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The Secrets to Long-Term Blogging Success [Part 7]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Welcome to the 7th section of our discussion on blogging success.  Here we cover some basic tactics to ensure you get long-term results from your site.  If you’ve missed any part of this course, then here’s the link to the other posts.

Today I would like to discuss something that’s going to ruffle a few feathers.  You might not agree with me, but at least listen to what I have to say before disregarding it.  Specifically I’d like to discuss hosting and your blogging platform.  This isn’t a very sexy topic, but I think it’s important to carefully consider the following…

#17- Avoid Free Blogging Services

Remember when I mentioned the importance of treating your blog like a business?

Well, one of the worst business decisions you could make is to host your site using a free blogging service.

I like free stuff as much as the next person.  However, I feel it’s important to build your site with a strong foundation.  The harsh truth is you don’t really have control when it comes to a free blogging service.  At any point they can press a button and POOF… Goodbye blog!

Unfortunately, I know many people use services like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.   My advice is to take the hit and start over using something that you host.  Yes, it requires some work.  The good news is when all is said and done you’ll be surprised at how much more you get out a site that’s under your control.

Now you might have a few questions like:

How do you find web hosting? There are so many options to choose from.  I recommend Host Gator simply because I’ve used their services for the last five years.  I’ve never had any problems and their customer service is pretty good when I have a question about something.

How do I design my site? This is an easy one which I’ll answer here…

#18- Use WordPress.Org

First, I want to quickly clarify something.  There’s a huge difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.Org.  With the .com your site is hosted on their services (which we now know is bad). With the .org, you download their blogging platform, upload it to your hosting service and PRESTO… you have a website!

Now I know a lot of people sing the praises of other blogging platforms like TypePad or BackSpace.  To be honest, I’ve never used them.  So I can’t really comment on whether they’re good or not.

What I do know is WordPress (the .org version) is an amazing piece of software.  One installed on your site, you have a program that’s really intuitive.  You don’t need to any skill in web design.  All you do is type in your post, press a button, and then your content is ready for the world to see.

Another reason I love WordPress is its fully customizable.  You’d be surprised at how professional a site can look through this blogging platform.   All you need to do is add a sharp-looking WordPress Theme with a few plugins, and you’ll have a blog that looks like it was designed by an expert web designer.

Finally, I want to mention how easy it is to install WordPress.  Just find a hosting package that includes CPanel (like Host Gator) and select a few options.  Then within minutes you’ll have a fully functioning blog.

I know this might sound a little confusing.  So tomorrow, I’ll include a few video tutorials about how to set up your blog.

Parting Thoughts…

Like I said… Not a very sexy post.  However I do think it’s important to start your blog on the right foot.  By doing both of the tips I just recommended you’ll have a site that’s fully in control.  The best part is you can have a very professional looking site- Even if you don’t know a thing about web design.

Anyway, if you have any thoughts (or questions) about WordPress or Hosting, please let me know in the comment box below…

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 8 comments }

Dia

Thanks Steve for this post. Wordpress makes things a lot easier as you mentioned, you don’t need to be a web designer to use it. It is very simple to download and use.
.-= Dia´s last blog ..How patient are you? =-.

Steve Scott

Couldn’t agree more! I’m a complete techno-dunce and I still manage to figure it out.

Gail

Hi Steve,
Despite having a blogger blog myself, I fully agree with you. The only reason I haven’t switched the paying hobby blog to a hosted platform already is because I want to work through the blueprint I created first and do my homework. I’m blogging about it as I go because It’s helping me 1) clarify my thought process and 2) develop the habit of scheduling a blog post every day.
When I reach the transition stage, it may well be the domain I register is different. Either way I plan to schedule less frequent but still regular posts on the blogger blog and use it after that point to direct traffic to the new domain.
.-= Gail´s last blog ..Grappling with the Distractiob of the Digital Dragon 5: Social Networking =-.

Steve Scott

Sounds like a pretty well thought out plan. I should have written something there about redirecting people from the one site to the other. It is a pain in the but, however in the long run, switching to your own site can be a great move.

Mark of Success

Hi Steve,

I guess you didn’t have much time at your hands when writing this post. Looking forward to more stuff in the next post in the series.

I’d like to mention here regarding WordPress, from what I’ve heard, that it is supposed to be SEO-friendly. Also, it is known that Google Search Engine loves sites with self-hosted WordPress. But for that matter, Google loves Blogger too… well, as they own it, there’s no wonder about that 🙂

Cheers!
Mark
.-= Mark of Success´s last blog ..If you think you know what an ideal work life balance is, read this! =-.

Steve Scott

Haha…I guess that’s a subtle hint that I didn’t include enough info here 🙂

Agree with both points about Blogger and WordPress. I think a great technique would be to have a primary WordPress site and take your content, rewrite it and have a direct link back to your site. That way, you can take advantage of the SEO benefits.

Mark of Success

No, not at all! My comment wasn’t hinting anything on those lines. There’s way too much on this topic that can be covered in a few posts, so no high expectations there.

Btw, may be you just misunderstood my statement about WordPress being SEO Friendly. By “self-hosted WordPress”, I meant the “.org” part. The product itself is SEO friendly, so no need to have a blog on the “.com” site to reap the benefits. Of course, having a link from there would be beneficial in that it would give you one link pointing to your actual site.

Well, that’s just my opinion. Someone may disagree in upcoming comments below 😀

Cheers!
Mark
.-= Mark of Success´s last blog ..Site Announcement: Get a do-follow link from my site to yours =-.

Steve Scott

Oh okay…that does make sense now. I agree with what you said…the SEO benefits are pretty useful when you’re trying to build up traffic.

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