Creating a blog is easy. But any bloggers worth his salt would definitely tell you that creating a SUCCESSFUL blog is NOT! But this doesn’t mean that it is an un-achievable goal. Every blog out there has the potential to ultimately become successful.
However, the process takes a lot of effort and patience. Of course, having the know-how prior to setting up the blog greatly helps too.
The blogging world is ever evolving and what used to work a few years ago may not be as effective this day and time. New bloggers frequently find themselves overwhelmed trying to figure how to create a successful blog. While experienced bloggers are constantly trying to improve their blogs by learning new techniques and polishing on old ones.
True, there are plenty of professionals who are available to help you along the way. But this article and infographic aim to show you how easy it is to create a successful blog.
Please allow us to show you the foundation in creating a successful blog with 6 basic and simple steps. You can go on to build a professional blog from here.
We have also designed an exclusive infographic to show you our points. Contact us if you need the full sized version in high resolution.
Step 1 – Pick the Best Domain Name for Your Blog
Choosing your domain name is one of the most important decisions you would ever make when creating a new blog. Your domain name, which is typically your web address too, is your blog’s calling card.
Therefore, you should try to find a name that is memorable and catchy. A difficult-to-remember domain name will only make it hard for your visitors to remember your website by. You don’t want to see your traffic suffer just because of your name right? It should preferably include a keyword about your site’s topics.
Registering your domain name is really simple and you have a couple of choices.
Register through a domain registrar or reseller
You can register with a domain name registrar like GoDaddy or NameCheap.
Register through a web host
Some web host even offer free domain name registration or transfer, usually for the first year.
Though there are some hosting providers like SiteGround, who are offering free lifetime registration for selected top-level domains (TLDs).
Check out these top 5 web hosts who offer free domain names. A free domain name will save you around $10 to $15 a year, so it’s a good idea to host with a company who provides this for FREE!
Step 2: Choosing the Best Web Hosting
Not just any web host. But a reliable web host. There are thousands of web hosts that can be found just by Googling for “web hosting providers”. But beware. Not all web hosting providers are the same. Some are just out there to make a quick buck by providing over-sold services.
Having said that, there are also many international web hosts like Bluehost, HostGator and InMotion Hosting, who offer reliable hosting services at very affordable prices. These hosts have state-of-art technology and because they are operating at economy of scale, they are able to offer lower hosting prices.
It is generally recommended that you start with shared hosting. Your website does not require much bandwidth and storage at this point and it makes sense to go for the cheaper plans, unless of course you have special needs. You can always upgrade when your blog’s traffic increases and requires more resources.
If you are new to starting a website and would like to learn more about web hosting, you can check out our web hosting types comparison infographic.
Step 3: Installing WordPress
There are quite a number of blog platforms and CMS being offered on the internet but WordPress is the number one blog for all these years and is still going strong! Almost 20% of the Internet is said to be based on WordPress. Why is this so?
Because WordPress is packed with features. Plus, it is extremely flexible thus encouraging many to use it, from individual blogs to small and medium size online businesses to large organizations.
Not forgetting the many open source plugins are available for WordPress websites too. There are certainly a lot of benefits from using WordPress. Let’s discuss some of them:
WordPress is an open source software which is being released under the GNU General Public License and is free to use. You can even edit the software yourself, thus saving you professional web design and development fees.
There are page templates that you can use to ensure that your website pages are easily navigable.
WordPress is built to be highly optimized for the search engines. Thus, by using WordPress to power your website, you are assured that the search engines are able to find and index your website easily.
Despite being an open source software, WordPress is reasonably secure. Anyhow, you are advised to always do housekeeping to reduce spams, malware attacks or hacks.
Creates loyal customers or visitors
WordPress itself is easy to navigate and there are hundreds of plugins to increase visitors surfing experiences e.g. cache plugins to speed up the website, and commenting plugin to make commenting more engaging. Happy visitors will lead to loyal visitors!
Step 4: Selecting the Best WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme defines the look and feel of your site. A theme’s design is crucial to provide a good first impression to visitors. And a good theme can help to reduce bounce rate and make navigation easier.
You have a choice of either using free themes or premium themes. I highly advise that you choose premium themes because they come with updates, security and support. A very popular themes provider which I highly recommend you to check out is Elegant Themes.
Elegant Themes offers value for money themes where you get full access and support to all their 81 themes (and counting) for only $39 per year. Meanwhile, if you need a good E-commerce theme, you can try WooThemes who offers WooCommerce plugin for ease of integration of e-commerce facilities.
A few criteria to keep in mind when searching for WordPress themes are whether they are customizable, navigation-friendly, and whether they are responsive i.e. your website does not get distorted when viewed on different browsers including on mobile devices.
Step 5: Installing WordPress Plugins
Referring to the infographic above, the next step is to add useful features and functionality to your blog.
One of the best part of using WordPress to power your blog/website is that it has no shortage of WordPress plugins. The WordPress community creates plugins every now and then and you can easily find help in forums, should the need arises.
Meanwhile, I highly recommend that you install a few quality plugins such as the following:
You need to measure your stats so that you know you are improving! Or not?
All in One SEO Pack
Helps your blog be more SEO-friendly and get more traffic from the search engines.
This is a highly popular plugin. In fact it’s so good and essential that it now comes with every WordPress installation and all you need to do is just register for a free key.
I have a piece of advise here. Please avoid flooding your blog with plugins. This will slow your blog down tremendously and makes it look messy!
Step 6: Publishing Your New Blog
Now that you have the basics in place, it’s time for the best part. To write your contents! After all, this is the main reason why you decided to start a blog right?
There’s no fix rule to this but personally, I prefer to write a few posts before publishing my new blogs. I would need something to market my blog anyway. One article is certainly not enough. If I have a few more articles on my blog, then visitors would have more posts to gauge my quality as well as a deeper understanding of what my blog topics consist of. The other reason is to convince search engines to index my blog as soon as possible!
Now it’s time to hit the “Publish” button. If you are accepting comments, then do read and reply them. Communication with your readers is an essential part of successful blogging.
You can create a successful blog
There you are, 6 steps to creating a successful blog. Actually, this is just the beginning. There are still lots of effort to be put in. But if you have a solid foundation, it is much easier to build one.
You should continue to improve your blog and market it e.g. by writing high quality blog posts regularly, and promoting through social media sites and blogs in the same niche as yours. On your blog itself, remember to keep things simple and not overdo it. No one likes a messy and hard-to-navigate blog, especially your readers and the search engines. Good luck.
Hope you like my infographic above. You are free to share this infographic with your readers on your blog, or with your friends in Facebook.