Starting a blog from scratch can seem overwhelming. There are so many different sites and subjects to choose from, so it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Plus, once you’ve actually set up the blog, you need to find the motivation to keep posting! Our easy-to-follow guide will tell you how to start a blog for your business, and give you plenty of tips for staying inspired.
Identify your industry
When you’re writing a business blog, your posts are primarily going to cover issues and news stories in your respective industry. However, it can be helpful to pinpoint a few areas of that industry that you’d like to focus your efforts on – keywords and phrases that you’ve decided to target that are particularly relevant to your business proposal. Start by identifying the aspects of your industry that you are especially knowledgeable in, and consider how you can become a thought leader in that area. This will help you to plan relevant, consistent content across the weeks and months.
Pick a platform
You may not have a huge budget at your disposal once you have decided to learn how to start a blog, so it makes sense to go for one of the free blog platforms that are on the market. The two most popular options are Google’s offering, Blogger, and rival software WordPress. Personally, we favour the latter, but both are simple, straightforward and very user friendly. Have a look on both sites, and see which you prefer. Once you’ve made your decision, hit ‘Get started’ on your chosen page and fill in the relevant information to create your blog.
One of the best ways to promote your business blog is to integrate it into your existing website. Whilst the technicalities may be a job for your webmaster, once it’s all set up you’ll be getting hits from the website to the blog and vice versa, which could prove mutually beneficial both for your blog posts and your business!
Add a theme
If you’ve opted for a stand-alone business blog, rather than one that’s integrated with your website, you will need to add a design to personalise your page. If you’ve chosen a Blogger or WordPress domain for your blog, you have hundreds of free, premade theme templates at your disposal – all you need to do is customise them to match your business branding.
- Sign in to your account
- Select ‘Design’ on the top right hand side of the toolbar
- Click on your chosen theme, and then hit ‘Apply to blog’
If you want to make additional changes to the theme, select ‘Customise’ to choose your own colours, fonts etc.
- Sign in to your Dashboard
- Select ‘Appearance’ – ‘Themes’ on the right-hand menu
- Click on your chosen theme, then hit ‘Save and Activate’
If you want to make additional changes to your WordPress theme, select ‘Custom Design’ on the Appearance menu. However, although your template may be free, WordPress will generally charge for more specific alterations.
If you’ve chosen an alternative site or committed to a paid option, look through their FAQs or help section to find out how you can customise your page. Having a site that has a creative or interesting look will give readers a reason to stay on your page, and reduce your bounce rate.
It’s now time to start writing blog posts – but don’t just write a single blog article and think that’s your job done. Plan what you’re going to write for the next few weeks, and create a schedule that says which articles will be posted on what day. This helps you to visualise what your blog will become, and keep your posts varied and interesting. It may take a little more work initially, but trust us – it’s worth it in the long run. Our blog post, Content schedules, and why your business should have one, may help!
Keep it up!
Blogging for your business is an on-going task – once you’ve built up a readership, they’ll be expecting your updates on a regular basis! However, there are probably (OK, undoubtedly) going to be days when you feel less than inspired and you wonder if learning how to start a blog was the right thing to do. Here are our top tips for staying motivated:
- Look at your analytics
Seeing how far your blog has come since day 1 may just give you the push you need to write a post on day 100.
- Set yourself a target
If you’re more of a forward thinker than a reflector, decide what milestone you’d like your blog to hit next. Whether it’s 500 followers or a certain number of page views, setting yourself an achievable goal may provide the motivation you’ve been searching for.
- Get a guest blogger
Guest blogging is a great way to build positive relationships in your chosen online community. Most people are keen to promote their own blogs, and so will be happy to write you a post in exchange for a plug. Plus, it means that on this occasion, all you have to do is a quick copy edit.
- Post anything
On days where you’re struggling, there’s no need to sit down and drag out 500 words. Post a picture, a list, a funny meme. As long as you post something, you’re keeping your blog active and your readers amused and engaged.
Now that you know how to start a blog for your business, get in touch with Write My Site to keep it going! We specialise in putting together high quality blog content for all sorts of industries. Drop us an email at [email protected] to find out more.