Back in the day, all you had to do to get to the coveted first page of Google was through up a crappy website chocked full of ‘spammy’ keywords & hey presto, you were an SEO master. Not any more. Google soon became wise to that & upgraded their algorithm to the demise of all said spamming websites.
Nowadays Google is much smarter, which is great for the majority of folks who use their search engine for genuine reasons, to find decent information. Not so good for people trying to abuse it.
One way to find search engine stardom is to start a blog. What is a blog I hear you say, basically blog is short for Web Log, kinda like an online diary which is what some people use it for, but not us, the smart business owner.
We are going to use it to ‘manipulate’ the search engines and ‘shamelessly’ drive traffic to our website.
Ready? Let’s get started!
What Tools Should I Use To ‘Blog’?
As you can imagine there are tons of options out there to start your own blog so I’ll just cut to the chase & tell what’s I thinks best, which is backed up by about a third of the Internet. WordPress!
Now, there are two different WordPress’ out there, WordPress.com & WordPress.org. WordPress.com is self-hosted and free to use if you don’t mind having a WordPress.com sub-domain ie. www.your-business.wordpress.com. They also have the option to host your domain name but, in my opinion, WordPress.org is by far the better of the two.
Getting Set Up With Wordress.Org
First things first, you’ll need to purchase a domain name to set up your WordPress blog on. Again, there are tons of options out there but I would highly recommend NameCheap. As the name suggests they really are good value for money & their support is amazing.
So once you’ve found & purchased your perfect domain name it’s time to add it to your own hosting account. More on that later. After purchasing your new domain name it will appear in your Namecheap dashboard as below.
Simply click the ‘Manage’ button to the right of your domain name to open the next window which should be as below.
Navigate to ‘Nameservers’ & change the DNS setting to ‘Custom DNS’ then add the three nameservers below (all will become clear in the next step):
- NS3.TSOHOST.CO.UK (you may have to click ‘add nameserver’ to add this one)
Once that’s done click the small green tick in the top right of the Nameservers section then that’s us done with Namecheap. Yaaaay!
Hosting Your New Blog
Doing great so far! Let’s keep it going…
Now that we have a domain name we need somewhere to host it. Again, shed loads of options out there but I would highly recommend TSO Host as they are a UK based cloud hosting platform that specialises in WordPress web hosting.
Once you’ve signed up for your hosting package you will gain access to your cloud hosting dashboard. Which will look something like below.
Click on ‘Add New Website’ as shown.
Next, we enter the new domain name you have just purchased by typing it in ensuring it’s spelt correctly & clicking ‘Next’ – And we’re almost done!
Now we are asked what hosting platform we would prefer & it’s best to just stick with the recommended ‘Linux’ platform & click ‘Create New Site’
And there we have it, a brand new domain name set up on a brand new hosting account. How easy was that?
But we’re not done yet. Just a couple of more steps & we’ll be ready to tell our stories to the world!
Still, on your cloud hosting dashboard, we’ll scroll to the bottom & install the world famous WordPress to your domain name by clicking on ‘Install Applications’
Next, we choose ‘WordPress’ & click ‘Install’
A window will pop open asking us if we want our login details sent to us so we enter our best email address and click ‘Install Application’
After a few seconds, while WordPress works it’s magic we will be given our login details, as below. You will also receive them via email.
If we click on ‘Login’ we will be given our login or ‘Admin URL’ which is simply your domain name/WP-ADMIN. So in my case, my admin URL is: www.blueprint.fifewebsitedesign.co.uk/wp-admin.
HEY PRESTO, we have a LIVE WordPress blog ready to show off to the world!
So now that we have a fresh install of the worlds most powerful blogging software we can close out our cloud hosting dashboard (keep your login safe though) & GET BUSY!
Blogging On WordPress
Sadly I don’t have time to show you all the ins & outs of WordPress but I’m sure you’ll agree this article has given you a pretty good start. My main purpose for writing this article was just that, to give you a good start & hopefully light a fire under your ass to get you started with blogging for your business as it WILL show you some return if you do it right & it can also be fun.
Let go ahead and create your first blog post.
In your WordPress dashboard click ‘Posts’ as below.
Next, we’ll click ‘Add New’ you can also delete the default WordPress post ‘Hello World’
This will open out your new best friend, the WordPress text editor. To get a basic blog post published & live on the Internet all we have to do is add a title, write or copy & paste some text into the text editor & hit ‘Publish’ as below.
**Champagne Cork Pops**
Good Job! We now have our first blog post published & online for the world to see. Yaay!
Now, don’t get scared, but that was the easy bit. The hardest part is finding good stuff to blog about, consistently!
What To Blog About
That’s the million dollar question & where most people/ business owners get stuck.
Well, hopefully, I can get you unstuck with a handful of ideas and tips to get you started at least.
- Share Industry Techniques & Insider Tricks – People just love to learn new stuff, shortcuts & trade secrets. Don’t be afraid to share all your secrets because about 1 in 10 people will actually use them. Most will see how you do it, how difficult it may be & just contact you to do it for them.
- Do Your Research – Pretty obvious but good research is always a good idea. I use Google, Social media & amazon to research any given topic. Top Tip Use Evernote to store notes when researching.
- Research Some More – If you really want to provide excellent content for your shiny new blog then real in depth research is the key. Try this neat tool Answer The Public. I can get pretty addictive though.
- Use Your Q&A – Do you have a lot of questions that your clients & customers ask all the time? Write a blog post about it.
- Keep An Eye On Local/ Regional News – This is guaranteed to give you a boost in the search engines, locally at least. Google loves fresh, relevant, shareable content so if someone from Love Island is coming to open a new hospital in your town, get down there & get a ‘selfie’ with them & blog about it.
- Stay Alert – A good way to stay a breast with all things happening in your industry is to set up some relevant Google Alerts. You will be notified by Google the minuteanything related to your business is published online. TOP TIP I use this to keep an eye on my own personal brand.
Thanks for reading & I hope this helped you out. Please feel free to leave a comment below & share this if you think it will help someone else.