How to Start a Political Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
Politics is a dirty game. That’s what some say. Others make it look it that way. So what is politics? That is for you to decide. I am not here to talk about politics. What about political blogging? Political blogging is the most vast blogging genre on the internet.
When it comes to political blogging, the sky is the limit. You can choose to hate, to love, ridicule, criticise, and support any political side you want. Political blogging is broadly divided into partisan or non-partisan blogging. Partisan blogging is where a blogger openly declares the side they are supporting. Non-partisan blogging is more of fence sitting.
I believe you can never be wrong when it comes to political blogging. I assume you’re reading this because you want to start your own political blog. Well, if this is the case, then I got your back. In this piece I will guide you on how to start a political blog regardless of your knowledge in web design and creation. I have divided this guide into two parts; a three step easy to read text manual and a comprehensive video tutorial on the same. Brace thee… the seat is just about to get hotter.
How to start your own Political Blog in 3 Easy Steps
I come thee to help you all. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a coding guru or just a political analyst. This kind is simple enough for everyone to comprehend. In this guide, I have compiled three easy to follow steps that will help you set up your political blog. Following the three-step guide is a comprehensive video tutorial on the same for people who find it difficult to understand the text. So without any other rhetorics…
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain
A domain name is the unique web address to your blog site. It I also referred to as a URL. A good domain should be simple and easy to remember. In addition, you will want a site that has a .com or .net extension since they are easy for visitors to remember. An example of a good domain name for a political blog is something like www.kotparty.com.
Instead of buying a domain, you can get a free domain just by purchasing a hosting package on Bluehost. I will tell you about hosting next… Once you have the desired domain name in mind, you are ready for step two.
2. Sign Up for Hosting
A web host is a server where all the contents of your blog site reside. When a visitor points their browser to your url or clicks on a link to your website, they access the server hosting your website. For faster retrieval, you need a web host that is fast and reliable. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:
1. It is so easy to use
2. Signing up takes just moments
3. You get a free domain once you purchase a hosting package
4. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed
5. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your political blog up and running.
[Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress
Now your website is almost ready. Finally, you need to install WordPress on your BlueHost control panel. WordPress is the software that powers your website. It dictates the physical appearance of your website, the theme, layout and the kind of services you can run on your website.
Tips for the political Blogger
Congratulations for your newly created blog site. Good things await you ahead. However, don’t celebrate just yet. You need to tune your website and make it ready for your visitors. You will need to upload content for your readers and design the site in such a way that they will keep coming. I have prepared a comprehensive guide to WordPress themes and WordPress plugins for your website. But before then, here are some tips that will improve your political blog
- Keep Things Partisan for More visitor Interaction, Controversy & Attention
Well, you may decide to run a non-partisan blog in order to attract everyone. However, if you really want your blog to sell, then you should take a side. No more fence sitting. The good thing about politics is that all publicity is good publicity. Staying partisan, will feed like-minded readers with red meat and they keep coming back for more.
- Research original content
One way to get readers and keep them is by giving them something other bloggers are not giving them. The political landscape is vast, a lot of ground need to be covered. This is where you come in. A lot still needs to be told, from party financial reports, to local school board decisions to politicians’ secret affairs.
- Don’t argue with your fools
When you run a political blog, you will surely attract criticism. Many of your readers, on their comments, just want to make a point so they feel good. Their comments maybe non-factual or inflammatory and it is your job to regulate behind the scenes. You should be careful with such people and most importantly of all, avoid giving them air time.
- Cite Sources
Unless it is an investigative piece where you are the sole source, then you should cite the sources of information used in your articles. Your readers will take you seriously and more importantly, will help build your reader’s trust while proving your point.
- Promote your blog
Most WordPress Blogs have provisions for filling in key words and tags for social media optimization. Search engines and web crawlers use this information to rank your website. Secondly, share your blog with your social media friends and email contacts.
Best Free & Paid WordPress Themes for your Political blog
If you want to really flaunt your amazing political blog, you’ll have to get a good WordPress theme. I found a whole bunch of video WordPress themes I know you will love.
This is a highly flexible and customizable theme for non-profit and civil society. It has unique features such as a donation page, events calendar, feature pages, sponsors areas and various gallery layouts showcase milestone events. The theme adapts to various devices too.
CityGovernment is a simple full responsive Retina Display theme suitable for local governments and political blogging. It is compatible with all modern mobile devices and its layout is well adapted for political articles and propaganda alike
Robert is an ideal theme for political bloggers or politicians who are looking for a simple WordPress theme with rich capabilities. The theme features various colour schemes and comes with ready to use templates for a home page, guest blog page, individual comments and a donation page.
This is a wonderful free Political Theme ideal for political campaigns and political blogs. The homepage is prominent with three calls to action and a guest blogging space. The theme also adapts to the visitor’s design.
Facebook Sign Up Integration Theme
This free theme has a Login with Facebook button. Allow your users to create accounts and volunteer without filling out any forms. The user just clicks the login with Facebook button and they have an account and you have all their relevant information
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Political Blogs
A WordPress plugin is a simple line of code, more like web software, that adds special features to your WordPress powered blog site. I have compiled a list of WordPress plugins that will help market your blog site and collect donation and visitors’ information just in case you need it.
- The Uji Countdown
This plugin is a visual, real-time countdown timer clock on your political blog site, which can be configured to show days, hours, minutes, and seconds to your big day (say election date).
- The Fundraising Plugin from WPMUDEV
This plugin facilitates for both general fundraising and event based donations. It can handle crowd sourced funding situations and goal based campaigns.
- Participants Database
The plugin can be set up to collect any type of information about the viewer, including voting and contact preferences, volunteer availability, even donation history.
- Events Plus
This Plugin allows you to create and publish events and take RSVP’s directly on your website, with links to social media networks to display those public RSVP avatars.
This Plugin is used to display YouTube videos on your political blog site. Used by USA presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Great Political Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
So you are running low on some motivation or inspiration? Thou shall not worry. It is practically welcome to look at the more established blogs for insight. However, there’s a thick line between copying and inspiration. Here are some political blogs you can check for inspiration;
- Paul Waugh
A great advocate of political bloggery at the very least, this site is often irreverent and always fast off the blocks.
- Tim Montgomerie
Funded Tory non-dom donor Lord Ashcroft but still manages to retain the feistiness and independence in their blog posts
- Michael White
Michael White is one of several contributors to the Guardian website. His input is led by the forensic, relentless and astute Andrew Sparrow.
- Will Straw
He says his blog is about policies and furthering progressive goals rather than “promoting individual politicians and parties”.
- Ron Paul
Best politician blog site we’ve seen in years. Ron Paul uses WordPress to bring to life his campaign website. Good tech inspiration.
Political blogging is perhaps the hugest genre of blogging. In fact, it is the largest and broadest genre of blogging on the web today. One of the biggest challenges political bloggers face today is not being taken seriously by readers as a source of credible information. Second, being unique is a major challenge, especially for starters.
It is a wrap for now, but if you want to stay up to date with all my latest tips and tricks about blogging in general, as well as video specific blogging, please consider signing up for my free newsletter. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive occasional emails with valuable information.