Wow, where to begin with this one?
I’ve written a few blog posts now. I guess that makes me an official blogger.
Truth is, I don’t have much to offer at being successful as a new blogger because, let’s face it, I’m not successful yet. But you know what? I’m okay with that, because this blog is only a few weeks old.
However, I do have something to contribute. I overcame many obstacles to actually setting up this blog, and a few frustrations.
So, here are the prime obstacles I faced when setting up this blog.
# 1 – Who will host my domain?
I looked through several domain name providers. I’d read mixed reviews about Godaddy.com, and I didn’t appreciate the price versus value of other domain name providers. Finally, I settled on a cheap service with great value. This provider is Namecheap.com, which will host your domain name at a great price.
# 2 – Who will host my website?
I debated on going with a site that was hosted on another website. First, I looked at WordPress.com. The great thing about WordPress.com is there is a good community and others will find your blog easily. Unfortunately, I’d read reviews about people getting their blogs deleted. If you are starting your blog up as just a hobby instead of a job-by (sorry, couldn’t help it), then this is the site for you. There is great engagement, and you will get readers.
However, I didn’t want to risk my blog being deleted or possible slow-down, so I went with a self-hosted service, WordPress.org, which gives great-value hosting options and is one of the most popular self-hosting sites out there. The plugins that can be found are grade-A, and make managing your blog much easier with options that a non-developer like myself can use to create a relatively attractive website (of course, I’m biased. I’ve had no feedback on this site. I just made it look pretty according to my standards).
# 3 – How will I protect my blog?
I really wanted to have that shiny “https://” status instead of the ‘not secure http://’ status. I know if I personally stay away from http:// sites, that others probably will, too. Plus, certain browsers will display the ugly red “Not Secure” status if these websites are not protected by an SSL certificate. For those new to blogging or setting up websites, you need an SSL certificate to secure your website’s server to someone’s browser.
My certificate is provided by Comodo through Namecheap.com. Because it’s offered on Namecheap, it seems to come at a more affordable monthly plan. I went with the PositiveSSL certificate package, which suits my needs well since I don’t necessarily have a business right now where people pay actual money, and it lasts for a year.
The process of actually setting up the certificate was a pain. I basically had to splice two codes together to get the file to work. Since this is something I’d never done before, and I’m not a developer, this was probably the most frustrating part of the whole process of setting up the blog. There are guides out there, but unfortunately they can be a bit confusing. However, the credibility that comes with setting up a secured website is definitely worth the effort.
# 4 – How do I track my traffic?
Not that I have a whole lot to track right now. However, I decided I was going to use two sources: the Jetpack plugin for WordPress, and Google Analytics. The Jetpack plugin also offers many other great features, though some of those you have to pay for.
Google Analytics is a classic tracking source for traffic. It offers a lot of information for free, and I like free.
# 5 – How do I write my blog posts?
Believe it or not, this was actually a thing. At the time I began the blog, WordPress.org was going through a conversion to a new content editor. They were switching from the Classic Editor to an editor called Gutenberg. It got a lot of mixed reviews, more negative than positive. When I was using it, it was still in Beta, and it had so many problems. Come to find out, though, it was other plugins that was causing the issue for me since many of them hadn’t yet updated to support Gutenberg. After the conversion, many of them came out with an update so they could support it, and suddenly now, it works perfectly for me, and I love the block system that allows me to move content around and post pictures wherever.
# 6 – What will be the theme of my blog?
Don’t let me fool you. I don’t necessarily have a theme yet, other than the general category of “Advice”. I’m kind of teetering between serious advice/humorous advice. I think I might stick with it, even though my readers may not like the track switches. It’s what makes me happy.
# 7 – What will my design be like?
I went with a simple wordpress theme. I didn’t want my blog to be too flashy. Just a nice headline, a picture of a random person, and font. I’m not a flashy person in real life, so I thought my website should reflect that simplicity.
# 8 – Who will be my audience?
Since I don’t really have much of an audience yet, I couldn’t really tell you who will be attracted to my blog. However, I’d imagine people who are seeking motivational or funny how-to’s and advice posts will be attracted. Other than that, couldn’t tell you. You’re on your own with that one.
# 9 – How will I advertise my blog?
I’ve decided to advertise through submitting my blog to search engines, creating pins on Pinterest.com, and setting up a page on Facebook. I don’t have a whole lot on there yet, but it will grow as I continue to write posts and share the posts of others.
# 10 – How will I monetize my blog?
Google ads won’t accept my application yet. I’m not important enough yet. So, I decided to start being an affiliate for Amazon Associates and shareasale.com. Amazon will pay up to 10% on sales, and shareasale will pay depending on the merchant program you join. You can link to any product on amazon, however on shareasale, you have to join a merchant program and see if you get approved.
I had my first approval on shareasale.com, which was by the merchant Calendars.com. I’m thankful that they approved me and are the first merchant I can start advertising for on my blog.
I try to keep my ads in line with my subject content. I’m not a master at it yet, and don’t know if I ever will be, but I’m gaining experience.
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