Creating a blog for the first time is an amazing experience. For starters, WordPress is a great blogging platform to get started with. Whether or not you plan to purchase WordPress hosting you will need an actionable WordPress SEO checklist. By having a checklist prepared in advance your workflow will become a breeze.
Before you decide on using WordPress free hosting there are some things you need to know. The good part about WordPress free hosting is you don't have to pay for hosting. Secondly, as of 2019 free WordPress blog posts and pages tend to index very well in Google. If you don't want ads to display on your blog consider paying for hosting because the free version of WordPress occasionally displays ads across your blog pages and posts.
The drawback is free WordPress blogs will take a very long time to get listed on different search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and more. Bing recently announced this year that blogs that use a free subdomain will only be able to submit their sitemap files. Those who have domains or paid hosting will be able to continue submitting their sitemaps and individual pages and posts on demand. Being able to submit on demand is what really allows your URLs to get indexed faster in search engines.
Once you have a niche in mind that you want to write about now it's time to take action. Before building any backlinks to your niche blog you first should have a minimum of 20 SEO friendly blog posts and pages. Each page or post should contain a minimum of 2 to 4 different keywords or 2 unique keywords repeated a total of 2 times each.
If you are not confident in your writing abilities there are plenty of professional writers that will write for you and for a very reasonable fee. Textbroker happens to be a very popular content writing site that allows you to pay for SEO articles. Your blog posts should be a minimum of 500 words long to ensure that Google knows exactly how to position you within the SERP's.
Choose The Right WP Theme
While I don't recommend you spend a long period of time choosing a WP Theme, I highly recommend you choose a theme that is easy on the eyes. Often blogs can be very cluttered. Keep your blog theme clean and simple. Visitors will appreciate it.
Create A Google Webmaster and Google Console Account
You need to sign up for a Google Webmaster's account and Google Console account because you will need both account types to begin submitting your blog posts and pages to Google for indexing. It can take up to 3 months for some of your posts to get indexed. However, as you continue to write blog posts more frequently and submit the posts through Google you will be happy to see your posts indexing much faster in Google.
Google Console will allow you to see all the keywords your blog is starting to populate for. By clicking on the performance tab on the left side in your account, you will see how many impressions and clicks your keywords have generated. You also get insight as to which countries those clicks and impressions came from.
Buy Pinterest Image Pins
This may sound cliche but you must purchase social signals. Pinterest has a Domain Authority score of 91. Although Pinterest is a no follow social media platform, Pinterest will greatly increase your rankings within the SERPs. Make it a habit to have a minimum of 7k Pinterest social signals pointing towards each new page or blog post you create.
Many internet marketers are not talking about this but you can also collaborate with other Pinterest users. For example, if you have 7000 followers and you collaborate with another Pinterest user with 4000 followers, you both will be able to post your image pins to the same board. However, when a visitor clicks the image you posted to the board he will be taken directly back to your image where he can see all of your boards.
How cool is that? The board you are collaborating on will be visible to all of your followers and your collaborator's followers as well. This means more exposure for both of you. Essentially both of your followers will see that one board. Now imagine collaborating with 20 people on one board and all of you have a minimum of 5000 followers. That is huge exposure for all of you.
The right type of backlinks will help you rank online. When buying backlinks buy from a source that is credible. The type of backlinks you want are DA20 and higher and preferably do follow. Do follow backlinks essentially tell Google to follow the link on the backlink and give an SEO score to the destination link. The destination link would be your blog post or page. Do follow backlinks that have a good domain authority score helps your blog rank on Google and build up your trust flow and your domain authority.
Check Your Domain Authority
You can use a free tool at checkpagerank.net to check your blog's trust flow and citation flow. You can also use this tool to check your domain authority. Moz is another tool that will show you what your domain authority score is. Moz is not free. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial using your credit card or debit card. After 30 days if you don't officially pay your account is deactivated. I highly recommend using both tools as apart of your SEO checklist.
Check For Broken Links
Over time links on your blog will become a 404. What this means is you may not delete andy posts; however, if you have linked to a source outside of your blog and that source is no longer active the link will show as a broken link. It's better to remove the link completely from your blog post or page. Do the same thing with YouTube videos you have embedded on your blog. It's common for admins to use YouTube videos that don't belong to them and embed it on their blog. While it does make blog owners feel good about using content they didn't have to create it also is a bad thing. If YouTube deactivated the users account for violating its terms, the video on your blog will show content not available. Unfortunately, I have not found any tools that check for such errors automatically.
You're On Your Way!
By following the advice above and making it apart of your blog growth regimen you will certainly see a difference in the performance of your blog and you will begin to feel like a true webmaster.