So you think you want to be a blogger? Well let me tell you it is a lot more than just typing up a few words and putting it out there for the world to see. Let me tell you what I have learned my first year of blogging to help you on the path to success from the start.
First, you need to ask some basic questions:
- What do I want to blog about?
- How much time do I want to spend blogging?
- Am I willing to invest money in my blog?
- Is this strictly for fun or for profit? (**VERY IMPORTANT**)
- Do I want to do this on my own or partner with others?
Now… That being said. Once you have your host and website domain name, you need to install WordPress (which is just a platform). You will also need to find a “theme” to install. The theme is what your website will look like. There are a lot of free themes out there to choose from, but if you really want to customize and have unlimited possibilities. I suggest you also look at investing in a custom theme. I chose “Elegant Themes” Aggregate for both Daily Dish and Busy Vegetarian Mom.
Once you have all that set up, now it is time to add your plug-ins. This is what really makes WordPress the platform you want to use. There are literally thousands of free programs that you can install that can do all sorts of very cool things for your website. This is a list of plug-ins I use personally and think are awesome!
Plug-ins you must have:
Akismet: Protect your blog from comment and trackback spam.
Alexa Claim and Verify: Make an “Alexa” acc0unt and easily verify your site. Companies will want to see your Alexa Score
CommentLuv: Reward your readers by automatically placing a link to their last blog post at the end of their comment.
Easy Recipe: Makes it easy to enter, format and print your recipes, as well as automagically doing all the geeky stuff needed for Google’s Recipe View.
Floating Social Media Icon: An easy way to add your social media on all pages of your blog. Highly visible.
Hotlink Protection: stop external web servers from linking directly to your files.
Jetpack by WordPress: *A MUST have. So many things this plug-in does from stats, notifications, sharing buttons, etc..
LinkWithin: is a blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive. http://www.linkwithin.com/learn
NoFollowr: Simply click a checkmark in a published post to toggle between a link’s nofollow status.
Pinterest “Pin It” Button: Add a Pinterest “Pin It” Button to your posts and pages allowing your readers easily pin your images. Includes shortcode and widget.
Print Friendly and PDF: PrintFriendly & PDF optimizes your pages for print. Help your readers save paper and ink, plus enjoy your content in printed form. Readers can choose which parts of the page they want to print and which ones to delete!
Related Posts and Images by Zemanta: Easy drop in photos and links that relate to your posts. Your links will also be made available to other bloggers via this plug-in. I LOVE it!
SEO by Yoast: **Another MUST HAVE** A handy little tool to take the guess work out of SEO for your blog posts.
Simple Social Buttons: Allows others to easily share your posts via social media
Ultimate TinyMCE: Allows you to add editing tools to your Edit Post screen. Add fonts, colors and text size plus so much more.
What would Seth Godin Do? Allows a “Call to Action” on your posts and pages. Write a custom message for new users and return users. Use it get more fb, twitter, rss or email. Or just to say thanks! Message can appear on top or bottom of posts and pages.
WordPress Amazon Associate: Quickly and easily monetize your website through the integration of Amazon products and widgets tagged with your associate id. This plugin makes it SO easy to use your associate account! Love this one!
WordPress Editorial Calendar: Makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.
WP Post Signature: This plugin allows you to append a signature after every post.
This is just a partial list of helpful plug-ins that I use. If you are looking for more help with any blogging questions and a more complete list of helpful plug-ins, Bloggy Girls Club on Facebook is my “go to” group. They truly are awesome!
I hope you found Part 1 useful. Stay tuned for Part 2 where I share what I know about writing, sharing and networking!
- How to setup a good layout of your WordPress blog? [Learn how Premium theme and Layout work] (bloggingmatters.net)
- My favorite WordPress Plugins (dragonsreach.it)
- 3 Must-Follow Steps of Making your Blog Successful in every Niche – [How to Make your Blog Successful] Part 1 (bloggingmatters.net)
- 6 Ways to Make WordPress theme SEO Optimized for your Blog [SEO and WP Premium theme] (bloggingmatters.net)
- 16 of the Most Common WordPress Mistakes (sitepoint.com)