Step 4: Birth of Your Blog
Assuming you’ve opted to purchase your own domain name with web hosting and you have also successfully installed the WordPress blogging engine. Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a blog with its very own unique address. On top of that, you also have access to plenty of free plugins for WordPress that you will find very useful! (Free WordPress sites don’t have access to these)
Over here, I will introduce a few basic yet handy WordPress plugins which I’ve been using myself. Installing WordPress plugins is pretty easy so I shall leave that to the WordPress guide: Managing Plugins.
Free WordPress Plugins
For fighting comment spam. Helps you to filter out and block spam comments so that you do not have to scan through them manually.
Increase security and prevent hackers from attacking your blog. Includes email notification when attacks have been detected.
Prevents unauthorized logins by disabling the login function after multiple unsuccessful attempts.
Adds social media sharing function to your blog entries for readers to easily repost the articles to their social media and choice. Ideal for having your articles go viral or grow organically.
Allows readers to subscribe to comments so that they get notified via email if there are new comments. Makes readers return to your blog.
Adds a sig to your own comments on your blog.
Shrinks, cloaks and beautify affiliate links or other long links.
Makes adding Google Analytics to your blog a lot easier.
You can also use themes to beautify your blog. There are already quite a number of free WordPress themes available on the WordPress Themes site which you can download and use for your blog. However, if you can’t find something you like in that directory, do check out Envato Market – Theme Forest. I have used a few themes from there as there’s more variety to choose from to suit different niche.
Email Marketing Tools
You may also want to consider having your readers sign-up to your blog so that they can receive blog updates or newsletters as and when you post something new. For that purpose, you will require an email marketing tool which helps you in collecting and managing your email database full of your readers’ contacts.
Mailchimp has a free-for-use plan so go ahead and experiment with this one. But the maximum limit of 2000 managed emails is really restrictive if you really intend to grow your readership far and wide.
For managing more subscribers, I will have you use Aweber. The pricing for 5,000 – 10,000 subscribers is pretty reasonable and what’s more, they have a $1 for 30-day trial promotion just in case you ever regret signing up for it. Experiment around and see which one works for you.
Awesome! Now that you have been introduced to all the useful blogging and affiliate marketing tools and gadgets, you’re almost as good as pro! Read the last and final chapter to learn how to start drawing readers into your blog!