#2. Tools to Build Your Blog
Mandatory tools required to start the blog step process
In the first chapter, you can have come to find the reason for starting a blog. Once you come with those ideas, now you should arrange the latest technologies to start the blog.
The technology part is the like setting of an office for your business, but it is virtual and you do not need to buy any costlier things or expensive types of equipment and types of furniture.
Everything you need will cost you a little and I don’t think so it is a big investment that one day will be returning you with Six Digit Income.
We will go through step by step process in implementing all the technologies needed for the smooth running of your blog.
When you successfully complete these courses, at the end you can see that a blog is ready for you to publish.
Phase 1 - A Computer with Internet Connection
You may be surprised to read this because my brother personally experienced this issue a lot in his career. Even in 2017, most people do not have a desktop computer.
If you are the one among them, then your first step in this phase is to purchase a new desktop computer or at least a second hand to support your business.
You cannot do Blogging using Smartphones because mobile phones do not have such features as computers do have. Hence, it is a must.
But, it is not necessary to purchase a computer with the ultimate configuration such as an Intel Core I7 processor, 16GB Ram, 2TB HDD, 17” LED Monitor.
Even, a desktop computer with Intel Pentium Processor, 2GB Ram, 500GB HDD with a 17” CRT monitor can do the task. As of today, the cost of this configuration will be less than Rs. 10000 – Rs. 15000.
Blogging can earn you Six Digit Income, and hence it is affordable to invest in your infrastructure.
Internet Connection is also a must, do not use 2G or 3G. Internet with at least 5Mbps speed is a must for this business. So get a broadband connection / Fibre optic connection.
Check with your ISP in your local area to find a flexible Internet Connection Solution.
- Arrange a Personal Desktop Computer
- Opt for 4G or Broadband Internet Connection
Phase 2 - Register Domain Name
A domain name is also called a Blog Name or Website Name. It is usually registered with Domain Name Registrars such as Raj Softech Solutions etc.
You should have a domain name written in your diary if you completely understood what we discussed on Stage #1.
Based on your passion, you might have chosen your industry and after completing proper Keyword Research, you may have come up with a domain name.
Normally, domain names will be registered in recurring years, say 1 year, 2 years, 3 years up to 8 years.
There are so many factors to be considered while registering a domain name because the blog is the index of your face on the Internet.
It should be highly competitive, easily rememberable, short and it should convey your entire business.
You can use your name also with your domain name or use any keywords to name your online business website name.
But the decision is purely up to you because you are the ones to take the entire responsibility of your business.
Phase 3 - Buy a Web Hosting
A Web Server is a special computer with a special program that uses HTTP protocol to serve the files all over the Internet. The files, I mean here was Web Pages in HTML format or PHP format or any other format that can be digitally accessible.
There are two types of Web Servers – One was Linux based Apache System and the other Windows-based Internet Information -Server System.
I would suggest you Choose Linux Based Web Server for better performance and anytime accessibility. I have discussed this in the article entitled “Which webserver to choose for blogging?”
First, you should know, different types of hosting: Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server Hosting, Dedicated Server Hosting, Cloud Server Hosting.
You can get more information about these hosting types in the article entitled “What are the different types of Hosting?”
I don’t want to mess things up and so only I have given a link to read in detail.
I recommend you choose SHARED HOSTING at your beginning stages because your blog was not popular and have no traffic.
While you getting popular and when you observe the increase in traffic, you can opt for VPS or Dedicated or Cloud hosting based on your site usage. This is often more technical and we will study this in detail later.
3.1. Self Hosted domain Vs Free Hosted Domain
You have two more options here, that you can either choose free hosting and domain name from WordPress or Blogger (Google’s network) or Weebly.
Normally when you choose this option, there is no need to spend money on hosting and domain name purchase. But you will get Sub-domain names and it will look like this:
This is not suitable if you take your blogging business very seriously because continue reading here to know why the self-hosted blog is better than free hosting.
The second option is purchasing your own domain name from domain registrars such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, etc. which is valid for one year (as you wish to pay for).
You hold fully administrative rights on your domain and hosting because you paid for the license.
When coming to resources on the webserver, the free hosting providers have a lot of constraints but not in paid hosting. There are more good things in your own hosted platform.
If you consider your blogging business very seriously, then you should go with your own domain and host at any cause.
Plan to choose the best hosting server for your blogging business.
- Types of Hosting: Linux Hosting and Windows Hosting.
- Advantage: Linux is the best advisable hosting for bloggers.
- Domain Name Registration: Free host or Self-host. But Self hosting is recommended because of many reasons. It will cost you but it is a must.
Phase 4 - WordPress Themes
Designing a blog is a very crucial part of blogging. Because without proper presentation, how you will let your blog visitors know what you offer?
Gone are the days, where once the technicians with knowledge of HTML, PHP, and CSS are the only legends to design a blog.
With the introduction of CMS(Content Management Software) software, designing a blog was utter easy with simple drag and drop functions. All you need was creativity in blog designing.
WordPress was the most popular CMS used by many bloggers from beginner level to expert level. This software itself has many inbuilt features with easy drag, drop functions.
There are many companies that sell WordPress themes, and this evolution has started in 2008 but in the last three years, this industry has crossed a tremendous growth.
Its overwhelming response and user-friendly infrastructure make it easier to install. Many cPanel comes with the One-touch easy installation of WordPress.
The best-recommended themes for blogging were Thrive Themes, Genesis Framework, MyThemeShop, Theme Forest. These are the famous companies that sell WordPress CMS themes.
SEOBloggingTricks was started with the MyThemeShop theme and as the traffic grows, I have moved to the more latest version of WordPress from Thrive Themes.
Plan to choose the best hosting server for your blogging business.
- After your domain registration and server purchase, choose a nice theme suitable for your business.
- I recommend Thrive Themes or Genesis Framework at your beginning if you can afford it.
Phase 5 - WordPress Plugins
There are many types of themes available on the internet suitable for every type of business. But not all the themes will be used as it is designed.
Every business is different and it needs different presentations and optimization for its online presence.
Once you installed your theme, you need to customize it to fit your blogging business. This helps with increased features and functionality of a website.
Some plugins are available for free, some author offers a premium version with more enhanced functionality and features.
It is not necessary to use all the plugins with your WordPress themes. You can choose only suitable and necessary plugins to use.
Some of the basic plugins that are must be used on every theme were:
5.1. Yoast SEO
We all start the blog for making money. But how we can make money? It’s by converting your blog visitors into your customers or buyers.
How can we have visitors? We need to drive visitors from different sources such as Natural, Direct, Social, and Referral.
This particular task is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This process can be done by installing the Yoast SEO plugin.
This plugin is available for free for beginners, but the premium can be used by advanced bloggers for an effective SEO campaign.
Get further knowledge about important On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO tactics in this article.
5.2. W3 Super Cache
Caching is the process of storing your web pages in a temporary folder of your computer or your nearest server through a CDN network.
Web Caching helps boost your site loading speed because it is considered as one of the important ranking factors by Google.
Because if your site takes more than 3secs to load, you will probably lose more than 48% of your site visitors.
I recommend using W3 Super Cache plugin with your Word Press installation to speed up your site.
5.3. Contact Form 7
Earlier I said, Blogging is your online face that other people used to recognize you on the Internet.
So, you need to provide some way to let your blog audiences to communicate with you. This can be done by providing an HTML contact form on your blog.
This HTML form emails you every response that it receives. Don’t worry, you need not have coding knowledge because you can use this free plugin named Contact Form 7.
This is free to download and install on your blog with easy to implement options.
5.4. Social Sharing
Building a network and creating a new relationship with other people is a crucial factor in branding.
Blogging is not just driving traffic but it’s more than that. You should use different social networks to share your blog posts, updates, and latest news and information.
Building trust, loyalty, and good relationship help you in long-running and so you need a plugin to do this task for you.
I recommend using the Social Warfare plugin that I use on all my sites for Social Sharing work.
5.5. Image Optimization
Normally media such as Images, adds more weight to the page and hence causing slower delivery of web pages.
To get rid of it, I recommend using WP Smush Image Optimization plugin that compresses the image on your blog.
5.6. Anti Spam
When you gaining popularity, surely spam sources also grow on another side.
Comment spam is one of the biggest burdens for all webmasters and bloggers. It’s really the biggest challenge to filter genuine comments from spammy ones.
With a lot of spam comments, you will end up wasting most of the time responding to comments.
Thank God, there is a plugin called Akismet that helps you to stop comment spamming. This is a free plugin and is listed as the mandatory plugin in all Word Press blogs.
Phase 6 - Email Marketing Software
This is another crucial part of your blog development. It helps you drive direct traffic to your blog. You can use Gmail to send emails but it is limited to 100People per 24Hr.
Also, when you use Gmail for commercial purposes they will mark your Gmail ID as spam. Email Marketing is the act of sending commercial messages to a group of people altogether.
There is so much software available on the Internet that serves the purpose of Email Marketing.
Services like Aweber, GetResponse, Mail Chimp, Mail Gun, Amazon SES are examples. There are some WordPress plugins like WP-Subscribe Widget that helps you to collect your blog visitors Email address to send a periodic newsletter and promotional offers etc.
You should avail of any of these services at your beginning step itself.
Phase 7 - Content Creating Software
Creating content is a continuous process in your blogging business. While other parts of the businesses are automated, but still content creation is manual.
There are plenty of tools out there in the market that helps you in the process of creating quality, unique content.
The technology tools I suggest to carry out the task in this phase are EverNote, Grammarly, Adobe Photoshop, any video making software you can afford.
Content does not mean only text you have written, but it includes media such as Audio, Video, Images, Animations, etc, which will add more value to your content.
Evernote tool helps you plan, organize your content writing task and Grammarly helps you fix grammatical mistakes.
In any case, you need all these tools to get your blogging business to the next level.
Q & A Section
Now, take your Blogging Handbook, and write down these questions. Be genuine in answering these questions to help you move to the next stage. You should arrange a handbook for writing all the important pieces of information and other notes for reference. Keep this handbook every day in your blogging business, because without a written business plan success will be looking a long way.
Que 07: Have you arranged an optimal computer and an Internet connection?
Que 08: What is your Domain Name? Does it have the trending Keyword?
Que 09: Which web-hosting you have chosen? I recommend going with the self-hosted platform.
Recommended: BlueHost, Kinsta, Indeed Web Hosting, GoDaddy.
Que 10: Have you decided WordPress theme to purchase? Do not forget to list the plugins that help your WordPress to be user-friendly?
Note: Content Marketing Software will be detailly discussed on upcoming stages and we will list those things afterward.
Now, we shall move for discussion about Blogging Setup. Keep all the things like domain name, Hosting Login Details, etc on hand to start this process.