Over the last few lessons, you went through the steps of first brainstorming potential markets and then researching them to see if they’re profitable. And that means you should now have a market that you’d like to blog about.
Read on for your next step… Choosing a Good Domain Name . There are several factors to consider when choosing your domain name,
Get a .com extension (rather than .net, .org, etc). The .com name is still the most recognizable and popular extension, so choose a .com name whenever possible.
The name should be descriptive. In other words, someone should get a sense of what your blog is about just by seeing the domain name.
Example: It’s clear that “dogtraining.com” will be about dog training.
The name should be easy to remember and say. A name like “dogtraining4u” is cutesy, but it’s not a good name. That’s because someone who hears the name doesn’t know if the “4” is for, fore, four or 4. Likewise, the “u” (you) at the end can cause problems.
Tip: Point is, keep it simple – if you have to explain the name, it’s probably not a good name.
Use keywords. Go back to your keyword research. Did you see any keywords that would make a good domain name? If so, purchase a name with those keywords. But don’t choose a keyword-laden name in lieu of the other factors above. That’s because your domain name is just one small factor that helps determine your search engine rankings.
Use a reliable domain registrar. I suggest you use a well-known company like NameCheap.com.
Hosting Your Domain Name
Your next step is to choose a web host (which should never be the same company as your domain name registrar). I suggest you use a host like HostGator.com and choose the “Baby Plan” (as this plan gives you the ability to add more domains to it at a later date).
Once you’ve purchased your hosting plan, HostGator.com (or whichever host you chose) will send you an email that includes your “DNS” (domain name server) information. Now what you need to do is take this DNS information and input it in your domain name account.
This is easy to do with most registrars, especially NameCheap.com. Just watch this short demo to learn how:
Which Blog Platform is the Best?
If you set up your domain name and hosting. Now it’s time to set up your blog. If you’ve done any research on blogs before, you probably already know there are a lot of choices. So let’s go through some of your options to find out which one is the best…
Self-Hosted or a Third-Party Blog?
Since I’ve already asked you to buy a domain name and hosting, it’s pretty clear that you’re going to set up a “self hosted” blog. Nonetheless, let me share with you why this is important…
You’ve no doubt seen some of the third-party blog solutions. One of the most popular is Google’s Blogger.com. There are also other solutions like LiveJournal.com, WordPress.com and a whole host of others.
All you have to do is register an account on these sites, choose a blog name… and you can be blogging in a matter of minutes. Most of these platforms are very user-friendly, meaning you don’t need to know a lick about scripts or other technical stuff in order to be up and blogging fast.
So why not use a third-party solution? Here’s why:
No Commercial Content.
Some of these sites flat-out prohibit commercial content. And since you’re going to turn your blog into a money-maker, a non-commercial blog isn’t an option for you.
The Site Could Disappear Tomorrow.
When you entrust your content – even your income – to a third party, you’re rolling the dice. The company could go bankrupt. They could sell to another company who changes the rules. Point is, your blog could disappear in an instant.
You Have No Control Over Your Content.
Some third-party blog solutions paste their ads on your site. Some have very strict rules about what you can and cannot write about or what you can link to (which goes back to the commercial content issue again). And all of these sites can just arbitrarily pull your content or change the rules… and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Obviously, a self-hosted solution is best to retain control over your content. But which blog platform should you choose? There are plenty of platforms – just search for “blog script” (in hotscripts.com and Google) to see what I mean. There are also quite a few popular platforms, including Moveable Type, TypePad and WordPress.
Here’s what I suggest:
WordPress.org. That’s because WordPress (WP) is frequently updated, there are lots of design options, there are plenty of plug-ins, there’s user-provided support, and it’s highly functional, flexible and customizable.
Hints: Go to WordPress.org and familiarize yourself with WP’s main features and functions. After that you’ll install the blog, so stay tuned!