8 Simple Steps for Creating Your Own Blog
You’ve heard about it.
You’ve thought about doing it.
You know you have a great idea for a blog, but you just don’t know how to get started. Well, there is good news for you!
Here are 8, easy to read, simple steps to get you blogging that anyone can follow. Even your Nan could follow these 8 steps and never have to call and ask your opinion!!!
People start blogging for several reasons. It is a very popular way of communicating your thoughts and ideas to the world or at least to your target audience. There are several million blogs on the internet and yours is going to be the next one.
Blogging is an awesome tool for self expression. It is also a very efficient way to get your business idea across to the market you want to reach and influence. Blogging will cause you to become a better writer and in the process of writing, you will come to learn various kinds of search engine optimization(SEO) principles and procedures that will steadily cause your blog to rank higher and higher in the search engines. And probably the best part about blogging is its a great way to make money.
But, you are here to learn how to get started with this blog you are going to give to the world. You may have listened to webinars, teleconferences and listened to friends talk about their blogging efforts. You have been given conflicting information, personal opinion and everything seems to run together in your brain.
You really don’t know where and how to start or what you should do first. This series of 8 article categories is designed to help you move along step-by-step to your final goal. And what’s more, you will always have it for a quick reference should you go sideways somewhere in the creative process.
By the way, the very best part about being a “newbie” is the only way for you to go is up. You may have a lack of knowledge regarding how to start a blog. But, you certainly don’t lack in motivation and willingness to learn. Believe me when I tell you, there are some internet so called “gurus” out there who would do well to return to the days of humble beginnings. Do not disdain your own humble beginnings in the internet blogosphere. Your going to do fine!
I make a promise to you that nothing in this 8 step guide will be sophisticated, complicated or filled with jargon that you cannot comprehend.
No dictionaries required and if you do happen to land in a hole, I’ll always be here to pull you up and out.
Sound good? Let’s get started then!
It Is Not Complicated
Building out your own blog, over time does not have to be complicated. Folks make the mistake of thinking that somehow their idea for a blog has to be mentally sophisticated or written above the level of the target audience they are seeking to teach, influence or move to make a buying decision. It’s actually just the opposite.
The more focused and the more simple your idea is for a blog, the more your reader will be able to focus in with you.
Choose your domain name. This will, of course you determine what subject you are interested in blogging about. When you discover that subject, you will then be able to name your blog. From the subject of your blog will come your domain name. In addition, your brand will be determined by your subject, your domain name and your estimation of how you want all of that presented to the public.
The domain name is the way others will find your blog. Think of it as the address of the property that you own on the internet. Just like a physical address to a house or business might look something like this; An Post Business Desk, GPO, O’Connell Street Lower, Freepost, Dublin 1, D01 F5P2, IRELAND. The address of your blog will be something along the lines of http://www.myblog.com. It is your own personal bit of real estate in the blogosphere! It is how people find you.
A bit of internet science is needed here. You see, the actual address of your site is an ugly set of numbers and symbols that most people won’t be able to remember or even want to remember. It is something called an Internet Protocol or IP address. It is a unique and singular locator number that is mathematically determined by a very sophisticated system. Choosing a domain name allows others to place that in a search box and query the system to take them to that address.
But, your domain name is more than a series of numbers and letters put together by an algorithm. It’s truly your online identity and the first public expression of your blog. If the name of your blog and your domain name are creative in nature, stimulating to the human mind and memorable, then people will gravitate toward it and the information contained in your blog. No pressure here, but one of the most important decisions you will make in respect to your blog is the name you give it and the resulting domain name expression. But, don’t let it stress you. Your blog name will be produced naturally out of the content and intent of your blog. Keep your subject and brand in mind. All will come. All will be well.
Choose your web host. Another important decision will be the hosting company you choose to provide the online storage that your blog will require. You will want to stay away from free hosting or a fly by night company that promises the moon and lands you in the ditch when traffic is high and your site shuts down.
I’ve tried many different hosting companies over the years. I have learned by trial and error which ones work well and ones that are better left alone. Listen. Great hosting really just boils down to three things.
I want you to think of the 3S’s when considering a company that wants your money. The first S is speed. Can they get your website uploaded quickly and completely when a customer queries the internet system to produce your information. The measurement of the speed of the upload is actually a determiner of how your ranking on Google will be achieved. Search engines like websites that load up quickly and appear before the searcher in often less than a blink of an eye.
The second S is support. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get an issue addressed or trying to find an answer to a problem and no one is there to provide immediate chat or an email response. Any hosting company worth it’s salt will have a quick response to any issue and provide immediate solutions to your query. Look for a phone number. If no phone number is provided so you can speak with a human, then that hosting company may not have the human resources necessary to help their customers or they simply are not concerned with keeping their customers happy.
The final S is security. Secure hosting is a necessity and you must always be aware of the fact that the bad guys are out there and they want to limit or outright destroy the good you are trying to do. Security standards are important to the smooth operation and well being of a blog. You have to be careful to choose a hosting company that will provide the necessary security to prevent
Some of the things you want a hosting company to provide are; firewalls, virus protection, security protection, spam filters, SSL security certificate, domain name privacy and Ddos Protection. Now, for the purposes of this introduction to setting up a blog it is not necessary you understand what all these things are. These things will be found on the website of the hosting company.
Other things an excellent hosting company should be aware of and include in their hosting practice are regular backups and restore points, SSL, antivirus and malware scanning and removal, disaster recovery, access and user permissions, file management, applications and logins, passwords and user access restrictions, updates to plugins and backups and a complete update of coding.
In short, you want a professional company that has been around for a while and that encountered many different challenges over the years. I recommend using the hosting provided at this site; http://www.takethisfreegift.com. They provide all the previous elements mentioned and do it at a very reasonable price!
So, there you have it. The first two things to think about when starting your new blog. Get your domain name right and be smart about the hosting and you are well on your way to blogging success!
The Setup of Your Blog
Awesome! You have your subject/niche, your domain name and you have a good hosting company. The next step is to begin setting up your blog and launching your amazing idea out and into the world.
This step in the process is systematic and orderly. However, the precise clicks you will make to install and setup your blog will depend a great deal on the host you choose. A hosting company may or may not offer a one click install of something called the blogging platform. This platform can be simple or complicated. Here are some platforms you may recognise.
Each of these platforms will have a website builder that will provide templates and ways for you to present your blog.
At this point, an unashamed professional recommendation is offered. The platform known as WordPress has the following latest statistics.
- WordPress is the platform that powers 26% of the entire worldwide web.
- Users of WordPress make an average of 41.7 million posts and 60.5 million new comments per month.
- There are more than 1.1 million new domains registered using WordPress every six months.
- 2,740,000 times per month somebody searches for WordPress in Google or Bing.
- Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are dominated by WordPress with 583,000,000 results.
- The most often used content management system (CMS) is WordPress.
- WordPress is available in 65 languages.
- Folks visit WordPress more often than Twitter.
- People who use WordPress make a new post every 6 seconds.
- 71% of all WordPress content is written in English.
- 44, 622 plugins have been created for WordPress.
- WordPress has been downloaded more than 20,000,000 times.
- Akismet is a free spam blocker that comes with a WordPress download and to date it has blocked over 100 billion spam comments.
- 30.5% of the top 1000 websites on the web are made from WordPress.
So, can you guess the platform www.BuildingaBetterBlog.com recommends? You guessed it.
This link will take you to a process that contains a one click download and setup of your WordPress blog. Go to http://www.takethisfreegift.com. You will be amazed with how simple it is to set up your blog on this free platform!
Let’s consider what you would have to do should you choose to use WordPress on your own to start your blog. The content management system you will choose will have something called a cPanel. A cPanel is a web based hosting control panel provided by hosting companies to anyone starting a blog. The cPanel offers a way to manage the website through simple and direct graphical interfaces. Generally, the cPanel will have an auto installer that is designed and dedicated to content management systems like WordPress. It will contain small icons for a variety of services and features you can use for your blog.
Here is what you will see when you look at cPanel.
As you can see, it can get a bit overwhelming to try to understand all of these features when you are starting out. That is why it is recommended you work through the steps at http://www.takethisfreegift.com to get your blog started!
However, should you need to download WordPress on your own from your cPanel, you just need to find the icon that looks like this:
There are many things that can be done with cPanel. Some of these are creating another email, adding another domain and subdomain, backing up your site and it also allows you to manage files.
WordPress Administrative Tasks
Now that you are working in the most popular and often used platform, you have to make it uniquely yours. You will do that by changing some areas that come preset in certain ways. It’s easy. Don’t worry.
You are next going to do some reconfiguration of certain parameters. Ready? Here we go!
The first thing you want to do is change your username from the word “admin” to something that is uniquely you. You can put your name here or some kind of nickname. It’s completely up to you.
Another reason to change this from “admin” to something you will remember is so that hackers won’t try using the word “admin” to get into your site in the future. If a hacker wants to get into your site, they will need your username and password, right? If you change this, they won’t know this vital piece of information.
To change this go to Users>All Users. If any of the usernames are “admin,” then change it. You will either just place your cursor to the far right of the word and backspace until it is gone. Or, you can highlight the word “admin” and press the delete button on your keyboard.
Another way to do this is to hover over the admin username in the box. When you do this, a few links may appear underneath. If you see a delete link you will want to make sure you are logged in as the “administrator” under a different username in the “Role” section. Click delete and attribute content to a different user.
If you do not see a delete link when you hover over the word “admin” that means you are logged in as the administrator and it is not possible to delete yourself. At this point, you will have to add a new user and then come back to this area and delete the admin user.
To add a new user you just click on the words “Add New” under “All Users” in the left column. You may also just click the button at the top of the page. The next step is to enter a username of your creation. You will next enter an email address for the new user. The next thing to do is to select a unique password. Next, select the “Administrator” role. You want to be the administrator because this gives the highest level of access and usage on the whole site. Next click the “Add New User” button.
Now, you must log out of WordPress and log back in as the new user you have entered. As the new user, you may now go back to Users>All Users and hover over the admin username in the list. The word “delete” will appear and you may delete the information.
Hey! You have done it. Don’t worry. If any of this was confusing just return to the directions and do it step by step. One step at a time will get the job done.
Never forget you can contact us here at http://www.BuildingaBetterBlog.com and we will be happy to help!
WordPress Blog Configuration
You are doing nicely! Your blog is growing every day. Stay tuned. Stay focused. Stay with it!
We did a little bit of configuring when you changed the username and password in previous steps. But, here we are going to change some things that will make your life easier in the future.
The things to do here in this step are easy, if you take it one by one.
First, log into your blog and make your way to the dashboard. The way to get to your dashboard is to place in your browser the address www.YourWebsite.com/wp-admin. You just replace YourWebsite with the name of your blog. When you arrive at the sign in page, just type in your username and password.
Now, just look to the left of the page and scroll down the left sidebar. Click on Settings and then scroll down to the word Writing. Look at the box where it will say Update Services. You want to make sure the following URL is in this box, http://rpc.pingomatic.com/. This is an important thing because in the future, every time you add a new posting it will be “ping” other sites.
What is a “ping?” Why is it important to you as a new blogger? Here’s why. Pinging lets many different services know you have updated your site. You see, there are many services designed specifically for tracking and connecting blogs. All of these services cannot possibly crawl all the blogs in the world all the time. When you send a small, but significant ping to each of these services, it lets them know there is some new information out there in the blogosphere they need to know about. Those tracking services stay up to date with your recent information and you don’t have to deal with robotic spiders crawling your site constantly.
Some of the sites that get pinged are; Weblogs.com, Blo.gs, Feed Burner, NewsGator, My Yahoo!, PubSub.com, Blogdigger, Weblogalot, New Is Free, Topic Exchange, Google Blog Search, Spinn3r, SkyGrid, Collecta, Superfeedr, Audio Weblogs, RubHub, A2B GeoLocation, BlogShares, Twingly.com, Feedster.com, Moreover.com, blogdigger.com, blogshares.com, blogsnow.com, blogstreet.com, bulkfeeds.net, newsisfree.com, ping.blo.gs, syndic8.com, feedsubmitter.com, blogrolling.com, blo.gs, pingerati.net, pingmyblog.com, geourl.org, ipings.com.
The primary reason you want to always ping an article after it is posted is because of one thing: TRAFFIC. Blogs need people looking at the pages and pinging gets you those people. As soon as you ping some new content, the update services previously mentioned move your site to the top of the list or they place a “recently updated” indicator.
The very next thing to do is remain under the heading of Settings, but click on the “Reading” tab. What you discover here are different ways you can present your blog to the world. You will be making decisions regarding the front page display, blog pages to show and syndication feeds. You will also be deciding about articles in a feed, what to show, and search engine visibility. You will decide how many posts your want displayed and which page will be your front page or whether you want to just show the most recent post. You will also have to tell WordPress whether you want to display the whole text in your blog post or just a summary of the post. All of these are your choice! Caution: Make sure the Search Engine Visibility box is NOT checked. If this is checked, then search engines will not search for you and you want them to search for you. So, leave it unchecked! Make sure you SAVE your inputs and changes. Your next step in this process is to click on the Discussion tab under the Settings section. There are several options on this page. Many of these will be preset by WordPress and that is a good place to start. However, let's see what we have and work through each of them. Default Article Settings: The first thing to check here is the sentence that reads, “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article” Next, check the sentence, “Allow link notifications from other blogs (ping backs and trackbacks) on new articles.” And check, “Allow people to post comments on new articles.” You can always uncheck these per article as you post in the future. But, for now leave these three checked for positive action. Other Comment Settings: Under this section, there are three sentences that need to remain checked. They are “Comment author must fill out name and email.” Second; “Show comments cookies opt-in checkbox, allowing comment author cookies to be set.” Last; “Enable threaded (nested) comments.”
Email Me Whenever: In this section you may want to leave both of these sentences checked as you will want to keep up with any comments left by people. You may also want to moderate comments. So, check the sentence that says, “Email me whenever anyone posts a comment,” and “A comment is held for moderation.”
Before A Comment Appears: Check these two sentences also. They will say, “Before a comment appears Comment must be manually approved,” and “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.”
Comment Moderation: In this section you will be able to add some keywords you want to enter. Essentially, what happens here is that if a comment is made that contains certain words you do not want to see, they will be contained and held in the ‘moderation queue.’ So enter words here that will flag certain comments you want to moderate.
Comment Blacklist: It may be unfortunate that some comments will be made that are so objectionable you will have to blacklist the email, website, comment or person who has made the comment. But, it happens. So, if you choose to, put words in this box that will automatically blacklist the sender.
An avatar is the embodiment of a person or idea. In the world of computers, individuals create avatars to represent them when they make a comment or blog. The avatar serves to represent the online user. Once the avatar is created at such places like https://getavataaars.com/, then the avatar is posted as opposed to a signature or any point of contact.
In this section, choose how you want to represent yourself in the blogosphere by making a selection from the offers presented.
In this section, you will choose the sizes for your images. Again, they may come preset by WordPress. If so, leave them as they are. We will be discussing the use of an image resizer in coming sections. Keep in mind that when you are setting parameters in this section, you are setting the maximum sizes you want images to be in certain categories.
Thumbnail Size: Set the height at 150 and the width to 150 also. Check the box next to “Crop thumbnail to exact dimensions.”
Medium Size: Maximum width should be set to 300. The maximum height should be 300 also.
Large Size: The maximum width should be 1024. The maximum height should be set at 1024.
Uploading Files: This box should be checked to allow the organization of uploads into month and year based folders.
Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, categories and other lists of weblog postings. These links are used by other bloggers to link to your article. They are also used as a link to include in an email to someone. The URL to an article or blog post should never change and remain permanent.
This section allows you to choose your default permalink structure. Choosing one of these will improve the aesthetics, the forward compatibility and the usability of your links.
You may choose from the following;
Day and Name: http://www.sample.com/2019/22/sample-post/
Month and Name: http://www.sample.com/2019/05/sample-post/
Post Name: http://www.sample.com/samplepost/
Custom Structure: http://www.sample.com/archives/%year%/monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/.
There are other options given also.
Good! You are well into configuring what is commonly called the “back office” of your blog.
Keep going. There are just a few more configurations to do in the next part coming up!
So, you have heard of branding and you know some things about it.
That is good.
Branding is important.
Branding includes how you present your blog to the world. Brand management uses various aspects of the world wide web as a medium by which customers may recognize a product line or service. A strong and authentic relationship with your target market is enhanced by the business logo, colors, fonts and images you use on your blog. The faster your customer recognizes your brand, the better.
Not only must your target market be able to recognize your brand, but it must be able to differentiate between your brand and brands that are similar. The presentation and the resulting months and years of ongoing development of your blog will maintain your customer or readership base.
It is important to mention that branding also involves presenting your blog to social media sites for an even deeper spreading of your brand to your target market. You want people seeing your blog posts on social media and also you want them to repost them. Using YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others will be integral to your blog’s growth as a brand.
You must approach this step in the blogging process in the same way you deal with meeting someone for a business meeting. You go to the meeting prepared and ready to present yourself in the best light. Your brand should present you in the best light also.
You have probably heard from several people during your life when you were nervous about meeting someone or having a date with opposite sex that you should “just be yourself.” Well, that same idea applies to designing your blog and brand. Know who you are and how your blog is a natural extension of yourself. Don’t be something you are not and don’t present your blog to the world that is something different and out of character with your authentic self. Be genuine in your presentation.
If you audience is calm, relaxed and chill. Then don’t put a profile picture in the top left corner of yourself in a business suit. If you are dealing with corporate and business sectors, then you may want to put on a tie and apply some style.
You have seen already what your blog looks like from the back office perspective. At this stage, it just looks like a great many controls, boxes to check, and some random pages. At this point, a theme is what you need. But, what is a theme? Read on.
A theme can provide control over the look and presentation of your blog. The content on your blog can be arranged in certain ways that will be appealing to the reader. A theme is essentially a collection of files that work in symphony to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design. It is, in effect a template. Just fill in certain parameters and the frame of the theme will do the rest for you.
Themes do the job of displaying data, content, layouts, design elements and images on your site. Selecting the right theme is important to your blog because themes are designed to target precise markets. Getting the theme right will help drive traffic and strongly influence the way your target market interfaces with your product or service.
Themes are designed with bloggers in mind and can seriously impact the overall impact of your blog on others. Not getting this right and choosing the wrong theme such as something that is visually complicated is tantamount to wearing a cheap suit to the Oscars or a bathing suit at your friend’s wedding.
In this case and sense we are using WordPress as our platform, you will be happy to know there are presently over 35,000 different themes from which to choose.
Premium WordPress Themes
These themes will cost money! I thought I would tell you that right out of the box. They can range anywhere from $7.00 to $200.00 each. There are advantages to both categories of themes, both free and not free.
Premium themes will add value to your blog. If one day you want to sell your blog and go live on the beach, then a premium theme will increase the resale capacity. A premium theme will afford you greater control over every section of your blog. The creators of premium themes have a keen interest in keeping their product up to date in terms of SEO and security. So, you can expect to see upgrades to the theme you purchase. With a premium theme you typically will not see links back to the creator.
The disadvantages to premium themes include the fact you will have to spend some time making your design look unique. Another perceived disadvantage to these kinds of themes is that since they have multiple and sophisticated features, you may have to spend a great deal of time learning how to make these features fit your brand. There are often video tutorials and a good amount of support to help you learn and address issues you may encounter.
Free WordPress Themes
Free is good, right? Yes. Free is good. In the beginning, going with a free theme is an excellent choice. This allows you to present your blog to the world while you learn more things about WordPress and blogging in general.
There are advantages to free themes. They are easy to install and sometimes they are offered during your initial setup of your WordPress blog. This is certainly the case at http://www.takethisfreegift.com.
There are literally thousands of free themes to choose from and in many different niches. With free themes, you can switch and change between themes easily without losing content and structure.
The disadvantages to free themes include your site may look a bit generic and take on the appearance of many others already in existence. This may inhibit your branding and your attempts to be unique. Free themes generally have a lower amount of functionality. But, this is easily overcome by the addition of plugins which you will learn about in future. A free theme may not offer customer support unless that theme originator is wanting to go full commercial in the future. Updates to free themes come less often than purchased ones, unless again the creator is seeking to someday commercialize his theme and generate more customers.
WordPress Theme Installation
Another piece O’ cake!
Go back to your WordPress back office by logging in with your username and password.
Scroll down on the far left side to the word Appearance.
When you hover over Appearance another screen will appear.
Choose Themes and then click on Add New.
Click on the Upload Theme button that will appear next.
Click on Choose File. Navigate to and select the theme’s file on your computer.
Click Install and follow any prompts that appear.
You may go to https://wordpress.com/themes and see over 325 free themes from which to choose.
The final word to be said at this point is in regard to your logo. This is an integral part of the presentation of your blog. A logo that represents you well is a key ingredient that will help your content or service stick in the minds of a reader. A well constructed logo will capture the essence of your blog.
Since you are beginning in this world of blogging, you most likely do not have much experience in digital design. But, don’t let that stop you from thinking about what you want your logo to say or portray.
If you have the money to invest in a company or person that does logo design for a profession, then by all means go ahead. If you are like most of the people just starting out, you need to work within some well defined budgetary restraints. You can find a person on http://www.fiverr.com or http://www.ODesk.com who will do it for a lower price.
Here are some websites that will allow you to make a logo! Some of them are free, others are not.
Congratulations! You are one step closer to publishing your blog! WordPress is great for getting something done efficiently and quickly. If you ran into issues, go back and reread some things and make sure you have followed every step.
WordPress makes it possible to upgrade, tune up and completely pimp your site!
Should you have questions about your theme, direct them to the creator of the theme as they are most familiar with the varioust aspects of their own theme.
Keep reading. Keep working. The day when you click Publish is on its way!
Possibly by now you have familiarized yourself with the various functionalities of your WordPress blog. Now, you have to begin adding content to your site.
Content on your site can be sounds, videos, animations, images or text. These are the bits of information presented in several different formats that appeal and inform your particular target market or tribe. This information can be presented as data, applications, services, audio, documents or images.
In the blogosphere, the phrase “Content is King,” has become very familiar over the years. It is absolutely true! Content is king and SEO is Queen! Being concerned and just focusing on the appearance of your blog and not placing emphasis on the content is a big mistake. Making your blog presentable in real ways is important, but after they have seen it, visitors and potential customers need to see some fresh and relevant content.
Tips for Creating Content
If you have never created any kind of content, this section will help you understand how to do that. If you have been doing this for a while, possibly you will pick up some new ideas. Here are some tips in short form you can use for creating content for your new blog.
Learn to do keyword research. This kind of research is a good search engine optimization (SEO) practice used to find alternative search terms that folks enter into a search engine while looking for something. Additional keywords may help search engine rankings and ultimately produce more traffic for your blog. There are many keyword suggestion tools available.
Never over use a keyword or keyword phrase. This is most often called “keyword stuffing.” This bad practice is the act of spamming and involves the over use of keywords or keyword phrases that are either in content, meta tags or backlinks. This is done to try to gain a ranking standing. This kind of article or posting will not help your sites ranking in the search engines. They are determined to be too empty of meaningful content and the search engine algorhythm will rank this kind of article lower than others.
Always keep things chopped up in readable bites. Did you know that the reading level of the internet has been evaluated by some very scholastic people and the average reading level of the internet has been found to be that of a ninth grader?
In fact, this article you are reading was evaluated by https://app.readable.com and was determined to be written at only the tenth grade level. You may also navigate to http://www.readabilityformulas.com/free-readability-formula-tests.php or https://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp to determine the reading level or readability of the content you have written or are posting on your blog.
Create an interesting and eye catching opening title. It is important to give your readers a reason to read the content. You want a title that is short and directly to the point. Don’t be afraid to use strong language such as “Top 10 Ways to Stamp Out Pollution” or “12 Things People Hate About Driving in Traffic.” Be bold in the title. Understand what your market is after and give it to them.
Remember you are offering a solution to your reader to a problem they have. Content writing for the internet is not so much about being good literature as it is about giving your blog reader a solution to a a situation or issue they need resolved. If your writing is full of rhetorical devices, metaphors, and fictional contrivances, then your reader will click away usually after a few seconds. By the way, the rate at which a reader leaves your site is called the “bounce rate.” You want to keep the bounce rate low on your blog, so introduce a problem and solve it quickly.
Take this series of articles you are reading about how to create a blog. If we gave you all sorts of beautiful words put together in large paragraphs, you would become even more overwhelmed than you may feel you are now! So, write to solve a knowledge deficit and to solve a problem.
Use good grammar. For centuries the hallmark of an educated person has been their ability to use correct grammar. Uneducated people simply do not use good grammar. Nothing snobby intended about this. It’s just a fact. There is nothing that screams louder that you really don’t care about your subject or reader than the use of bad grammatical structure.
If this is not your forte, then invest in a grammar and spell checker. Here are some free checkers that will help you along the way to creating good content for your blog.
Produce original, fresh, and relevant content. Let’s take these one at a time. Don’t plagiarize. Write your own words and don’t copy anybody else’s words. You might also want to understand that plagiarizing also includes stealing someone else’s thoughts, not just the words they used to express their thoughts. Become familiar with https://www.copyscape.com/. It will show you if you have copied somebody else.
Fresh content is content that is new to your blog and new to your target audience. It may not be new and fresh to the rest of the world, but it is fresh to your readers. You have to understand that the total knowledge contained on the internet is changing every 12 seconds. The internet is forever changing and updating itself. The primary purpose of a search engine is to provide the most relevant information to a query entered into its search box. Your blog will remain important to the search engines if they can consistently offer your blog content as a solution to the search of a person.
Relevant content is a primary factor in priority placement of a website or blog. Think of it as content that is engaging, helpful, fills a need and is informative. The search engines are all about providing the searcher a heightened experience. Essentially, that means when they put their query into the search box, they have created the algorithm that will take the most accurate and relevant information directly to them.
Post articles, videos, and other content that are high quality. Don’t fill your blog with fluff. It is tempting to do so because you may mistakenly think that more is better. More is not better in the world of blogging unless all the content is of high quality.
So, what do we mean by high quality. High quality content is content that can be proven to be successful by internet data parameters and meets the need of the target market. High quality content is ten times more engaging than poor quality content. Top quality content produces more conversions than poor quality content. High quality content produces a higher click through rate also.
Understand this. 80% of your blogging traffic will come from only 20% of your content. That is because there is 20% of the content that will drive and appeal to the traffic you need. Someone finds an article or video that speaks to their marketing “pain” and wham, they click right through to your offer or service.
So, content that is high quality will achieve its marketing objectives, whatever you have determined those are. This kind of content will also, over time cause your blog to rank higher and higher in the search engine results.
High quality content causes more engagement than poor quality content. Google and other search engines reward the content that produces a great deal of engagement. Social interaction with your content is also important to the search engines. How often your content is shared on social networking sites is important for ranking rewards. For your content to produce the kind of social sharing that gets rewarded, it must be of high quality and compel the reader to take action in some way. There must be an emotional response produced by the content.
So, there you go. Hopefully, now you have some idea of what kind of content you want to produce and some of the kinds of content to be produced for your blog. Keep these thoughts in mind as you “flesh out” your blog over time.
Remember you are trying to solve a problem for your reader and doing it with the highest possible quality you can produce. You want to answer a question for the reader and resolve their marketing “pain point.”
Help solve their problem by producing fresh, relevant and high quality content and your new blog will remain successful.
Posting Your First Article
WordPress has a great area called the dashboard. It looks like this…
Find it and get ready to learn some amazing steps in blogging! From this dashboard you can operate the entire WordPress platform. Here we go!
The first thing you have to learn is how to make a blog post. It’s easy. Don’t worry. You have to know that WordPress has a default editor that you will see whenever you click on >Posts….then >Add New. At this point, you will be seeing an editor called Gutenberg. This editor was added back in December of 2018. It is very simple, clean and easy to use.
Title and Content Blocks
At the top of the page you will see this…
Type the title of your blog post into this space.
Now, you have to begin adding your article or whatever content you are posting today. To do that in Gutenberg, you must add a new block. To do that, click on the small + sign that has a circle around it. You will see it at the top left position. The screen area looks like this….
After clicking on this small plus sign, another smaller drop down will appear. It looks like this…
At this point, you can click on either paragraph, image, heading, gallery, list, quote, audio, cover or file. What you click will depend on what you need to post. Go ahead and click on all of these options to see what WordPress does and what kind of page it gives you to post your item. This box allows images, galleries, embeds, shortcodes, widgets, and others.
Gutenberg is a powerful editor and has numerous functionalities. You are encouraged to explore it on your own. Pay particular attention to block settings and understand that each block has different settings.
Now, WordPress also has a classic editor. If, for some reason you do not want to use Gutenberg and you prefer to use the classic editor, that is easy. Read on to learn how to disable Gutenberg and keep the classic editor in use.
To do this, you will have to use the Classic Editor plugin. To do that, you will have to know how to install a WordPress plugin. When you get the Classic Editor activated it works right out of the shoot and it will automatically disable the Gutenberg editor. The cool thing about the plugin is that it will allow you to go back and forth between Classic and Gutenberg at will. You can configure this feature in the plugin settings.
So, how do you download a plugin and use it? Easy. Follow these steps!
Go to…>Plugins…then “Add New.” You may now do a search using the name of the plugin or the functionality you would like to use. After it downloads, it will appear in the “Plugins” area under “Installed Plugins.” The plugin you need will have to be listed in the WordPress plugin directory. All of the plugins in this directory are free.
After the plugin is downloaded and listed under “Installed Plugins,” you will have to activate it. You will find the word “activate” at the top of the page or within the structure of the listing.
That’s all, you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin! Do a dance and sing a song!
The next step will take you to the plugin itself where you may configure it to your own preferences. Each plugin will come with some functionalities already preset. Others you will have to decide upon. Remember, you can always email the creator of the plugin if you have an questions or encounter trouble. They are happy to assist you as this only makes the plugin better, over time. Who knows, you may think of something or discover something else the plugin could do!
Now, back to the Classic Editor. In your “Plugins” section it will look like this….
After you have activated it, you will see this…..
Place your title in the box labeled “Add title.” Use the large box to place the main content of your article post. Remember to post written content with the editor in “Visual” mode and not “Text.” The “Text” mode is for adding html code to the posting.
You will notice a line of commands at the top of the editor. These are for various functionalities related to the content you are posting. Let’s see what they do, one by one.
Add Media-With this functionality you may add images and video to your content posting.
Paragraph-Click on this box and you will be able to choose from different categories of headings such as Heading 1,2,3,4,5,and 6. You have the option of just choosing the “preformatted” category for your content’s print size.
B-Choose this option to make the print in your written content bold.
I-Selecting this option italicizes your font.
This symbol allows you to insert or edit a link within the content. Just highlight the words you would like to turn into a link and click on this symbol. It will open up a box. Insert the link that would be a final destination for the reader. Tip: Search engines really dig articles and content that link to other articles of the same family of keywords within the same website. They also like to have links going outside the website to other websites on the internet.
This is called the Paste as Text option. When you cut or copy text and then paste it into your document or posted article you may want the text to look just like it did in the original. If this is your choice, then make sure this option is selected by clicking on it. There may be times when you want the pasted text to look like the rest of the document your are creating. If this is your choice, then make sure this option is not on.
This is the Greek symbol meaning “Omega.” However, in this case it will produce multiple special symbols options for you to use in your content. When you click on this symbol, it will produce something looking like this..
I hope this guide to the WordPress Editor areas will be helpful to you. You will be using many of the features in the coming months as you present blog content to the world.
A Mentor is Important
The last subject that must be covered in this course for people who are new to blogging has to be mentoring. Mentoring has been around for centuries. Did you know that the earliest educators such as Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras and others required their students to fast for 40 days before they would accept them as students? Something so intense as becoming their teacher and mentor was something that required the teachers to see if their students were actually worthy of them as a teacher. Yes, they had to prove themselves.
Stepping into the 20th and 21st centuries, there is a host of dual pairings that might surprise you. Oprah Winfrey was mentored by her 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan. General Colin Powell was mentored by his father, Luther Powell. Dr. Martin Luther King was mentored by Benjamin E. Mays. Henry David Thoreau was mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Quincy Jones took instruction from Ray Charles. Harry Potter was mentored by Professor Dumbledore and Luke Skywalker can claim being mentored by Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi.
Why? Isn’t it possible to just go to a school, download some latest internet marketing tutorial, or some course of instruction and get what you need? Why can’t you just follow to the letter the steps everybody else has taken to success? Can’t you just set up your blog and the readers will roll in? If you do everything you have to do to the structure and function of your blog, is that enough? Isn’t it possible to succeed by just giving the search engines what they want?
I submit to you the answer to all these questions is a resounding NO! If you sit down and have a meaningful conversation with anybody who has “made it” in blogging and somewhere in that conversation they will tell you about a person they met 30 years ago. Or, they will talk about their grandfather and how he inspired them to stay faithful when nobody thought they would succeed. I can guarantee you that somewhere in the life of that so called “guru” you are following, you will hear them talk about the significant others that have impacted them spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
Take a close look at all those YouTube videos you’ve been watching for years now and listen closely to the person who succeeded. He or she will share their experiences with their “up line” or their teacher in the blogging sphere.
You see, the reality of any business or internet project is that they are conceived, implemented and sustained by human beings. Because humans are at the core of the experience, there is an innate need and drive to do these things in concert with others. Yes, success is singular in its expression. But, it is an exercise in plurality and community. “No man goes it alone.” That is the truth.
In your efforts to blog and possibly make money while doing it, you are going to need others. You will have to learn from someone. And, you better make good choices about who you choose to influence your steps because one step in the wrong direction or a series of steps in the wrong direction will leave you weeping and gnashing your teeth on the top of the heaped up hill of blogging despair that many have experienced.
But, you may be one of those mavericks who thinks they can get it all done by midnight and just go to your online payment processor and check your account balance tomorrow.
Well, let me be very specific regarding what a mentor can do for you besides providing those certain intangibles such as encouragement, faithfulness, and wisdom in a world changing every day.
Blogging, digital marketing and everything on the internet changes rapidly. According to those who study such things, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every year and a half. Human knowledge doubles every 13 months. IBM has declared that the build out of the “internet of things” will cause knowledge of all things to double every 12 hours. You need a mentor who is on top of all these changes to implement policies, procedures and blogging processes that will not be swallowed up by the changes that the all mighty Google puts into the algorhythm.
Let’s put it into perspective, shall we. Nobody Googled anything until around 2000. Facebook advertising was put into action around 2007. Now, we have podcasts, chat-bots and artificial intelligence. Do you have a handle on the growth and changes that are taking place around these behemoths of the internet? Probably not. A mentor can help because they know what went before and they know what to do now.
Marketing methods, channel and sales funnels come and go. You can do a search and learn everything you need to know about which technologies to use, how to set up an A/B test in Hubspot or where to actually place that banner advert on your site. What you need is a mentor that can help you make sense of all these different methods of gaining exposure for your blog.
The mentor’s role is to assist new bloggers and marketers to figure out how to make sense of all these opportunities. They help you understand trends and have experience knowing what the public will buy and how they want to buy it.
Internet marketers and bloggers in particular are prone to tunnel vision. They get caught up in the day to day, must get done steps that have to be done. These things are important, but a mentor has to be there to help them see the bigger picture. Somebody has to be there to help you remember why you are doing all these things to be successful. In short, your mindset is the basis from which all efforts must come. Mentors assist you to keep, control and grow your mindset.
So, how do you find this amazing person or persons who can do all of these things. You might as well buy yourself a good magnet because you are going to be searching through the haystack for the proverbial needle.
You can read some books, use the search engines, watch some YouTube videos or maybe your blogging partner knows a guy, who knows a guy who use to sit at the end of the bar at the pub on Fridays you could talk with.
You could pay around $10,000.00 for a weekend with a guru at a hotel in Vegas and take home a trophy for the most excited person at the event. While there you can network and maybe, just maybe you’ll bumb into somebody while going to the men’s room. I don’t know, do you have 10 grand laying around? You might, but I’m guessing you don’t.
You could join a professional marketing association. In fact, there are many organizations in the world that will allow you to join for a membership fee. You could advertise for a mentor or there may just be somebody the organization is touting as their “go to guy” for all the newbies. And, you can usually bet that during the first day with them, you are going to have to buy this next shiny thing in order to be successful.
How about joining a coaching program with a very successful blogger. This is a great option if again, you about $250.00 per month to pay them or anywhere from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 to dish out for a six month blogging course.
You could become a blogging intern at many companies. If you are just starting out and you have a great deal of spare time on your hands, this may be the option for you. It’s a great place to start, but again I’m guessing here but you may be passed the “intern” age and need to start bringing in the readers to your blog now!
You could hire an internet marketing consultant, but again your going to have to pay through the nose for that.
So, after taking a look at all the factors and understanding the importance of a mentor please allow me the opportunity to share with you something that has worked time after time with new and experienced bloggers.
JOIN A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALL DONE IT AND ARE DOING IT NOW
Instead of looking for that magic person or a silver bullet, why not join a website where everybody in the organization has started as a newbie and has gradually built up their knowledge base in a step by step process that was not overwhelming. What about a place where everybody shares what they know works and what doesn’t. Wouldn’t that be cool?
What about having so many mentors that were available to you by just clicking on a button and asking a question? Mentors that genuinely care about your success because their success is dependent on yours.
If any of this sounds intriguing or interesting, then all you have to do is go to http://www.BuildingaBetterblog.com.
See for yourself how blogging success can be yours.