Charleston And Lowcountry

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5 Steps To Start Your Own Blog / Web Site


Posted on 2 Jun 2015
Category: How To...
Author: Steve Vail

1. Naming, Buying, and Hosting Your Web Domain

The reason I put these three together – they are nearly simultaneous. All of the hosting providers I know of will assist you in determining domain name availability, procurement of that domain, and of course the hosting of your new website. To get you started, I've compiled a list of some of the better-known host providers:

I've heard only good things about all of these.   Since I use hostgator to host all of my sites, I'll be referring to them throughout the rest of this article.   Click on the hostgator link above.

Select A Plan

Select the plan that meets your specific need. For this demonstration, I have selected the "hatchling" plan. However, if you think you might want more than one domain, the "Baby" plan is your better option.

Domain Name Availability

This will take you to the page where you can see if your domain name is available. For the highest number of hits by visitors to your site, I suggest a .com domain

Enter Personal Data

Steps 2 through 4 on this page is where you'll enter your personal data.

Coupon Code "Charleston"

Step 5 on this page will give you an option to enter a coupon code. Enter "Charleston" in the box provided to receive a better discount than the default code already there. Click the "Check Out Now" button and follow the prompts.

2. Install Software

Once you are set up with your host, you'll have access to your "Control Panel" (CP). Scroll down to "Software/Services". Click on "QuickInstall". Here you'll see no shortage of different software packages to help you get started. Scroll down to "Blog" in the left side navigation pane. Under the drop-down menu, you'll see the different blog software available. I recommend "WordPress". It's one of the most widely used, has a cutting edge team of developers, and has literally thousands of themes from which to choose. Another recommendation, choose the "free install". You can always upgrade later if you feel it's a necessity. Once your install is complete, click the notification bar at the top of the page that says "Your Install is complete! Click here to view your notification" A dialog box will appear with a link to your site's admin logon, as well as the admin password. Copy down the password before you click the link. Use the admin username you created earlier and the password you just received. You will be logged into the admin area of your new site. Take your time, and become familiar with the navigation pane on the left of the screen. Under "Appearance" select "Theme" There will be a few default themes here to choose from. You can also click the button that says, "Add New Theme". If you still want more choices use the "help" button located at the top right of the screen which will take you to the "support forum". Here you can search for additional themes and plugins, many of which are free.

3. Good Content Yields Good Site Traffic

Providing good content to your site's visitors is crucial to the overall health and success of your site. To consistently get quality visitors and/or subscribers utilizing your site, you've got to maintain your credibility and reputation. This can be achieved by providing quality content presented in a professional manner complete with correct spelling and grammar. There are a number of sites that can help you attain this goal as well as get your articles additional exposure. Personally, I have found ezinearticles.com to be one of the best. A couple of more pointers that I consider to be of the utmost importance: (1) Avoid plagiarism, if you are going to quote someone, give credit where credit is due. (2) Research your subject matter, exhaust all means to ensure that the content of your published article is accurate.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Now that your site is up and you've written an article or two, the next step toward earning an income with your site is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When folks do a search on the Web concerning a subject of which you've written, your goal is to have your article on the front page of those search results. I could easily devote an entire article to SEO alone. However, for the sake of brevity and assuming that you are using WordPress, I recommend the Yoast SEO Plugin. It's easy to use, and in my personal experience, it yields very positive results. Don't just take my word for it though. I have not tried every available SEO resource. Do some research; you may very well find something that works better for you.

5. Ads, Affiliate Programs, and Direct Ad Sales

Ads The easiest way to start making money from ads on your site is to apply for Google Adsense. Google offers "pay-per-click" ads that you can put anywhere you choose on your site. Google will analyze the content of your site and place ads relevant to that content. When your readers click on the ads, google pays you. If you go this route, it's very important that you abide by Google's rules. There are a number of other companies on the Web offering similar ad campaigns.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Programs don't cost you anything but space on your site. when your site visitor makes a purchase from your affiliate partner via your site, you get paid a commission. Just do a web-search on "affiliate Programs" and you'll discover an endless list of affiliate vendors just waiting to partner up site owners. Currently I am using Amazon's Affiliate Program.

Direct Ad Sales

This approach may require some face to face time with local retail outlets and service providers. It also has the potential for a much larger payout. Any kind of direct sales whether by mail, email, phone, or face to face requires a great deal of persistence. You've got to be ready to hear "no" and "I'm not interested" frequently. However, if your content is good and you are able to show that you have a growing and consistent following, companies will pay to have their ads appear on your site.

In Closing

There are a few things to keep in mind, and I would be remiss if I did not mention them. Blogging is not a "get rich quick" kind of thing. It takes time to become proficient in your writing, to establish a following that consistently wants to read your material, and get your ranking to the front page of search engines. Having a passion for writing as well as what you're writing about is essential for being able to endure and persist until you succeed. There are more than just a few people that make a very comfortable living with their blogs. You can become one of them. If you have questions, or there is some way I can help with your blogging endeavors use the comment section below, or contact me.