Do you want to create a business blog?
Considering there are around 600 million blogs online – and seven million blog posts being published a day – the idea of starting a business blog might seem daunting at first. Yet it’s an important step in building a presence for your business, and making your enterprise recognizable – and don’t worry, we’re here to help you out.
Whether you’re a small business looking to grow, or just haven’t got around to creating that all-important blog yet, we’ve put together seven simple steps to get you started.
7 Steps for Starting a Business Blog: Summarized
Before starting to think about your blog posts and what to write, it’s worth outlining some goals, first. It’s important to establish expectations, as well as a general strategy to make measuring success easier along the way.
Consider how your blog will link to your overall strategy. How will you use it to expand your business? How can you make sure it appeals to customers? It’s easy to get caught up in trying to build a social media presence, but, beforehand, you need to decide on the purpose of your content, and what you want it to achieve. We’d advise remembering that why should come before what.
Here are some tips to start with:
- Decide on your target audience and who you want to draw in.
- Consider your tone of voice and brand identity – how do you want to be seen and heard?
- Decide how you’ll measure success – for example, the number of readers of your blog, or the sales your content leads to.
- Research competitors and have a think about what you can offer that’s unique.
- Carry out keyword research to see what your online audience is searching for with free online tools, such as Google Trends, Google Adwords, and Ubersuggests.
Once you’ve decided on the purpose of your blog, it’s time to select your domain name.
But what is a domain name – and where do you start looking? A domain name is an address that’s unique to a specific website, which you type into a browser when you want to access said site. It’s important to get your domain name right at the start as it’ll affect your website traffic, so opt for something memorable and catchy. If you get this right, people will be more likely to remember your business blog – and to share it with their friends, too!
Now, it’s time to sign up to a blogging platform – where you’ll select templates to customize your business blog and make it your own. There are so many user-friendly platforms available nowadays that you won’t even need to know how to code – which is good news for the less tech-savvy!
Here are the three website builders that we’d recommend for starting a business blog:
Squarespace prices start at $12 per month and offer various visual templates that you can adapt as required, which all work on mobile devices. This is important for all blogs but especially business ones, as you want people to be able to access your content on the go. You can also access G Suite, social media and PayPal integrations, SEO tools, and e-commerce functions.
Wix is a great choice for beginners and costs around $14 per month. With over 800 templates to choose from, it’s packed with user-friendly features and themes to get your business blog kicked off. It also comes with useful SEO tools and multiple apps, meaning it does a lot of the hard work for you!
Weebly prices are cheap and start at around $6 per month. It’s also one of the easiest platforms to use, with hundreds of templates to choose from that work for various types of content. You can build sleek sites with the drag-and-drop editor and it’s full of apps and features to encourage growth, making it perfect for portfolios, online stores, and business blogs.
Once you’ve chosen which website builder works for you, you’ll be asked to choose your monthly price plan. Then all you need to do is enter your personal details and domain name before you can start customizing your business blog.
Now the fun begins and it’s time to think about design. This is your chance to choose and customize a theme and make your business blog your own. Consider whether you want your business blog to look like an integrated part of your website or have its own look and feel.
Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can start to add images, content, and more. Our three favorite website builders all offer easy drag-and-drop customization, allowing you to design pages easily by moving content around and experimenting.
It’s worth considering the below before selecting your theme:
- Is the theme responsive? You want your blog to be able to be displayed on a variety of devices, including desktop and mobile.
- Does it come with some level of customer support or a support forum?
- Does it allow for customization? For example changing colors, a navigation menu, buttons, widgets, and so on.
Here’s also some info on how customization works on our favorite website builders:
- Squarespace offers beautiful templates that are easy to edit and are optimized for desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. It also comes drag-and-drop customization that’s more section-based, which will take some getting used to, but, still allows for creativity. Editing also becomes quick and easy!
- Wix has multiple themes that are easy to customize, and you can drag-and-drop your content anywhere. This functionality gives you more freedom, which is ideal when it comes to creating a unique business blog.
- Weebly has a selection of sleek themes that respond well on mobile, although the scope for drag-and-drop customization is a little more limited. You may also need to be a little more comfortable with using code here.
Examples of templates
So, how can you add more functionality to your business blog? The good news is that website builders now allow you to install apps – such as social share icons and email marketing tools – which will make your blog even more useful and engaging.
Here are some of the apps in each builder that you might find useful:
- Squarespace has a host of creative design apps – including Art of Where and Unsplash – as well as a number of social sharing apps, all of which will make the site more visually engaging and easy to use.
- The Wix App Market also has hundreds of apps to choose from, such as the Pinterest Pin It button app and product review apps such as Editorify, which is great for a business blog.
- Weebly offers traffic-boosting apps as part of Weebly’s in-house selection, including FAQs sections and payment buttons, which are useful for customer engagement and monetizing a business blog.
Once you have a theme in place, you can start creating your pages, and making your blog your own. Most people add static content first; a homepage, an ‘about us’ page, and a ‘contact me’ page with details about yourself. The homepage creates that all-important first impression, so it needs to grab visitors’ attention!
It’s also important to have some consistency whilst posting content. Larger businesses might post new content daily, but if you can start with a few posts a week and gradually increase them. Try tools like Google Sheets or CoSchedule to create a plan or schedule, and you can receive automated reminders of when to post.
If you’re struggling with what to write about, do some keyword research on Google Trends or Google Adwords to find out what other business blogs are posting about at the moment. Explore the topics where you have extensive knowledge and be original when you can. Most importantly, focus on content that is useful to your customers and readers.
Marketing your blog properly is important for growth and success, so putting effort into the key strategies involved will help you stand out from all the other business bloggers.
We’ve rounded up several of our top digital marketing tips to help you focus on growth:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Once you start adding content, you’ll need to make sure that users can find your website. Focusing on SEO helps you do just that, boosting your rankings in Google’s search results. Start with some keyword research to get you going, but many website builders also offer built-in SEO tools, which are definitely worth trying out. For more info, check out our top 7 blog SEO tips.
- Social media marketing: Over 52% of online brands are discovered via social media, so it’s vital to start building your presence across multiple social channels, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Business blogs are also ideal candidates for social media marketing. So add social share buttons to your blog, then start posting and sharing!
- Email marketing: Try using an email opt-in tool to capture email addresses from your readers, and initiate regular contact. When you’re trying a business blog and trying to monetize your blog and sell products, this will help you in the long run.
Business blogging is important when it comes to creating a lucrative venture, so ensure to keep revisiting your goals, strategy, and mission statement, so that you don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve.
With our help – and your commitment – you’ll be well on your way to starting a thriving business blog.
Here’s a reminder of those 7 steps on how to start a business blog:
- Decide on the Purpose of Your Blog
- Buy a Domain Name
- Sign up to a Blogging Platform
- Choose and Customize a Theme
- Install Apps
- Plan and Create Your Blog’s Content
- Promote Your Blog