I know that self-hosting your bog is a lot different and more complex process. There were a handful of things I learned from my experience. Aside from that, to me, it felt like blogging became an opening to a bigger set of opportunities and growth.
I think one of the things you’re gonna have to deal with is that when you are in the process of self-managing your blog, you can’t just ignore the things that other bloggers talk about and give importance to.
Once you decide to be on the blogging journey, it’s no doubt that you have to step up your plans for your blog too. Why? Because you will realize that there are a couple more things that you need to work on, now that you have your very own managed website.
If you haven’t read my previous post, I have shared there some of the basics of understanding self-hosting. This will help you demystify the process of self-hosting; what’s it about and how is it different from others.
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Firstly, let me just say this; I’m not just talking about monetizing your website, no. I know, it’s one distinct prospect that you can do with your blog. Having your own website is not just about monetizing it. Although it would really be helpful for you if you did.
There are many other things that this process can offer you. There are more perks yet bigger responsibilities too. It’s important that you know about them before you decide to go and establish your own blog.
With that said, here are 8 powerful tips you can use before and when you are in the process of self-hosting.
It’s important to learn about these tips. It will help you get more familiar with how other bloggers continue to keep their website up and running.
Tip #1 Do your research
Self-hosting is a bit of a complicated process. Before launching your blog, you have to do your part and read some articles related to going self-hosted. This will help you get acquainted with new concepts you will encounter soon, and possibly, more frequently right after you continue with your self-hosting process.
This is one thing I wish I did further before. Trust me, your research will come in handy when you start up your blog. If not done, you can get confused with all the terms and possible problems your website may undergo.
Research everything you need to know about launching a website. Start from the best hosting providers you find more suited to your niche and website identity.
Bluehost is one of the leading hosting providers that you can rely on especially if you’re using WordPress. Click on the link to know more about their affordable plans. You can also apply from Hostinger, my chosen website provider, the most affordable hosting website.
Aside from the critical research on the best hosting providers, you may also want to read about the factors that will provide protection for your website. WhyNoPadlock is a good site that explains how you can secure your website. It makes your website more reliable for people to read.
You may also take classes if you are a beginner in the self-hosting process and also to blogging as a whole. There are many websites that offer free and paid blogging courses. Lucrezia’s free email course on how to start a blog will guide you in the process of building your website.
You may also access the rest of her blogging courses, both paid and premium, by checking out this link.
Tip #2 SEO as a long term strategy
I guess for some bloggers, SEO isn’t a big deal. Some are satisfied with having a blog site with a number of followers where they can post their personal musings.
Some, on the other hand, value SEO more importantly for their website. I guess the decision depends on the purpose of your blog and the plans that you have for it.
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You might not think that this is applicable to you. If you’re having trouble figuring out why, ask yourself: what do you want for your website or your blog to achieve in the long run? Do you plan to be on Google’s top pages? Are you planning to grow your website or your blog? Do you want your content read by many other writers too?
If your answer is yes, then building your SEO strategy will surely help you in the long run.
Think of your SEO now as a long-term goal rather than treating it as a checklist for your on-page and content optimization steps. This means that off-page SEO matters too. Merry shares some very insightful tips about on-page and off-page SEO, you can read more about them.
Now that you have a self-sustained website, you too are responsible for your traffic generation. This means that you have to increase the potential traffic that your website can get by implementing other social media, email, and content strategies to fully maximize potential traffic for your website.
Pro tip: You should be able to adjust your strategy based on how you work as a content creator and what you think is best for your website. Be ready for setbacks and changes. Some strategies won’t work all the time.
SEO is a product of long-term planning and adaptation of better strategies to keep traffic going to your website. You must be prepared to take a few learning months before you establish your SEO strategy.
Tip #3 Handle your fees
Now that you are paying for your website’s place on the internet, you have to be accountable for your purchases so that your site won’t have any trouble regarding past dues and such. You should also be able to handle your website’s income when you decide to monetize your blog.
Managing your website means managing everything that goes with keeping it too, and I agree that it can all be so overwhelming. Include your affiliate programs, everything from planning how to generate money online to what you will do once your income starts to increase.
A good financial strategy can be of use as early as launching your website. You would want everything ready once you start your blogging career. But of course, you can also learn it along the way.
The advantage of this is that you have an initial plan you can start working on, and background in ways to handle your fees.
Tip #4 Manage your blog well
Additionally, self-hosting is a very high maintenance process. A lot of bloggers go a long way before they see the outcome of their hard work. Most times it takes years to pay off. You should know that some bloggers lose their motivation too as they find it complicated to manage their blog well.
If you don’t manage your blog well enough, in terms of technicalities and proper maintenance, it can get very frustrating. You will encounter times when your site is down, or when your page is loading too slow, and other page errors that you know nothing about.
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Everyone talks about how it’s better to start up a website via self-hosted rather than free hosted or paid plans, but no one talks about how it can get overwhelming once you are experiencing problems.
This frustration can lead you less inspired in continuing your blogging journey. Some bloggers even give up in the early process, and some newly established websites are prone to this too.
I think that your goals are important for your website, but managing your blog is just as important too. You have to treat your blog like it’s your virtual identity as this will also affect how your readers think of your website.
Make sure that you always do maintenance checks, troubleshooting, traffic check, and other technical support that your website needs for a better user experience.
Pro tip: Make a checklist of daily or weekly maintenance checks. List down your website’s other account maintenance and make sure to regularly check them and keep them updated.
Tip #5 Find out what you’re getting into
When I started building connections for my blog, I learned that the blogging community is bigger than what I expected. I started off with WordPress and met some amazing friends who also blog there too.
Then, I started growing my audience and I realized there are others besides the WordPress community too. And as I learn about them, I also eventually found out the picture I was starting to look into. The whole blogosphere bigger and full of opportunities right in front of me.
I would say that this is all optional; that you can choose not to be involved greatly with the whole blogging community. But once you are self-hosted you can’t avoid knowing about certain important things for your website.
Take, for example, once you’ve launched your website, Google will start to matter especially if you plan to increase your traffic. Before you dive into anything, try and find out what you are getting into.
Everything you need to know about launching your website. Once you’re self-hosted, you will hear a lot about Google Analytics, Pinterest as a search engine, Google ranking factors, and other terms you will now find relevant for your website.
This is important because you can’t go self-hosted and expect to do it so easily if you don’t know anything about what you have to go through. This can be done by reading posts relevant to what the blogging community talks about constantly.
Some concepts like affiliate programs, content marketing, SEO, are a couple of important things that the community always talks about. They always talk about it because it’s important for us as bloggers to keep updated. It’s like watching out for the latest news in the community.
Tip #6 Upgrade your marketing strategy
I’m talking about your website’s overall marketing strategy. How do you plan to market your blog, your content, or your products when you start to launch it? How do you plan to reach more readers? Again, this may or may not be applicable to you, I know.
But growing your traffic is a part of your marketing strategy too. Additionally, generating competition-free content is also a marketing strategy. It is an overall systemic approach towards your goal.
I think this is one of the things you have to consider when you manage a website. Even if you don’t plan on selling anything on the internet, you still plan on sharing your content with your readers too. Having a good marketing plan means more readers and traffic for your blog.
You can use social media and your email list, for greater audience reach. You can also optimize for other search engines other than Google. Lastly, you can build backlinks via guest posts and increase your website’s overall authority on the internet.
Pro tip: Pick a marketing strategy one at a time and manage it well before implementing others, rather than doing it all at once and you get bombarded with tasks. For example, build your social media followers first before building your email list, whatever works for you.
Tip #7 Abide by the laws
When you manage your own website, you are not anymore under the safety policies of your previous providers. This means that you have to handle your own legal policies so that you won’t encounter problems in the future.
Putting out content on the internet for people to rely on means that you have to make content that’s reliable, and a website that’s secured and bounded with legal processes.
This is why you should also need to focus on your website’s legal pages. Lucrezia offers a free and comprehensive legal course for bloggers that will help you know more about how to protect your website.
Having your legal pages crafted by a lawyer is the best way to protect your website and your content. While you’re going through courses, you can now invest in making reliable legal templates for your website.
You can also purchase the Legal Bundle Value Pack if you want to avail legal templates for your website easily. This is convenient if you don’t have the time instead for taking legal courses.
I’m not saying that having a lawyer do it for you is the only way to get your website safe. I’m just saying it’s the best way, but there are other options also worth investing in.
Otherwise, you can also use other websites that will help you generate legal content for your blog. You just have to be careful with relying on these websites.
As a website owner, it is your job to secure your web property and make sure that it follows rules, especially Google’s rules if you want to rank on it’s searching engine. Google Search Console offers a great source of Google’s guidelines that you must take into consideration, for your website’s safety.
Tip #8 Be patient with yourself
All the legal matters, the research, maintenance, and following rules can be very frustrating, and trust me, I know it. The first two weeks I have spent transitioning into self-hosting was a mess.
Really, there were times I almost broke down because everything seemed to be more complicated, and more serious– but it doesn’t have to.
You can take blogging to the next level and not be carried away with the pressure that comes with it. Be patient with yourself while you are in this process. It can be too much, but this is why I have these tips shared with you to guide you with your self-hosting journey.
Don’t be like me, jumping into the water without realizing I don’t know much about swimming. Now, I have learned and realized that it’s better to have a slight background of the things I have yet to know before possibly getting into them. I’m just glad that these things can be learned through time and perseverance.
I hope you find these tips handy along the way. Always remember your purpose and why you started blogging in the first place. This is where you start to build your ideal website and hopefully launch it accordingly.
Have you found these tips helpful? What other tips can you offer for those who will venture into self-hosting? Share them in the comments below! 🙂
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