Paul Zisson

How do you set up a blog?

What is the step by step process to set up a blog and do you create it within your website or can it/is it better to maintain it independently? What sort of content should be on your blog and how much do you link to your business? I hear of a 80/20 rule where only 20% should be direct plug to your business and the 80% informative, industry related. What do you think?

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5 Answers

Peter Montgomery

As James says,

If you are building a standalone blog make it on WordPress.

  • Buy your domain from either Crazy Domains or Godaddy. (I use Godaddy) If your business is Primarily in Australia use .com.au   if it's Global use .com
  • Buy hosting. I love Hostgator. Great chat support.
  • Inside of Hostgator use Fantastico Deluxe (Scroll down to the smiley face and click on it) and set it up on Wordpress (Top left options) Fill out your details.
  • Get your DNS (Domain Name Servers) numbers from hostgator In the same place the smiley face was on the left side panel you'll see them. 2 numbers. Copy them.
  • Go inside Godaddy or where ever you got your domain and find the place to manage your domains and DNS and enter your Numbers you got from hostgator into the appropriate spaces.
  • It may take a while for these settings to take effect. Type your new web address into the adress bar on your browser and it should come up with your new very boring looking wordpress blog.
  • Log in and go to appearance on the left hand side and click themes. In there you can select a theme for how you want your blog to look (until you pay to get a custom job done)
  • This is a very simplistic outline and nothing is ever as easy as it is made out but from this if you are happy to work at it you will be able to figure it out and will 'learn on the job'
  • Good luck and try not to get too frustrated with it all. If you get stuck come back here to this thread and explain what part you're stuck on and I'm sure we can all get you through it.
  • Phil Joel

    Phil Joel , Director at SavvySME

    Great instructions Peter. I'm sure people will appreciate this.
    Great instructions Peter. I'm sure people will appreciate this.
    Peter Montgomery

    Peter Montgomery , Founder / Host at The Peter Montgomery Show

    thanks Phil...
    thanks Phil...
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    James Norquay

    James Norquay , Consulting Director at Prosperity Media

    It depends what platform your site is built on, some can be easier than others to implement a blog.

    To be honest I run off maybe 90-95% information for my readers and possible 5-10% promotion of my services, you can run a banner on the site and have a services page linked via the blog.

    If you are building a standalone blog make it on WordPress in terms of how easy and simple the set up and maitence is. 

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    Glen Rothquel

    Glen Rothquel , Get More Clients, Lead Generation and Conversion, Marketing at Leads 2 Profits

    Great information Peter. Thanks. I'm sure we could all learn a LOT from your very considerable skills!

    I've heard many people say your blog should be the 'center of your universe" - so to speak...and everything else feeds off it. The Blog is your Hub...and Linked In, Facebook, You Tube etc.....drive people to your blog where they can get useful information and enter your follow up system...assuming you have one.

     

     

     

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    Dave Holmes

    For my business I operate two blogs, a main blog and a summary blog. My main blog is a WordPress site, self hosted and uses a different domain name from my main business. I was forced into this rather than choice as I operate an eCommerce site and back when my blog started I knew I would be changing eCommerce software in the near future. I changed from self hosted eCommerce to Shopify, so they host for me. Moving a blog across is do-able but seemed to add more grief than I needed moving product across. Having a seperate domain has worked well for me, there are lots of thoughts on blog within main and blog outside, I'm happy with the way mine work.

    My self hosted main WordPress blog does have links to my store but I don't over do it, only one or two links are enough plus I also link to other relevant sites. e.g. I sell Olympus gear so I often link to the Olympus sites in AU/UK/US.

    My second, summary blog is purely for SEO purposes. It's a blogger.com blog (owned by Google) and has a short summary of any article I write. I link from blogger.com to the main article and have found that doing this instantly gets my posts indexed. 

    My content relates to the things I sell, none of it is salesy but is informative. I write about common issues and questions that people have things related to my business and this works well. Blogging shouldn't be a chore, should be fun and something you enjoy doing. Giving away knowledge can be quite fulfilling.

     

    Peter Montgomery

    Peter Montgomery , Founder / Host at The Peter Montgomery Show

    That's awesome Dave, You've got it down to a fine art mate...
    That's awesome Dave, You've got it down to a fine art mate...
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    Greg McKay

    Greg McKay , owner at G K McKay Pty Ltd

    I'll leave the tactical and business advantages of blogging to others better equipped to answer, but I would offer a word of caution on using Wordpress as a platform, especially on shared hosting.

    Wordpress has achieved almost cult like status amongst it's user's, some of it deserved, but often the downside is glazed over.

    Because it's easy to install and use by non technical users it's possibly the most popular blog engine come CMS out there (being free open source software helps too).

    This popularity makes it a prime target for a multitude of malicious attacks, usually by automated bots and crawlers looking for "low fruit", if the site has not been "hardened" from a security point of view, as well as spotlessly maintained and upgraded, you may find your data and content evaporating into cyberspace.

    Even with good security practice on the site itself, poorly run shared hosting (surprisingly common) can easily leave holes in the web server security. Once an experienced hacker gets in via the web server, anything you've done for security will be almost a waste of time.

    I've personally had several Wordpress sites (well maintained and secured) taken down repeatedly by malicious attacks, where the attackers gained access via poorly secured shared hosting servers.

    Wordpress at it's core is an excellent blog engine, but it achieves a lot of it's functionality beyond that using "plugins" written by third parties. There's nothing wrong with plugins or templates per se, but they are the most likely cause of a security holes (not just in Wordpress).

    If you are looking for a "plug and play" solution and don't want to get your hands dirty in the back end maintenance stuff (or don't have the skill or time), I'd be looking at a Cloud hosted solution where all server side security and application maintenance is abstracted away from the publishing interface and managed by experts.

    Platforms like Squarespace do this well ... there's others. I just happen to use and like Squarespace. I've had several sites running there for quite a while ... never done any maintenance, never managed a security patch, never had any down time, and never been hacked ... average cost per site $8 pcm.

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