Things to Do When Starting a WordPress Blog
You’ve decided to start a WordPress blog – and that’s exciting! You can share your experiences, build your brand, and grow your business, all through online interaction with site visitors and fans. In order to be a successful blogger, there are several things to keep in mind. Let’s see what you should do to give yourself a running start.
Make Your Brand Logo Stand Out
Choosing the right look for your blog or brand is essential. It’s the “face” of your blog and should represent the style and personality that you want to communicate to site visitors. If you’re stumped on what you want your logo to look like, don’t worry. Professional logo designers can work with you to create something unique and recognizable. Don’t have the money to hire a designer? No problem check out a free online logo maker like the one provided by Zyro and easily make one yourself. Just be sure to follow the best practices.
Make Sure You’re Visible to Search Engines
Most people don’t look past the first 3 pages of a Google search, and often, they will get their information from the results on the first page. Google and other search engines use “web crawlers” that match your website to the search query a potential visitor types in. In order for people to read your blog, they have to find your blog.
Make sure that your site is Search Engine Optimized (SEO) to attract the attention of the search engines. This means understanding common terms that people use to find a blog with content like yours and incorporating them naturally into your content.
You’ll also need to make sure that your WordPress site is configured correctly. There’s a box in the settings screen that says “discourage search engines from indexing this site.” Make sure that the box remains unchecked. Check out a primer on SEO here.
Integrate Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a tracking tool that gives you valuable data about the behavior of site visitors. You’ll be able to see how long users spend on each page, your daily site views, and your lead-to-conversion rates, all of which can help you fine-tune the blog and the site set-up. It’s a free service that integrates easily with WordPress.
Install a Caching System
In order for people to have the best experience with your blog, you’ll have to deliver fast loading speeds. Caching plugins can reduce the loading times of web pages.
Did you know that if a page doesn’t load in 3 seconds, 40% of site visitors will abandon it and look elsewhere for their information? Speed is key to keeping users engaged with your site.
Caching reduced loading times by taking your current blog site from WordPress and storing it in the cache. When users access your site, it’s delivered from the cache, asking WordPress to generate the content anew, which takes much more time. Try a plugin like W3 Total Cache.
Select Your Domain Name and Hosting Carefully
The domain name is what people will type in when they’re looking for your website. For example, sallyswidgets.com. Think carefully when picking your domain name. It should be easy to remember and reflective of your overall brand and voice.
The web host is where your website lives, so it’s important to select a good one. Your web hosting service is key to secure connections and a speedy user interface. A good web host is also scalable, keeping up to additional traffic as your user numbers grow.
Look for a provider that offers a 1-click WordPress installer, reliable uptime, and a well-reviewed support team. This will help streamline your site’s creation and will make sure that you run into fewer issues, and if you do, everything can get sorted ASAP.
Keep a lookout for special offers too. Many hosting providers offer free domain name registration for the first year if you opt for an annual plan.
Select Your Theme
The background, font, and overall theme of your blog should be professional, yet capture the spirit of your content. Your theme should tie in neatly with your logo, which you can create with the help of an online logo creator.
You can change the theme later if you choose but it’s important to maintain consistency.
How your blog looks is almost as important as your content. If the graphics are amateurish or the colors too eye-jarring, you’ll lose regular visitors. You’re selling yourself as a trusted expert in your niche, so make sure that your blog looks as professional as you are. Browse the official WordPress theme repository to find something that works for you.
Create Your First Blog Post
Once you have the physical set-up of your blog, it’s time to start creating content! People like fresh content, so make sure that you aren’t going to long between blog posts. However, if you’re posting every day, you may run out of creative ideas fairly quickly. Consider one or two posts per week starting out. Make sure that each post is well-written and thoughtful. You want to give your site visitors quality content that enhances their lives. Incorporate multi-media in your blog, as well.
Your first blog post is the most important, as it sets the tone for everything else that you’ll be writing. So consider your introductory post carefully.
To create a blog post, simply click on the “Create New” button. WordPress uses blocks for content arrangement, to create an easy to read, eye-catching experience. This is thanks to its newly introduced Gutenberg Editor. This breaks up the page into more easily digestible chunks and is mobile-friendly. There’s a block editor tutorial that can help you understand how to create logical, easy-to-follow posts.
Once you’ve finished, simply hit “publish.” Don’t forget to proofread your blog and check for typos and grammar errors, and add a featured image.
Once you’ve published it, you will see an area with “categories” and “tags.” You can sort your blog posts by certain categories and tag mentions of keywords in them. Be sure to apply everything you learned about SEO too.
Install Custom Plugins
Custom Plugins are how you make your blog site interactive and more feature-rich. Plugins can help you maintain contact with your site visitors. These can include giving you things like contact forms, galleries, sliders, and newsletter subscription forms. You definitely need a way for site visitors to contact you, and you’ll want to gather an email list so that you can use it as a marketing tool.
The plugins are apps, features that enhance your site without you needing to know how to write code. This is why WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. In fact, there are over 55,000 plugins you can use to make your site function the way that you need it to. Every website needs a contact form, as it allows visitors to contact you directly.
Protect Your Site
There are a lot of nasty things that can happen to a WordPress site, like hackers or malware bots. If you’re planning to monetize your WordPress blog, it’s important to protect the security of your users’ data. For this, the first step is definitely installing an SSL certificate. There are plenty of plugins that can help you do this easily, like Really Simple SSL.
Meanwhile, a security system like Sucuri can protect your site from harmful intruders. It can give you malware detection and cleanup, and also mitigates DDoS attacks, and monitors your site for hacks.
Starting a WordPress blog can be an exciting opportunity to reach out to others and develop a personal brand. Learning the right way to get started can help you gain traffic quickly, and become a successful blogger.