One of the most common things you hear in our society these days is, “I would love to start a blog/website, but I don’t even know where to begin!” Well guys, that’s what I’m here for today. My blog has been nothing but fun for me, has allowed me to vent, to expound on ideas, and above all to do one thing I love to do, write. For those of you out there that are interested, let me help you get started…
How did I do it, very simple, I googled how to make a blog and came across a number of different pages explaining the steps but one site that I came to caught my attention and ended up being the method I used:
Take the time to read through this whole page and you will get all the essentials you need to get the ball rolling:
It started with a question, “How can I make some money on the side using the internet?” I had loved writing in my blog in Spain (http://briandruryinspain.blogspot.com/) but I was curious if I could find a way to do something during my free time that I not only loved but that would help me towards my financial goals.
I am currently experimenting with a variety of different things that could potentially become sources of income but whenever I start on a new venture, the key question is simply this… Do I love doing this enough to do it for free?
Far too often I feel we decide to pigeon-hole ourselves into one way of doing things: making money, finding jobs, etc. The key here is to take some time, try it out, and if you really enjoy doing it, then find a way to get really good at it and monetize it. How do you get really good at it? Use my Dad’s advice, be eternally curious.
Start asking yourself what is the blog you would want to read, the blog you would want to write, what is something new or different you could do, what is a site you always wished you had found but have yet to discover?
The options are limitless but let me give you some quick tips based on my limited experience with blogging.
1. Naming Your Blog: Pick a name that is both simple to remember and unique. Think about the trends in the internet right now, the things that are popular are generally one word (usually a made up word) that they give new meaning. Some examples: Facebook, twitter, pinterest, gmail, etc. Simplicity is key, we are so inundated with information that anything complex can easily go in one ear and out the other.
2. Site Security: This is something I have done limited research on but would recommend purchasing some form of internet security to protect your site. Hackers are good, really good, so going in blind is asking to have your site blocked or attacked by phishing bots. I have not done extensive research on this but can tell you my site has been up for several months without issue after purchasing SiteLock security as the page linked above recommended.
Important Note: When I first started with Sitelock I was getting calls weekly (sometimes multiple times per week) informing me of vulnerabilities to my site and telling me that I, “really would need to upgrade to the higher level, stronger version, etc.” in order for my site to be protected. What have I found? That is totally inaccurate.
WordPress has a variety of “Plugins” which are simple downloads prechecked and verified by WordPress to help you protect and enhance your site. I was told that I would need to pay a “professional” at Sitelock to go in to fix an SQL Vulnerability on my site (which I had to google to have any idea what it was) and after talking to the wonderful people at HostGator (who host my site) they said if you just look up plugins for that vulnerability it should be addressed. Downloaded the plugin, haven’t gotten a call from Sitelock since.
Long story short, don’t spend money without searching on the internet for a solution first.
3. Topic For Your Site: Anyone who reads my blog consistently know that I am all about pursuing your passions so the same holds true for a blog. Like anything else in life, if you just do it for money and not because you love it, you will find that there is an emptiness inside. Do what you love and each day has meaning, each day has purpose, and when you create a site that you truly care about, the world is your oyster.
Someone might tell you, “A site about ______ could never be successful!” Take a look around the internet, there are successful sites for every topic you could imagine all because there were people who focused on their passions and who were “eternally curious” about their passion.
4. Utilize Google Analytics: I downloaded JetPack on WordPress and it is a good tool to analyze the information on your site if you are just a beginner. This is another plugin you will be prompted to download when you create your account.
Now, if you want to get more serious and really learn about your site, when you have the most traffic, where your viewers are, and to have the ability to dig into the data, you will want to make the transition to Google Analytics.
I was somewhat intimidated by it when I started because it was presented as though it is very complicated but since starting to utilize it, I have found it is much more intuitive than I previously thought. This is not a plugin but a whole separate site for tracking your site’s statistics. Create and account and you are good to go.
5. Build A Community: This is something I just started to explore but it is one of the best ways to start getting more people viewing your site. In the ChristianPF link above, he states the same thing, connect with real people with blogs that share a similar purpose/interest and start guest posting (writing posts for their site) or allowing them to do the same.
You will find, the more sites that link to you, the higher your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will be. This is how the all-powerful internet determines what sites show as the first results on Google and which ones are buried deep within the search engine on page one thousand flobbidetyteen.
That’s it to start, if there is anything you would like to learn about please tell me about it in the comments below and I would be happy to share!
Mom, thanks for giving me the strength and courage to pursue my dreams without a paralyzing fear of failure. Does the fear exist at times, of course, but you have always taught me to believe that any challenge and any setback can be overcome.
Dad, thank you for teaching Evan and I about being, “eternally curious”. Whenever I think about the new things I am learning, I am thankful that I have parents who encouraged a never ending thirst for knowledge.
I love you both with all my heart and am blessed to know I have the best parents in the world!