Kamis, 01 Maret 2012

How To Start A Successful Blog - Internet

I am going to show you how to start a successful blog (a professional one) in easy steps. If you know how to click a mouse and use the internet, you will be able to do this.Do not be nervous if you have never done this before or feel you are too technologically challenged to do it -- because you can do it.

But how do I know? I'm technologically challenged myself and yet I still did it. Except you have the advantage of not having to make the same mistakes that I did by learning what I did right.Picking A Topic

Pick a topic you that you're an expert on or a topic you like a lot. Pick something you're passionate about. You don't even need to be a qualified expert on a subject to blog about it! You can even blog about things you hate as long as you're keen on it.

Some blogs have 'how-to' tutorials, some have animations, images and videos as their content. The most popular blogs are the non-fiction and 'how-to' blogs.

Blogging about a topic you know a lot about or love will encourage regular writing and as a result people will most likely to return again and again - plus it reduces your writer's block.Is There A Market For The Topic You Want To Blog About?Do a Google search or use the Google Keyword Tool to find out if people are searching for your topic and related terms.Google Trends helps to find out how popular a search term or keyword is.

Market Samurai is a great tool which I use to find detailed analysis of the topics and markets I want to get into.

Forums are also a terrific source of information to find out what the market needs. Users there may tell you what product or information they're looking for or are willing to pay for. Choosing a Blogging Platform: Which is Best: WordPress or Blogger?

You can call me biased because I'm using WordPress, but I've used both Wordpress and Blogger, and WordPress has impressed me the most -- don't hold it against me almighty Google hehe. WordPress has more plugins to make life easier and they are free. How awesome is that?

Now before you hurry off to signup with WordPress, if you are planning 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 does not look professional and it's too long to remember. To get a free blog with Wordpress.com, you are telling your audience that your blog is just a hobby.

To get your own URL or domain such as YourWebsite.com for example, you'll need a hosting provider to host your domain. Hosting packages usually cover the registration of the domain for free. Here's a little secret: when I began, I didn't even know what a hosting provider was or what it did. Yes, those words "technologically challenged" comes into mind doesn't it?Hosting Providers

I have used quite a few hosting providers and there are plenty out there. So far, the ones I like have to be Bluehost and Siteground. I use both of them.

Bluehost offers superb, 24 hours online support. I've had some dumb newbie questions in the past but 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 provider but certainly not the cheapest either. But you will get good support with them -- so for someone who is new to blogging, they are a Godsend.Siteground is cheap and does the job. The prices are cheaper than Bluehost, but for a good reason: their support is hard to get hold of. If you are confident with websites and blogs, then support doesn't really matter. To get hold of a Siteground customer service rep online is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Siteground also has slightly less features compared to Bluehost. But what they lack in features, they make up for in price and overall performance. If you are on a shoe string budget and want affordable hosting, Siteground is t he way to go.So which host is better? Well it all boils down to your budget and support needs.Hosting Your Website Before you register your domain and get your website hosted, have some backup URL / domain names in case the one you want is already taken. Go Bluehost or Siteground and type in the URL you want that is available. Sign up, make payment (credit card or Paypal) and you should receive a welcome email with the login details of your website. It is worth paying that little extra $10 a year for the WHOIS privacy protection so people can't find your personal details if they check out who owns the website. This is to prevent them from spamming your email as well. Sign into your website by going to your hosting provider's website and login 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 Blogs heading click on WordPress > Click Install > Fill in details > Bookmark you website's WordPress login URL -- now you have a WordPress blog on your own domain! For Siteground > Go Account Section > click CPanel > click Access CPanel Normally > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click onFantastico De Luxe > Under Blogs click on WordPress > Click on New Installation > Fill in details and click Install WordPress > Bookmark you website's WordPress login URL -- now you have a WordPress blog on your own domain!Pick A Template (Design) For Your Blog

Many people get nervous about blogging because they think that they need to know how to design a website in order to have one. The good news is that there are plenty of free templates everywhere (for both WordPress and Blogger) to begin your blog with -- with all the design and work done for you. Custom themes can be made by Odesk web designers for a fee or you can search for one you like on Template Monster for under $100.

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 Install Themes tab across the top, tick the boxes you want or put in name of a design or word and click Find Themes. Once you have found and settled on a theme, click Install, and then click Install Now button, then click Activate and your free theme or design should be live on your website now.Go check it out by typing your website URL in a new browser window and have a look. If you don't like it, you can search for another theme and activate the new one instead. You can even find the names of the themes you want by doing a Google search. Type "Free WordPress Themes" or "Paper WordPress Themes" etc with a short description of the style or color you want and you'll get lists of themes to choose from.To customize your blog to the co lors you want with your logos etc, I'll cover that in part three of this post series "How To Customize Your Blog".Adding Plugins To Make Your Life Easier

What are WordPress plugins?WordPress blogs on their own are okay for blogging but your site will be bare and simple in function. Unless you are a programmer who can code everything you need, you're going to want some plugins. Best of all, these plugins are free!What are these plugins and what do they do exactly? The question should be what don't they do? Starting from helping your site run faster, to helping you add contact forms, improve your SEO (search engine optimization), insert ads, have slide shows, let you have customized sidebar or menus, embed videos, get rid of comment spam, make your site prettier and much much more! Countless programmers have spent time to make these useful plugins to make our lives easier so we can have better blogs - so a warm thank you to all you Wordpress plugin programmers out there.To add new plugins to your WordPress backend (without having to install it manually), on the left-hand panel under Plugins tab, click Add New and type in the name of the plugin or the function that you want, and click Search Plugins. Find plugin you want and select Install Now and then click Activate Plugin to begin utilizing it.The Top 13 Recommended WordPress Plugins To Add:1. Ad Inserter (by Igor Funa) - works hand in hand with Advertising Manager below. This will make your life easier when you monetize your site with ads. The last thing I want is to waste time figuring out how to code the ads in a way to make them repeat or sit in a certain area on my site. This plugin makes adding ads simple.

2. Advertising Manager (by Scott Switzer) - works in tandem with the Ad Inserter above. This helpful plugin controls how many ads to show so you don't get in trouble with Google Adsense. Google only allows 3 ads per page so this plugin does all the work for you so you don't have to worry about compliance!

3. Akismet (by Automattic) - strange name but it comes in handy to get rid of annoying comments that leave spam on your website! This is already pre-installed on all WordPress accounts, you just need to activate it by signing up for an API key: /signup/4. All In One SEO Pack (by Michael Torbert) - this will help optimize your blog for search engines (which is important but more on that in another post).

5. Comment Link Manager (by Weberz Hosting) - this plugin will make your life easier by letting you manage the links left by commentators.

6. Easy Privacy Policy (by Kevin Sparrow) - a must for sites wanting to get on the good side of Google Adsense. This won't guarantee you'll get approved by Google Adsense but it sure helps a little. Plus it's always professional to let your website visitors know how you're going to protect their personal information (and I hope you mean it!)

7. Fast Secure Contact Form (by Mike Challis) - enough said! Building web forms are a pain in the ass and this plugin does it for you and still gives you flexibility to customize it if you wish. It's secure so it makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. Now you have a "contact us" form, how professional!

8. Google XML Sitemaps (by Arne Brachhold) - helps search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to index your site asap - which is important if you want to be found.

9. Robots Meta (by Joost de Valk) - Search engines uses crawlers or web spiders or web robots to "crawl" your blog's pages. This plugin points the bots to the pages that matter and avoid the ones that don't.

10. Sexy Bookmarks (by Shareaholic) - this allows people to share your articles with article websites and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace and more. A great way to encourage people to tell their friends and family about your blog.

11. Subscribe To Comments Reloaded (by Camu) - a small yet powerful feature. It leaves a little box for commentators to tick if they wish to follow comments by other commentators. What does that mean and how does it benefit you? By subscribing to comments, it means they want to see what others are saying and return to your website! Encouraging readers to come back is a fantastic thing to have!

12. W3 Total Cache (by Frederick Townes) - Makes your blog load faster! And that in itself is awesome because Google takes that into account when ranking your site. The faster your website loads, the better it looks in Google's eyes.

13. WordPress Databased Backup (by Austin Matzko) - This one doesn't require an explanation. The name tells you just how important it is to backup your website in case your computer crashes or you accidently mess up your website. Best to do a backup once or twice a week.If Your Theme Needs Extra Basic Features

If you like your theme but it is missing some basic elements - like menus etc, these plugins might help (these are optional so check your theme first):Menubar (by Andrea Tarantini) - some theme developers forget to put in a menubar. If your theme is one of them, this will do the trick.

Page Link Manager (by Garrett Murphey) - if your theme is missing a menubar, odds are you have no control over which links show up in your navigation menu / menubar once you add one. Here is where this plugin will help decide which pages or categories you want to show.Now What Do I Do Zoe?

Start writing and putting content in!WordPress automatically pre-installs a first post for you. You can either delete it by writing over it, deleting it or by selecting Add New under Posts tab on the left hand panel to write a new one.If you're stuck on what to write for your first post, write your "About Me" page to introduce your blog and yourself to your future audience.

I hope this helps your first steps in having your very own blog. Visit my website below to learn more ways to turn your blog into a success.Next up: Part Two - How To Monetize Your Blog


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