I WANT TO START BLOGGING, NOW WHAT?

You may not be blogging currently because you’re not really sure that it’s right for your business. However, blogging helps you get more people to your website, builds more trust with your audience, helps you get more sales, and gets you more exposure. These are things any business can benefit from.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, don’t worry.  We’re here to help.

We will be going through the step-by-step process of starting your blog.  You will be happy to learn that this is actually a pretty quick and painless process.

STEP 1. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO BLOG ABOUT

Start with planning.

Get together with your marketing team and identify the main branding message for your business. From there, brainstorm the types of post you will be creating, from recent news and how-to types, to informative posts, list type posts, and showcasing products or services.

Research keywords that are most searched for in relation to your business and use that as a guide to create topics from.

Then decide what actual topics you can write on for each type of post. Decide who will choose topics on an ongoing basis, and how they will be researched.

STEP 2. CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM

Next, you will need to choose a blogging platform.

Luckily, there are lots of great platforms that help you set up your blog and many of them are free.  Here is a quick overview of 6 free popular platforms:

1) WordPress

This is a reputable platform that enables people to quickly create their blogs.  The site features a good amount of customization capabilities, and the majority of web hosts integrate easily with WordPress since so many people use it.

2) Medium

This is a platform that’s pretty good for setting up blogs.  It’s more focused on the writing aspect of blogs and there aren’t many customization capabilities.  The platform was built by Twitters’ founders.

3) Blogger

This is a platform that has good customization capabilities.  You’re able to sign in to Blogger with your Google ID.

4) Weebly

This is best known as a website creation tool, however they have good blog templates as well.  The site features a pretty good amount of customization capabilities via different layouts.

5) LiveJournal

This platform combines blogs and social networking through a community type of platform that encourages discussion amongst people on each blog.  There are pretty good customization capabilities as well.

6) Tumblr

This platform is especially easy to post blogs on as they have a simple app that also offers pretty good customization capabilities.

STEP 3. CHOOSE A HOST

You will need to host your blog so that people can actually find it and read it online.

GoDaddy is one of the most popular and affordable options.

STEP 4. CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME

When thinking about a domain name for your blog, create a name that represents what you do, and one that is easy to remember.  The name of course can include your company’s name or abbreviation in it.

STEP 5. START BLOGGING!

This is the fun part.  You actually get to start writing, posting, and promoting your blogs.

Here you will begin to see what your audience reads, what they like most, what they share, what they engage with, and what drives conversions. You can continually fine tune your blogging according to your results.

You will also need to decide if you will do the writing in house, or outsource writing to another company or freelancer.

HOW OFTEN TO POST?

It’s important to blog consistently, so that you can effectively boost your search engine rankings, attract an audience, and keep them engaged.

Basically, in order to be successful with your business blogging efforts it is important to post frequently.  There isn’t an exact formula, but it’s typically best to post anywhere from 1 to 3 times per week.  Some businesses blog once a month, some blog every day, and some blog multiple times per day. In fact, 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog. (Source:  HubSpot). Those are pretty darn good odds, however that frequency just isn’t sustainable for many businesses!

It is of course up to you as to how often you want to post blogs for your business.  We think you should consider the 1 to 3 times per week blog schedule, but also make sure that whatever you commit to you’re able to keep up with.  For example, if you know you can’t realistically write 2 blogs per week, then only write 1.

If an audience knows that they can expect a new blog from you every Monday and Thursday for example, then they will know to start going to your site on those days specifically to check out the new blog. If you fail to deliver, you lose their readership and loyalty.

Do what you can do.  Consistency is key.

HERE ARE SOME MORE BLOGGING TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Build relationships with other bloggers

This is a good way to gain more viewers to your blog. You can contact other businesses that are blogging and build a relationship with them so that each of you can promote the other’s blogs.

Design the blog nicely

Utilize a simple, clean looking design.  It can be fun, but it should be fairly simple and clean looking.  It also helps to add some quality images that are directly related to the content.

Format the blog

You want to make the reading easy on the reader so:

  • Use bullet points when writing a list
  • Create headlines throughout the article to help guide the reader
  • Break up the paragraphs for easy scanning.

Keep SEO in Mind

Blogs can help your search engine rankings.

There are certain things that you can do within your blogs to help your SEO efforts.  Use keywords throughout your blogs that people search for related to your business.  Also, format your posts with subheadings, use numbers when possible, have a clear powerful introduction, and utilize quotes from experts for some posts.

Encourage Discussion

You can gain more readers and sales by engaging your audience.  When writing your posts, one of the best ways that you can engage readers is by encouraging discussion around the blog topics. Ask probing questions and encourage responses in the comment section.

By following these tips, you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your blog even further.

Now you know the basics on how to get started with a business blog. In our next post, learn more about coming up with awesome topics.

 
 
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