4 Technical Choices To Make When Starting A Successful Blog
This is Phase 2 for starting a successful blog. In this phase, you will learn about what needs to be considered when starting a new blog.
But first, you should know what not to do when starting a blog.
Don’t believe the people who convince you by saying you can start a blog in five minutes. Let me expose the reality behind it!
The literal meaning of what they are saying is correct!
You can create a WordPress blog in less than five minutes. But when it comes to the blog with which you aim to make some profit, you shouldn’t believe them. It takes a real effort to make a successful blog.
Remember the proverb. "Rome was not built in a day."
So here in this article, I don’t give you any false time constraint promise. What I give you are the real methods and strategies you should dedicate your time to, for making a money making blog, which will soon pay off your debts and bills.
I will discuss 4 aspects you need to consider when starting a blog. And, also here I have given the link to the detailed post about the topics.
Phase 2 - Technical Choices To Make When Starting a Successful Blog
#1- Choose Your Blogging Platform:
Blogging is full of choices to make and this will be your very first one when starting a blog. It is the most important as it will depict your online business.
To run a website you need two things a hosting space and a domain name where both are available for free as well as paid. Both have different features.
There are two types of blogging platforms to decide: Free and self-hosted.
There are many free blogging platforms available out there such as:
- WordPress.com - which gives lifetime free hosting with a sub-domain "Yoursitename.WordPress.com" extension. You can purchase a custom domain name.
- Blogger - Free hosting space by Google with a sub-domain "Yoursitename.Blogspot.com" extension. You can purchase a custom domain name.
- Tumbler - It is micro-blogging platform with extensive social networking feature. You can purchase a custom domain name.
There is a long list of options when it comes to blogging platforms like medium, Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, Ghost, Weebly, etc.
On the other hand, there is self-hosted blogging platform which is WordPress.org. This is what I suggest you for your new blog.
If you are planning to start with a free blogging platform, keep reading to know why you shouldn't opt for FREE.
Why are Free Blogging Platforms not worthy?
Free blogging platforms are easy to set up and manage but they have too many limitations.
You are not allowed to run any advertising on your free blog. You can't even add more features or customization to it.
Your blog can be suspended anytime. Over free blogging platform, you do not own your blog.
Your blog name is not owned by you unless you purchase a custom domain name.
There is no wrong in starting a blog on a free platform but if you are planning to run a business from it, free blogging platforms are not recommended.
I also started my first blog site on Blogger. But, soon later I migrated to a self-hosted WordPress blog to get better blogging experience and to get the full control over my blog.
To start with a self-hosted WordPress blog, you'll need to buy a hosting space and a domain name which will be hosted on your own space and owned by you only.
You will be the only owner of your blog and you can make changes as per your requirements. You can select any custom design for your blog, you will be free to add any feature to your blog, there will be no limitation and your domain can't be suspended by anyone.
If you like the idea of having a self-hosted WordPress blog which I strongly recommend we can start with further aspects to start a successful blog.
#2- Choose A Perfect Domain Name For Your Blog:
The very first actionable step to starting any website is to choose a domain name for your website or business (for example, loudtechie.com).
You must be extra vigilant while selecting it because your domain is your online identity. One must keep the purpose in mind during the process to come up with the best-in-class domain.
Before selecting any domain name I suggest you read my detailed guide on how to choose a perfect domain name for your business or blog.
When picking a domain name for a blog, many bloggers prefer to use their own name as a brand (domain name) like; Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk and Jeff Bullas.
They are few top names in blogging industry they are famous just because of their hard work.
But selecting a domain name after your own name is not recommended by me unless you are already successful in your field and just want to market your name with a variety of your job expertise.
You can also pick a domain name based on a rich keyword like LoudTechie, Smart Passive Income, Backlinko and Thrive Themes. By having a keyword inside your domain name anyone can get an idea about your business or what your domain is about.
By having a seed keyword inside your domain name anyone can get an idea about your business or what your blog is about. Your seed keyword in your domain name can still help you in better SEO ranking.
Choosing a domain name isn’t easy when you know how dependable it is for your business.
Here are some domain name suggestion tools to help you pick a perfect domain name for your blog or business.
#3- Choose The Best Web Hosting:
So you are done deciding your blogging platform and a domain name for your blog.
It's time to choose the web hosting service for your blog. I recommend SiteGround only.
A web hosting is required to get a storage space for your website to be visible on the internet. Your website and its database will be stored on special computers we call servers.
In simple words, a web hosting will be your website's house where it is going to live. Every website needs a web hosting to go live on the internet.
Many bloggers ruin their blogging career and passion just by choosing a bad web hosting service.
Your website needs to be fast to avoid visitors bouncing. No one likes to visit a slow website. So your website should be fast in page loading speed.
A study says 80% of the newbies find it difficult to select the best web hosting service for their website due to lack of knowledge.
I was also the victim of picking a bad web host at the start. Because all I was looking for a cheap web host and not the best one.
Just to make sure you don't pick a bad web host for your blog. Here are 5 signs of a bad web hosting you needs to avoid:
- Slow Page Loading Time
- Too Much Downtime
- Poor Customer Support
- Lack of Features
- Weak Security
All your hard work will be of no good if your web hosting is not good enough.
There are thousands of web hosting services you can choose from but not all of them are worth your money.
#4- Choose A Design For Your Blog:
Choosing a design layout of your blog is one of the important things you need to be considered while starting a new blog.
I saw many bloggers who don't give much importance to their blog design.
They are more focused on other aspects like keyword rich short domain name, best web hosting service, picking up a perfect niche for their blog for the long-term content creation and SEO of their blog which is also not to be neglected.
In Phase 1, we already discussed about how to pick a perfect niche for your blog.
But ignoring your blog design can also harm your website in many ways.
Let me highlight few top most points how a bad website design can affect your website performance:
- Poor website design can affect your website conversions. You will get traffic without conversions.
- Difficult site navigation can result in higher bounce rate of your site. Visitors like websites with easy navigation.
- The design of your website should be SEO optimized to perform well with your content and search engine ranking.
- Mobile responsiveness is very crucial these days. As 60% of the internet traffic is from smartphones these days. Without a mobile responsive website design, you can lose plenty of good traffic.
There are much more to share about how choosing a bad website design can harm your website performance. This is one lengthy topic to discuss I will try to write more about it in my future post.
Let's get into deep thoughts and experiments.
Why do you want to start a blog?
I bet it's not just for your hobby or passion. Everyone starts a blog to make money blogging.
Right after starting your blog you will start hunting best practices for blog monetization.
This is TRUE! Everyone does this.
Many bloggers failed just because of one silly reason, having a bad website design.
Your website design is also related to your blog monetization. Yes! I am not joking around with this.
I am saying this after experimenting it on my own blog LoudTechie.
Before moving to the experimenting part let me tell you about two types of blog monetization layout; there are AdSense optimized website designs and Affiliate Optimized website designs.
I started this blog with a free AdSense optimized WordPress theme JustWrite which I used for more than 1 year. Those days I was more focused on AdSense earning than affiliate marketing.
I was improving day by day with my AdSense earning. But then I decided to give it a try in affiliate marketing.
Before starting with affiliate marketing I researched a lot for an affiliate optimized WordPress theme. After days of searching, I got three options for premium affiliate WordPress themes.
I picked Thrive Themes for my blog. And I still appreciate my theme choice.
So we were discussing AdSense themes vs Affiliate Themes. Right after changing my WordPress theme from JustWrite (freebie) to Thrive Themes (premium) my AdSense earning started to go down.
It keeps on going down and down day by day. I used to make $4 - $5 per day on AdSense which turns to $0.2 - $0.5 per day.
And I decided to remove AdSense ads from my blog. This could be the main reason all top bloggers avoid placing AdSense ads on their blog.
You can read more about my theme changing experience and its income effect.
This is how I learn how a website design can affect your income and blogging career.
Wrapping Up with Technical Choices:
By now you may have decided what blogging platform will be good for your blog. I hope you will make your choices after considering all above mentioned points.
In our next Phase, I will discuss how to properly Set up your WordPress blog. It will be a step by step guide covering all basic things from "installing a WordPress blog" to "things you need to do right after WordPress Installation".
Stay tuned for Phase 3 in our series how to start a blog.