Monthly Archives: May 2012

Stage 2, Part 2: Choosing Your Theme

Choosing your theme is very important, and I know that people on the internet want to try and make money – whilst spending as little money as possible as well, so here will be the page where I will share the many free themes that look great!

This will be my ‘home’ for themes. The go to page for all things themes on my blog. I’ll have one great theme that I would recommend on a particular sub-topic, and then I will make a page out of the sub-topic, so you can browse more themes that could fit your blog.

(note: this is still a work in progress, the pages aren’t up just yet, but it will within a few weeks)

  • Personal Blog

WordPress Theme: Journal Crunch

A free, WordPress theme that is great for personal blogs because it does have that casual yet professional feel to it. Great in catering the needs of photographers as well – with the featured images feature as well – really goes down well with those type of bloggers. Furthermore, the theme is generally well rounded and drop down menus as well. The top WordPress FREE theme for your WordPress blog.

Where to get it: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/12/09/journalcrunch-wordpress-3-0-theme-free-theme-for-portfolios-and-magazines/

  • Hybrids

  • WordPress Theme: Vintage and Blues

A theme that you can really use for anything. From building a news site to quite simply doing a personal blog, there is a lot of things you can actually do with this theme. A WordPress theme that I would recommend for people new to advertising as well.

Where to get it: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/28/vintage-and-blues-wordpress-themes/

  • Magazine Themes

WordPress theme: Scarlett

A great magazine theme, fitted with a slider that slides automatically along with a wicked looking design. Looks fantastic, and should be what you install if you’re looking for a Magazine theme for your WordPress site.

Where to get it: http://www.web2feel.com/scarlett-theme/

  • News Sites

WordPress Theme: Premium News

What can I say? WooThemes framework, fantastic SEO ready made set-up, fantastic looking theme, the ability to easily customize, lots of awesome featured post settings, and it just makes for a fantastic theme for you to have. Had this on a blog of mine, and it really did attract a lot of positive comments.

Where to get it: http://www.woothemes.com/2007/11/premiumnews/

If you need help to install a new WordPress theme, you don’t need to look any further than right here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Themes

Stage 2, Part 1: What Plug-ins Should You Install?

If you are just beginning to find your way around WordPress, you might encounter something new that you haven’t heard before – plug-ins.

They make life a lot easier for you, and quite frankly, it would be really hard to manage blogs without anti-spam plugins like Akismet, along with some Ad Rotators – which help to garner more income from strategically placed ads. So here’s a list of 7 plugins that I would highly recommend you installing on your WordPress blog.

#1: Akismet

Why not start with the plug-in that I recommended in the introduction paragraph? A great plug-in, and one that I use on all my blogs because of it’s excellent functionality. Takes away the spam so I don’t have to see it, and it also allows me on my main focus – getting visitors, getting more money, and quite simply improving my blog.

Where to download it: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/akismet/

#2: The Wibiya Toolbar

A great tool to not only impress your viewers with it’s pizazz, but it will massively improve your presence on the web – it helps to get more interaction going, allows people to like and follow you on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and it allows for people to subscribe your blog too! What more could you want from a toolbar?

Where to find it: http://wibiya.conduit.com/

(The steps are easy to follow on the website)

#3: Jetpack

Stats, URL shortener, allows easier embedding of videos from sites such as YouTube, a widget capable of showing latest tweets, a plug-in that allows for easier sharing – sharing buttons, and so much more! JetPack is a WordPress plug-in from the guys at Automattic, and it provides updates on a regular basis – constantly improving that plug-in of theirs. For me, a must have – especially because of the stats!

Where to download it: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/jetpack/

#4: All in One SEO Pack

There are a few good SEO related plug-ins, but I reckon All in One SEO pack is the best that no money can get you. Easy to use, easy to understand and essentially a very good all around plug-in that will do a lot of that SEO stuff that you don’t need to know (at least I don’t) for you!

Where to download it: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

#5: LinkWithin

There are quite a number of related posts plug-ins/widgets out there on the internet, but here’s one of the best for you. Providing clean, professional looking related posts at the bottom of posts. Easily customizable and just fantastic on the eye.

Where to download it: http://linkwithin.com

Stage 1, Part 2: Hosting, and Other Administrative Stuff

So here’s where I go into how you buy your domains, along with how to get your website set up with WordPress if you decide not to go with the expensive ‘beginner’s way to set up a website’.

So here, I will be talking about where you should buy your websites, along with who to set up your website with.

WordPress.com Hosting
Price: USD 18
This one can be set up by going to the dashboard section in WordPress.com. (*For people just creating a new website, you have got to go to the “Create a Website” section, it’s self explanatory from there) You just go to the upgrades section and everything is very straightforward from there.

The pros and cons are easy to see. Like my summary, WordPress.com hosting is short and sweet. It is easy, and their support staff is just fantastic. But there is a downside to this, with there being high prices for this way of web hosting. It comes with a price, this being about USD18 per year. Good value, but there is much better value out there on the internet. Furthermore, you won’t be allowed to run Ads, unless of course you get good, high quality (and they are really strict on this) traffic towards your blog. Did I mention you need a lot of it? There is another exception. But you need to pay USD 3750 per month. Crazy. So, if you are planning to make money through WordPress.com, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it – although you can indeed make a list through this.

Non WordPress Blog Hosting
The steps for this are different, and I hope that you guys can follow. Essentially, you need to buy a domain, before paying for the web hosting, which will then be able to start you off. Essentially, the price of the web hosts I list later are not including the price for the actual domain.

Where to buy your domain is up to you. Most of the time, you have to point your DNS to your web hosting website – they have the how-to instructions on the websites. Where to buy domains from? I recommend NameCheap, along with Domain.com for this. They come with prices of around USD 3 per year, pretty good value for your money, coupled with reliability.

Hostgator Hosting
Price: USD 4.95 a month

My personal recommendation for your web hosting needs. Cheap and relatively easy to understand. Hassle free and you get to control so much more than WordPress.com hosted sites. The themes available on WordPress are all readily available at the same prices, and you get the whole web’s worth of themes as well – in that aspect, you’r not missing out.

The pros for Hostgator hosting, include great support, cPanel support (which trust me, is a great asset to creating e-mails to do with your domain) along with it being uber reliable – 99.9% reliable, as they say. They’ve been in the business for a while, and they are perhaps the best out there. There aren’t many cons when it comes to Hostgator – but their prices for domains are ridiculous. DON’T buy domains from them. Prices will increase as you require more bandwidth.

Nearly Free Speech (NearlyFreeSpeech.net)
Price: From USD 0.25 per month
I love Nearly Free Speech – the reason is because they charge according to how much bandwidth you use. Great for newbies just looking to test web blogging out, because this will massively low the costs of the blogger.

The pros for Nearly Free Speech is that it is freaking USD 0.25 a month! Who wouldn’t want a deal like that! To be honest, if you are getting high traffic, I personally don’t think that Nearly Free Speech is the way forward for you, I would go with those USD 7.95 for unlimited bandwidth sorta deals. Those are more for you. Furthermore, there is no SSL (secure sockets layer) – no static IPs for all sites. A small difference, but a difference nonetheless.

The Others
The three I recommended above are three that I thought that people like you and me would take. I had the beginner’s way – simple, but expensive. The neutral way – good value for money. And I also showed you guys the uber cheap way – although it varies with traffic.

Others that I would recommend include:
*Bluehost: Unlimited bandwidth, along with a lot more unlimited things at USD 6.95 . For the pros of blogging, I guess – when you need that bandwidth.
*Dreamhost: Easy to use. USD 8.95 and comes packed with lots of features, including free domain registration – it saves lots of time as well – with it being packed together, no complicated DNS pointing among other bothersome chores. The more assessable web host.

And there you have it! 5 ways to web hosting! Be sure to come back once you’ve gotten your site online to see what to do next!

Stage 1, Part 1: What is your website going to be about?

So, before you get into hosting and more complicated web design and the actual posting, you’re going to have to decide what you are going to write about.

What I personally recommend is blogging about something that you love writing, although it also has to be something that you would actually get a decent amount of traffic from elsewhere. Whether it be reviews, a personal blog or simply a site where you vent your opinion on anything (whether it be politics, football like me, or even the world of motorsports), the possibilities are virtually endless.

If you listen to my advise, you will be able to get lots of tips to start your blog, so do follow me.

So, carrying on, you need to decide on what exactly you want to write about – do take your time with this, because this is actually very important – you don’t want to spend 4 hours a week fitting themes and conjuring posts up for 2 months before deciding that the topic of which you are talking about isn’t for you, or simply isn’t for the general public – not enough traffic. Because rest assured, with me, you’ll learn how to get quality traffic, good SEO and simply lots of viewers if you simply check up on my blog every now and then. The way that I explain things is chronological, and you can simply follow on with every single step – or even search particular topics, and I am sure that you will find what you’re looking for within time.

So, do take something like 10 minutes deciding on the topic of your blog. If you’re really lazy and you’re actually looking for ‘passive income’ right now, here are a few topics that I would recommend:

A Recipes Website: Perhaps the most easiest way to get traffic via SEO once your posts are done. Most recipes are all relevant in the modern world, and as the saying goes, eventually someone’s going to find it. Google can be of great assistance, and with resilience, a website in this category can be big.

Self Improvement Websites: People are always hungry for knowledge, so if you offer them advice on self improvement, someone is going to want to view the blog. I can guarantee you this. If you give good advice, your website can spread pretty quickly.

A Personal Blog: Has the potential to be really successful, but you really need to have that ‘it’ factor in your life. It has to be interesting, or quite simply, the way you present yourself is innovative. Photography blogs are always nice – they’re the reason why GIFBoom and Instagram, along with Tumblr are all the rage.

WordPress Related Blogs: I’m writing a WordPress related blog and I’m recommending you guys a couple of things. The fact that you guys are reading this right now is testament to the power of this particular niche.

The Name
What’s in a domain?

Everything! Well, almost everything. Branding is so important – that’s why picking the right title and domain for your website is an absolute essential. People remember you by the name of your blog, and this will create your very own presence on the internet.

For example, do your think that people would actually know what AIG stands for? Most people just recognize it as AIG and don’t remember the full name of the company. So keep your blog’s name is short – or at least have an acronym that is easy to search up.