The basics of building a blog website
Being a blogger or a digital storyteller has a whole different meaning than it had at the beginning of the digital era. The evolution was (and still is) organic and natural from so many points of view. If back then, people used to write content that was mainly about their particular universe, today, the landscape is pretty different.
Thanks to the intense connectivity, you have the chance to write down stories about a wide range of topics. You can easily interview some photographers traveling across the world, write a short piece about your favorite coffee shop, or simply share an intimate story about some heartbreaking experiences you had.
The authority and the power gained by bloggers are huge and can often make a real difference. All of this is possible only by investing time, energy, and money into building the right website for your needs. You need to have a place to gather all this information—one www that fully represents you and your interests, that helps you stand out from the crowd, and makes room for your voice to be heard.
How can you make it happen?
Choose a trustworthy and easy-to-use platform
It’s not a surprise that WordPress might be the first option that comes into your mind since 37% (and counting) of the biggest websites are on this platform. On top of that, they were among the first that focused on empowering people to create a digital journal and share their thoughts with the world. This means their focus was from day one to support blogs and online platforms to get traction.
Besides its reputation, WordPress is also a handy solution in terms of ease of use. Everything is well structured and aligned to your ordinary digital habits. You can easily learn to manage it so that you can focus on what matters most to you: writing meaningful stories.
Choose a theme tailored to your particular needs
Finding the right blogging WordPress theme can be a tricky path, but here’s what you need to take into consideration when choosing. First, do in-depth research about the team behind the scenes (who are the folks selling that product? are they trustworthy or simply business owners?).
Second of all, make sure that you don’t get just catchy pixels that seem to make sense for your goals. Instead, opt for a theme that was developed as a solution to your needs and that can be adapted to where you’re heading with your upcoming website. Moreover, skim through their documentation and determine if they keep it relevant in the very long run. It will make your life easier and more pleasant.
Our growing portfolio has eleven themes focused on bloggers and publishers of all kinds. All of them have a unique personality thanks to a creative concept that makes them truly remarkable. Depending on your objectives and personal preferences, you can go with any of them. For example, you can choose Patch if you plan to develop a digital magazine, Hive if you’re a true typography lover, or Gema if you want to make a bold statement. Whatever you adopt, you will enjoy the overall experience. It’s a promise.
Add images and stories that represent you
What would be a website without eye-candy images and impactful content? Not much, we’d say. We highly encourage you to find the smartest solutions in terms of images and develop a constant writing exercise at the same time. Remember that every picture or story is a mirror of you, and people will automatically draw an opinion starting with these two items.
Therefore, make sure everything is aligned with your branding, no matter the profile. If you’re a food blogger, then choose pics that keep people drooling; if you’re a narrative journalist, then stick with long-form articles and don’t be scared by the length of your stories; if you’re managing a magazine, don’t forget to adapt everything to your one-of-a-kind voice.
Build a community around your blog
Nobody wants to talk by themselves, right? Avoid that by investing in creating and consolidating a community that enjoys your stories. Create connections that last and keep an active dialogue with your audience. Not only will you get plenty of useful feedback about how to improve the entire experience you’re offering, but you will also get a bunch of ideas and potential topics to write about.
Nonetheless, people who stick with you and feel they belong to your community will act as ambassadors for your brand. In other words, they will promote your content, will spread the word about it, will be eager to subscribe to your newsletter and be the first ones to read the fresh stories you publish. It might sound like abstract perks when, in fact, they’re more than concrete results that will increase your reputation. In the end, there are plenty of bloggers with strong personal branding who make a living out of their websites.
We don’t share these insights without first diving in and putting our skin in the game. We adventured in creating a community around stories that make us better people. We call it the Upstairs Community—a place with no marketing tricks, no paid sponsors, and no tracking. Only plain text wrapped into what we all need a bit more in our lives: vulnerability, acceptance, and kindness. Join it if it sounds like your cup of tea.
On top of this, we wrote a detailed article on how to build a sustainable online and offline community. Give it a go if the topic interests you.
Go even further
Leverage social media platforms
Social sharing is so much more than a nice-to-have feature. In fact, it is a valuable gateway to increase your audience and visibility. Imagine people who love your content letting others know about it, and so on. It’s like a snowball that becomes bigger and bigger and grabs attention, something every blogger desires.
Care deeply about security and performance
Ever wonder how it feels to lose control of your website? Not cool, believe us. Security is essential not only in terms of knowing that your work is safe but also as a proof of trust and reliability for that community we mentioned above. Keep in mind that everyone wants to be protected, and any website, no matter its nature, lacks professionalism if it doesn’t treat it with priority.
At the same time, your website must adhere to the performance standards set by Google and the like, at least if you want it to be visible across the web. Visitors expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, so this area needs to be on your radar from the very beginning. Fortunately, you are not alone in this. Vlad, our Chief Technology Officer, wrote an in-depth ebook that teaches you how to spend your performance budget wisely and goes through the core pieces that impact your website. Definitely worth a read.
Pay attention to image optimization
Mostly because you want to have a fast website and offer a flawless experience for the users. Images are an important part of this puzzle and can have a massive impact on the entire flow. Nobody wants an annoying journey filled with blockers. In fact, nobody will struggle to make it happen. People will drop by the blink of an eye and start searching for different ways to fulfill their requests.
That is why uploading images should not be taken lightly. There are some rules that you need to follow if you want a speedy and performant website. You can learn about the intricacies of images on the web from our 9+ years of experience in running a WordPress business compiled in this article.
Don’t neglect SEO best-practices
In fact, once you have a website, SEO is something you can’t avoid. Google starts indexing your content, and if you don’t know how to maximize its potential, you will not obtain the desired results. The good thing is that we did half of the work when we built our themes by taking into consideration all the best SEO practices. This way, you know for a fact that you start your digital journey on the right foot.
PS: If you want a detailed tutorial on how to build a blog that goes through all the basics like choosing website hosting, installing WordPress, configuring a WordPress theme, and so on, we recommend this video created by Ben.
Need help to get started?
We can help you setup WordPress and install any of our themes to start blogging in no time.