Blog Action Plan: 2014 February 15th – 22nd

Here is the second part of my “Blog Action Plan” series where we will be discussing the next 5 steps to building the ultimate money making blog. If you have NOT completed the first part of the series, then go and complete the first 5 steps. Here it is…

Blog Action Plan: 2014 February 7th -14th

There is no need for me to go into further details or provide an introduction so let’s jump right into it.

Blog Tip & Action Plan 6

Setting Up Your Hosting

Many of you already have a web hosting account so you can skip this step but for those of you that don’t here are a few tips when purchasing hosting plan. First, hosting has become very cheap so don’t worry about having to spend too much money each month on your hosting plan. Basic plans start at $5.99 a month and with the right hosting company you can get unlimited bandwidth, a handful of email accounts, 1GB of disk space and other perks.

Secondly, make sure the hosting provider you choose has been in the business for years and built a good reputation with customers. The last thing you want to deal with is server downtime, poor customer support and very few upgrade options once your blog begins to grow.

Many reputable hosting companies provide installation scripts that will automatically install plugins, applications and most importantly WordPress which we’ll be using as our blogging platform. My hosting provider has been GoDaddy for several years because they provide affordable plans, streamline the upgrade process and install WordPress on my hosting automatically with the click of a button.

Action Work Assignment 6

Go to GoDaddy.com and purchase your hosting plan and then proceed to install WordPress through your control panel. Many of you purchased a domain through GoDaddy in the previous step so log into your control panel and purchase a hosting plan for your domain.

Here is a quick video which outlines the process on how to install WordPress within the GoDaddy hosting control panel.

How To Install WordPress On Your GoDaddy Hosting Plan

Blog Tip & Action Plan 7

Keyword Planning For Your Blog

At this point you’re ready to start blogging but always prepare ahead so keyword research is very important before you start writing blog posts. The initial keyword research will be for your blog title, description and keywords so when it’s indexed by Google they know exactly what your blog is about. Having brainstormed several keywords will also help with your initial blog posts providing you with topics that you can write about.

Blogs hosted on your own webhosting plan show up higher within the search results because they tend to get indexed and updated more frequently usually once or twice a week.

Action Work Assignment 7

Head over to the Google Keyword Tool and enter your niche keyword from “Action Work Assignment #3” then write down a list of ideas returned by the keyword tool. Remember to look over the keywords closely and choose ones which interest you and are closely related. You are trying to find relevant keywords NOT broad keywords.

If you are NOT familiar with using the Google Keyword Tool, here are a few videos to help you out…

How To Use The Google Keyword Research Tool
The Google Keyword Tool Tutorial
How to Use Google Keyword Tool For SEO
 

Blog Tip & Action Plan 8

Choosing A Design

Your newly installed WordPress platform will come equipped with the default Twenty Fourteen theme however you need to decide if you would like to customize this theme or install another one which fits your preference. No matter what you decide to do there are still a few things that you need to keep in mind:

You need to choose colors for your theme which represent your brand and the combination of colors you choose will determine the color of other elements of your blog like font style, font color, subscription box, logo design, etc.

Make sure your blog theme is not too wide or your readers will need to scroll left to right to read content and a narrow theme forces your readers to scroll down every few paragraphs. A narrow blog design also squishes things together causing the clutter effect which is not attractive to visitors.

Use a theme which has 2-3 columns however if you want my advice choose one with 2-columns with a right sidebar. The right sidebar can be used for widgets, advertising banners, newsletter subscription box and social media boxes like Facebook and Twitter.

If you have design experience then install a plain theme through the themes installation option and customize it to fit your needs because this way you can make sure that it represents your brand.

Action Work Assignment 8

Explore the themes option within the WordPress backend and start looking for designs that compliment your brand. You can visit third party providers which charge a small fee for a premium theme template and make the customization process very easy by using drag & drop boxes. I’ve been using ThemeForest.com to purchase all my theme designs since they provide a variety of templates for all different types of bloggers.

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Blog Tip & Action Plan 9

Research Common Design Mistakes

It’s important that you have the right design for your blog because 80% of visitors who enter your site will leave if they are not impressed with the initial impression. I will provide a few resources below that will help you avoid the most common design mistakes made by bloggers.

13 Common Mistakes That Designers Make
11 Common Web Design Mistakes (Blunders)
5 Common Website Mistakes That Are Driving Your Customers Away
Top 10 Mistakes In Web Design
43 Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

 

Action Work Assignment 9

Review the resources and try to implement some of the design strategies within these guides. Make these changes is NOT difficult since they can be made easily though your themes CSS Style Sheet. Once you have located your themes CSS file then use Chrome Firebug to reference what CSS property belongs to different aspects of your blog.

Here is a quick video showing you where to find you CSS Style Sheet and using Firebug.

Blog Tip & Action Plan 10

Picking The Right Categories 

Before starting to publish your posts you need to make sure you have the right categories to help organize your content and make it very easy to find by your readers. Having keyword rich categories will help search engines by giving them a sense of what the content is about contained within each category.

Use categories which are related to your anchor topic, for example, if you have a blog based on the “iPhone” and need a category which provides content on new apps, then label the category “New iPhone Apps”. This may seem like a tough step but if you keep every relative to your anchor text then you’ll have NO problem at all. Be careful with your categories because having too many will confuse your readers and you’ll be forced to write content which maybe overall too broad. Keep focused on your niche and stick to a narrow niche topic organized under relevant categories.

Action Work Assignment 10

Look over your blog and if you’ve already published posts then skim through it finding relevant content so you can group them altogether. Don’t put each posts under too many categories and keep them separate depending on what the content is based on.

When coming up with names for your categories, you can use the Google Keyword Tool to help find related terms to your anchor text.