Build a budget-friendly blog for almost free

Lately, I have been publishing news articles and have not went back to blogging. I probably said that this is a blog and will always stay a blog and I feel like I should probably teach you how to set up your own blog the best and free way which can help you cut down on budget and maybe even help you gain some internet popularity. Prepare yourselves, I am not responsible for any problems and/or fees you have to pay because you did something wrong or somehow blew up your Samsung Galaxy Note so here we go!

Hosting and Creating:

First off, we need a blogging platform. Do you want to use WordPress, Blogger, Weebly or make your own? I highly recommend WordPress due to the amount of plugins it has in its online plugin store. On my WordPress news website Adventure Bitcoin, I installed a point/rank system which rewards viewers and contributors with points for doing stuff such as posting and commenting and when they reach a certain threshold, they can send me an email and I will give them a small reward.

Blogger on the other hand is friendly towards Google Adsense which is a big thing for generating ad revenue from your website. While I use 000webhost for Adventure Bitcoin, it is simple and free, I could use Google Adsense to monetize my content. Other than Google Adsense, Blogger pretty much offers everything that and Weebly offer.

Weebly is a easy site builder that gives you a free weebly domain and an easy site builder. I found that it was elementary and offered HTML blocks but otherwise, I preferred Blogger because of the Google account integration. Oh, and one more thing, WordPress and are a little bit different. WordPress is the ready-to-use blogging software that you just need to upload to your web hosting service and install plugins while offers free hosting service and a free domain name.

Snazzy Domain Name:

Secondly, a domain name fit for a king, wait.. what? A good domain name is important to secure a good search engine ranking to make sure you are on the first few pages. One study showed that the majority of Google searchers do not go past the first page meaning that your domain name should appear on the first page. HostGator offers a pretty good deal in terms of hosting and should do the trick and you can even buy a domain name from them. Just remember to pick a good or simple one. I personally would not want to memorize a 30 character domain name. Also, do not go cheap and use those Freenom domain names or the ones that are assigned to you for free by a hosting service. They have low search engine ranking but I have seen several Freenom domains come up on the first page of a Google search because it had a lot of traffic. You can chose to use these ways but be careful, traffic will be really low unless you have a lot of popularity. One last tip for the domain name, I noticed that .com domain names actually are more likely to be considered by Google’s search algorithms while domains actually are not that bad. While searching for my old blog website, I found my on the second page and a while back, I was looking at this new Bitcoin blog known as which showed up on the first page when I was searching for it. My own blog does not even show up if I type its name into the search engine and all I see is my Twitter profile and Zapchain profile which talks about the blog.

Content + horrible layout = failure:

Okay, now we got hosting under controlled, time to get into setting it up to look aesthetically pleasing and make people actually want to stay. Making readers want to return is not just about content but the layout as well. Try to add a bit of colour but do not colour everything or else it might look too messy, dark or too bright. Also, try to make sure it is actually not eye torturing, not eye catching, torturing. Do not add those really flashy ads or too many widgets because those are really annoying. Try to keep it clean and simple but do not make it look like something that came out of Microsoft Word. Both WordPress and Blogger give you really nice templates and you can search across the internet for more and if you really want to see a nice example of an easy to read website that is actually welcoming, take a look at TechCrunch, they use WordPress. You see, grabbing readers is not just about the content but as well as the layout. Oh and try to keep the colours related to the theme. In general, environmental stuff use green while gaming use black, red and that stuff. I realized that caking the entire blog in ads will not properly increase impressions because they are just too darn annoying. Keep one or two at the header and maybe 2 at the side and 2 at the bottom but never put more than 3 in any of those locations. POPUPS! They are the worst! try not to place too many popup ads because they slow down computers and since you most likely have widgets active, they will also slow down the computer, as a result, you are going to lose visitors who are using older computers or phones.


Content is king:

Content! Finally what we have been waiting for is how on earth does internet-famous (not) writer Angus teach about writing content. I do not have my own style but I will say one thing, ask yourself a question, are you running a personal blog or an academic writing website? I am teaching you how to build a blog that is budget-friendly, I will probably teach more about writing something that will captivate readers some other time but please remind me to do that. Since a blog is not an academic writing website that include essays and that stuff like that, there is no formal way of writing a blog post other than what comes to your mind. Right now I am just typing what is coming into my mind. Unlike news and persuasive paragraphs that require some proof and some backing up, blogging is pretty much advice, personal experience and opinions so say goodbye to MLA formatting! Whoo Hoo!!! But something to remember is the layout of your content, I most likely need to change some things because Blogger’s font styles are too hard for me to read which theoretically makes it hard for my readers to read and this probably hit the 1000 word mark so… I setting up sub headings and more spacing for easier and quick reading. Next week, I will post about increasing pageviews and popularity.

Social networking = Free advertising:

 Fifth is social media which is important to pretty much all major and minor websites in order to reach new audiences. One important thing to have is Twitter, unlike Facebook, Twitter spreads your tweet to anyone on the platform and the use of hash-tags also increases your tweet’s popularity… somehow. I mainly use Twitter to answer questions but I am not as active on Twitter as I am on my personal accounts which is why I have double the followers on all my personal accounts on any social media than my own blog. So, I had a genius idea of automating the tweets such as when I have a new blog post, Twitter will automatically tweet it out. Such as Hootsuite or IFTTT. Hootsuite actually checks my RSS feed and posts a link and my post title on my Twitter account while IFTTT does the same thing with my WordPress site, Adventure Bitcoin. I can even set up automated tweets that can be daily such as if I want to tweet to everyone with the same hashtag #angusisbored with the same message. It is super annoying but gets my point through. I believe that Jetpack for WordPress is the best candidate to share your blog posts to social media because while using Jetpack, I could share using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as well as tracking pageviews. Pretty awesome though but Twitter is honestly the most affective out of all the social media platforms I’ve used.

Content + ads = revenue:

Lastly is monetization, this is a big decision whether you want to make a profit or try to earn back your losses. I honestly do this for fun and normally send ad revenue on give-aways and sharing my blog with the world. There are many and I mean many different ways of monetizing your content. Whether it is affiliate programs or just ads on a web page, there are various ways to earn . Most of the time, publishers will use Google Adsense, which I highly recommend because of its support and Google Analytics integration. I found that it works really well with blogger and you can add more than one website to your adsense account. Other than that, you can try A-ads and Bitcoin paying ad networks. A-ads is simple to use and only requires less than a minute of your time to get an ad code and all revenue can be withdrawn straight to your Bitcoin wallet. If you do not wish to use ad networks, you affiliate programs require a customer that is interested where you earn commission but back-links are something I have never tried out. It is where you can sell back-link locations on your website in return for revenue, much like a pay-per-click system. Other ways to earn include setting up an online store and selling premium content.

Well, I believe that is all for now. In a few days, I might publish another post on increasing page-viewsand gain popularity but so far, I think I might sit and see how the Zapchain community reacts to this. What I noticed is that blogging takes forever to actually improve your popularity and revenue so do not expect to get high amounts of page-views for several years but if you are lucky, it will only take several months.

Have something you want to share? Just comment it below, I read all the comments or if you have any questions, either comment them below or email me and I will try to reply as soon as possible at:

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Angus is the Editor-In-Chief and creator of Technology Is Key. He enjoys tech and business and also runs Adventure Bitcoin.

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