How is WordPress good for SEO? For the benefit of those who don't know WordPress, it is a free web application for managing and publishing your content without the need to do serious coding.
Before I start this lesson series about WordPress for beginners, I would like to say that I really tried to help you save money by not making you subscribe to any hosting services. I created a free wordpress.com website and started creating video tutorials.
I was doing a Screencast-O-Matic video tutorial for 5 hours already, customizing here and there, trying to make the free wordpress.com SEO friendly.
After 5 hours, I took a break, cooked dinner, and came back to continue the video tutorials. Then I got this...my 5-hours old free website is no longer available haha.
I went to the Terms of Service to see what I might have violated. My site wasn’t even live yet. It was only for my eyes (and my recorder’s eyes) only. So instead of contacting them to appeal that they give me back my free website so I can at least back up my progress, I will just highlight here what seems to have happened.
Item #13 seems to be the most valid reason:
“We may terminate your access to all or any part of our Services at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.” - WordPress.com TOS
Just like that? Really? Imagine if I have made so much content already?!
I browsed around the terms and conditions, to see other possible reasons for terminating my private website.
“We reserve the right to display advertisements on your website unless you have purchased a plan that includes the removal of ads.” - WordPress.com TOS
I was doing a tutorial on how to add an Amazon affiliate link on a free website! And because I did not pay for any of their plans, it sure is another ground for my termination.
So yes, you create the content but you have to pay if you want to earn from it. You cannot insert your affiliate link and you cannot display an Ad.
Some people put their affiliate links in their website's footer (the lowest part of the website) so they can earn extra if people click on the link and end up using the paid service.
Me: So, why am I working so hard to make contents I cannot even make money from?
Free WordPress: Pay up for hosting! LOL.
”You must not assign your website’s traffic to any other party.” - Wordpress.com TOS
The video I was trying to do was accessing the “head” of the website so I can put an HTML code so that I can verify to Google that I own the website, and eventually, so I can link my Google Analytics (separate lesson) account to monitor my site’s traffic/visitors.
Apparently, you cannot access and put codes on a free website! And why am I trying to use Google Analytics when they have their own way to track traffic.
I was trying to “own” the website by adding it to my Google Search Console. So apparently, I do not own the website (even if I am the content creator). Proving to Google that you own the website by verifying it in your Google search console (separate lesson) is one of the initial steps for gaining Google’s trust!
Here's another thing to note:
They will share your content because they have Ads on your free website. How else do you expect to pay for your "free website?" Through the Ads in your site of course! But that could've been your money!
Link building (separate lesson) should be done correctly. To give you a gist, you need to link to relevant and "safe" contents to begin with. If a free wordpress user "reblogs" your wholesome content in a potentially malicious site, you have no way to disavow/cleanup/remove (separate lesson) that link since you do not have a Google search console access to that free website. You can say goodbye to your efforts now, LOL
What else could I have done to deserve such immediate punishment? LOL.
I made a logo from their “logo maker.” Just type the name of your website, the color scheme, the industry you are in, then they will provide you with so many designs in an instant, but YOU HAVE TO PAY before you can use the logo.
Since I was only doing a video tutorial on how you can upload your logo, I grabbed a screenshot of the logo above and inserted it on the website (again, my website was not live yet/still private).
Should I dig in more about the restrictions? HAHA. No need. This is just to say that even if you know how you can make a post SEO-friendly in the "free" platform, there is no way to really make a fulltime income on a free wordpress.com website.
Why am I specifically using WordPress aside from it being super beginner friendly?
Google starts to index (index: acknowledge/enlist/show to search results) mobile-friendly websites due to more mobile users. WordPress has a lot of free themes that are designed to adapt to mobile devices automatically. Having a mobile-friendly website is one of the many factors for ranking in Google.
Free WordPress plugins (“helpers” or add ons that we will install separately) make it super easy to customize your content so it becomes easy for Google bots to crawl your website, understand what it is about, and finally give you the ranking you deserve for that content.
You may create a free website in wordpress.com, but use it for practice purposes only - especially on how to use the block editor (separate lesson). Eventually, you will really need to pay for a hosting service to remove all the restrictions I mentioned.
At this stage, you have six options.
- Choose a hosting service (that comes with WordPress to follow my lessons right away).
- To “delay” your progress by focusing on creating contents first and publish later when you can already afford a hosting service.
- If you focus on creating contents first, start with scribd. It's free to upload your contents (no need to pay membership). You can upload documents (ebook, audiobook, podcast, music sheets, etc.) just to "archive" your works. Later on, when you already have a website, you can integrate your contents in your website to do proper SEO and monetization tactics.
- If you wish to start with YouTube, you may focus on YouTube SEO (separate lesson) first. Then put your affiliate links in the description box. Should you already have a website in the future, you can embed the videos in your website so you can control your audience's eyes more (your website will have less distractions).
- Go to my “pocket money” jobs page, and see what easy side hustle you can do to make money good enough to pay for a hosting service (hint: look for “Fiverr” in the list, and incorporate it with Canva).
- Go back to your whys. Maybe it is not strong enough for you to push through.
Now, this is the part where I am going to “sell” you something.
When you are building your website, it is important that:
YES, you can have a FREE training from me (unless you unsubscribe), but you won't be able to apply all my lessons right away (and therefore see results faster) unless you have a hosting platform. I am an affiliate of most hosting sites, but I do not want to point you anywhere just for the sake of pointing and earning.
So, if want to continue your journey with ease ( i.e. my lessons will be aligned with your tools/platform), please get a hosting service.
"Invest in yourself, it pays the best interest!"