19-stepsBE HEARD!

If you were meant to be a wallflower in life, then your God wouldn’t have blessed you with a brain, voice and ten wonderful little digits to share your thoughts with the world. He/she has even bestowed on all of us a FREE global voice called the internet.

So, are you ready to build a sustainable tribe around your environmental cause? Is it time to start sharing your wonderful green insights to help people make a difference? Ready to unleash that enviro-writer inside of you? Here’s how to get your life changing, and perhaps world changing, eco-friendly blog up and running.

  1. Download and install the latest version of WordPress: My blog is built with the WordPress blogging software. It’s widely used, well supported, and free. Version 2.7 is the latest as of writing this document.
  2. Design and code custom theme: Designing a custom theme is critical for your online brand. Include a screenshot for theme selection page in the admin. Here are six design tips when creating your theme.
  3. Install Google Analytics plugin: Set up a Google Analytics account (if you don’t already have one) to configure the plug-in. The Google Analytics plugin will track visits and traffic on all your posts.
  4. Install Feedburner plugin: Set up Feedburner account and configure (if one does not yet exist). Feedburner will track your feed readership.
  5. Install and configure the Akismet plugin: The Akismet is essential to filtering comment spam. You will need your WordPress API key to configure.
  6. Install and configure the SEO plug-in: This takes care of your meta keywords and descriptions, increasing your visibility to search engines.
  7. Set up a social media implementation: There are several very good social media plugins for wordpress to help you link your blog to your social media networks. We recommend making connections with Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and Linked In.
  8. Set up necessary user accounts and roles: Decide who is going to be blogging and editing the post, and set up appropriate roles for each. We recommend writers who are not as experienced go through an editorial process before they post.
  9. Enter appropriate tagline: Choose an appropriate, descriptive tagline to let visitors and search engines know what your blog is about.
  10. Set up correct time zone: It’s important to have the correct time zone set, especially for scheduling blog posts.
  11. Create appropriate categories: Not only do categories act as a navigation tool for the blog, they also compose your URL. Picking appropriate categories and categorizing your post correctly is essential to search engine ranking and user experience.
  12. Set up and decide how to handle comments: Comments are a great way to increase traffic to your site, create conversation, and gain feedback. Our recommendation is to leave comments open for anyone, but there are options to turn them off or be approved.
  13. Configure white and black lists: Enter any domains or IP’s that you have experience with spamming you.
  14. Insure uploaded images are going to appropriate directory
  15. Insure blog is visible to search engines: Have this setting turned on.
  16. Configure permalink settings: Permalinks are vital to constructing accessible urls for your blog. Permalinks are customizable, but we recommend leading with the category title then post name.
  17. Create a content strategy: The information you write about will attract visitors to your site, so you want to focus your writing to capture the right audience. What do your customers want to read about? Narrowing your content down to specific topics will have greater impact than writing on broad ones. Including important keywords within your writing is also crucial to attract traffic from search engines. These keywords also help you pick appropriate topics to write about. Conducting an analysis from a search optimization professional is the best way to identify keywords.
  18. Create a blogging schedule: Ideally, you want to post something at least once a day. Have one in-depth post once per week, preferable with small posts in-between. This keeps your content fresh and visitors coming back. It helps if you have more than one person contributing content.
  19. Do it all the way, or not at all: Sustainable blogs take a lot of work to be successful. If you don’t maintain them, they can become ineffective quickly.  Done correctly, they can position you and/or your company as an expert in environmental causes and drive quality business leads.

What is the 20th step you might recommend to help a reader launch their blog?