Starting a new blog in Wordpress
Blogging is a great tool for sharing information, ideas and even for making some money. Starting a new blog is fairly simple and straightforward and if you are tech savvy, there are so many options for you to choose from. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start blogging.
Starting a blog entails several things including selecting your niche, choosing a domain name, setting up your blog and then creating content and managing SEO. SEO is also a crucial part of blogging and if your plan is to be a professional blogger and earn money from it, you cannot overlook the SEO part which is critical to driving traffic and generating revenue from your blog.
So, what comes to your mind when you think of blogging? What is it that you are passionate about and think can do better than others? Is there an area where you are an expert or have enough experience? The first step of blogging is planning.
You will first need to plan what you are going to write about and if you will be able to continuously write posts and publish in a particular niche. From education to technology, food and fashion, there are several niches where you can quickly gain popularity if you are an expert in an area.
If there is something that not many people can write about yet, chances of your success are higher. The things like selecting a platform, deciding upon hosting and other technical things come next.
Your content is at the core of your blogging strategy and content quality matters when it comes to blogging. So, ensure to select the niche you are passionate about.
How to pick the right CMS for blogging
Wordpress is the most popular CMS, full of features that attract new bloggers.
If you are a tech savvy user, and know your way already, there are several options to set your blog. Even if you are not, you can select to use one of the blogging platforms like medium, wordpress, ghost, wix, weebly and others. If you are planning to be a professional blogger, you must self host your blog or use a good web hosting like Cloudways to host your blog.
After having selected your niche, comes the technical part, which is selection of the CMS platform and hosting. It depends on why you want to blog. If you want to write so you can share your ideas with the world, you can use any of the free blogging platforms like Medium, Wix, Wordpress.com, and Weebly among others. However, if you are planning to become a professional blogger and earn money writing, you will need a platform that offers you the desired flexibility and ease of use.
For such bloggers, especially the ones who are less tech savvy, the best platform for publishing content and managing SEO is Wordpress.
Wordpress is the most popular CMS in the world and powers millions of websites globally. Not just blogging, but it is used for e-commerce and news websites as well as business websites. The popularity of Wordpress can be attributed to its flexibility and ease of use.
An important attraction of Wordpress is its easy to use admin dashboard from where you can access all the features of wordpress. There is also a large and thriving community of wordpress users and you can get support for solving almost any problem related to wordpress.
The wordpress repository has free themes and plugins that can make publishing fun for you. You can easily design a fast website using themes like Astra or Generatepress and some plugins including caching and SEO plugins.
Another excellent thing about wordpress is the availability of plugins for almost everything from caching to advertising and SEO. While for beginners, it may seem a bit difficult at first, finding your way around will not take much time.
The tech savvy users can also use other technologies to build their own blog like Gatsby, Ghost, Jekyll or Hugo. However, most bloggers go for Wordpress because of its flexibility. While there are other platforms which offer higher speed and better security, Wordpress is popular because of its functionality. So, based on these factors you can easily choose the right content management system for your blog.
Even if you are planning to start a personal blog, you can go for wordpress since it would not require much technical knowledge and you can freely devote time to content creation. Moreover, managing a wordpress blog is easier compared to others and there are several tools to speed up a wordpress blog including caching and minification tools.
Domain name and hosting
When you start a blog, you need to have your own domain name which is unique and related to your niche. You can select a domain name that is easy to pronounce and remember. However, sometimes you will find that the domain name you want is already booked. In such a case, you can also try a different extension than .com extension. Other extensions that work include .net and .org. There are country specific extensions also that work like .co.uk or .co.in. Godaddy and Namecheap are among the most popular options for buying a domain name where you can buy one easily for cheap.
Since you are just starting out, you will need a good hosting platform where you can reliably host your blog. A few things that customers consider when selecting a hosting platform include uptime, server speed, quality of support, and ease of use. While there are several hosts, if you are just starting out, I will suggest using Cloudways or Hostwinds. If you can set it up yourself, you can start with as low as $5 or $10 monthly on Digital Ocean where you can spin up a wordpress droplet (Virtual Machine ) with just one click.
Digital Ocean servers are not just fast but also cost effective. When you are just starting, you will need a host that can offer cheap hosting until you have sizable traffic and sufficient revenue. As you grow up, you can buy more resources and resize your server, which will not be a problem whether your blog is hosted on Cloudways or Hostwinds. Cloudways offers servers of all sizes and you can start w wordpress blog with one click for less than $30 monthly. It also offers solid customer support through email and chat round the clock. Another option you can consider is Hostwinds which will not apply any hidden charges and provides excellent customer support.
There is also an excellent reason that Cloudways is considered superior to others in terms of wordpress hosting. You do not have to worry about speed when you launch your wordpress blog on Cloudways. If you are a beginner, you might not be familiar with caching. However, you will soon start understanding. It is something very critical to loading a wordpress site faster.
Most hosts do not offer caching or offer their own caching mechanisms. Cloudways offers object caching, and varnish caching for free which new users may find complex and highly technical to set up. You can easily enable or disable these features from your Cloudways dashboard. Cloudways also offers a free trial that will be sufficient to check out its services.
Set up your blog (Building with Wordpress)
Once you have purchased the hosting and launched wordpress (you can choose wordpress or another CMS when you host on Cloudways and it will be auto installed for you), it is time to set up your blog. Start with mapping your domain and installing a nice and fast theme that offers both speed and flexibility.
My favorites in this regard are Astra and Generatepress which are among the fastest and most popular in the Wordpress theme repository. Both offer premium versions which come with additional features. Your theme decides how your website looks and how fast each page loads so decide carefully.
However, before you can start blogging, you will need to do some additional things like installing a caching plugin and an SEO plugin as well as a security plugin. Some of the best free and premium caching plugins include W3TC, Wp fastest cache and WP Rocket. For SEO you can use Rank Math, AIOSEO or Yoast and Wordfence or All in One Security for security. Once you have set the wordpress theme and plugins it is time to write some quality content that will stand out. So, you can now start publishing.
High quality, well written and well organized content can help you rank faster. So, do your research on the topics you have selected, and if you are an expert just start writing based on your knowledge and experience.
Another critical thing for Wordpress beginners is to learn SEO. You can start with researching articles online about Search Engine Optimization and the critical factors with regards to ranking your content. While content should remain your main focus, it is important to learn technical SEO to grow traffic faster.
Some of the factors you must initially focus upon include the use of headings in wordpress posts, meta robots tags, meta descriptions, robots.txt, use of google search console and sitemaps.
These are some of the most basic and yet most important things related to wordpress SEO. While it may take you some time to master the basics of Wordpress SEO, it will prove highly profitable in the short and the long run.
The good news is that there are Wordpress SEO plugins like Rank Math, Yoast, AIOSEO, SEOPress and SEO Framework which can make SEO easy for you. You can use just any of these for managing post seo, meta robots tags, sitemaps, and other things like generating a robots.txt.
Promote your content to generate traffic
Once you have started writing, it will take some time for your organic traffic to grow. In the meantime, you can employ the other channels for marketing your content and to grow your traffic.
First of all, use social media channels to promote your content. This will help bring some traffic in the initial phase and increase your blog’s visibility. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Pinterest can be of great help in this regard. You can also republish your content on Medium to gain visibility.
Businesses also employ paid methods to promote their blogs and websites. If you are on a small budget, share your content on the social media channels and encourage your readers to do so. Write content that attracts readers and include social sharing buttons on your blog.
Make money through affiliate marketing or advertising:
Once you have gained some organic traffic, you can generate revenue from your blog using various channels. Advertising is among the main channels utilized by blogs for generating income.
You can apply for Adsense and start laying ads in the sidebar and inside the content to grow your income. However, your income also depends on the popularity of your blog and its content.
Maintain your focus on providing a great user experience to bolster both traffic and income.
Another important channel of income utilized by blogs is affiliate marketing where you become an affiliate for a larger brand and market its brand, products and services from your blog.
It can also help you generate sufficient income. Some more methods of generating income utilized by bloggers include selling their own services, ebooks and related products on their blog. A blog can be a great source of income given you have sizable content and organic traffic.