Starting a blog is pretty simple and straightforward process. However, if you really want to create a site that stands out from the other billion active sites on the internet, I have a great set of tools and resources to share with you. I don’t want to overwhelm you with choices, so I have hand-selected only the best tools and resources that I currently use with my own sites. I’ve been an active user and customer of many of these services for many years now and stand by each of them — which means you can also start using them and have full confidence in mind.
BLUEHOST – WEB HOSTING
The first and most important thing to set up when starting a blog is selecting your web hosting provider. With literally thousands of different providers on the internet to choose from, the process of trying to find the one that’s right for you and your budget can be a huge headache. To make this easy for you, I personally recommend Bluehost. Not only are they one of the largest hosting companies in the world today (hosting well over 2 million sites and domains), they are also extremely competitively priced, offer a one-click WordPress installation solution and also provide new customers with a free domain name at the time of sign up. As a direct partner with Bluehost, I’ve been able to negotiate an extremely low price of just $2.95 per month for my blogging.org audience.
Going live with your blog, your first content and seeing visitors come to your site is going to be an extremely exciting time. However, the majority of people who visit your site for the first time aren’t likely to come back. We are talking about around 70%! This doesn’t have so much to do with your site or content, it’s just a numbers game and most people have short attention spans and forget where they’ve been. One of the best ways to increase repeat traffic and growing your following is by starting a mailing list. I’m currently using ConvertKit to manage my mailing lists and I recommend you get to try them out as well. ConvertKit has won the hearts of many bloggers and online marketers because of their easy to use platform, which also offers integration with many other tools and also has a great management and automation platform once logged into their member’s area.
When installing WordPress for the first time and going live with your blog, you will notice it went live with a default WordPress theme. This is fine at first, but if you want to have a successful and professional looking website, you should really have a premium WordPress theme. MyThemeShop is one of the top players in the WordPress theme space. What’s great about their site is they have more than 80+ different themes to choose from, and they have a low-cost annual membership where you get full access to all WordPress themes and plugins offered through their site. I’m currently using several of their themes for some of my largest websites and blogs.
SEO is one of the most important factors when creating a website or blog. There are currently over a billion active sites on the internet today and they are all creating content. The only way to outrank them in the search results is to know what keywords they are ranking for, where they are getting their backlinks from and to monitor the progress of your SEO efforts at the same time. SEMRush has a platform in place that offers all of this and more. In addition to keeping track of your own sites and what they are ranking for, you can also do site audit reports and keep an eye on your competition to see where they are currently gaining new ground in the search results.
Keeping with the theme of building a successful tool and using only the best tools and services possible, OptinMonster is another must-use tool that I recommend for all site owners and bloggers. Just like how I recommended ConvertKit as my preferred list hosting provider, OptinMonster is a pop-up and call-to-action WordPress plugin to help you explode your mailing list. There are currently more than 11 million sites using OptinMonster to grow their mailing lists and increase engagement on their sites. I also use the software on all of my sites as well, and it works amazing! I highly recommend you try it out if you are serious about building a mailing list and a successful blog.