Here is your road map with all the steps to create a website or blog that you need, from choosing your niche to creating your unique content.
Having your own website or blog is the best way for you to build long term sustainable income that you can earn passively from work you did once, and then get paid over and over again.
Having this is like having a gift that keeps on giving, a gold bar of your own, and the best part is that anybody can do this as long as they are willing to put the effort in.
So, What Is The Difference Between A Blog And A Website?
The only real difference between a blog and a website is that blogs are updated on a regular basis with new content, which is displayed in reverse chronological order (new blog posts first).
Typical websites are static in nature where content is organized in pages, and they are not updated frequently like blogs are. Some bloggers publish multiple new articles a day, because they know that the more content they provide, the more visitors they are going to get, and traffic is the life blood of any blog.
Blogs can also be part of a larger website. Often businesses have a blog section where they regularly create content to inform and educate their customers.
You can use WordPress to create both, a website and blog, that’s why a lot of business owners use WordPress to build their business websites.
In simple terms, all blogs can be a website or part of a website. However, not all websites can be called blogs, as they are too static.
The Steps To Create A Website
Here are the steps you go through when creating your website or blog, and it always starts with finding that perfect niche.
Step 1 – Find A Niche
When it comes to choosing your niche there are a few factors to consider.
I firmly agree with choosing a topic you are passionate about when it comes to choosing a niche. Obviously this passion of yours must be something that you can make money with, and you are going to have to do some markets research first to see if your chosen niche is going to be lucrative for you.
On the other hand if you choose something you are not passionate about, but know it can make you money, you might get bored with it before it becomes successful, which happens in most cases. In order for a website to be successful it has to have a lot of good content (and by a lot I am talking 400 plus articles) on it, and if you don’t know enough about your subject choice your readers are going to see right through you.
When you first make the decision to start a blog, it can be done for many reasons.e.g to make money, a personal blog, a charity, informative, fun or something to do with your business or your hobbies.
Whatever niche you decide to blog about, there remains one hard and fast rule. Stick with your niche and don’t bounce your content around from niche to niche.
Your goal is to create a following of niche related readers and build a community of like minded folks who will share your content and join you in conversations. If you start a blog with unrelated posts and content you will soon see a divide in your following and ultimately, all or most of your subscribers will seek information elsewhere.
Think of it this way. Imagine you read a popular sports’ blog or newspaper. Now imagine that particular source of sports’ info posts an article about classic car buying in the next issue. What happens? You think “what the heck is this” You as the author might like it, but a large percentage of your readers will not read it.
Now imagine this particular sports’ blog or newspaper does this every day with different articles, on completely different niches. Soon you are going to become sick and tired of seeing niche content you have no interest in and move onto the next best thing.
So always remember to focus on one topic.
Choosing a topic and remaining niche specific is essential for blog success. By choosing a specific niche and making that niche your topic allows for:
- Specific reader loyalty – By choosing a specific topic or niche you allow for all your readers to be interested in the same topic, this creates interaction.
- Community – As well as reader interaction, you create community, as people interact with each other. With the introduction of social media, this can lead to Facebook fan page members, groups and Twitter followers.
- Expert status – Blogging about a niche specific subject allows you to become, and be seen as, an expert within your niche. Blogging about various subjects on the same blog makes you seem like a jack of all trades and master of none.
- SEO specific – When it comes to the search engines, having specific content topics allows you to target your whole blog to make it easier for the search engines to track your blog and target a niche.
- Monetizing and ads – When you want to make money from your blog, you need advertising and products. If your blog isn’t targeted towards a specific niche, you are going to have a problem with ads and product advertising.
My blog topic (internet marketing) is also my passion. It’s what I love doing and what I feel comfortable writing about. I also have other blogs which are related to hobbies and sports’ that interest me, but those are separate to this blog.
Finding my niche/s was easy!
I simply went with my passions. Unless you have your niche idea and passion already down and your blog planned out it can take a bit of research on finding your niche.
Try looking at some of the more important factors when it comes to choosing a niche for your new website:
You may need a notepad and pen for this one.
What Are Your Interests?
Make a list of all your interests. List as many as you like, as you can always narrow down your list later on. You might just surprise yourself and come up with some Ideas you never though of. I have seen people create successful blogs on topics such as football snack helmets, how to do a puzzle and even false eyelashes.
Take a look at your passions. What gives you energy and excites you? If you blog about what you love, you are never going to struggle for content. You may get a little writers block now and then, but you will always get over it.
In my experience, trying to generate content for a topic you don’t like is very difficult. In situations like this you need to work extra hard or hire a writer with the knowledge you need.
Are You An Expert In Your Niche Choice?
If you have an expert hobby or job role then you have a distinct advantage over everyone who is interested in your niche. You immediately command respect as the expert. So many try to fake their experiences online and run out of content very quickly.
If you are interested in a topic and want to learn more about it, doing a website about it is an excellent way to become an expert, as you will need to learn about this new passion of yours, and you will become the expert as you do your research on it.
If you go this route, just make sure that you do want to learn more about this particular topic. By learning your niche and making it your focus or hobby, you can take an audience on your journey from novice to expert. This is a very good way to create community.
Do You Have Enough Content?
You may not be an expert, but you may have the knowledge to create a lot of good content. This way you can sustain your blog and create a lot of content for the search engines. Just be careful you don’t become disinterested.
Blogging About The Latest Trends
This is not the choice I would make, as this is not evergreen content, but it can be a great way to rank high in the search engines. But blogging about hot topics and trends doesn’t tend to be sustainable, but can be good for short term niche blogging and very profitable if monetized in the right way.
Check Out Your Market
In most cases if you are passionate about your niche then you will be able to make your blog work, provided your niche doesn’t have too much competition.
This is why it is important to do your keyword research. Break down your niche into a sub niche. For instance if you want to do a blog about pets, it will be more difficult to rank with the term pets than it will be for the term Sausage Dogs.
As you can see pets as a niche has a lot of competition and Jaaxy rates this keyword as a poor to use, however the two below could be used perhaps as articles on your website.
A website about Sausage dogs could be a little easier to rank for, although the term sausage dogs is highly competitive, there are lots of article ideas below that I could use that don’t have too much competition.
So going for dachshund as a term instead of sausage may make your site more successful as you can see above. Look at the term clothing dachshund dogs, it has only 5 competing sites for that exact keyword.
This is why it is so important to do your research before deciding on your niche, as the wording alone can make a huge difference to how easy it is to get your site to rank.
No matter what niche you choose if you love what you do, then you will make it work. When it comes to choosing your niche, you have to weigh the factors against each other and find your own specific path of what is going to suit you in the long run.
Take your time, decide, and then go for it!
Step 2 – Hosting And A Domain
What Is Hosting?
A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or web page to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.
When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your web pages will be delivered to them through their browser.
Most hosting companies require that you own your domain in order to host with them. If you do not have a domain, most hosting companies will help you to purchase one.
No matter what type of blog you wish to run, hosting is essential. Yes I know there are free ways to host your website out there, including WordPress.com, Blogger.com or even Weebly. However, if you want your blog or website to be yours and you want the freedom to do as you please on it, I strongly recommend paying for hosting and your own domain name.
With a free service at WordPress.com, your domain name will look something similar to:
This domain is essentially a sub domain of the WordPress domain. Using a free hosting service can and will provide you with a hosting account which you can use your own domain name with. However, free hosting always comes with some kind of reference to the hosting company e.g. they may advertise a permanent banner across the top of your blog offering their services.
Your free hosting account will most certainly be limited in control panel functionality and space will be limited.
A paid service will offer complete unrestricted usability when it comes to control panel access and domain purchasing. Instead of a domain name like the WordPress sub domain above, you can use a completely professional looking domain name.
You decide which domain looks more professional domain 1 or domain 2:
Domain 1 – http://www.WordPress.yourchosenblogname.com
Domain 2 – http://www.yourchosenblogname.com
“If you chose number 2 you are correct”
The bottom line is, don’t try to save on the key items for your business. Hosting is a must, whatever online business you are in, so don’t go cheap.
You don’t need a huge amount of hosting i.e. managed servers. A simple shared server is sufficient. Until the time when your blog grows in popularity and you may need more space, power and speed. For now a simple shared hosting account is just fine. There are many hosting platforms you can choose from eg. D9 Hosting, Hostgator or Blue Host.
I use hosting with Wealthy Affiliate, as they offer so much more than just hosting, and it is just so much easier to run all my websites off of their platform. Their hosting also includes all the bells and whistles that other hosts charge a fortune for.
I also purchase my domain names from them, as the prices remain the same, and don’t go up each year when you renew like some of the other domain registrars.
No matter which hosting account you choose, ensure it is a reputable one. The cheapest hosting accounts are not always the best hosting accounts to have. Don’t sacrifice your business visibility with cheap services. It is no use having an online business if the servers go down often as you could lose valuable business.
Designs And Themes In Steps To Create A Website
WordPress.org is the most common platform to use when it comes to starting your blog and I highly recommend going with them from the beginning, as you can build out your business however you like with their hundreds of plugins.
When you first upload WordPress you find yourself with the default WordPress theme.
As good as WordPress is, people rarely stick with the standard theme and choose to go with an alternative for individuality.
There is a lot of debate about what type of theme to use and which theme is better than the next. It is your choice entirely. Many people like to purchase a theme, but there are so many free good ones to choose from within WordPress. Generate Press is one example of a good theme that is uncluttered and easy to work with. Generate Press has a free version, or you can upgrade if you need more functionality.
When first starting out if you have a low budget, it is a good idea to go for a free theme.
There are literally 1000s of free themes to choose from. A simple Google search for “Free WordPress Themes” can open the door to all kinds of designs, colors and layouts. There are themes designed for Google’s Ad programs, Image optimized magazine style, ad optimized, newsletter, custom look and many, many more for every style and type of blog.
Having a good-looking, functional blog or website really does add value. You don’t have to have a fancy blog with flashing banners and garish colors. Your blog should look good, and read even better.
There is no need to fill your blog with ad after ad and affiliate banner after affiliate banner. This will just annoy your visitors.
Depending on your niche and the primary function of your blog, you can build the look and feel of your blog and tailor it to how you want it e.g. If you have a blog that has a primary function of readability. It would be wise to design your blog for this purpose. Use less or no ads, a strategic opt-in placement such as a popup and good clean layout to focus on content.
Here are a few tips you should take into consideration when looking at your blog design.
Give your reader a few options but not too many. You don’t have to create a new category or a new page for every post. Keep your navigation neat and tidy with limited options. If a reader can’t find a specific item, you can add a search bar. No one likes clutter.
Have your contact info where your readers can see it and use it. Don’t think that people won’t want to talk to you. After all you run a social blog, you need to build a community and speaking to people is part of it.
Appearance is everything and a nice looking header graphic is essential. It doesn’t have to be to fancy or big, just something memorable to brand yourself and your website.
Create a header graphic so people can relate to you and your brand. Simple, readable and effective, about 100 pixels in height is nice or a simple design logo in the corner. Your about page will do the rest. Canva is an excellent tool if you want to design something yourself.
Is Your Website Readable?
Don’t overuse bold fonts and unreadable fonts, and don’t be tempted to use the fancier fonts, as people battle to read them. Make it simple to read and space your content well by using spaces between every few sentences. Your readers don’t want to be hit with a huge block of content to read through with no spaces.
Keep your fonts a simple size, use your H1 and H2 tags for SEO purposes, but keep their size to a good standard and font style readable. Stick with fonts such as Ariel, Verdana, Calibri etc as they are easy readable and common, meaning the brain reads them easier.
Stick To One Color Theme
Simplicity is the key here. If you have a rainbow of colors on the screen chances are people will leave sooner rather than later. Simple black writing on a white background is best. Leave your colors for your header graphic.
There is a place for everything on your blog and your side bar is the 3rd most important part of your blog, next to the title space and content. It remains there 99% of the time unless you use special pages without it. What your sidebar does not need is useless lists of ads or unused widgets. Remove all unnecessary widgets and content that don’t directly relate to your blog or serve purpose. Less is more in this case.
Create An About Me Page
As mentioned earlier, your blog is a social platform, so an about me page is going to help you out a lot. Why? It’s the second most viewed page on your blog next to your home page. Make it interesting; add images, opt-ins and free advice.
Add Social Media Buttons
There are a multitude of social sharing plugins you can use, so use them. You want your readers to share your content with the social media platforms used by other people interested in your stuff, so make it as easy as possible for your readers to do so.
Don’t Add Unnecesary Stuff
Your blog is your blog, it’s your house so keep it clean. Don’t add plugins, social media buttons, widgets and graphics that aren’t going to get used, or even worse, you don’t know what they do.
Just because you have seen things on other blogs doesn’t mean you should have every new shiny object that comes along. Keep it real and keep it tidy.
Don’t Over Monetize
The first thing most newbies do when they start their first blog is to think that they are going to be rich in a week. Do yourself a big favor and think about content first rather than making money.
Your blog is not a walking ad, it’s a place for you to share content with others. Monetize according to your content and don’t over do it. Be strategic and research your ad placement.
Have An Opt In
You could survey all popular bloggers and they would all tell you the same answer to the same question. What is your biggest blog regret?
The answer you will receive is “not building mailing list from the start”.
Add an opt-in to your blog, build your subscribers from your home page, sidebar and about me pages. Offering free items for subscriptions is a great way to build your subscribers.
The way you want to set up your blog is your choice. Whatever you do create good content and make your blog look professional, readable and easy to navigate. By doing this the reader will never be confused and always want to come back.
What Are The Best Plugins On WordPress
As there are thousands of WordPress Plugins to choose from it can be quite overwhelming which to choose. Remember the more plugins you put on your blog, the slower your site will load up and Google does not like slow sites. Only choose plugins that you will use and that will make a positive impact on your blog and transform it into a very powerful tool. Here are the ones I can’t do without:
This is the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. You can make sure that each post or article you do is optimized for the search engines.
Social Media Feather
There are many social media plugins that allow visitors to share your content with others, this one is my personal favorite.
This plugin filters out spam from your blog. It will aggregate information from every Akismet user, which means you will be protected from spammers even if they haven’t ever commented on your site. However, occasionally it will mark legitimate comments as spam.
AdSense Integration WP QUADS
This plugin allows you to control where the Adsense ads will be placed on your blog. This gives you more control than leaving it up to Google to place the ads themselves, as you often end up with too many.
WP W3 Super Cache
This plugin speeds up your blog exponentially because of the way it caches data. This does exactly what it says. It works very well and is used by a lot of the top bloggers. I don’t use it on mine as Wealthy Affiliate has this feature built into their hosting.
Contact Form 7
A beginner and developer friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. It can be used to add almost any kind of online form to your WordPress website.
It’s worth keeping your eyes open for new plugins, as there are always new developments of older plugins or new plugins which can do the job of many plugins which you may have installed. I don’t recommend using a non-updating plugin due to the security holes it can cause on your website.
Remember to check on the WordPress Database now and again to ensure you have the latest and best releases. Although when there is an update of your plugin, the WordPress plugin section should alert you of this. If you do find a new plugin that you would like to use for your blog, it is worth checking it out first using a test blog or doing your homework.
In the past I have installed a plugin and found that it has corrupted my blog in some way. This is not usually due to a problem with the plugin, it’s more likely the plugin is conflicting with another plugin or the theme you are using. If you decide you would like to install a plugin, then I recommend testing your plugin first. It’s very easy to set up a test blog on your web space. Simply duplicate your blog, theme and plugins and then upload the new plugin and test its functionality. If it works fine you can roll it out on your own blog.
If the plugin you have chosen causes problems and corrupts your blog for some reason, then you have lost nothing and your current active blog can still continue to run without error.
Step 3 – Creating Content – The Most Important Part
This is the final one in the steps to create a website, and it is ongoing.
Once you have completed the above steps to create a website, content is next. Content is the lifeblood of your blog, and rightly so. It’s the content you write, shoot or record that people want to see.
Fresh new content keeps the readers coming back and the search engines happy. It’s this content that makes up your blog and it’s this content you have to create.
“If I was to start from the beginning I would create at least 10 posts to post to my blog. I would then upload all the posts to my blog in draft format. This allows a buffer for me to fall back on”
Starting your own blog is an amazing experience, you have your niche, you have your blog uploaded, you have your theme all up to date and a few plugins installed.
So now you are ready so let’s do this…..
So what if you have diligently posted content for the past few weeks, but now you have run out of content ideas. This happens, so it’s always best to have some pre written content to fall back on when the dreaded writers block hits.
Google Trends is a great place to get content ideas for your niche. Here are some other ways to get some articles going:
Write A Tutorial Series
People love these as they help them to solve problems and complete things they could not do otherwise. You could spread your tutorial over a few posts and this could set you up for a couple of weeks, depending on how often you post.
Write A List post
List posts are easy as well as engaging. How many headlines do you see every day that have a list in it? Take a look next time you are reading a magazine or newspaper. They are everywhere and work very well.
Write Something Personal
This is another easy route to go because, what is your most knowledgeable subject? You, right?
Of course, it is. Write about yourself or something you have done or achieved. This type of post lets people see the real you, the person behind the blog. It allows people to build a mental image of who you are, and build a relationship.
Create A Pillar Post
The key to creating great content is the pillar post. The pillar post is your best and most comprehensive material. These are the posts that are read the most, commented on the most and shared the most and they lead to higher search engine rankings.
Your pillar post should be evergreen, so no matter when it’s read it stays relevant. It should be your best and most helpful content. Your pillar post headline should be extra appealing and it must be easy to find and well displayed on your blog. You can link back to your pillar post often in your articles if you have keywords in the article that relate to your pillar post.
The best way to get noticed by the search engines and your target audience is to create excellent content. Great content is:
- Professional (Grammatically correct and with proper spelling)
- Readable (In the same sense as news articles or magazine articles)
- Informative (Teaches the audience something about the subject)
- Entertaining or Conversational (Not merely dry information)
- Original (Is not merely a copy of another article – always put your own spin on your knowledge)
When you read good content, you know it, because the language is riveting and it keeps you interested. This is the type of content you need to create and no matter how many Panda or Penguin algorithm updates are invented, your content will stand the test of time.
This obviously takes practice, but the more you do it the better you will get. I am amazed at how much I have improved when I go back and update my own content from a few years back and think to myself ‘how could I have written that?’
Not only should you be striving for quality content but you should also be focusing on popular and niche keyword phrases. After all, regardless of what great content you come up with, if you don’t strategize with your keywords you are not going to reach that targeted audience you are looking for.
Targeting your traffic is key, otherwise you might as well be buying mindless, redirect traffic. (You know the type of user that closes your window before he or she even reads the first line).
So I hope that I have clarified and expanded a bit on the question ‘what are the steps to create a website?’ If you have any questions on the steps to create a website, please feel free to leave a comment below.
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