Congratulations on thinking about starting your own WordPress blog. One of your motivations to start a WordPress blog may be to start making some residual income with it. There has been a lot written about how long it takes to start making income from a blog. Most experts agree that your first year of blogging will usually result in little or no income. With this in mind, here is a 5 step program to ensure your long-term success with your new WordPress blog.
1. Choose a Topic you have a Passion About
Your first step is to choose to write something that you are truly passionate about. Without this passion you will most likely stop writing when you are not receiving the results you were expecting. You must choose something that you will be willing to write about for free for the next year with no financial reward.
2. Get a Domain Name Now
The next step is to buy a domain name for your new blog. A custom .Com domain name usually costs about $12 per year. Buying a domain name now will make sure that when you build links to your new blog and have rankings in the major search engines, that you will be able to take these links and rankings with you wherever you decide to host your WordPress blog. I recommend using namecheap to purchase your custom domain name.
3. Get a Free Blog at WordPress.com
Now it’s time to set up your blog. Head over to WordPress.com and sign-up to for a free WordPress blog. After you set-up your new blog, you will need to buy the domain mapping upgrade ($12/year) so that you can use your new domain name purchased in step 2 above. The best feature of WordPress.com is that it is free. Compare that to the $60+ you would spend per year to host your own WordPress site.
4. Write Great Content
Now that your blog is set-up, you are ready to start writing some great content. This is the next critical step in your blogging journey. If you do not put in the effort here, you will not get the results you expect. I would suggest that you commit to writing at least 2 posts a week so that after a year you have 100+ posts. With this number of posts in your first year, you should start to see some increase in traffic to your blog.
5. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools
After your first few posts, you should sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. This is a free service provided by google. With this great tool you can see what search terms people are using to find and click thru to your new WordPress blog. There are so many great features of this tool that it deserves its own post to discuss. The important thing now is to sign up and add your domain name purchased above so that the stats are being tracked in the tool. Once you start seeing the stats, you can learn more about how to leverage google webmaster tools.
Are you Ready?
So that is your 5 steps to setting up your WordPress blog. If you follow these steps it will cost you about $20 in your first year of blogging. After your first year you should start to see an increase in traffic to your blog and then you can consider self-hosting your WordPress blog and start to monetize your blog with advertising (google adsense, chitika, etc.) and affiliate marketing (amazon, commission junction, etc.).
Best of luck in your journey. Please leave a comment with your experiences.