually you would want to do something more with your plants or even your own backyard because you will be propelled to provide something fresh for your readers. You might even start landscaping your backyard to look like a Japanese garden.
  • Your voice will be heard. Despite the millions of blogs online this shouldn’t keep you from starting your own site because you still have your unique voice that no one has heard yet. You may think that your pet dachshund is the silliest creature in the world and you’re just dying to let everyone know how funny she is when she tries to burrow into your sweater sleeve.But there are already thousands of blogs about them so why bother.What you might not realize is that you might tell your dachshund story in a different way compared to others and you might even have a funnier story to tell so go ahead and write on! Despite so many bloggers out there your ideas or the way you present them could still be new and refreshing so go ahead and start blogging.
  • You might get to help others. Not only is writing a blog a great stress-reliever but sharing your stories with other people might help them with their own ordeals as well. If you’re writing about personal matters like coping with a death in the family one of your readers might find comfort in your words even if you’re not offering a concrete solution. People like to find others who can understand their suffering so even if you’re just writing about a loved one who has passed on or even a pet cat who has died someone out there might be comforted with the fact that they’re not alone in their ordeal.
  • It’s a great stress-reliever. Writing in your blog might not only help you find new friends or readers but it could also help relieve you some of the stress that you might be feeling. According to Dr. James W. Pennebaker of the psychology department at the University of Texas, Austin, writing can actually help people suffering from a traumatic experience get through their ordeal. The study showed that people who wrote about their traumatic experiences helped them cope with their trauma much better. Those who depended heavily on pain medicine to get through their ordeal eventually lessened their intake when they started writing about their experiences regularly.
  • Making new friends. Blogging can also give you the opportunity to meet new people and for this reason alone you should start clacking away on your keyboard. Writing on a blog gives you the opportunity to find like-minded people and talk about the things that interest you the most. People from the farthest corners of the planet can converge with anyone easily all because of the power of the internet and someone from the other side of the world might find a kindred soul in you because of your ideas.
  • Writing equals income. It may be surprising for a newbie but blogging can actually help you earn extra cash. If your blog is able to attract a large number of readers you can turn your hobby into a profit-generating vehicle. There are various ways to make money with your blog such as affiliate marketing, advertising, or paid content and the internet is filled with useful tips on how to generate income through your blog. So dive in and start working on your blog!
  • Opportunities may arise. Aside from extra cash maintaining a blog can open a lot of doors for you as long as you persevere in your journey. Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr. loves everything about Hollywood and its celebrities. He even wanted to be an actor once upon a time but when he started writing about celebrities on his blog he realized that gossiping about famous people was his real calling. Now he’s probably more famous than the celebrities he gossips about and you’d probably know him better by his pseudonym: Perez Hilton.
  • Blogging is fun. There’s no better reason to start writing in your blog other than the fact that it’s really fun. The internet has given each and every one of us the opportunity to voice our opinions and make ourselves heard and if you enjoy letting others know about the thoughts running through your head writing in your own blog can be the most exhilarating experience for you. You get to meet new people, experience new opportunities, even make money from it, but for the sheer fun of it is the best reason you should start blogging!

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Choosing a Blog Platform

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One of the most important decisions you will make about your blog is which platform you choose for your blogging to go on. The great news is your content is typically able to be exported from any platform to any other platform, but you will lose time and possibly cost you a few dollars to make the switch to a new platform.

There are two main types of blogging platforms, and then options inside of each one. While it’s not feasible to cover all blogging platforms, I will attempt to include the most widely used ones, and I’ll make my recommendation at the end.

When you’re new to blogging and feeling your way through the big wide blogging world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, lost and out of your depth. Everyone seems to know what they’re doing, while you’re learning it as you go.

What are the differences? Which one would you benefit most from? How on earth do you choose?

Don’t you worry. Today I’ll be looking at WordPress.com blogs and exploring whether you really do need to go self-hosted or not.

  • WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) out there. It powers around 24 % of all websites worldwide and it has the biggest community. There are numerous themes and plugins both free and premium for you to use. WordPress is being updated regularly and you can be sure that you are always one step ahead.
  • Being the most used CMS means that you have access to many WordPress related resources. They range from beginner tutorials to more advance topics like theme and plugin development.
  • The plugin system that WordPress introduces delivers great flexibility when it comes to developing your website. Imagine that WordPress is a big LEGO. The plugin is like an additional part. With them you can further extend your websites functionality and the best thing is that most of them are free. You can download the free ones directly from the WordPress.org website. In a chapter of this guide I am going to present you with the best WordPress plugins in my opinion.
  • WordPress is greatly optimized for search engines. Also you can further improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with some great plugins – I’ll show you how in a next chapter.Another great feature of WordPress is its localization capabilities. WordPress is translated to almost every language and usually the plugins come included with the most widely used languages. If for some reason your language is not included there are plugins that can help you translate your website.
  • Being so popular means that most people are familiar with the system. If you have staff it’ll be very easy for them to learn and some of them may already have worked previously with WordPress.
  • Last but not least if for some reason some day you decide to sell you website it’ll be easier for you because most buyers are looking to buy something familiar.

Due to the improbable characteristics, the leading brands of the world use WordPress for several of their sites: Time magazine, Google, Facebook, Sony, Disney, the LinkedIn, the New York Times, the CNN, the eBay, and the list is endless.

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Many are confused what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Now the mystery will be unveiled.

WordPress.com is the Commercial version of WordPress. It comes with some limitations but it’s great for people that are just starting their websites and want to experience what it is to have their very own website.

WordPress.com offers a free hosting for your website without the need for you to worry about maintenance. This is great if you aren’t looking to expanding your website. Also you don’t need to buy yourself a domain name. You can use a subdomain with a structure like this one – yourwebsitename.wordpress.com.

As I said before there are some limitations that can be very annoying. For starters the basic free package at wordpress.com isn’t ads free. If you want to disable them, you have to pay $30 on a yearly basis. Also you don’t possess your own unique domain name – yourwebsitename.com. You have to pay for it another $18. If you use the basic free plan you can’t upload your own plugins and themes. You have only access to WordPress.com’s free ones. Another big disadvantage is that you aren’t able to participate in the Google AdSense program and you can’t track your website with the use of Google Analytics.

Here is a list of the upgrades you can make and the price you have to pay for them:

  • No Ads: $30
  • Domain Name Registration: $5
  • Domain mapping: $13 (you are going to need both Domain Name and mapping)
  • Domain Privacy: $8 – per domain
  • VideoPress: $60
  • Custom Design: $30
  • Space Upgrade: $20 – $290
  • Unlimited premium themes: $120
  • Premium theme – starting from $20 – one time fee
  • Site redirect – $13
  • Guided transfer – $129 – one time fee
  • All upgrades are on a yearly subscription basis except the Premium theme and the Guided transfer.

A more cost-effective approach can be to order some of their paid plans.

The WordPress.com version is suitable for people who are blogging for fun and are doing this as a hobby.

On WordPress.org you can get your own WordPress installation for free. It provides you with the freedom to make anything you’ll ever want. You don’t have the limitations of the WordPress.com version. There are no Ads and you can choose both free and premium themes and plugins as you like.

If you are going to make a website that you want to expand and your business counts on it, you have to choose the WordPress.org version. In order for you to use it, you are going to need a Domain name (around $12 annually) and a Hosting provider (from $5 a month). We are going to discuss those topics in the next chapter. In this guide we are going to use the WordPress.org version.

Why People Use & Recommend Self-Hosted WordPress?

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  • The installation, maintenance and upgrade of WordPress is a cinch :No need to have any idea of HTML to use the WordPress. All you need is an internet connection and a browser to create a web page.
  • It is totally free :Whether you’re an experienced blogger or just you start your first steps on the internet, the fact that WordPress does not cost absolutely nothing, is fantastic.  The WordPress was, is and will always be free.Moreover, WordPress is open source software. This means that you can study, or modify the source code according to your needs. It also means that it does not depend on a particular company, which may suddenly change its policy regarding the charges, the support, the hosting, the license etc.
  • Thousands of professional templates totally free :The themes of WordPress allow you to acquire a web page with excellent design, without having to hire a professional web designer.More than two thousand free issues exist in the official list of WordPress themes, and even more in other business sites, including for example: ThemeForest, StudioPress, WooThemes etc.
  • Countless plugins for each function :The WordPress additives allow you to add advanced features to our website without the assistance of a professional developer. You need some extra functionality to your site; Then, probably there is an additional for it! Is designed to be scalable and that is what have done thousands of developers around the world. There are countless adds that add functionality to the kernel of the platform.
  • WordPress is friendly to search engines :The most famous in the world SEO’s Google engineer, Matt Cutts has said, “The WordPress automatically solves a variety of issues regarding SEO.» And using the free Yoast SEO additive, your site will be even more friendly search engines.
  • WordPress has a huge community :With millions of users use it every day it is normal to have a huge, active and generous community ready to provide support and assistance,to exchange ideas and make WordPress even better.Those,with even little experience in creating websites know how valuable is to be able to post a question in a forum and accept immediate assistance.
  • WordPress is friendly to the mobile access :The percentage of users who surf with their mobile phones is increasing every day. If our website does not appear and does not work properly on mobile or tablets then our guests will be directed elsewhere.Tons of of free and paid WordPress themes are responsive (ie friendly to small screens), and so your customers / visitors will not have trouble using your website on their smartphones. Moreover even the WordPress administration panel has been designed to work equally well on small screens, that you can really use your site from everywhere.
  • WordPress is a mature platform :As I mentioned at the outset, WordPress is with us for over 10 years. During the last decade it has been upgraded, tested and exhausting evolved dramatically. If not the top,it ranks definitely among the top management and publication content on the internet.
  • WordPress is safe :Security is one of the main priorities of WordPress and its creators have taken all necessary measures to ensure the maximum safety of the platform. But out there,are malicious people trying to hack as many sites as possible.In all websites that i’ve create or manage ,i use some additional security which practically minimize any threats (the security issue is very crucial and will discuss it  extensively in a separate article)
  • WordPress is constantly evolving :The last thing you want is to invest time and money on a website which eventually will not work properly in modern browsers and will look outdated.With the passing the years your company evolves, the WordPress will give you the opportunity to refresh the look of your website (by simply changing topic) by ensuring that your business will look modern and attractive.

 

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How to Choose a Domain Name

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In order to have a website and for it to be accessible for your future users you are going to need to buy a domain name. A domain name is usually your business name or if you are making a personal blog – your name. You can also choose a catchier name. Domain names have to be easy to remember. It’s always best for you to choose a top-level domain. Top-level domains have extensions like: com, net and org. Chronologically they are the oldest domain names extensions and carry the greatest weight when it comes to SEO.

If you are going to register a new domain, you must know that it’ll take time for it to get to first page in Google’s SERP (Search engine results page)- especially if your niche is very competitive. For new domains Google has a probation period referred by some SEO experts like sandbox effect. This period can be up to 6 months. In some cases, when your niche is very competitive up to 12 months. In this period, you are going to see poorer search results for your website.

A workaround for you can be to target more Long-tail keywords for which the competition is not so big or to buy an older domain. If you choose to buy an older domain, you have to check its reputation. You don’t want to buy a domain with spammy reputation. To accomplish this task, use the Open Site Explorer. If you are looking to buy an old domain Flippa.com is a great place. Usually the older the domain is the better.

If you are going to buy a new domain name GoDaddy is a good place but don’t rush it. Most of the Hosting providers offer domain names along with their hosting plans and some offer them free.

Step by Step – Naming Your Blog

Your blog name is one of most important elements of your blog. The name sets the stage for your words, encapsulates your strategy, and gives the readers important clues about what to expect — before they read a single post.

Your blog name is even more important than the design and graphics, both of which you can change easily in the popular blogging platforms. Often a read-er’s first introduction to your blog is on a blogroll (a list of blogs on another blog) or as a link in someone else’s blog post. Having a name that catches attention improves your chances that a reader will click over to check out your blog.

Coming up with a great blog name

Because names are so important (leading Samuel Butler to once say, “The Ancient Mariner would not have taken so well if it had been called The Old Sailor”), take the time to pick the right name, one that encapsulates your strategy and creates the right atmosphere. Follow these steps:

  1. Brainstorm ideas relating to your blog.

Here are some places to start thinking and writing down the ideas that come to you:

  • Your main editorial topics
  • Famous quotations
  • Puns
  • Nouns that describe you, your audience, or your goals
  • Adjectives that build an atmosphere

For example, if you’re creating a blog about budget travel, you might start with words and phrases that evoke budget, such as penny pincher, and on a shoestring; then describe travel with words or phrases like luxury, roughing it, and family friendly.

Write down everything in whatever format works best for you. I use big sheets of paper and mind maps. (In a mind-map diagram, you start with a central word or idea, and then link connecting words and images to the original word and to each other. You’re looking for the unusual connections. The mind map helps you “see” these connections.) But don’t get hung up on the idea that there is only one technique to brainstorm. If you like to think visually, imagine the look and feel you want to achieve.

Imagery can lead to words. The most important thing is to generate many ideas, words, and phrases that resonate with you and your future readers.

  1. Use ideas from your brainstorming session as building blocks to create your blog name and tagline, a short phrase that expands upon the name.

Some people think developing the tagline first and then the blog name is easier. For others, the name just jumps off the page. If you don’t have a natural preference, start with the tagline. After brainstorming, you have many ideas to sift through. Start large and narrow your scope in stages.

You don’t need a tagline, but most bloggers find that having one helps clarify the scope and sets reader expectations.

Using the earlier example of the budget travel blog, you might come up with blog names like The Penny Pincher’s Guide to Luxury Travel and

Around the World on a Shoestring. In addition to providing inspiration for blog names, quotations make good taglines. I named my blog Marketing Roadmaps in a riff on an Alice in Wonderland quotation: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” In the budget travel example, you could look for quotations about voyages and travel.

  1. Search on your preferred search engine for some of your keywords and phrases to see what others have named their blogs.

Your competitive research comes in handy here. You want a unique name that won’t be confused with another blog, whether a competitor or something totally unrelated. Search engine results also give you an idea of what terms rank high in your segment, something you should definitely take into consideration. You want a name that’s easy to find and remember, for search engines and people.

Read more about search engine optimization (SEO).

  1. Test your proposed names on friends and family.

Ask them what the name makes them think or feel. What kind of content will they expect to find? What would they expect to do as a result of reading a post on the blog? Their answers should match, at least roughly, what you hope to achieve with the blog. If they don’t — if your name makes them think something different — go back to the drawing board. If you have very creative friends, ask them to brainstorm with you.

Avoid copyrighted material, such as song lyrics, movie lines, and show titles, in your blog name. To use the TV show True Blood as an example, you don’t want to invest a lot of time in a True True Blood Fans fan blog, only to have the network ask you to rename it. Worse, your clever corporate motivational business is named Blood, and you start a True Blood Fans business blog, and the network still asks you to rename it. Put the band, show, or movie name in your tagline instead: For true fans of True Blood.

If you get really stuck and can’t seem to come up with a blog name you love, put the name aside for a bit and come back to it later. Develop some preliminary designs or write your introductory post. Inspiration may strike when you’re least thinking about it.

Further advice to help in your quest for the perfect blog name

Unfortunately, no magic formula exists to create the name. You just have to try different combinations of words and phrases until you find something that sticks.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t rush the process. Creating your blog name deserves as much time as you’ve spent on the overall strategy. Maybe more.
  2. Don’t be too cute. You’ll live with this name for a while.
  3. Keep it short. Blog names with one to three words seem to work best.
  4. Use a one- or two-sentence tagline to expand your idea rather than a really long blog name.
  5. Try to create an image with your words. These blog names get to the point, even without a picture:
  • Craftastrophe
  • Cake Wrecks
  • Lighter Footstep
  • The Green Mom Review
  • TreeHugger
  • Dog Show Poop
  • Shutter Sisters
  • Suburban Turmoil

✓ Create a new word that encapsulates your mission. For example, ecopolitology (http://ecopolitology.org) is a blog about the politics of energy and the environment.

Readers remember your blog’s name, but technically they access it by using its Web address, the central part of which is the domain name: www.domainname.com

Regardless of the blogging platform you choose, you need to have your own domain name because

✓ It’s easier for your readers to remember than a hosted address like blogname.blogspot.com. Even if you decide to use a free hosting service like Blogger (www.blogspot.com), you can map your domain name to your Blogspot address.

✓ Your online address (URL) never changes. You can change your Web hosting whenever you want without losing readers or search engine rankings.

✓ It shows you’re serious about your professional blog. Registering a domain name isn’t very expensive (about $10 per year), so even if you are just testing an idea or doing a short-term project, it’s worth it to reinforce your brand.

Creating and Registering  Your Domain Name

Readers remember your blog’s name, but technically they access it by using its Web address, the central part of which is the domain name: www.domainname.com

Regardless of the blogging platform you choose you need to have your own domain name because

✓ It’s easier for your readers to remember than a hosted address like blogname.blogspot.com. Even if you decide to use a free hosting service like Blogger (www.blogspot.com), you can map your domain name to your Blogspot address.

✓ Your online address (URL) never changes. You can change your Web hosting whenever you want without losing readers or search engine rankings.

✓ It shows you’re serious about your professional blog. Registering a domain name isn’t very expensive (about $10 per year), so even if you are just testing an idea or doing a short-term project, it’s worth it to reinforce your brand.

Registering your domain name

You register a new domain name at a domain registrar, such as Network Solutions, Register.com, or Go Daddy. Your hosting company may also be able to assist with registering your domain name.

Whether you register directly or with a Web hosting company’s assistance, your first step is to check the availability of the domain name. For example, on the Network Solutions Search page you can check up to ten possible names across the full spectrum of domain extensions.

The domain extension is the part after your domain name: .com, .net, .org, country extensions, such as .us, .co.uk, and so on. Generally speaking, .com is preferable for U.S.-based Web sites. If your preferred domain name(s) isn’t available, the search results will indicate which extensions are available, such as .net and .us, as well as offer spelling variations.

The domain name you want may have been purchased by a domain squatter, a company or individual that purchases desirable domain names in bulk and resells them. The squatter offers you the opportunity to bid for the name you’re after. Bidding usually isn’t worth it. You’ll pay an inflated price. Better to just find another name. If you have a defensible copyright, such as a trademark, you can legally get a squatter removed, but it’ll cost you time and money. Weigh your investment in the name. A legal effort that may be worth it for a big consumer brand might not be worth it for you.

Unless the domain was privately registered, you can find out who owns a domain name by using the WHOIS lookup. All the domain registrars provide access to this query. Just look for a button or link labeled WHOIS. If the domain was privately registered, the name of the domain registrar shows in the query results rather than the domain owner.

People register domains privately, at an extra cost, to avoid their e-mail addresses from being published on the Web where spammers can get them and to keep their ownership of a domain private, such as for a confidential project.

When your search turns up a domain name that’s both suitable and available, follow these steps to register it with Network Solutions:

  1. Navigate to the home page of Network Solutions
  2. Enter the name in the Web Address field and then click the Search button.

The search results screen appears, showing the availability of the name across all the extensions.

  1. If the name you want is available, preferably as a .com, click the selection box and then click the Add to Cart button.

Over the next few screens, Network Solutions offers you the opportunity to purchase additional services, including

  • The domain name with other extensions: This isn’t expensive, so you may want to take advantage of this to prevent competitors or spam advertisers buying the similar domains.
  • Public or private registration: As mentioned earlier, the extra cost option for private registration keeps your contact information hidden.
  • A Web hosting package: Later in this chapter, I cover what you need to consider when selecting a Web host.
  1. Make your choices and click through until you finally get to the My Cart Screen.
  2. Select the number of years for the registration and then check out with your preferred method of payment.

If your chosen domain name is available, you can register it through any domain registrar. You don’t have to register it with the Web site you used to do the search. The steps on other domain registrars are similar to the ones listed earlier for Network Solutions.

As I mention in the steps for registering a domain on Network Solutions, you may want to purchase your chosen domain name with multiple extensions to avoid competitors or spam advertisers buying them and causing confusion.

Doing so isn’t very costly. If you’re buying the .com extension, consider get- ting .net, .org, and .biz if they’re available. You can then point all the extra domain names to your main blog address, the .com domain.

After you find an available domain name, you have a number of purchasing options, including multiple years and private registration; however, don’t automatically purchase a Web hosting package when you register your new domain, even if the pricing looks attractive.  

Mark the domain expiration date in your calendar right away so you don’t forget to renew on time. As a courtesy, the domain registrar usually e-mails the owner when a domain registration is about to expire, but don’t count on it. If you don’t renew on time, the domain name can be sold to someone else, who can then benefit from all your hard work and site traffic.

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How to Choose a Web Hosting

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If the first step in the creation of the site or your blog is ensuring the appropriate domain name, then the second is definitely the choice of web hosting package that suits best in your needs, depending on the type and the content of the site you are interested to public.

What is Web Hosting?

In one sentence we can say that Web Hosting is the place where individuals and companies host their websites. Normally when we talk about web hosting we mean that ,a company allocates space on a computer (server) to store the files of our website as well as providing internet connectivity so that other computers can access the files on your website.

I think it’s understandable until here.

In fact, your website is a collection of various electronic files (HTML files, pictures, videos … etc) that are linked together.

Your primary concern when selecting a web host for your self-hosted blog is to find a web host that meets all the requirements of your blog software. Most blog software uses a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) web server, a mix of several kinds of web server technology that is ideal for running dynamic websites such as blogs:

» Linux: A very common web server operating system. It’s very stable and considered a standard for web servers. As a blogger, you probably don’t need to make too many changes to the operating system, as long as it’s in place for you.

» Apache: Apache is web-page-serving software, which means it looks at what web page is requested and then feeds the browser the appropriate file. It does most of the hard work of serving web pages to visitors coming to your website.

» MySQL: MySQL is the most popular database software for blogs. For any blogging package, you need some kind of database system to store all your blog posts and run the other functionality of the blog software. MySQL is the  standard database tool for most blog software.

» PHP: PHP is the programming language that a lot of blogging and content management systems use. It sits between the blogging software and the database, making sure all the parts work together.

The preceding four technologies are considered the bare minimum that most blogging packages need to function. But you should consider these requirements, as well:

» Disk space: For blogging, disk space is important if you decide to store a lot of images on your blog or upload audio and video files. Uploading images is relatively easy to do, but you need the space to store those images. For the average blog that has a few photos, you most likely want about 500 mega- bytes (MB). Blogs that have a lot of photos require several gigabytes (GB) of disk space. Video blogs need a whole lot more disk space (unless you use an online video-sharing service) than text or photo blogs, so you want more than 10GB. Those files do take up a lot of space!

Running out of disk space is an easily solved problem: Most web hosts allow you to add disk space when you need it for an additional cost. Check with your web host to find out what it charges for additional storage.

» Email management: You probably want an email address with your new domain. If you want to use your blog for business purposes, having an email address that matches your domain looks more professional. Some web hosts allow you to create multiple email addresses under one domain, which is ideal if you would like to segregate contact inquiries from personal emails, for example.

» Backups: Consider how you plan to back up your data (including your database content) and whether the web host will also back up the files on your web-hosting account. Knowing this information can save you from disaster and data loss in the future. Daily backups aren’t a bad idea!

» Bandwidth and CPU resources: Computers and networks can take only so many visitors and downloads, and hosts usually set a quota on how much bandwidth you can use for the particular web-hosting package that you buy.

Ask about what happens if you exceed your monthly allowance of bandwidth. (Usually, you have to pay for the extra resources.) For most bloggers, this won’t be an issue, but if you develop a very popular blog with lots of visitors, or are serving very large files like videos, bandwidth can become an additional cost.

Hosting Categories

If you do a small research in the field of hosting, you will find various solutions, which are usually separated in the following main categories of hospitality:

  • Web Hosting
  • Reseller Hosting
  • VPS / Cloud Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting

The main differentiation between these packages, concerns the way in which global resources of a server are distributed to the final user who is looking for these suitable package according to his requirements.

When we refer to the resources we mean of CPU, RAM, the Disk Space and Traffic that accompanying a server.

If you wanna learn more about web servers , check out The Ultimate Guide to Web Hosting and learn the 10 most important factors that you should consider before going to buy a hosting package.

The only hosting company that I would highly recommend is Siteground.

Siteground is a critically acclaimed hosting solution that allows bloggers to easily install the popular blogging software, WordPress. Plans begin as low as $9.95 per month and can be tailored to meet your exact needs in the event that an existing plan is not a fit for you. If you wait to purchase your domain name until you’ve selected a hosting plan, keep in mind that one domain name registration is included in the price of hosting with Siteground.

»» Get an amazing 60% discount on SiteGround hosting plans.
For your convenience the coupon code will be automatically pre-filled when you visit SiteGround and place your order.

 

Their hosting is specifically tailored for WordPress users. They offer:

  • 1-click WordPress installation
  • Free domain name
  • Free WordPress templates and installation provided by their staff
  • Free transfer of your website
  • Staff proficient in WordPress
  • No Downtime

Are you ready to start blogging? Follow my SiteGround tutorial below and you’ll be able to write your first post just a few minutes from now.

1.Choose a Hosting Plan

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First things first, you have to head on over to SiteGround and choose which hosting plan would work best for you. If you’re not sure which plan to pick, consider these guidelines:

  • StartUp – 3.95 €/mo for the first year; 7.95 €/mo for the years that followThis plan is suitable for most WordPress users. It comes with a 10 GB of free Web space. You can install only 1 WordPress website. Also you get a free Daily Backup and access to the free version of CloudFlare CDN . In order to access your websites, you can use CPanel or SSH. You have the ability to setup a private email.
  • GrowBig – 7.95 €/mo for the first year; 12.95 €/mo for the years that follow

This is the plan that I recommend the most. In addition to the features from the previous plan you get:

  • The ability to install multiple WordPress websites
  • 20 GB of Web space
  • Premium WordPress Features

The thing that makes this plan great are the Premium Features:

  • WordPress Super Cacher – this is the inbuilt caching system of SiteGround. This is the tool that sets apart SiteGround from its competitors. It allows you to speed your website tremendously. On a regular host, to make your website faster you need to install a caching plugin. With the use of the SuperCacher there is no need for that. The SuperCacher offers 3 levels of caching: Static Cache,
  • Dynamic cache and Memcached.
  • 30 Backup copies available – Having a great backup service is essential for any website owner. If something goes wrong, for example your website gets hacked, this may be the only way to save your website and the valuable information that it holds.
  • Priority technical support
  • 1 year Free SSL certificate. – SSL certificates are used to encrypt the connection between your website and its users. This feature is essential if you are planning to build an E-Commerce website. Especially if you are going to implement Online payment methods in it. With the use of the SSL certificate the personal data of your users will be better secured. In addition to that Google gives websites that use SSL certificates a little boost in their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) scores.
  • GoGeek – 11.95 €/mo for the first year; 23.95 €/mo for the years that follow

This plan is suitable for very big websites. With over 100 000 visitors/monthly. You have 30 GB of Web space and access to Geeky WordPress features like:

  • 1-click WordPress staging
  • Less accounts on server
  • Pre-installed Git for WordPress
  • Free PCI Compliance

My recommendation is to start with the cheapest plan, the StartUp Plan. You can always scale up if your site grows quickly and you find you need more space. Until that happens though, there’s no need to over-pay for resources you’re not using.

2. Choose a Domain Name

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Once you have picked out a plan, it’s time to register a domain name. Of course, I highly recommend taking the time to come up with the perfect blog name long before you get to this point. Naming your blog is definitely not something you will want to wing!

If you already have a custom domain registered , just write it and check “I already have a domain name”

3. Enter your Information

Once you’ve chosen a hosting plan and decided on a domain name it is time to enter all of your important information.

Fill out your account and client information.

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Next, fill out your payment and purchase information (make sure you pick the 12 month period (or longer) in order to get the 60% discount for the whole year).

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At the bottom are a couple of Extra Services that you can choose to keep or not – they’re pretty self explanatory so if you don’t need them, you’ll save a few dollars! At the bottom is your total for a year’s worth of hosting.

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Below the title, make sure you click the box that you agree to the terms of service, and then click Pay Now.

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5. Account Created !

How to Start a Blog • The Most Complete Guide Ever - image Successfully-Created-SiteGround-Account on https://trunk.lyOnce you pay the final bill your account will be created and you, my friend, will be the proud owner of web hosting and a domain name. Now we just have to get you set up with WordPress!

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Install WordPress on SiteGround

First, got to the My Accounts tab and click on Go to cPanel.

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Next, click on WordPress in the Autoinstallers section.

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Click on the blue Install button.

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After install, fill in the information in the next screen.

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  • Choose Protocol – generally keep it the same – http://
  • Choose Domain – choose your domain name from the choices in the drop-down menu – but, most likely the first choice you see is the one you want.
  • In Directory – unless you know you want this, leave it blank.

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  • Site Name – This is the name of your site you picked out earlier. You can change this later.
  • Site Description – A brief description of what your site is about, or you can leave this blank. Again, you can change this later.
  • Admin Username – This will be the name you use to log into your WordPress blog (or you can always use email address here)
  • Admin Password – This is the password to access your WordPress backend (your blog’s dashboard). Choose a strong, but easy-to-remember, password.
  • Admin email – Enter your email address

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  • Choose Theme – While you can install your theme right in SiteGround, I suggest not installing any theme until you’re in the backend of your WordPress blog. There are many free themes to choose from so you can find one that will fit your brand easily!

Click Install and there you  go!

Now, you can log in with your username (or email) and password!

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It is a very exciting time, you just started your first blog. But now what do you do?

Navigating WordPress

From the WordPress dashboard, you can create a new page, write new blog posts, change the theme of your blog, and add different plugins and widgets. A navigation pane appears in the left sidebar of the WordPress interface. Below we explain each section in the pane.

» Posts. The post tab lets you create new blog posts. When the tab is expanded, options appear for creating a new post, managing your current posts, or editing categories and post tags. Categories and post tags group your blog posts together. For example, if you have a home improvement blog, you may have posts on tools, gardening, and window and door installation.

You can separate these posts into categories so that your readers can find them easily. If some posts fit into multiple categories, you can use post tags for further grouping. This helps keep your blog organized and your content easily accessible. The “Add new” link will take you to a page that allows you to create a new blog post. The intuitive layout will guide you to insert a title for your post and start writing content. You can schedule when you would like your post to be published by selecting your preferred time and date.

Always post original content. Google and other search engines reward sites that produce fresh, original content on a regular basis. We recommend that you generate posts of three hundred or more words. The longer your posts, the more “spider food” you provide for search engines. Unique, key word–rich content is one of the reasons that blogs have become so powerful in search engine results.

» Media. The media tab is where you can upload videos, pictures, and other media. You will be directed to upload files to your library, which can later be used in posts and pages. Think of this section as a parking lot. Your assets will be stored in the lot until you are ready to use them.

» Links. If you have other blogs or websites or know someone who does, you may want to link to those sites. The “Add a link” button requests the anchor text and URL to create the link, which will appear wherever you place the widget. This improves the search results for the blogs or websites you link to and provides valuable resources for your visitors.

» Pages. The pages tab is similar to the posts tab. Here you can add new pages and edit existing ones. Creating a page is straightforward and follows the same format as creating a post. The only difference is that the content won’t be published as a post but will appear on a separate page. This is a great way to customize your blog, and it allows for meaningful, top-level pages that you can control. You can do pretty much anything with individual pages. You might want an About Us or Contact Us page, or you could develop a page dedicated to selling merchandise. The possibilities are endless.

» Comments. As you build traffic, you may find that people want to interact with your blog, and chances are that they will use comments to do so. Below the comments tab is a list of the latest comments left on your site. You can approve or edit them, or mark them as spam. By determining which content is published or deleted, you directly control the user-generated content that appears on your site. As mentioned, it is always a good idea to moderate comments.

» Appearance. The appearance tab is one of the most important tabs in the WordPress interface. This section allows you to upload new themes, change the order of the widgets on your pages, and alter menus. Themes are really just different skins that allow you to edit the look and feel of your blog. Some even allow for extra customization. Many are available for free, but more advanced, customizable themes usually come at a cost.

Widgets let you make small changes that customize your site even further. Different themes come with different widgets, but the standard ones include a blogroll (a simple list of websites), a latest posts widget (highlighting the last few posts you created), categories (themes for your posts), and tag clouds (showing the most frequent tags associated with your posts).

You can also use menus to customize your WordPress site. Most themes include a navigation menu that allows you to show links at the top of your home page. You can pick and choose which pages or sections appear in the main navigation. This is a great feature for keeping blog followers focused on your most important pages.

» Plugins. Plugins are one of the best things to happen to website building in quite some time! Thanks to the open source model of WordPress, developers can build add-ons that help your website perform better and improve the experience for your visitors.

For example, you may want to understand how people arrive at your site and what they do when they get there. To do so, you need an analytics program. One of the most popular programs is Google Analytics. There are plugins available that automatically tag your blog pages with Google Analytics code. Other plugins help with search engine optimization (SEO), disabling comments, add name and e-mail capture forms, and incorporate social media.

Click on the plugin section in the navigation bar and select “Add new plugin.” The page that loads will prompt you to search for your desired function. It’s as easy as choosing a plugin and clicking “Install.” Plugins allow you to continually expand your blog, and you can replace old widgets with new ones at any time.

Plugins give even the most novice website builder the ability to do things that only an experienced web developer could do in the past.

» Users. The users tab allows the administrator to give or remove access to users of WordPress. It also
gives you the ability to create and edit your profile.

 

Conclusion

We hope you’ve learned that blogging is not only fun but can be lucrative as well. A wise man once told me that you get out of something what you put into it—and he was right. Blogging can be a casual way to share ideas or a means to promoting your business. It can also be a way to earn money and enjoy the lifestyle you desire.

If you haven’t already done so, carefully consider what your blog will be about and your primary goal. Is it to share your expertise or serve prospective buyers of your products or services? Although we can’t set your goal for you, we suggest that you stick with what you know and determine how best to create value for others. Create milestones for your blog. Take the small steps required for getting your site up and running. Once your blog is live, determine how to maintain and build upon what you’ve created. Setting goals is essential for expanding and growing your blog.

Blogging is a truly rewarding experience. Not only do you create value for others, but you create value for yourself. Today your goal may simply be to create a blog. In the future, it may be to generate multiple streams of revenue. Regardless of your goal, you must begin. We encourage you to reread this guide as often as necessary to build and develop your very own blog. Even though blogging continues to evolve, the principals outlined throughout this book are evergreen. We wish you much success with your blogging and look forward to reading your blog!

Disclaimer: If you are a lazy ass, if your momma still does your laundry and cook you dinner you will not like this guide. It involves work. There is no magic money fairy and there are no unicorns who’ll knock on your door and unleash your inner goddess. There’s you, this guide and your PC. Get on with it.

What are your next steps?
Let me know in the comments what your next steps are with your blog! Post a link to your new blog so the Trunks.Ly community can see what you have made! I can not wait!

Cyber Security Consultant and A Penetration Tester