A blog for any business is a ‘must-have’ in today’s tech world. Compared to traditional methods, it’s a cheap way of promoting your business and products, and it isn’t that expensive to set up.
There are lots of blogging platforms to choose from but the two most popular are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Both are free to sign up and registration is pretty straight forward. If you have a hosting account you can download WordPress from Fantastico in your cpanel.
So, let’s have a look how to get your blog off the ground and generate interest.
Once signed up, the next step is to create your user profile.
- Choose a username (this will be your unique address that people will visit to check out your blog), ie. http://scooby.blogspot.com (blogspot is part of Blogger which is owned by Google) or http://scooby.wordpress.com
- Choose a display name (this will identify you in the blogging community). This will be the name used to sign your blog posts.
- Add any contact details you wish to make public. Include your business email address, Skype number and phone number.
- Add a link to your website.
- Link up with your other social media accounts.
- Give as much detail, about you and your business, as you want to make public. This is an ideal opportunity to get people interested and to subscribe to your blogs.
Design & Appearance
You can be as fancy as you like but here are a few tips on creating an attractive design that will appeal to visitors.
- Keep it simple and within the branding scheme of your business.
- You have a choice of one, two or three columns. Choose the most suitable layout for your blog. Have a look at other people’s blogs and pick out the layouts that are attractive to you.
- Use a pre-installed template. You can customise it to your needs and it’s the easiest way to get started. If you know a little HTML and want to get creative there’s lots of free templates to download from the Web to use with Blogger.com (WordPress.com won’t let you download a template but you can design and upload your own background). Go to Google and search for ‘free blogging templates’.
- Organise your blog so visitors can easily trawl through your site.
- Pages are static (as opposed to Posts which are dynamic) and pop up as a tab in your navigation system. Use these to publish any information you want to keep on show, for instance an ‘About Me’ page, or ‘Contact’ page, or maybe you want to promote an event that is happening within your niche market.
Whether it’s a post or a page, here’s a few tips on creating the best articles to attract visitors.
- Keep it simple. Your writing should be clear and easy to read. No texting shorthand (lol) or symbols, just plain language.
- Break up the article with paragraphs, images, bullet points, etc. It makes it more interesting and readable. People love scanning before committing their valuable time to your blog and this is one way of attracting their attention.
- Create a compelling headline. In a few choice words it has to convey exactly what the article is about. It also has to be eye catching enough to stand out from the numerous other feeds your readers will receive.
- Get to the point. Your readers want to learn something that will benefit them so become the ‘Go To’ blog for information and advice on topics within your niche market.
You can tweak your blog and add further gadgets/widgets once you’re up and running. It might seem arduous at first but, once you’ve found your way around the site and published your first blog, you’ll be buzzing.
Here are a few books for you to have a look at. Make yourself an expert or just dive in and have fun!