How to start a fully optimized wordpress blog and make money
Blogging is the best way to share your interests, ideas, entertain audience and promote your startups.
But, getting started is not as easy as you think. There are several things you need to consider before starting a blog. You need to do a lot of research on topics before you pick a niche, the type of blog to develop, hosting company, and writing platform.
Sometimes choosing the right colors for your blog may seem to be difficult.
In this post, I’ll cover the important steps you need to start a fully optimized wordpress blog and make money.
We will look at ideas, type of blog and picking the niche.
Let’s get started!.
So why do want to start a blog and what is your idea?.
The first thing to do is to decide if you would want to start a blog as a hobby, full-time job or to increase your brand awareness. Take some time to figure this out, as this is your first step to success in blogging.
Type of Blog
The next step is to pick a type of blog that suits your purpose.
Here are the most common ones:
- Personal Brand Blog – Excellent for blogging as a hobby, entertainment or building a brand online.
- Corporate Blog – For business, industry, and agency.
- Affiliate Marketing Blog – Product or service promotion to your readers.
Now you’ve got some guidelines to help you decide the type of blog you want.
Picking a Niche
While some blogs have multiple niches, it is always good to know where your strength lies.
Why is this necessary?.
Multiple niches may result in poor SEO in some cases if you have no idea what you’re doing, but focusing on key areas where you can do pretty well does help in outsmarting competitors. Sticking to one niche that is highly competitive can somehow be hard for you to earn income because specific niche players have been in the industry for quite a longtime and they keep winning, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the big bucks.
There are several ways that search engines determine the blog relevancy, and keywords frequency is one of them. Having multiple niches might attract fewer readers as they stay on the blog for the relevant content and are likely to buy something. Whiles competitive niche gets more readers there is less chance of winning if you are just starting.
Non competitive niches however attracts more readers and does quite well, it actually depends on the topic and the content you write.
Take for example a review on A2hosting or maybe bluehost. The niche is web hosting and there are thousands of blogs writing articles on these web hosting companies with the same reviews, so it becomes hard to compete.
Multiple niches doesn’t drive traffic away, the most important thing is doing your keyword research analysis and knowing your strengths. For example, if your blog is in the travel niche your readers might be interested in reading about travel insurance, making money traveling, travel visas, credit cards, bookings, hotels, educational courses and so on.
If someone writes about travel insurance, you can also decide to write something on hotel bookings within the same niche.
An industry can have multiple niches, and you can decide to choose any of them, so long as it doesn’t conflict with others. If you have a personal blog with your own brand name then good for you, but if it is industry specific like insurance then you should focus on insurance topics.
It is tricky as when you pick a niche, you have to make sure your topic is relevant and big enough so that you won’t run out of content. It is always important to do your research carefully before picking your niche and you can do this using a keyword checker like semrush, they offer 14 days free-trial so you can have more time to find multiple keyword ideas. Kwfinder is also a good option. If you want to get related keyword ideas with large search queries longtailpro is the solution.
It is best to reach for keywords with lower competition marked green, since with the red ones it is too hard to rank, and the green ones are too easy. In my opinion, creating a blog in this part of the process is the most difficult aspect, it requires a lot of research and creating content ideas around the keywords.
Others believe that it is not necessary to know your niche, you just have to start and it will come naturally, so it is up to you.
How you’ll come up with what to write depends on you, simply think about what you’re good at and give it a try but if you need a little help then use prowritingaid. You can hire a freelance writer for your work so that you can have more time to tackle other aspects of your blog.
People will be interested in your blog if you are unique and confident with what you write.
The hardest part of creating a blog is almost done.
I just assume you are interested and consider going ambitious with your future blog, right?. If not now, then one day, for sure.
You may have even thought about making money from a fully optimized wordpress blog. If that is the case then there are many ways you can do it.
Earning money from your blog can be monetized through ads and affiliate marketing programs, such as selling products and online courses that’ll pay you commissions. There are lots of affiliate networks that are within your niche, some pay good commission rates, as high as 30% to 50%, so it is a win for you, and the good thing is that it is free to join.
Choosing A Web Hosting Company
Before picking a web hosting company, you have to know what you need, and that is speed, reliability, performance, daily backups, and 24/7 customer support. There are some important things to know about the type of hosting you choose, and that will determine the outcome of your blog.
So to make it easy for you, I’ll share some tips:
- Shared hosting – In this type of hosting, server spaces are shared among numerous users. Since the providers do not require to spend more money on the resources, they are capable of offering the hosting services at a discounted price. For personal blogs and startups shared hosting is a good choice.
- Vps hosting – VPS hosting is a kind of a shared server in which every client has a dedicated virtual machine. Multiple VPS do share the same physical server but operate and store data absolutely isolated from each other. A VPS offers definitely more freedom and flexibility than a shared hosting as using a virtual machine makes you isolated from other users.
- Dedicated server – Dedicated hosting essentially means that your website has its own server all to itself. It offers immense power and flexibility, but usually comes at a premium. As such, it’s important to do your research before opting to purchase this type of plan.
- Cloud hosting – Cloud hosting services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers. It exists as an alternative to hosting websites on single servers either dedicated or shared servers and can be considered as an extension of the concept of clustered hosting where websites are hosted on multiple servers. With cloud hosting however, the network of servers that are used is vast and often pulled from different data centers in different locations. Practical examples of cloud hosting can fall under both the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) classifications.
Here are the main features that are considered crucial to a successful blogger and his website:
- Performance – A poor website loading speed can be harmful. Most consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. If not, the majority say that they would not return to a poorly performing website. Look for a host that has it’s servers nearby. Read my post on how to optimize page loading speed.
- Disk space – When you’re just about to start, my advice would be to look for a plan with a 10GB disk space. You won’t need all of it for the first three months or so, but later on, when you’ll be uploading lots of pictures, articles, plugins and other tools you will find yourself needing more space.
- Uptime – It is as crucial as website performance. It depends not only on a web hosting company but on your software as well as it should be well written. Also, if your website is running on old platforms, the chances of errors rise. It is recommended that you always upgrade the software to the latest version. Moreover, bad configuration settings can be a cause of downtime as well. So we definitely don’t want a host with low uptime we aim for the best possible one.
- Bandwidth – There will be a time when your blog has successfully grown with a large number of audience and the community is skyrocketing, that is where you should treat your blog as a serious business before it crashes, you’ll need a higher bandwidth to hold much traffic so that you can scale up for more profits.
- Support – This one is easy. It is always best to have 24/7 support by your side in case you find yourself in need of assistance. Look for the one with a fast reply time.
Depending on your choice of web host, you can get these features and even more, starting from $10/month at cloudways.
Note that it is always better to buy hosting for a longer period of time as this way you can save money upfront and even get some freebies.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll like the host and you are hesitant to buy their hosting, look at their refund policy. Usually, there should be a 30 days money-back guarantee.
Choosing A Domain Name
Your domain name defines your blog’s identity.
With domain checker, you can check which names are taken and which aren’t, as well as their prices for annual registration.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out name generator.
Keep in mind that some web hosting companies offer a free domain name registration for only one year if you pay in advance. Other web host companies do not give a free domain name and SSL for the first year depending on your subscription plan, you’ll have to buy the domain name as an additional cost to the package you choose.
That is one of the reasons why purchasing a domain name from the same company that you want to purchase your web hosting plan is a smart choice to make. You’ll save yourself some money as well as time pointing the domain name from one provider to another.
Selecting A Content Management System
Installing your preferable content management system also known as CMS is crucial at this point. With any trusted web hosting company you can install a reliable CMS. A few of the most popular ones are wordpress, joomla and drupal.
WordPress is very popular and most widely used by many websites and blogs. The installation process is easy and fast, you can add plugins and install themes.
How To Set Up A Brand New WordPress On Cloudways
Installing wordpress is simple but technical.
Like most web host companies, you’ll have to go through series of steps to install wordpress all by yourself, but others are really helpful, they provide technical support if there’s any glitch.
Now thanks to cloudways wordpress installation can be done in few minutes without wasting too much time.
So what is cloudways?.
It is a hosting platform which lets you run multiple wordpress sites at high speeds.
This means websites that you host on cloudways will be much faster than traditional hosting companies, because in traditional hosting companies they use a method called shared hosting, meaning your website server resources are shared with several other users
but in cloudways your server resources are allocated just for your website.
When someone visits your website it responds much faster and displays quickly to your visitors. This is one of the main advantages of cloudways and also you can host unlimited number of websites.
Why Choose Cloudways
I’ll give you some reasons:
- It has server uptime of 99 percent
- Fast with lightening speed
- Load time is around 400-600ms
- In partner with digital ocean, google cloud, vultr, linode and aws, which are among the best cloud providers within the industry.
- Unlimited websites and good pricing.
- Simple dashboard
- Redis caching and elastic search are available to install.
- Self healing servers are a nice touch, so if server goes down, it’ll reboot and resolve most issues.
- Plenty of monitoring functionality – Meaning you know what is going on with your server.
- Cloudways has it’s own CDN but data charges apply – They use StackPath.
- Support isn’t as good as some hosts I’ve tried but it’s better than most.
- Cloudways delivers maximum speed and fool-proof security for your wordpress site.
- It delivers a fully managed host and promises no more slow loading sites.
So to set up a new wordpress blog on cloudways we will go through two steps:
- Creating a cloudways account
- Installing wordpress and launching your blog
Step 1 – First is to create an account, you can start with a free trial.
Now follow the instructions carefully:
- On the registration page, enter your name, email and password then click start free. Next is to verify your account, now go to your email inbox, open the mail and click activate to complete the process. Your account is fully activated.
Step 2 – Installing wordpress and launching your blog
After you’ve created your account the next step is to launch your wordpress site.
Follow the guidelines:
- First, select your server size. For most sites 1gb is suitable to start a wordpress blog.
- Choose server location, to get the maximum speed and performance for your website you need to choose a place which is closest to you. For instance if your visitors are mostly from the US, UK and Canada, cloudways chooses new york as you serve a location.
- After selecting a server location click launch to start.
- Select wordpress application to get the link of your wordpress site. You can access the site from anywhere just by clicking on the link generated, this is a temporary domain but you can still change it. If you want a branded custom domain name for your wordpress blog namecheap is the best option.
Accessing WordPress Dashboard
Once you’ve successfully completed wordpress installation, click on your site’s address and add slash login.
This will automatically redirect you to your wordpress login page.
Before you login, go back to cloudways, first copy both the username and password, you’ll need them to access your wordpress dashboard anytime you want to login. The wordpress admin area is where you control almost everything on your blog.
It is time to test the speed of your newly created wordpress blog, already you have a wordpress theme installed so we run a few quick tests to check the performance using the cloudways domain name.
Tip: If you don’t like the theme on your site, check out some fast loading themes you can use for your wordpress blog
You should run performance test using three different tools to know your site speed so that you can optimize for core web vitals.
The most popular and highly recommended tools are:
- Google pagespeed insights
In my case, I run a couple of speed tests for my newly created wordpress site and these were the results.
Pingdom website speed test:
- Performance grade – 95
- Load time – 1.81s
- Size – 100kb
Site performance on gtmetrix:
- Pagespeed Score – 98%
- Fully Loaded Time – 1.9s
- Total Page Size – 322kb
Now you can finally install your own wordpress theme and start using without any worries.
Changing Cloudways Domain Name
After you’re done setting up our wordpress site the next step is to change the cloudways domain name.
Don’t worry I’ll guide you.
Adding A Custom Domain Name
After getting a custom domain name add it to your cloudways account.
Now follow these steps:
- On your cloudways dashboard click on domain management
- Enter your newly purchased domain name and save changes.
Adding Cloudways IP Address To Namecheap Servers
- Copy IP addresses from cloudways.
- Login to namecheap account manager.
- Click on “manage” just below the domain name you purchased.
- Scroll to the bottom and look for nameservers.
- Under nameservers, click on the drop-down menu and choose “custom DNS”.
- Add your IP address to the DNS records and hit save.
- Go back to your wordpress site and refresh the page.
You’ll see the old domain name changed to your own custom domain name but your site is not fully secure so you add SSLs to provide security. Fourtunately, cloudways offers free SSL certificate for your wordpress site when you pay in advance.
Follow instructions to add the SSL certificate:
- Click on SSL certificate
- Enter your email address
- Add your custom domain name and then click insert certificate.
- Go back to your site and refresh the page, now your site is fully secure.
Ok we’re done setting up our wordpress blog on cloudways, added a custom domain name and an SSL certificate.
Don’t forget that your site is on the free-trial so you can use it for a couple of days to see the performance. Once you are satisfied and you’ve decided to keep it active, go ahead and buy the premium.
Installing WordPress Themes And Plugins
The theme forms the look of your blog, while the plugins provide features. Blogging platforms such as wordpress have many free themes and plugins to choose from. Feel free to experiment and find what suits you most.
Speaking of plugins, I have personally used a few of them which I think is best for your blog. Remember that the main goal is to fully optimize a wordpress blog for better user experience and can easily rank in search engines, so you’ll need cache plugins to improve speed and performance.
Speed And Performance Plugins
Your readers are more important than anything else, they are the main reason why you launched a blog, you don’t want to kill their interest or drive them away. This is where site speed comes into play.
Here are some of the plugins:
Optimizing WordPress Blog For SEO
SEO is simple but we make it hard.
For beginners, it is important to know the good and bad sides before you leave regrets, I’m sharing this SEO course with you so that you take full advantage of it. This post is not covering SEO much into detail therefore I suggest you check this article that explains why SEO is important, at least you get a fair idea.
WordPress SEO plugins:
- Rank Math
Yoast is one of the popular SEO plugins mostly used by site owners, the downside is that you have to edit your content many times to get a perfect score, and you are limited to only one keyword.
Rank Math is my favorite and it is just like yoast but there’s a big difference. The good thing about rank math is that you don’t have to edit your post severally to get a 100 score, everything is done technically to help you achieve a good mark, also you can add multiple keywords to one article increasing better chances of ranking.
One of the incredible benefits of rank math has the ability to pull related keywords from google’s list of suggested keywords, meaning you get to discover more keyword opportunities within your niche. Rank math can be connected to google search console, this is a great way to track your search traffic and clicks. Get all the full features of rank math pro.
You are almost done with launching your blog.
It is time to write content and drive traffic to our pages, turn our visitors into subscribers and then keep them updated on new content, products, special promotions, discounts..etc.
The first steps to earning money on your blog is writing more content within your niche. That is the only way to succeed in blogging, without content there’s no guarantee of getting traffic to your offers. I don’t know if you are the type of person who hates writing but that is the fact. Writing content is not an easy thing to do, it requires dedication, time and sacrifice.
Most blogs publish at least 100 articles within 6 months or less, depends on how you handle this. For me I’ve hired a freelance writer to do all the work for me so I have more time to take care of other stuff on my blog.
As you publish more content, keep in mind that every blog post linking to each other helps readers get instant access to other informative articles, this is known as internal linking, and it is one of the best SEO practices that improves rankings. If I want to link a post to a high value content, I use linkwhisper to do all the work, there’s no need to highlight a text first before clicking on the hyperlink icon, linkwhisper makes it easier to insert links automatically into the right keywords.
A blog post with an image conveys a message to the reader, it helps them understand your content better. Do you see all the colorful images on my homepage?. I use a graphic design software called canva pro. It has all the necessary tools you’ll need to create logos, ads, instagram posts, posters and more.
Driving Website Traffic
The success of every online business depends on website traffic, without traffic there’s no conversion and sales. Beginners who start blogging right from day one are expecting their first sale in less than a week, well that is not the case. You need more website traffic and good content to be able to make sales.
Blogging takes time to build your income gradually so you have to dedicate more time, money and energy to grow and build yourself then the money will eventually come by itself.
Traffic generation strategies are key to success in blogging and it’s crucial, that’s why you must have a better way of bringing back your visitors to pages each time you publish a content. There are several tools like keap, mailster and pushengage that turns your visitors into subscribers, so whenever you hit publish all the visitors keep coming to your posts.
Looking for a traffic generation strategy?. Tailwind is a platform that can help you generate tons of traffic to your blog, pricing starts at $10/month.
That’s it. I’ve covered a lot today and I hope this article helped you to understand the basic steps of how to start a fully optimized wordpress blog on cloudways.
Using services such as cloudways to start a fully optimized wordpress blog you get all the advantages of the best cloud hosting providers through a platform that is much more user-friendly. Deploying a wordpress website is just as simple as with a regular host.
If you have any questions feel free to send a message to [email protected]