Are you thinking about creating your first blog? If so, this is an exciting time for you. Here are a few tips for you to help you to save time and create the website that you have always wanted.
Finding the right niche
When thinking about starting a blog you must find your niche. There are hundreds of niches to choose from. You just have to use your head. For example, if you wanted to start a Christian blog your niche would be Christianity. A few other niches include finance, parenting, health, lifestyle, home improvement, sports, blogging, tech, etc. There are also niches within niches. For example, instead of creating a blog about animals, you can create a blog about dogs. These niches are easier to rank for because you will have your competition. Choose a niche that you love which makes writing easier.
Choose a good web hosting company.
There are hundreds of hosting companies that you can use ranging from shared hosting to dedicated hosting. The question is, what hosting provider is the best? There is no real answer to this question but allow me to name a few popular and respected hosting providers.
SiteGround – SiteGround is a popular WordPress hosting provider that offers shared hosting plans ranging from $3.95 to $11.95 a month. What I love about SiteGround hosting is that customers can choose between 4 data center locations, which excels the page load speed of your website in other continents. SiteGround customers will enjoy SSD, free Cloudflare CDN, free SSL’s, and more. On top of basic and essential features, SiteGround offers a 300 – 400ms website load speed and a 99.99% uptime.
HostGator – HostGator is well-known among bloggers. Over 8 million domains are currently being hosted on HostGator servers. Although HostGator is not the cheapest hosting provider, they do offer premium performance. HostGator offers hosting though Ace Data Centers. Ace feeds power through redundant critical paths, dual segregated transformers, and 750kW UPS battery backup units. With HostGator you will receive unmetered bandwidth, unlimited sub domains, SSL Certification, unlimited MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin Access, and the most popular web hosting control panel cPanel.
Bluehost – Bluehost is owned by Endurance international Group. Today it is one of the 20 largest web hosting companies in the world. When you sign up with Bluehost you will be able to receive a free domain for one year. A free SSL is included on all Bluehost plans. Bluehost offers 3 shared plans that you can choose from ranging from $3.95 to $5.95 a month. Optional add-ons with Bluehost include unique IPs, domain privacy, SiteLock, CodeGuard, and Spam Protection.
iPage – iPage is the most affordable hosting provider on this list. If you don’t mind not having the best performance, then you are free to choose iPage. For $1.99 a month you can’t really complain with what you are getting. iPage offers free domain registration, 1000s of free templates, a free drag and drop site builder, free marketing, and free 24/7 support.
Choose a CMS
Now that you have a good hosting provider you will need a CMS. There are many different content management systems for you to choose from such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla. If you are technical, then you can use Drupal. However, for most people I recommend using WordPress. WordPress is the most popular CMS / blogging platform in the world. With the WordPress platform you will be able to implement thousands of plugins directly from your dashboard. You will also be able to install thousands of free themes.
Setup your website
Your hosting provider will set up your CMS for you. With SiteGround, all you would have to do is choose one of their multiple web hosting plans, walk through the setup process, and allow their preinstall wizard to install WordPress. From there all that you have to do is create login details and log into your new website.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to not promote your blog posts on social media accounts. Make sure to set up accounts with Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Actively promote your content on these outlets. Social is a great way to gain continuous readership and also subscribers. Not only will you gain followers to your website, but you will also enhance the SEO of your website. Google looks at social media when ranking sites. Increasing Facebook likes creates brand awareness and in 2018, it is a well-known ranking signal.
It is imperative that you engage with other bloggers and readers. Allow your site visitors to comment on your blog posts. Step out of your comfort zone and guest blog on other blogs in your niche. The most successful bloggers are the ones that are not afraid to have back-and-forths with their visitors.