7 Steps To Help You Start Blogging For Your Business
There was a time when blogging was more like private journaling in a public forum than an essential marketing tool. Blogging for business came further downstream from the diary-keeping and how-to tutorials of the mid- to late ‘90’s.
It’s now a main staple of business marketing strategy. And, if you’re hoping to nonchalantly side-step it because it all just seems too…ugh…bothersome, you’ll likely end up eating your competitors’ dust.
True, blogging for business has acquired more hoops to jump through over the years. Timing, technology, and relevance are all neon-light influences on both the execution and success of your blog.
But, if you’re thinking you need an MBA in online marketing strategies before you start blogging, take a load off. It doesn’t have to be that difficult to start blogging for your business.
If you have poured your heart and soul into creating something the world needs, you can learn to blog to help share the good news.
You will need a few things to get your blog into play: a registered domain name, a hosting company, and a site/platform on which to blog. These are explained below, and, depending on what you choose, you can do a lot of your shopping in one place.
Here are 7 easy-entry steps to blogging for business. For more in-depth tips on writing blogs for business, click here.
Choose a topic for your blog.
If your business is the motive for your blog, your topic is probably already chosen. If your business is broad in scope, however, the topic may not be so straight-forward.
For personal blogs, you can choose from hobbies, personal passions, even life experiences. But, for business blogging, it’s especially important to have a firm grasp on your ‘why’ and to build everything from there.
Choose a blog name.
Your blog name is how your audience and (future) customers will find you. Choose wisely.
If you do not already have a business website, it is likely your blog’s name will become the main part of your URL, so you want a name that is both specific and easy to remember. It should be consistent with your topic, but not so general that it will compete with other similarly themed business blogs.
If your financial company caters to people who begin investing late in life, you have a specific (and important) niche. Shine a light on it. “Investing” won’t float your name to the top of the list in Google. But “Midlife Investing” just might. (Of course, you would also want to do the keyword research to validate the searchability of the name.)
Register your blog.
If you do not already have a business website on which you will be blogging, you will need to register your blog name, which will be your URL (e.g. www.yoursite.com).
When you register your business blog name, you will be able to choose between several different domain extensions (.com, .net, .org, .biz). If you can get it, the “.com” extension is your best choice. However, people are slowly becoming more accustomed to typing in other extensions. So, if the “.com” extension is unavailable, you can select another one.
Choose a website host.
If you do not already have a business website on which you will be blogging, you will need to choose a company to host your blogging website. A hosting company is like a concierge for your site. It stores the files for your blog and, when a user searches for you, brings up and delivers the requested file.
There are many different hosting companies. You will want to choose the one that best suits your needs with respect to price, customer service and the company’s community of supportive users.
Choose a blogging platform.
Again, this is only a concern if you will not be blogging on your business website.
Your blogging platform is the software with which you will create your blog.
There are many options for you to select from here as well. They include WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Duda, Joomla, etc.
Regardless of what platform you choose to create your blog, keep in mind attributes like flexibility in design, functionality, and especially SEO capabilities.
This is why you are doing all this in the first place, right? Blogging, after all, is about written content.
Even as you get down to the business of composing, however, there are several points to keep in mind.
First, stay focused on your ‘why.’ Remember why you are writing your blog and for whom. Are you trying to get new customers? Provide a service? Become a respected authority in your field? Generate an email list?
Second, be consistent with branding, both your own and that of your external references and resources. Target’s logo, for example, is always a red bullseye. It’s not blue sometimes or a square other times. The font in its name is always in a Helvetica bold typeface. And its products and price points are consistent across time.
Third, spelling, grammar, and voice matter. Think about the most high-profile, high-ranking blogs you have read. They’re not bogged down with distracting misspellings and confusing syntax.
You know, for example, that the tone of a Psychology Today post will always be intelligent, authoritative, and professional.
Finally, because you’re blogging for business and not just personal enjoyment, it’s important that you develop and maintain a timely rhythm. Two to three times per week is ideal. But if that will not fit into your schedule, choose a rhythm that will work for you — just remember to push yourself to write a little more frequently than you may think you can.
Need help writing interesting blogs about your business? Click here for some great tips.
It would be nice if the simple act of writing and posting were enough to draw people in. But it’s not. You have to start with quality content that answers the questions and needs of your target audience. You then have to make sure your desired readers know it’s there and how to find it. This is where SEO and social media come in.
Blogging for business is definitely a commitment you make on behalf of your business and your following. By taking the time to set up a well-branded, well-written, relevant blog from the start, the practice will begin to flow.
And once your blogging flows, your success is soon to follow.