WordPress Powered Blogging 101

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WordPress for Blogging, No Comparison Needed

New bloggers are always faced with a decision on what platform to use. While many will use 1, others try multiple platforms simultaneously. For simplicity I favor the choosing 1 platform and then making changes if you change your mind later. On a personal note I have always favored WordPress for a variety of reasons.

WordPress

Some may not be aware but there are two separate platforms for WordPress. Each platform has pros and cons associated with them and my goal here is to help you simplify that choice. Ultimately it will come down to what your goals are for your blog.

The Great Debate

Making decisions can be tough. Just like which direction your toilet paper should come off the roll!

great debate

If it were up to me I would choose WordPress.org without question. Read below the simple differences and decide what is best for you.

WordPress.com

  • Pros

    • Free to setup

    • No coding or technical background required

    • Many free themes to choose and modify

    • Blog is stored on WordPress servers

  • Cons

    • Designs are less professional looking

    • Basic features are included, upgrades you have to pay for

    • You cannot use WordPress plugins

    • Free domain is limited to. ie: username.wordpress.com

    • Custom domain is more expensive through WordPress. There are cheaper options.

WordPress.org

  • Pros

    • You can have your own domain. ie: www.yourblog.com

    • Theme options are limitless with free and paid options

    • Search engine friendly options with using the Yoast SEO plugin

    • Many plugins are free and have premium versions available

  • Cons

    • Pay for hosting through a hosting provider

    • Setup is a little bit more extensive that may require assistance

    • Beyond basics you may need to seek help with coding and customization

    • Plugins sometimes break due to WordPress updates and may need to be setup again.

What is the Purpose of your Blog?

Blogs can have many uses ranging from a hobbyist, expert in your respective field, company blog or just writing about various topics that come to mind. Whatever your purpose is, a blog is great for all of these things! I would recommend centering your topics towards a particular theme versus tackling multiple areas.

 

Charlotte NC

Take a step back and admire the scenery. What is your purpose? Is it to educate? Share? Only you can determine this. Learn your audience.

What I mean by this is if you are a traveler blogger for example then you should be writing about all things travel, your experiences during your trip and perhaps writing about the places you’ve stayed. You would not be writing about the latest Apple MacBook that was released last week as this would fall into the technology subject. However if you are one of the individuals who use a MacBook during your travel and it crashed on you then I suppose you could integrate this into your writing.

Blog Setup

First order of business is to buy your domain name and hosting plan. There are many options here like GoDaddy, 1 & 1 Hosting or HostGator and you will probably want to shop around for the best pricing. Pricing is usually based on the term length by a yearly basis. However if you don’t want to shop and want to keep this simple then click here for some domain options. Hosting plans will vary in price but often start around a few bucks per month. As your blog traffic increases you may need to raise your hosting plan to accommodate your growth.

If you get confused during this process you can call the hosting companies directly and they can help you with your purchase. Once the purchase is complete you will be using what is referred to as the C-Panel. Think of this as your control station. From there you will install your blog and you can begin to familiarize yourself with WordPress and learn how it all works. There are many forums, tutorials and videos that can help you through this process. If you get lost during this part, you can contact me to assist with setting it up for you.

Composing your Blog

I would always recommend writing your blog in a word processing document such as notepad or some other variant. You wouldn’t want to lose your work now would you? Once you write your blog you are now ready to copy/paste it into WordPress and begin formatting. Formatting is important not only for SEO but your reader as well. Your blog should flow and is not jump your reader around. For best results you will want to follow these 10 simple SEO-friendly guidelines for optimizing your blog for search engines.

In addition to optimizing your blog you will want to make this visually appealing by using appropriate fonts, sizing, colors, images and video as applicable. One of the biggest current trends with blogs and social media is to distribute visually rich content. Graphics and video tend to get more attention versus a blog post with just text. Do not add graphics for the sake of adding graphics, as you will want them to be relevant to your topic.

Promoting and Sharing Away!

Most will probably ask the question “how do I get people to find my blog?” – This is a loaded question. It doesn’t happen overnight. I would recommend you publish a few high quality blogs with lots of content. Think of this as a first impression. I don’t know anyone that likes to visit a place (either online or in person) and see it empty! For myself if I choose to subscribe to something it is because I know the person or team is behind it 100% and are in it for the long haul.

To start out you can begin sharing your blog on social media channels and even email friends and family asking them to share it. This is a free option and does not take a lot of time to do. As people begin to like and share your blog if someone thinks it’s a good post then they may link to it from some websites they may operate.

social sharing

If you properly optimize your blog from the start then this will help your blog get found on the search engines. The other awesome thing with blogs is you can update them at any time! Anybody knows once they write a blog at times the content may need to be updated. When you go an update your blog this can help give it a boost with a more recent updates and the search engines gobble this up like it is candy! There is no need to write an updated blog post on your topic. Just change the date, edit and republish.

The Job of a Blogger is Never Finished

Do not expect to write a couple blogs, gain a bunch of followers then quit. This is not a good practice. What is a good practice is publishing on a schedule. Could me multiple times a week, month, or every 3 months. The key here is to be consistent. If someone is subscribing to your content then it is good to inform him or her of the frequency of your publishing schedule. No one enjoys getting bombarded. I sign up for email lists quite a bit but the moment they become annoying I unsubscribe. It does not matter what the content is.
Even as a part time blogger you can engage your audience. Not everyone wants this to be a full time job. Do what you love doing and it will not feel like work. Until next time…blog on!

Contact me today if you are looking for guidance or a complete blog setup for your business, hobby or self marketing.


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