Now that we have found our keyword and niche, it’s time to start focusing our efforts on actually getting the blog live and building the creative content and foundation of the site. In this part of the case study we are going to cover the basics of setting up a blog (domain and hosting), then move into the content creation and site setup.
The Basics of Setting Up Your First Blog
The domain name of your site is going to be important for many reasons. Not only is it going to be what your site name will be and recognized as, but you will also have it for the life of your site and it can not be changed. Since there are billions of domain names that are already taken, you are going to have to get creative with your domain name.
I would try to get a “.com” domain name or a “.net” or “.org” at the very least. Don’t bother with any other extensions and stay away from using dashes and numbers in your domain name. Also don’t use “z” in the place of “s” or try to get too creative with your domain name. Think about how someone would remember your site name if you were simply telling it to them and not writing it down. In other words, keep it simple.
For this niche site blog project I decided to go with the domain name of TechSupportJobSource.com.
There are plenty of reasons why I went for this domain versus other names out there and the reasons were:
- “tech support job” is in the domain, but not going for any exact match terms
- the domain name is catchy and easy to remember
- the name also allows for growth within the tech support job niche
Google is no longer a fan of “exact match domains”, meaning if your niche keyword was “big red widgets”, they wouldn’t rank you as well as they used to if you went and got “bigredwidgets.com“. It’s still possible to rank well if you create a great site, but this is one of the latest changes to their algorithms.
Long story short… come up with an effective domain name that works for your long term business and niche.
Every web site or blog needs to have a hosting company that physically stores all of the data on the internet. We don’t even need to get into the detailed specs as it’s so ridiculously easy and cheap to get setup with a web hosting and installing wordpress on your server.
I’ve personally been using HostGator for many years now and they are my host for all of my sites. Without trying to sell them, they are simply the best and have killer tech support (email, phone and chat!). You can get setup with a hosting package for as low as $3.
You also have the option to setup a blog for free through Blogger or WordPress, but I don’t recommend this as it’s unprofessional to host your site without your own domain name, and all of your content is stored on their servers which means you are held hostage to their rules / terms and conditions.
If you don’t already have your own domain and hosting, you can get setup with HostGator right now and be up and running in just a few minutes. Also, if you aren’t sure how to set it up, just shoot me an email and I can do this for you at no cost.
Getting Your Blog Live with Content and Life
The life of your blog is going to come from it’s content, backlinks and the community of readers you have going to the site. Since your blog is brand new, right now we can only focus on the content creation of the site. Here are some of the first pages you should think about creating.
First Blog Post – Once you install wordpress on your server, it will automatically setup a first page for you called “Hello world!”, which is their example of a blog post page. You can edit this page or delete it from your site entirely. Whatever you do, just make sure you are focusing on creating quality content for the site there on.
About Me Page - An about me page sounds exactly like what it sounds like… a page all about you or the blog. The secret to making a great about me page is to make it useful and provide the reader with quality substance and giving them a reason to visit your site. Stay away from being boring and bland, think about some of the greatest about me pages you’ve read in the past and try to create a great one for your site. After all, they are one of the most read and under monetized pages on a blog!
Contact Page – The contact page is where people are going to go when they want to send you an email or have a question. Most people like to put a simple contact form on this page, which can easily be setup through the use of a wordpress plugin (search “contact form”).
As your blog continues to grow in size there are plenty of other posts, pages and areas that you will be building out for the site. Everything from categories, tags, side bar menus, widgets, headers and much more.
Using wordpress you have access to millions of free and premium themes that you can use for your site. Right now the important focus is on your content and link building, but if you have a nice wordpress theme in mind, feel free to upload it to your blog right away.
For this site I’m going to be using the Genesis Themework and their premium Executive Theme. I already have a membership to their site and spent some time looking around at different themes and this one worked out well for the concept and layout of the site.
As mentioned, the important focus right now is on your actual site content and NOT the theme of your site. As the site continues to grow, increase in traffic and search rankings I will then have a custom wordpress theme designed for the site.
Right now it’s all about the content and growing process.
The Live Result of Your Blog
In a short amount of time after setting up your domain and hosting account along with your first few pages of content, you should have a decent setup for your blog.
You can see a screenshot of the TechSupportJobSource.com in the pic below. As we continue to build out the content for the site it will look much better and become an official site with valuable content.
However, this is still only the beginning for our site. Now we must not only think about content creation, but how we can continue to improve the look and use of our sites.
Site Improvements to Come!
Getting your blog live with content is one of the most exciting times for your blog, but there are still a lot of things we need to do before we can be considered a “real blog” and providing value and a name for ourselves.
The follow is a list of areas that you can implement into your blog now or further down the road. I recommend setting up your social networking pages and Google Analytics sooner than later, but we will be covering more of that in the next chapter.
Creating a logo for your blog isn’t important in the beginning stages, but I like to have one created as soon as I can. When people see your blog and you are trying to become an “authority” within your niche, giving your audience a logo or brand that they will continually see will only continue to influence your brand over time.
I currently have a logo design in the works for TechSupportJobSource.com and will soon provide you with a walk through post on the creation process and who I use for nearly all of my logo design work.
Social Networks & RSS
You have a social network for yourself, so you should also have one for your business and blogs. Take the time to create a free account on Twitter and Facebook for your blog. You will also want to setup an RSS feed through FeedBurner so people can subscribe to your blog and receive your latest posts. You may also want to sign up for an account through Aweber if you want to start building out your own mailing list.
Another important thing to remember to set your new blog with is Google Analytics. This free tracking system will allow you to monitor the traffic coming to your site and how they are getting there. In addition to Google Analytics, you can also setup use Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools to track any reports and changes you might be seeing in their respective search engines.