by: Jan Loyola
This week, we’re going to tackle the basics of how to set up your own blog for your business. A good blog will attract quality sales leads using your content and can eventually become the main lead generation channel of your business.
Every day, there are about 2 blogs created every second around the world, and a significant percentage of these blogs are by beginners. Due to the popularity of online entrepreneurship, most of these blogs are probably connected to a company website from a fledgeling business, much like yours. If you really want to make a significant dent in your target niche, then you have to make sure that your company blog will be able to attract your sales leads. To help your businesses get better returns for your efforts on blogging, we have provided here the essential tips on how to start a company blog from scratch.
The best way to start a blog is by using available free platforms for blogging, the most popular of which are WordPress and Blogger. Both platforms have their own strengths; Blogger, being affiliated with Google, allows for faster integration with Google-owned business tools while WordPress, being a bit more for professionals, offers more customizability for your blog. Using free hosting sites such as these will save you from the expense of purchasing the services of a hosting company. If you have funds set aside for you blog however, you can make use of a self-hosted WordPress blog for a few dollars, the cheapest web hosting service being about $3-$4 a month.
After you’ve selected a good blogging platform, it’s now time to create the design of your blog. A free hosted blog provides free templates from which you can choose and easily apply to your site. A self-hosted blog will let you create a more customized blog or, if you want, you can hire a web designer to design your blogsite for you from scratch. This is the best choice if you want to integrate your blog design to that of your website.
The important things to consider about design are:
- It should be user friendly – you don’t want your sales leads to have a hard time finding previous or recent posts on your blog, much the the RSS button.
- The colors should be appealing to the eyes and, ideally, reflect the colors from your website.
- It would be best if you have a responsive design for your blog so that the template automatically adjusts when your leads view your blog through their mobile devices.
- All elements of the site should load quickly so that your readers won’t bounce off, so as much as possible, keep flash designs to a minimum.
- Integrate good SEO tactics like using meta and title tags in the framework of your blog to make it search engine friendly.
Do not forget to include a call to action on your blog. A splash page which instructs your viewers to sign up for newsletters will allow you to easily add them to your business list in case you have to email them or need your telemarketer to call them about product updates.
The next post will be all about what to write on your blog, what your posts are about, and how to make these easily searchable through search engines.