Tag Archive: guide to blogging

How to Install WordPress in cPanel Using Fantastico

 

Before you install WordPress, make sure your host’s name servers are already entered in your domain registrar account. There is a separate tutorial for that if you have yet to accomplish this.

Follow the video instructions above or the steps below to install WordPress in cPanel using Fantastico.

1. Login to your cPanel account. You should have received your login details from your host through an email.

2. After logging in, navigate to the Domains section and click on Addon Domains.

3. Type the new domain name minus the www.

4. Specify an FTP username. Save this information somewhere. You will need this if you need to edit your site using an FTP tool.

5. Specify a password or, if the option is available, click on Password Generator. Copy the generated password and save it along with your FTP username. You will also need this for site editing through FTP.

6. Click Add Domain.

7. Click HOME to go back to cPanel Home.

8. Go to the Software/Services section and click on the icon Fantastico De Luxe.

9. In the Fantastico dashboard, go to the left sidebar and click on WordPress.

10. Click on New Installation.

11. On the dropdown box for Install on domain, choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress.

12. Specify an Administrator username, Password, Admin nickname, Admin e-mail and Site name.

13. Click Install WordPress.

14. Copy and save the MySQL database and MySQL user specified for your site. You’ll need this in case you later want to transfer to another host or to transfer your blog files and database to a new owner.

15. Click Finish installation. Copy and save the your WordPress login URL, username and password.

You’re done! You can start tweaking your WordPress settings and start blogging now.

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A Non-Techie’s Guide to Choosing a Web Host

After buying your domain name from a registrar, your next step is to look for a host which will store all your blog files for you. This is more for bloggers who opt to have their blogs run on WordPress.org instead of Blogger.

Just like choosing a domain registrar, it’s important that you also carefully evaluate your hosting options. Choosing the wrong host can be catastrophic for your site. Examples of issues or problems that can stem from bad hosts are:

  • frequent hacking incidents due to poor server security
  • loss of site files with no option to recover them
  • poor to no customer support especially after a serious server problem
  • poor uptime

Of course, no host is 100% perfect and immune to problems, but a one host can mean a world of difference to another and good hosts usually weather technical issues better than others. To choose a web host, here are some basic considerations that you should have in mind:

Uptime / Reliability

A host should be able to guarantee that it’ll be up for close to 100% of the time. The reason for this should be obvious. If you’ve got a popular site with a steady stream of visitors, you’d want your site to be around when they get there. Uptime rate is even more important if your site offers a service or sells a product.

Customer Service

You should want to be with a host that will quickly reply to your tickets or have a working live chat service. HostGator is one of those services that has such a feature so you get instant access to a customer service representative when there’s a problem. Ideally, customer support should also not just help you resolve possible issues but be able to address technical questions for you as well.

How do you find out if a host has a good support system if you’ve never tried them before? You can search for reviews on your host options. You can’t miss mentions of bad customer support. Customers are bad to complain a lot about this in forums, blogs and review sites.

Security

Hosts with servers that aren’t secure are always vulnerable to hackers. You’d be lucky if you get hacked but retain your core files and databases. A severe attack on a badly protected server can easily result in the loss of everything on your blog.

If you’re not a techie, it’s not easy to figure out if a host has secure servers or not. Again it would be a good idea to conduct a thorough Google search on your host prospects.

Ease of Use

Different hosts offer different ways for users to setup sites and manage databases, emails and files. If you’re not a tech expert and you’re new to blogging, go for a host that offers cPanel. This is perhaps one of the most user friendly options.

Data Transfer

In some quarters this is called bandwidth, although experts point out that this is not an accurate term. To make things simple, it’s best to understand the concept by remembering that this is related to the amount of traffic and downloads allowed for your site. The more visitors and downloads you expect to get on your site, the more bandwidth you need.

Some hosts offer unlimited bandwidth but there is no host that can truly provide this. Those that advertise unlimited offers have assessed that it’s safe to offer “unlimited” because most site owners never really consume a lot of bandwidth. Once your site grows in popularity and hits a certain ceiling though, they’ll let you know you’re already consuming too much of the so called unlimited bandwidth.

If you don’t plan to amass hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s okay to go for reputable hosts that offer “unlimited” bandwidth. Or you can go for a host with a limited bandwidth package and then just upgrade or move on to one that offers more when your visitors have increased. Just keep in mind though that moving from a small host to a bigger one can be technically difficult if you’re not naturally good with technical details.

Storage Space

Just like bandwidth, some hosts offer unlimited storage. Again this isn’t entirely true. Hosts bank on the idea that most site owners don’t consume a lot of space. When you do however reach whatever the limit of unlimited is, you will find yourself unable to store more files or publish posts.

Again, you can start with a small storage space plan and then upgrade later or move to a host that offers more.

These are only some of the basic points to think about when choosing a host. The more technically oriented bloggers however might also want to consider such factors as access to .htaccess, secure servers and permission to install scripts. For now however, you can just focus on the factors mentioned above to choose your first host.

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How to Set Up a Custom Domain from Namecheap in Blogger


As I explained in a previous post about Blogger and WordPress, there are times when I do prefer Blogger over WordPress. Naturally though, when I do have to set up a Blogger property, I’d go for a custom domain name instead of the default free option that comes with the .blogspot.com extension. A custom domain address looks cleaner, more professional and is easier for people to remember.

To learn how to set up a custom domain from Namecheap in Blogger, watch the video or read the step by step instructions below.

1. Sign up for an account in Blogger.com. Just follow the account creation wizard which will prompt you to fill in some pieces of information. At first you will have to take a free .blogspot.com blog address/URL.

2. Go to Namecheap.com. Log in and go to the My Account tab. Choose Manage Domains from the dropdown menu. Click on the domain name you want to set up with Blogger.

Naturally, if you don’t have a domain yet, you need to buy one first from Namecheap. We have a separate tutorial for that here.

3. On the sidebar, click All Host Records.

4. Check that the blank next to @ is already filled in with your URL. Ex. http://www.domainname.com/.

5. On the blank next to www, type ghs.google.com. The dropdown next to it, it should be labelled as CNAME (Alias). Click Save Changes.

6. On the left most section under subdomain settings, fill four blanks with your domain name minus the www. Ex. domainname.com.

7. On the blanks at the center next to the domain entries, type four Google IP addresses:

  • 216.239.32.21
  • 216.239.34.21
  • 216.239.36.21
  • 216.239.38.21

8. To the right of these four IP entries, pick A (Address) from the dropdown menus for each of the IP entries. Click Save Changes.

9. Go back to Blogger and on the drop down menu, click Settings.

10. On the Publishing>Blog Address section, click on Add a Domain and then click on “Switch to advanced settings“.

11. On the blank, type your full domain address/URL including the www.

12. Click save. Wait a few hours for the setup to take effect.

That’s it. You’re ready to roll.

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Choosing and Registering a Domain Name

 

When you’re absolutely certain you can overcome the challenges of blogging and you’re ready to begin, the first semi technical step to get started is to choose your domain name and to have it registered.

Choosing Your Domain Name

Bloggers have a variety of reasons for the domain names they choose. Most have personal considerations influencing their choice. Those who have been online longer however and those who are more or less acquainted with the ropes of online publishing choose names with one or both of these considerations in mind:

  • keyword match for easier search engine optimization (SEO)
  • strong potential for branding

SEO Considerations

If you’ve found this post without reading my previous posts on market and keyword research, it’s best to go read those posts first to help you understand the importance of incorporating keywords in web pages and blog posts.

There is currently a common belief that if your domain contains keywords that are frequently searched for by members of a market, it stands a chance of ranking better in search engine results pages.

For example, because my domain contains the keyword “blog guide”, it stands a good chance of appearing on search engine results when someone searches for the phrase.

Keep in mind however that the inclusion of keywords in a domain name is only one factor and is by no means the biggest determinant in getting sites to appear on search results. Also, because SEO is an ever changing field, keywords in domain names may or may not remain determining factors in search results in the future.

Domains For Branding

There are also bloggers that snub the use of keywords in domain names and choose their names based on branding considerations. This simply means they want a name that is so unique that people will eventually be able to quickly recall and associate it with their business.

Domain Registrar

Whether you choose a keyword-based domain name or one that carries your brand, you need to get it from a registrar. There are many registrars out there. Two of the most popular ones are Namecheap and GoDaddy.

There are a couple of points you need to consider when choosing a registrar:

  • Accreditation – Pick a registrar that is ICANN accredited. This will ensure that you’re with a registrar that complies with good business standards and policies.
  • Reputation – Needless to say, a good registrar has a good reputation online. Search for reviews or even complaints on a registrar you’re considering to find out its reputation.
  • Terms – You’d want to know if registrars have restrictive contracts or difficult policies for transfers should you decide to leave.
  • Fees – Aside from the cost of the domain, different registrars slap different fees for such extra services as privacy protection.
  • Dedicated Business – Some companies offer both hosting and registration services. There are those who advice however, that it is best to have separate companies handle your registration and hosting. This is simply to ensure that if something happens to your host’s company, your domain has the chance of remaining intact.

Domain Name Extensions

Which extension should you go for? A .com, .net, .info, .biz, .org, etc.? I would personally go for a .com because this is what most people commonly associate with website addresses. When people talk about websites and blogs, what is foremost in their minds is .com. It’s also cheaper than some of the other options.

Then again, there are instances when a geo targeted extension would make better sense. For example if you own a business in Australia, it would make sense to have a .com.au extension.

Ready to buy your blog domain? Start researching for options now.

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Why Use Blogger When You Can Use WordPress?

BloggerBlogger.com is the blogging platform owned by Google and is one of the oldest blog services around. You can sign up and start blogging for free with Blogger. One catch to be able to use the service is that your domain name has to carry the service’s brand. Your URL will therefore appear as http://whateveryourblognameis.blogspot.com.

For beginners, Blogger is an excellent place to learn. This is mainly because there is no cost involved and you can take all the time you need to get comfortable blogging. Later on, when you’ve become more of an expert, you can buy your own domain name and link it to your Blogger blog so you can drop the .blogspot part. If you want to take an even more advanced step, you can migrate your Blogger blog to WordPress.

Many blog experts, when asked for advice immediately tell beginners to start with WordPress.org. Among the most common reasons for ditching Blogger for WordPress include:

  • You have greater control over features and customization with WordPress. You have hundreds of plugins and themes to choose from to create the exact look and functions you want. Moreover, you have the flexibility to create more than just a blog. You can have a static, membership or ecommerce website with a blog just being one part of it.
  • Because Google owns Blogger, it has terms and conditions which you have to follow. Otherwise, your blog could get deleted or terminated even if you just happen to misinterpret a rule. The problem with Blogger is that sometimes, they don’t inform users of terminations so you can wake up one day without a blog.
  • You can earn off Adsense and other advertising services with your Blogger blog but you could get canned if you aggressively promote affiliate products. Depending on the judgment of the robots and employees reviewing your work, your content could be marked as spam even if you feel you’re only a moderate promoter.

If asked to choose between the two, I would choose WordPress too but this doesn’t mean I would always recommend it for everyone and in every circumstance. Aside from the added cost of hosting for a WordPress blog, there is also a tremendous additional demand on your time, resources and skills. For each WordPress property you maintain, you need to look into the following considerations:

  • Regular file and database backups to safeguard against the permanent loss of data in case something happens to your host or its servers.
  • Taking security measures and making regular updates to secure your site against hackers. If you do end up getting hacked you may have to perform the repair work yourself depending on whether your host has the capacity to assist you and the hundreds of others whose accounts have been compromised.
  • Checking plugin and theme compatibility issues. Sometimes, themes and plugins become incompatible with new versions of WordPress. This can lead to loss of data or site features when you upgrade.
  • File storage and bandwidth limits. No host provides unlimited storage and bandwidth even though they advertise that. Once you start adding more blogs and these begin to draw more traffic, you could exceed what is allotted to you. You will have to pay extra to increase your limits.

I’m not saying there will never be any untoward incidents in Blogger, but the service is maintained by engineers in Google who take care of storage, bandwidth, security and compatibility issues. All you have to do is create content. In the five years I’ve been blogging, I’ve never lost a Blogger blog and there have only been a few service outages.

In short, I would recommend WordPress if:

  • You’re embarking on an online project where a professional image is important or where you intend to generate some income and
  • If you have the resources to hire maintenance help or the time to maintain it yourself.

If you’re not seriously considering starting an online business and you just want to blog for fun or as a hobby with no concern for monetization whatsoever, I would recommend you save your money, time and energy and just stick to Blogger.

If you’ve decided you want to try out Blogger, here’s an overview of what’s inside the 2012 dashboard.

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Basic HTML Introduction for Bloggers


Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML is the basic language used for building websites. Hence, an HTML document is also known as a web page and consists of tags which may or may not come in pairs.

It’s important to have a basic concept of what this is mainly because this can help you understand why things look the way they do on your website. With some basic HTML knowledge you can already create a basic web page. HTML can help you achieve a number of different formatting preferences and options such as:

  • Tables
  • Paragraphs
  • Text formatting
  • Links
  • Lists

These are just examples of what you can do with basic knowledge. You can do a lot more when you acquire advanced skills. For example, advanced HTML can let you specify your desired web page descriptions and information that you want major search engines to know.

It’s not an absolute requirement for you as a blogger to learn the language. Most blogging platforms have built in editors that let you format blog posts and elements. Knowing HTML however can be particularly helpful in cases where an editor is not functioning properly or when you want to manually format something on your sidebar. Also, once you become a blog expert, you may also want to manually control elements without relying on the potential limitations of formatting editors or tools.

Some of the most common examples of tags are:

  • <p></p> – for opening and ending a paragraph
  • <br> – text following this tag will start in a new line
  • <ul></ul> – for specifying unordered lists
  • <ol></ol> – for specifying ordered lists
  • <li></li> – for starting and ending each list item
  • <strong></strong> – for making text bold
  • <a></a> + the “href” attribute contained in the opening tag – for creating links

You can watch the video above for a demonstration of these sample tags. The best place to learn all you need to know about HTML is w3schools.com.

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Blog Ownership – Free Blogs vs. Self-Hosted Blogs


Before you setup a blog, you need to first think about blog ownership. If you’re a total newbie to blogging, you might not think this is sensible at all. Isn’t the blogger automatically the owner of his blog?

The answer isn’t as simple as you think. Online, it’s possible for you to own the text, images and thoughts in a blog, but someone else might be the owner of the platform you use for blogging and of the domain where your content is. Of course, it’s also possible to choose full ownership over both your content and your domain.

Free Blogs

When you don’t own your domain, you are most likely blogging using a free service or platform. Obviously, when you have a free blog, you don’t pay for anything. You just create and publish content.

You’d know if you’re viewing a free blog if the URL (domain name) that appears on the address box of your browser looks like this:

http://yourblogname.blogspot.com OR http://yourblogname.wordpress.com

Notice the portions blogspot.com (blogger.com) and wordpress.com? These are free blogging services that you can use without having to pay anything. The only catch is that the service’s name has to be retained in the domain name. It’s never going to be just http://www.yourblogname.com.

There are other free services you can use to start a blog but Blogger.com and WordPress.com are among the most popular.

Self-Hosted

When you’ve paid for a domain name and for space to store or host your content files, what you have is a self-hosted blog. You own both your blog’s domain name and the contents in it.

You’d recognize a self-hosted blog when you see one because the domain name that appears on the address box of your browser usually looks like this:

http://www.yourblogname.com

Most self-hosted blogs run on WordPress.org which you’ll have to download and install. We’ll tackle how to buy a domain, how to setup hosting and how to install WordPress in another section.

Free vs. Self-Hosted

So what’s the best option for you? Many web experts will tell you to go straight for the self-hosted option. This is because of several advantages to it:

  • You have full control and you can do almost whatever you want with and in your blog. I’d like to stress “almost” here because every service has terms and conditions, even paid ones. Self-hosting however simply gives you greater freedom than free options. Policies of free services can restrict many activities, such as monetization methods, among others. Free services can shut down a blog even without proper notice if you break their rules.
  • Self-hosted blogs have domain names that look more professional. This is important if you’re running a blog for your business or to showcase your services.
  • You’re given more means to customize. You can dramatically change your theme or add tons of different functions and features.

Despite these obvious advantages, I wouldn’t always recommend the self-hosted option especially for beginner bloggers because there are disadvantages to it too:

  • You’re in charge of regular maintenance which can be technically challenging and time-consuming.
  • You have to resolve issues on your own which will again be a problem if you’re not tech savvy. Some of the most difficult issues include hacker attacks and blogs that break after an update.
  • No host truly offers unlimited file storage and bandwidth. This is true even among hosts that say they do. You will have to eventually pay a lot once your files and number of visitors increase.
  • Crucial mistakes, which can have far reaching consequence, can happen when you immediately start a self-hosted blog with little knowledge about how things work. Not setting a preferred permalink structure and then setting it at a later point in time is an example of a critical beginner error.

For beginners, I would suggest starting a free blog first. This will help you both practice market research and get comfortable with some of the minor technical aspects of blogging. In the meantime, a good way to prepare for the self-hosted option is to start reading more about it.

Once you’ve become comfortable with publishing online and you’ve come to accept the possibilities of encountering challenges, then you can go for a self-hosted blog. If you’re bent on taking blogging seriously though, I recommend not taking too long to shift from a free to a self-hosted platform.

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Basic Online Keyword Research Introduction


Many seasoned site owners treat online keyword research as an important regular task in developing their sites. In order to do this properly though, it’s important to first understand what keywords are, why research is important and how it’s done.

Defining Keywords and Research

More often than not, keywords aren’t single standalone words. They’re phrases that are related to the topics or niches of websites or blogs.

Not all site owners believe they need keywords so they don’t go into research. Those who do put value on them typically create lists of related keywords to use on their sites. The process followed to build these lists is known as keyword research.

For many site owners, research starts even before they pick and buy domain names. It then becomes a continuous activity before writing articles for posts and pages.

Why it’s Done

From my perspective, I like conducting research because it is one way to find related topics to blog about. For a lot of other webmasters however, research is done so they can find related phrases that can help increase search engine visibility.

Inserting keywords in certain sections in a blog post helps search engines find out what it’s all about. To a certain extent, the use of keywords is one factor that search engines consider to determine whether a site, web page or blog post turns up in search engine results pages for a particular search phrase. Because keywords can potentially be used to manipulate search engine results, there are general guidelines for their proper use and placement.

If the explanation above doesn’t make sense to you now, don’t worry. The section on SEO will explain keywords in greater detail.

How is Research Conducted

There is no single set way to do research. Different gurus have different methods. In general though, the task ideally focuses on looking for phrases that:

  • have some profit potential (profitable)
  • are searched by a good number of people (good traffic)
  • aren’t already used on a lot of other aged, frequently linked to pages (little competition)

You can follow the same basic steps outlined in the section on niche market research for evaluating traffic, assessing competition and determining profitability to come up with a list of possible keywords that are related to your topic. Set these aside for when you’re ready to buy a domain or start writing posts.

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Why Market Avatar Creation for Blogs Makes Sense


In Hinduism, an avatar is the manifestation of a deity as a human. In the online world, the term has come to refer to a variety of other things including the hypothetical individual that is a representation of a market’s collective qualities and characteristics.

In other words, as a blogger, you should consider an avatar to be that person you imagine yourself communicating to when you write a blog post. This presupposes one thing, that members of a market have similar traits and qualities, making it possible for bloggers and website owners to create avatars.

Avatar Importance

Imagine yourself for a moment talking to someone. What can help you keep a person’s interest? What can you say that can convince him to listen and interact with you for hours on end? If you know a person well enough, you’d know exactly what topics and themes to bring up during a conversation. If the person you’re talking to is polite enough, you might occasionally get away with references to yourself or to topics that don’t interest him.

Members of a market are a lot like any person you communicate with except that they’re not often polite. When people go to blogs to read or watch videos, they want to be shown exactly what they’re looking for. Write about a topic outside of their interests and they leave.

You need to have an avatar in mind when you blog even if you don’t intend to sell anything so you’ll always know what topics to blog about that are within the interest of your target market or target readers.

Creating an Avatar

You will find the task of creating an avatar less difficult if your blog topic or theme is one that you are also very much interested in. If you love what you blog about, you already represent your market to some extent and you are therefore your own prototype of your avatar.

If this is not the case, this is when you need to create from scratch which is not a very easy task for a lot of people. This is yet again another reason for you to consider from the very beginning blogging about something of interest to you.

Now even if you are already a perfect example of a member of your own market, you still need to clearly define your avatar on paper. This is to make sure you take into consideration other traits you don’t have that others do and to ensure you never forget who your avatar is.

To help you make your avatar, you need to ask these questions:

  • Who would be most interested in your topic?
  • What are his motivations for wanting to read about what you blog?
  • What are his traits, qualities and characteristics?
  • Does he have any fears and apprehensions? What are these?
  • Does he have any problems in life that you might be able to offer solutions to? What are these?

Some online marketers who are very precise about avatar creation go so far as to recommend that you also identify the smallest details including, but not limited to:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Civil status
  • Geographic location
  • Family composition
  • Educational attainment
  • Employment status

I would say it is important to be detail-oriented, mainly because, the more you know about your target market or reader, the easier for you to communicate with him and keep his attention. For example, identifying your avatar’s fears and life issues can help you create blog posts geared towards helping him solve those issues.

Online Research

The obvious question you’d ask yourself would be: How sure am I that the avatar I’m creating exists? What if I’m just creating someone in my head and there aren’t people like that? Again, you’d avoid this problem if you already represent your market to some degree.

If you’re having doubts about your avatar, online research is the only solution. Visit sites, forums, message boards and communities related to your topic. What kind of group or groups of people frequent these places? Are they mothers, fathers, single individuals? Are they looking for solutions to certain problems? How do they communicate with each other?

Avatar Example

Here is an example of an avatar for a yoga exercises site. This is by no means a complete representation but it’s good enough for the purpose of illustrating how to create and use an avatar.

  • 35 year old woman perhaps nearing quarter life crisis
  • on the brink of experiencing health issues because of lack of exercise
  • works in a 9-5 job while trying to take care of three kids and a husband
  • extremely stressed out and about to lose it
  • looking for a way to de stress, relax and be happier and healthier
  • with some academic background in physical therapy but shifted to sales and marketing for a pharmaceutical company
  • experience in PT convinced her to study yoga

What does this tell you? With this avatar in mind, you know that your avatar’s problem is stress. Hence, when you write blog posts, you’ve got to do so with the intention of helping this individual find the solution through yoga. Since your avatar is around 30 and has some knowledge in yoga and the health industry, you’d also know how to shape the tone of your posts so as not to appear like you’re talking to a total beginner.

This is just a starter’s guide to visualizing your avatar. Use the guidelines here to create your first avatar. Expect however that as you get better at what you do online that you might have to tweak your avatar along the way.

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Basic Niche Market Research for Bloggers


In the last post I gave you a short introduction about this topic and explained why it’s important to do this before you start blogging. I also mentioned the importance of having research objectives. To recap, research should help you see if a niche:

  • has enough traffic or interested people
  • has manageable competition
  • offers profit opportunities

Evaluating Traffic

Start by picking a particular niche you have in mind and typing it into Google.com. Remember, be specific. Do not settle for a single general word. In our example above, specific niches would be polymer clay crafts or polymer clay jewellery.

If there are sites and blogs dedicated to your specific topic, chances are, there will be people highly interested in it simply because other bloggers or webmasters have already started publishing information about it online.

Next, take your specific topic and type it into the Free Google Keyword Tool. On the right hand sidebar, tick “Phrase”, type in the (captcha?) and hit “Search.” Look at the list of words that appear underneath. Your main topic should be listed first. Look at the number under the heading Global Monthly Searches. The figure there is the average number of people who type the exact phrase into Google every month.

Obviously, the higher the number registered under the Global Monthly Searches, the more people there will be who will be interested in your topic.

Underneath your main topic of choice will be a list of other words and phrases. These should give you a clue about other niche topics that could be alternatives to your main one.

Assessing Competition

In a lot of cases, a niche might have a great deal of people interested in it. This doesn’t mean though that this is automatically an advisable niche to pick. This is because you might come across very stiff competition. You should go for a niche where you have a good chance of beating or at least standing on equal footing with the existing competition.

You’ll get your first clue about the quality of competition through the Global Monthly Searches. The higher the figure, the more likely other bloggers and website owners already have web properties that revolve around this topic.

You can confirm this by using a free tool like Traffic Travis. Download the free version of the tool. Open the SEO Analysis section and type your main topic phrase into the “Phrase to Analyze” box. Leave the “Search Location” to US unless your topic is tied to a specific geographic location.

Look at the top ten sites that appear in the results. These are the top sites that appear in Google.com when your niche or topic phrase is typed. This is your competition.

Generally speaking the higher the PR (page rank), Age and BL (backlinks) and the more green checkmarks in the grid to the right, the stiffer the competition will be in your niche.

You can also manually review the top sites that appear in the results. You’ll know if a blog or website is difficult to surpass if it has a solid following as indicated by the figures appearing in social networking follower or sharing widgets published on site.

Determining Profitability

As I mentioned in a previous section not all bloggers choose to go into blogging for the money. It’s still worth looking into the profitability of your niche though just in case you decide to monetize your blog along the way.

The first step is to again manually review the top sites for your niche. You’ll know there’s some money to be made from a niche if related advertisements, products or services are offered in these top ranking sites.

You can also use another free tool like Spyfu. Type your niche topic into the box and click “Search”. If a high “Cost/Click” figure appears and if there are “Advertisers” that register, there’s hope that you might make money in your niche.

Words of Caution

Keep in mind that what has been mentioned here so far is all very basic. Lots of internet marketers have very complicated methods and use powerful tools. These points however should be enough for starters.

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