Monetizing Your Website

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How to get your blog up and running quick

Seven easy steps to start blogging now

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One of the best business marketing tools is a blog.  Needless to say, blogging has been a major part of my business and marketing plan since 2005.  

In February 2005, I started blogging to promote and market my professional service firm.  And what still amazes me, it worked and worked well.  Blogging gives even a small marketing budget business the opportunity to position themselves as an authority on their particular area.

What I hear often from businesses and others looking at blogging and using a blog is how do I get started. Frankly, it has never been easier to gain a web presence then is it today.

Blogging is also one of the original social media tools and remains in my opinion, still one of the best social media tools.  I have stated in the past, “blogging was social media before social media even knew it was social media.”  

WordPress.com?

Yes, you can quickly get a free blog up and going in under 10 minutes with WordPress.com  However, I and others do not recommend you use WordPress.com as your web presence.  

So, how do you get started blogging?  

Here are some quick and simple steps for starting your own blog

1.  Purchase your domain.

A domain name is your address on the world wide web.  It is your real estate so to speak.  Your store front. Your domain is you.

I purchase my domains now from Name.com and they are great.  Before you do anything, give some serious thought to what your domain should be and go buy it right now.  Don’t wait as good domains go fast.  And like land or other real estate, people tend to hold on  to good domains.  Once they are gone, they are gone.

2.  Purchase your hosting.

Hosting is the actual server or location where your site runs.  This is where your data resides.  Think of your hosting server as that black tower you have sitting on or under your desk.  Except, it is located somewhere else.  

To run a self-hosted WordPress.org site you have to have hosting.  

One host provider we recommend is HostGator.  I have used them for sometime and run one of my own sites on HostGator.  They are reasonably priced and have great service.  

3.  Install WordPress on your site.

In my opinion and the opinion of approximately 38,000,000 others, WordPress is the best blogging software out there.  Most host providers, HostGator included, offer a one-click install of WordPress.  Use that method to get WordPress installed on your site.

Once you have WordPress installed, log into your WordPress admin and get started.  When you first set up your site on your host and start WordPress, you will be taken to your WordPress admin login page.  Typically this is your domain with an extension.

For example, to login to your site, go to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/

If you run into any issues installing WordPress, hit your host up for help.  

4.  Some initial settings need to be tweaked on your site

Right after you log in the first time, there are some basic settings in WordPress you will want to make.  

  • Permalinks - This is under Settings —> Permalinks.  Clicks on “Post Names” and change your permalinks to that setting.  Example – http://yourdomain.com/sample-post/  This setting just makes more sense and it is good for your SEO too.
  • Privacy Settings – This is also under Settings —> Privacy.  You want to make sure your site is not being blocked to the search engines.  You can leave this setting on until you are done building your site.  Just make sure you go back and unblock your site.
  • Discussion Settings – Under Settings —> Discussion is where you control moderation of your posts comments or not.  Make this setting “Before a comment appears, an administrator must always approve comment.”  I moderate all comments on all my blogs.  You want to filter this.  And if anyone objects, remind them this is your blog.  I talk about moderating comments a lot on this blog.
  • Reading Settings – Under Settings —> Reading  Here is where you can set whether you have a home page and a blog or not.  We can discuss this more in the comments if you would like.

Let me briefly add to what I mentioned above about moderating comments.

Don’t allow them to publish until you have checked them all to make sure they are proper for your blog.  Yes, this is going to take some time and effort on your part.  However I and others moderate our comments.  And we do so because we want to protect our readers.

We also don’t want some of the crap some put in comments to be on our blogs.  Your readers will appreciate the fact you are moderating comments and they will feel you are paying attention to them.

5.  Do you need a theme?

Unless you can code your own WordPress theme, yes you do.  A theme is basically a template or in the case of our own WordPress theme, a framework you can use to build your own WordPress theme.  There are literally thousands of free WordPress themes.  And there are some awesome premium themes and frameworks which will take an investment of money on your part.  Our own company, Headway Themes is such a WordPress theme/framework.  

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t have the time or would rather have your site professionally done, there are tons of professional developers out there.  

6.  Must have plugins

One of the huge advantage of WordPress is the fact there are now over 14,000 plugins you can use to enhance your blogsite.  They are like the options you put on your car.

Here are some I feel are must have:

  • Your blog will get spam no matter what.  Get Askimet.
  • You need to do backups of your site.  My must have for backing up my sites and a lot of other uses is BackupBuddy.  Yes it cost some money.  But, you buy car and home owners insurance don’t you.  BackupBuddy is just like insurance.  
  • If you theme or framework doesn’t offer you top quality SEO, get All In One SEO Pack.
  • Another great SEO tool is Scribe.  Scribe actually helps you write better post too.
  • You are going to want to put forms on your site to gather information and allow people to contact you.  Without a doubt the best form plugin is Gravity Forms.  
  • If you want to add ecommerce to your site, we recommend JigoShop.
  • Need to provide a way for your world wide visitors to translate your site, get WPML.  It works great.

7.  Finally, get your rear busy writing content

Your goal is to educate your audience. In order to do that, you need content.  Get busy now and start writing content.  I will take some time in the very near future to discuss this step further.

Final thoughts

Leave your questions and comments below.  Ask any question you have now and let’s keep the conversation going on this.  

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