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Start a Blog

How to start a blog or website?

A complete checklist on ‘How to start a blog

Start a Blog - Using WordPressWith the latest developments in web technologies the once definitive lines seperating the differences between ‘a blog’ and ‘a website’ have become very jaded. WordPress which was originally only used for Blogging has evolved into one of the most powerful Content Management Systems (CMS) available today. WordPress is still first and foremost categorised as a blogging application, but can be used to build anything from simple one page blogs all the way through to large complex websites, with full conent management capabilities (i.e. It has the ability to store and manipulate data like a fully functional CMS System).

Not only is WordPress FREE, it is also very simple to use and thus the reason why I go into great depth on how to start a blog/website using WordPress. You are welcome to use any platform you prefer, but the information shared on this website is based on using WordPress.

Whether you are a complete ‘newbie’, or someone that has already been involved with online marketing, I hope you will find this ‘how to start a blog checklist‘ of considerable value (once I finish it). The primary objective of this checklist is to quite simply provide you with a step-by-step process to follow in order to help you start a blog or website. My intention is to introduce you to a topic and then to link through to a more detailed article which will cover that particular topic in more detail.

To get you blog started read the checklist below and most importantly read the linked instruction pages which go into great depth regarding each topic. I have tried to keep everything as simple as possible whilst attempting to ensure that nothing essential is left out…

Introduction: How to start a blog or Website
I have come across several articles on ‘How to start a blog or website‘ where the authors mention that the first step is to register your domain name (URL). Please do not follow this recommendation! The domain name or URL of your blog or website plays an important role when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and getting traffic to your website or blog later on. A lot of thought went into the steps and the order in which they are listed. The first 4x points in this checklist are very closely related and parts of these processes may overlap… (with that being said, I may still switch positions 3 & 4 around). Point-5 is very simple cheat-sheet to get you up and running fast, once the first 4-points are covered.

Step-by-step Checklist:

    1. Blog topics – What is a niche?The first step when considering ‘how to start a blog‘, is to choose a blog topic or niche. Basically you need to know what your blog or website is going to be about before you start building it. It is recommended to choose a topic you are interested in but there are many other factors to consider. See: Blog Topics

      • NOTE: Keyword Research can play an important role in choosing your topic too!
    2. Keyword ResearchAt this early stage I am going to introduce keyword research to you, but for now it will be kept simple. The reason why I have made this Step No. 2 is because Keyword Research should be used to help you decide on a blog topic and to finalise your decision when it comes to registering a domain name. Keyword Research is critical to your online success and it is best to get to grips with it early on. See the Basic Keyword Research Guide >>
    3. Domain RegistrationUsing the information gathered in the Introductory Keyword Research, it’s time to find and register a suitable domain name. The Domain Name is your future website / blog address (URL). Don’t rush into this as choosing a suitable domain name will later influence traffic to your website. See: How to Register a Domain
    4. Choosing a Web Hosting ProviderThis is a step that may have been covered during the previous step. Often one can register the Domain Name using the Services of an Internet Service Provider who will also offer web-hosting services. It is important to know that that these are two seperate tasks, but can be accomplished as one process. Find a Web Hosting Provider >>
    5. cPanel Setup – The BasicscPanel is a Control Panel tool provided by your Web Hosting Provider which gives you access to manage your website hosting account. With cPanel, you can setup e-mail addresses, backup your website, install WordPress and configure a whole bunch of other settings. For now, we cover the 4x basic settings needed to setup your website: How to setup cPanel >>
    6. Setup an e-Mail AddressAlthough this has already been covered very briefly in the above step (cPanel Setup – The Basics), I go into more detail on this page. This is not an essential step, but it is highly recommended. I explain why you should setup an e-mail address using your domain name (yourname@yourdomain.co.za) and how to use cPanel to do so. Setup a POP3 Mailbox using cPanel >>
    7. Installing WordPressA more detailed look at installing WordPress using cPanel and the Fantastico Plugin. Again, although I briefly touched on this topic in point 5 (cPanel Setup – The Basics), I am going to go into more detail here by providing images and a more detailed step-by-step process. See: How to Install WordPress >>

That’s it for now – You’re Done!
If you followed the above steps, you should now have your own WordPress Website setup and ready for content. The next steps will be to Install a suitable WordPress Theme and in all likelyhood; a few WordPress Plugins to give added functionality to WordPress. Your blog content will now become the most imortant factor in your pending success online…

 At the beginning of this page I mentioned that there is a second objective to this ‘how to start a blog checklist‘ page! Well, the second objective is a slightly more advanced technique, but one that should be learnt early on. This objective is that of creating ‘in anchor’ or ‘contextual’ links to various internal pages within ones website/blog. This is a Search Engine Optimisation technique taught in our Members Area 

I hope this ‘How to start a blog checklist‘ is a useful resource and one you refer to often.


 

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