How to Start a Successful Blog

Domain?? SEO?? Keywords?? Marketing?? Web Hosting??

That was me in my thoughts about a year ago when I was first starting out. I’ve had a ton of people ask what exactly blogging is and how I’ve gotten into it and exactly how I do it. Not going to lie, creating a blog was the biggest pain in the ass. But it’s worth it. So today I take you along my journey of how katiesartz.com came to be.

 

WordPress

WordPress WordPress WordPress. Don’t use blogger. Don’t use Squarespace. Use WordPress. It’s a seamless platform that is perfect for dummies like me and those who actually know how to HTML code.  Through WordPress, you can purchase your domain for something remarkably inexpensive such as $5/month. Having your own domain is crucial in getting noticed. Nowadays, if you have yourdomainname.wordpress.com, you won’t get as many clicks also, with the .wordpress ending, you don’t own your content so anything you publish can be revoked at any second. Those free WordPress sites are good for when you’re first starting out on whatever your venture may be in order for you to decide whether you want to commit to the cost of blogging. Streamline your domain, and jump into the world of your own domain. When it comes to choosing your domain name,  if you are not making your website a portfolio, I would recommend making it topical. Chances are, people don’t know your name nor do they really care–so they won’t be googling “yournamehere.com”. I know, I’m hypocritical here saying don’t use your name in your website but I’m currently in the process of re-branding. Back to center, WordPress is a highly customizable platform that offers options to add themes, purchase themes, customize sidebars, and purchase themes from third parties such as Pipdig who has the BEST, most clean-looking themes out there. Some are more pricey than others, but having a clean theme that is easily navigable will get you more return visitors and subscribers. I think I paid a one time fee of $7o for my theme but I absolutely love it and wouldn’t change it. To me, it’s a justified expense because the free built in WordPress themes were not cutting it for me. Also, Pipdig’s customer service is top-notch. I’ve never worked with a company that is so focused on delivering a quality product to customers and ensuring that they are satisfied. They will even install your theme for you if you aren’t great at coding. 100% would recommend Pipdig.

Web Hosting

Now that you have your domain, you need to find a host for your site. This can be done through a multitude of Web Hosting Services, but I would recommend Siteground. Siteground will work with you any hours of the day if your site goes down, if there’s any sort of issue that arises, and are available 24 hours a day. A charge of only $4/month can get you listed on the web. Web Hosting allow your site to be discovered by search engines. A website without web hosting is like sculpting a sculpture then never pulling back the curtain to reveal it. Don’t be shy–let the world see what you’ve been working on.

 

SEO

 

Search Engine Optimization. I’m still learning more about SEO but simply put, SEO is all about your titles and images that you use that make your website get discovered. Say you were to write a post about the Grand Canyon. For your title, you wouldn’t want to make your title, “Northeast Arizona Park”, instead you should make your title “Grand Canyon National Park” or “How To: Grand Canyon NP in a Day”.  Make it something that someone like yourself would google. It’s really like baiting a hook–don’t put a worm on a hook if you’re fishing in the sea. Bait your hook properly, have precise titles that capture the idea of your post, and are easily found in the massive pit that is the internet.

At the end of the day, or two, or 10 that you’ve spent looking at your computer trying to make your blog appealing, informative, and overall quality, you’ll be happy regardless of the numbers. But after a while, you’ll start wanting to see your numbers go up–gaining traffic, and gaining some merit. No matter where you end up, keep in mind the reason you started your blog–the numbers are just the cherry on top.

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