I agree blogging is not an easy job. Moreover, the competition among in the SEO and MMO niche is really saturated. Yes, it’s true. But I believe ‘it is entirely possible to blog successfully in a crowded niche’. And what does it mean ‘blog successfully’?
Stayed out of blogging world for some time – about two months – I felt, why I quit? I really enjoyed blogging! ICT Trends was doing great and I got, though a few, but best friends in this cyberspace. I missed them all – Imran Yousaf, Ileane Smith, Kannanbala, Sanjeev, Element321, Shirley, Kissie N Atl, Kevin Martineau, Bbrain, Hisman, Jevan Jacob and the list continues. When I was far away in a corner, peeping though now and then, hiding behind; finally decided to make a fresh restart!
Well, in this beginning post I wish to talk about how this blog stood – the establishment process.
#1. Domain Name
Choosing a domain name, I always felt, is a painful task. You can’t just pick a random string; and unfortunately all the good ones are already taken. Tried to use different tools like Ajax Domain Search, Dislexicon, WordFinder, WordMixer, DomainsBot. Hey! DomainsBot is great as it begins searching immediately you start to type and keeps displaying results. If you are lucky enough to find it right there, or just click on search to show a list of available names for supplied keywords.
I decided to use SEOMMOTIPS.COM as my domain name. Though not as short as I wished, but I guess, it is fairly easy to remember. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and MMO for Make Money Online. These abbreviations are already popular, so, ‘seommotips’ won’t be that hard to remember.
I purchased this domain name through DomainRightNow (this is the one that I was using for last three years)!
Update: There is no problem with buying domain names from DomainRightNow. After having some experience with domain names and blogging, these days I buy domain names from GoDaddy. I learned that this is the #1 domain registrar (DomainRightNow too uses GoDaddy‘s services?) and it offers lot more features to customize. Who knows what you need to configure in future?
Hosting is another important factor for any blog to run smooth. There are some cheaper hosts but can you compromise cost with quality (uptime)? You can never get good ranking in SERP and PageRank if the site loads slow. It’s even worse when search engine crawlers often find the site is down.
My choice is HostGator. It gurrantees 99.9% uptime, 24/7/365 technical support along with unlimited Bandwidth and Unlimited disk space. You can run multiple blogs with one account. On top of all these features, I have some positive experience with HostGator when running my other sites PS Exam and ICT Trends. A few dollars should not be counted when performance is in account.
Update: Once I start with HostGator, I never had to rethink about hosting. This is still the best and I enjoyed the support and service for all these two years with HostGator. You can read my experience on HostGator in my posts like: My experience to move to HostGator from friHost, Optimize Your Blog to Reduce CPU Uses on Web Host.
HostGator lets you buy hosting with heavy discount. Check here to find Complete List of HostGator Coupon Codes for various discount offers.
#3 Point Domain Name to Site Hosting
It’s time to configure Name Servers so that the domain points to your site. Following is the process to do this:
Add the domain name in hosting account (HostGator in my case) and note down the Name Server and IP Addresses of hosting.
Go to the domain management page (domainrightnow in my case) and Edit Name Servers
After you enter at least two provided name server addresses, save the setting. It may take up to 24 hours to reflect this, but in my case I got the domain name pointed in about four hour.
#3 Blogging Platform
No need to say, its WordPress for sure. It was the easiest decision among all! I love Joomla too, but for a blog, nothing stands equal with WordPress.
It was the matter of a few clicks to install WordPress in HostGator account. As HostGator provides cPanel, you can find Fantastico De Luxe to install any supported script just with few clicks.
All I had to do was to entered the site name, description, ftp username, administrator username, password and then Done! WordPress is installed.
Update: You can find some tutorials in tutorials section I wrote about setting up and using WordPress for your blog.
#4 WordPress Theme
‘TwentyTen Weaver’ for now. It is flexible and easier to manage. It contains almost everything for a new blog to start going.
I know, Thesis theme is there. But it is premium and costs $87 for Personal Option and I couldn’t afford it right now. But this remains in my first wish list.
Update: I tried many themes in this duration. Currently this blog uses Mainstream theme of Woo Theme framework. Though, Thesis is the best theme for WordPress blogs, buy you may like to use different themes based on your requirement and purpose. For example, I suggest you to choose Profits Theme if you run membership site or sales pages (I used it in www.icttrends.com site). Theme like WP Clear is better if you want to present your blog as magazine (I used it in www.bivori.com). WPZonr, Gadget etc are good for creating eStores to sell affiliate products or Amazon products (used them for some of my niche sites like www.pregnancygoods.com)
#5 Akismet Configuration
I am using the most popular blogging platform and I’m about to make my blog as much comment friendly as possible. Then, I should be ready from the very beginning to combat spammers. Akismet works great to help you fight with those greedy heads.
Akismet is installed along with your WordPress and all you need is to configure it and activate. There is a small fee for those who use it in professional and commercial blogs. For individual blogs enjoy the free service!
I registered an account with my personal details and an email address. The Akismet key was sent instantly to my mail. Done!
Update: I use Akismet no more. This plugin is great but it catches a lot of false positives and people complain that the plugin just removed some comments even without letting the blog owner review them. Now the best option is ‘Spam Free WordPress‘. You can read more about this new plugin in my post Block or Filter Spam Comments or Spam my comments if you can! (published in Bivori.com blog).
The power of WordPress is in its useful plugins that are readily availabe for free or some premium. I installed some most essential plugins and some others that improve the efficiency and optimizes the blog. I’ll be talking about them in my next post.
Update: You can read about different plugins I’m using for this blog. Similarly there are some suggestions by guest authors based on their experience. 8 Free WordPress Plugins for Every Newbie Bloggers is a post by Chitra. Hope it will make it easier to choose the best plugins for your blog.