I’ve had a few friends ask me about blogging. What do I do? Why do I blog? How do I get visitors? What is required to blog? What programs are used?
Well I couldn’t possibly address all the topics that are brought up when talking about blogging, but what I will do is tell you what I do. Now of course, I am not a very popular blogger. I get about on average, 3 visitors a day to my blog, though my record at any one time is 27 people on my site. But that was once.
Okay, first thing:
Get your own Domain Name. Don’t use a blogger.com account or any other free account. Spend the dollars, and buy a domain name that is simple and easy to remember. Nobody wants to remember myblog.blogger.com. myblog.com is way easier to remember. godaddy.com sell cheap domains and allow for certified domains which protect you from spammers finding your personal information and doing the unthinkable: SPAMMING.
Now you will need a hosting account. There are a lot out there. I use justhost.com. A hosting account hosts the domain you bought on it. This will cost money too, but usually hosting accounts will allow multiple domains to be hosted on them. I know some even allow unlimited domains. You will have to search around to find one you like the best.
Now the next step is choosing a topic to blog about. Now if it’s a personal blog like mine here, which is more a place for me to vent and share my thoughts, then it is not such a big deal to choose a topic. But if you want to blog about cars for instance, then you will want to choose a domain name that is related to cars. A whole book on domain name choosing, and keyword research could be wrote just on this topic, but I’m just touching on it for the sake of keeping this article to a readable length.
Simply put, choose a focus for your blog. Sometimes more focused is better. If your blogging about cars, you may want to focus on American Cars, or Car tires etc. But Cars can work too.
Make sure your domain name is related to your topic.
Okay, to host your blog on your site, you will need a platform to host it on. WordPress is the best out there, and it’s free. They have an easy 5-minute install that will show you how to install WordPress onto your site.
So now you have WordPress on your site. I’m not going to delve to deep into wordpress. WordPress.org is full of information on how to use the program. It would be a waste of my time to show you how to use it. I will mention though that wordpress allows for plugins which can be installed on your site. These will help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A couple plugins to download would be:
MB Ping Optimizer
There are tons of others out there that will help you with managing your site, your visitors, your content, etc. Just do a google search for “Best WordPress Plugins” and you will find tons of plugins to add to your site that will help optimize it for efficiency, traffic, etc.
You can then search for these plugins by going to the plugin tab in your wordpress dashboard and clicking on plugins. You can then type in the name and install them to your site.
You will need an FTP CLIENT to upload information from your computer to your blog. FTP stands for Fast Transfer Protocol and is used to transfer information from your computer, like files, web pages, etc, to your hosting account which you can then display for people to see. The FTP client I use is Filezilla. You can find it a filezilla-project.org The website will explain how to use it. If not, google “how to use a ftp client” and something useful will show up.
Okay, so you have your own domain name, a hosting account, wordpress installed, using filezilla.
Everything should be ready for you to start posting. Now of course wordpress will look pretty plain. If you went to wordpress.org and read the docs, you will have found out what Themes are. Themes are installed on wordpress to give it a specific look.
Any theme you use can be as complex as you want it, and as simple as you want it. It’s really up to you, but lots of people have found that simplest is best. It is easier for the indexing bots to read your information and get your site indexed in google where people can find you. But complex can also help you organize.
To find themes wordpress.org has a themes area full of free themes. Just follow their instructions to download and install them on your site.
Also you can just type in “free wp themes” in google and you’ll find a bunch as well there.
So now you have your looks up, your software installed. Now all you need to do is log into your WP dashboard and start typing up content for your viewers.
Now if you are setting up a topic specific blog, only talk about your topic. But if your using a personal blog like this one, then you can talk about whatever you want. The key point is to make sure your content- if your sites main goal is traffic- is interesting and what readers want to read.
“Content is King” is a very popular saying in the internet marketing world. Nobody will go to your site if nobody wants to read your content. Of course you need people to visit your blog to read your content. There are free ways to get traffic to your site, and you will get visits, but ultimately what really matters is how many of those visitors come back, and how many people they tell to come visit your site either by linking to your site (back links) or verbally to their friends.
So to get traffic, first set your blog up with good content. Indexing itself will help you get traffic right off the start just by people typing in keywords and your site showing up in the organic results.
For an extra boost, setting up you blog so it syncs with your facebook notes helps as well. You can only sync one blog though, so you may want to leave that for your personal blog. If you start up a facebook profile just about your topic though, you could sync it there.
Writing articles, and submitting them on article directory sites gets traffic as well. Lots of these sites have good rankings with google as an authority site, so lots of times when your article shows up on their directories it’ll show up high in the listings of google gaining you lots of views to your article. You put a resource box at the bottom of the article, and after people read the article they will click on your link to your site which you will place in the resource box.
Videos on youtube and other video sites is another good way to gain traffic. Put together an informative video about your topic and tell viewers that more great information can be found at your site. Tell them in your video and have a link in your video description.
So to break down what I just said into simple form:
Buy a domain name related to topic
Host your domain name
Find a good clean theme
Now if your website is good quality, and the content is interesting, people will start linking to your site to share with others. This is the best way for traffic to generate, cause it means that people that click through these links to your site are interested in your content.
I hope this helps anyone that wants to start a blog. It’s not very complicated, but a lot of research needs to be done. I showed the steps I took, but there are lots of other ways to blog.