Your New WordPress Blog Is Up – What To Do Next

OK, so you took advantage of my free WordPress installation service and your new is blog up. Now what? Before you write your first blog post, there’s a few more things you need to do on your end. This post will go over them.

1 – Get a WordPress API Key

Part of my free WordPress installation included the Akismet spam filter and WordPress.com Stats. These are two fantastic WordPress plugins but they will not work until you enter an API key.

To get an API key for WordPress.com Stats, you need to sign up for a free WordPress.com account and WordPress will email you a key. To get an Akismet API key, go here.

If you don’t want to pay the $5 a month for an Akismet key, click the sign up link for “Personal site” and slide the yearly contribution to $0 for the question, “WHAT IS AKISMET WORTH TO YOU?” The happy face will turn into a flown but you won’t have to pay.

Once you enter the key, your blog will be protected from spam by Akismet and you’ll be able to check your blog stats at WordPress.com.

2 – Sign Up for a Google Webmaster Account

Another plugin I installed is the Google XML sitemap. This plugin allows your site to be quickly indexed by Google. However, you still need to tell Google that you’re live on the Net and ask the Googlebot to visit. The fastest way to do that is with the Webmaster Tools found inside Google Webmaster Central.

If you own a site on the Internet, you need a Google Webmaster account. It’s the fastest way to let Google know that your blog is alive. All that’s required to use Google Webmaster is a Gmail account. Once inside, click the “Add a site…” button and enter your blog’s URL.

Google will need to verify the ownership of your blog before they allow you to do anything. The recommended method is to add a DNS record to your domain’s configuration. However, there are three alternate methods.

Personally, I prefer to upload an HTML file to my server but any method will work. Once you verified ownership, Google will send their bot to visit your blog.

The alternative to Webmaster Tools is to wait and hope Google eventually finds you. Unless you can get a bunch of other sites linking to you, the odds of Google finding you in the sea of blogs is pretty slim. You’ll be much better off by adding your blog with the Webmaster tools.

3 – Submit The Sitemap

The Google XML Sitemap plugin allows the Googlebot (and other crawlers) to see the complete structure of your blog and retrieve it more efficiently. It also notifies Google every time you create a new post and tell the bot to come on back and index the new content.

To complete the installation of the Google XML Sitemap, log into Google Webmaster Tools and enter the Sitemap’s URL.

Unless you messed around with the default settings, enter sitemap.xml into the field and then click “Submit Sitemap.” Google now knows where your blog’s sitemap is and will send the Googlebot to go index it. All of your blog’s pages should be in the Google index the next day, or sooner.

4 – Write Your First Blog Post

After installing the API key for Akismet and WordPress.com Stats, adding your blog to Google Webmaster Central and entering the sitemap URL, you are now ready to write your first blog post. Happy blogging!

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34 thoughts on “Your New WordPress Blog Is Up – What To Do Next”

  1. I’ve use Akismet spam filter for a long time, it’s not 100% but pretty close. I really like it, saves hours of time.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Couldn’t agree more! Akismet has protected my blog from 15,000+ spam comments. Now that is a time saver. 🙂

      1. Abhik says:

        My stat..
        Akismet has protected your site from 154,833 spam comments already. 😀
        Awesome

        1. The higher up your blog goes in the rankings and gets known the more its gonna get hit by spam, so i agree its pretty vital to save yourself trawling through and deleting all the spam from your comment inbox.

        2. Man, that is some serious spam. I wonder what John’s Akismet stats are like?

          1. John Chow says:

            Akismet has protected your site from 952,151 spam comments already.

          2. 952,151 Comments is very high. John, you have been saved from an big spam.

          3. Wow, nearly a million spam comments. I wonder how many of them said they were going to bookmark your site. Ha!

          4. John Chow says:

            I say at least 100K! LOL

    2. I didn’t know Askimet was charging for their API key. I guess I’ve always used the same old WordPress API key that I got years ago. I think it’s actually great that they are, definitely a service worth paying for.

      Askimet does a fantastic job for me of filtering spam. Without it, my blogs would be pretty much unusable.

    3. Yep I use Akismet also. It’s free and good to used.

    4. You gotta use Akismet or you will get inundated by spam.

  2. Thanks for the tips John

  3. PPC Ian says:

    Great post, John! I useall of these tools and tips you suggest. These have all been key to my blog’s success.

  4. John, paying monthly $5 is very high. Should i have to submit my sitemap to google webmaster tools?

    1. John Chow says:

      Please read the entire post.

    2. Abhik says:

      Ghoss!!
      Haven’t you read the post? Google doesn’t charge anything.

  5. Abhik says:

    Akismet and WordPress.Com stats is two of the must have plugins.. Thanks for reminding that.

  6. fas says:

    You can make an ebook combining all these posts together.

  7. guru says:

    For me: aksiment and the sitemap are crucial. Aksimet has trapped about 28000 spam comments to this day for me. I don’t know where I’d get the time to clean up all those comments. The sitemap is also a must as you always want google to find your site from day 1. It makes a lot of difference if you care about google rankings.

  8. SGill says:

    Google Webmaster is a wonderful tool John! Also setting up the Google Analytics would be great too!

  9. Ah another great post by John. Step by step guide.

  10. I’ve set up plenty of blogs and never submitted my sitemap and sometimes I get indexed in less than 24 hours, but usually in about 2 to 3 days all with no sitemap and just a couple of good links.

  11. Abdul Rehman says:

    Akismet is such a life saver. It has stopped over 400,000 spam comments on my blog to date. I wonder what I would have had to go through if it didn’t block. It would take my entire time just moderating the comments. :O

  12. Ramakrishnan says:

    I can not handle all my comments with out Akismet .it really rocks.

    1. Akismet is really helps in stopping spam comments. But, if they have given free license, it would have been more exciting.

  13. dreamhost says:

    Good tutorial for beginner bloggers.

    Thanks John.

    Nice day.

  14. Cricket John says:

    I agree that Akismet is a life saver. The one thing I hate the most is the same spammer over and over again.

  15. I like Akismet and I find it a great plugin but it does block legit comments sometimes, I guess it cant be perfect. 🙂

  16. This answered the question that I had in mind when I started my blog. I’m still getting used to all the blogging things and so far I am learning a lot from you John.

  17. Techabouts says:

    Proud!
    Glad I had completed all the above mentioned steps before reading John’s good post.

  18. I have done the things which have been mentioned above in post

  19. recently i started my new wordpress blog, so this will be useful for me to get up.

  20. Sid says:

    John,
    This is a really helpful post. I got the WordPress installed from you and the instructions were clear and helpful. I did have to look up how to upload the file (from Google webmasters) but that was easy at HostGator.
    Thanks for the great work. I’ll owe you one for the future 🙂

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