A blog is a type of social media site that every single business should take advantage of. Blogs offer you a way to inform your customers and engage them. Your customers can read your posts, comment, and communicate directly with your company. It also helps your website’s SEO by providing a constant stream of fresh content.
Identify Your Purpose
The first step is to identify the purpose of your blog. Every blog should have a primary use, such as:
- Driving search engine traffic to your site
- Building your expertise online
- Offering promotions
- Capturing leads and signing them up to your email list
- Making money directly through the blog
- Building up a loyal readership and then selling the blog.
Define your main purpose as clearly as possible because it will determine the kind of content you’ll write.
Before even naming your blog, research keywords related to your niche to see what people are searching for online. If possible, use some of these keywords in the blog’s title. This gives your blog tremendous SEO power. People will search for these keywords and find your blog as it rises in search engine rankings. You can also use these keywords to write posts around, but keep in mind that SEO is just one element of a good blog. You can do keyword research for free with Google’s Free Keyword Tool.
Free vs. Paid Blog Platforms
There are free platforms like WordPress and Blogger that you can use to set up your blog, or you can pay for your own hosting. It’s much better to pay for your own hosting and host your blog on your own domain. One option is to use a free service until the blog gets going and then eventually roll the content over into its own domain, but the disadvantage to this method is that you’ll lose any links you previously had.
Even if you use your own hosting, you can use WordPress, Blogger, or another platform as a content management system. These platforms make it easy to update and manage your blog without dealing with HTML.
Getting Your Blog Started
You can either hire someone to design your blog or use an instant template (templates are offered through the aforementioned free platforms). Like your hosting, your template can be changed later. You can use a template for now and eventually create your own design. Using a template is just a matter of choosing a template, downloading it, and then installing.
After starting your blog, start writing immediately and populating it with content. This must be the first step, because there’s no reason to drive traffic to a blog with no content. Write ten or so posts before you begin your traffic efforts. Focus on writing ‘pillar’ articles: posts that are highly focused and impassioned about topics in your niche.
Decide on a posting schedule. For example, commit to writing two posts a week. Even if youíre not writing posts, check in on your blog every day or so to moderate comments and backlinks. Make sure you reply to all comments.
What Makes a Good Blog
A good blog isn’t purely promotional. Instead, it informs readers and helps them solve their problems. It encourages interaction, bringing up relevant topics and asking readers to share their two cents. As part of building your blog readership, read other blogs, link to them, and comment on them. This is the social part of social media.