Everything You Need to Know About Starting Your Own WordPress Blog
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform of all time. With over 2.7 million active monthly users and over 300 million active installs, it’s the perfect choice for anyone looking to start a blog. You’ll find a wealth of information online to help you get started. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about starting a WordPress blog with tips on how to choose a niche, the best affiliate products to promote, how to monetize and grow your blog, and much more.
If you’re looking to start a blog, you have a variety of options. Many CMSes (content management systems) were designed to make blogging simple, and WordPress is the best-known and most-used CMS for this purpose. It’s also the most popular choice for users who want to maintain control over the content on their site. If you want to start a blog for your own amusement or to create blogs for clients, WordPress is the obvious choice.
What’s the Difference Between Blogs and Websites?
To help you understand the basic concepts behind creating a blog, let’s first discuss what’s the difference between blogs and websites. A blog is generally used to discuss or report on a variety of subjects. It can be used to write about anything from news stories to celebrities to politics to recipes or home decoration tips. A blog traditionally has no restrictions on what can be published when compared to a website which has “no pornography, no spam, and no plagiarism.”
A website is, as the name would suggest, a location where content is presented, usually in the form of text, images, audio, and video. Websites can cover anything and can feature anything when compared to blogs which are more “traditional” in nature. A website can be a single page with an emphasis on content, or it can be a multi-part blog series covering a variety of topics.
What’s the Difference Between a Blogger and an Author?
A blogger is someone who shares content or opinions on a variety of topics or subjects via blogs. Bloggers traditionally have not always had the benefit of professional editing or graphic design skills which have made them somewhat of a less-desirable option when it comes to the traditional media. Because of this, many bloggers supplement their income with affiliate marketing or paid advertising.
An author is someone who creates content for a living, whether through traditional publishing or independently. The line between the two can become blurred, as many people are both bloggers and authors.
Does Everyone Need a Blog?
No one needs a blog per se, but every business or individual potentially can benefit from blogging. If you’re looking for ways to establish credibility, grow your audience, or just garner interest, you can start a blog. Just remember that the more you put out, the more you’ll get back. With that, your blog can become a bit of a snowball effect, getting more and more attention as you publish regular content.
How Do I Make Money From a Blog?
Once you’ve got a blog set up and you’re beginning to build an audience, how do you monetize it? There are a variety of strategies, but most bloggers rely on one of the following:
Monetizing Free Content
Many bloggers choose to monetize their content for free. They’ll create valuable content, package it in a way that makes it appealing and use different distribution platforms to get the word out. Some of the most popular and profitable blogs on the internet today operate under this monetization model.
You might be thinking that this isn’t a viable option if you want to make money off your blog. You’d be right. Running a free blog where you don’t expect to make money is perfectly acceptable if that’s what you want. However, if you want to make money from your blog, you’ll need to find a way to do it. The fact that you’re even considering this means that you want to make money from your blog, which is a great place to be. Keep that in mind.
Monetizing Product Reviews
If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom, you might have popped in to their department store to browse the wares. If so, you might remember seeing the “Bloggers Reveal Their Favorite Fashion, Beauty, and Miscellaneous Product Reviews.” This is the type of blog that generates its revenue primarily from product reviews. If you’ve read a review on a website like TripAdvisor or Yelp, you’ll know that they often feature product reviews. Sometimes these product reviews can be somewhat shallow, but that’s not neccesarily the case. People are sometimes more than willing to write in-depth reviews about products they’ve tried and liked, explaining why they liked or disliked a product.
The great thing about this type of blog is that you don’t necessarily need to have any sort of special equipment or software to start letting people know about your product reviews. You can simply use your phone or laptop to jot down a review and post it on your blog. The fact that product reviews make up such a big chunk of revenue for many prominent blogs means that this is a golden opportunity for any individual or business looking to get started in the world of online product review.
Monetizing Affiliate Marketing
If you’re looking to make money from the internet, you no doubt have heard of affiliate marketing. Essentially, affiliate marketing is when someone commissions you for introducing a product or service and getting a click-through or purchase from that click. While it can be somewhat difficult to get started, especially if you’re looking for a passive income stream, once you’re up and running, you can start making money quickly.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t necessarily need to have a blog in order to make money. You can start a website, get signed up with a affiliate marketing platform and get to work.
How Do I Choose a Niche For My Blog?
As you would for any other type of business or blog, you’ll need to choose a topic or niche for your WordPress blog. After deciding what you’ll cover on your blog, look for ways to make money from it. Once you’ve got your blog set up and publishing content regularly, take a look at the money-making opportunities in your niche.
For example, if your niche is travel, you might want to look for affiliate marketing opportunities for cruise lines, hotel chains, and destinations. If your niche is style, you might look for fashion-related products to promote, whether they’re affiliate products or not.
What Kind of Content should I Publish?
Depending on your chosen niche, you’ll need to decide what type of content to publish. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 500 words per post. That should be enough to hold the attention of most people. If you’re writing longer articles, try for 1,000 or 1,500 words. More often than not, longer articles tend to do better. People love to read and find value in longer articles.
Is My Blog Ready for Guests?
Even if you’ve got a popular blog with a lot of content, you should still consider asking yourself if it’s ready for guests. After all, not everyone wants to read a long-winded blog post. Take into consideration the style and tone of your blog as well as the content you’ve published. Does everything seem natural and easy to navigate? Do you easily understand what your audience is looking for?
While 500 to 1,000 words is a good rule of thumb for most blogs, the ideal length for a post can vary. If you’ve got a more in-depth piece or a roundup of top blog posts in your niche, go for around 1,500 words. If you’ve got a newer or fresher blog, go for around 600 to 700 words. Essentially, the goal is to keep people reading so that they’ll keep coming back for more.
Once you’ve established your blog with a decent amount of content, take the time to delve back into what you’ve published. Consider what’s been most successful and build on that going forward. Incorporate what you’ve learned into future posts, whether you’re writing about a specific niche or general lifestyle topics. Look for patterns and trends that you can incorporate into future posts. For example, if you’ve noticed that your audience tends to favor shorter articles, consider writing about quick tips or how-to’s for your next few posts. If you’ve gotten lots of traffic from specific posts, consider writing about that topic regularly to keep the readers coming back for more.