How TO: Setup A Self Hosted WordPress Blog
Where does blogging fit into your social media mix? Many people that I encounter still haven’t taken the time to start a blog for their business. Blogging should be one of the main cores of your business; it should be right in the middle of your social media mix, the bullseye; the main target.
Blogging is important due to being highly indexed on internet search engines by providing consistent information in your particular niche. What does that really mean? This means if you consistently write on a particular topic, the search engines will start to recognize you as the authority in that particular area and raise your website higher in the rankings.
It is important to note that your blog is the hub where all of your social media networks feed into for optimal exposure. Some people feel overwhelmed by the notion of starting and maintaining a blog so I thought I would discuss the necessary steps to setup your wordpress blog as well as share the top wordpress plugins to get you off to a racing start.
Decide On A Domain Name
Don’t just choose any name for your domain. It is best to think in terms of how your ideal client would search for you on the internet. Be sure to invest time into your keyword search using Google’s keyword search tool. Next, check to make sure your desired domain name is available by using the domain search feature on Godaddy.com or any other hosting company.
Choose Your Hosting Company
There are many hosting companies to choose from and I will list a few options:
Hostican (now Jumpline.com) – this is a hosting company that is very reliable and has great customer service. They also guarantee their uptime. They even put their money where their mouth is and say “if our uptime isn’t 99.9% then we will give you one month free!”
Hostgator – is a very popular service. It is one of the world’s top 10 largest web hosting companies with more than 2,500,000 hosted domains. They have over 300 employees to provide you superior around the clock support. They are a great choice whether you are looking for business, personal, or even Fortune 500 hosting.
Explore Your Cpanel
After signing up with a hosting company, you will receive an email with a link to your cpanel, which is your back office for your website. There is an area in your cpanel called Fantastico Deluxe in the Software and Services section. This is where you will install WordPress to your domain. Just simply click on install and add your user name and password and you have officially installed WordPress!
Select Your WordPress Theme
I highly suggest to review several different blog designs especially in your niche to find a design that will be best suited for your readers. There are many free WordPress designs that can be found by searching the internet. The benefit of paying for a theme is the ability for customization and functionality. Here are a few popular wordpress design themes that charge a one time fee.
Ithemes provide high-quality, search engine optimized WordPress web templates for small businesses, professionals and organizations — from real estate agents to churches to photographers, and thousands of niche industries in between. These designs are not built strictly for blogs or to even be blogs. They are built to be and run entire small business websites that might want integrated blogs to develop an interactive community around their products and services and find new customers via the search engines.
Thesis boasts the strongest SEO of any theme on the market today thanks to its expertly-coded HTML
+ PHP framework. Not only that, Thesis also contains additional options that will allow you to fine-tune each and every page of your site. The days of worrying about your in-site SEO are over—with Thesis, your strategy is “just add killer content.” Thesis is also known for it’s simple, sleek design that draws people to want to read more.
AgentPress helps industry savvy real estate agents like you build better a better business with its intuitive design, powerful functionality, and smart listings.
Rise above the market and achieve results by showcasing your professional services and up-to-the-minute resources with the buyer-friendly layouts of AgentPress. Your clients will thank you for it.
Once you login into your wordpress blog, look for the themes section as seen in this screenshot:
Proceed to upload your purchased or free theme and your new design is ready for some great content. Now you are ready to add some killer wordpress plugins that will set you apart from your competition.
Killer WordPress Plugins
SEO Friendly Images
SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress optimization plugin which automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. This plugin improves traffic from search results. Images are great for your blog but it is so easy as you upload them to shorten the actual name of the image file. I have had 60% more traffic to my blog just by naming my image files with keywords.
Platinum SEO Pack
Platinum SEO Plugin is the ultimate wordpress SEO solution. Platinum SEO Plugin offers all the features of All in One SEO plugin plus more. Here are a few key features:
- Optimized Post and Page Titles for search engines
- Generates all SEO relevant META tags automatically
- Helps you avoid duplicate content
Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post with new content.
Akismet is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue and restore innocence to blogging, so you never have to worry about spam again.
Contact Form is a great choice if you value simplicity and flexibility. It provides a form on your website as an easy way for your readers to contact you. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail settings. You can manage multiple contact forms as well.
Twitter Button is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily integrate the tweet button in your blog. The button shows a live count of the number of times your webpage or blog post has been tweeted.
Yet Another Related Post
Yet Another Related Post gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site.
Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker checks your posts for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found. Obviously you don’t want your readers to be annoyed by clicking a link that leads nowhere so this plugin is awesome.
WordPress Mobile Edition
WordPress Mobile Edition is a plugin that shows an interface designed when visitors come to your site on a mobile device. Mobile browsers are automatically detected, the list of mobile browsers can be customized on the settings page. More and more people are accessing the internet via their mobile devices so you might as well make sure your blog is mobile ready.
Pinterest Pin It Button
Pinterest Pin It Button easily spread your content via the hottest new social media site. Happy Pinning!
Facebook Like Button
Facebook Like Button allows your blog content to be posted to your or anyone else’s Facebook newsfeed for more exposure and others can read your articles.
There are thousands upon thousands of different plugins, but keep in mind that depending on the design of your theme, certain plugins may not work well with other plugins. It is highly recommended to install plugins one at a time to make sure there are no issues with the presentation of your blog design.
For example, the Disqus commenting system is another great plugin, but it conflicted with my blog design and didn’t work properly. After adjusting some programming code, this plugin is now working properly on my blog.
This is just the initial start for your wordpress blog while providing excellent content is the most important part to the success of your blog. What wordpress plugins are you using that help to build community, search engine optimization and viral capabilities? Subscribe to my blog by clicking the button below for the latest strategies to market your business.
Naomi Trower is an authority on social media marketing for the real estate and mortgage industries. Her articles have appeared in The Niche Report, Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing Camp. This inspired her to write her popular ebook, Social Media Marketing for Mortgage & Real Estate Professionals, which will be released in it’s 2nd edition later this year. Naomi has also been seen on stage at prestigious industry events such as Mortgage Revolution San Francisco and Agent Reboot Los Angeles. Naomi and her husband Kylon are the owners of Premier Equity and Premier Realty Group, operating with a team of both mortgage and real estate professionals. For the last 10 years, they have established proven success strategies to thrive in today’s economy. Connect with her on her blog http://NaomiTrower.com
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