The WordPress Millionaire

how-to-install-wordpress-laptopWordPress is designed to be a simple install for those who have experience in setting up websites.

For those who don’t have as much practice, the process can seem a little overwhelming at first. The truth is, it’s really just a few simple steps before you’ll be up and running.

WordPress has confidently named its install process the “Famous Five Minute Install”, which should give some indication of how quick and easy a manual install can be when someone knows exactly what they’re doing and what they need.

But while seasoned professionals can have this done in five minutes, first time WordPress users may find they need a bit more time to gather all of the tools and resources they need.

Using This Guide

This guide will take you through the necessary steps to perform a clean manual install of WordPress for the first time.

To make it as easy as possible to follow, I’ve decided to shape this like a cooking recipe, listing the “ingredients” (in other words, the tools, files, log-ins, and other resources) you’ll need, followed by the method to get things working perfectly on your first try.

wordpress-blue-black-logoThe specific design of each web host’s control panel will vary, so your process might not exactly match the screenshots below.

To make up for that, I’ve carefully highlighted the names of various tools to make it as easy as possible to find what you’re looking for.

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free wp pluginsThe wide range of tools available to WordPress users is phenomenal.

Plenty of the plugins available for WordPress can be used to dramatically alter your website, creating a more streamlined and efficient system for blogs and other websites.

Among these tools, though, there are some that stand out as being absolutely essential for making the most of WordPress. The best part? A lot of these are, like WordPress itself, completely free to use.

Here are some of the free WordPress plugins that can make life a lot easier for you:

Yoast

I’ve mentioned Yoast SEO before, and there’s a good reason for that – it’s one of the most useful plugins available.

Yoast SEO Plugin

Yoast ranks your content for SEO quality, letting you know if you should change your metadata or include your keywords in your text more often.

It lets you know which are the biggest problems with your text and which ones are less important to fix, so you can make sure to improve your SEO without making too many minute changes.

Yoast also comes with a neat readability feature which helps make sure your text is as easy to read as possible. It’ll prompt you to make your sentences shorter or use different words when your words are difficult to read.

Akismet

akismet screengrab

No matter how large your audience, something like Askimet is almost essential when running a website on any topic.

The problem is bots: automated computer programs that seek out comments sections and pump them full of spam. Before long, your site will be drowning in nonsense posts unless you have a decent spam blocker.

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how to make a wordpress blog yourselfBuilding a site in WordPress is fantastically simple.

Everything is laid out in a nice, easy to understand formula, and once you’ve started playing around with the WordPress dashboard you’ll find it’s really easy to get things done.

Getting started initially can sometimes seem a little daunting, though. For that reason, here are the few basic steps that you’ll need to take when first creating your WordPress site:

Choose A Web Host

I’ve covered selecting a web host in the past – basically, there’s no perfect host, or hosting package, which everyone will love equally.

how to choose a webhost

It’s important to find one that fits your needs, whether you’re a smaller site just starting out, or whether you’re expecting a large, proven audience and you don’t mind paying extra for increased speed, security, and bandwidth.

One thing that you may want to pay attention to when choosing your host is whether or not they offer an automatic, one-step installation process for WordPress. Most hosts will do so, and this feature might change the installation process for you.

That said, it’s not required – installing WordPress yourself is fairly simple anyway, and this guide will walk you through the process.

One-Step Installation

If your host offers an automatic installation, the exact method of performing it will be slightly different depending on your particular host’s control panel layout, but it’s fairly similar with every host and will often be clearly signposted.

control panel wordpress

In your control panel, you’ll have a screen like this which lists some of the applications you have available. Clicking the WordPress icon brings up the option to install it on your site.

wordpress install button

This screen will be different depending on your own host’s layout, but you should have an option like this available. Simply click ‘Install’, and your host will do most of the work for you.

This host uses Mojo for its one-step installation. If yours uses Mojo too, this is what you’ll see. You’ll need to specify what domain you want WordPress to be installed.

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WordPress is a wonderfully versatile tool. There’s no limit to the uses you can put WordPress to when you use the right themes and plugins.

Some plugins, though, are more useful than others. Basic functions like security, search engine optimization, social media posting, and traffic counting can all be added to your site with a few clicks of a mouse.

While there are endless tools available that you can add to your site, these are my personal favorites to have things running smoother under the hood:

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO goes together with WordPress so well it’s hard to think of the two of them apart.

yoast seo

You’ll be hard pressed to find an SEO plugin that’s more efficient and effective than Yoast. Not only does it allow you to fill in all the relevant metadata for your blog posts, but it also rates your content and gives feedback on ways you can improve its search-engine-friendliness.

Also useful is a relatively recent addition to the plugin. As well as helping to improve your content’s SEO, Yoast will check over your content to make sure it’s as readable as possible.

This means you’ll always have the best-looking content, no matter what.

Google XML Sitemaps

Another plugin that’s essential for getting the best possible ranking in search engines, Google XML Sitemaps is specifically designed to let Google and other online tools know exactly what’s on your blog at any given time.

google xml sitemaps

Specifically, it delivers up-to-date information on when your site last updated and what new content you’ve added recently. This helps Google to point users in your direction as soon as you add relevant content to your site that matches their search.

Using this tool, you make sure your site is as search-engine-friendly as possible, and you’re always up to date on relevant subjects.

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make money blogging start

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got paid for blogging?

Believe it or not, it’s actually possible: plenty of talented bloggers make money simply by posting content online.

There are a lot of different methods that can be used to make money blogging online, but all of them presuppose one thing: that you already have a large audience of readers who’ll make your blogging efforts pay off.

Whether it’s paid ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored blog posts, or your own informational products, the amount of money that you make will depend heavily on how many people are reading your blog.

For that reason, if you want to make a good amount of money from your blog regularly, you first need to do everything you can to build up a large audience.

To begin, we’ll tackle how to advertise and spread the popularity of your blog; then, we’ll cover a few of the ways you can use your newfound audience to generate revenue.

Step One: Write Good Content

While at this point it should go without saying, it’s important to make sure your blog’s content is high quality.

While this might seem like an obvious step, it’s surprising how many bloggers overlook simple steps like proofreading and fact checking.

There’s more than that to it, though: to draw in an audience, you need to make sure that your content offers a unique perspective – something readers can’t get anywhere else. Whether it’s humor, solid research, or impressive visuals, you need to provide something that makes your content stand out from the crowd.

the perfect niche to blog about

Finding this perfect niche will help your efforts to publicize your content and build your audience run all the more smoothly. Take, for example, Rock and Roll Bride – a blog which focuses on quirky wedding ideas.

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wordpress hosting options

A quick Google search makes it clear: There are a lot of options out there when it comes to web hosting, making it especially difficult to find the perfect choice for your WordPress blog.

The following site hosts are among the best online, though each has its own unique features that will appeal to bloggers with different needs. Unfortunately, there’s no single best host out there that we can recommend unconditionally, as everyone will find that different options suit their needs best.

With that in mind, look through each of these based on their features and services guarantees to find the perfect host for your specific WordPress hosting requirements.

InMotion Hosting

InMotion is a solid host that offers several different packages tailored to specific needs.

If you’re looking to find a good host and stick with it, you’ll be able to upgrade over time from their basic ‘Launch’ package, through their small business ‘Power’ plan, to their unlimited ‘Pro’ hosting.

InMotion hosting image

All plans come with unlimited disk space and bandwidth (although you shouldn’t expect cheaper packages to be truly ‘unlimited’ once you start pulling in a large audience). The primary difference between different packages is the number of sites you can have per account – the ‘Launch’ package can have two websites and 25 subdomains, while other packages offer more options for running multiple websites at once.

InMotion offers a lot of the standard features that you’d expect, including automatic WordPress installation on their dashboard, and comes with a variety of free, easy-to-use themes and a drag-and-drop editor, making this a great choice for someone who’s only just starting out.

The big downside, though, is that unless you’re buying the Pro package, you have to tie yourself into at least a year’s subscription. That makes it difficult to change your plan (or, indeed, your hosting) if you find you don’t get along with your package.

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best wordpress themes for blog

Look around – there are a lot of different WordPress themes out there on the internet.

The range is really staggering. If you can think of a use for a website, there’s probably a WordPress theme that can make it happen in a beautiful, functional way. It’s this versatility that makes WordPress such a popular choice for all sorts of websites.

A big part of getting your blog off the ground is making sure it looks its best. You want a bold, unique, and professional website design that makes people take your content seriously.

Making The Right Choice

Thanks to the wide range of themes available for WordPress, it’s possible to find any kind of look for your site. The problem, then, comes from trying to narrow down your options.

In order to make things a bit easier for you, I’ve come up with a list of the five most interesting, visually impressive, and easily customizable WordPress themes available.

top blogging themes wordpress

Some are free, making them perfect for beginners, while others come with a price tag which, if you’re looking to make a blog that really stands out, might be worth investing in.

Everyone likes something different, so have a look through these themes to find the perfect fit for your site.

Divi

One thing I really like about Divi is how versatile it is.

Divi Theme

The theme comes with a wide variety of different options, from headers and sidebars to a variety of different elements that can be easily dragged and dropped onto the site in order to make something completely original out of well-built pre-assembled parts.

With Divi, you can either use the tools to build the image of a site that you might have in your head, or you can play around with the various templates and elements to spontaneously create something that you could never have imagined without it.

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Starting a blog

So you’ve decided to start your own blog.

You’ve found the perfect web host for your needs and you’ve built a website to house your blog.

Now comes the hard part: it’s time to start producing content and building an audience.

There’s no one right way to build up a successful blog – everyone who’s already seen success online will recommend a different path to the top.

That said, there are a few key elements that are universal across all blogging endeavors: steps which, when taken, dramatically improve your chances of seeing your blog take off and develop an enormous readership.

Here are some important steps that you should take in your journey to becoming a successful blogger:

Write Something

I can’t stress this enough: the most important step to creating a successful blog is to start writing.

Add new post

It’s only when you produce content that you’ll find your blog connecting with readers. All of the best intentions are meaningless if you don’t actually start typing.

A lot of the best practices for blogging can be discovered along the way, but unless you actually begin writing, you won’t get anywhere. So if you’ve not done so already, make plans to create your first blog post.

That said, even once you get going, it’s important to maintain momentum.

Take Neil Patel, the creator of KISSMetrics, Quick Sprout, and other popular blogs as an example. For every new blog that Neil has started over the years, he’s reached his goal of getting to 100,000 monthly visits faster, as he’s learned the best techniques to speak to an audience.

Neil credits an increase in content production as the main reason for his blogs taking off.  At one point, KISSMetrics increased its number of blog posts from five to six posts a week, and saw an increase in monthly visits of 80,000.

blog visitors

Lots of content helps your site in many ways. In addition to giving your readers more to enjoy on a regular basis, a large back catalogue looks appealing to search engines and helps establish your authority on your subject matter.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming this content-heavy advice is only for international bloggers.  We prescribe the same advice for local businesses, be it we buy houses in Phoenix, Arizona or we clean carpets in Nashville, Tennessee.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be updating every single day, but you should at least be writing something every day (even if what you write is part of larger, less frequent blog posts).

Of course, more blog posts won’t always help you to succeed. If you’re writing so fast that your quality dips, you’ll end up shooting yourself in the foot. But if you focus on producing as much high quality content as possible, your blog audience will grow faster as a result.

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influence review

Here are my notes from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Cialdini calls those who’re good at getting you to say “yes” compliance practitioners.  And of the thousands of tactics these compliance practitioners use, he narrowed it down to six basic categories most responsible for persuasion:

  1. Reciprocation
  2. Consistency
  3. Social proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

As we look deeper into each one below, remember that material self interest will always apply – people wanna get more and pay less for their choices.  That’s a given.

There are two ways Influence can help you: one, it’ll provide the psychology-backed blueprint for making more sales; and two, it’ll empower you to make better decisions yourself.

Depending on your motives, you can use these persuasion principles to do good or harm.  Proceed ethically, my friend.

With more information and choices than ever before, it’s never been more important to understand how and why we comply without even thinking about it.

When you ask someone to do a favor, you’ll be more successful if you give them a reason why.

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Claude C. Hopkins Scientific Advertising Summary

Claude C. Hopkins wrote Scientific Advertising a long-ass time ago.  Still, it’s on every great marketer’s must-read list.  So I did.  Here are the notes I took.

17 Takeaways From Scientific Advertising

1) Advertising is salesmanship.  The only reason you run ads is to make sales.  Not to brand or build a following.  Treat advertising like a salesperson.  Force it to justify itself.  And be exact because small mistakes can add up fast.

2) Clear over clever.  Effective advertising has little to do with writing ability.  It’s about being brief, clear and convincing – and that’s it.  (To my surprise, Hopkins says clever writing is a disadvantage.  It takes attention away from the subject and raises suspicion.  Never seek applause over sales.)

3) One person in person.  When writing ads, have one customer in mind.  Thinking about a large audience blurs your message.  Then, don’t do shit you wouldn’t do if you were selling to that person face-to-face.

4) Don’t get it twisted.  This is about them, not you.  Great advertisers study the consumer.  Most ads that fail do so because they were attempting to sell something the people didn’t want.  A close second, though, is lack of true salesmanship.  You’ll never sell well, in print or in person, if you’re only trying to please yourself.

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make wordpress blog step by step