Why I upgraded to the Personal Plan on WordPress (Tips for new bloggers and old)

Getting a domain for free can cost you. Besides having a thing for a good paradox, that line has a lot of truth to it. Let me narrate the story of my search to get a free domain name and hosting. A domain is the name of your site and hosting is where you store it. Many of you on WordPress might have “yourblogname.wordpress.com” ,If you went for the free plan or you’ll have a “yourblogname.com” ,If you paid for your site.

WordPress is a safe bet if you want a free blog. But having a subdomain, that is the .wordpress in your site name is not what I wanted. I couldn’t apply to any advertising companies like Google Adsense or WordAds to monetise my site so I wanted a full fledged domain name. And I wanted it for free. Because I thought, why pay for something when you can get it for free!

There is a way to do that. You can get your domain name from a website called freenom and host it at hostinger, a site which does web hosting for free. You can look up this process on YouTube. This is a simple matter of pointing your domain to the nameserver of your host. In simpler terms, making the name of your site point to where it’s contents are stored. So when someone types in your site’s name, it’s contents show up on their screen.

So I did that and installed WordPress. I was the proud owner of “http://www.theobsessivewriter.ga” the free website didn’t come with a .com, they gave me a less preferred .ga, but I was okay with that. Then I installed WordPress and had my own self-hosted site.

After that came all the issues. Like, I could not install any widgets. The host gave me a very small storage and it couldn’t even handle installing jetpack(a blog stats widget). And to top it all off, I went onto freenom to try getting another free domain name. when I typed in my site “theobsessivewriter.ga”, in the name search just to check, it did not say it was taken like it was supposed to. Instead, it simply made that free domain name a paid one. And it was priced at around 3 dollars. So anyone could buy my site and I wouldn’t even know.

The thing is, I shouldn’t get mad. I had no right. I didn’t pay for it so they don’t owe me anything. But they did not have to make such false promises. This is just something you should know before you step into these things. Free things are always unreliable. All the hard work you put it will just be taken away without an explanation if someone is willing to pay for what you got for free.

In WordPress the free plan is pretty trust worthy. They won’t take away your blog unless you violate their terms and conditions. And incase you ever want your own domain like I did, be very careful when you make your choice. You can go for a self-hosted blog or upgrade your current free plan to personal or premium or business in WordPress.

I preferred to upgrade to the person plan on WordPress. Because I am a blogger/ writer. I just post my own content and it’s not under any niche. I am here for the community. If I had gone for a self-hosted site, my posts won’t show up in the WordPress reader anymore and I would have lost all my followers. That’s another thing. When you upgrade from free to a paid plan on WordPress, it automatically transfers your followers to your new site. So I’d say, self-host your blog only if you have a niche. Stick with WordPress if you’re a personal blogger like me.

Thank you for reading! I hope this recount of my experiences were useful. If you like these type of posts please let me know and I’ll post more blogging tips related content for you guys. 🙂

– The Obsessive Writer


WordPressing – 101 (Tips for new bloggers and old)

Hello there! 🙂

You may have just started a brand new blog, or you may have been blogging for quite some time. Congratulations on that! 🙂 It’s an amazing feeling, isn’t it? To have a voice. But what good is a voice when what you’re saying isn’t reaching the right audience?

Here are some tips to increase your stats and get the readership you desire.

  1. Keep it short. The longer your post is, the less likely it is to get read. Even an interested reader might get discouraged by the size of a long post.
  2. Tagging your post is really important. You can add tags to your post in the post-settings area. The WordPress reader is the best source of readers and tagging your post under the related topics will help the right kind of readers find you. But no more than 15 tags (including categories) otherwise your post will not appear in the reader.
  3. Reposting is not a crime. Think of the wordpress reader as a stream of posts. Your posts gets a mere 10 minutes in the limelight. Reposting it simply gives you a little longer.
  4. Interact with other bloggers. Every relationship needs some give and take. How can you expect others to read your blog, when you’ve never given them a reason to? Develop a few friendships. Like and follow new blogs. Leave a few comments. Socialising is key to improving your stats.
  5. Reblog at least one post every day. You might make someones day. And its a mutually beneficial practice. It get’s you your views when you don’t have ideas of your own and you’re helping out a fellow blogger by sharing their content.
  6. Quality over quantity. I have seen bloggers who post once a month having over 10k subscribers. So, spend the time you’re not writing, socialising on your blog. And do the occasional repost of your old posts.
  7. Posting at the right time. Check your stats, which day do you get your best views? What time is your best hour? Schedule your posts to be posted at times you get high traffic. Set your post up for success.
  8. Add visual aid. Pictures and videos supporting your content, will give it that extra spice and reel more readers in. But be sure to credit your source for the pictures if you found them online! And also personalise your blog with strategically placed widgets and a nice clean design.
  9. Make your blog everything you are. Don’t niche your blog way too early. Write what you feel like. People relate more to blogs that represent a real human being rather than static sites that post about the same thing all day, every day.
  10. Catchy titles really make a difference. Make your titles reflect the style of your blog. The title of the post is the first thing anyone is going to read. Get that right and you’re halfway there.

I hope these tips were useful. 🙂 Please leave a comment if you have any new tips or if you have any questions. Happy Blogging!

– The Obsessive Writer.

Building a Good Blog (Tips for new bloggers and old)

You might think I’m crazy for saying this but, having a successful blog is a little bit different from having a good one. Apart from getting your content read, and attaining your goal in followers count and views, there is another part of owning a website that many bloggers forget about.

Does your content look good enough to promote reading?

Maintaining a good layout and appearance are key to getting that level of sophistication you find on some professional sites. It’s not that hard, just follow a few small steps to make sure your website is in top shape.

  1. Let your blog be about the content, rather than the theme. WordPress offers a wide range of themes ranging from crazy to subtle. Make your choice on the subtle side. For example, a plain background (I prefer white or black) with text in a complementary colour. Crazy art work and colour, and graffiti and a million images would all look very interesting but it would divert attention from your content which is what your readers should be made to focus on.
  2. Make use of a lot of visual aid. While your background is better off being plain, your content can have that pop of color and art you desire. Depending on the genre of your blog, find a suitable image for your posts and attach it. It’s even better if you can photograph or make the art yourself, but borrowing from other sites is fine as well. Just be sure to credit back to those images if you know the source or simply mention the fact that your image is from google.
  3. Make use of the different formats of posts available on WordPress. There is a category called sticky, that helps keep that post on top of the blog at all times thus making sure everyone who visits your blog has a better chance at reading it. Sticky’s are generally meant for announcements or your top posts that you want to advertise more. There are also separate formats for texts, images, quotes and so on. Try to switch it up and see how they look.
  4. Use ALL the features of your theme. Different themes have different features. Some have header images, some have featured posts, some have a widgets side bar or footer, and so on. Play around with your settings to get a good look. An original blog header will give your blog a unique look.
  5. Widgets are your best friend. My personal opinion is that you should make sure your theme has a widgets bar. Display cool things like your stats, maybe a follow button, your top posts, categories, tags, maybe a slide show of images from your gallery. You can also help out your fellow bloggers by making use of this widget that allows you to display the last few blogs you followed.
  6. Use the right search filters while you search for the right theme. Aside from its looks, the features a theme offers should also be a contributing factor when you make your choice. WordPress offers several filters to help search its theme database. You can mention what type of blog you run (like magazine, photo blog), you can even apply search filters for the features you need. (like header, featured posts) And it will give you all the right options.
  7. Stick with your choice. If you keep changing your look every day, it’s going to confuse your readers or drive them away. Try to be careful when you’re choosing and once you have chosen your theme don’t change it often.
  8. Extra points for extra awesomeness. Add cool stuff to your site like a music player, a photo gallery widget like I mentioned earlier, maybe a text box with a message, a badge, and many other things. Be as creative as you can be while adding these elements. Uniqueness is the goal you want to achieve when it comes to design.

Thank you for reading! If you think these “blogging advice” related posts are useful and you want more of them, please leave a comment below! And if it helped you, share it so it can help others too. 🙂

Have a great day!

-The Obsessive Writer