Tag Archives: blog

How to create a free site at WordPress.com

This post is part of the Blogging Noob 101 series

Here is something I wrote about how to create a free WordPress site at WordPress.com.

Is WordPress Right for You? [ BestWeb Nashville ]

The most important paragraph from the page referenced above:

To experiment with a WordPress website from scratch (without paying a dime), visit the free signup page at WordPress.com. You’ll be given a free set of keys to your own new WordPress site.

Basically, all you do is sign up and think of a name for the new site. The only requirement to sign up is that you have a working email address. Whatever name you come up with (in this example we will call it SITENAME), the URL of your new site or blog will be:


However, before too long, you will want to open your own web hosting account to avoid being bound by the strict limitations of free sites at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. A good web hosting account costs around $10 a month, give or take, depending on the web host and the capabilities you want.

Frankly, Bluehost is the best web hosting company I have ever used (and I have used many different web hosts)!


You are not allowed to do very much with free sites at WordPress.com or Blogger.com; for example, no WordPress plugins are allowed at WordPress.com.

Once you have opened your own web hosting account, you can install WordPress at the click of a button and upload/install as many plugins as you want. (Plugins are just extensions for WordPress that give WordPress capabilities above and beyond the default WP installation.)

Get a web hosting account at Bluehost

WordPress is open source software, meaning that it is free to use. To learn about WordPress, be sure to reference the main WordPress site, which is WordPress.org.

WordPress.com is not the main WordPress site; it is just a place to create sites and have them hosted for free or for a monthly fee if you want more capabilities. What you really want to do is to install WordPress on your own web host.

If you find you have a hard time figuring out the WordPress basics (e.g., creating your own posts and pages, installing themes, installing plugins, etc.), you will be able to find plenty of WordPress tutorials via Google, and plenty of WordPress how-to videos and tutorials on YouTube.

HINT: Be sure to search for WordPress 2011 or the current version of WordPress to avoid being led to old videos that show how to use an old version of WordPress. That would probably do nothing but confuse you.


Backlinks: Blog marketing basics

Marketing your blog: blog marketing basics

Importance of backlinks

originally written for client SD on Monday, January 24, 2011

Like many other posts, this started out as an email to a friend and client; however, my continued appending, revising, strengthening, and footnoting caused it to grow from a quick, suggestive email to a substantial post (or a series of short posts, as it turns out). Since the vast majority of this information has the potential of being useful to many people, I decided to post it.

Here are a very few beginner suggestions for attracting more traffic to your new blog. This information is very general and foundational — just the tip of the tip of the iceberg, really. Each of these subjects – especially SEM, and to a lesser degree, SEO – is a very broad and inclusive topic in and of itself.

Subjects covered:
Social Media
SEO in General

About backlinks

Backlink is just a fancy term which refers to any link to your site from someone else’s site. Backlinks are substantial because they are #2 on the list of SEO ranking importance as far as search engines like Google are concerned.

The only factor that’s more important than backlinks is the actual, textual, website content (the quality, quantity, and relevance of the content on your website). Content will always be the king of ranking factors on any good search engine, simply because that is what people are looking for when they search. (I am starting to hear alternate opinions, but I’ve not yet heard of any factor that would be more important to a person than the content on a given website.)

The weight attributed to each backlink varies and is dependent upon the relevance, quality, popularity, etc. of the linked site. For example, a link to your nature photography blog from the website of a custom furniture designer would have far less weight than a link from a stock photography site, a photography club site, etc. (which are both examples of topically relevant sites).

Ask every blogger and webmaster you know (or anyone who controls a relevant, well-Googled, PageRanked website) to add a link from their photography-relevant site to your site. You might return the favor by reciprocating and adding their link to your site, too (this is called a reciprocal link), on an appropriate webpage such as Photography Resources or Friends of Nashville Nature Photography. On a WordPress site, you can easily add their site to your categorized links if you don’t already have a separate page for these kinds of links.

Next: Pinging

WordPress SEO: Search engine friendly URLs

Assuming the reader is interested in the search engine performance of a given WordPress project, one of the primary musts when setting up your own WordPress site is to adjust the permalink settings to produce search engine-friendly URLs, as opposed to the standard, default, ugly URL format. This way, your URL will contain key words – including the category of your post and the title of your post.

You can change your permalink settings by logging in and selecting Settings –> Permalinks. (As I write this, the version of WordPress I am using is 3.0.4.) I chose Custom Structure and entered the following:


Before you make a final decision on your WordPress permalink settings, it would be wise to check out Choosing your permalink structure at WordPress.org.

Resources: WordPress SEO – Friendly URLs

Using Permalinks (WordPress.org)