There are many guides on how to start your successful blog? This is not as daunting as you may think. You will be thinking where do I start? How much is this going to cost me? What are the right tools?
When I started my blog I was utterly clueless; I did not have any experience in HTML, coding or even knowing what web hosting meant.
In this article, I will provide you with the steps to running a successful blog
Setting up your Blog is fun and easy
Running your Blog gives you great satisfaction and opens up so many different worlds for you to explore. After reading this post, you will find out how easy it is to be up and running, a little hard work and some passion are all you need. I have been through the learning experience, bought additional tools and subscriptions and learned some valuable lessons along the way.
3 requirements on How to Start Your Own Successful Blog?
3 hours a day to work on your Blog
Warning:This can become addictive, so you may need lots of coffee and cut down on your social life
The steps I followed to get my blog live
What to Blog About
Select your domain name and hosting provider in South Africa
Choose a blogging platform?
Quick installation of WordPress
Pick a website theme and configure
1. What to Blog About
If you want to know how to start a blog in South Africa, you need to select a category or industry you want to enter? What are your passions and interests? If you are starting a blog for your company website, then you are obviously forced to write about your products and services.
You may want to start a biltong blog because you are passionate about the topic. Whatever you decide to choose, make sure you love the industry so much that working on a Blog is fun
At the end of the day, you want to strive to be an expert in your field. You want people to visit you because of the quality content that you provide.
2. Select your domain name and hosting provider
When someone told me you need a domain name and web hosting, my first reaction was ….. I need Whaaaat.
Finding your unique domain name and hosting provider was the easiest step and the most fun. I was entering into unknown territory which taught me to learn and stay motivated. Very soon, you will be a pro and teach others how to start there own successful blog
Things to consider when choosing a domain name
Your audience needs to know what your blog is about when they see your name. Try to be as descriptive as possible which represents your brand or topic. If you are blogging about fishing in South Africa, you don’t have to use the words fishing but something that identifies the sport.
For example, you could use the phrase tackle, sinker or bait.
A Good Domain Name
After establishing what name you would like to choose for your blog, it’s now time to think of a good domain name to starting your successful blog
Look for a domain name that is short, to the point, easy to remember and easy to type as well as a name that is easy to remember. Steer away from names that include hyphens and numbers. More factors to consider when selecting a good domain name
Choose your Web Hosting package and select a domain name
To start a blog in South Africa, it’s best to find a South Africa web hosting company to host your blog. My favourite hosting company is Webnerd, find your domain name and choose your hosting package; you will be finished in a few clicks and ready to start the installation of your new website. Fun times Webnerd’s hosting packagesgive you the best features and tools to host any website, they are one of the cheapest premium hosting companies with all the bells and whistles.
Follow these steps:
Use the domain search tool to find an available domain name for your blog site.
If your domain name is available, you will get “congratulations” alert, scroll down the page and click Continue.
You will land on the domain configuration page, click on “[No Hosting! Click to Add]”
To start, choose the Geek package at R49 per month, you can always decide to upgrade at a later stage
By default the check box “Use a domain already in my shopping cart” will be checked”. That’s fine, click Continue
Then choose billing cycle. You can pay monthly or annually
Fill in your details, and the admin is complete. You now have your Web hosting and domain name and ready to conquer the world.
3. Choose your blogging platform
Choose the right blogging platform is a big choice. If you are not technical or do not have coding skills, then I recommend WordPress self-hosted blog, otherwise known as WordPress.org. Don’t get confused with the hosted wordpress.com blogging platform.
There is a reason why one in every four sites on the internet is built using WordPress as the chosen platform. When people ask me, how did you start your blog? The quick and easy answer is simply – WordPress
Why you can’t go wrong with WordPress?
Easy to install
Easy to find information on the web related to anything about WordPress.
Capabilities are endless with one click plugins
Themes, layouts, templates at your fingertips
Easy to change theme if you want to upgrade
Made for bloggers
Excellent for marketers to start a blog
Turn your site into a money making machine
4. Quick installation of WordPress
You can install WordPress software right from your Webnerd cPanel dashboard that’s bundled with your Hosting purchase.
Login with the details they provide
Scroll to the bottom; you will see an icon named WordPress under scripts.
Click on the icon, this will take you to the next page to install WordPress
Fill in your details in the text fields.
leave the first field as default if you don’t have an SSL certificate. You can buy an SSL certificate for security at a later stage
The second field leave the same as default
Enter the name of your site and site description in the next two fields
Site username and password can be any name of your choice. Save these details as you will need this to enter into your WordPress site
At the bottom, enter in any email address which can be used to send the install details
lastly, click install
Click on the link in the success screen to login to the backend of your website. Use the username and password you entered in the previous screen
5. Pick a Website theme and configure
There are thousands of WordPress themes available, either free or premium. Finding the right template to choose is where it can start becoming messy. Remember, keep focussed and concentrate on whats at task – to create your blog and start making money
Luckily I have done the hard yards and found what works best for bloggers. I have tried out over 100 themes, some paid and some free.
There are plenty factors when choosing the right theme for your site
Compatability with your WordPress install
Support and tutorials
Compatible with plugins for extra functionality
Look at when the theme was last updated
Select a theme with good Reviews
Drop and drag builder included
Easy to use
The best theme in my experience is the Newspaper theme from ThemeForest, it ticks all the boxes and is easy to use.
Visit ThemeForest to access the Newspaper theme, it’s about $55 and well worth the once off spend. After you have purchased the item, you simply download and upload to your WordPress install through the backend of your WordPress site. Make sure you upload the main zip file, you will get instructions on how to import into WordPress. More information choosing the right theme
6. Now you know how to start a blog in South Africa – start blogging
To be a successful blogger you need to present valuable content to your audience. Make your blog posts educational and interesting so your followers can’t wait for the next story or article. It’s all about the content.
Spend 80% of your time working on a Headline
Your headline is the Holy grail of your article, it’s the main ingredient of your content, if the headline does not speak to your audience they will leave and never end up reading your post.
Get found in search engines – The basic SEO checklist
Keyword research – Find keywords you would like people to search on Google to find your blog post. Basic rule, find keywords with low competition and high searches. Don’t try for the super difficult phrases as it will be nearly impossible to rank on Google. Choose your fights wisely especially if you have a new domain (Domain Authority is a big factor to rank on search engines) Sign up with KWFinder, the best tools to use to find keywords and watch your rankings
Make sure your keywords are in your meta title and description
Use your main keyword in your H1 header. H2 headers can be related to your keyword
2% of your content needs to include your keyword. Don’t over do this as it can backfire and Google will see this as keyword stuffing
Use Keywords through out in a natural tone. Don’t force keywords in your content to seem unnatural
Use images every 300-500 words and make sure you use your keyword in the alt tag in your main image. The rest of the images need to relate to the subheading
Try and include infographics and videos in your pages or posts as well
Get backlinks from authoritative sites. These are thought leaders in the industry that have created posts that are already ranking and have a high domain authority which will help Google rankings
Summary of the tools that will help your blogging career