There are many different ways on how to create a blog BUT there’s a major difference between starting a blog that makes few dollars a month and a site that creates a full-time income for you.It all begins with the site structure and on-site SEO. Click To Tweet
I’ll go through my 5 exact processes of setting up a blog and how I plan them for growth. It’s easy to follow and it doesn’t require much know-how.
1. Deciding The Niche or Topic For My Blog
- Are there plenty of good keywords within the niche?
- Is it profitable? Are there other sites in the niche that is earning a good income.
- Check what is the CPC like
- Check how competitive is it
There are many factors I considered when I did my niche selection:
But I start it all out by considering the things I am interested in, so I make a list of things that I am passionate about, the things I fear and the problems I am having at the moment.
In doing the list I try to keep it under 10 items. At this point, I don’t need to care if the niche is broad or targeted as I will be sorting it out in my next steps.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income Blog, explain in his post Niche Site Duel 002 – Finding a Profitable Niche: My Process Revealed , the process he did on selecting his niche, here’s an excerpt of it;
1. I came up with a list of 7 passions, 7 problems, and 7 fears, making sure to stay away from anything that deals with making money online. (Side note: I once won $1,024 on a Blazing 7s slot machine, so I consider 777 to be a lucky number of mine. Hey – nobody said superstition doesn’t play a role in internet marketing.)
2. From that list of 21, I selected my top 10 potential markets.
3. I did keyword research for each of those markets, hoping to find any related terms that fit my criteria, which I will share in detail below.
4. If any related keywords stood out to me, I immediately checked to see if the domain name matching the keyword 100% was available. If the exact match was not 100% available, I moved on to another related term or another market.
You can read more about his process on that link above.
But for me, I did not spend much time selecting my niche because I already had an idea on the topics I want to tackle even before I bought RankXL Niche Site Course.
To me, this is the most important part of the process and can mean the difference between a site that makes money, and one that doesn’t.
Analyzing my niche through Keyword Research
Now it’s time to examine and determine if these niches are something that other people are interested in it too and what is the search traffic potential for each niche.
I come up with some seed keywords for my niche and look whether there are any related keyword terms that have high search volume, whether there are good keywords within the niche I selected with a big enough search volume that will make pursuing this profitable.
This gives us the best chance to rank our site for the biggest keywords in the niche, get every variation of the phrase, and get on the first page of google and even to rank no. 1
First, go to KW Finder
This is the main tool I use for all my keyword research, and it’s what I’ll be using throughout this example.
I have been using Keyword Planner by Google before but ditch it after their update where they only show ranges of search volumes for keywords rather than the exact number.
KWFinder acts exactly like the Google Search Planner used to. KWFinder doesn’t need an in-depth tutorial. It’s really simple and just acts as Google Keyword Planner did when it showed the exact data. Just add in your keyword, location, and language, and you’re done.
On the left side of the screen, it will show you all the search volume data including CPC and difficulty.
And on the right side, it will tell you how easy it is to rank for your selected keyword, and even show you a list of the top 10 ranked sites for that keyword, their domain and page authority, and tell you how many links and shares each site has too.
KWFinder is free to use with some limits on the keyword analysis you can make, or you can get a year’s subscription for only $149 using their Basic Plan, and it should give you all the search volume data that you need.
2. Choosing A Domain Name
- Choose a .com domain as it inspires more trust and easier to remember. But if your site is specific to a country you can also use local TLD’s like .ph.
- Your domain is short and easy to remember.
- Choose a branded domain name as people trust branded domains than EMD’s (exact match domains) and EMD’s are not much of a ranking factor anymore.
- It is broad enough for future growth
- Avoid hyphens in domain (i.e. my-domain.com)
- Avoid more than 3 words in your domain (see skilled tip #2 above)
- Don’t use trademarked names in your domain name (i.e. NIKEuser.com)
The first thing that you need to think about is what’s your site’s domain name is going to be and how it’s related to growth.
This is VERY IMPORTANT and which I did the wrong way before I got my hands on RankXL’s Niche Site Course.
Why does your site’s domain name is so important? Because it tells visitors what your site is about.
When I created my blogs before I used to get a domain name that has my main keyword in it, you know those keywordkeywordkeyword.com.
If I will be doing my old way of selecting a domain name, since my main keyword/topic for this website is about blogging, it will be something like blogging.com or something similar if that domain is already taken.
There is nothing wrong with that, but it limits me to talking about blogging only. It will be weird if I talk non-related related blogging ideas here.
In choosing your sites domain name you must think first about your long term vision for your site.
Is your niche big? Can you expand your site into multiple categories and create a thousand of pages for it?
If not, then your domain name SHOULDN’T be specific to that niche.
That’s one of the reasons Investopedia.com was named that way. So they can talk about different kinds of investing, even personal finance and not being tied into one type of investment only.
THEREFORE, I would NOT name my site something like “blogging.com” because that pretty much limits me to ONLY talk about blogging.
I hope it does make sense?
So what I did is think of a domain name where I can talk about different topic blogging, internet marketing, entrepreneurship and even personal finance.
That where I have come up with my domain name www.skilledentrepreneur.com.
Why is this so important?
I hope you know why already.
If you don’t, I haven’t done a good enough job explaining how an authority site works. It’s a site that is an ultimate resource for my selected niche.
That’s why I don’t want to limit my site’s growth by having a limited number of things I can talk about.
With this setup, I’ll be able to target new niches as categories and rank page for them so much faster than if I were to start a new site.
I will put much work to build up authority to my site. And I’m going to take advantage of its power, the ability to scale.
With this set up I’ll be able to target new niches like what I mention above as categories and rank page for them so much faster than if I will to start a new site and start the process all over again.
What does that mean for my site if blogging turns into a category? I’ll still be going to target only blogging in the beginning of the site. However, because my site is now about Entrepreneurship, the homepage will be titled around Entrepreneurship, of course.
I’ll also be able to target that as its own keyword, and it should rank itself naturally in the long-run.
Then, blogging will be turned into a category, and I’ll have the option to add the other niches in as additional categories in the future.
I don’t need to add everything at once if I don’t want to, but I will because one of my strategy for content creation aside from getting it from HireWriter , is ILT (Invest, Learn and Teach) and I want to teach what I am currently learning as I learn them.
Domain selection example
Now that I have done explaining the theory, let’s look back at how I find my domain name for this site.
Because I want the site to be associated with entrepreneurship I want the word “entrepreneur” in the domain. The second word I will choose will be my branding word which is “skilled”.
I have used Shopify’s Business name generator in selecting my domain name:
If you already have some domain name ideas, you can quickly check if it’s available using the free tool, Instant Domain Search. If it’s red means someone else already owns that domain name if green means it is available.
3. Choosing A Hosting Company
For my new website, using a WordPress blog with a domain and hosting from my hosting company HostMonster.com.
Hosting companies house your site’s files and are responsible for loading the live version of your site to Internet users.
There are many other blogging platforms you could choose from when I started blogging I use Blogger (because of its free), there are also Typepad, Moveable Type, and Weebly.
However, WordPress is the most popular, and it is what I am using now to run all my websites. And it’s easy to use, with lots of FREE themes and plugins to choose from. (Update: I have transferred my high traffic site to WPXHosting)
Do note that there’s two type of WordPress the .com and .org. The .com is like Blogger where you can setup your blog for free.
You don’t need to pay for anything, and you can have a blog up and running in no time.
Though like blogger where your website ends with .blogspot.com, so this site would read skilledentrepreneur.blogspot.com which not only doesn’t look like you mean business and needless to say hard to remember, it also decreases its authority in the search engines.
The .org is where you can download WordPress to put on your own hosted domain.
There is an installation process that can hold some people back, which is why I recommend using a hosting service like HostMonster.com because you can get your domain and hosting cheap, and it only takes a simple click of one button to install WordPress on your site.
Let’s set up our website
1. How To Install WordPress in HostMonster.com
a. Log in into your Hostmonster account
b. Click C Panel
c.Click on Install WordPress
d. Click on Install
e. Select a domain where you want to install WordPress
f. Tick the check boxes then enter your preferred Site name, Admin Username and Admin Password then click Install Now
g. There you go, you have installed WordPress on your website
2. Installing necessary plugins
As far as plugins are concerned, I install the following plugins immediately after WordPress is loaded:
a. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of many SEO plugins out there for WordPress. In my opinion, it’s the best one. For one, it does everything I need it to do and I never have any bugs with it.
Secondly, it’s constantly updated and free of bugs and vulnerabilities.
Third, it’s one of the most widely used and documented plugins out there. I’ll go over how to set it up in the next section.
SumoMe is a free plugin that, once installed, gives you a bunch of free tools to grow your site’s traffic and email list.
c. Q2W3 Fixed Widget
It increases your sidebar CTR percentage a ton. This plugin allows you to make any widget “sticky” so it will follow you down the page as you scroll.
d. Display Widgets
Sometimes, you want to display a widget ad on some pages and hide them on others. This plugin does that for you with the click of a button.
All you need to do is set the widget settings to display/hide on specific pages.
e. W3 Total Cache
The plugin that increases your site speed a TON.
The difference is like night and day.
This is because this plugin creates separate Html files of your pages and loads that instead.
The result? Instant loading pages that are impossible to achieve through WordPress without it.
f. EWWW image optimizer
The EWWW Image Optimizer is a WordPress plugin that will automatically optimize your images as you upload them to your blog.
Thus, makes your pages load faster
5. Picking A Theme
- It should be simple
- It should be mobile friendly
- It should be SEO friendly
- It looks good on every browser (Use Browsershots.org to check)
Right now, the look of the theme isn’t actually that important, since no one is going to visit my site until it’s on the first page of Google, which is my top priority.
But I have already bought and decided what theme I would use for my niche site/s and it is a theme called MH NewsDesk by MH Themes.
Here is a site using MH News Desk, If you want to see how the theme looks.
I hope this post explains to you in details how to start your own blog. If you have any question about starting a blog, just hit the comment section below.
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