Tips When Starting a Blog to Become a Blogger
This post is meant to give you tips how to start blogging and to show you all the steps you should take when you login to the wordpress dashboard for the first time.
These steps are based on the real life experience I have took to get my first blog to the place where it is now.
I will show you what I have done and what I would do differently to get better results. I will include images with examples so you can see what do I mean because images are better than words, sometimes.
How to Become Blogger – Tips for the First Steps
When you enter into wordpress dashboard you will have a list of menus on the left side.
On the right side you will have many window with options telling you to activate it but for not do not click on any.
Your first steps should be:
- to prepare website with theme which will represent you on the internet
- protect your website with services like antivurs and similar
- prepare backup of your site so you do not end up with losing everything what you have done
- prepare website to load very quickly so you do not lose your readers who do not want to wait for your site to load
- installation of plugins that allows you to track the site statistics
- connect your website with google search console which will help you to check your site performanse
- connect your website with google analytics for tracking visitors stats
- installation of plugin that helps you to write better content so you improve your SEO(SEO will be explained later)
- Installation of plugins that will help you collect readers e-mail
At the start do not pay for any plugin that some one tells you until you read posts I have prepared for you. The reason is that I have made mistake and pay for some plugins that I have find through better free solution.
For example I have payed for the service WPForms which I do not use at all. I simple do not need it. But they have futures that can help you get many advantages and to improve your results.
Read more: How I Started Blogging
Become a Bloger – Tips for Selecting the Right Theme for your Blog
At the start as a first step is to set the theme you will have on your blog.
Theme is the layout how your site will look like. Will the site have header on the uppert part of your home page, will you have one one column page or multiple columns.
Theme defines all these things and you should select the one that you see it fits your needs.
The problem at the start is that you do not know which theme is good one. I have made a mistake, or I should not call that as a mistake because I really did not know anything about blogging.
Mistake I have done is that I have used free themes from wordpress pool. All that themes do not give you the best user experience and they are there if you want to have simple website.
If you do not want to impress readers with professionalism then you should think about using premium themes or buy some.
I had free theme for a good period of time. More than a year and I have decided to buy and to change the theme. I have read a lot about blog and somewhere I have read that if you want to be professional blogger you should invest in theme layout.
As you can see when ever you go to some site or blogger that is well known you will see that he have very good desined theme layout. That theme layout is not free theme from wordpress.
You at the start can use theme that is free but I think you will eventually move forward and buy professional one. I have decided to buy Divi theme which is really simple to control.
For those who do not know anything about blogging the Divi theme would help you a lot because it is easy to understand and later on to use. You use drag and drop and selection to make new blog post or page.
Before buying any theme I suggest that you get familiar with the free theme and how do theme works. What you need to change and add to have all functional blog.
Read more: How to Setup Theme and Become a Blogger
Tips How to Protect Your Blog as a Blogger
While you are on the Internet you know that there are virus attack and hacker attack.
While blog is on the INternet it is also open to those attacks. YOu need to protect yourself at least with free plugin to have basic protection.
In the beginning I did not use any protection because I never thought that I will experience some type of attack.
But, it happened that my hosting provider have shut down my site because of malware on my website. They said I need to clean up my wordpress fodler before having site activated and open for readers.
That was the time I did not know what do to. I never experienced something similar and I did not know where to start.
I have started to talk with hosting support to tell me what can I do. Maybe I can restore backup and start fresh when my site were not infected.
That way I would get my site back and continue using without virus.
The problem is when you are shut down you cannot access to the wordpress dashboard to make restore.
I needed to talk to hosting support to do that for me. Another option to solve that issue is to have FTP client to upload your backup. At that time I did not have any of those tools because I did not understand anything.
When my site was back I decied to read more about how to protect your blog from attacks and how to have backup ready to restore it. Also, I have FTP client to make backup and to make restore if something happens.
I have done post about how to set up protection on the blog so you can read more to get kow and to protect your blog form attacks.
Read more: How to Protect Your Blog
Become a Blogger and Have a Backup
If you are serious or even you are not that serious having and maintaining blog you need to make a backup of your wordpress site. As you move forward with your blog the size of the data of your website will increase.
Each step you make on each day will make a change on the blog and to prevent losing everything you have done it is smart to make a backup.
When I have started with the blog I did not pay attention to this. It simply did not cross my mind even I have read somewhere on the Internet that among few basic steps when you start a blog you need to make a backup of your wordpress website. You can do it daily, weekly, or monthly but you need to have at least one backup.
I have skipped that advice and I have continued doing other staff like writing posts and making my website fast. The speed is also important thing to have in mind but backup is more important.
I did not do anything about backup until one day happened that my site was not accessible. I have tried to connect to my wordpress dashboard but it was unavailable. I have tried to load my website through search engine but only I have seen was a message that the site is down.
Well, that is something you would not like to receive. I did not know what to do and the only thing I could do was to read more on the Internet what advice can I try.
First step is to call hosting support to help you solve the issue. TO give you guidance what are the steps for solving the problem.
WHen I have contacted them they said I have malware in my files and I need to clean it in order to continue. I have started to look for it and I could not find any problem because I did not know anything and where to look.
They offered to restore a backup on one of the previous days when there was no problem. Well, I did not had any backup which was a disaster.
They said that they have a backup they make each and week so I can try to use one of those backup’s. I said sure, please make a restore on the week before and we will see if everything is fine.
And, it was fine. I have lost the data I have done in previous day’s but it is better to have something compared to have nothing.
The problem which caused my website to go down was a file I have inserted from the ads network. I have tried to make money by placing ads and that decision was not very good because using any kind of ads network is not a good solution.
From that day I have backup prepared and I am doing daily backup by automatic backup software and I have external drive on which I do manually backup each week.
THe only suggestion I can give is to have a backup from the day one. That is why I have put this step as a first steps when you start blogging. You cannot become a blogger not having a backup. If you do not have a backup you can be sure that you will some day end up without all of your work.
Read more: How to Setup Backup Software
Tips for Speeding up Your Blog
When you start your blog the speed of loading your website through desktop or mobile device will not be on the list that you should improve.
While it is not priority you need to pay attention to this. When you open browser and type your domain you want that your blog opens immediatelly. If your website is very slow you will need to wait seconds until website opens.
I know when I want to open some website I would like that the site opens immeditelly. WHen the site does not open in a few seconds I leave that site because I know something is not ok with that website.
It could be that the site is dead or very slow, meaning no one is working on the site. For a reader it means he will not find anything on that site.
My iste was loading in 1 seconds after I have published my website and after I have installe what I needed.
All SEO gurus will tell you that the site speed is crucial to get ranked higher in search engine. That means when someone looks for something in Chrome, Google will not offer your site to the reader because the site is to slow. Google will preffer site that loads quickly. Reader is very important and Google wants that reader have the best experience. That means site must load quickly.
I did not pay to much attention to it but eventually I have come to that point where I needed to invest some time to test and see which solutions are there. I wanted to have my site load faster than 10 seconds.
There are plugins on WordPress that can help you make site load quickly but to get the best results you need to avoid installing to many plugins. PLugins can make your site slower and more open to hacker attack because each plugin is a possible hole to break into your website.
I have lowered the number of installed plugins and I have intalled plugins that helps to reduce website loading time.
If you want to find out more which plugins I am using to increase loading speed please visit next post.
Read more: How to Speed Up Website Loading
Become a Blogger and Track Your Progress
As I have preparing my blog with all stuff I need the most important thing was to bring readers to my blog so I can make some money by placing ads on the blog.
To track your progress and how many visitors are coming to your site you need to have something that will track that. As I was reading many articles on the Internet about blogging I have found that there are several plugins you can have.
From Monster Insights that you need to pay to free ones like Google Analytics from Google. Up to now I am using both of them and Google Analytics is the one you should immediatelly install and get it running. It has tremendous information for you and it is free.
The only thing at the start is that you will not know what to use and what is important for you to look for when you look into the analytics.
There so many information I could not comprehend at the beginning. THe only reason was that I did not understand terms that are shown there and how they are calculated.
How the time pass I learn more and more and everything becomes more clear and I am using it more and more. That is the experience you need to get in order to be better blogger.
While Google analaytics is free, Monster Insights are a little better that offers more options to choose. If you want to check them install Monster Insigths and test it for your self.
I use free version which is enough for my needs.
If you want to learn more about google analytics I have made a post for you to show you what you need to do at the start and what to track as you grow through time.
Read more: How to Setup Google Analytics
Tips to Track and Improve the Blogging Progress
At the start as I was reading I stumbled up on the Google Search Console. Everyone was saying you need to have that so you can know what is your rank and how do you stand in Google search engine.
At that time I only wanted to know where I am know. What is the current place in google search result page.
What is current rank of my website on global scale.
I know that it is important to you right now that you want to know are you on the 10 million position or below among all websites on the Internet.
You can check that here on these websites, AHREFS. When you type your domain it will tell you at which position you are right now.
I can tell you that you will be above 10 million position and that position is the place where all new blogs starts.
I am not below 8 million and I am pushing it down each month. I will show you my progress every month so you can see how I am doing and what could be your results. Maybe you will make your climb even faster than I have.
If you manage to do that based on my path and errors I will be happy that I could help you. That is the reason I am writing this articles.
Let’s get back to the Google Serach console.
When I have open Google Search Console I could not understand nothing from there. As I was reading what others say, I should see what are my ranking and what I should improve.
But I did not see anything like that. As I have read topics about Google Search Console I have seen many images where they have a lot of search terms, what are their clicks and what is possition of the articles.
Sorry, when I was looking at those images at that time I did not understand nothing. Now I understand all what they have shown on those images beacuse I am using same thing.
I will show you with images what you see now at the start and what you will see later on when you will have much more results.
The point I want to tell you here is that, the Google Search Console is a very good tool to improve your results through better SEO.
You can see your rank for current blog post and what could you improve that rank. This is very important to get that blog post on the first place or at least below 10th place in SERP. What is SERP?
SERP is Search Engine Result Page. It is page which you see when you type someting in the Google Chrome and you get results. That page that shows you search results is the SERP. You can see that there are around 5 page with result you were searching for. You want to get there, on the first place to get more visitors to your site.
Read more: How to Read Data in Google Search Console
Tips to Make a Better Blog Posts With Focused Keywords
When you start writing your post there are several things you need to watch for. You cannot sit and just type your content.
You can do that if you do not bother with results how many visitors will come to you and how can you improve your rank in SERP.
When I started with writing first posts I have made a good decision. I have read a lot about how to write post and what to look for.
At the start I have installed plugin Yoast which is one of the best for SEO of your blog posts. The pluing helps you to fix errors and improve your content so it is more readable and appealing to search engines.
At the start I really did not understand all phrases and instructions but majority was very clear.
You need to have headlines, blocks of content so it is more readable, keywords in the headlines and in the article. And other stuff you need to pay attention when making a blog post.
When I look on my first blog posts I see many errors I have made and I see a lot of potential improvements. Now I understand more and I know more about writing blog posts so it is easy to see those errors on my first blog posts. But then, at the start, I was thinking that the posts were great. Without errors.
Experience is crucial thing here and I can tell you only this: You will make mistakes but you need to learn from them and not repeat them.
As we were a baby we have learn how to crawl and how to walk. Before walking there were many errors and trials but we have learned how to walk.
Same way will be with blog posts and whole blog you are doing on. Be patient and work hard and you will succeed.
I have wrote post about problems you will face when you start writing blog posts and how to avoid them. How to improve and how to make a checklist which you should use before publishing your blog post.
Read more: How to Write Blog Posts Without Errors
Get Those Readers on Your List
I always have stumble on the saying: Gold is in the list. And I am still reading the same thing. I did not care to much about that at the beginning but later on I have decided to pay attention to that and get the optin to catch subscribers e-mail.
I did not care because that was to strange to me and to far to think about it. I did not have anyting on the blog so I thought that is not necessary to collect e-mails.
And I think it is not necessary to collect e-mail at the beginning because you are still learning and you do not have anythig to offer.
But, I would suggest to collect e-mails just to have them on the list and send them notification when new blog post is published. That way you will collect e-mails in the early stage and later on you will have ready list for anything you want.
How can you set up to collect e-mail?
You have a service you can use and it is free at the beginning. You can send e-mails for free but with limitation. Limitation is in the number of monthly e-mails you can send.
After you pay for the service you will remove your limitations.
I am using Mailchimp service and for not over 2 years it is enough for me and my needs. Because it is free at the start I would recommend so you do not pay for something that you do not need at the beginning.
Later on as you develop you can pay it and get more futures.
At the start I have put small subscribe window just to collect e-mails if someone thinks that it would be good to receive e-mail when new post is published.
And I have gathered few of e-mails. It was 6-7 of them. And that nubmer did not rise in time. It has started to increase only when I have changed my optin form and when I have started to offer something in return.
It is not easy to get e-mail just for sending when new post is published. I have seen that reader will sign up only if he have something from it.
When I have give something that is usefull then I have started to receive e-mails. In the next months I have increased sign ups to over 100 of them.
The thing I have noticed is that when you stop marketing of your offer, number of people signing in decreases.
Mail lesson I have learned is that I need to promote what I have to offer or I will not get any subscribers.
Read more: How to Setup Mail Optin Form on a Blog