So your business needs a blog? Nowadays, just about everyone in the business world has, or knows they need one. Deciding to start a blog can be extremely overwhelming as a beginner, but no worries- I’ve got you covered!
Choose your blog’s name
The very first thing you should do is choose a blog name. Most businesses choose the same name as their business, however, when creating a blog, you should try to think as long-term as possible. The nature of your business may change, but your blog presence can remain throughout many fluctuations.
Depending on the nature of your business, your blog might be named after you, the actual business, or a representative philosophy of your business. Neil Patel, argues that a personal blog is sometimes better than a company blog for a few reasons, namely the flexibility a personal blog gives you with subject matter versus a company blog, where you are limited to what you will blog about.
Regardless of which type of blog your choose to create, answering a few questions can help in choosing the permanent name:
- What is the purpose of your blog going to be? Do you just want to bring in more clients/customers, or do you have an important message to share with your future readers? Is there a cause, or belief system, that is near and dear to your heart that you will also share? Some entrepreneurs and companies use their blogs to raise awareness about causes they care about. Others may share thoughts on spirituality or personal development. Your blog name can absolutely be the same name as your business, but just keep in mind that it can also be something else that best represents your purpose or even you personally.
- Who are you trying to reach the most? Envision the ideal reader of your blog. Why are they visiting, what questions are they asking that you, or your company, have the answers to. Do they need to be educated, encouraged? What are their buying habits? Are they looking for more than a product? What kind of relationship are they seeking from you? Understanding your ideal audience ahead of time could be the key to naming a blog that will attract them.
- Do you want to build just your business, or a community? As companies grow, they tend to form communities around their chosen causes and interactions with the public. When choosing a blog name, think about how your community will interact with your website in the future. Can that blog name grow and/or evolve with your business community?
Decide where you want to purchase your domain name and where your want to host your blog
Your domain name is the name you will use as your web address for your blog. For example, www.inkabilitywriting.com is the domain address for this blog. I chose the domain name, Inkability Writing, because of my future business goals, not where I currently am in that process. In order to obtain a domain, you must purchase one through a domain site. Both WordPress and Dreamhost offer domains for purchase.
After you purchase a domain for your blog, you need a place to host your blog, which is also available directly through WordPress or through a hosting provider like Dreamhost. Dreamhost offers one-click install on WordPress and they manage your WordPress site for you, a plus if you have no experience running a blog. Depending on your needs and budget, there are hosting plans to choose from.
And yes, WordPress does offer free websites for basic blogs but depending on your growth goals, and blog management knowledge, it is usually best to purchase a hosting plan to accommodate those goals in the future.
There are also other options out there, such as Wix websites, Blogspot, and more… it’s important to choose a place for your blog that aligns with your business goals, so don’t rush the process. Research, ask questions, and find what will work best for you.
Blog Set Up
Once your purchase goes through, Your host will walk you through the basic blog installation and setup. Allow some time for this process. You will choose a free theme or install a purchased theme and then you will work on modifying its appearance to your liking.
Free themes are usually a basic theme with basic features. Purchased themes offer more customization options and allow you to be more specific with your branding. It is perfectly okay to begin with a free theme and graduate to a purchased theme later on.
Once your site is set up, all that is left to do is to begin adding content! This is the fun part! Take some time to think about the vision you have for your blog.
What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to reach? Design your content around your ideal client. What is most valuable to them?
Now plan out at least 3 months of weekly blog posts to get started. Start writing and scheduling these in advance so that you can form a rolling schedule of content production.
Don’t know what to write? Struggling to develop a solid content strategy?
Consider hiring a professional who knows how (that would be me, or someone else of your choosing).