The great thing about WordPress is that it is an open-source blogging platform; which in simpler terms means it’s 100% free! For a self-hosted site all you need to purchase is a domain name and shared hosting. This can be easily achieved for under $100 per year. With the minimal startup amount there is no wonder that hundreds of thousands of new WordPress blogs are started each day.
This is great for WordPress but what if you wanted to separate yourself from the pack a bit and gain an instant advantage? The answer is investing in what’s important.
I’m going to explain what you should invest in to give you an edge from day one. Due to the nature of the internet, you will need to stand out somehow and to easily do this…invest in your brand.
Invest in a Premium Theme
My first, and most important, suggestion is to purchase a premium theme. Did you know an average visitor makes his or her mind up in a few seconds on whether they will stay or leave your site? This is why design is so important when starting a site. There are literally thousands of awesome WordPress themes available for purchase, many of them under $50. Purchase one that fits your niche and relates to the feel of your site. For example, if you are starting a blog on organic grown food then you will probably look for a clean theme with green headlines and nav (you can change this in the .css file).
Never skimp on the design because people will judge your site at the first moment they lay eyes on your project.
Invest in Great, Shareable Content
The best way to build free and quality traffic is to write EPIC content that people will share. This means to write creative articles that are in-depth and have a lot of value to the reader. Great content doesn’t get noticed, it gets shared.
In the blogging world, quality rules over quantity. If you look at the heavy hitters in your industry that have a solid following, there is one thing in common…they write quality posts on a regular basis.
Invest Time in Connecting
Investing your time means to step outside your blog and make connections with people in your industry. Just because you are working online doesn’t mean you should hide behind your blog. Building solid relationships with other bloggers is a great way to stay motivated and earn respect in your niche.
It is human nature to feel more attached with something if there is a face associated with it. Your site should be no different. Comment on other blogs, offer to write a guest post and build a circle that you can connect with.
3 Things You May Think You need but don’t…
- Twitter & Facebook Pages: Social networking should be considered secondary when you are starting a WordPress blog. I’m surprised at the amount of people who think they need to set up Twitter and Facebook accounts before they have launched a blog. Your main focus should be to invest in design, content and people.
- Hiring a marketing or SEO company/person: Don’t get tricked into marketing or SEO tactics at the beginning. Build your site the old fashion way…with awesome content that provides value. Not only will hiring someone be costly but without great posts your site won’t gain any traction.
- Custom Design: If you starting your blog from scratch and don’t have unlimited funds at your arsenal then do not get a WordPress theme custom designed. Like I previously mentioned, purchase a premium theme instead. A quality custom WordPress theme normally starts at $1,500 and could go up to $20,000 or more. A premium theme normally costs anywhere from $20-$100 and they have a community for support.
One last word of advice
I’ve built many WordPress blogs and sites over the years and my most successful one’s didn’t cost much to start. Instead of spending money, I spent time to build relationships inside the community. Behind every blog is a human operating it, so reach out and make a working connection.