Hi! I am Shalin. I’m a Blogger and a Digital Marketer by profession. The larger part of my 24 hours are spent on building several online businesses, which includes building high traffic websites. I have been doing this since almost a decade now and have been broadly successful in building online business that are my bread and butter (oh, I mean brings money on the table). For example, 2 of my recent websites have become widely successful getting more than 100,000 visitors. I will talk more about it in one of section below “Sneak Peek at our Journey to first 100,000 visitors”
For now lets start and setup your blog… 🙂
What this Guide on How to Create a Blog in 2017 Contains?
First of all, don’t get overwhelmed at the number of sections or the sheer number of words mentioned in this post. Trust me, you will be able to understand this guide and setup a blog in less than 5 mins. Yes this is 2017 and not 1996 so yeah, things get done faster and much easily, I might add.
And you do not require any technical knowledge of any kind for the same. It is simple, easy and plus we got Video Tutorials in places just in case you do not want to read through that section or simply want to see how to do it and then do it yourself.
This 6,000 words step-by-step guide contains every thing you need to know right from how to even think about the idea of start a blog to setting up and getting traffic to it.
Why am I even writing this?
Now, before moving ahead, let me clarify one thing – while you will find a lot of guides on ‘how to start your own blog’ and ‘create a website’ and stuff, this guide too does the same – albeit our sole aim is to NOT just make money out of telling you to make money. Our aim is to genuinely help you in your blogging journey and that is the whole point of this post and Blog Me How’s existence.
Over the last few years I have built websites and blogs which receive over 100,000 visitors a month. So, while I am at it, I thought why not share the knowledge and help out fellow bloggers and individuals with whatever knowledge and experience I have!
You can even have a look at the screen grabs from Google Analytics of some of my websites to have a peek at the Growth Curve:
Why you should Blog?… Especially in 2017
Blogging has gained tremendous attention and interest in the recent past, given everything is moving online and more things en route the same. And blog has evolved at not being something that people run to put in random rumblings, but keeps getting more and more professional and the differentiation between a blog and a website blurs ever so slightly.
Well there are lot of reasons for you to blog, and while the list can go on an on, here are some pointers to give you the perspective:
# Recognition among peers:
Blogging will eventually bring you recognition. You will be doing something what, probably every other person is not doing. Successful bloggers are viewed as experts in their field and there is certainly something cool about being an ‘expert’, isn’t it?
# Passive or even full-time income:
Blogging pays and it can either be a good income on the side kind of a gig or a fully blown professional career. There are lot of ways in which you can monetize your blog.
# It is an extension of who you are:
It can be an outlet of what you always wanted to do, or a problem you wanted to solve. You are free to pick a niche of your choice and express yourself through your blog. It is kind of fun and you may not realize it, but once you have your own blog, for which you are passionate about; it is just the high you might need!
Blog or a website; to get it up and running or to be able to create your own blog can be confusing at first if not difficult. The whole purpose of this post is to get your bog started in no time at all without any expertise needed. So sit back and let us take you through the process of creating your own blog.
How Blogging can help you make money in India?
This is one question I often encounter, and I will be completely honest with you – This was THE question I had in my mind when I first took up blogging. I wanted to start my own independent career and at that time, blogging was topping the list, but this question kept coming to mind.
It was that day and this day; I can say with confidence – YES, blogging will help you make money. I was a novice with no background in blogging, or even professional content writing, but I still managed to make it my full-time profession and create a business out of it. You can have a look at my journey over here, I have made money from blogging with no one to guide me and self learning.
If I can do that, you can definitely do it too. There is a vast difference in the kind of resources available then and now. Plus, you have Blog Me How, which I didn’t have then 🙂 Yes, blogging will hep you make money. Only catch is… you need to be serious about it and ready to give it sometime.
What can you expect in this post on creating your own blog?
Well, the post is pretty exhaustive for the topic on how to create a blog! Having said that, it is probably the only post you will need to not only create a blog, but also how to get started and get on with promoting your blog to ensure it grows.
In this post you will find:
- How to get started in creating a blog – Hitting the right idea and freezing upon a name
- Setting up the blog with simple one click solution
- Configuring your blog with optimum settings
- Plugins and essential tools to make the most of your blog
- Setting up the Theme for your Blog
- Promoting your blog to drive traffic
Why you shouldn’t Blog using FREE platforms?
While the FREE platforms are good to just find your feet or to mess around a bit in terms of learning the ropes, I suggest completely avoiding the FREE blog options. Here are the reasons:
# No possibility of income:
FREE blog options do not provide any means to make money out of your blog. There are not options for you to monetize your blog. It will only help to post your stuff but nothing beyond it.
# They earn for your hard work:
The only monetization option available in FREE blogs is the site allowing the free blog setup are the ones who make money. They sell ad space on your blog and thus your hard work of creating and managing your blog results in income for them.
# Lack of flexibility and security:
Free blog options will not allow much flexibility in terms of customizations and also some of the updates/upgrades will eventually either cost you money or will result in you having to change the platform to some other free one, which will again result in the same. You might end up with a same old boring looking site for a long time.
Also the security for such free options is not top-notch. They vulnerable to threats and hence your content and hard work may quiet easily go down the drain.
Exploring your options:
WordPress and Blogger (another useful product by Google) are two of the most popular names which come to mind when you talk about blogging or creating your own blog. However while both have their pros and cons, I recommend WordPress over Blogger any day, and for good reason.
If you plan to monetize your blog, then both platforms do allow for it, unless you are on the free version which is WordPress.com and BlogSpot which give you no option to monetize your blog – which you definitely don’t want. Coming back to Blogger, while is good and has a customization options where in you can tweak and change the appearance and functionality of your website; these options are limited. Beyond a point you will be stuck with some limitations.
In fact, Matt Cutts (Senior Google Engineer and Head of Google Web Spam) himself uses WordPress for his own blog. According to him Blogger is an awesome platform if you are new and are just starting off your blog, but for the long run and for flexibility, WordPress has an edge.
WordPress is amazing even when you are new blogger or want to run a professional website and infact a lot of celebs also use WordPress for their official websites. WordPress is customizable, easy to use (might take a day to get around if you are new) and is what I recommend, if you are serious about your blog or website. No offence to Blogger, but it is for an entirely different kind of individuals.
#2. Guide on How to Create a WordPress Blog in 2017
So, let’s get started with creating your blog – One which is truly yours!
While the steps and procedure mentioned below will cost you some money, believe me, it well worth it and plus, there is nothing which will dig a deep hole in your pockets. Trust me on that! So here it goes…
How to Create a Blog on WordPress:
#1. The ‘Idea’ behind creating your own blog:
What is your blog or website going to be about? What will it talk about? Will you be passionate about it? Is it something related to the area of your liking or expertize? Too many questions eh! Well, ticking the ideas box should not be taken lightly as this is the very foundation of your website of the whole purpose of why you decided to create your own blog.
So how to freeze up the right idea?
The idea or the subject of your blog should mainly be based on simple questions –
Does the topic interest me?
If yes, go ahead if no then rethink. The whole point is, if you don’t like the idea or feel it will not be appealing to you in the near future, just drop it and look out for something that actually does. The reason as you must have guessed is pretty straight forward – lack of passion in anything results in failure ultimately.
One thing you should definitely NOT do is to think about competition in the market for your idea. Always remember – competition never killed a business, but it is the lack of passion, service and lack of product quality that does. Google is a prime example. Yahoo, AltaVista existed as search engines even before Google was heard of and today we know the ‘ Google story’. So while ideating never think of the competition.
I suggest you give 24 to 48 hours to the ideation stage and not more. Newer ideas will always make way into your system, but it is critical to act upon an idea that you feel is right at the given moment.
Your approach to the Idea:
Once you have fixed upon your idea; write down what will your approach towards it. As in how can you differentiate your blog from those already online. This is often the crucial factor, again Google is a good example, on how they did things differently while solving the same problem of online search.
#2. What’s in a name?
Your idea for the blog needs a name, and it needs to be considered carefully – something that signifies your idea and is also easy to remember and connect. It is very crucial since this is what will become the identity and brand for your blog. A lot of blogger also prefer to go with own name and eventually they become authority for their niche. You too can take that route or simply pick something which conveys you blog idea directly.
Once you have decided upon a name for your blog, you need to register it in the form of a domain. For example if you want to call your blog the Best Thing I ever did (too long and NOT recommended, but anyway) Then your domain would be bestthingieverdid(dot)com/net/org/io etc. It is the address you type in your address bar to reach a certain site, like for Google it is google.com
Quick Tip: Avoid names with difficult spellings or having double alphabets, for instance something like say – Blog Gateway, when written as a domain will result in blogginggateway – see the two ‘g’s being repeated. Avoid such names, as it can easily result in a mistake by your user.
#3. (dot)Com vs others dilemma:
Well, while .com is the most common and popularly known, there is not harm in going for .net, .org and any other domain extension you would want. Ideally the options like .biz, .us, .co, .io, .me and a lot other which are there on offer these days, often lack the familiarity of the usual suspects like .com and .org or .net; hence try for them as your first choice.
The other factor people often forgo .com is due to the pricing. Sometimes the pricing of some domains is pretty high. The most common reason is of course unavailability, and so you can either add a suffix or prefix to your name or go for alternate extensions. You can even add a hyphen in between your name if your domain name option is taken already. Something like – myname.com may be taken, but my-name.com may be available.
Checking the Availability:
Click the button given below to check the availability of a domain you are looking for (a page will open in a new tab / window). Once you freeze upon the domain you are looking for and find that it’s available, move to the next step.
#4. Registering your Domain name:
Once you have finalized a name and the extension, it time to register it. While there are lot of portals that would allow you to register your domain name at varying prices, I would strongly recommend you buy it from the hosting service you finalize. The reason is, there are few hosting companies which provide for FREE domain along with hosting plans and also the renewals are pretty smooth. I would be recommending a couple of options which are very reliable and offer some cool plans with awesome customer support – all this in an affordable package… So just hold on, I will show how to get a FREE Domain name and save a cool $15 that’s almost Rs. 1000/-
Web hosting is what will allow your site to go live. You need to host your site somewhere or in other words, the files that you create – posts, images, videos etc. they need to be stored somewhere and then your domain pointed to that storage location in order for them to load when someone puts your domain name in the web-browser’s address bar. This place where your website’s files will be stored is provided by a Web Host.
Picking the right Web Host is very crucial and will the difference between you focusing on the content and growth of your website as against, worrying about the technicalities, slow speeds and down times of your site.
Why FREE Web Hosting is not Advisable?
I never recommend a FREE hosting to anyone and there is a whole post I have written on the reasons for the same. You can refer to that post over here and see why you should never ever go or a FREE web hosting.
So then, Which Web Hosting company to pick?
While there are a lot of web hosting companies around, like GoDaddy, BigRock, HostGator who offer similar plans and good customer support; there are certain reasons one might pick one over the other.
The things I look for in a web host are somehow not found in the ones mentioned above. For instance, yes GoDaddy is a well known name, but that is more so due to its promotional activities as against the performance. Don’t get me wrong, GoDaddy is not a bad option, just that there is a better options available.
I strongly recommend you got with SiteGround. They have a good web-hosting infrastructure in place and are awesome with customer support. Plus they even offer custom plans should you need it in the future.
I personally use them, and one of my websites which is hosted on SiteGround gets over 180,000 hits a month and it has faced no hurdles, no downtimes and handled the site like a pro.
- Affordable Plans
- You get your FREE email for your domain. For example email@example.com
- FREE Domain
- Awesome Customer Support – 24/7 assistance
- 30 days money back guarantee if not satisfied
- Unlimited Traffic and Database handling
- One Click WordPress Installation and CPanel Access
- FREE Daily Backup
- WP Updates taken care of
- Includes CloudFlare CDN for faster site performance and load speed – Something you will need once your traffic grows
- Essential WP Plugins come pre-installed for optimum site performance
There are still a few features I am not writing about over here as they are a bit technical and will only be required after you have been running your website for a few months. But when you do feel the need, SiteGround guys are up for it!
So, now the next step…
Let’s get down to buying a suitable web-hosting plan for your blog. SiteGround offers a lot of plans, which you can pick as per your requirements. I however recommend you go for the Start Up plan, which is highly affordable and pretty much what your new blog needs at the moment.
Click the button give below to go to SiteGround and buy your hosting package at an affordable price (we’d say, it costs less than a Starbucks coffee)
Now that you are here – Click on the WordPress Services options and click on WordPress Hosting.
From the options that appear – Pick WordPress Hosting. This is an awesome one click installer which will not only setup your Web Hosting account with SiteGround, but will also preinstall WordPress for you with optimized settings, along with some very useful plugins like a caching plugin called WP SuperCacher.
This will also ensure that your blog loads at great speeds as against the one which would involve you having to take care of all the settings and WordPress installation.
Now, you should see the various plans to pick from. These plans cost the same as a normal Web Hosting plan from SiteGround. In other words – SiteGround doesn’t charge a dime for giving you a WordPress enabled web-hosting setup. Isn’t that cool?
As a first time blogger you can pick the StartUp plan which starts at as low as $3.95 a month or you can pick either of the other 2, in case you already have a high traffic blog or are starting a blog which may require higher resources like using images (photography or a fashion blog or something).
In this case I have picked the first one @ $3.95 a month, as that is a good enough plan if you are starting off. That’s nearly Rs. 268 only. Of course, your initial payment will for a period of 12 months – that’s $47.40 or INR 3,250 approx.
You will now find the option to choose your FREE Domain. (You save a good Rs. 1000/- in the process.) Enter the name of your choice and pick a domain extension and click PROCEED.
Now you will be directed to the payment page –
Fill in the details – your name, address and contact details. Ensure you put in an email ID you use actively as all the login details and passwords will be sent to that address.
Once you are done with the form, just below the credit card information – You will find something called Purchase Information -> Hosting Services -> Data Center
It is crucial to pick a Data Center closest to your country as it will result in less latency and faster site performance.
Now for the last part before the payment…
The Final Step before the Payment – With 2 Addons to pick:
You will see the option for picking Extra Services or Addons. This is in addition to your hosting plan and FREE domain and it is at an extra cost.
When you register a domain name, the information shared like the Name and contact info can be seen by others through a WhoIs service. It simply shows on whose name the domain is registered and how to contact him/her.
It will, however, not share any credit card or financial info.
- If you want to conceal or prevent WhoIs services displaying your name and contact details associated with the domain, you can opt for the first option – Domain Privacy.
- The second one is Hack Alert Monitoring which will keep an eye on your blog or website everyday, all the time and will inform you of any malicious or hack attack.
These two options are something you can pick and take a call. It is both OK to select as well as uncheck these options depending upon your preference.
Once you have made the decision, simply go ahead and check the I confirm check box and click PAY NOW.
After you see the above page, check the email you had registered to find the login details to carry out the next setup process.
Simply paste the username and password in the login field provided. (See image below)
Once you login successfully, you will be able to configure your blog. You are now just a couple of steps away from accessing your own WordPress Blog!
You will now see something called the Website Setup Wizard. From among the 4 options available, choose the first one – Get WordPress Pre-installed on this account.
What this does:
- It will setup your blog with WordPress pre-installed
- You will find some very useful plugins pre-installed for your blog
- You can be rest assured you blog is WordPress optimized and ready to go!
Now simply choose a username and a password.
Quick Tip: Ensure the username is NOT ‘admin’ or any iteration of it, as it tends to be a favorite with hackers and there may be unnecessary hacking attempts. Although SiteGround’s security is pretty good at handling such things, these attempt however will hamper your site performance, which you do not want.
Pick a name which is unique and cannot be easily guessed by anyone. It can be completely unrelated to your blog name, as it is only for you to access your WordPress dashboard. Similarly have a strong password and save it in a secure place 🙂
Once you are done, you need to scroll down and click PROCEED. Just before that you will find options to pick a theme for your website – you can skip that for now.
Success – You’re Set!
You will now see a url to access your WordPress blog with the username and password you chose. Using the URL logon to your WordPress blog’s dashboard and start exploring WordPress.
That’s it – You have now setup your own WordPress Blog using SiteGround’s awesome services.
Awesome! Sit back, get a cool drink – You have just setup your First WordPress Blog – Your Very Own blog
#3. Intro to WordPress – Your first 1 hour exploring WordPress
To your left sidebar in the dashboard, you will find a lot of options to tweak and customize your website. Explore them and get started!
This is how your Blog would look at the moment, cool but not that great. We will fix that too in a bit!
Adding your first Blog Post in WordPress:
To add your first blog post simply check the Posts options in WordPress sidebar.
Posts -> Add New
Once you click you will find an interface wherein you can start writing your blog posts. Add a title, write/copy paste content in the Body area and format the post using the formatting options available just below the Title area.
You can even insert images to your blog post using the Add Media option just above the formatting toolbar. (See image above)
Once you are done, simply hit Publish on the right side bar and Viola! Your first blog post is live!
You can check your blog post by visiting your site by entering the URL.Or using the ‘Visit Site’ options on the top left corner of WordPress on hovering your mouse over the blog Home button.
Things to do once you setup your WordPress blog for the first time:
Often a post on how to create a blog talks about
Permalinks are permanent hyperlinks for you blog. They are basically the URL for your blog posts and content. You need to set these as soon as you are done with the WordPress installation and logged into your WordPress Dashboard for the first time.
By default, WordPress will have alphanumeric permalinks which are not user as well as SEO friendly. Moreover having custom permalinks in place helps you be in better control in terms of how you want your blog post URLs to look like.
Setting up Permalinks –
You can find the settings to fix up your desired permalinks by going to the left side bar -> Settings -> Permalinks
You will find the flowing options, once on the Permalinks page:
Default – which will be the alphanumeric format used by WordPress
Day and Name – Will display the post URLS in such a manner [site address]/[year]/[month]/[day]/[post-title]
So for instant a post like My First Blog Post published on Blogmehow.org on 13th Nov, 2015 would appear like this – http://blogmehow.org/2015/11/13/my-first-blog-post
Month and Name – Similar to the above, this one will add only the year and the month in the URL
Numeric – Will simply show the post ID after the site’s home page URL
Post Name – Will display the post name after the blog’s home page URL with spaces replaced with hyphens
Custom Structure – With this option you can specify the kind of URL structure you are looking for
Which structure to pick:
I recommend setting the permalink to either Post Name or adding a Post ID before or after the post name.
Doing so your post URLs will appear as http://blogmehow.org/my-first-blog-post/ or http://blogmehow.org/my-first-blog-post-123/
Quick Tip: To add a post ID after the post title in the permalink structure simply use this code in the space provided – /%postname%-%post_id%/
The reason for the above is that these formats are SEO friendly and Google will push them above the other kind of permalink structures. Your URLs will also display the keyword you have targeted in the title when using the above two options of permalink structures.
Installing Essential Plugins to your Blog in 2017:
Plugins are addons or tools which will further enhance your WordPress blog’s functionality and potential and is also useful for adding some missing feature in your WP site by default.
Here is a list of a few plugins you need to install as soon as you finish the WordPress installation.
Why is it required?
So your mission to create your own blog has found success and you are now gearing up to publish some awesome blog posts on it. But wait, you have 50 unread comments on your blog already! And before you know it the count goes up to 100 and they are all from random people with a lot of URLs trying to spam your newly created WordPress blog. What do you do?
Manually tackling this mess is a BIG problem as you will have to carefully go through each of them to ensure that no genuine comment from a reader gets deleted in the process. This is a BIG waste of time and energy. In comes Akismet – A super awesome plugin to save you from the curse of spam.
It is a FREE plugin which automatically detects and places all spam comments in a separate Spam tab in your WordPress comments section so you can only focus on the ones in your Pending tab. Deleting the spam comments becomes a whole lot easier, as all you need to do is simply select all and Delete!
The cool thing about is Akismet somehow never places genuine comments in the Spam tab so it is nearly foolproof way to avoid spam comments, or atleast filter them smartly.
# SEO Plugin by Yoast:
Why is it required?
When sites like Mashable, The Next Web, Search Engine Land use an SEO plugin, it in itself is testimony to the fact that you need it, like right now.
SEO Plugin by Yoast is a great and essential addition to a new WordPress blog. Essential because SEO is the heart of your blog. Search Engine Optimization is the key to rank well and get some traffic to your site. So does it mean installing Yoast will bring you traffic? NO! So, Why do I need it?
Yoast’s SEO plugin will tell you if your site’s as well as individual posts SEO is in place or not. It will highlight the keyword density in your posts. Show you places where you have missed the opportunity to optimize a post for SEO.
Simple things like inserting images and whether or not the headings in your post have the keyword you are targeting will be brought to your notice, thus ensuring that you tick the right boxes when it comes to on-page SEO.
While this is for posts, it also works site-wide meaning if you have been writing too many articles targeting the same exact keyword over and again, Yoast will point it out to you and thus you can avoid keyword spamming in your content.
Not only that, it will takes care of your XML Sitemaps – something which tells Google which pages on your blog are to crawled by its spiders and which ones are to be left alone. It will even remind you if you happen to use ‘ugly’ permalink structures. The list is endless.
Bottom-line get Yoast’s SEO plugin asap. Oh, by the way, you can get if for FREE.
Other Important Plugins before getting started:
# Social Sharing and Email List Builder Plugins by Sumome:
# Publicize by Jetpack:
# Contact Form:
The above plugins, are mentioned in the Promoting your Blog section, below.
Picking the Theme for your Blog:
This is how your WordPress site will appear when you create your own blog for the first time.
You certainly want a better looking blog/website than this, don’t you?
WordPress offers a lot of FREE themes to choose from. Of course there are some incredibly awesome paid options available on the market, for starters you can pick a free theme and be just fine.
Quick Tips to pick the right Theme:
#1. Responsiveness – The themes should be responsive to be displayed correctly on multiple devices; Phones, Tablets and of course Laptops.
#2. Should be regularly updated – When you pick a theme, look for the Last Updated date. You certainly don’t want a theme which was last updated a year ago.
#3. Compatibility – Should be compatible with your current WordPress version.
#4. Check the reviews – Look out for reviews of the theme before you go ahead with it.
#5. Who are the Developers – Always check the developers and ensure they are reliable. If a theme or a theme developer is good, it will have a community around it on WordPress forums. Have a look around for the same.
You can even refer our Guide to Picking the Right WordPress Theme for your Blog – here
Theme Recommendation for your WordPress Blog:
While I certainly can recommend a theme for your blog, the problem is that based on your niche a theme may or may not be suitable for you.
For instance a Photography blog may need a different theme while a new kind of a blog may require something else.
However, I do recommend you go through this Guide to Getting the right Theme for your Blog, over here. Based on these tips, and things discussed above, you can easily shortlist a few themes and get started with your blog.
Installing a Theme:
In your WP Dashboard, check out the Appearance option in the left side bar and click on Themes – > Add New
On the Add Themes page you will see a lot of FREE Themes on offer and you can filter them out based on
- or you can set Custom Filters based on Colors, Layouts and other options
You can preview the themes to see how they would look once installed.
To install a theme simply click on the Install button.
Once you have installed the theme successfully, you will find and option for Live Preview of your theme.
Click on that and you will now see your blog running on the theme of your choosing.
You will also find Customization options to make changes and tweaks to your theme on the left side bar.
Note: You can change the site header, add a logo, and make changes to the site layout, change colors and lot more.
Just a Heads-Up, you can check an entire list of ‘Hand-Curated’ WordPress Tutorials on Everything you would need and to answer every doubt you have, over here. So do check that. And for now, lets continue further
#4. Your Guide to Getting the First 1,000 Visitors to your Blog!
Promoting your Blog:
Now that we know of how to create a blog, and once you have decent content on your blog and have explored and experimented with the look and feel of it, it is time to let the world know about it. I recommend you write a couple of good quality posts and then stick to a blog design and start with promotions as it will take time for your blog to get traction and no matter how good the content, you will need time before it goes viral.
So, what options do you have?
I have shared 13 actionable which will get you started with your blog promotions as well as bring you genuine traffic in the process.
#1. Create a Facebook Page for your Blog:
You need a Facebook fan page for your blog. You need it to build a community around it, which is always a great thing to have for long term sustainable traffic flow. If you wish to run your blog with your own name, still make a Facebook fan page with that name. So for instance your blog is johndoe.com, then you Facebook page too can be named John Doe.
#2. Sky Scrapper Technique for quick traffic via Facebook:
Look out for Facebook pages in your niche and pick a few popular ones. Now post a comment or reply to these pages in reply to a post from the page with a link to your blog post. Ensure you DO NOT SPAM. Your comment and the link needs to be relevant and helpful and related to the topic. Something which adds value to the readers and this way the chances of the admins blocking you are less and also the readers are more likely to click through to your page.
#3. Set up a Twitter and G+ account:
Similar to having a FB fan page, you should also set up Twitter handle and a G+ page for your blog. This is to further leverage on the power of Social Media.
#4. Social Share Plugins:
Apart from that, ensure you have Social Share plugin installed on your site which allows the visitors/readers of your blog to share a post over social media in one click. This is crucial as the easier you make sharing, the more likely people are to share it. This can be a great way to drive traffic.
I recommend – Sumome Share
#5. Publicize by Jetpack:
You can do this to ensure all your newer posts are published onto social media as well, without you having to worry about going to all the accounts and doing it yourself.
Check out Publicize over here
#6. Guest Posts:
Asking other bloggers to give you an opportunity to write a post on their blog could mean you get an exposure to their readers and potentially stand a chance to get some more traffic. This however possible if you provide good quality content which will be of interest to the readers of that blog and doesn’t get too spammy with a lot of links to your own blog. One link or at the most two, in case of a lengthy article is fine, not anymore.
However, one needs to be careful as too many guest posts on a single blog could invite a red-flag from Google and might actually result in no improvement in the rankings and at times even in penalties, which you certainly do not want.
You can look out for forums that have lot of regular discussions about the topic in your niche. The idea is to get involved and look out for promotional activities and build contacts if possible.
Do not go on simply posting links to your blog for any and every query (you will most likely be banned for it), instead become a member whose word is respected. This will take time, but once you are a figure of reliance, you can then expect to get traffic from the forums, by using your links in your replies.
#8. Commenting on other blogs in your niche:
Follow the top blogs in your niche and reply to the comments of others as well as leave your comments on what you think about a certain blog post. Be courteous and meaningful in what you write. Again spamming will lead you nowhere so it is best you are picky and only leave a comment where it is absolutely relevant.
#9. Explore the possibilities on Quora:
The idea behind Quora was to build a platform where people can get answers to their questions and also be a place where knowledge can be shared. Pretty good! But off late it has become a platform for promoting oneself and you will find a lot of people answering questions and genuinely acknowledging the fact that they are in some way connected to the solution provided in the answer.
You too can try the same thing. Be clear that you are the author at your blog or simply add the details in your bio. Answer the questions genuinely and honestly and if your blog happens to have something that will solve the query, very well leave a link to that. Again… spamming… yeah you got it!
#10. Go for LTKs:
While I can do an entire post and even more on SEO and ways to drive traffic; for now let’s just say, when you are new to blogging and want the initial push to your traffic in your niche, targeting highly searched keywords will get you nowhere.
Instead focus your energies on the low hanging fruits or keywords with lesser searches and low competition and then go for the long-tail keywords (LTKs) basis those keywords.
For example: A keyword like ‘how to start a blog’ has 49,500 average monthly searches and high competition. Trying to rank for that keyword will obviously be an uphill task for a new blog. Instead we can look for LTKs of that keyword via Google related search and Keyword Planner tools.
Simply Search for the keyword – how to start a blog over Google, and scroll to the bottom of the results to find something like this image below, which reads ‘Searches related to how to start a blog’.
Once you have the results pick a keyword from those suggestions, let’s say in this case we go for ‘how to start a blog and make money’. Simply put this keyword in Google keyword Planner tool’s Get Search Volumes options (sign in with your Google Account) and see the results and competition level.
You will notice in this one has about 1000 searches and medium completion. You can even find keywords with lower searches and Low competition using this method. Pick an LTK and write blog posts targeting those keywords. You will see decent traffic coming to your blog.
#11. Email List:
Start collecting email addresses of your visitors. When you have a new blog post, send out an email to them. This way you are assured of some level of traffic. You can also use email lists to promote any offer, or any special program you run on your blog. While email lists take time to build and also the traffic derived from them depends on a lot of factors like open rates, click rates etc. it is still a good source of getting traffic to your site.
To start making your own email list, install a WordPress Plugin called Contact Form 7 and Contact Form DB. Create a page and embed the email form on the page. Share the link of that page using pop-up or promotional bars on your website.
#12. Join the community and be part of discussions:
If you can find social media groups, forums which have good health discussions on topics pertaining to your niche, join them now. This will not only give guide you with which direction to take you blog, but will also get you in contact with other prominent bloggers in your niche. This will help you expand your network which you can leverage anytime in the future to drive traffic!
#13. Explore other Social Media Platforms:
Facebook, Twitter and G+ are the first few names which crop up when speaking about social media. However, it will be a grave mistake to ignore the other players.
- YouTube: Post a few videos on topics from your blog, if possible
- Pinterest: Share some infographics and visual elements from your blog.
- Instagram: Make cool featured images and share them over Instagram.
- Reddit: Submit your post over Reddit. Yes this works.
- StumbleUpon: SU too can help you in being discovered by others. List you blog over here to gain some visibility.
So those were some of the ways in which you can get started with promoting your blog and get the initial push needed for your blog to get in some traffic. You can of course experiment yourself and see what best works for your blog and your niche.
If you have any questions, feel free to mention them in the comments below. Want to bounce off some ideas? At Blog Me How, we are in the process of launching an awesome blogging community. I will share the URL to it very soon over here.
Blogging, WordPress, Building High Traffic Websites, Web Apps and Digital Marketing .... and yes, did I say I'm a big-time food junkie.
I'm currently reading:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
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