If you have always wanted to start a blog for your business, but never been sure of how to do that – never fear. In this post, I will walk you through all the steps needed to get started, get your voice heard and increase your company’s visibility through the media of blogging.
If you run any kind of business, blogging gives you a voice and a platform. I am going to assume you are already active on social media channels with your business profile (if you are not, you really should be). Twitter is limited by characters, just 140 per message. It is known as a form of microblogging but that is not to say you should release a page of A4 text 140 characters at a time!! Facebook allows you more freedom, but huge posts are not really appropriate. So blogging is a great way to get larger chunks of information out into the public domain. Your social sites can then be used to direct traffic to your blog.
What a Blog Should Not Be Used For
A blog is not just a sales page. You have a website to showcase the products you offer, so keep your advertising on there. You can reference your products but blogging is primarily for sharing interesting content and information. You could share a customer experience of your product, but do try and keep the blog informative and interesting. Look for news in your industry, relevant developments and content that will offer your readers interest and education.
Getting a Blog
The first port of call is whoever looks after your website. There are plenty of ways they can add a blog section to your website. Many allow plugins from WordPress and other blogging platforms. Failing that, WordPress and other sites offer a free blog page. The sign up is easy and over 48% of hosted blogs are with WordPress but there are others out there. From a branding point of view the neatest way is to have your blog as a link on your website, but failing that ensure consistency of colour and tone, as well as uploading your logos ensures that your blog still fits your brand.
I am going to reference WordPress more as I believe it is still one of the best platforms for new bloggers. Even with their free options, you have access to a tonne of layouts, meaning you can choose something that is really reflective of your business. Spend some time going through the layouts on offer. You will see that all offer colour change options and lots of scope to personalise.
The only negative to having a hosted free blog via WordPress is that the URL (the http://www.myblog…) bit will not be personal to you, and will contain a WordPress URL with your username attached (make that your business name), however, this is not a massive issue as 9 times of 10 you will be driving traffic to your blog via ‘click here’ type links so often your clients do not see what is behind the link.
That is basically it. Now all you need to do is create useful, informative content. A blog post can be any length and standards and recommendations change all the time. Have your say. There is no point desperately filling to reach 1000 words if you have made your point in 500 – remember the key is to be interesting and engaging – you do not want your audience falling asleep. Publish your content and proliferate links to your social media accounts.
And that is it! Give it a try and ‘Happy Blogging’
Anna Everett is a responsive social media marketing expert, author and self-confessed Geek Girl.