Step 3: Creating your Blog/Website
Now that you have your niche, we can now actually build your blog/website.
There are 3 main steps to this process:
1) Getting your Domain Name, Hosting and setting them up
2) Installing WordPress and setting your blog up
3) Optimizing your WordPress blog
Remote Hosted vs. Self Hosted Blogs
The 2 most popular ways to set up a blog is through Blogger.com or by using WordPress. Blogger.com offers you a free option for creating a blog and it is really simple and easy to set up, however even thought this may sound great, there are some serious drawbacks to using the free Blogger.com option:
- Google owns Blogger.com so essentially that means Google also owns your content. This also means that at any given moment, Google has the right to shut your blog down or just delete it for any reason. Imagine if that was a year’s worth of work!
- It is difficult to brand yourself and your business if you can’t put your logo in the blog header.
- Blogger doesn’t have very many options and features so it can be difficult to create some important things because of the limitations. For example, you can’t create categories and it’s difficult to format.
If you are serious about building an online business that is profitable and sustainable you will have a hard time doing it with a free Blogger blog. Therefore, because of the above reasons I always recommend using a self-hosted WordPress blog. I think the reason some people are put off setting up a WordPress is because they think it is difficult and complicated to install. However, this is not the case at all!! It is so easy and you don’t need much technical skills and it can be done in literally minutes!
1) Getting your Domain Name and Hosting and setting them up
Getting a Domain Name and Hosting
For choosing a domain name, I suggest looking at your list of keywords you collected earlier and finding one with high search volume and seeing if it’s available as a domain name. Go to http://www.godaddy.com or any other domain registrar and start typing in domains using your keywords you found earlier until you find something that’s available. Try to get a .com domain.
If most of the good domains are already taken, try adding other words to the end such as ‘tips’, ‘guide’, ‘solutions’ etc. Having your keywords in your domain name really helps in terms of SEO and ranking later on, which in turn helps determine the amount of traffic you will get through search engines.
Setting Up Your Domain Name With Your Hosting Account
Next, you will need to get a Hosting Account. There are plenty of hosting companies out there to choose from, I peronally use and suggest using Hostgator.com. They’re very realiable, easy to use, and they have amazing 24/7 customer service so I personally recommend them. Hosting should cost under $10 a month usually, depending on what type of hosting and options you get.
For the purposes of this demonstration I’ll use the example I used earlier; raw food diets. The following process should be similar, even if you have a different hosting provider.
Once you’ve got your domain name and have sorted out your hosting, then you’ll need to follow the following process:
Set Up Your Name Servers
The first thing we need to do is set up your name servers so your domain name is pointing to your hosting account.
(a) Log into your Godaddy account and click on ‘Domain Manager’.
(b) Click on your domain name to view its details.
(c) Click on ‘Nameservers’ and ‘Set Nameservers’. A box will pop up with 4 options. Select ‘I have specific nameservers for my domain’. Enter your 2 nameservers associated with your hosting account (your hosting provider will have sent you this information an in email). Click ok. This may take a few hours to propagate.
1) Create an Add-on Domain
After that is complete then you’ll need to log in to your hosting account or ‘C Panel’. You will find your cpanel at http://www.yourwebsiteaddress.com/cpanel.
(a) Log in using your hosting account’s username and password. Scroll down to where it says ‘Domains’ and click on ‘Add-on Domains’
(b) Now fill in your ‘New Domain Name’ and the next 2 entries will be automatically entered for you. Make up a password for the site and make sure you make a note of it.
2) Installing WordPress and setting your blog up
Now we can install WordPress!
(a) Go back to the homepage in your C Panel and scroll down until you see ‘Fantastico De Luxe’ which is a little blue smiley face icon, and click on it.
(b)You will be given a list of scripts to install. Select WordPress.
(c) Click on “New Installation”
(d) Where it says “Install on domain” select your domain name.
Leave “Install in directory” blank.
Choose a Username and Password that you will use to log into your blog when you edit content.
Enter the name you will post as, your email address, the blog’s name and description of the blog. For the blog name and description, try to use your keywords because this will help with your SEO.
(e) Click ‘Finish Installation’. You have now installed WordPress!
(f) Now go to your domain name and check that your blog was installed correctly. For example, my blog is located at http://www.rawfooddiscoveries.comand looks like this:
Installing a WordPress Theme
The above image is the default theme that you will get when you install WordPress. I’m now going to show you how to upload and change the theme to something that you like that also suits your topic.There are plenty of free WordPress themes out there on the internet.
http://www.ElegantThemes.com (This is the one I personally use and recommend)
To find a theme that will suit your niche topic, just do a search like “health wordpress theme” etc. Just make sure that the theme you choose supports Widgets. Once you’ve found one, download it and leave it zipped.
Now go and log into you blog by typing the URL of your blog followed by “wp-admin” at the end. E.x. http://www.yourwebaddress.com/wp-admin
A pop-up box should appear so log in using the username and password you created when you installed the blog in C Panel.
Now you will be taken to your blog “Dashboard” which looks like this:
On the left hand side you should see a category called “Appearances”. Click on it, then click on “Themes”.
Once you are navigated to the Themes page inside wordpress go ahead and Click on the “Install Themes” tab on the top. Next, click on the link that says upload and browse the zipped theme file you downloaded and press on the “Install Now” button on the right. After, the theme will upload and click “Activate.”
Now quickly check your site to see if the theme has uploaded properly. Once you have seen your new theme uploaded you are now ready to optimize your site and start making money with your blog!!
3) Optimizing your WordPress blog
Now let’s optimize your blog for the Search Engines.
Essential WordPress Plug-ins
Plug-ins are like little applications that allow you to do different things on your blog. Some are very helpful with SEO, some allow your visitors to interact with you more, and some can automate your content for you.
In order to find plug-ins you can flow these simple steps:
1) In your Dashboard go to “Plugins” and click on “Add New.”
2) Type in the plugin in you want in the search box and click on “search plugins.”
3) Find the plug in and clisk on “Intsall Now.”
(You will see a list of several different plugins which you can look through. I always recommond picking ones with a 4 star review or higher)
4) Lastly, click on “Activate Plugin.”
Here is where you can find all sorts of plugins to suit your needs: http:// wordpress.org/extend/plugins. You can also find lots more if you just do a Google search. Most are free but some are paid.
Here is a list of essential plugins I recommend you install:
All In One SEO Pack – this helps you to automate SEO for every blog post you make
Google XML Sitemaps – this helps to build a sitemap for you and also pings Google every time you make a change or a new post. This is really useful in getting your blog indexed quickly.
Sociable – this adds social bookmarking buttons to your posts so your visitors can easily bookmark your content.
Google Analytics – This plugin is useful for reviewing the stats of your blog and viewing any patterns regarding your traffic. It has a wide range of features that will enable you to have a complete traffic breakdown:
In order to get better SEO, we need to change the permalinks so that the title of each blog post will be included in the URL.
e.x. from this: www.yourwebsite.com/?p=40
to this: www.yourwebsite.com/lose-weight-with-raw-food/
which is much more search engine friendly.
1) Log into your blog, go to “Settings” and select “Permalinks”.
2) Select “Post Name” and save your changes!
Widgets can be useful not only for SEO purposes, but also to make your site more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
Go to “Appearance” and click on “Widgets.”
Here you will find all the Widgets you can use in your blog. I’ve circled some good ones to use:
Categories and Recent Posts– this is good for SEO and is also helpful to your visitors in terms of site navigation
Recent Comments – gives your visitors some social proof that other people are interested in you blog, and this helps add a sense of community.
Links – you can add your favourite links, or affiliate links, or trade links with other blogs in your niche.
Text – you can put html in this code and can use it for all sorts of things. You can put in an opt in box, affiliate banners, videos etc.
Search Box – makes your blog easier to navigate for your visitors
To put these widgets in your blog, simply drag them from the left hand side and put them in the box you want on the right hand sidebar: