How to Set Up a Blog or Website In Under an Hour, Picking a Name, Part 1

In this series of 4 Videos and posts we will walk you through step by step, how to set up a WordPress Blog in under an hour. One qualification, this hour does not include the time it takes you to write articles. You may already have them written or you may have severe writers block. Make sure you leave a comment about anything that is unclear.

This Video covers key word research and selecting a domain name.  Failure to do the research is almost guaranteed failure.

You need to put some thought into what you’re going to accomplish with your blog. There are usually two basic answers.

  • The most common goal is to:  Attract free traffic from the search engines.  You want the searcher to select your site when looking for information to buy a product or service you sell.  This would include searching in Google.
  • You might want to set up an online brochure for your brand.  This is called a “vanity site” because the only people that will find it are the ones using you site name as the exact search terms.  This is equivalent to a listing in the phone book.  Unless they are looking for you, they won’t find you. The blog “domain” or “URL” has a major affect on how your site ranks in search engines. If the domain name includes or is a match the site, it will rank higher than an identical site without the search terms included. The search terms are referred to as keywords.
  • If you’re building a brand, use your name or your company’s name.
  • If you want to rank high for search terms or keywords that customers might use to find a company to do business with, pick a domain name containing the keywords customers will use to search. An example would be www.HVACservice.com that has the keyword “HVAC Service”. Unfortunately all of these good keywords have already been taken.
  • There is an exception and it’s good for air conditioning contractors. If you are in Dallas, you don’t really want to rank on Google’s first page in New York or Paris France. You can select a domain with keywords plus a geographic qualifier. Many of these geographic names are still available.  You would want, as an example, www.HVACserviceDallas.com. Unfortunately many of these domains in major metropolitan areas have also been taken but it’s never too soon to reserve a domain name with high traffic potential. How do you find out what the most used search terms are? Professionals that do a lot of keyword research use a tool. We use Market Samurai. There are also free tools available from Google. If you are not doing a lot of keyword research there is no point in spending days learning how.  You can use the research here or send me an e-mail describing what you want to accomplish and I will generate a report for you. Your assignment is to pick your keywords and find an available domain name.
  • The exact keywords are best
  • If the exact keyword domain is not available add a prefix or suffix or another high ranking keyword.  HVACdallasHQ.com  (headquarters) or DallasHVAC ServiceHQ.com • .com, .net and .org are recommended in that order
  • Short domains are better than long ones.
  • Don’t use a word owned by someone else like Trane or Carrier

I’m Not a Writer, So I Did This Research and Made These Notes to Help Me Write Better

The safest way to rank high in Google or Bing is to produce quality content on a regular basis.  Most say an article a week is about right, but if you can produce an article a day on a long term basis, go for it.  Writing comes easy to some and very hard to others. I’m still on the lower end of the learning curve, but I have learned a few tricks and methods to motivate me to write.

Try the following:

  • Set aside a small block of time to write each day
  • If you are a morning person and creative in the morning set aside morning time or if you’re an evening person set aside some time in evening
  • Do some reading in advance about your subject or your topic.  Read journals and trade papers, involving HVAC topics if you’re writing about HVAC.  Look for information that a consumer would be interested in if your target market is the consumer.
  • When you sit down to write, just write everything that comes to mind don’t worry about editing punctuation or SEO, just let your brain do free writing and let the thoughts flow.
  • The following day, during your writing block of time, rewrite and edit the prior day’s work.  Make it a habit to write content every day and edit the prior days work.
  • Limit your creative writing to 10 or 15 minutes and your editing to 10 or 15 minutes.  Take a 5 min. break between sessions if you need multiple sessions

Here are some additional things you will want to consider:

Writing for headlines.  Nothing else matters if it doesn’t get read.  You have to get them in the store or they can’t buy anything.  The purpose of the headline is to get the first sentence read.  The first sentence sets the hook for the rest of the article.  The first sentence should say what you would say if you only have one sentence to get your point across.

  • The headline gets the first sentence read.  You always want a great headline. 8 people out of 10 will read the headline and only 2 out of 10 will read the article. Make sure your content delivers on your headline.
  • The first sentence promises what the reader is looking for and gets the second sentence read.
  • The second sentence gets the third sentence read and starts delivering the promise made in the first sentence.
  • The general rule is keep headlines 8 words or less

Writing for content and understanding.  No one will ever complain that your writing is too easy to understand.  Remember, the article is about the reader.  If the reader isn’t getting what they are looking for… well it’s called your “bounce rate”, they are off to Google for your competitions site.

  • Use bulleted and numbered lists
  • Use headlines and short paragraphs
  • Use bold text
  • Use italic text

Give reasons supported by facts.  Readers detect BS.  You want be the authority or at least authoritive.

Sell with Benefits and support the Benefit with Features.

Close the same way you opened by stating how you delivered your opening promise.

Make an offer.  The famous Fed-Ex offer, “When it absolutely has to be there overnight” or Dominos, “delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free”.  An offer is also a “Call to Action”.  Make an offer.

The article should be only as long as needed to deliver the information.  Give the reader an option to dig deeper by using links to more in depth information.

Writing for SEO.  85% of the factors that make up SEO happen off page.  This article focuses on the things you can do on-page to help your Search Engine Optimization.

  • An article consisting of a list is a good post to write.  Bullet points make reading easy with plenty of white space delivering readability
  • A “how-to” article is always a big hit as long as you have great content.  Search engines also like “how-to” posts.
  • Articles covering controversial subjects are well read when accompanied by an enticing headline.

If you are trying to rank high in Google you need to make sure you have a post for each keyword or keyword phrase you are trying to rank for.  Use the keyword in the article title, in the first sentence, in the ending and enough times in the post to meet the ___% keyword saturation.  A post should also be at least 300 words.

Other things you can do to get favorable marks from Google is to use bullet points, bold titles with the html <h1>, ,<h2.>, and <h3>, (more on this later), italics when appropriate.  Keep sentences short and use at least 3 to 5 paragraphs in a typical 300 word article.

Every post should have a picture or video.  The picture file name should include the keyword as well as the alt text.  (See the video associated with this post)  Use your on-page SEO plug-in to include your keywords in the tags and Meta tags.

Use a WordPress SEO Plugin to help you with on-page SEO.  I use “All-in-One SEO” and have recently started using “Yoast SEO”.

My “Call To Action”:  Use the posts and videos describing “How to set up a Blog in Uunder an Hour” and start a blog for your business and customers.

How To Set Up a Blog in Less Than an Hour, Theme, Template, MGV 4

Changing the Theme, MGV4

Video 4

 

How to Set Up a Blog in Under an Hour, Changing the Theme, MGV4

There are thousands of free and paid themes or theme templates to choose from.  Be careful and be aware you can spend a lot of time tweaking your theme to make it more attractive when what people are looking for is great content.  Take a minimalist approach to your theme at first and concentrate on writing or developing great content.  As you learn what really counts with the presentation, make small changes and test if they improve traffic.

This tutorial will walk you through changing the default theme to one that provides the tools for significant customization.  It will appear minimalist at first, but all the bells and whistles are available for the things that count.

Take a last look at your default template, http://www.hvacservice dallas.org:

  • Open your browser and go to your WordPress dashboard, www.hvacservicedallas.org/wp-admin and login
  • On the left hand directory hover over appearance and select “Theme”
  • Look at the two tabs on top of the page and select “New Theme”
  • In the search box enter “Simply Works Core” and press “search”
  • When the new theme is downloaded click “install” and then “install now” in the pop up
  • When the theme is installed click “activate”
  • Look at the theme options but don’t change anything now
  • Under appearance, select “menu”
  • Click the box next to the about page that we wrote earlier and click “save menu”
  • On the appearance directory, select “widgets”
  • Click on the down arrow on the “top sidebar” located on the right hand side of the page, find the “recent posts widget” box on the left hand side and drag the” recent post box” and drop it in the ”top sidebar:
  • Type recent posts in the title box click “save” and click “close”

Your urge might be to spend days looking at beautiful themes, but resist that for now.  Stick with “Simply Works Core” until you learn about “On Page SEO”.  On page search engine optimization consists of the things under your control that can increase your ranking in the search engines and help your Blog get found by Google, Bing and customers.  A beautiful blog that no one but your mother ever sees won’t pay the bills.  Our sole focus at this point should be getting ranked by Google.

We want visitors to easily contact us.  Let’s add a contact page:

  • Go to your dashboard, hover over pages and click “new page”
  • Name the page “Contact”
  • Add you name, phone number and address in the body
  • Check spelling by pressing the “ABC button” in the toolbar and correct misspelled words
  • Go to appearance and select menu so we can add our new contact page to the Nav Bar
  • Scroll down to the “Pages block” and click the box next to “contact” and “about” to include them on the Nav Bar
  • Drag ”about”, so it will appear first on the Nav Bar and click “save menu”

Over the next few weeks you can write high quality articles that your customers would be interested in reading.  Do not copy content from anywhere on the internet or you will suffer Google’s “Duplicate Content” penalty and your rankings will fall out of site.  You can subscribe to a service called www.copyscape.com where you can check the internet for duplicate content.  The important thing is to be the first to put your original content on the internet.  Later you can use this service to locate all the websites that have copied and posted you content to their site.

You now have a functioning Blog and not including writing articles, you should be able to read the posts, watch the video’s and get your Blog up and running in about an hour.  Hope we delivered on that.

Let us know how it went and if we left anything important out.

You can email, write or call with any questions.

Stay tuned and opt-in to our mailing list.  We will continue this series of tutorials to help you make your Blog a real asset for your business

 

How to Set Up a Blog in Under an Hour, Your First Post, MGV3

Your First Post

Video 3

You have a hosting account with Bluehost. You will not need access to your Bluehost control panel except to set up email addresses and perform file management. When you do go to bluehost.com and log in. Your user name is your domain name and I hope you wrote down your password.

You also have a username and password for your website or blog. To login to your WordPress control panel go to: http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (use your domain) your username was admin unless you changed it and you wrote down your password or have an email with it..

WordPress is the most popular content management software available for blogs and websites. You have the choice of using static pages like a traditional brochure type website or posts for a blog or both.
Let’s get started:

  • Open a new browser window and type in your URL domain name. This is the way your blog looks with all the default settings
  • Log into your WordPress control panel, http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (use your actual domain) bookmark this for easy access
  • Enter your admin and password.  You are in the control panel area. We will edit the default post and a sample “about” page.

Now let’s edit the existing post

  • Hover your cursor over posts and select “all posts”
  • Hover your cursor over the existing post and select “edit”
  • In the box change the name of the post and write a short article in the body box
  • Click publish on the upper right hand side
  • Edit the existing “About” page using the same instructions as above.