Ranging from casual blogs to commercial websites, more people are creating blogs and websites. Blogging platforms and DIY (do-it-yourself) website builders make running a blog/website easy.
It might seem pretty easy or appear a bit daunting. Whatever your situation, this guide will make it easier. Follow these tips to simplify the process:
Determine what your blog is going to focus on
Before creating your blog/website, decide what kind of content it will cover. The topics to be discussed, the tone and style of writing and the kind of advertisements you want to feature. This will help you determine your focus and also help you plan your posting schedule.
Get some insight on the different platforms
There are many blogging platforms available, both new and paid, for novice bloggers. Free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Wix, Weebly, and Blogger provide free hosting with basic features and themes. However, the freedom of the user to change the blog settings is limited. They are a good place for beginners and people with little technical knowledge to start.
There are also professional website builders who can build a customised website. You may also use the paid version of blogging platforms and website builders. They give users total control over their blog/website and the power to include add-ons. The option to monetize the blog/website is also available.
For instance, WordPress.org is the paid version of WordPress .com and it provides a wide range of features.
Find a brandable domain name
It is essential to take your time to find a good domain name that captures your business niche, focus, USP and possibly business location. These help to boost your business visibility and SEO goals on Google search.
In summary, other things to note when choosing a name are:
- Use a name that includes your brand name or keywords associated with it. For example, the URL, www.domains4less.co.nz contains the brand keywords, value proposition and business location – New Zealand.
- Names that are short, easy to spell and pronounce are good domain names as they are easy to remember.
- Avoid names that might be restricting such as pinkshoes.com. You might want to branch out into other shoe colours someday.
- Once you have a name, register it with a domain registrar to make it official. If your chosen name is unavailable, try changing the domain extension. If this fails, change the domain name.
Find a hosting service
Free blogging platforms and website builders usually have a free hosting service. The catch is your domain name can not be personalized. It looks like this: www.xyzmaps.weebly.com. A hosting service will provide basic maintenance for your site and the servers used. It also provides a personalized domain name ending with .com, .co.nz, .co.uk, etc.
Hosting services have different hosting plans available. Choose a plan that fits your budget and use a company that provides the support your blog/website needs.
Get a branded email
A branded email is very useful for building trust and credibility. Branded emails also promote a professional front to internet users. It is inexpensive and very useful when creating newsletters. Most web hosting companies provide email hosting.
Know the technicalities involved
Running a blog or website requires a certain level of technical knowledge. A blog or website owner should learn a little about search engine optimization(SEO). Keywords, backlinks, content creation, and marketing knowledge is essential as well. Knowing what these elements do and how to use them will aid the ranking and growth of your blog/website.
Build an online presence
Start with promoting your blog/website as often as you can. A good way to do this is by writing guests posts on other sites. This is especially helpful on sites with a high number of visitors. Collaborating with people in your field or other fields will help boost your industry authority. A good social media presence will also help.
Learn how to monetize your blog or website
Obviously, making some money from blogging or running your website is essential if it is a full-time job. Even if it is not, a little extra cash never killed anyone. Affiliate marketing and advert placements are easy ways to monetize your blog/website. Creating and selling e-books and tutorials are other methods to use.
Pay attention to design
The colours, fonts and layout used in a blog or website matter. They can attract visitors and convert them to potential customers or chase them away.
- Avoid using too many colours or colours that clash.
- Find a colour scheme that represents your brand and stick with it. Changing your colour scheme too often can be confusing to customers.
- Use a template or layout that is easy for visitors to use and navigate. Confusing or complex layouts can distract and turn customers away.
- Use a background colour that is easy to read on.
Include the right pages
Certain pages must be present on your blog or website such as an about page and a contact us page. The about page provides a short description of the writer, what their blog/website is about. It may also include social media links and an email submission box. Companies may also include the date of creation, their vision and mission.
A FAQ (frequently asked questions) is useful for service providers and products merchants. This page provides information and answers questions clients might have. Update the FAQ page regularly.
Have a plan
In the beginning, things might be quite hectic. Having posts prepared for at least two weeks and a posting schedule will save you time and stress. Remember to stick to topics in your niche.
Know the best tools to use
Tools and add-ons make blogging or running a website easier and more efficient. There are many types of performing different functions such as Evernote, Grammarly and AnswerThePublic. Grammarly aids writers and content creators to write precise, correct articles. Get an idea of which tools are necessary and implement them.
Your journey to running a successful blog/website starts with adequate planning. Carry out research to learn about the right tools to use and the best platforms. Doing all these at the initial stage simplifies your online journey. It also allows you to focus on content creation or product marketing.