Starting a new business requires courage, knowledge, hard work, self-determination, and a sound plan. Aside from that, you need all the help you can get in the marketing department, so setting up a blog is a great place to start. A consistent and unique blog can be a real asset in your marketing strategy. It can draw attention to your organization, giving you that initial push required to become a successful business.
Blogs for small business owners can focus on a variety of subjects and can target different audiences. Why is having a blog important for you? If your business doesn’t have a blog, you might be missing on a chance to attract a broad audience of potential customers. With the right knowledge, you can target a specific group that might be interested in your products or services. But before we get into the importance of targeting with blog posts, let’s get you started first.
This article can serve as a short handbook for everyone interested in starting blogs for business owners. Read along to learn a few great tips and tricks and start your blog today!
1. First Things First, Pick a Platform
Just like starting a business requires a solid plan, starting a blog also needs a detailed checklist of what steps need to be followed in order to be successful in your endeavor. The first step in your blogging business plan is to choose a platform.
Today we have more platforms to choose from than ever before. These include Weebly, Joomla, and, of course, WordPress. Some are more user-friendly and great for beginners, while others offer more advanced options. That being said, most people stick to the tried and true platform which is WordPress.
WordPress has been around for more than 15 years and is, without a doubt, the most popular platform for bloggers due to its flexible design options and a wide array of plugins. It’s also free, so you only have to pay for hosting services. Setting up a self-hosted blog might require a bit of knowledge, but it’s not super complicated. If you value time efficiency, you can always hire a developer or someone familiar with the platform to set it up for you quickly.
2. Pick a Theme and Customize Your Blog
Designing a unique blog using WordPress is easier than you might think. The platform offers a plethora of themes to choose from, and most of them are free. You can then further customize the look and feel of your blog by changing specific things like colors, menus, buttons, and so on. There are also third-party websites that offer paid WordPress themes that come with more features, customization options, and unique overall design. That being said, the most important factors to keep in mind are:
Is the theme optimized for mobile devices? Your goal is to reach the largest audience possible, so making your blog mobile-friendly is crucial. Before settling on a theme, make sure it’s responsive and displays properly on all devices.
Is it customizable? Regardless of how unique the initial design is, you’ll probably want to tweak and tune a couple of things in order to add a personal touch and make the blog truly yours.
Is it regularly updated, and does the development team offer some form of support? One of the main reasons you would want to invest in a paid WordPress theme is the support that comes with it. Developers issue updates regularly and can help you out if you’re experiencing any issues with their theme.
3. Register a Domain Name and Purchase Hosting
Starting a small business blog is not free, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either. All blog business plans need to have a budget that should cover the costs of registering a domain name, hosting your blog, and purchasing a WordPress theme (in case you opt for the paid ones)
If you do not own a company web site to attach the blog to, you’ll need to register a domain for it. Choosing a domain name is super important, and you should definitely put a little thought into it. Once you’ve settled on a name, it’s time to register it. You can do this through various domain registrar services. You can choose just about anything as long as the URL is not already taken. We recommend using your business name or something that’s easy to remember. Domain rental comes with a fee that shouldn’t exceed more than $10 a year.
Once you’re done with setting up your domain name, it’s time to purchase web hosting. The most affordable options for web hosting cost around 5 – $15/month. You don’t need the more expensive hosting options at the beginning of your blogging career; however, you’ll want to consider upgrading if you gain more traffic in the future.
4. Pick Your Niche
As we mentioned above, business blogs can cover a wide range of topics that are directly or indirectly related to your organization. Figure out what kind of topics you want to talk about. Think about your objectives and what you want to accomplish with this blog.
Do you want to establish yourself as an expert in your respective field? Consider starting a small business advice blog and write about what it takes to succeed in your industry. Are you a new player in the market that’s looking to introduce his organization and generate leads? Commit to writing more frequently and try and offer some value to your readers. For example, you could do a roundup of industry news. Stay consistent and write about topics where you can plug your services without being too obvious.
You should also choose the voice of your blog. Figure out if you want it to be all technical and academic or do you want it to be more casual and informal. How would you go about making this decision? Well, determining the voice of your blog will depend on the audience you’re addressing.
Once you have a plan in place and you’ve done everything listed above, you’re ready to start writing! Feel free to share insights, discuss a wide range of topics, and try to remain authentic.
Did you find this article helpful? If the answer is yes, make sure to let us know. Need assistance with other aspects of your small business? We can help! AnswerHero offers premier answering services that can make your business reachable for your customers even when you’re away. We also offer appointment setting, lead capturing, and many more services. Make sure to check out our plans and feel free to contact us for more information.