WordPress is a popular method of creating a web presence for various reasons, not least its relative simplicity and convenience. The fact it’s free is another bonus. Technically speaking, its an open-source system for managing content based on PHP and MySQL, but from the point-of-view of the front-end designer these are background aspects that will not impinge on your ability to design your blog.
WordPress is used right across the globe, and when it comes to putting together your own content for management, it’s an ideal resource for beginners or ‘newbies’. The blog that you will eventually be launching will be joining over 74.5 million such WordPress sites, half of which are hosted on WordPress.com – which is why they present such a user-friendly method of web design. You’ll be utilizing server-side coding (the aforementioned PHP and MySQL) but you don’t need to actually get into the nuts and bolts of server-side web development.
Around one-third of the Internet is driven by WordPress, and it’s perfect for anyone who has dreamt of self-publishing a web resource rather than commissioning the services of a professional designer. This makes it the software platform of choice for everyone from someone wishing to blog regularly about their favourite pastime to global news networks.
So, aside from the technicalities, what are the basic steps to creating your WordPress blog? At this stage it’s worth noting that WordPress has so much more potential than allowing you to put together a few blog pages. It allows you to construct a flexible content management system of your own, building an installing a dynamic website by using your web browser as the tool.
The reason WordPress is so powerful is because of its open source status. This means it’s a project reliant on volunteers from all over the world, a benevolent and unseen army of enthusiasts who spend their time tinkering the code behind the numerous WordPress web platforms in order to continually improve the systems. This leads to constant widgets, plugins and themes becoming available to users.
The process of launching a site is straightforward. WordPress has all sorts of tutorials and step-by-step guides that guide you through the procedure. You can get the software installed in your own web server in around five minutes. As part of this installation you’ll be given login credentials that take you to your WordPress blog. Updating your content is therefore as simple as accessing your own browser and utilizing an editor to create and update pages. You certainly don’t need to have any inkling of the intricacies of PHP coding.
Once your WordPress blog is up-and-running you can set about maintaining your blog, keeping it updated and fresh looking. You can add features such as a photo gallery, a mailing list or an online store. If you want to try out the latest plugins or widgets, a vast support community will be on-hand to advise you on the intricacies (or simplicity) of powering up your blog with these new features.
Before moving on to monetizing your blog, it’s important to grasp the best ways of harnessing a blog. The Internet relies on keeping users’ attentions engaged at all times. People randomly surfing the web have a notoriously short attention span which is why it’s crucial to appeal to their sense of novelty. Pages which look stale or tired will be clicked past rapidly. Your blog must present content which is constantly updated.
It’s also important to appreciate keywords relevant to your blog subject. This is how you can insert bait for search engines, although you also have to know these keywords must flow organically and not appear to be shoehorned into the text. The good news is WordPress provides the tools to maintain SEO-friendliness.
If your WordPress blog is powerful enough you can think about joining an affiliate marketing program. This is where you sign-up to promote the products of a retail company by advertising the units on your own blog. It’s free to join one of these programs, and once you do it’s up to you to make sure your blog entices customers.
Rather than simply setting up a blog to ‘plug’ products, you want to create a buzz around them, reaching out to your customer base through your social media outlets. Be seen as an authority on your subject.
The onus is on your to harness your blog, because you’ll be eligible for commission on every click-through.
If you want to know how to monetize a blog in another straightforward way, display Google AdSense on your pages, inviting visitors to your site to click on adverts that will generate income. WordPress widgets will allow you to add Google AdSense to your blog’s sidebar.