LAUNCH YOUR WORDPRESS (COOKING) BLOG TODAY AND TURN IT INTO A PROFITABLE BUSINESS
Pierre here – I deal with the technical and SEO parts of this blog. It works well and the proof of it is that you are reading this page!
You are probably reading this page because you are considering setting up your own blog in order to share your passion with the whole world, and, why not, live on it.
You are right. You’re highly motivated and you enjoy writing? Starting a blog is the best way to share your passion and to exchange with other people like you. Besides wonderful meetings, you could really quickly make substantial money out of your blog.
You want to know how?
I’m here to help you. In this article, I will share my experience with you and reveal you all my secrets. I will also tell you about the usual pitfalls you want to avoid and will go with you through the whole process of setting up your blog from a technical point of view.
The first thing you must know before creating your blog is what you are capable of and your motivations:
- Do you just want to share a passion or make fair money from your blog?
- How much free time do you have you could use for your blog?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses (marketing, technical, design, etc.)?
- Are you really motivated?
If you really want to succeed, you must absolutely ask yourself these questions and know the answers. That will help you have a clear and coherent view of where you are, where you want to go and what you need to go there.
GET AN IDEA AND MAKE A PLAN
If you are serious about the creation of your blog, you are going to spend a lot of time on it, so you must absolutely choose a topic you are really interested in and about which you can write a lot.
Do not hesitate to take some time to define precisely your future blog topic. Gather information about it and think about transversal topics you could cover as well. Make sure you have sufficient material to start your blog.
Once you have your precise idea, you must make a planning. Indeed, when you manage a blog, it is crucial to regularly write articles and to regularly share things and have relationships with your community.
You must first define precise objectives with concrete figures (for instance, “reach 1,000 readers on Saturday in two months time”). Your objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. Then, your planning will be the steps you need to take to reach your objectives.
I highly recommend you plan the releases of your articles (for instance, two new articles every weeks, out on Wednesday and on Saturday at 6pm).
You should never be “writing for tomorrow” but always have a few articles ready. Indeed, you must plan everything and be ready in case you can’t write for a few days or a week.
MANAGING YOUR ECOSYSTEM
One thing I learnt when I created my first blog, is that you always have many more things to manage than what you originally thought. Being aware of that can help you anticipate and get better prepared.
You have to know that writing articles should only be taking a marginal amount of time of your blog management.
Here are the most time-consuming tasks you will have to perform:
- Creating, animating and managing your social pages (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.);
- Managing the Back Office of your blog (plugins, updates, etc.);
- Off-site SEO (linking, commenting, etc.);
- Taking pictures & answering comments on your blog;
- Creating articles for your blog.
You must also create a strong brand image. This brand image should be aligned with your targeted public and with your own convictions. Do not forget that everything contributes to your brand image: your writing, your comments, your visual identity, etc.
CHOOSE A NAME, A HOSTING, A TEMPLATE
The choice of the name of your website is an important step in the creation of your WordPress blog. This name should contribute to your brand image and be memorable.
I strongly recommend you choose a short name or a name with a meaning. Your visitors should remember it the first time they see it and must be able to write it with no mistake.
Then, you have to choose a hosting. For this difficult technical part, my best advice is the following: choose a well-known hosting, with dedicated customer care.
Do not try to save a few dollars on your hosting: that could literally kill your blog. If you are not a tech guy, choose a hosting with the best customer care.
I personally try many, many different hosts and hosting services so I can give you accurate information. To me, the best hosting of the web is provided by Siteground.
Indeed, the performances of their servers are really good and they will provide you with a 24/24 7/7 instant customer care, which is literally crazy. In addition, they have really fair prices.
Another good try if you would not like Siteground would be Bluehost. Bluehost may be the most renowned WordPress hosting of the web. They have fair prices and good performances.
Finally, you will have to choose a template for your blog. Your template will be the visual identity of your blog. Some templates may also add functionalities to your basic WordPress blog.
To choose your template, I recommend you go on ThemeForest. ThemeForest is the worldwide biggest template provider of the world. As they have a strict moderation process and high quality standards, you will find only great template on this marketplace at the best price.
In addition, they give you awesome guaranties (regular updates, refunding, great support, etc.).
How can you be sure you are choosing the right template? A template should be aligned with your brand image, have a good ergonomics and possess the desired functionalities. Do not hesitate to ask many questions to the creator of the template before buying it!
UNDERSTAND YOUR WORDPRESS ENVIRONMENT
You absolutely need to understand how WordPress works if you want to be efficient when blogging and if you want to succeed.
If you have chosen one of the hosting proposed above, you should have access to an auto-install of WordPress software.
Once WordPress is installed on your server, you can go to your Back Office to configure your blog. You can find your Back Office here: http://www.nameofyourblog.com/wp-login. Of course, you have to change “nameofyourblog.com” by the actual name + extension of your blog.
You are asked to enter the username and password you chose during the installation of WordPress. You can then click on the “Log In” button and enter the Back Office of your blog:
Let’s first have an overview of the tab at the right of your screen.
The dashboard contains two tabs: home and updates. The home tab gives you an overview of the key points of your blog (new comments, posts, pages, etc.) and helps you get started. The updates tab allows you to update your WordPress when there is a new software update. Make sure to create a backup before you update anything!
The posts tab allows you to add and manage your articles, categories and key words. A post is a “dynamic page” that can be inserted anywhere in your blog. You can order your posts under categories.
The media tab allows you to manage your media and especially the pictures and photographs you want to insert into your blog.
The pages tab allows you to create or manage your pages. You need to clearly understands the difference between a post and a page, as it is the really basis of WordPress. A page is a static element that is taken out of the workflow of your blog. A page can’t be given a category. For your blog, you will create a “contact” page or an “about” page for instance. On the contrary, a post is a dynamic element. WordPress manages these two elements in a really different way, so make sure you understand clearly the differences between a post and a page.
The comments tab displays the list of your blog’s comments. You can approve, edit, delete or flag them.
The appearance tab is crucial: it allows you to choose a template, create menus, choose and manage your widgets and change the appearance of your blog.
You can download and install plugins to your blog in order to add new functionalities in the plugins tab. You can also deactivate or remove some of them, as well as update them when needed.
The users tab allows you to manage the roles of your subscribers and also enables you to give privileges to new users.
The tools tab allows you to import different elements from the web or to export your own content.
The settings tab enables you to set some technical aspects of your blog such as the form of your URLs, the headline of your blog, your main email address, how to moderate the comments, etc.
SET UP YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG
Now that you know the basis of WordPress, it’s time to set up your blog!
First, you should install the template you just bought. To do so, you must go in the appearance tab, then click on themes and finally on the “add new” button.
Then, you must click on the “upload theme” button and submit your .zip file.
Once your template is installed, do not forget to activate it! It is possible that new tabs appear: they are specific to your template. Make sure to read carefully the documentation of your template to make sure you understand how it works.
Then, you can set up your blog itself. To do this, you must first go to the settings tab. Write the name of your blog in the first field of the general tab and a marketing catch phrase in the second one.
I recommend you create a specific e-mail address for your blog and add it in the dedicated field.
In the reading tab, you must absolutely uncheck the “search engine visibility” field in order for search engines to index your blog.
I also recommend you check the “past name” structure for your URLs, for SEO purposes.
After that, it’s up to you to customize you blog as you wish. You may modify your template a little bit so it could suit your desires, add some plugins and manage your widgets. You are also likely to create a menu (you can do that in appearance, menu tab).
Finally, you can start blogging! I wish you all the best! Do not hesitate to send me a message or to comment if you need more / specific information, I will be happy to answer you!