Do you want to learn how to create a successful blog but don’t have a lot of time to spend messing around with various software, settings, and ideas? Then read on-we’ll tell you everything you need to start a successful blog in just one weekend.
Friday Night: Get The Ball Rolling
A successful blog needs a domain name, but it can take up to 48 hours-two days-for a new domain name to propagate to all of the Internet Service Providers around the world.
That means you have to buy your domain name and point it to your server by midnight Friday in order for your website to be fully functional Monday morning.
Let’s go through these two steps individually so you can learn how to create a successful blog:
Choosing Blog Hosting
Before you choose a blog hosting provider, you need to choose your blog platform. To keep things simple, just use WordPress. It’s the most popular blog platform and it will work for any blog topic.
Now you need to find blog hosting which supports WordPress. There are thousands of top hosting companies to choose from, but I suggest that you choose one of the larger companies. Most of them offer a free trial, so go sign up immediately for one which offers a good rate, free software installation, and a free trial.
If you’re not happy with the service, you can copy your whole blog over to a new service before your free trial ends.
Choosing A Domain Name
The best domain name will include your blog’s primary keyword. (We’ll discuss keywords later in this article.) But don’t stress over the domain name-you can always buy another domain name later on and move your content over to it with just a few clicks.
But there are several things you should NOT do:
1. Create an offensive domain name (unless you think you can create a successful blog out of an offensive topic).
2. Choose a hard-to-remember or hard-to-say domain name or you’ll make it hard for your readers to tell other people about your site.
3. Choose a domain name based on a pun-anyone who doesn’t get the pun will discount your website.
After you decide which domain name to buy, you need to buy it. You can use any major registrar; they’ll all provide DNS hosting for your domain at no extra charge-just use the tools they provide to associate your new domain with the IP address provided by the blog hosting company you selected earlier.
How To Create A Successful Blog On Saturday
Now that you have a domain and hosting, you need to actually build your blog. Start by choosing a main topic for your blog. Almost any topic can be turned into a successful blog, but it has to be a topic you’re willing to write about for a year or more, so make it something which holds your interest.
Next you need to distill your topic into your core keyword phrase-this is the same keyword phrase you tried to work into your domain name. Your keyword phrase should be three words or less, and it should be something people use in search queries.
You’ll use this keyword phrase in your initial blog posts to establish your blog as an authority on your core topic. You can then use your status as an authority to attract incoming links and to make money from your blog.
Choosing A Business Model
This post is about how to create a successful blog, but what does success mean to you? For most people reading this article, I think it means a blog which makes money. If money isn’t your thing, figure out what you want your blog to do and how it will do that.
For making money, there are three main methods to make money from your blog:
1. Advertising: this is simple-you sign up for an account on an advertisement platform, they give you some HTML code to insert into your website template, and then they pay you when people view or click on advertisements on your site. But the ease of this method corresponds to its relative unprofitability for small sites.
2. Affiliate sales: you recommend products to your readers and get a cut when they buy them. Depending on what you recommend, you can make a lot of money from just a few sales, so you don’t need many visitors. But attracting readers willing to spend money on products can be challenging.
3. Opt-in marketing: you get visitors to your website to opt-in to a mailing list and then you use the mailing list to sell them products-either your own products or someone else’s products on commission. (You can also rent your mailing list to an advertiser.) This can be the most profitable business type, but it can also take years to establish.
Knowing how you’ll make money will help you with the next step:
How To Create A Successful Blog Layout
Now that you know your topic and your business model, you can design your site. WordPress has hundreds of free site designs to choose from, but since you can change designs at any time, I suggest you choose either the default layout or a simple layout.
Don’t spend much time modifying your site design to fit your needs, but instead choose a site design which works for you from the start. (The only exception to this advice is for people writing blogs about website design who need to prove their skill.)
In general, I recommend a website layout that is simple with only one or two columns. Advertisements should appear between paragraphs of text-not shuffled off to the side. Calls to action for a mailing list or affiliate sale should appear within the article text or immediately after the article.
But, again, don’t spend too much time designing your site-you still have a lot of work to do.
Write Articles All Sunday
The second-to-last step in how to create a successful blog is to write your initial set of blog posts.
Why do you need to launch your site with several blog posts? Because anyone who likes your site needs to see other information before they consider you an authority.
You also need to convince search engines that you’re an authority, but search engines are smart enough to know that one article does not make you an authority.
So your goal Sunday is to write as many blog posts as possible. Order a pizza and just keep writing until you’re ready to pass out-then hang in a bit longer and edit all of the articles you just wrote. Finally, publish them to your blog and go to sleep.
The Final Step
Now that you know how to create a successful blog, there’s just one more step-you need to market your new blog. You have several articles, you have a business model, you have everything else you need. Now you just need to tell other bloggers in your niche about your blog.
I’ve written about marketing your blog several times before, so see my previous posts about guest posting, link building, and other techniques to finish learning how to create a successful blog. You can also grab my free ebook from my authors bio. This will help you customize your site to gain the most benefits from the search engines.