1. Use a .com Extension
While there are cheaper options such as using .net or (yuck) .biz, most people have the most familiarity with the .com extension. The pennies that you will save in the short run aren’t worth the dollars you will lose in the long run. People won’t remember the address of your website if it doesn’t use the .com extension. It will look funny and maybe even seem a little suspect if you use anything else.
The only exception would be if you are operating an educational or non-profit organization, in which case you should use .edu or .org respectively. Even in those cases, however, it will be worth it to register a .com domain and have it redirect to your site.
2. Use an Established Hosting Provider
Host your site on servers from a prominent provider such as HostGator or GoDaddy, unless you can actually afford your own server, backup, and IT team. This decreases the chances of having site downtime, errors, or prolonged loading times.
Established providers also have high quality customer service that can walk you through any problems you have to deal with. It also helps that they are native English speakers. Pay for a hosting plan that matches your data requirements, or you could end up spending a great deal more once your site gets the visibility it deserves.
3. Install the Thesis Theme on Your Blog
While there are plenty of free themes available for WordPress, they don’t offer you the level of customization that you need in order to stand out from the crowd. While WordPress is open source and can be customized if you are technically proficient enough to write HTML and PHP code, most bloggers don’t know enough to create a professional looking site. Thesis makes this easy and is well worth the price.
Take full advantage of these abilities. Visit some high profile blogs to get some idea of how they brand their sites. Don’t copy them, but use them for inspiration. Your site’s design should be attractive and easy to navigate. The most important elements of the site should also be the most eye catching. Give the site a unique look that fits your brand and stands out. Do not blend in.
4. Take Advantage of Plugins
Plugins can make your site more interactive and dynamic by adding functionality that you don’t know how to develop for yourself. Plugins make it easy to add social media functionality, search engine optimization, advertisements, sidebar widgets, and others. Stick to plugins that actually make sense for your site, and don’t go overboard.
5. Offer Great Content to Your Visitors
A successful blog offers content that its visitors want and can’t find anywhere else. Sites that don’t accomplish that goal have little chance of succeeding.
Unique content doesn’t just mean that the exact text can’t be found anywhere else. It means that the information can’t be found anywhere else. This means you can’t just knock off what other people have said. Instead, you’ll need to combine information in new and interesting ways, dig up information in inconvenient places that most people won’t be willing to look, and inject some personality into your posts.
Great content should also be entertaining, useful, and fun to read. Most visitors won’t be forgiving if you fail to hold their interest, and even interesting content can become boring if it is buried in an excessive word count.
6. Build Relationships
Success in both social media and search engines relies on your connections with influential people. Cultivate relationships with other bloggers who talk about related subjects. As with any relationship, it’s give and take. You’ll need to start by giving. Sometimes you’ll need to be willing to give more than you take. Think of these relationships as investments. They will pay off in the end.
7. Submit Guest Posts
Once you have an established relationship with other bloggers, you can offer to post an article on their site complete with a link back to your site. This will drive traffic to your site and help build search engine visibility.
If you are looking ahead to submit Guest posts, you may also like to read:
8. Be Patient
It will take months before you start seeing significant traffic, and it can take significantly longer before you start making money you can live off of. The good news is that once you have a large, loyal audience, you will be able to earn quite a bit of money without needing to increase your efforts.
Jeff is an internet marketing consultant and a part time blogger. Jeff is also a consultant and content contributor for Queens homes NY community. If you wish to submit a guest post, kindly check out our guest posting guidelines.