Ultimate Guide and Resources to Build a Blog that Matters

Welcome to my very very long post (6000+ words) on building a blog that matters.

The post is about to begin…

Blogging is not all about writing some blog posts and expecting traffic. It's all about reaching a wider audience, promoting your blog. It's possible by adopting some unique untapped strategies.

There is no shortage of blogs, which help you to build a blog that matters.

Well, I know that there are a plethora of blogs that claim that they help you to build a great blog. Among these blogs, it's actually difficult to judge each blog’s quality. It's also difficult to judge the effectiveness of the strategy outlined in those blogs.

New bloggers often struggle. They have several questions in mind: "Where to start?", "How to start".

So here's the complete guide. A set of effective resources that helps you to build a great blog from A to Z.

Contents

Build a blog that matters: Head start for blogging

Head-Start

Is blogging right for you?

Questions-About-Blogging

This is the most common question, every new blogger asks himself before starting. Before starting a blog, a blogger must know whether the blogging profession or hobby is suitable.

Before starting, you must know whether the blogging profession is suitable for you.

It's important to know whether you're the right person to start blogging. Blogging without passion, it's definitely a waste of time, strength, and money.

If you have great command over the language, and have proficiency in expressing what you know, and is highly creative, blogging may be the best suit for you.

Here are some resources that help you to find out yourself whether you're the right person to start blogging or not.

Once you decide to be a blogger, the one question, that comes to mind, is what to blog about? Well, I can say that blog upon whatever you are passionate about. However, what about profit? Effectiveness? Traffic?.Passion gives you profit. Start a blog on whatever you are interested in. When you are learning and expressing about the topic you are passionate about, you tend to be highly productive and creative. It's a fact that passion stretches your attention span, and will make you do more in less time.

Many new bloggers, when they dive into the blogging world tend to start a blog in a niche, that's way too wide.
Although they write great pieces of content, they'll be unable to attract the right audience and grow their blog. That's the mistake that most of the bloggers do. To prevent it, choosing a good niche is highly essential.

Here are some resources that let you choose a profitable niche blogging.

How to choose an effective domain name?

Domain-name

Many of the catchy domain names are not available today. So it's essential to know the tactic of choosing the catchy domain names among the available domain names.

Two golden rules of good domain names are it should be catchy and small.

I would like to mention, do not worry too much about a domain name. It's the quality of the content that matters.
Even the worst domain names with quality content have achieved success online.

However, below are some of the resources that help you to choose catchy brandable domain names.

Best hosting services

Web-hosting

Well, Best hosting services need it to host your blog. There is a number of hosting providers that claim 100% uptime for your blog or site.

However, there are a few web hosts actually offer 100% uptime and reliable server speed.

It's also important to mention that, while looking for hosting services, look at the server load speed, the quality of the web hosting service. These directly influences the PageSpeed of your website.

Best hosting services according to me are WPEngine, DreamHost, HostGator, BlueHost, and SiteGround.

Opt for a hosting provider that are old and well-established. Look up whether they have hot proper contact details, toll-free support numbers, and online chat functionality.

  1. The Best WordPress Hosting
  2. How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting? – WPBeginner
  3. How To Start Your Blog Today – TheBlogStarter

How to setup your awesome WordPress Blog?

With flexibility, SEO friendliness, great themes and a great directory of plugins, WordPress is the best blogging CMS out there.

WordPress is open source. With tweaking and modifications, you can build any type of site to meet your requirements.
Setting up a WordPress blog does not take more than 5 minutes.

Moreover, there is little to configure after setting WordPress blog. As far as SEO is concerned, WordPress is the best blogging CMS out there. It's suitable for all types of blogging in every niche.

Many of the people think that starting a blog or site is of a great deal. Actually, it's very easy to setup a blog or site.

Building a blog or website using WordPress is most effective and quickest way to start a blog.

WordPress Stuff

WordPress

Things to do after setting up a blog

It's important to set up certain things after starting a blog according to your requirements.

Many bloggers also have a doubt, how to start with a new blog? What to do with the blank blog with no posts on it? 

Once you launch a blog it's highly essential to put around 4-5 good blog posts on it. The initial content on a blog matters a lot. It is the initial days in which Google tries to determine the nature of content on your site.

Here are some great guides that help you give your blog a head start, after installation:

Choosing WordPress theme and design

The design is the first thing that readers notice when they enter your blog.

With great design, readers tend to read your blog posts in detail and they would visit once again. It's the truth I've realized lately in blogging.

With an appealing design, you can convert almost any visitor into a blog reader. Great blog design makes an everlasting impression on the minds of your readers and even visitors.

You may already know the importance of catchy headlines. Likewise, it is equally important to have appealing, catchy WordPress design.

It's also important to choose a color scheme for your blog/brand. For my blog, I have the colors orange and light blue as complementary matching colors. Psychologically colors create more impression about a brand.

It's important to choose the Best WordPress theme. Changing WordPress theme repeatedly is not recommended.

Tip:  I suggest using Genesis or Thesis. Best free themes are StarGazer, Iconic One.

WordPress Security Guides

Keeping out the bad guys, the one thing drives us crazy.

About 40,000 of the sites and blogs for hacked daily. How do you secure yours?

Probably your blog or site is one of the 40,000 sites targeted for tomorrow! It's better to secure your blog today itself and prevent your hard work from washing away.

You may neglect the security of your site today. But once your site is compromised you'll be  horrified. Better be on the safer side than to be sorry.

Here are some ultimate WordPress security guides, including mine. These guides help you to secure your blog today.

Tip: Enabling maximum login attempts and IP based login helps to 99% secure your blog.

This is not the only thing you should take care of. You should also take care of backups of your site. You should backup your site regularly. It makes sure that your hard work will not be washed away along with bad things.

Best backup plugins: Updraft Plus and WP-DB-Backup.
 

SEO Stuffs

SEO

For any blog, there are different sources of traffic.

Undoubtedly, the most superior form of traffic is organic traffic. Search engines direct it.
Thus, it's important to optimize your blog. It helps search engines discover and rank your blog.

You can almost triple your traffic by optimizing your blog for search engines. Without search engine optimization, you could not expect search traffic and readership on your blog.

Organic traffic is nothing but a passive traffic to your site. In the case of social traffic, you need to regularly share your content across the networks and promote them. But in the case of search traffic, once you create awesome content that is SEO-friendly, you are done.

Here are some of the best SEO guides that you cannot find anywhere else on the web.

Complete SEO Guides

Increasing PageSpeed

I've already discussed the importance of high PageSpeed.

PageSpeed is necessary for enhancing the user experience, better crawlability, and better indexing. Usually, blogs with high PageSpeed tend to perform well in search engine.

The patience of online users is becoming less day by day. It is now crucial to deliver page as quick as possible to the readers.

Tip: Perfectly optimizing images increases your PageSpeed by 30%. Minifying CSS and JS further increase your PageSpeed by 40%.

Most common SEO mistakes and misconceptions

It's true that even SEO experts commit some of the mistakes that crush their entire efforts made on their blog.

Most common SEO mistakes are already discovered, so you now need to make use of those, to prevent them from happening on your blog.

Learn from the mistakes of experienced people today. Prevent that from happening to your and your blog. As a flourishing blogger, reading the mistakes committed by other bloggers is important.

Well, here are some of the resources:

Improve organic traffic

As I have said earlier organic traffic is one of the most superior form of traffic for a blog.

Google is the most used search engine today. To, driving traffic from Google should be the important aspect.

Reduce bounce rate

After the latest Google Panda update, Google is stressing more and more importance on user interaction. Like bounce rate, average page visit duration.

The bounce rate is one of the important metrics, which helps Google to decide the quality of the blog content. Lower the bounce rate, the better it is.

Here are some sites that help you to prevent visitors from slipping away from your blog and make them stick to your blog.

Bounce rate would be an accurate metric for search engines to determine the quality of your site.

Tip: Proper interlinking of your blog posts reduces your bounce rate by 70%.

Keyword research

Finding effective keywords, and optimizing your blog posts for those keywords is important. It helps in increasing your rankings on Google.

Keyword research is the process of finding effective keywords. Using keywords helps Google to place your blog post in SERPS accordingly.

Backlinks building

Backlinks are necessary for a blog. Backlinks are nothing but the votes given by other blogs to your blog.

Google Page Rank and other ranking stuff are entirely dependent on the quality backlinks pointing to your site. It's important to build quality relevant backlinks to your blog.

Competitor research

Stealing the strategies of your competitors, benefits you a lot. Implementing their keyword, backlink strategies on your blog, helps your blog to grow at a rapid pace. There are some of the tools like OpenSiteExplorer, SEMRush, SpyFu, Ahrefs helpful in competitor research.

Here are some resources that help you to use about tools effectively and implement them.

LSI keywords research

LSI keywords are the best alternative for keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing used to work, 5 years back. Now, keyword stuffing does not work anymore. So including related search terms along with your main keyword throughout the post is a great alternative for keyword stuffing.

Well, here are some guides, which helps you to implement LSI keywords strategy in your blog.

It's tested by me that LSI keywords have increased my organic traffic greatly.

Blog commenting

Blog commenting has become one of the greatest ways to drive traffic, backlinks, and reputation for a blog.

Blog commenting, done in a great way can be greatly beneficial for your blog. It helps your blog to earn more exposure.

Commenting when done of the right blog, with a right point, can drive you targeted visitors that stick to your blog. Comments create relations with other blogs and keeps blogging fun to do.

There are many bloggers who drive hundreds of visitors to their blog daily via commenting.

Social media promotion and traffic

Social-media

By using social media, we can promote our blog effectively. Almost 70% of the Internet users at this very time, are in social networking sites.

It is the place where most of our blog readers reside.

For whom would you create content? If you create great content and sit back, can you expect traffic? Nope, promotion is required. The best way of promoting your blog content is via social networking sites.

As a bonus, along with blog promotion you can also get massive traffic from these social networking sites.

Facebook: To get insane traffic

Facebook users have a slight different mindset than other social media sites. They like interactive, actionable, how-to type of blog posts.

Understanding the mindset of your Facebook audience and promotion is essential.

You should try to build relations with other bloggers in your niche via Facebook. It helps you in long-term. You can share ideas with them. It makes your blogging a less-lonely journey.

You can also create a Facebook page and also a group to get together your readers and interact with them.

Google Plus: Powerful social signal for Google

Bloggers are going bonkers to establish authority in Google Plus, as it is owned by the search giant Google.

Google Plus would be a social network that may correlate with the rankings of your blog greatly.

All bloggers use Google Plus greatly. It is the second good professional social network next to LinkedIn.

Twitter to get massive traffic

Twitter is the most updated micro-blogging site ever. Having a huge fan followings and interactions can drive you huge amount of traffic.

Regularly learn to tweet awesome stuff in your niche. Like and reply on other tweets. Build a traction.

Viral blog posts can easily get more retweets, followers, and ultimately traffic.

LinkedIn, a professional network to get laser targeted visitors

Other important social media sites you must definitely not ignore

Massive traffic, promotion, and branding

Traffic

Apart from social media, you can drive massive traffic to your site from several ways. By social bookmarking sites, forums, email marketing.

Traffic is the life of the blog. Without traffic, your blog will be a barebone.

It’s important to establish your blog as a brand. Your blog’s name should be there in the mouths of all the guys out there interested in your niche.

 

Branding matters a lot

Without branding, you cannot withstand the competition. Branding is all that matters. It's your blog, you should promote your blog. The importance of brand mentions, links, should be clearly understood and implemented

Promotion of your blog and blog posts

You cannot expect that initial flow of traffic to your blog posts, without promotion. Promotion should be done to hit the correct nail under the hammer-head. It should be done to make relevant readers stick to your blog.

Social bookmarking sites drive massive traffic

Forums: Great way to drive massive traffic and backlinks

Forums are the place where real conversations happen. People present their own questions, problems, hoping for answers. They are your potential readers.

Helping the people in online forums, gains you loyalty and brand-awareness.

Email marketing and list building

Building email list helps you accurately quantify the number of loyal readers on your blog.

List can bring hundreds of visitors daily, even if Google fails you to bring organic traffic.

Your blog subscribers are the assured traffic and customers. I advise you to build your list from day one and interact with the list.

Video Marketing & YouTube is trending

Most of the people like to watch videos instead of reading long blog posts. In fact, video blogging has become one of the most popular hobbies of many bloggers.
So have you ever thought about transforming your blog posts into videos and publishing them? You have to.

By doing this, your blog post and content get much more exposure, and the reaches of your content will be more.

Content and blogging strategies

Content

Quality content is equally important to that of setting up a blog, choosing the attractive design, paying for web hosts.

Quality content consists of catchy headlines, great writing style, great images, infographics, and some content that has the potential to go viral.

Finding: What to blog upon?

I spend most of the time blogging, blinking my eyes along with the cursor, thinking for what to blog upon. I bet for most of the bloggers out there this is the exact problem.

Here are some articles including mine that helps you to find topics to blog upon:

Headlines are damn important

Catchy headlines are very important in blogging, especially when conversions are important. Effective headlines have the potential to increase your blog traffic by 500 to 700%.

Titles or headlines are the ones that the visitor sees on entering into a blog post and also in search engine results page.

Effective writing of blog posts with great style

Well, many of the blog readers expect blog posts to be written in unique style. They hate blogs that are written in the default style.

As a blogger, you should have the unique style of representing the content. You should have your own specialty, own style of writing.

All about images in blogging

Images are the one, which leads to many social shares of blog posts. Attractive images tend to go viral. The majority of people who are on social media websites, love images, they tend to share the images.

Images should deliver subliminal messages to their readers of your blog posts. It should change their way of reading the rest of the blog post.

Infographics for virality

Infographics tend to go viral than that of images. Infographics are like big images, that have information in it. Like charts, statistics, facts or lists.

They are visually appealing; they tend to get more backlinks and shares. One should not ignore to include infographics in blog posts.

Effective less known strategies

Less-known

Google and Universal Analytics stuff

It’s important to track the progress of your blog and act accordingly. Knowing the insights of your blog, and user interaction help in increasing conversions. It also helps in delivering the content what your readers need.

Google Analytics is a boon for every blogger. It helps monitor every bit of your blog. It’s important to know how to use Google Analytics.

By content repurposing, your content gets more exposure

How can you present your content for your audience? By blog posts? By slides? By Videos? By infographics? All.
This is what the content repurposing does.

Representing the same content, in different forms, to reach a vast amount of people.

Link baiting gets more backlinks

It is a strategy, most of the modern bloggers follow, to get more blog readers and people link to their blog post. Thus, these type of posts increases backlinks.

Link baits are the type of posts that are intended to get more backlinks from other bloggers and audience.

Content curation gets more appreciation

Content creation is the representation of content across the web, in an orderly manner and summing up them into a single blog post.

Curated posts usually get more social shares, appreciation, backlinks. Moreover, you can easily promote curated blog posts as it is of high value and effort.

For example, this very blog post has curated content.

Viral blogging is trending

Viral blogging is nothing but to publish blog post so that it reaches a vast amount of people virally. People only, share the blog posts for you.

Those types of content gain much attention on the web.

Split or A/B testing for better performance

A/B testing involves testing of different blog post titles, and their performance, click through rates, conversion traffic.

In simple words, it involves changing several elements in your blog and determining which yields positive results.

Updating of old content

Updating older content for better visibility is important. Otherwise, you'll definitely be the victim of Google Panda update as time goes on.

Having outdated content on your blog decreases user experience and search traffic. Reconsidering older blog posts for better visibility matters a lot.

Don't you wish that your blog should be evergreen?

Tip: Spend 25% of your time blogging, to update outdated content.

Monetization of your blog

Some of the bloggers blog just as a hobby, others blog as a profession. In both cases, monetizing your blog matters a lot.

Even if your blogging as a hobby, then consider monetizing your blog.

If you are getting decent traffic, why not monetize your blog?

CPC: Cost per click (AdSense)

Having great keyword strategy and proper placement of ads can do miracles in CPC.

First off, it is essential to know how to get approved by Google AdSense.

Tip: Target keywords that have more CPC to earn more money per click.

Affiliates

Affiliate marketing, when done in a right way, can drive you lots of sales and passive income. It has the highest earning potential.

Direct advertising

Once your site gains traction, many of the direct advertisers contact you. They will be ready to pay you big bucks for the ads you place on your site. For this to happen good traffic and interactions are required on your site.

Big companies or start-ups may contact you, ask you to review their products or services. In turn, they pay you.

Motivation and Inspiration

Motivation

For keeping your blogging going on, motivation and inspiration are occasionally necessary.

Staying motivated, while blogging, makes way for new creative ideas and strategies.

It's also important to read inspirational blogging success stories. This will be certainly helpful in case of low traffic, failure, and penalization of your blog.
Reading motivational stories also help you to blow up and be in that position!

Some motivational guides to keep your blogging alive

Inspirational dose (Success stories)

Blogging Resources and tools for productivity

Blogging-tools

Like for any other, productivity is also important in blogging. We have to get more work done in less time.

The tasks that we use to take hours or now done in seconds due to the tools and techniques that we use.

Several tools and strategies help you to blog productively. Knowing how to leverage the full potential of tools or resources we already have at out disposal is essential.

 

Final words

I hope this ultimate guide and list of resources, to help you achieve in blogging right from starting from the scratch until the end, and finally, build a blog that matters helped you a lot.
I know that bookmarking this blog post for your future reference definitely helps you to make your blog stand out of the crowd and earn lots of subscribers and money. Moreover, helps you to become Stardom in your niche and transforms your blog into a masterpiece.

Only reading all these above resources is easy. However implementing those strategies in your real blogging career is important.
Blogging is not an overnight business. It requires hard work, perseverance, and patience.

You should not lose patience, even if you repeatedly fail. Because blogging is not a smooth path of flowers. There will be some ups and downs in your blogging career. You should not be demotivated by those.
I wish very good luck in your blogging career.

Many of the bloggers are telling that blogging is about to die. But I'm a huge disbeliever of that fact. According to me, blogging is transforming. Many of the blogging related stuff have evolved like video blogging, podcast blogging, content marketing. These are nothing but the types of blogging. Due to the evolution of those different types of blogging, it gives an impression that blogging is dying.

“Blogging is transforming.”

I personally took 10 hours, to write and compile this awesome ultimate guide to building a blog that matters. Why not take some time, and share it by using the social buttons on the top, that followed you throughout this whopping list.

If you think, I have missed any of the point or visitor mentioning any of the awesome posts, do mention in comments.

18 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide and Resources to Build a Blog that Matters

  1. Hi Akshay,
    That was SUPERB! 5000 words posts? Its amazing and resourceful! The ultimate guide and resources for blogging has addressed the what, why, and how of blogging! I doubt if there is any who would not find this epic article useful.

    Each section has fulfilled vital requirement any blogger needs to proceed blogging. One of the sections that should not be ignored is that referring to motivation and inspiration.

    Every blogger should follow the details in this section to heart so they would be able to motivated to keep "BLOGGING" even when discouragements set in!

    This post was found in kingged where it was shared and upvoted.

  2. Amazing guide and really need some good time to read. Would be great for anyone who wants to build a successful blog that matters and bring in a considerable income every month.

  3. Hi Akshay,
    I'm really amazed by your writing, though it's pretty lengthy than expected. And yeah, you've outlined all necessary things and steps needed to create a blog. Thanks for sharing this with us and do have a nice weekend..

  4. First time in my life, I am commenting on a blog post even before I have completed reading it.
    But I have a reason for that. I just couldn't stop myself from acknowledging the effort you have made on writing this post even before I actually read it.
    I just saw that content list and was completely impress.
    I have bookmarked this post (LOL I feel like those spam commentors who keep leaving spam comments like this on our blogs 😛 ) and would read each part of this post slowly so as to recognize your efforts completely.
    Great work (Y)

    • I accept that this post is too long, to read.

      I hope this post will be helpful for you in the future as you bookmarked it.
      Spam commenters leave one liner or generic comments and usually have no Avatar. This is not the case lol.

      I also appreciate, because I knew that you read every post thoroughly before leaving comment. Keep it up.

      Thank you for your appreciation.

  5. Akshay, Am bookmarking this post to help me review my teaching materials on content marketing. As a teacher, it's always good to get the true grit from students who think about things, which obviously you do. Thanks for putting in this effort. You will help me understand what matters to my students. Keep on keeping on.

    • Paul, glad it helped you. Nice to hear that you bookmarked the post.
      Hope it helps more for your students. I will make my honest effort to maintain evergreen nature of this page.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. This is the best resources list for blogging I have ever found. I have just bookmarked it, now whenever someone will ask me how to blog I will just refer that person to this great post. Keep doing the great work.

  7. A very long, but useful presentation you have here.
    It is awesome that your show many links where some of the topics are explained for anyone.
    I will try to use some of these tips to improve my blog this month.

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