You keep reading about the benefits of business blogs, and you’re ready to pull the trigger on one of your own. Awesome! So where do you begin? Let’s dive right in. Assuming you already have a website (no site yet? Quick, fill this out!), here’s how to start your own business blog in five easy steps.
step one: pick your platform
WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Joomla – there are a lot of options for your blog. And choosing wisely will save you lots of headache down the road. Check out the different platforms and look for something that’s both versatile and user friendly, and remember that some of these free options are a real trade off. You may not be spending anything on the platform, but beware restrictions in functionality, design and SEO.
Stuck on step one? You could spend time researching your options and comparing this platform to that, or you could ask someone in the know.
Step two: register your domain
Once you’ve settled on the platform, you’ll need to choose and register a domain. That’s the URL people will use to get to your website, the www.YOURBLOGNAMEHERE.com thing. Domain registrations can be completed through a registrar like GoDaddy. Domains vary in price, and you should shoot for something simple and memorable if you can.
step three: Set up hosting
Web hosting plans, again, will vary depending on what you need. Popular hosting options include GoDaddy, Hostgator and Bluehost. Pick your poison, make the payment, and follow the steps on the screen. Easy, right?
step four: decide on a theme
If you opt for a platform like WordPress, you can purchase a theme and customize it to your business. There are tons of free themes out there, and you can get something with a bit of technical support and additional bells and whistles for between $30 and $60. Then it’s just a matter of installing the theme, adding your logo, matching font and color palettes and customizing options to make your blog as functional as possible.
If that all sounds nice but next to impossible, there are people you can hire to streamline the process. If you’re forging on alone, keep in mind a few things as you shop for your theme:
- It should be responsive, which means it’ll display beautifully on different devices (mobile phones, tablets and desktops).
- It should be customizable so that you can create something unique. While it isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel, you do want to tailor your business blog to some degree.
- It should be user friendly, so check out the preview carefully, read reviews and just do your research all the way around.
step five: plan your content & start writing
After all that busy work, you’re ready to get some content down. But before plunging in head first, you need to figure out a few pertinent details.
- What’s your end game? Are you positioning yourself as an industry expert? Growing leads? Building a mailing list? Boosting online visibility? The purpose of your blog will also drive its voice and content, so consider this carefully.
- What can you commit to in terms of a schedule? Be realistic here. How often can you fit in thoughtful blogging in addition to running your business?
- What kind of calls to action will you use? Asking visitors to take action on your blog, whether it’s joining your mailing list, downloading free content, or contacting you directly, shouldn’t be overlooked.
With a solid strategy in place, you can start writing. Share your expertise, answer questions you hear again and again, offer your unique perspective, or share insider tips. Just remember to stick to your blogging voice and make sure you’re writing something worth reading.
before you give up…
These five steps to setting up your own business blog may all sound totally doable. Then again, this entire post could read like Greek to you.
If you’re in the latter category, and you absolutely want the benefits of a blog for your business but have neither the time nor the inclination to do all the leg work yourself, well, that’s why I’m here. I’d love to hear about your work and your needs, so let’s get some coffee and talk it out.