Before you setup your WordPress blog, you should know what you’ll be selling.
If you’re considering a blog for your business, I implore you to go with WordPress – the single biggest and best platform available to start a blog. It’s easy, it’s fast and it’s a universal format that you can find templates, tutorials, and support for at almost everycorner of the net.
Getting Started with WordPress
To start with, you can have a hosted blog or one of your own on a server you own or pay for space on. For a hosted blog, you can go to WordPress.com and sign up for a new account. After you’ve done that, you can start writing almost immediately.
But, for most of you, I think a private blog that is installed on your own server space is a better option – for a number of reasons.
Start by downloading the WordPress installation files from WordPress.org. After you’ve done that, upload them to your server and follow the instructions. It takes approximately 5 minutes to get it all done and only a very small amount of technical work. If you have Fantastico installed on your server, it’s instant with zero technical work.
Using WordPress for the First Time
If it seems like I’ve skimmed over how to setup your blog, it’s because it’s so easy. Seriously – setting up WordPress could not get any easier. After it’s setup, though, you’ll have all sorts of things to do before your blog is ready to go.
First, you need to choose a template. There are hundreds of free templates available at WordPress.org’s database. However, the better templates tend to be paid. They’re not that expensive, though, so don’t worry about huge investments. My two favorites are the Ultimate WordPress Theme or the WP Remix Theme. Both are very simple to install and are built around integrating things like Analytics, AdSense, affiliate link cloaking, and more.
Once you’ve chosen and installed your theme, it’s time to choose the plugins to go with it. If you’re going with one of the two premium themes I mentioned above, you won’t really need any plugins – at least not when you get started. Others might find a need for an analytics installation or for SEO friendliness.
Writing Your First Posts
With your blog installed and your setup good to go, it’s time to start writing your first posts. This is where a good eye for what draws readership will come in handy.
First, make sure you have some form of SEO plugin installed. Then, make sure you setup keyword rich categories for your blog.
You’ll use those categories to setup the links your users can use to find your pages, as well as the way they’re indexed by search engines. Don’t forget to tag your posts as well.
Having tags are absolutely vital to getting you content to match up effectively and crosslinking everything on your blog as much as possible.
When it comes time to start publishing your blog, you want to be sure that everything you write will appear in the search engines, even if it’s a short post with just a couple of links or images. By having categories and tags in place, it will all get indexed multiple times a day.
A blog is an awesome tool. It builds your brand, develops your name as a writer, and can be used as an affiliate marketing platform off and on.
WordPress is not just a blogging tool – it is a grade A content management system and it will be one of your favourite pieces of software before you know it.