So you are thinking about starting a blog but you are worried about the technical stuff.  Well guess what? Everyone who starts a blog is worried about the technical stuff in the beginning.  Java script, html, php, follow or nofollow,tags,pings and on and on and on.  Sounds scary but don’t let it stop you from starting your master piece.  With WordPress almost all of the technical stuff is done for you with the help of a plug in.  A plug in is just a simple script that lets you do something by keeping it in English.  I mean, you do not have to go behind the scenes and become some coding expert. Believe me when I say this, I no nothing about php.  Why? Because with WordPress you really don’t need to.  This is the great part about WordPress.  If you can send an email and attach a link and a picture to that email then you have what it takes to learn how to blog in WordPress. Of course there is a bit of a learning curve but I would say it is kind of like getting a new cell phone.  You still have to learn the new menu and where everything is and the same is true with WordPress.   All you have to do is get your hosting, and then go here to see how you can set up your blog in under 5 minutes. Then just watch “How to log in to your wordpress blog“. Don’t know how to add a  post? Then just watch “How to add a post in your WordPress blog“.

So in a nutshell I would have to say don’t worry about the technical stuff it’s nothing to lose sleep over.  Take everything one step at a time and you will be a pro in no time but the first thing you have to do is start. So spend a few bucks and get your hosting package and get started.

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Website TrafficWhether you are blogging for fun or blogging for money one thing that all blogs can always use is more visitors.  Your ultimate goal is to gain readers, that is why you are writing.  In this post I want to list some ways that will increase your blog traffic and hopefully bring you more loyal readers.

1. Write Valuable Interesting Content

The only way you are going to keep your reader engaged is to bring them content they can use.  Whether you are making them laugh, teaching them how to do something or giving them advice, one thing is certain, the reader need to find value in your content.

2. Keep Your Blog in a Specific Niche

When bloggers first get started they are in such a hurry to start writing that they tend to write about everything.  Big mistake.  If your visitor lands on your site to learn how to lose weight and in the next post you start talking about the NCAA Final Four brackets then there is a good chance you are going to lose them.  If you are talking basketball then keep it basketball, if your are an interesting person and you are just blogging about your life then just keep it about your life experiences, blogging about weight loss, well I think you get the picture.  Also the search engines will give you more love when your blog is niche specific.

3. Add a Link to Your Blog in Your Email Signature

This might sound simple enough but think about how many emails you send out every day.  If you were to just add a link back to your blog in your signature at the bottom of your email people will click. I guarantee it.  Sometimes they are just being nosey and other times you will have a good caption to generate some interest.  Either way a link in your signature will result in more traffic to your blog.

4. Submit to Blog Directories

Submitting to blog directories can do 2 things for you.  It will give you a back link which will allow the search engines to find you more easily and if the directory is something like Blog Catalog you will also get some traffic from the community as well

5. Post Often

The search engines like it and your readers will like it more.  Keep giving your readers new content.

6. Write Some Articles

Write some articles in your blog niche and submit them to an article directory. In the resource box you will provide a link back to your site which will search 2 purposes.  It will provide a back link back to your blog and if the reader enjoyed your article they will click on to your blog.

7. Use WordPress Plug Ins

If you are using WordPress you will want to take advantage of the plug ins that will make your life easier.  2 must haves are All in One SEO and Google Sitemap Generator. (yes, if we set up your blog, you have both of these plug ins)

8. Post in Forums

If you have found a forum related to your niche it will help you to contribute there.  You will be able to add a link in your forum signature and it will be seen after every post you make.  If you make some posts that people like they will click on your link to venture back to your blog.

9. Comment on Other Blogs

Don’t go crazy here but commenting on other similar blogs and leaving your URL will bring you some traffic as well.  You should try and make your comment unique so it will stand out and hopefully bring a visitor to your site.

10. Create a Great Title for Your Blog Post

Having a great title in itself will make visitors want to click on it.  Make it interesting and on topic.

11. Use Social Media

facebook, youtube, myspace etc.  I’m sure you get the picture here.  Once again, don’t go crazy posting link at every chance you get but you can really use these outlets to your advantage to get more traffic.

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Sometimes new bloggers like to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Remember, with WordPress, things are pretty simple.  That’s why it is so popular.

Below is a tutorial on “How to add a picture to your WordPress blog post”.

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Start a BlogDo you have what it takes to start a blog?  If you are reading this then you have probably been asking yourself that question. I want to tell you emphatically, YES!  If you have something to say then you have what it takes to start a blog.  Do not let the technical details scare you away from getting started in blogging.  The technical stuff has pretty much been eliminated now days and blogging is easier than ever to get started.  Of course if you want us to set it up for you then just get your hosting from one of out partners and we will get you going and all you have to do is start writing.  How much easier can it get?

Don’t be afraid that you don’t know enough.  You will never know enough.  Blogging is just like life.  You will learn something new all the time.  As long as you have good content you will be off to a great start.  Yes, there is a learning curve in the beginning but it’s just like anything else.  Remember when you purchased your last cell phone? Did you know how to work everything as soon as you got it? Of course you didn’t and a new blogging platform is the same way.  Once you get used to it it will be as simple as sending an email.  Heck, if you have the right phone you can even make a blog post from it.

Don’t let someone else steal your dream.  If you want to get started in blogging then do it.  You are not risking very much as hosting is pretty cheap now days.  It’s not like you are starting a franchise with $250k up front.

Perfect timing.  Yeah right!  There is no such thing as perfect timing and your blog is never going to be perfect.  That is what makes this so much fun.  You will look back a year from now and be amazed.

Make it fun.  There is a good chance that if it is fun for you that it is going to be fun for others as well.  So make it fun for yourself and great things will happen.

Just do it!  Stop putting it off and do it today.  Just look up top and click on our free install and you will be up and running very soon.

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BlogWhat makes a great blog?  Is it Alexa rank?  Is it page rank? Is it how many rss subscribers you have? All of these things can be worked on.  Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong topic to blog about you really can’t change it mid-stream because then you will be off topic and readers really do not like that.

In order to have a truly great blog you only have to do a couple of things. Help your reader and keep them coming back for more.  If you can teach them something, make them laugh or tap into one of their emotions some how then you are off to a great start.  When I started this blog my goal was to share with others what I have learned about blogging. I remember when my my first blog was set up I didn’t even know where to go to access my WordPress dashboard.  So I figured there were people out there in the same boat so I started Start a Blog 101. I made a post on how to log in to your WordPress blog.  Then came another post, then another and now we are off to the races.

Remember, if you find something interesting there is a pretty good chance others will to.  So engage the reader and make them happy that they landed on your blog. Teach them what you know and share your knowledge with them and you will be on your way to a great blog.

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Do I Need a BlogI’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it twice, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Do I need a blog? As time goes by  this question gets easier and easier to answer and that answer is YES!  Blogging lets you do and say things that you might not do or say on a traditional static site.  Businesses are adding a blog section to their sites, teachers and other professionals are now using them and stay at home moms are using them to give other moms tips on  not losing their minds while they stay at home.  The sky is the limit and you can find a blog practically about anything you can think of now days.

If you own a business don’t get caught with your pants down, you need a blog.  Your competitors are already doing it and you should be to. A blog is great for increasing traffic to your main site if you have one.  If you only have a blog site that is OK to because the search engines love dynamic content. A blog lets your potential customers/clients see you in a whole different light.  You can talk about personal things, favorite recipes, what you do in your off time, and of course all about how great your business is.  You can get customer testimonials and publish them on your blog and there really is no limit to what you can do.  A blog also lets you interact with customers/clients through the comment feature a blog usually has.  You will find people asking questions and leaving comments which is great for business.  They will feel like they know you before they even do business with you.  With a blog you will also open up your market to people all over the web.  If  you run a local business you never know when you might get an out of town visitor who decided to stop by because of your blog.  The list goes on and on so if you own a business, get yourself a blog before your competitor beats you to the punch.

Even if you are just a regular Joe and like to write about politics, your hobbies, how much you hate your job or just want to keep extended family up to date with pictures and various ramblings, a blog is for you.  You can easily start a free blog but I always recommend you get your own hosting.  It is only $6-8 bucks a month now days and that is pretty cheap.  I say get your own hosting since that way you will own it and in the future you might want to do something else with it.  Having your blog on your own hosting account keeps your options open.  Let’s say you are blogging about photography for 5 years since that is your favorite past time.  You notice you are getting thousands of visitors a day and maybe some other company notices it to.  Well, they just might want to buy your site from you.  If it is on a free host like blogspot this probably will never happen since they wouldn’t actually own the space.  So start out right and get your own hosting with the domain name you choose.

Remember, don’t just think in the now.  You have to think about where your blog can go in the future.

Of course is setting up your own blog is totally foreign to you we can always set  up your blog for free for you. All you have to do is choose your hosting plan from this site and we will do the rest.

Happy Blogging!

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Choose a Domain Name for Your BlogChoosing a domain name for your blog if one of the most important things you will do for your new blog.  You must put some thought and planning into this process to make sure your new domain name covers all the bases.  Don’t just think about the now but also think about the future. Your new domain name is what brands your new blog and will affect how people remember you and your blog.

When the blogs first started becoming popular people always said use the k.i.s.s method(keep it simple stupid) and choose a 1 word domain name like shopping.com, money.com, dogs.com etc but those one word names are long gone now and we will have to improvise a little bit.

You will want to make your new domain name..

  • Easy to remember
  • Short
  • On topic
  • Easy to spell (you would be surprised)

You don’t want your new domain name…

  • To have to0 many dashes
  • To have too many numbers
  • Complicated words to spell
  • Too long with too many words

Dashes are OK, numbers are OK but too many dashes and numbers are not OK.  This will lead to too many mistakes when people are trying to type in your address after you told it to them.  A link on a page really doesn’t matter since you are just clicking on it but think of the big picture here.  If I tried to tell someone to go to my site which is start dash a dash blog dash 101 . com, it could start to get confusing.  Two dashes are probably not that bad but that is probably the most I would use if I had to.  When I chose this domain it states what my topic is and I threw in the 101 to make it appear like a college course like painting101. (I’m sure you get the idea) Hence, showing you the beginnings of starting your own blog.

.Com, .Net, .Org…

The experts will tell you that a .com name is best but .net or .org is second best so if you can’t get it in a .com don’t sweat it too much. Personally I always try and find a .com and then you can always buy the other extensions as well to use for something else.  Maybe you want to start a non-profit forum with your site that you could use the .org for etc.  I would stay away from .info sites since I have heard mixed reviews on them and I am really not sure. I have heard that Google views them as spammy sites but there is no real proof of this yet so I would just take caution and skip the .info.

Shorter is better

You can have up to 67 character for your domain name but imagine trying to fit that on a business card.  Try and put a 67 character domain name on a t-shirt.  What about a yellow pages ad? Good luck with that. So try and keep it short, there will be less margin of error when entering the url and it will be a lot easier to remember.

Trademarked Names

Many people often think it is a good idea to include a popular name in their domain name.  Don’t risk it.  You do not want to spend 3 years building your blog that is now getting a ton of traffic only to get a letter from some legal department saying you are being sued for trademark infringement.  Doesn’t matter if you are wrong or right, think of the cost to hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit.  So forget yahooblog.com, googleblog.com, nikeshoes.com etc. You get the idea.  I know people do this but I wouldn’t risk it on something you are going to be dedicating a lot of time to.

Misspellings

If your domain name can be easily misspelled you might want to consider buying the misspelled domain and forward it to your main domain.  For example someone looking to get to google.com might sometimes type in gogle.com.  They both go to the same place.

Secure your future

Be sure to think about where your blog is going.  If you start out as a blog but want to switch to a regular website will the domain still fit?  Some people use one domain name and then start several blogs in folders or directories of that domain name.  For example, I have my blog www.startablog101.com and lets say I want to save the money by not buying another domain name.  Let’s just say I wanted to start another blog about cigars and just did in a sub folder of my main blog.  Like this, www.startablog101.com/cigars. The new blog would be in the cigar folder.  Believe it or not a lot of people do this.  I’m here to tell you, DON’T!  Number one, these two topics are not even related. Number 2 you do not want to create all kinds of back links to later find out that you really need cigars.com instead of startablog101.com/cigars.  You would lose most of your traffic.  I know people do redirects and things like that but if you do it right from the beginning you will not have to worry about switching things later.

Expired or used domain names

Be careful here.  You don’t want to purchase a domain name that has already been banned by Google. This would get you off to a really bad start.

Where to buy your domain name

There are so many place to buy domain names now that it makes my head spin.  Most are resellers for some of the bigger companies but I always say go where you get the best price. I usually use Domain Sale! $7.49* .com at GoDaddy.com . Reason being is that they have consistently have had the best prices and when it comes time to renew you can always find a promo code so you should always be getting your domain names under $8 bucks.  If you always buy your domain names at GoDaddy you can always point them to whatever hosting account you have. All you have to do is change your domain name servers. (It’s easy, don’t let the name scare you)

Below is a very reputable  hosting company. I always buy my domain names at GoDaddy


Host 6 Domains on 1 Account

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WordPress BlogSo you want to start a blog and you heard WordPress was the way to go.  Well you are about 75% correct.  WordPress is the best way to go but to really get all the benefits WordPress has to offer you really need to host it yourself with your own hosting account and your own domain name.  What this means is you will own your blog and your space and if you ever want to sell it you can.  Or you will be able to write whatever you want and should not have to worry about getting your account deleted.  Also, you will have a much more professional looking domain name.  When you host WordPress yourself it will look like this, www.yourdomain.com when you host on WordPress it will look like yourdomain.wordpress.com.  I am sure you can see the benefit here to hosting yourself.  If you have no idea what this means don’t worry because here at startablof101.com we will set up your WordPress blog for free, that way you can concentrate on writing great content and let us do the technical stuff.  Hosting is so cheap now days that I really believe everyone should take advantage.  It is only $5-8 bucks a month for unlimited domains.

But once again, just like with starting a free Blogger account, if you want to throw caution to the wind then here is how you set up a free WordPress account.

Step 1: Go to WordPress.com and click on the button that says sign up now.

Start a Free WordPress Blog

Step 2: Once you do this you will be taken to a screen that will let you create a free WordPress account.  If you are going to let WordPress host your blog just be sure to check the circle at the bottom that says “Gimmie a blog”.

WordPress Log In ScreenStep 3: Then just choose your user name and password and put in your email address and hit next.

Step 4: On this page you will choose your domain name, blog title and the language of your blog. Be sure to choose your domain name wisely at this point since it can not be changed later.  Your blog title can be changed later but not the domain name ie yourname.wordpress.com. Also be sure to check that you would like your blog to appear in the search engines. (We don’t want to keep it a secret)

Step 5: Congratulations, your account is active. Look for an email from WordPress confirming your new account and log in information. Then click the activation link and you are all set.

Step 6: Go to WordPress.com and enter your user name and password in the top left. Once you log in you will be taken to your dashboard where you can add pages, posts and change your theme.

Step 7: Take some time to navigate through your new dashboard so you can become familiar with WordPress and all the features it has to offer.

Step 8: Check out the widgets so you can use to customize your blog.  They are as easy as drag and drop.

Step 9: Write your first original post and push the publish button.  Congratulations you are now a WordPress blog owner/author.

Once again, if you just want to get your feet wet with blogging this is an ok way to go but I do highly advise you to host your own blog on your own hosting space. Remember, it only takes 5 minutes and everything you need is right here.

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Blogger Blog So you are thinking about getting your feet we with a blog from Google’s Blogger.  Well I am going to show you how to set it up but I am also going to tell you that if you are going to take your blogging seriously then you really need to get your WordPress blog set up for free.  You will pay a few buck a month to host it but in the long run you will really benefit with WordPress vs Blogger(Blogspot). Remember, at blogger, you do not own your space, Google does and if they ever want to shut you down or stop offering blog space for free then you are going to be crying the blues because of all the work you put it. Trust me on this one, I learned the hard way. I started with blogger and then switched to WordPress and I am very glad I did.  You can check out why use WordPress for your blog to get more details on WordPress.

But if you decide to throw caution to the wind then here is how to start a free blog on Google Blogger.

Step 1: As with any blog you will need to decide on your subject matter, something that you are knowledgeable about or something that you are hopefully passionate about.  This will help you with step 2.

Step 2: Choose a name for your blog. If you host it at Blogger it will look something like this http://badidea.blogspot.com vs hosting a WordPress blog on your own hosting account then you can have it look like this www.goodidea.com.  Which one looks more professional to you?

Step 3: Go to  Blogger.com and click the orange create a blog button.

Create a blogger blog

Step 4: If you do not already have one you will have to create a Google account.  Fill out all of you information and then click continue in the bottom right of the page.

Blogger Continue

Step 5: Name your Blogger blog. Your title will show up on top of your blog where it will be seen by all so choose carefully.  There will be a tool on this page that will let you check the availability of the name you have chose.  If it is taken then just choose again until you find something you like and if not taken.

Step 6: Choose you template and start blogging.  Blogger will give you the option to choose your own domain name which  you would have to buy separately and I guess if you are going to let Blogger host your blog then I would do this so you can get rid of the blogspot domain. If you need a domain name you can get it at Go Daddy $7.49* .com Sale!.  You can also host blogger on your own hosting account but if you were going to do this then you should definitely let us set up a free WordPress blog for you.

Once you are logged in click o the layouts tab and arrange your gadgets.  These are how you will be able to add different things, adsense, banners, boxes, html etc to your blog side bar.

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How to Start a blogSo you are wondering how to start a blog? I can tell you this, starting a blog is the easy part, setting it up is the easy part and even designing a blog is the easy part.  The hard part is providing great original content that will be useful to your readers.  You want your readers to come back often and you want your readers to learn something, be inspired, laugh or in some way gain something from your blog.  If you can do this on a consistent basis the you will have a successful blog.  The good news is you can set up your blog in 5 minutes. Just go here to get started.

You might be thinking that you can get a free blog at blogger, Live Journal, WordPress.org, Type Pad or any of the other free blogging services out there.  You are right, a blog is free at these places but remember one thing, you do not own your blog.  It is hosted on their servers and if they ever want to shut you down or if they go out a business guess what happens to your blog that you just spent years working on? Bye Bye blog.  That’s right, all your hard work will be gone.  Even if you have a back up of your blog you are still most likely going to lose the traffic if something like that were to happen.  The solution is to host your own blog.  It is only $6-8 bucks a month depending on what hosting company you choose.  This charge is an investment in your blog and yourself and will give you all the freedom you need now and in the future so you can do what ever you want with your blog.  Imagine if you ever wanted to sell your blog?  It’s not going to happen with a free blog.  Nobody is going to buy something they don’t really own.  On the flip side, it is fairly easy to sell a well established blog.

So do yourself a favor and don’t waste you time or energy with a free blog.  You will be thankful a year from now that you didn’t.

So take the next step now, get your hosting and set up that blog.

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