Blogging 101 (Part Two)
July 21, 2011
How Business Can Benefit from Blogging
In our last post, we began exploring the value of businesses investing time and resources into blogging. Today we want to help you get started with a blog for your own business or personal use.
Here at Cross and Crown, creating blogs is one of our specialties. If you are interested in a custom creative design for your blog, or if you want to add blogging features to your current website, we are happy to help get you started.
However, it may be that blogging is still very new to you and you just want to stick your toe in the water. If that is the case, start by creating a free blog on www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com. Each of these sites are extremely user friendly, visiting the home page you will have no trouble navigating your way to setting up a blog in merely moments. If you run into any problems setting up your free blog, let us know in the comment section and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Before you begin, be sure to choose a couple of variations on a name for your blog. As we stated in the previous post, your preferred blog name may already be in use by another user. If this is the case you will want to be ready with a few other blog name options because naming your blog is the first step.
Once you have a name for your blog, both wordpress and blogger will walk you through choosing a theme for your blog and customizing your side bars and widgets.
Most blogs are two column blogs, the main column is where the content goes and the smaller side column is where you display additional information such as: links to your RSS feed, an About Me(or About Your Business) section, top posts, and archives. You may also want to include widgets in your sidebar, widgets are plug-ins that allow you to display content from other sites such as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook etc. Widgets like these are important because they help increase traffic to your blog.
Another helpful step to take before setting up your blog is creating several posts that you can upload to your new blog immediately. This will allow you to begin publicizing your blog as soon as its created. It’s smart to have at least 4 or 5 posts already on a blog before launching it to the world. Be sure that your blog posts have hyperlinks to other websites, as this helps with search engine optimization, a topic we will discuss in detail soon here on this blog. When linking to other online content, always take great care to give proper credit to the source of the content.
At this point, you should have your blog named, 4-5 posts written, and a theme/widgets in place. You are now ready to share your blog with others. We recommend that you “soft launch” your blog to a few close friends or supporters before linking it to your official website. Be sure to have someone editing your content for errors and typos, you want it to be as polished as anything you would give to a client. When you soft launch your blog, ask for feedback and take time to make adjustments to your blog that may be necessary.
When its time to officially go public with your blog, its a good idea to have a blogging schedule in mind to ensure that you have a plan in place for creating and adding new content to your blog. Think strategically about the topics you want to address on your blog and the frequency you want to post content and then make a schedule. A basic strategy would be to brainstorm a list of topics and ideas, and then place the the topics in a schedule that makes sense for you/your business.
You do not have to blog everyday, but you should at least blog once or twice a week to ensure you are keeping your content fresh — search engines like fresh content and are more likely to send people to your blog if your content is updated regularly.
If you run into any trouble along the way, or if you want to skip the hassle of setting up a blog for your business, please contact us and we will be more than happy to discuss options that will meet your needs. We can provide custom blog design, training, and even help you set up a strategic plan to help you achieve your blogging goals.
We hope this series has been helpful and that you will see a good return on your investment in blogging and engaging in this powerful online communication platform.