- How to grow wealthy with blogging 101: First things first
- How to grow wealthy with blogging 102: Laying foundation
- How to grow wealthy with blogging 103 – Building blocks
All businesses require strong and solid foundations to stay afloat, this including blogging. Learn how to position your prospective wealth generating blog on the right footing by choosing the right domain name and hosting plan.
Many topics have been written about how to become rich from blogging. But in today’s post, I will show you how to become wealthy from blogging. There is difference between riches and wealth. Anyways, this is a topic for a different forum.
But one striking difference between the two is that, with riches, even if you have much money, you will still be working hard round the clock. But when you are wealthy, the money works for you; even while you are asleep. The alerts keep churning in. But in riches, you work hard for the money. Not the other way round!
Wealth is normally built from the bottom-up. It has solid foundations which stand the tests of time. It is not hurried!
Even though the end result might not be felt immediately or is trickling in little by little, with persistence, perseverance and prayers, one gets to reap the succulent fruits of his perspirations.
Hence, I am not going to rush you through the steps of becoming wealthy from blogging. Rather, I will take you by the hand and together we will lay the foundation of your becoming wealthy.
From my previous post on How to become wealthy from blogging 101: First things first, one key tool you need to hold along in your blogging journey is a unique idea that stands you out in the flock. Then, a burning desire for wealth backs it up. When you have these two key components, you can commit to work.
But then, how do you work?
You have to work hard and smart. Rich people work hard only. Wealthy people work hard and smart.
In today’s post, I will talk about domain naming and hosting.
When a child is given birth to, the first thing his or her parent does is to christen the baby. The name of the baby would have been thought of before or after its birth. And names of people do have effects on their lives.
One of the first things you must do for a blog is to christen it the way you will do for your baby. Naming a blog or website is otherwise known as domain naming. Examples of domain names are www.africannewspage.net, www.memorila.com, www.lindaikejisblog.com and www.michaelafenfia.com/blog.
A good domain name should be short, memorable, easily pronounceable and not prone to be spelt wrongly. Once you have this, you are good to go!
The domain name of a blog can stand it out from the crowd or get it swallowed up.
There are some rules of the thumb when it comes to domain naming. Here they are:
A model, actor, renowned writer or an expert in a field can use her name for the domain name of her blog.
If you are just stepping out in your life journey, it will not be wise to use your name immediately as the domain name. But if you are popular or you believe you are going wield influence in the future, you can use your name.
An advantage of using one’s name as the domain name is that your fans will naturally and easily identify with your blog. Even with little to no marketing, your fan base will spike up your traffic.
And if for example, Nollywood’s actress Kate Henshaw or controversial Senator Dino Melaye were to start blogging and use their names for the blogs, they will receive massive followers and readers straight away.
Hence, the marker is: if you are a star in your own right, use your name as the domain name.
If you have a unique idea, wrapping your domain name around it is a big shot in the arm.
When people use search engines such as Google and Bing, they use words that display their queries quickly. And these search words are known as keywords.
One thing you may do when choosing a domain name for your blog is to research for keywords related to your idea and then sew the domain name to suit the popular keywords. If you do this, your blog will enjoy significant traffic when people make searches related to those keywords.
For example, a friend of mine, Niran Denn Adejuwon, who runs a blog that highlights cars, named it DennAutoWorld.com. As you may already know, Auto stands for automobile. Another colleague, Adam Alqali named his AfricanNewspage.net since his blog focuses on developmental issues peculiar to Africa.
Hence, wrap your blog’s domain name around your idea if you feel that is the way to go.
One other method of naming a blog is by being creative. And to me this is best practice because you will create a brand. For example, WhatsApp, Konga, Twitter, and Jumia are brand names which didn’t exist before they were coined.
Here, you will need to put on your creative cap to craft entirely new and unique names. It could be a word that never existed before – or it existed in your dialect – like Konga; an alteration of existing words like Flickr or joining of two or more words like Instagram.
You might ask me where I got the name Memorila from. Let me tell the story:
One day, when I was typing a document for a friend, I happened to mistype memorila for memorial. And this happened at a time I was brainstorming for names for my upcoming site. Immediately, I shouted “Eureka! You are taken!!”
How to craft delicious domain names
One can ask, “How do I go about creating a name for my site?” It is simple!
Follow these little steps to create sweet names for your blog:
- Find a day and a quiet place to brain dump all possible names for your blog.
- Pick and search these names one by one on any search engine like Google or hosting company like Web4Africa to see if they already exist. There is the chance that someone has taken up some of the names you wrote down. Strike all those taken out.
- Share those names not already taken with trusted friends and family to help you decide on a better one.
- After due consultations, the ball still lies in your court. You have the final say! Choose the name that impresses you most.
Once you have arrived on a particular name go ahead and quickly register it as a domain name.
Even if you are going to use a free hosted blogging, you will still need to register your domain name quickly before someone else takes it up.
After domain naming comes hosting!
A name of person is an abstract thing that describes that person, but without the body and soul, the name has no substance. Hence, once you have chosen and registered a memorable domain name, you will need to house it with a hosting plan.
In my previous post, I mentioned that WordPress is my take for blogging over other options like Blogger, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, etc. for certain reasons. One being its ease of use and configuration; two, the possibility to self-host; three, it is open-source and four, it has millions of free and paid plugins and templates which further enhance and beautify the site.
Hence, if you are going to hoist a WordPress blog, you can do this in two ways: Free Hosting and Self-Hosting.
Using the free-hosted version of WordPress requires one to create an account on WordPress.com. Even though there are some advantages you will get, like free hosting and ease of setting up, to me, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
Firstly, the name of the blog will be too long and weird. For example, if Memorila were to use this option, our domain name would have been www.memorila.wordpress.com. Too long and weird!
But a self-hosted WordPress blog will have its name as www.memorila.com. Did you spot any difference?
Secondly, people won’t take you seriously. Except maybe you are a celebrity like Linda Ikeji who started out as www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com. But she has also repackaged herself now as www.lindaikejisblog.com.
And essentially, the earlier the better! It is better for you from the onset to set out on your two feet. Self-host and reap all its benefits!
But if you have low budget, you can start with the free-host, gain traffic, recognition, some bucks and later convert to the self-host.
Even though self-hosting might cost you some cash to set up, the benefits you will get later on overshadow the expenditure. And, as Nigerians put it, “Soup wey sweet, na money kill am!”
Yes! To reap, you must sow!
Here are some of the benefits of self-hosting:
- Your website will look professional with a real domain name. For example www.yourname.com will always look smarter than www.yourname.wordpress.com.
- You have full control of the site. You can add themes and plugins of your choice to enhance the site’s looks and functionality. These options are limited in a free hosting blog.
- Guarantee: Even if WordPress should pack up tomorrow (which is not prayed for), your site will still be live if it is self-hosted. But a free version will go under the moment WordPress folds.
- Make Money. The ultimate goal! You have the freedom and flexibility to grow wealthy with the self-host option. In the free version, your options are cut short.
And to become wealthy from blogging, you don’t necessarily make money from the blog itself. You make money off it. And this is where self-hosting has an upper edge.
Where to get better hosting
To help you begin your blogging experience, I will explain how to install WordPress software on your own hosting space in my next post. But for now, there is one thing you need to know.
There are many hosting companies in Nigeria who sell cheap hosting spaces. Sorry to say, most of them are quacks! I have used some and got my nose bloodied.
One of the hosting sites was hacked and all of their accounts were flushed under the bridge. The site was down for more than a year and there wasn’t any single word from the company to its clients.
For the second hosting company, even though my site was still working, I was locked out of the admin end. I couldn’t log into the administrator’s backend. Imagine how that feels…
And so I switched!
If you want to have peace of mind, you might want to look for hosting companies based overseas. Such companies include InMotionHosting, HostGator, BlueHost and SiteGround. There are hosts of other company you can host with. But I can vouch for the ones listed up.
Personally, I recommend InMotionHosting because you will get a superfast site running on SSD and they take care of your security needs. All you need to do is just to dump your ideas for the world to scoop (and earn therefrom).
Create an account with them and host your site. But you will need to have a PayPal account or its alternative to make payments in dollars.
But there is a little safety net here though! You can also use Web4Africa, one of the trusted hosting sites in Africa. You can make payments in Naira using any ATM card and even make bank deposits. But they too have their own downsides.
All in all, even though I can register my domain name with a Nigerian or African domain service company, I trust my data with overseas hosting company.
Wrapping it up
I wouldn’t want to bore you with too much information since information overload is not good. My secondary school teacher once told me that “anything that is too much is bad!”
Hence, go ahead and experiment. “Experiment,” as the sages say, “is the best teacher”.
Put what you have learnt in this post into practice. But don’t stop there! Do more!
Like I said earlier on, in my next post, I will be explaining how to install WordPress on a live site and also how to install a template to beautify it. Experiment these and more; come back and share your experiences with us.
Even if you are stuck, post a comment, and I will sort you out!
That is it! In today’s post, I have shown you how to lay the foundation for a wealth-generating blog. The journey might be daunting! But with sure steps at appropriate time, the journey of a thousand miles will surely come to an end! And the light at the end of the tunnel will definitely shine very bright.
Stay blessed! See you next time in how to become wealthy with blogging 103 – laying the foundation.
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In the meantime, stay glued to Memorila.com to get the next episodes of How to Grow Wealthy with Blogging and other enticing posts.
Lastly! If you appreciate what was written here or have contrary views, questions or something to add, feel free to leave your comments in the comments’ section below.
Faruk Ahmed writes about ICT and deplores it for personal and business uses. A fervent watcher of political events, he reports about the National Assembly.