Day 6 — Building Your Blog and Publishing Your First Content
Building and using a blog are of the easiest parts in building a blogging business. The resources to help you build a blog is enormous. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you will be able to do it. Using it is even easier. If you can use email, you will be able to get your content up online with a blog.
Because Day 6 will be quick, you should make sure that you have gone through the previous days without leaving something behind. This is a great day to play catch-up if you are still behind.
To recap, here are the steps you have gone through in the previous days:
- Find niche ideas
- Research for potential long tail keywords
- Check for competitions in natural search
- Determine profitability of your micro niche
- Find content ideas and create flagship content
The latest part is worth repeating again. The first piece of content should be search-engine optimized for the main keyword.
Installing a blog is different from one hosting platform to another. Thirty Day Challenge uses WordPress Direct (WPD), a platform that auto-installs a WordPress blog to a sub-domain of their own domains, which you can choose by yourself. It also supports only cPanel hosting, as of now.
If you have cPanel, you may use Fantastico to install your blog, although you have to optimize the chosen theme and install various plugins to make your blog more search engine friendly.
Custom Installation of WordPress Plugins and Widgets
I choose to install WordPress 2.6 (WPD uses 2.5.1 as of this writing) on my own domain. If you use WPD, you can skip reading. Here are a list of plugins I’ve installed as part of my customization:
- AddThis Social Bookmarking. Using the drop-down version, because I like it.
- WP tags to Technorati. This plugin uses the tags I’ve entered into the tags field during content publishing and display the Technorati tags at the bottom of each page. Turning the link to nofollow is another trick that I think is important to avoid sending link juice to Technorati unnecessarily.
- WordPress Reports. Allows you to choose your Google Analytics profile right from the WordPress dashboard and see overview of the reports without visiting the Google every time.
- Add Meta Tags. WPD uses All in One SEO plugin, which I think is unnecessary. Adding meta description (not available in WPD) and keyword tags are easy with this plugin. I optimize my own title tag and manage theming with proper siloing. More on this later.
I disable most things in the sidebar but only two text widgets. The first one is for the affiliate product and another one is to manage silos (Ok, it is the main navigation of the blog).
It seems like the WP tags to Technorati plugin doesn’t work, perhaps because of one or more of the following reasons:
- The nofollow attribute. It may not be the nofollow thing, but because Technorati fails to notice the tags because of the attribute in the a tag. This is highly unlikely though.
- No category. I include no category at all in the sidebar because I want to control the links in the sidebar using individual pages (silos).
- Glitches. I ping pingomatic.com, but perhaps due to one reason or another the post is not included in Technorati.
I didn’t try to investigate further as Technorati may not be part of the strategies to generate traffic to that particular blog.
Instead of allowing the home page to be updated as new posts become available, I chose to create a page and optimize the copy for a broader niche keyword. This is beneficial for the long term growth of the site, I believe, because with too narrow a niche, you can only grow so far. By broadening the niche a bit, I can have a lot of content under the domain and use silos to separate the content.
The title tag uses only the title of the individual blog post, without excessive stuff like the name of the blog. One page is optimized for one long tail keyword. The home page is for the primary micro-niche keyword.
Other topical keywords are placed in the sidebar with proper anchor text in each of the links. A link to the home page with the right anchor text is available within the footer. The logo image at the top of the page can be used for more or less the same purpose, via the alt attribute. Adding this doesn’t significantly boost search engine rankings but it is always something worth doing especially because I’m still in the mode to tweak the blog theme.
When it comes to the URL, you only need to make sure you have clean URLs. Set the permalink option to /%postname%. I don’t use categories, so adding %category% into the URL is not required. Due to the nature of some niches and content, it is not required or even possible to divide the content into multiple categories, especially because this is a micro-niche.
Some people may pick only 3-5 keywords from the niche, let’s say it is tarot. Having a category for tarot card and tarot card meanings can only confuse the readers. For this reason, I’ll just control it using virtual silos — through the use of links.
Make sure your blog ping various blog services. For this case, using rpc.pingomatic.com is more than enough because it automatically send pings to various services. It comes with default WordPress installation.
Finally, because I disable category and other features to browse archives, including tags, duplicate content problem is non existent. If you choose to enable category listings, you may want to consider displaying excerpts instead of full content, especially if you choose to display only one post per page.
Adding the First Content to the Blog
Adding the first content to the blog is too easy. Just copy and paste the content to the blog editor and press the “Publish” button.
Choose the right category and include the primary keyword in the tags. You don’t need to put excessive tags in the field, just the primary keyword.
I also add the link to this particular post in the sidebar as one of the main menu.
The text widget is sufficient to display the affiliate product picked from Day 4.
Return to Thirty Day Challenge.
Return to Blog Tips for a Better Blog — Blog Building University.