We continue our series on blogging for business with this 5-step guide to launching your blog. Check the end of this post for links to the other articles in this series.
1 – Identify your primary topics (niche)
- Think of your blog as a book – in fact it could lead to actually publishing a book one day!
Ideally 3-5 primary topics and 10-12 overall categories
What are you truly passionate about?
- What is your niche or specialty?
2 – Choose a blog platform
- Built-in blog on your existing website
- WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
- Blogger (Google)
- Typepad (movable type)
- Active Rain – Rainmaker account ($39/mth or $199/yr)
Open your blog to consumers
Get your blog posts found on Google
Share your blog posts on social media
3 – Get a domain name and hosting
- Go Daddy (domain and hosting options)
- Host Gator / Blue Host both support WordPress hosting
- WP Engine
- Read this article from Problogger: 4 perspectives to consider for naming
Human (easy to remember), Brand, SEO, Legal (copyright/trademarks)
4 – Setup & Design your Blog
Do it Yourself or outsource to an expert. WordPress tutorials generally come with all the major WP hosting solutions.
Logo & Branding
Remember to be in compliance with your State & Company advertising rules
Pages vs Posts
- If you are creating a standalone blog site, then you could include basic pages like About Us, Contact Us, and other applicable content as a part of your overall navigation menu
- Categories can also be added to a main nav menu
- Categories organize your blog posts into the main topic and focus areas of your blog
Plugins – add functionality and features to your blog
- Akismet (anti-spam) – Jetpack
- SEO (All in one or Yoast)
- Contact form – integration to your email service
- Image Gallery / slideshow
- Email opt-in to add forms from your email marketing service:
- Two specific plugins for optins and email campaigns:
- Social Sharing (Jetpack)
- Google analytics
- Recent posts
- Recent Comments
- Facebook, IG, Twitter feeds
- Your photo and contact info
Navigation – make it easy for readers/visitors to find your content
- Main Menu can include pages and categories
- Categories are your primary topics and will help visitors locate your posts
- Tags also further sort and filter the topics and can be included in the sidebar
- Search bar – make sure to include a search bar Header and sidebar)
5 – Start writing posts!
- Brainstorm topics now – create a list of posts to write
- Write 5-10 blog posts – Go live with at least 3 posts
- Keep a notebook or online list for recording ideas for posts
- Always include an image, photo or video in your post
Blogging for Business series:
Is Blogging for You?
Six Reasons to Become a Blogger
Tips on Finding Your Blog Voice
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