Are you setting up a new blog? It’s easy to overlook some of the more basic steps, such as adding an SSL certificate or creating a contact page. And doing so, could mean you missing out on traffic and income. So here are 10 things I think every new blog needs…
An SSL certificate encrypts the connection between a visitors browser and your blog. You don’t need to know why this is important or how it works. But you do need one. A blog by default doesn’t come with an SSL certificate and Google will penalise your site (or at the very least rank your competitors higher) if you don’t have one.
When you install an SSL certificate your blog will be accessible using https:// and not just http://. Even though SSL can seem a bit technical these days it’s super easy to install. I would recommend using a host like SiteGround (the host I use) as it lets you setup SSL certs automatically and for free!
Web browsers are making it more and more difficult for non SSL sites, so it’s really important to get on board.
Every blogs needs some type of Spam protection. Spam comments are a huge problem but thankfully that can easily be blocked with free plugins. Askimet is built by WordPress and you can use it for free. It’s what most blogs use and it works pretty well. It’s usually the first thing I activate when I setup a blog.
I was amazed at how often I was contacted through my blog. Bloggers get offers for guest posts, partnership opps, advertising requests etc etc. You could either add a form to a page or just create a separate email address on your blogs domain. Most hosts come with free email for your domains.
My advice is to setup an email list well before you think you need one. Why? Because email lists are hugely valuable assets. Later on down the line, when you’re thinking about launching products or selling affiliate products, you’re gonna wish you had setup an email list.
Start an email list as just a blog newsletter. You can simply send a roundup of your top posts each week. As your blog grows you can add autoresponders and sales funnels. The most important thing is having a list setup so you can start capturing leads.
Sitemaps are used by Google and other search engines to index your site. You can install SEO plugins that will automatically generate sitemaps for you. It’s something you can setup once and never need to deal with again.
A favicon is the small icon displayed in the browser’s tab bar. WordPress has a default favicon that you’ll want to change. If you don’t, your blog will just look like every other default wordpress site and won’t stand out.
Permalinks are the URL of your blog posts and are important for SEO and the general usability of your blog. I recommend changing your URLs to something like YouBlog.com/post-title-goes-here. This can easily be done in your WordPress settings.
Get rid of the default “hello world” pages in your blog and replace them with a nice About page. Write about the blog niche and when you’ve started creating content link to your top posts. This is great for SEO as well as giving readers a bit of background.
This is probably the most important thing! If you want to make money from a blog or even become a full-time blogger, you need goals. Don’t just setup a blog for the sake of starting a blog. What are some milestones you want to achieve? How much money do you want to make? Break it down into smaller goals (e.g write 10 posts this month) and longer milestones such (e.g Make $1000 in a 30 day period).
MyEzy is great for keeping track of these goals and milestones. There is a built in tool for doing just this and it will help you stay focused and motivated.
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