How to Create a Professional Website With a Thriving Blog

A website is an important part of any business, and it’s also something that you can do on the side to help fund your career as a professional photographer or filmmaker. If you’re looking to create a professional site to complement your existing social media accounts, then this post is for you. We’ll cover everything from the basic structure to the content you need to have to make it shine.

The Basics

Before you start any design project, it’s important to be aware of the basics: what CMS (content management system) you’ll be using, what hosting plan you’ll need, and what domain name you’ll need to purchase. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be working with WordPress, and we’ll use Bluehost to host our site. If you don’t know what these are, don’t worry—this article will help explain.

CMS

A content management system (CMS) is a tool that allows you to efficiently update and publish content on your site. WordPress is one of the most popular and most used CMS platforms out there, so for our purposes, we’ll be using it as an example. You’ll want to look for a quality, full-featured WordPress plugin to handle all the behind-the-scenes work for you. One of the best WordPress plugins available is the multipurpose Envira Gallery – it’s highly customizable, has a beautiful customizer, and allows you to create stunning gallery experiences on your site! Keep in mind, though, that any CMS—WordPress included—is only as good as the plugins that connect to it.

WordPress itself is also open-source, which means that it’s free and can be downloaded and used for any purpose. When you install WordPress on your site, you’ll have the option of using a free host or purchasing a premium one from Squarespace or Wix.com.

Hosting Plan

If you decide to go with the free option, then you’re going to need to search for a quality, reliable host. We recommend Bluehost because they offer a free domain with every account, and their pricing is affordable. If you choose this route, make sure that you choose a reputable host that’s been around for a while and has a good reputation. You’ll also need to purchase a hosting plan that’s suitable for your needs – ask the support team for assistance if you’re not sure what kind of hosting you need.

Domain Name

A domain name is like the address of your website – the text after the @ sign in your email address. When someone navigates to your website by entering its domain name into their browser, they’ll be directed to the specific page that you’ve configured inside WordPress. In order to create a professional site, you’ll want to purchase a reputable domain name such as [Title]: How to Create a Professional Website With a Thriving Blog.

This is also an important decision, and you have to take your time to research prospective names before making a purchase. According to the experts at Domain Authority, longer names are generally better. So if you can, try for a longer domain name to better represent your business. If money is no object to you, consider purchasing a premium domain with a memorable name that will draw people in – something that’s easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember.

Layout And Style

As a general rule of thumb, make sure that your site’s content is easy to scan – use big, bold text on a white background with a minimum amount of content. When someone visits your site, they should be able to easily find what they’re looking for – an article on wedding photography or an outfit post on being a fashionista if you’re a fashion blogger. If you want to create an eye-catching site, make sure that your content pops off the page. Since we’re using WordPress as our CMS, we can easily configure the look and feel of our site. Within the WordPress dashboard, you’ll find a number of useful tools that can help you with this – our favorite is the WordPress Customizer. It’s a great alternative to a website redesign – you can change the look and feel of your site in a matter of minutes! If you decide that you want a completely different look for your site than what you’ve already configured, then you can download a free copy of the WordPress theme from their library and install it on your site.

Content

You’ll need to decide what kind of content you want to feature on your site. If you have a wedding blog, for example, you might want to feature articles on wedding planning or the importance of good communication in marriage. Alternatively, you could use your site to profile talented creatives in your field – whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, or a web developer. Make sure that the content you choose is interesting, informative, and most importantly, makes sense for your target audience.

When it comes to content, length is always an issue – the longer the piece, the more likely it is to be deemed as content for the sake of content. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of articles or a book! Remember, people are more likely to subscribe to a newsletter as opposed to reading an entire article on a blog.

A Thriving Blog

A thriving blog is a blog that draws in a sizable amount of traffic on a regular basis. The term “thriving” means that the blog consistently draws in a steady stream of visitors – often in large numbers – and the blogger makes money online through various affiliate programs and selling and displaying ads on their site. A thriving blog makes for a great business blog, as it’s already established and has a good reputation – it’s easy for potential customers to find and connect with you online.

You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track the traffic that comes to your site. Once you have this information, you can decide what is and isn’t working online and make changes accordingly. You should also consider looking into other ways of generating income from a blog – maybe you can sell and ship products related to your industry, or you can become a brand ambassador for a company and earn a commission from anything you promote.

A thriving blog will usually feature a combination of the following:

  • a fairly large amount of content regularly published online (ideally, at least 2-3 new articles per week)
  • informative and engaging content that is of interest to your target audience
  • a steady stream of high-quality, original content that you’ve either created yourself or which you’ve found and verified
  • a mix of video, audio, and text content—the more the merrier!
  • at least one link to an outbound website or blog for more information on your subject matter

Once you have a thriving blog in place, you can use the information to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry – consider creating online communities around your brand and engaging with your audience through various forms of social media.