A blog is a simple and effective way to get information out there about your small business. This isn’t a place to market; this is a place to share information. It can help you to create a good relationship with potential customers. It can also turn first time buyers into loyal customers. They will rely on you and trust you due to the value you offer to them. You may be sold on the idea of blogging for your business, but how do you get started?
You can do it with a WordPress website easiest, but you don’t have to go that route if you don’t want to. It is going to require a web designer to help you get it done though if you aren’t using WordPress. If you aren’t blogging, you are letting other small businesses in your niche get the interest of the shared consumers. It is time to make a plan and take action!
There is no right or wrong platform to use when it comes to blogging. However, some of them make it far easier than others. You already have enough to take care for your business and your personal life. The goal with your blog should be to create something that is as easy to work with as possible. The easiest one to work with is WordPress as it is very flexible and it has many user friendly features to benefit from.
You have two options:
The best one to select is WordPress.org because you can create what you want and you can self host it. You don’t have to deal with any elaborate set up or behind the scenes concepts that may be intimidating. You can use either version free of charge, but you will have some fees for registering your domain and your hosting. However, they should be low cost and an investment in the future of your business.
You may be looking at some of the following platforms for your blog. While they can work, they aren’t recommended for the long term needs of a business blog. They restrict the user in regard to what you can design with them, how they function, and even the SEO involved. They work against your business goals rather than helping you to reach them successfully. For these reasons you should avoid:
Select your Theme
With WordPress, you will get to customize the image you want for your small business blog. You can do this by selecting the theme that is ideal for your type of business and the vibe you wish to convey. You can check out the WordPress Theme Directory to see all of them offered free of charge. There are some premium options too through other sites such as ThemeForest but you will need to pay to use them.
While you have complete freedom with the theme you use, here are some things to keep in mind as you narrow it down:
- Will it display correctly when it is viewed from various devices? Consumers use phones, tablets, and desktop systems. Make sure it tests well for all of them when it comes to formatting.
- Does it offer you support in case you need any assistance with it?
- Are you able to customize the colors, navigation options, widgets, and more?
Select a Domain Name
Next, you will need to select your domain name. This is going to be the URL that is used to reach your blog. There are many registrar entities you can use to select your domain name. As you enter it, you will find out if it is available. If it is taken, you will need to try a variation of it or another option. It is a good idea to have a list of them ready to go and you can start with the one you like the most until you find one that is available.
Some of the best registrar options to consider for your domain name include:
The cost will depend on which entity you use. The price is around $10 per month. You can save if you decide to pay for your domain name annually rather than monthly. Try to use something that has your business name in it and that will be easy for vistitors to remember. Try to stick with the .com ending rather than another version as that is what consumers are used to.
You will need to pay for web hosting to launch your blog. Even though the WordPress set up is free, you need to have the hosting in place so it can be live and accessible by your target audience. There are quite a few entities offering low priced web hosting. They include:
Your Plan of Action
Your blog should never be random. It should be planned and focused. Your blog posts should be regular, but the quality of what you share is far more important than the volume of what you share. Think about the following:
- What do you wish to achieve? You may be trying to get more leads or to build your email list. You may be trying to establish youslef as a credible expert in a given niche.
- How often will you post? Make a commitment to post to your blog a certain number of times per week. It should be at least once but strive for two or three times. Carve out time in your schedule for it early in the day so you don’t overlook it or fill up that time with something else.
- Choose your voice – Your blog is business related, and you shouldn’t make it personal. Yet you can make it casual and entertaining. You can choose to make it authoritarian or even academic. Decide on that voice before you start your blog posts.
- Call to action – You want your readers to do more than just visit your blog and read your posts. What will you do to get them to take action? Will you ask them to fill in some answers and opt in? Wil you offer a link where they can go to your website or your sales page?
As you come up with ideas for blog posts, jot them
down. Keep that list handy so you always have ideas to write about. Give unique
information, share your opinions, and stick with the facts. Try to offer topics
of value to your audience. Read through social media and find out what
questions or even what complaints they may have. Addressing them will help you
to keep their interest.