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How to start a blog

Interested in starting a blog? Here is a list of blogging resources: 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase.

Domain

If you are thinking of starting a blog, you probably are thinking of what to call your website. That’s exactly what “domain” means, because it is what people will search and find online. Finding a perfect name that matches your website’s purpose is important, but you also need to keep these considerations in mind:

How do I know where to buy a domain?

They are lots of options on the market for domain names. Most of the time they are linked to hosting services, and it’s generally a good idea to buy them together if you need a hosting service (if this is your case, feel free to use my affiliate link for siteground). In some cases, you may just need a domain name. This may be because you have a hosting provider from another company, because it’s cheaper to buy it separately (this would be unusual), or because you first got one and then decide to get the other.

What do I need  to check first before buying a domain name from any provider?
  • Do they allow me to transfer my domain to another?
  • Do they allow me to edit, add and delete DNS?
  • How much is it?
Who offers domain names?

Here is a list of the most “popular” hosting providers:

Sometimes they offer specials deal if you use the service two or three years in row, so you want to make sure to check it.

Hosting

It’s very important to have a good hosting provider because you want your website online most of the time. There are many options on the market. When selecting, you need to keep in mind:

  • How much traffic do I expect on my website?
  • Is my website an E-commerce, blogger, business, or basic (usually 4 tabs) site?
  • Will my website accept payments online?

It’s important to consider all these questions because you will choose your hosting provider according to your website’s purpose. You also need to think about these others features from the provider:

  • Do they offer technical support in my language? If not, do they offer technical support in another language that I know well?
  • Do they provide support 24/7?
  • What percentage of “Uptime” do they offer (optimal  99% or more)?
  • How much space will I receive?
  • Do they use an SSD drive?
  • Can I have my own email? Example: [email protected]
  • Do they offer a SSL certificate?
  • How much bandwidth do they offer?

Of note, some of them are cheaper than others, but remember: “cheap is expensive.” 

The “cheap” options lead you to pay a lot more that you were expecting because they may have hidden fees. For example, if you want to install a SSL certificate and don’t know how to do it, there will be an extra fee. There are many more examples like this that I can mention. 

I highly recommend siteground because they offer:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Service excellent for any type of website
  • 99.99% Uptime
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Easy SSL certificate installation
  • SSD disk
  • Support 24/7
  • Free domain
  • Free WordPress Migrator
  • Automatic WP updates
  • Daily backups
  • Free CDN
  • Free email
  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Balance with renewable energy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Advanced backup (only available on plans GrowBig and GoGeek)
  • Cache that increases speed on your website (only available on plans GrowBig and GoGeek)
  • Staging (only available on plans GrowBig and GoGeek)
  • Add collaborators (only available on plans GrowBig and GoGeek)
  • Staging + Git repo creation (only available on plan GoGeek)
  • The highest level of resources (only available on plan GoGeek)
  • Priority Advanced Support (only available on plan GoGeek)

All these features show why I love siteground as a hosting provider and highly recommend it. 

You may purchase a hosting plan through siteground using my affiliate link.

WordPress theme

Selecting a theme is important, but what’s really important is what you want to have on your website or what sort of features you need.

Knowing this will allow you to select an appropriate theme for your website. Here are some items for you to consider to select the perfect theme:

  • Do they offer updates?

This is very important mostly if you are not a developer. If you choose a nice theme but they do not offer new updates, it means that eventually there will be security issues. If you do not have any idea how to fix this, you will need to hire someone else to do it or buy a new theme.

  • Does this theme fulfill all the Google SEO standards?

Honestly, almost all the current themes fulfill all the SEO standards, but it’s good to check the last update of the theme. If it’s too old, it’s probably better not to buy it.

  • Does the theme fulfill all your requirements and is it free of errors?

This point is hard because there is no such thing that matches all your requirements for features. However, you don’t want to fix or add extra features especially if you are not tech-savvy, so it’s important to choose wisely!

  • If you have no idea how to choose one, it’s probably better to hire a professional.

Convertkit for email

I use ConvertKit to build my subscribers list  and send my list attractive emails. The company offers a free 14-day trial. If you are interested in using this service, you are welcome to use my affiliate link to sign up. Growing an email list is a great way to connect with your audience and keep them up-to-date on your latest blogs posts and offerings. I offer a free tips sheet to improve the diet to those who sign up for my email list.

Social media

I use the Blog2social plug-in because it offers social media integration with Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, Twitter, LinkedIn, VKontakte, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Google and some others. All this is available with their free version! 

There are some other interesting Pro features such as: scheduled post, re-share old post, add more than 1 user, unlimited social media profile and some others.

SEO tools

Hashtag Jeff course. I took this course and learned a lot about keyword searches and organizing my site so that it can be found in search engines. HashtagJeff is a subscription program with access to a course, webinars, and a private Facebook group with direct access to Jeff as an SEO expert. The monthly subscription is $29, and with my affiliate code you will get 50% off your first month. Here is the link: https://hashtagjeff.com/seo-mastermind-course/. Once there, click “join now” in the green box. From there, you will hit “apply coupon” in the box and put in JINAN50OFF.

Yoast. Yoast SEO is one of the most widely popular WordPress plugins around and it’s easy to understand. Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search engine-friendly as possible. There is also a premium option which adds some extra features.

Yoast offers graduated discounts. There are discounts of 5% from 2 sites, up to 50% for 150 units. You’ll find the discounts automatically when you add plugins to your shopping cart.

Keysearch. I use Keysearch to do keyword research. This allows me to see how many people are searching for particular keywords and how much competition there is for particular terms. You may use my affiliate link and the coupon code KSDISC to save 20% off your subscription!

Tools for organization

I use the free version of Asana to communicate with others working with me and organize my tasks. 

Resources for images

I use Unsplash for free images. This site has photos that can be downloaded and used for free. No permission is needed (though attribution is appreciated).

Affiliate programs

I am part of the Amazon Associates program, which provides a small commission for items purchased via the links I provide to various food items. Through this, I promote products that I myself have purchased and enjoy. 

WordPress plugins

Here you can find a list of some plugins that all websites need, in my personal opinion:

  • JetPack
  • WPForms 
  • MailChimp Forms by MailMunch
  • Elementor (it has some good features to create pages)
  • CAOS (Complete Analytics Optimization Suite to track your traffic on Google)
  • GDPR Cookie Consent (a simple way to show your website complies with the EU Cookie Law / GDPR)
  • Yoast SEO
  • Blog2social
  • SG Optimizer (available only on siteground)
  • Login Security reCAPTCHA

I hope all this information will be useful for your next website or blog! Please let me know what you think in the comments.

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