Today’s world is filled with a tremendous volume of information. In fact, every time I think of writing something, the first thing I do is to google the topic. I do it, just to see whether the information I’m about to provide in my upcoming article is already present on the web or not. Almost every second a new blog post takes birth and every 3 seconds an infant blog dies. So, I think we are pretty much even out. Well, I’m from the few who managed to survive in today’s world for more than a year. I learned a lot of useful stuff which I wish someone would have told me earlier. In this article, I will give 5 Useful Advice that could change the entire course of your blogging journey from the day one.
#1. Choose Your Website’s Domain Name Wisely
Well, this is something you will hear every now and then. A domain name is what helps people to remember you as a brand. It becomes the centralized identity for your work. It plays a vital role and you must not take it lightly.
I had to perform a domain migration on my first website just because I was not clear with the intent. I had to start from the scratch and my first website experienced an infant death. You can read more in the about section of BMA.
The most important advice would be to become clear about the purpose of your website but I think that could be summed up under domain name selection. After all, domain name must reflect the purpose of your website. If you are to open a shop to sell dog food, you would not buy a domain like HorseCaliber[DOT]com or SmellyCheeseSandwich[DOT]com. You would definitely choose something which would resonate with the kind of work you do. It should define the purpose of your website.
Checklist for choosing domain name
There are a few points that you must pay attention to while selecting your domain name.
Go with a DOT COM domain
If you are not sure whether your blog or website will be targeting the international audience, in that case, a DOT COM domain is a safe bet.
Why am I telling you to go with DOT COM domain?
Because I have been there. I made a mistake of choosing a DOT IN domain just because I thought my website would be targeting audience based in India. Although, DOT IN is a first class domain name, it represents a specific geographic region (India). There are fewer chances that this link will pop up on someone’s screen who is sitting in the USA unless his search query is very close to the keywords you have attached in your blog post.
There are other benefits of a DOT COM domain. It helps you in branding. DOT COM domains are the first thing any individual would put in the address bar without knowing. That is the reason why all the top level social networks and websites have a DOT COM domain. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, Snapchat or any xyz company. You will find DOT COM everywhere. Therefore, if you are in a place similar to where I was a year ago. I would suggest, you go with the dot com domain.
Domain name should be Iconic
Your website logo is the next thing which plays a major role in your branding. If you want to increase your brand value, you must have a logo associated with your website from the day one. Do not wait for visitors to come in and traffic to grow before investing in your website’s logo. You have a website then it must be attached to a symbol or icon or logo. A logo must be there from day one.
A logo doesn’t have to be in resemblance to your domain name but it feels good to have a logo that reflects your domain name and hence the purpose of your website.
Have you noticed the logo of Apple, 3M, Google, Fedex, Amazon and many other top players? They all have an iconic logo attached to their brand. As soon as I say apple, your mind brings an image of a bitten apple in front of you instead of an actual apple. That is the power of your logo and domain name. Therefore, choose a domain which is easy to put in pictures and it is should be expressive.
Domain name must not exceed 16 characters
According to a research article (read here), words that exceed 16 characters are difficult to remember. That is why most of the domain names are a combination of more than 2-3 words. For ex- BeMyAficionado.com, ProBlogger.com, SmartBlogger.com, ShoutMeLoud.com and many others.
Just try to be purposeful in with whatever you choose and you will be good to go. I have written a detailed article on how to choose a domain name. Read it here,
#2. Content Management System
I built my first website all by myself with the use of CodeIgniter framework. It was all fun and happening to create and manage every aspect of my website by myself. At that time, I did not even have a knowledge about any Content Management System. I created my very own personalized dashboard from where I use to write an article and post them. It was all fun in the beginning. But, once the website starts to gain a little traffic, website starts demanding more and more. That is where the role of developer and blogger doesn’t go well together.
For every single little feature that I need, I had to get in the code and create a feature for that. I remember how I coded a complete sitemap architecture for my blog by getting up all night after coming home from college. Then as my blog grew a bit more there was another demand for a proper caching mechanism to reduce page load time. Although, there is an inbuilt feature for that in CodeIgniter the conditions on which cache must be updated and deleted with blog updated had to be managed. For that, I had to code another feature.?
A point came in where one of my clients asked me to build him a website using WordPress. That was the time when I actually digged in a Content Management System and realized shit? I was doing the same fucking thing all time long. I was in the process of creating another Content Management System and that too the only one in which I will be the only person writing plugins.
It was a time to make a decision.
To make a shift.
I use to think, if only I would have done enough research before starting a full time blog I would have saved a lot of my valuable time. What if Somebody would have told me about CMS before :/
I took the opportunity.
As soon as I was done with my client’s project. I took another project and that to shift my website to WordPress. Although, this time the task was not easy. It was about porting my entire website to another platform altogether.
I did it.
I did it and I wrote an entire article on that explaining each and every single step that I took in order to complete the porting process. It was challenging and I loved doing it. After that, the life became really easy.
- Port CodeIgniter Website to WordPress
- Easiest Way to port any website to WordPress.
- Best way to port a WordPress website to new Domain
WordPress comes with lots of features right out-of-the-box.
- The dashboard that took me almost 2 days to complete by coding was already there.
- The SEO feature architecture for which I spent my entire night, well, it was already there. ?On top of that, I installed Yoast SEO plugin that did almost everything that I needed to do to create a SEO friendly blog. WOW!
- Tags and Categories were already there.
- Featured Image [Check]
- Caching system – I installed WP Super Cache Plugin and that solved my problem. It was super easy. Some people feel that there is a lot of configuration involved with it but I think it was super easy and fluid for me.
- Image Compression – SmushIt! Is there to solve the problem
- A lot many plugins for every need…
WordPress has got everything that a blogger needs in order to maintain a blog. Blogger did not had to think about the coding part or the development part. All that blogger needs to do is to write the articles. It is that easy and it is fun.
Also, Search engines (especially google) has some kind of affinity towards WordPress powered website. Check out the image below:
(Image Credits: stackpathdns.com)
As you can see in the image above that WordPress powered websites receive comparatively more clicks as compared to other content management systems.
#3. Selecting the best SEO Friendly Theme
You will find a ton of free WordPress theme in the market, but you have to be extra choosy before choosing a theme for your website. The reason is obvious, you want your website to rank better. There are mainly three ways of choosing the best SEO friendly theme,
- Buy a Theme from a reputed source such as ElegantThemes or Genesis. This will cost you extra $100-200 but it will be worth in long run.
- Select the theme from the free WordPress theme cloud. This could be daunting at first because there are thousands of free themes in the WordPress theme market. However, there is a process of shortlisting the theme that you need.
– Look for the specific Genre.
– Check whether the tags and categories are clearly visible.
– Check whether website uses H1 tags in the right way. The theme must not be overloaded with unnecessary H1 tags. This could adversely affect the SEO ofo your website.
– Check for the comment section.
- Create your theme by yourself or by hiring a web developer. This is what I chose for my website. I designed my own theme. The theme which you are experiencing right now is all made by me. I planned each and every thing by myself and that is what helping me to keep up with ever changing needs.
Never ignore the importance of your theme. The theme is what is going to be with you for a really long time. Give some time to this and make it perfect in the first shot. I have learned this the hard way and I want you all to learn from my mistakes and do not repeat them rather utilize that time to make new mistakes and learn from it.
#4. Website Hosting Provider
This is something for which you will thank me later. Your website hosting is the backbone of your overall website experience. Users will love to visit your website if your website is fast, rich in experience i.e. UI|UX and relevant content. Relevant content is like a push-up bra for your blog. Well, I will come to relevant content later but first let me give you the most important thing which will help you to start your blog quickly and in the most affordable prices. I have compiled a list of best hosting providers with promo discount links. Check out the embedded view below. Feel free to download it and share with your friends and family. I will keep on updating this file as I find more and more offers.
You are from a non-technical background and looking for someone who can setup a website for you then TRY ME. I would love to do it for you. Simply purchase the best hosting from the list and send me a mail regarding it [varun.shrivastava[at]bemyaficionado.com]. I will bring your website up at the earliest.
You can read the below articles for more details about different hostings
If you have slightest of doubt in choosing the best solution for yourself then do come to me without hesitating. You can direct message me on facebook by introducing yourself and I will be more than happy to help you with your queries.
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#5. Deliver Relevant Content Consistently
This heading is rather incomplete, don’t you think. What is it that comes to your mind when you read Deliver Relevant Content Consistently?
Now, attach the purpose of your website to this heading and you will understand it. All this means is having a niche and delivering content around that niche. This, in turn, helps google (or search engines) to associate your website with something relevant.
Let’s take the example of BeMyAficionado.com, it was started as a lifestyle blog and it is still that but there is a difference between the past and today.
In the past, I used to write random stuff that was happening to me in my life. This made my blog non-directional (you know what I mean). I was throwing all sorts of content out to the readers. My traffic was badly segregated and I had fewer subscribers. As I kept on blogging and read other blogs and their tips and advice, it was then my light bulb went on. It was not the content that is important for the success of any website, it is the relevant content that is delivered on a consistent basis that makes a rich blog or website.
Think of your website as an empty box of _________ (something). This box is labelled with a specific keyword. Now, your job is to fill this box with all the content that is relevant to the front label of your box. This is it. This is all you need to do in order to rank well and hold a specific niche on the internet. Google will love it and definitely appreciate your initiative by pushing it to the front page.
So, if your light bulb has turned on then please comment below with your ah-ha moment :p Just Kidding.
I will leave you with this 5 advice before you start your blog or in case you have already started your blog. The implementation part is still in your hands.
In case you need any help with any part of your website, feel free to tweet me @vs_shrivastava, direct message me on Instagram @vs_lala or add me on LinkedIn. You can also add our facebook page for latest blog updates and offers.?
Do Share, Like, Comment, Speak, Dance and keep blogging, YO 🙂