Now that we have found our keyword and niche, it’s time to start focusing our efforts on actually getting the blog live and building the creative content and foundation of the site. In this part of the case study we are going to cover the basics of setting up a blog (domain and hosting), then move into the content creation and site setup.
The Basics of Setting Up Your First Blog
The domain name of your site is going to be important for many reasons. Not only is it going to be what your site name will be and recognized as, but you will also have it for the life of your site and it can not be changed. Since there are billions of domain names that are already taken, you are going to have to get creative with your domain name.
I would try to get a “.com” domain name or a “.net” or “.org” at the very least. Don’t bother with any other extensions and stay away from using dashes and numbers in your domain name. Also don’t use “z” in the place of “s” or try to get too creative with your domain name. Think about how someone would remember your site name if you were simply telling it to them and not writing it down. In other words, keep it simple.
For this niche site blog project I decided to go with the domain name of TechSupportJobSource.com.
There are plenty of reasons why I went for this domain versus other names out there and the reasons were:
- “tech support job” is in the domain, but not going for any exact match terms
- the domain name is catchy and easy to remember
- the name also allows for growth within the tech support job niche
Google is no longer a fan of “exact match domains”, meaning if your niche keyword was “big red widgets”, they wouldn’t rank you as well as they used to if you went and got “bigredwidgets.com“. It’s still possible to rank well if you create a great site, but this is one of the latest changes to their algorithms.
Long story short… come up with an effective domain name that works for your long term business and niche.
Every web site or blog needs to have a hosting company that physically stores all of the data on the internet. We don’t even need to get into the detailed specs as it’s so ridiculously easy and cheap to get setup with a web hosting and installing wordpress on your server.
I’ve personally been using HostGator for many years now and they are my host for all of my sites. Without trying to sell them, they are simply the best and have killer tech support (email, phone and chat!). You can get setup with a hosting package for as low as $3.
You also have the option to setup a blog for free through Blogger or WordPress, but I don’t recommend this as it’s unprofessional to host your site without your own domain name, and all of your content is stored on their servers which means you are held hostage to their rules / terms and conditions.
If you don’t already have your own domain and hosting, you can get setup with HostGator right now and be up and running in just a few minutes. Also, if you aren’t sure how to set it up, just shoot me an email and I can do this for you at no cost.
Getting Your Blog Live with Content and Life
The life of your blog is going to come from it’s content, backlinks and the community of readers you have going to the site. Since your blog is brand new, right now we can only focus on the content creation of the site. Here are some of the first pages you should think about creating.
First Blog Post – Once you install wordpress on your server, it will automatically setup a first page for you called “Hello world!”, which is their example of a blog post page. You can edit this page or delete it from your site entirely. Whatever you do, just make sure you are focusing on creating quality content for the site there on.
About Me Page – An about me page sounds exactly like what it sounds like… a page all about you or the blog. The secret to making a great about me page is to make it useful and provide the reader with quality substance and giving them a reason to visit your site. Stay away from being boring and bland, think about some of the greatest about me pages you’ve read in the past and try to create a great one for your site. After all, they are one of the most read and under monetized pages on a blog!
Contact Page – The contact page is where people are going to go when they want to send you an email or have a question. Most people like to put a simple contact form on this page, which can easily be setup through the use of a wordpress plugin (search “contact form”).
As your blog continues to grow in size there are plenty of other posts, pages and areas that you will be building out for the site. Everything from categories, tags, side bar menus, widgets, headers and much more.
Using wordpress you have access to millions of free and premium themes that you can use for your site. Right now the important focus is on your content and link building, but if you have a nice wordpress theme in mind, feel free to upload it to your blog right away.
For this site I’m going to be using the Genesis Themework and their premium Executive Theme. I already have a membership to their site and spent some time looking around at different themes and this one worked out well for the concept and layout of the site.
As mentioned, the important focus right now is on your actual site content and NOT the theme of your site. As the site continues to grow, increase in traffic and search rankings I will then have a custom wordpress theme designed for the site.
Right now it’s all about the content and growing process.
The Live Result of Your Blog
In a short amount of time after setting up your domain and hosting account along with your first few pages of content, you should have a decent setup for your blog.
You can see a screenshot of the TechSupportJobSource.com in the pic below. As we continue to build out the content for the site it will look much better and become an official site with valuable content.
However, this is still only the beginning for our site. Now we must not only think about content creation, but how we can continue to improve the look and use of our sites.
Site Improvements to Come!
Getting your blog live with content is one of the most exciting times for your blog, but there are still a lot of things we need to do before we can be considered a “real blog” and providing value and a name for ourselves.
The follow is a list of areas that you can implement into your blog now or further down the road. I recommend setting up your social networking pages and Google Analytics sooner than later, but we will be covering more of that in the next chapter.
Creating a logo for your blog isn’t important in the beginning stages, but I like to have one created as soon as I can. When people see your blog and you are trying to become an “authority” within your niche, giving your audience a logo or brand that they will continually see will only continue to influence your brand over time.
I currently have a logo design in the works for TechSupportJobSource.com and will soon provide you with a walk through post on the creation process and who I use for nearly all of my logo design work.
Social Networks & RSS
You have a social network for yourself, so you should also have one for your business and blogs. Take the time to create a free account on Twitter and Facebook for your blog. You will also want to setup an RSS feed through FeedBurner so people can subscribe to your blog and receive your latest posts. You may also want to sign up for an account through Aweber if you want to start building out your own mailing list.
Another important thing to remember to set your new blog with is Google Analytics. This free tracking system will allow you to monitor the traffic coming to your site and how they are getting there. In addition to Google Analytics, you can also setup use Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools to track any reports and changes you might be seeing in their respective search engines.
Now that you have an idea of everything that is needed to go live with your first web site, be sure to create an account with HostGator if you don’t have one already. Use coupon code “BLOGGINGTIPS25” to save an instant 25% off.
*** Join in on the create a blog case study –> Click here to start your blog!
10 Website Templates That Will Boost Your Web Project
Website templates are a great option in case you want to create a website and save a lot of working hours and money. The last thing you want to do is launch a business plan and have everything ready to go, but then realize you need to design and code your site before getting everything online.
Whether your focus is on using WordPress, hiring a custom designer, or even going with a basic site template to get started — you need to have an idea of where you want to get to, and how to get there.
Before jumping forward with this process, it’s always a good idea to take a look at some of the best website templates floating around the internet today. This is especially true if you are looking to promote a service or application-base business, as there are many custom themes and templates to choose from.
The web development market is huge nowadays and you can find both multipurpose websites and web projects for a specific business. Moreover, you can choose among website templates with various design variations. And of course, they all come at various prices.
You will also want to find a website template that is both mobile and SEO friendly. Even with WordPress being fully functional right out of the box, sometimes it’s better to choose a pre-made or premium site template that is already super fast loading and SEO optimized.
This is something StudioHawk SEO often recommended to their growing list of clients, who are either coming to them for SEO and mobile optimization tips, or with basic questions on why their site isn’t ranking in Google yet.
“SEO is a clear marketing objective, but all often, it’s often lumped into content creation and marketing as well. If you want to have a clear and set objective for your SEO, you need to have a working plan and strategy in place as well. At the same time, even with a great SEO strategy and plan in place, you also need to make sure your site is fast loading and fully optimized for Google and Mobile as well. While there are many components to running your business, SEO is the expertise and passion for most SEO agencies in the world today — which is why it’s also one of the most outsourced tasks a business can hand off and measure ROI.”
No matter if you are starting from scratch or trying to scale your site and business reach, you need to make sure both your site and SEO strategy are working together. There are also plenty of Google tools that can help with the verification of your site speed, mobile compatibility, and overall optimization as well.
With all of these moving components in mind, this is why it may be hard to find a good template that checks off all of the key points we’ve mentioned — which is also why we decided to help you with this mission. We made a list of 10 most advanced and well-developed templates. And you can check each of them on a product page to see what the include. Moreover, you can check the demo of the design and UI features. Moreover, they come at a fair price. They also vary in purpose. Some will be a great tool for many your web projects and others will be great for a specific business like hotels, real estate and so on. Yet, of course, you can edit them and make suitable for various businesses.
Due to the well-developed HTML5 code, these website templates are reliable and responsive. So check our products, go to the product page and find a new development tool for your business.
Real Estate Multipurpose HTML5 Website Template
Dynamics – Industrial Multipage HTML5 Website Template
DreamSoft – Software Development Company Multipage Website Template
Brave Theme – Multipurpose HTML Website Template
And due to Novi builder, you can simply drag and drop elements. Brave Theme also provides you with a blog and many blog layout. You can also use social options to keep in touch with clients.
ALF’s – Personal Page Modern Multipage HTML Website Template
Metric – Web Development Creative Multipage HTML Website Template
Pelicor Floor – Flooring Services Multipage HTML5 Website Template
The Future – Web Design Multipurpose HTML5 Website Template
Race – Sports Event Creative Multipurpose HTML5 Website Template
Mingo – Delivery Services Multipage Clean HTML Website Template
This list of the best website template sites includes top HTML5 products for your business. They are reliable and responsive. And due to well-developed code they are responsive and fast. In addition, you will get UI elements and blocks, cool animations, blog, google maps, and e-commerce features. They have even more features so check the product page to see more. And if you have some questions then address them to our 24/7 marketplace support.
Local Small Business Optimization Strategies
Ever since Google made changes to their search algorithm, and introduced Google+, small business are benefitting more. The key change that Google made is their ability to provide search results based on location. This has improved the overall search experience for people because now when they search commands like – “Italian restaurant”, “banks”, and “flower shop”, you’ll find what’s close by. However, for small businesses to feel the positive effects of these changes, it’s important they optimize their websites correctly. It’s important they, add the right keywords and data so search engines pick-up on them when displaying search results.
I decided to do some research, and provide you with the best local optimization tips. This way if you’re a local business, you can start making changes right away. Let’s get started and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
The Right Keywords
When someone is searching a towing company, and they’re located in Los Angeles, it’s important as a business owner you have those keywords placed within your pages. This will let Google know that you’re a business which offers this type of service, and have a business located within the region. First, how does Google track where the searcher is located?
First, they look specifically at the keywords typed into the search bar, and secondly, where they are typing from because the browser does have its own IP address delegated. Both will ensure the results obtained are as relevant as possible, however, the owner of the business must do their part too.
When optimizing your website, it’s important you have the address in place, and keywords like “Los Angeles” and “Towing” in the URL, on the page, and in the title of the page. The best practice is to choose keywords which relate to your business well so when Google indexes your page, you’ll be able to show up in the search results.
Here is a great resource on how to optimize your pages correctly as a local business.
Google Business Listing
As a small business, it’s very important to create a small business page on Google. Start by submitting your business to Google, and optimizing the description, name, and adding all the other relevant information. Why is this even more important now than before? Simple, it’s because now displays the local business high within the search results when searching. Just look at the example below when I did a search for “Italian restaurants” –
You can see how the nearest restaurants to me showed up first in the results. These are all connected to Google Business only because the owners added them by creating a page. Head over to Google Business, and create a page for free.
It’s important to add your business to local directories which are great for traffic, but also brand awareness. As Google starts to see your business more within directories, it starts to increase your value slowly increasing your rankings within the SERP’s. This doesn’t have to be hard because you can hire someone to go through adding your business to other directories. For example, head over to Fiverr.com and purchase a gig for $5.00 for 10-15 citations, and that’s all you really need to get started. However, focus on quality sites because these add most of the value quickly.
Select the Right Categories
Have you noticed when adding your business to directories, Google, and other business sites, you’ll always be asked what category your business belongs too? The reason is quite simple, it’s because doing this allows the search engine to understand more about your business. For example, when someone’s searching “Italian food”, they can be searching for food equipment, restaurants, chefs, etc. However, by simply stating what category your business belongs to, it’ll diffuse a lot of confusion…right?
The next time you are adding your site anywhere, it’s important to list the right category so things stay smooth, and clear always.
These are my top small business optimization strategies so start following them right away. They are very easy to follow, and the results can be amazing in a very short period. If you simply don’t have the time to do all this yourself, then hire someone who is experienced to get the job done for you. But, ask to see their work, and get a breakdown of their experience so you know the person you hired knows what they are doing.
When Your Small Business Should Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the most reliable methods of making a name for yourself as a startup. It is a valuable tool that helps you connect with your target audience, amass followers through a lead capture strategy, and put the brand out there through content promotion; such as social media posts, newsletters, and guest blogging.
It’s not so much a question of ‘if’ your brand should be leveraging the power of content marketing, but more of a question of ‘how’. With so many different options to choose from, it’s not just about creating new content and placing it on your site — it’s also about making sure you are effectively promoting it in the process.
Keep in mind that it’s not really a question of whether you need a blog or not—it’s when you’re going to build a blog for your business’s website. Without a blog, you can’t really prove your expertise in your industry and win the trust of your target audience. According to statistics, 81% of online consumers trust blogs for advice. A blog may also drive purchase intent and helps you unlock a higher conversion rate for your website.
Aside from connecting with your target audience, a blog will also fuel your SEO efforts by giving web crawlers more content to index. The more blog posts you publish, the more exposure your site gets.
How Soon Should You Start a Blog?
Granted, you do need to prepare the foundations of a successful blog first before you begin to produce content. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional designer to set up a beautiful site. A CMS like WordPress can provide you with brilliant themes and useful plugins to put together a fully-functional site; all without writing a single line of code.
Once you have everything set up and customized, make sure to get on with blogging as soon as possible. This 2016, 76% of B2B marketers say they will increase their blog content production this year. However, successful blogging requires a ton of research and planning. On top of writing the actual blog posts, you will also spend a lot of time looking for topic ideas, getting-to-know your target audience, and devising a solid keyword strategy. Here are some of the best tips you need to remember when blogging:
Write for Your Audience
First and foremost, remember that you need to blog for people—not for machines. The reason behind this problem is because some marketers only choose to blog for SEO. However, remember that search engines now prioritize the reading experience of users when it comes to determining the SERP rankings of content. While they still take into account the overall quality of written content, they also consider other factors such as bounce rate, page loading speed, session duration, and other indicators of user engagement level.
A rule of thumb is to develop personas for your target audience. Identify the information they need, understand their problems, learn their content preferences, and provide the necessary courses of action to help them. A content research tool like BuzzSumo will help you learn more about the type of content that’s popular in a specific industry.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers,” says Brian Clark of Rainmaker Digital.
Invest in Custom Content
When learning the content preferences of your target audience, you are often required to explore other content formats such as infographics, eBooks, explainer videos, and slideshows. According to statistics, 90% of online consumers prefer custom content while 60% feel more “connected” with brands after discovering custom content from their website.
Keep in mind that your brand image is on the line with every custom content you publish. You need the help of professional producers and graphics designers to make killer content for your blog audience. While setting up a blog can be cheap, you might as well consider getting a business loan to fuel your custom content creation efforts.
Lastly, remember that you need to focus on the flow of your content and walk your readers through every step. Doing so will help build relationships with your readers and establish your brand as an authority. Also mention the key takeaways at the beginning or by the end of a blog post to improve retention.
“Content marketing and custom content are customer relationship processes that require unique and well-crafted content. Whichever approach you take, you need to invest either your time or money in content creation,” says Neil Patel of NeilPatel.com.
Be Consistent with an Editorial Statement
A lot of companies overlook the importance of having a clear editorial statement that keeps content development in sync with a brand voice. It helps make your content distinguishable amongst the internet’s vast sea of resources and keep your content team in the same page. This is something you should always keep in mind when creating content for your blog.
To identify your editorial statement, focus on supplementing the three key parts: the target audience, the deliverables, and the main goal. To help you understand this process, below is an example editorial statement for an SEO blog:
SEO blog provides online marketers (target audience) with up-to-date strategies (deliverable) to demystify the process of ranking for search engines (goal).
“Your editorial mission is something you—and everyone on your team—need to internalize. It is the measuring stick by which you evaluate everything you do,” says Michele Linn of Content Marketing Institute. Make sure to follow his advice!
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