So you want to start a blog but you don’t know where to begin. Well you have come to the right place. Over the next few weeks, I will be giving you some advice on how to setup and maintain your very own blog. Almost all of my examples will be based off of the blog software, WordPress, as it is the most commonly used, as well as my personal favorite :).
So today I’m going to discuss what you need to do to set up your very own personal blog. I’m not going to go into too much detail about SEO and how to optimize your blog, as those tips and tricks will come later on in the series. I will, however, provide you with some recommendations for good SEO plug-ins.
Ok, first things first – let’s answer some of those tough questions some of you might have when it comes to setting up a blog.
What goes into setting up a blog?
First, you will need to purchase a domain, as well as a hosting package. If you do not want to have your own domain and or do not want to pay for your own hosting, there are free blogging websites such as wordpress.org, blogger.com and others. I recommend that for best results, you have your own domain. Domains are cheap and you then have full control over your site.
Another thing to consider when setting up your blog is the type of server you want to use. Some blogging software requires specific types of hosting – choose wisely.
Also make sure that you pick a domain name that is related to the topic you will be blogging about the most. Are you going to talk specifically about a specific niche or are you going to cover multiple niches? Or are you just going to babble about random things? You can also do some keyword research in your niche to find out what people are searching for. You can then base your domain name off of some top keywords.
What software is out there to use?
Like stated above, for the purpose of this series we are going to be exclusively looking at only WordPress. There are however other types of blogging software out there such as Blogger, Typad, and Graffiti. Again, some of the blog software is only compatible with certain servers, so make sure you do your research before choosing a software or server type.
What is the best software?
What plug-ins, if any, should I use?
When it comes to plug-ins there are hundreds and thousands to choose from. It is important to choose only the plug-ins that will help your readers or the blog itself. Here are some good plug-ins that we recommend you to use (again these are just for WordPress):
All-in-one-SEO – Just like it sounds, it is a great plug-in to help with your SEO. This plug-in allows you to add custom titles and tags to every single one of your posts and helps you manage your posts to minimize the effects of duplicate content.
Yet-Another-Related-Post – This is a very helpful plug-in for your visitors as it will put a little summary at the bottom of all your posts providing readers with posts related to the one they just read. This keeps the visitor on your site longer and can build up page authority and pass link juice through your site.
WP Google Analytics – This is a helpful plug-in if you don’t know much about PHP. This will auto insert your analytics code into all your pages and posts so you can successfully monitor your stats.
Akismet – This plug-in comes with the download of WordPress, it is highly recommend to be activated and if you don’t have a WordPress account get one just for this plug-in. This plug-in will help filter out all the spam comments that you will surely get.
There are plenty more plug-ins that can be very helpful as well, but these are the most important in my book. Throughout this series I will be giving you more add-ons that are helpful for other things like social linking, internal linking, etc.
Look out next week for tips on how to find the right niche when getting a blog started.