How To Set Up Your Blog On WordPress

by Charlie Cook

In 1999, I was working a few hours a week on a website that provided reviews of search engines. (Remember Ask Jeeves? Excite? Altavista?). The site was getting a modest amount of traffic but wasn’t making any money.

I thought the site offered a much-needed service and wanted it to get more attention and to start turning a profit. I decided to send out a short email — essentially a PR piece about the latest reviews on the site.

I was doing what anyone who wants to get good PR would do; I made a short list of online editors and started sending them regular PR pieces touting the latest search engine reviews on my site.

What followed was beyond my wildest expectations. Within a couple of months, traffic soared from 20,000 visitors a month to over 100,000. I started getting requests for interviews almost weekly. Then one of the editors on my list contacted me about buying the site.

I had discovered that I could get the press to do my marketing for me with incredible results — practically for free. Without spending a dime on advertising or an expensive copywriter, I got tens of thousands of dollars worth of free PR for my site.

I don’t need to tell you that in 10 years the Internet has changed dramatically. You can still can have the same success with PR. though, and in this newsletter, I’m going to show you how.

It’s all about blogs. Today blogs are the vehicle of choice for getting instant PR, and some entrepreneurs have leveraged them to create unparalleled success.

Take my friend Steve Pavlina of He started his blog on personal development in 2004. Two years later, he was earning over $1000 a day from his blog, and his earnings continue to grow.

Steve spent $9 to register his domain and started writing helpful articles and posting them on his blog. He didn’t spend any money on marketing or promotion. Now he dominates the search engines in most personal development topics.

In the old school model of PR, you write an article. You write your  press release and then you send it around to your list of media contacts. And you hope a newspaper or magazine picks it up and runs it somewhere in their publication where people will find it.

Using the new school model, you can use your blog to put your ideas directly in front of your readers yourself. That was Steve’s approach. 

I’ve done the same for MarketingForSuccess, thanks to my blog.

How to Optimize Your Blog
Thanks to using my blog as my own personal PR machine, my site benefits from the top two listings in Google, right under the 3 sponsored listings.

Want to know how you, too, can get free press and top rankings in Google?

It’s easier than you think, and it begins by changing your focus. To attract more prospects, stop trying to sell your products and services and start giving prospects the information they want.

Step 1

Choose Your Blog Topics

Every product or service is designed to solve a problem. That’s the information your prospects are looking for; you’ll get their attention by giving out this information and you’ll keep their interest by engaging them in conversation.

This is true no matter what products or services you sell. If you’ve been in business for at least a few years, or have experience that led you to open your business, you have a lot to say to prospects.

A chimney sweep could blog about preventing chimney fires. If you sell jewelry, you could show off your knowledge of silver and semiprecious stones or your sense of style by blogging about trends. If you’re an accountant, tell your prospects how to avoid getting audited by the IRS.

Still not sure what to write about?

Write down the questions your prospects or clients ask you. Almost every one of these would be a good topic to blog about.

Action: List at least 10 topics to write about that provide your prospects with helpful tips, ideas and knowledge.


Still not sure what to write about? Write a piece on “How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off By [whatever a person in your field is called]!

Step 2 Set Aside Time to Write Each Week

I’m always amazed at the number of clients I have who love the idea of leveraging a blog and articles to build business, but never write a word to get the process started. What’s the problem?

Setting aside the time!

Whether it’s writing an article a week or meeting with staff or spending the evening out with your spouse, if you don’t schedule it, it’s not going to happen. Every entrepreneur and small business owner runs into the same problem. We all have too much to do, and it’s easy to get distracted.

Action: Block Out Time Each Week For Writing

Note exactly when you will, come hell or high water, write at least one article a week.


What’s the number two reason most people never write their weekly blog post or article?

Stuff happens!

You’ve set aside the time to write your article, but then an email pops up from an important client, or the phone rings, or a staff member sticks their head in your door with a question — if you allow these interruptions, you’ll be too distracted to finish the job.

Action: Eliminate Potential Interruptions
Short of an emergency, you want to be able to work without being disturbed. List below all the things you need to do to prevent interruptions.


Read This Now

Now you’re ready to set up your blog. Yes, I’m going to get technical, but there’s nothing too daunting here. At least read through these steps so you know what to have your webmaster or virtual assistant do to set up and optimize your blog.

Even if you plan on having someone else install your blog, read Step 4 on Optimizing Your Posts carefully.

Step 3

Setting Up Your Blog

I’ve used other software but at this point recommend the free WordPress software as the best to set up your blog.

If you’re technically savvy, you can set up a blog yourself. If not, spend a couple of hundred dollars to hire a webmaster. It should take two to four hours using one of the pre-formatted layouts.

If you need help, I’d be happy to connect you with my webmaster who can set up your blog for you. Just email me at and put the following in the subject line, “Charlie, I need help setting up my blog.”

Set Up

Whether you or your webmaster set up your blog, goal is to set it up on your server, not on WordPress. That is, you don’t want the url of your blog to be “”. You want it on your server;

1. Go to
2. Download WordPress
3. Install on your server
4. Choose an existing theme and layout from

To install the theme you’ve chosen, download (and extract) the theme and then upload to the wp-content/themes folder. The new theme can now be activated from within your WordPress Control Panel.

A web designer can modify an existing theme to match or complement coordinate your website deisgn, or develop a custom theme specific to your needs.

Sources for themes

Custom blog designs run $2,500 to $3,500. You can use your favorite web designer or go to


Plugins are free or almost free WordPress add-ons which can be downloaded and installed to provide you with additional features for your blog. Below I’ve listed the features you should use to maximize the effectiveness of your blog and get your blog noticed by the search engines so you dominate your niche.

1. Akismet Spam Catcher.

Once installed, this plugin is almost totally hands-free. Click on the Akismet Spam Queue link in your WordPress dashboard a couple of times a month and delete the spam stored in there.

This plugin requires a WordPress API which you can obtain by signing up for a username.  (You do not need to sign up for the blog, just the username.)

2. All in One SEO Pack.

To set up, click on settings, then All in One SEO. Complete the Description Titles with your blog name, keywords and description. Don’t change the default settings. 

When you’re done writing your blog post, scroll down to the SEO Pack section and expand the header by pressing on the blue arrow. Enter the title of your post. Enter a short, keyword-rich description of the post. Enter your desired keywords. Then scroll back up to the top and hit “Save” or “Publish”

3. Feedburner

Once you’ve set this up, you need not do anything further. It all happens automatically. To set it up initially, go to and create a feed. Then take the code it creates and paste it into the clearly marked space inside your WordPress Admin.

4. Share This

To set up go to

and create a profile and a widget. Then come back to your WordPress control panel and paste the widget code into the ShareThis options page under the Settings tab.

5. Tweet This

This allows readers to send a tweet with your blog post title to their Twitter list.

Step 4

How to Optimize Your Posts

Once your blog is setup, using it just involves copying your article and pasting it into your online WordPress dashboard and completing the steps detailed below. Do these 7 simple steps each time you want to publish a post on your blog – these won’t take more than 10 minutes to complete.

Blog Marketing Strategies

1. Your Subject
Make it keyword-rich. Longer is better.

2. Left justify text
This makes it easier to read.

3. Include links to other relevant pages on your site.

When you link to older pages on your site, it helps keep them
active in the search engines’ databases.

4. Assign categories and pick tags

This improves your search engine ranking by showing the search engines that instead of a bunch of individual posts, you’re building a collection of posts about related topics.

5. Include alt image text

If you’re including a picture to illustrate your post, tag it with
relevant keywords to the post.

6. Complete the SEO elements

Using the All in One SEO package at the bottom of your dashboard,
enter a title for your post, a description and keywords. This and the article content is what the search engines use to rank your post.

7. Schedule for posting

You’re done! Preview your post to make sure it looks the way you want it to and schedule the time you want your post to be published.

Step 5

Supercharge Your Blog

A couple months ago I decided that I wanted to offer my audience even more content on my blog, and more breadth of marketing expertise. But no matter how well I planned my time, I didn’t have time to write more blog posts.

So I created a short list of a dozen or so niche marketing topics, from advertising to web design. Then I had my staff go to work finding the top experts and writers for each niche area.

Everyone benefits from this additional content; my readers have access to a body of expertise and my colleagues gain additional exposure. Traffic to my site has shot up, and my list and my sales are growing, too.

You could do the same. Other bloggers and authors are good candidates for collaboration or exchanging articles and blog posts. Many are willing to write content you could use at no cost.

Take the initiative to build your blog, to build your own personal PR machine practically for free. It’s the fastest way to get attention, build loyalty and grow your business.

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