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A Complete Guide On Setting Up Your First Profitable WordPress Blog

starting your own blog using WordPress - startup today

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A Complete Guide On Setting Up Your First Profitable WordPress Blog

[box type=event]FREE WORDPRESS BLOG SETUP [/box]

Blogging is becoming more popular all of the time with a load more people wanting to start a blog and WordPress is often a popular choice to use with a blog. For this reason I am publishing this post which is a copy of an eBook I wrote which can help you set-up your first WordPress Blog.

A lot of people wonder why would you want to start a blog and what can you achieve from blogging. Like a lot of other people I make money online every month from blogging and this blog that you are reading is my most profitable blog. However I did not start this blog originally to make money. The reason I started was  because i wanted to learn about online marketing and how to set-up and manage my own website. However I know a lot of people that have turned their blog into a full time business and make thousands of dollars/pounds online every month.

starting your own blog using WordPress - startup today

Finding the perfect niche

Starting a blog is a big commitment and before you start you need to realize what you are letting yourself in for. The first thing that you are going to need to do is to choose your niche; you MUST choose something that you are passionate about as you do not want to run out of content to write about.Here are some popular niches that you may want to consider writing about: Food, Games, Tutorials, Design, Fitness and Sports.

Find your strengths. People will be coming to your blog for advice so they you need to know that they can trust you to give them expert advice. A key aspect of running a successful blog is to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Just ask yourself “what are you good at ?”

Once you have decided on your niche then it’s time to do some keyword research and see if your niche is popular enough to be able to start a profitable blog about that is going to get thousands of visits a month and hopefully make you money online. If you pick a niche that is not very popular online then you are going to find it a lot harder to get your blog off the ground.

Ask others

Ask people you know and try conducting surveys. If you have Facebook then you can ask a question and easily see what the responses are. This will allow you to see what potential market is out there for you to contend in.

Do your research

Spend a day doing some research of other blogs in your niche. If there are too many blogs using similar keywords then it may be too hard to actually get anywhere if your niche is over-crowded and you are going to need to come up with something unique to compete in that niche. On the other hand if there are not many other blogs in your niche then this could be an indicator that no one actually cares about what you want to write about. You could also try this keyword checker tool to see what the popularity of your keywords are.

Create a mission statement

Think of a mission statement for your blog. Define  your goal in setting up your blog and what you are hoping to achieve. You can use this later in your about page.

Finding and purchasing a killer domain name

Your domain is what people see in the address bar when they are on your website and it is not a snap decision choosing your new domain. follow these simple rules on choosing your domain and you will soon find something that works.

Plan

The perfect domain is going to take time to find and you do not want to rush into it. Make a list of all of the keywords that you can think of in your niche. Once you have a substantial list you can start to match them up with preffix’s or suffix’s. It will take a lot of playing around to match up the perfect domain.

Make it easy

Your domain should be easy to type and easy to remember. No one can remember the name of a domain that they cannot even spell correctly. Make sure you chose easy to remember words and phrases that can easily be spread by word of mouth

Only use top-level domains

Top level domains end in .com, .co.uk .net etc. Top level domains make your website look more professional and more people are going to take you seriously if they can see you have invested in a good high level domain. NEVER use a free domain or a sub domain;this is a mistake done by many new bloggers who are not ready to actually purchase a top-level domain. A sub domain or a free domain just tells people that you are not serious and many people will not even bother clicking on your website in search results.

There are many tools out there that can help you find a domain. I prefer to use www.bustaname.com. This is a powerful tool to find a keyword rich domain name and here is how to use it:

Once you have a list of relevent keywords that you want to use for your blog then enter them here and press “Add”

BustAName then combines multiple keywords for you and then finds all of the available .com (There is also an option below to add other top level domains such as.net) domains for your keywords. This is great as it will save you loads of time, first combining keywords and then find finding which domains are actually still available.

Purchasing your domain

Once you have chosen your domain name, you then need to check availability and make a purchase  ( You may want to come back to this if you are planning on buying your domain with your hosting). I Prefer to purchase domains from 123-reg as they are the most cost-effective and have a non hassle approach. When you do a search for the domain you want you will see this :

You will see all of the available top-level domains and then you can easily go ahead and purchase your domain name

I recommend also buying miss-spellings of your domain name so that you do not miss any potential traffic.

 

 

Checkout this post: Purchasing The Perfect Domain: A Quick Guide

 

 

Choosing the perfect WordPress hosting

The sheer amount of web-hosting companies out there can make it difficult to actually find one hosting company that you can put your trust in. Finding a web-host can be very difficult if you have not done this before and there are is a lot of technical jargon that you may not understand so before you start looking for a web-host make sure you understand what these words mean:

Disk Space: This is the amount of memory that you will have to store your website on just like on a hard-drive. Some companies offer unlimited disk space but 2 Gigabyte will be enough for any new WordPress blog.

Bandwidth: In simple terms bandwidth is the amount of data sent between your server and people viewing your website. A website which is more rich in rich in multimedia and has a lot of images is going to use a lot more bandwidth. You want to make sure you have enough bandwidth for your website to handle visitors.

To work out bandwidth you can use the following calculation:

Average Daily Visitors x Average Page Views x Average Page Size

MySQL Databases:  A MySQL database is simply a table of information that is used by WordPress to store login and other information. You need a least one of these for running a WordPress blog.

If all of this sounds a bit hard for you to understand then I would recommend checking out these Wordpress How-To videos to get started using WordPress in no time without any problems. I used these videos at first to get to grips with WordPress and found them very useful to me as I could see exactly what I had to do.

Here are some hosting companies I recommend:

Evo-Hosting

This is the hosting company that I use. They may be slightly more pricey than some other web hosts; however they use ultra fast LightSpeed servers instead of the usual apache servers. This speeds up load time for my visitors as well as helping in SEO. As well as this they also provide 24/7 technical support.

123-Reg

Again, another UK-based hosting company. 123-Reg provides some of the most affordable domain and hosting packages you can buy. They also offer 1-click installs on scripts such as WordPress

Hostgator

Hostgator is a leading hosting company in the USA;offering great value for money as well as offering an affiliate program for its customers. At the moment you can get Hostgator website hosting for just $4 per month so it is well worth checking out. Hostgator sets an example for other hosts to follow by offering unlimited bandwidth and disk space.

Once you have chosen  your host you can now go a head and log in to your dashboard and install WordPress. If your web hosting does not allow you to click to install WordPress then you are going to have to install WordPress yourself using an FTP account. You can head over to the WordPress website and download the latest version of WordPress and then upload it to your server.

You have now successfully setup your WordPress blog

 Getting started with WordPress

Once you have installed WordPress you can log in to your blog by visiting yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Your default username will be “Admin” however you will want to change this as if anyone wants to try to hack into your blog then admin is the fist username they are going to try.

Creating your first post

Now that you have successfully installed WordPress it is time to create your first post. However before you can do this you need to create some categories that your posts can be put into. Try not to have too many categories as it is best to keep your blog simple and clean.

1.Log-in to your WordPress admin account and go to the sidebar, then under posts click on Categories. 

 2.Once you are in categories you can begin to create your blog categories. Enter the name of the category you want in the Name field. The slug field is what you want the name of of your post to be in the address bar. For example if your category is called “Monetizing your blog” then the slug may be “Make-money”.

3.Now that you have created your categories you are ready to create your first post. Once again navigate to posts in the sidebar and then click Add New.

4.Now this is where you write your blog posts in WordPress. The top section is where you enter the title of your post. Below this is where you enter the content of your posts. Once you have created your post you can add tags and choose a category on the right sidebar before clicking publish and making your post live.

If you do not want your post to be published instantly then you can schedule a time and date for it to be published by clicking  edit. Where it says publish immediately.

Creating your Blog’s pages

Once you have create your first post you are going to start adding pages to your blog. Your pages will not contain blog posts but instead information that you want to be easily accessible at anytime and from any page or post on your blog. Here is some ideas of what pages you may want to use.

  • About
  • Advertise
  • Contact us
  • Contribute/ Guest write
  • Ebook
  • Tools
  • Downloads

1.Creating a page is similar to create a post. First go to the sidebar and place your mouse over Pages. After this click Add New.

2.Once you have clicked Add New you will see this page, which is pretty similar to  the page to create your posts. Again the title goes in the top ans the content goes in the box underneath. Once you have added some exiting page content you can press publish and it will be live for everyone to see.

Installing your blog theme

Using the right WordPress theme with your blog is one of the most important parts of setting up your blog. There are many features you want to look for in a WordPress theme. It needs to look great, be customizable and be easy for your readers to view your content. A big mistake made by new bloggers is to not buy a premium WordPress theme and to use a free theme.  Buying a WordPress theme is a one time investment which could be the difference between your blog succeeding and failing. I personally like the themes from Themify as they are affordable and professional.

I know a lot of people do not know what sort of theme they should use when they first start their blog so if you cannot decide then I would recommend using Freshlife. This theme is perfect for nearly all blogs and it easy to use and customize for new  bloggers.

To install your theme go to appearance > Themes> install themes.

 

Check out: 18 Best Free And Premium WordPress Themes

 

Installing plugins

WordPress is good, however you are going to need some plugins to make it great. Plugins can be easily installed and have their own individual space in the sidebar for their individual settings.

Installing plugins :

Plugins >Add New

This is where you install new plugins. To find plugins just enter your search term in the search box.

Once you have found a plugin you want to install then you just need to press install now and the rest in done for you. The plugin will be installed and then you can easily configure it by finding it in the sidebar.

Useful Plugins:

Counterize

Counterize is one of my favorite plugins.With this plugin you can keep track of visitors coming to your site. What makes this plugin standout to me it the amount of information it gives me about my website visors including:countries,browsers used and referrals.

Broken link checker

Broken links can seriously damage your SEO, however most of the time you may not be Aware that you have a broken link on your blog especially if it is an external link. Well broken link checker checks all of your links and can send you an email if it finds any broken links.

Google XML sitemaps

A sitemap is what helps search engines find their way around your website. This plugin automatically creates and manages your blogs sitemap. As well as this if you create a new post this plugin updates your sitemap, notifying search engines of your new post.

Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share

This plugin places options to share your post at the bottom of it. By using this people can easily easily share your post over Facebook and Twitter etc.

SEO Ultimate

SEO ultimate manages all of your SEO needs to help you rank best in search results. You can easily manage Meta Tags, 404 Pages and more. This is a useful plugin for all WordPress bloggers to be competitive in search results on your post topics.

WP Touch

More and more people are using smart phones to browse the internet and you will some come across someone visiting your website from a mobile device. Well this plugin makes your blog mobile friendly. As soon as someone visits your blog from a smartphone then they will be greeted with your mobile friendly themed blog that they can easily view without any difficulties.

 Checkout: 5 Free Tools I Would Recommend To Every Blogger

 Maximizing your post content

Great post content is crucial for your blog succeeding. Without great content then your posts are simply not worth people’s time; as well as yours. Something to remember when blogging is that content it king. When I first started blogging I did not have any sort of guide like this to follow. I was writing a lot of posts but they only had a few hundred Words each. It is far better to write fewer posts if they are better posts that are going to be worth reading.

What is key to a great post is images. There is no question about it you simply must have images in your posts. Images help keep your readers entertained whilst helping them get a better understanding of what you are on about. It also helps break up your content so that it is not too heavy on your readers. To avoid any copyright issue’s you need to use images that are free for commercial use. I recommend using stock.XCHNG which is one of the worlds largest free stock photography websites and has some great images.

Another important factor of creating a great post is adding your own personal touch and being able to show off your own expertise.  Engaging your reader is extremely important and i’m sure that not many people are going to find you post interesting if it sounds like they are talking to a computer.

Showing your human side to your posts helps readers relate to you and allows them to  be able to trust you more as they know where the advice is actually coming from.

Using rel=author helps improve the amount of views you get from search results. If you are like me then you will click on search results that show the author as it is usually going to be better quality content.  Click here learn more.

 

Showing your expertise is also a great way to get credibility with your readers. To do this I recommend using your About page to add a section about what your strengths and hobbies are. Here is a good example “[Your Name] is a professional blogger and SEO expert. He is addicted to WordPress. The reason for setting up this blog is to help teach  people everything they need to know on WordPress

WordPress Search Engine Optimization

Now we will move on to one of my favorite and most easiest parts of running a WordPress blog. SEO can be incredibly simple; however still many people seem to be getting it wrong. There are many things that you can do to optimize WordPress for search engines and here is some what you do not want to miss out.

startup today wordpress seo

Permalinks

By default your WordPress permalinks are set to give each post a number;however this is not very search engine friendly. Therefore we are going to change this.

First you need to go into settings and then click on permalinks.

After this you want to click on Custom Structure and type in this /%category%/%postname%/ and then click save.

Once you have search engine optimized your permalinks you need to set up your META tags and meta description.  Your META description is what you see on search engines under the title of your website.Most WordPress themes will give you the option to add a META tag and description from the themes option page. If not then you can install a plugins called Add Meta Tags.

Once you have installed the plugin then go to the plugins settings.

Site Description

This is where you enter the META description for the first page of your website. A good META description is no longer than 160 characters and is keyword rich. However due to Google’s recent  panda and penguin updates you do not want to be repeating too much. After you have come up with your META description then read back over it, see how many keywords you have used and think if you would click on your own website if you saw it in a search result.

Site Keywords

Your websites keywords do not appear in search engine results, however are used by search engines to see analyse your website and see what it is going to be about. Once again make sure that you are not repeating keywords  here as you will not benefit from it. Think of about 15 keywords that could relate yo your website and then add them here.

Site-wide Meta Tags

If you are blogging then you do not want to use Site-wide Meta tags. This is because all of your posts are going to be different and there for you should be adding tags to each individual post so that they perform best in search results.

Page Rank

Your Page Rank is also  a major factor for how well you perform in search results. The higher your page rank then the better you are going to perform. There are many websites online that allow you to check your Page Rank. The one that I use is prchecker.info.

If you do a Google search for websites that you are competing against and they are ranking higher than you but you have good SEO then it is going to be because they have a better Page Rank than you.

The basic factors of your Page Rank are:

  • Page popularity
  • Inbound links – backlinks
  • External links

To get a good page rank then you need to have a lot of websites linking back to you. Here is some ways that you can increase your Page Rank.

Guest Blogging

To Work out your Page Rank one of the factors that Google uses is the amount of high quality external links coming in to your website. This is why guest writing is great for your website. As well as giving you direct traffic you are also getting a high quality external backlink from a content rich page.  Spend some time researching blogs in your niche and then work out which ones have the highest authority. Once you have done this you just need to create a great high quality post linking back to your website. Guest Posting is one of the top ways of increasing page rank and is vital to get your blogs maximum Page Rank.

Forum Posting

As i said earlier, building backlinks is key and forums are an easy place to build backlinks. Start to participate in forums in your niche and then start linking answers back to your website. Forums normality have a lot of authority online because of the amount of traffic they experience and the amount of information that is on them so contributing to many of these is going to bring you a lot of backlinks from high authority websites. Furthermore it will also build other people’s trust up in your niche and is bound to increase your traffic.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization always important on Google. Especially for Page Rank.You need to make sure that your website is optimized for Google with specific keywords what are relevant to your website. This is because the more search engine optimization you have then the more traffic you are going to get from Google and the more traffic that you have then the higher the Page Rank that you are going to receive. If you are using WordPress then there are many tools that you can use to do this, such as SEO Ultimate There are also many tools available to analyse your websites SEO.

Keep Away From Link Exchanges 

Not too long ago many websites would use a link exchange website to trade links with other websites. These people usually managed to build a lot of low quality Backlinks. However they still managed to get a good ranking in Google because of the amount of links that they had. However this has now all changed. You may be penalized by Google for using link exchanges to try to get a head of the competition and you now need to build real high quality backlinks instead if you want to avoid the sandbox.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is great for search engine rankings and helps them find their way around your website more easy. Imagine your website was a spider’s web. Well everything links to everything else one way or the other. If it did not you would come to a dead-end. You need to be able to do the same with your website, every page should link to another.  Using WordPress, the best way to internal link is to use Internal Link Builder. This works by letting you attach a link to a specific keyword and then every time that Word is used a link is created back to what you have linked to.

Blog Promotion

Promotion is crucial to build a successful website but coming up with new ways to advertising your website can be hard. For this reason we have created this list of some unusual ways to help promote your blog for you to try. This will help you successfully promote your blog and see visibly effective results. There are many small things that you can do, but remember that they all add up.

Purchase misspelled domains

If you have a hard to spell domain name then buying misspellings of is can be a great way of making sure that everyone who wants to view your website can visit it. If you have a ‘.com’ website then you could also purchase ‘.co.uk’ or ‘.net’ as well. Alternatively if you have some competitors that are doing well in your niche then you could purchase misspellings of their names and set them up to redirect to your website.

Create a mobile application

Have a forum, blog or any other type of website ? Well then creating a mobile application can be a great way to reach out to new visitors.  It does not need to be something fantastic but needs to have great content and you will soon build up regular visitors using your mobile application.P.S If you run a blog then you can create a free application with Nokia app wizard

Make a standout 404 page

Making your website stand out in the crowd is how you are going to get visitors to remember your website and there is no better way than creating an unusual 404 page. This is a great method of promotion. Try to make it as creative as possible. Click here to view our full post on creating a successful 404 page.

Share your website on Social Bookmarking sites

Go all web 2.0 and sign up to social bookmarking sites like Delicious. Websites like this get huge amounts of traffic and your website is certain to get some exposure. StumbleUpon is also another great example and can easily drive a huge amount of traffic to your website. As well as this you are also creating a great backlink to your website.

Get Known in your niche

Got a particular niche that your website is about ? well join them and start commenting on their posts and getting your website seen by people visitor other websites in your niche. Just make sure that you leave a link back to your website on your comment. The more interesting and helpful your comment is then the more visits you are going to get.

Start Social networking

This is key to a websites success these days.I cannot tell you how important Twitter is for me as a blogger. Sign your website up to Twitter and create a Facebook page for it. Start following others in your niche and build up a successful online profile where you can get some great targeted traffic from. As well as this just most regular updates with new website posts etc and you will soon build a following.

 

Checkout: How To Get Over 5000 Followers To Your New Blog

 

 

Join website directories 

A nice and easy way to actually get traffic. Just do a Google search for free website directories and submit your website to as many as you can find. This also gives you some backlinks which is going to increase your search engine visibility.  You can also pay for sponsored listings if you really want to make your website stand out.

 Add a share button to your website

If you have some interesting posts then add a share button to your website. This means that your visitors are doing all of the hard work for you and you are getting some free advertising. You can easily get a share button on your website, with the choice of what communities you want your visitors to share your website with.

Guest blog

If you run a blog then guest blogging on other websites can drastically increase your reputation in your niche. Just write a great post on another website and this could give you the targeted traffic that you need. Try and find a successful website that will give you a good link back to your own. As well as this you can also get a back-link to your blog from a similar blog which is great for your search engine optimization.

Post your URL everywhere

Everywhere you go, then take your URL with you and leave it there. Use any online forums ? then leave your  URL on there. You can leave you URL just about anywhere, including:

  • Discussion boards
  • Forums
  • Blog comments
  • Notice boards
  • Social profiles

Monetizing your blog for maximum profit

For a long time now i have been trying many different ways to actually make money with a website. Some have worked for me but many have failed for several different reasons. However if one method fails then instead of just giving up you should keep trying to find which method is best for you. The main problem that many people have when they try to make money online is lack of traffic. To actually make serious money online then traffic is the first step.

Premium content

This has become popular with many websites over the past few years and a premium content section is a great way to make money with your website. If you have pay monthly content then you can be earning a regular income. To start a premium content section you need a website which  already has a huge following. If users like what they are seeing then they are going to want more and the premium section is where you can provide this.

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts and pages on your website can be a another nice way to make money and if you have a successful website then you can charge huge amounts of money for this service. Other online companies and websites will approach you and then all you need to do is write a high quality review adverting their services.

 Job Boards

If you have regular high traffic and your website is in a particular niche Eg graphic design then an online job board can be a great and unusual way to make money online. There will be many users to your niche job board as it is a great way for people of similar interests to be connected with each other. If you are using WordPress then there are many themes and plugins available to help you.

Advertising

This is probably the most popular way to make money online however many people give up if Adsense does not work for them. There are many advertising networks available now and you should try as many as you can. Advertising can be a great way to make money online, especially if you have high traffic. However advertising cannot be a source of regular income as you never know when people are going to click on your adverts or you may come across an advertiser.

 

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jocelyn

    August 29, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Hey would you mind letting me know which web
    host you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet
    browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then
    most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price?
    Cheers, I appreciate it!

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