Have you ever been reading a post on your favorite blog and thought to yourself, “I could do that!” Starting a blog can be a great way to engage with customers, explore a hobby, and even make money. And WordPress is a great tool for beginning bloggers.
Creating a top WordPress blog is all about having a solid web design, good analytics, and a wide variety of topics. Read on to learn how to get your WordPress blog going.
Why Start a Blog
There are many good reasons you may want to start a blog. You may want to use it as a way to bring new customers into a business you already run. Or just run it as a fun way to teach people something you’re passionate about.
A blog is a great way to do any of these things; if you’re a business, it will bring in new customers and will keep the old ones coming back to learn new things. If you’re starting it as a hobby, a blog provides a great space for you to teach people about your passion and review products related to it. And while it is hard to do so, there have been many people who have made a career out of blogging.
Setting Up Your Website
The first step to starting a blog is to have a website to post it on. We’ll be talking about WordPress blogs today, so you’ll want to have a WordPress website set up. If you already have a site through WordPress for your business, fantastic; if you don’t, setting up a WordPress website is simple.
If you’re going to run this blog on any sort of a professional basis, you need to get a domain name. WordPress Premium accounts come with one free domain name, so take advantage of that if you haven’t already. If you’ve used your one free domain name, you can purchase another for a low price or register one purchased with another company.
Creating a Blog Post
Once your website is set up and your domain name is registered, it’s time to create your first blog post. When you’re looking at your WordPress dashboard, on the left, you’ll see “Posts” as a menu option. If you click on this, you’ll get a dropdown menu where you can click “Add New” to start your first blog post.
You can type straight into the portal and save the post as a draft or type your blog post elsewhere and import it. You’ve got all sorts of formatting options, and you can add photos and other graphics. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it, and use the “Preview” button to check how things are looking as you go.
What to Blog About
Before you launch your blog, it’s a good idea to write out a list of topics and maybe even turn five or so of them into full blog posts. This will prevent you from getting two posts in and running out of ideas or time.
A great way to generate ideas for your blog is to create an idea map. Start with your overall topic in the middle–let’s use woodworking as an example. From there, you can add branches out to the different topics that fall under that heading; so for woodworking, we might have furniture, kitchen items, boats, tools, and more.
Under each of those branches, start adding subdivisions. So in our woodworking example, we could take furniture and divide it into indoor and outdoor furniture. And from there into living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, den, entrance hall, and more.
From those subtopics, you can start getting specific blog post ideas: “Best Wooden Bed Designs,” “Tips for Building a Wooden Bed,” “How to Make Dresser Drawers Fit,” and more.
Customizing Your Blog
One of the fantastic things about working in WordPress is that it’s totally modular. You can add all sorts of plugins and customize your site as much or as little as you like. There are some plugins that may be helpful on your blog.
Having a contact form for readers to get in touch with you without having access to your email address can be a great thing. You’re also going to want to set up some sort of analytics so you can track how many people are looking at your posts. WordPress has thousands of free plugins, so don’t be afraid to explore and try new things.
Once you’ve got your blog up and running, you need to keep track of how many people are visiting it. This will tell you which blog posts are doing better, where people go on your website, and if there’s anything you need to tweak in your approach. It may also be important information if you ever plan to have advertising space up on your website.
One great way to boost the traffic on your site is to use Search Engine Optimization. In short, SEO is a system of strategies and techniques that help increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website from search engine results. This technique uses the algorithms search engines employ to rank search results to make sure your page turns up as one of the first results. Learning the rules of SEO can take some time, but there are plugins to help you out.
Set Up a Top WordPress Blog
Setting up a top WordPress blog will take some time and care, but it’s absolutely doable. Get a good web design going, use your idea map, and make sure you keep an eye on those analytics. You’ll have tons of readers in no time!
If you’d like to get help managing your WordPress blog so you can focus on the content, get in touch with us at Sunny HQ. We make your WordPress site shine, with everything from web hosting to site updates – we handle it all!